Friday, February 26, 2010

More GL user icon fun from the Interwebs...

Here’s a user icon, courtesy of someone with a lot of time on their hands (well, more than me).

It proves that there IS good taste on the net, people.

It also reminded me of how I can reduce the special effects budget on JLA: The Movie, so I can spend it on my stellar cast and, of course, catering.

To refresh everyone’s memory, for the Green Lantern’s ring constructs I intend using a state-of-the-art special effects hardware I call Luminous Effect Geometric Objects combined with another tip I picked up from the FX masters at Industrial Light and Magic called Practical Application of Incandescent Noticeable Tint.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

If DC ever created their own FF – The Smarter than Batman Edition (Now with extra IQ Points!)

I’ve written two of these posts, here  and here. Without further ado, here’s my third DC FF proposal:

1] Doctor Light

No, not him. Her. Kimiyo Hoshi. Light powers and an advance understanding of Physics are both extremely useful. Also, she’ll stop this team from becoming a “Sausage fest” (Can’t believe I just typed that :)

2] Mister Terrific

Michael Holt is listed as the 3rd smartest guy on the planet. He possesses significant martial arts skills and uses loads of techno-gadgets. Mr. Terrific also wields an uber-cool power of being invisible to technology.

3] Mister Miracle

Yes, this is a repeat of the original post. My reasons given in my previous DC Fantastic Four post still hold. Inventive genius and all that...

Semi-unrelated rant:

Although Ragman isn’t on this team, I still haven’t given up on Mr. Miracle and Ragman potential BFFdom (that’s Best-Friends-Forever-dom...You know, like fandom but with best friends and it has nothing to do with dominance which seems to be a recurring theme with Scott Free on this blog :). Call me a sucker for hero bromance, but where are the NEW hero friendships these days? There is a long tradition in the DCU* of great friendships: Supes and Bats; Hal and Barry and Ollie; Blue and Gold; Arthur and Katar; J’onn and Captain Marvel; and even Kyle and Wally (and Conner) to a degree. When did heroes stop needing fellowship or camaraderie with other heroes? It’s not like they can log on to a hero blogosphere and talk about their heroic lives...And their civilian wives/husbands or girlfriends/boyfriends can’t really fill that void.

*There is a relative absence of such strong friendships in the Marvel Universe. I can only thing of 2 or 3 comparable friendship pairings off the top of my head and none reach the mutual admiration of the Supes-Bats dyad or the intensity of the Hal-Barry-Ollie threesome. There are actually more examples of the Hawkman-Green Arrow constant disagreement dynamic. It’s actually quite weird.

4] The Atom

Ray Palmer is the perfect guy to be on this team. He’s a physicist and general sub-atomic tinkerer and, believe me, this team is all about tinkering.

5] Steel
I know this is supposed to be a four-hero team, but I felt the team might be a little light on muscle. In addition, John Henry Irons is a great mix of brains and brawn.

Okay, so what are they about?

At first, I didn’t have a name or specific mission/purpose for the team, but after looking at the assembled team (beyond just their intelligence), I may have come up with both.

Basically, we have heroes who can get in just about anywhere unseen (Mr. Terrific and Atom), a guy who’s impossible to trap/contain (Mr. Miracle), a scientist who has control over light (Dr. Light), an armoured butt-kicker-inventor with a big hammer (Steel), and a guy who can examine machines without taking them apart (The Atom). All of them are super-smart.

Team name: Omega Annex

To build me a star ship and then serve as my crew.

No, seriously, here’s their true Mission/Purpose:
To commandeer and protect or disable potentially dangerous (or classified as Omega-level) technology from super-powered threats.

Their first (team-up) storyline:

It begins with each hero receiving a letter informing them of the death of the justice league villain, the Weapons Master, as well as the names of the recipients of the other letters. Huh? Some of them had never met the Weapons Master. So, why are they receiving these letters? The letters request them to see his lawyer (or executor of his will) for more detail. Scientists and inventors are nothing if not curious, so after a few conference calls, they decide to see what’s what.

Once there, his lawyer shows them a video from the Weapons Master – it looks a few years old. WM tells them that although he was a villain, he was basically just in it for himself and not super evil. Bottom line, the Weapons Master bequeathed “keys” to his dimensional armoury, because they were the only ones he trusts. They’re heroes and scientists. Begrudgingly, they accept their inheritance, because as the WM asked in the video recording, “What if it were to fall into the wrong hands?”

On their first or second visit to the armoury, they discover dossiers (including histories, enemies, and psych profiles) on several bad guys and worse guys who are in possession of extremely destructive (planet-killing) weapons plus their intended targets. Of course, the heroes decide to disarm the bad guys and take possession of these weapons for global safe-keeping. Fast-forward to just after their last and most dangerous mission, when the Weapons Master shows up very much alive and “ejects and locks” the newly formed Omega Annex out of his dimensional armoury. Yeah, WM can do that. “Thanks for procuring these weapons. I felt it was too dangerous to risk my own life for them...They’ll make great additions to my collection.”

Of course, it doesn’t end there. These are five super-smart heroes, after all.

Fun facts about Omega Annex:

1] During their free time, they watch a continuous loop of Big Bang Theory re-runs and Discovery Channel documentaries.

2] They have free time, because they built two dedicated computer systems to handle tedious chores like monitor duty (complete with monitor duty banter settings for the team's amusement in case they ever run out of Big Bang Theory re-runs).

Other insights from this fanboy exercise:

I’ve also considered calling them “The thinkers” or “Brains Trust” or “Think Tank” or “Mindworks” or “Heroes Who Think”, but that may have been somewhat insulting to the rest of the DCU.

It was pretty hard to compile this team once I went the Science and Technology hero route. It seems that DC Comics is the universe of detectives (Batman, The Question, Martian Manhunter, Green Arrow, and several others) while Marvel is the universe of scientists (Reed Richards, Professor X, Beast, Hank Pym, Tony Stark, Bruce Banner, and others).

In the DCU, even those not prone to investigate as heroes have investigative civilian careers such as reporters (Clark Kent) and social workers (Guy Gardner). This is perhaps understandable since the DC in the name DC Comics refers to Detective Comics (the company’s first most popular title). So, DC Comics is really Detective Comics Comics.

In the Marvel U, it’s hard to lob a rock into a bush without hitting a hero with a scientific background. Heck, even Peter Parker was an inventive and scientific genius in high school! It’s also not uncommon for Marvel’s (on average seven or eight member) teams to have three scientist or inventor heroes. It must’ve been the influence of the space race. So, Marvel Comics is really Scientific Marvel Comics.

All of this should make parents happy, because both universes promote asking questions (DC through detection and Marvel through Science) and that is some of the best life advice you can give kids. Superhero comics as life skills tools...Believe it.

Of course, this is off-set by several larger-than-life heroes who are former career-military or law enforcement types who never really question orders until it’s too late (Captain America, Hal Jordan, Hawkman). Hey, no educational material is ever perfect...

Friday, February 19, 2010

JLA: The Movie – How it should be done (Part 7)

This post is sort of supplemental to the series  in the sense that there are some things we could include or not. Click here to read Part 6 and find links to all of the other posts in the series.

I give you Evangeline Lilly (our #1 pick for the role of Wonder Woman) who has recently shocked us with the “I’m done with acting” announcement.

Now, I give you Anna Friel (from Lands of the Lost).

Is it just me or could Evangeline and Anna be sisters? Not twins, but there's slight  resemblance, right? No, I’m not trying to replace Miss Lilly as Wonder Woman. Nor am I envisioning a role for Donna Troy in this movie – that ship will never sail...

No, this has to do with a scene that could make it into the movie or could be done as an extra for the dvd special edition. Bear in mind that this is a movie, so we’ll take some liberties with the source material accuracy and such...

Our scene sees the league (minus Scott and Barda who are missing at the point) landing on Paradise Island (Themyscira) to learn more about “the source” from Earth’s resident expert, he Amazon Queen, wonder woman’s mama. The JLA have been granted access under Diana’s auspices. Booster Gold (Sean William Scott) and Beetle (James Roday from Psych) are also along and are the only two that aren’t up to date on Amazon custom.

Blue and Gold are at the back of the party as they make their way to the palace under the watchful eyes of Diana’s Amazon sisters.

Beetle sees a beautiful Amazon warrior and remarks to Booster, “Wow. She’s beautiful, tall and looks like she could handle herself. I’m in love.” He sees another Amazon sentry. “I think I’ve just fallen in love again.” He sees another five along the path, all taller than him.

Booster says, “It’s weird, they look super-aggressive. Then again, it must be their way of showing how super-interested in us they are.”

“I think you’re probably right. I am loving the boy-girl ratio on this island. Man, our odds must be off-the-charts here. Too bad, we’re here doing the hero thing.”

"Yeah, hero stuff comes first, but next time I’m definitely checking out the nightlife...”

The Amazon royal palace.

Wonder Woman embraces her mother (played by you guessed it...Anna Friel). Yes, Evangeline and Anna  look of simlar age, but that’s the point here. Well, you'll see in a minute. Anyhoo, Diana introduces the rest of the league to her mother.

After being introduced, Booster Gold (played by Sean William Scott) blurts out, “Wonder Woman, your mom is hot.”

The palace hall goes quiet. The rest of the league, Diana, and her mom give Booster brief looks ranging from annoyance (Batman and Hawkman) to judgment (Supes) to disappointment (J’onn) to embarrassment (Flash) to superiority (Hal) to thankfulness (as in thankful that it wasn’t him who made the slip up -Beetle).

I think this extra will be called “Paradise Bust” on the dvd.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

If DC ever created their own FF – The Super-powerful Superhero Oversight Edition (Now with extra eyes looking over and hands tapping on shoulders!)

A while back, I wrote this post to propose DC’s very own Fantastic Four. I still like my first DC’s FF proposal, but I know I have more than one in me. It occurred to me that a four-member super team is as much about how the team relates to outsiders as they do with each other and this team’s genesis has to do with exactly that.
This is my most radical proposal for DC’s very own Fantastic Four (I think).

Team name: Vigil

1] Dr. Fate

The current Doctor Fate becomes both the founder and leader of the team. As different versions of Doctor Fate have been members of the JLA and JSA, he knows how influential both teams are in terms of opinions/behaviour of even non-members. Most heroes in the DCU believe them to be morally infallible and some hero-worship the JLA and JSA. However, Fate has "seen" the moral failures of especially the JLA (including the events of Identity Crisis) and knows how difficult it is for any hero to oppose them. In the same way, teams such as the Outsiders and the Doom Patrol operate under such shadowy circumstances that destructive effects from their actions may only be felt when it’s already too late. “Batman’s Brother Eye satellite was pointed in the wrong direction, but who has enough character and is powerful enough to stop or ‘course correct’ a JLA when they’ve crossed the line?”

2] Green Lantern Sodam Yat

Sodam is brash and inexperienced, but not afraid to ruffle some fellow GL feathers. He’s also a Daxamite, so he’s just about as powerful as Superman. His weakness is lead, though. Did I mention he’s a Green Lantern? Anyhoo, Fate shows Sodam how easy it is for Superman to become a Superman Prime of sorts and how the GLs from Earth (Hal, John, Guy, and Kyle) aren’t objective when it comes to the JLA or JSA...

Next, Fate uses a spell to snatch an underappreciated hero from the 30th century...Hey, there’s a lot of that going on...

3] Wildfire

Seriously, what was DC doing with this hero anyway? I don’t think that this is ever stated explicitly, but I don’t believe Wildfire is as onboard with the “Superman’s heroism is the continued inspiration for the Legion” business as some other Legionnaires and that’s a big part of Fate’s pitch to this legionnaire. In fact, Superboy was his greatest rival in original continuity and the two fought each other to a standstill on one occasion. Wildfire is a former Legion leader, known for his hot-tempered yet decisive and tactically sound leadership. Unlike Cosmic Boy, Wildfire didn’t lead by popularity.

It’ll be interesting to see how he works with Sodam Yat, seeing that one of the fellow legionnaires that clashed with Wildfire most frequently was also an arrogant Daxamite.

4] Ragman

This is a repeat from the first post, but I don’t think I stressed just how powerful Ragman potentially is. Let’s just focus on one of his powers, strength: He could suddenly have the combined strength of a few dozen people or up to a few hundred people. Then, there’s his ability to absorb souls into his costume...Oh yeah, his first Vigil mission is to infiltrate the JLA and assess how ethically the world's greatest heroes operate. Of course, Rory is the most conflicted member of the team and not sure that they're doing the right thing.

Well, that's it for now. Be keeping an eye on you... (That's Vigil's comic tagline. Like it?)

Friday, February 12, 2010

An Early Valentine's Day Message...

I know this is a few days early, but I'd like to talk about that comics topic that cannot be avoided...Valentine's Day. In comics, I can only really think of one couple who have the sort of love that everyone should want:

Barda and Scott Free

For the guys, here are my reasons:

1] Every guy deserves someone who'll stand by him no matter what the odds and fight for their relationship, like so...

2] Every guy deserve someone who won't take crap from the in-laws, be they yours or hers (or people who are just as interfering), like so...

For the ladies, here are my reasons:

1] Every woman deserves someone whose ‘forever’ actually means forever, who will always slip out of even the heaviest chains of everything else and find his way back to her...

2] Every woman deserves someone who’d love nothing more than be tied up with her or next to her or by her...

So much so that he’ll teach others to surrender to their respective partners in the same way...

“Remember, Superman, ‘spandex’ is our safe word...”
"Yes, Mistress Lois."

Of course, it helps if you have a song with sentimental value you can call 'our song' like Scott and Barda do. In fact, they have two faves...
The one is Escape by Enrique Iglesias. Scott likes the sing the high notes of this section of the song:
You can run, you can run,
You can run, you can run,
You can run, you can run,
You can run, you can run,
You can run, you can run,
You can run, you can hide
But you can't escape my love...
The other song is Young Hearts Run Free by Candi Station. Barda is particularly good at singing this song while wearing this outfit:
Young hearts, run free
Never be hung up, hung up like my man and me (oooh)

Here's wishing you a great Valentine's Day from me (and the Frees).

Monday, February 8, 2010

Call me a JLA elitist...

I can stay silent no longer.

As a lifelong Justice League fan, I’ve always enjoyed liking and disliking the various league incarnations. Sometimes it’s even been enjoyable when three or four of my favourite characters leave at the same time and are replaced by some new blood.

During the last few years, a trend has developed where a grouping of former league members team up for a random adventure and either think of themselves as or refer to themselves as “Justice League.” I’m sorry, but they are NOT Justice League. They are FORMER Justice League.

I thought that was bad enough, but DC is making an even bigger mistake with their new JLA roster (which  I thought was a practical joke up to a few months ago):

1] Green Lantern (Hal Jordan)
See objections below
2] Green Arrow
See objections below
3] Dick Grayson (as Batman)
Always looks like a great idea on paper (he’s led a team before, better social skills than Batman, moderately popular), but somehow Grayson never delivers...
4] Donna Troy
I’ve had a bit of a tolerate-hate relationship with Donna Troy...only briefly liked one of her incarnations and that was because her personality had been changed 100% during a transformation. If you say you like the Titans, some people assume you’re a Donna Troy fan for some reason and when you reveal that you’re not those people will have these bewildered facial expressions. To me, she’s really like someone who is friends with one of your friends and you can never figure why your friend likes her (or people in general for that matter).
5] Starfire
If you have Dick, Starfire won’t be far behind (that didn’t sound good when I read it)...Are Dick and Starfire the prototypes for Edward and Bella? Does Stephanie Meyers read comic books?
6] Cyborg
At least he’s not a sidekick
7] Mon-el
The new Superman or Superman analogue, plucked from the Legion where this character actually worked...
8] Guardian
He was more interesting as a supporting character to Superboy of the 90s
9] Congorilla
10] Atom (Ray Palmer)
This guy needs a hug more than he needs JLA membership
11] Doctor Light
EDIT: I'd forgotten to add the good doctor...Maybe, she and Atom were added last to try to please fans of different incarnations of the league and to make the league smarter. Also, she's Guardian's girlfriend (??) and they're both in the current Superman books (That's a Morrisson move, isn't it? Adding charcters to the JLA that you write in other titles...) 

Reasons for my dislike of this roster:

1] I absolutely hate the idea of the JLA as “graduate school for Titans.” Most of The Titans were former sidekicks of Original Leaguers, right? All of them have reached the level of their mentors, right? Oh wait, no, most of them haven’t. Doesn’t this make the JLA easier to defeat (collectively or individually)? And experience doesn’t seem to be the big factor here, because the Justice League Titans have plenty of experience. They’re just not as good as their mentors and in some cases heroes with less experience are actually better than them. Fine, graduate, but do it somewhere else! Make your own way – don’t trade on your mentor’s reputation and good standing...

2] Having heroes with the same powers or skill sets as former members makes the team pretty easy to plan against. You need one or two dark horses in your team to make villains go, “Don’t really know anything about this guy...At least, I can use one of the 212 strategies that work against Nightwing, but this other guy he’s an unknown quantity...He’s not even a legacy hero, so I can’t even use Google him to read up on his...”

3] Aren’t these Titans sick of each other yet? They’ve spent more time together than some of the original leaguer BFFs. There’s a reason the Big Seven of the JLA aren’t in every incarnation of the league.

4] Whenever the league creates a new roster or holds try-outs (isn’t there a better, more prestigious term to use?), I prefer the line-up with well-known or incumbent league faces plus three or four heroes who are totally new to the league AND to each other. So, ONE non-sidekick Titan would have been acceptable to me, but not half of the former tenants of Titan’s tower!

5] We don’t need a Batman analogue (Dick), a Wonder Woman analogue (Donna), or a Superman analogue (Mon-el). If Supes, Bats, and WW aren't there, pick other heroes who don't have their powers.

I came across this article. I totally disagree with the article itself (especially the author's proxy definition of "iconic heroes") and some people rightfully objected to the line-up. There’s even a commenter called 3GP...I think we share a mind or something. Another guy called Captain Silver Age also made a sensible suggestion. General themes in these comments: Hal is Boring; Hal is tainted by his past actions and has been forgiven too easily; People miss Steel (John Henry Irons, not the Detroit league guy); Get Red Arrow or Connor Hawke instead of Ollie; People miss Firestorm and say he should replace Starfire because his name has the word “fire” in it; People think Atom is going to be the book’s only saving grace; and WHAT, No Flash?! They make a lot of fair to good points, IMO.

My current (subject to small changes) dream JLA line-up (irrespective of death or membership to another team) would be made up of 9 or 10 members:

1] Superman
2] Batman
3] Wonder Woman
4] Martian Manhunter
5] Flash
6] Green Lantern [Kyle or John]
7] Metamorpho
8] Hawkgirl
9] Ragman [He’s the only NEW member in my line-up AND my current mystical obsession]
10] Mr. Miracle (Scott Free) [Vote Bromance with Ragman!]

I think the JLA should more often than not have most of those first 6 heroes (at least 4), the rest is up to the individual fan...The only good thing about the Justice League Titans team is that it’s 10 members strong instead of 12 or 14. I can think of 6 or 7 other heroes who would be a better fit that Mon-el and the Titans...

Hey, if the league creative team and editorial staff want to steal the members associated with other teams, why don’t they go after Dr. Fate (JSA) or Geo-Force (Outsiders)? You know, they would at least be in the same league (excuse the pun)?

I think the major problem is how DC editorial and as result the characters and some fans view the Justice League and the Titans as teams – the former being a step up from the latter. You would never see one of the X-men joining the Avengers thinking that way. No, such a switch would be viewed as a lateral move. Even members of other DC teams (Doom Patrol, The Outsiders) would think of a move to the league as a step into a different direction (for example, into the spotlight) rather a HUGE improvement of status. Maybe, it was the whole sidekick team thing back in the day?

Rant over for now...

Friday, February 5, 2010

JLA: The Movie - How it should be done (Part 6)

This is simply a cast stock-taking post for our movie (trilogy which takes the form of one big adventure ala Lord of the Rings). Subsequently, I won’t ask the new readers to read the first five parts before reading the rest of this post. No, since this is a summary post, I’ll ask the newcomers to read the previous instalments AFTER reading this one.

So far, this is our cast:
Batman (Christian Bale) SUPPORTING CHARACTER
Wonder Woman (Evangeline Lilly) CENTRAL CHARACTER
Flash – Barry Allen (Chris Pine) CENTRAL POINT OF VIEW CHARACTER
Green Lantern - Hal Jordan (Nathon Fillion OR Ryan Reynolds) CENTRAL CHARACTER
Martian Manhunter (Hugo Weaving – via either FX make-up OR voice, motion capture, and CGI) CENTRAL POINT OF VIEW CHARACTER
Hawkman (various candidates) SUPPORTING CHARACTER
Hawkgirl (Jessica Biel) SUPPORTING CHARACTER
Green Arrow (various candidates) SUPPORTING CHARACTER
Black Canary (Jamie King) SUPPORTING CHARACTER
Mister Miracle (James McAvoy OR Jake Gyllenhaal) SUPPORTING CHARACTER
Booster Gold (Sean William Scott OR Jenson Ackles) CENTRAL POINT OF VIEW CHARACTER
Blue Beetle (James Roday) SUPPORTING CHARACTER
Darkseid (Clancy Brown - via either FX make-up OR voice, motion capture, and CGI) CENTRAL CHARACTER


Okay, so both Aquaman and Blue Devil have INCLUSION DOUBTFUL stamped next to their names. What gives, you ask?

Here’s the deal with Aquaman. I’m not sure how to capitalize on Aquaman in a cinematic sense without doing what Marvel would do with Namor the Sub-mariner in a movie. Yes, I could figure it out, but I don’t want to force it.

The Blue Devil case is more complex. Firstly, I initially included Blue Devil in Part 1 (which was a post on directors and done tongue in cheek) to serve as a shaky-cam viewpoint character. Secondly, I included the original incarnation of Blue Devil – the stuntman with the FX exoskeleton mystically fused to his body. That version of Blue Devil goes on to join the JLA to secretly film their missions for profit. That was the direction I was thinking of when I included him. However, the current incarnation is a real demon and when playing with some else’s toys, you should use them without damaging them. DC would probably want any film version of Blue Devil to be more faithful to the current (and probably more marketable) version.

This is different to the Blue Beetle situation as that was different guy, different powers, and the same name. The Blue Devil situation is same guy (vastly changed), different powers, and same name. Also, the three incarnations of Blue Beetle (three different guys) all had distinctly different personalities and subsequently different followings while Blue Devil (the same guy) had the same personality (modified by events) throughout his career. So, with Beetle, I cherry-picked the version I liked (and I think is the most popular, anyway).This is fanboy guilt and remorse talking here. I'm not decided either way...Some help?

By the way, my initial pick of Jensen Ackles as Blue Devil works on an acting level, but I had forgotten how tall Blue Devil is (6 foot 8 inches compared to Ackles’ 6 foot 1). Such a height and muscle mass probably makes Vin Diesel more suited to playing a screen version of Blue Devil...Jenson I like for Booster Gold

At this point, I’d like to thank LissBirds for her invaluable input to these casting decisions. I could not have gotten this far without your perspectives, Milady.

After reading the recent Comics Alliance feature on the GL Corps, I’m tempted to expand the cast with one hero (some might say this omission was a HUGE oversight on my part): Green Lantern Raker Qarrigat.

It occurs to me that we DON’T really need an Emerald Twilight situation to force Raker to “seal his ring in a time bubble, relying on it only in case of emergencies lest his final 24 hour charge run out and leave him powerless to battle” Darkseid. We could do a little tweaking and it would tie into the very nature of the planet Apokalips and the technology of the GL Corps rings.

Apokalips is impossible to get to (kind of like the island on Lost) without a boom tube, which would point to a trans-dimensional shift one has to make. One of the often glossed-over parts of GL science is the link between a Green Lantern’s battery and the central battery on OA. In the movie, we could theorize that the barrier that makes Apokalips such an “exclusive destination” may also (for the most part) sever the link between the central battery on OA and Raker’s battery. Therefore, Raker would have to use his ring’s (and battery’s) diminishing charge sparingly.

Raker would only appear near the end of the second movie or in the third movie when Hal would lead a small team to Apokalips. Hal knows about Raker and that the Guardians have lost contact with him for almost a year (meaning his ring is running on fumes). What Jordan doesn’t know is that Darkseid has manipulated them into coming, because it will draw a rapidly weakening Raker out into the open (to make contact).

After meeting Raker and other resistance members, Hal’s team realizes their mistake. After activating a boom tube with Barda’s help, Hal asks Raker to come with them. A near powerless Raker refuses to leave, rather opting to continue helping the resistance on Apokalips instead.

Raker gets captured by Darkseid, but what the ruler of Apokalips doesn’t realise is that Hal and Raker switched rings before they parted. Ouch!

Casting note: We should cast an unknown as Raker Qarrigat.

Having our cast set (for the most part), you’ll see that it’s mostly JLA classic (Big Seven) with some additions plus a smattering of the Giffen JLI and a pinch of the modern league era. Sadly, no members exclusively from the Detroit league found a spot in the movie. There are some heroes who were unlucky not to be in the movie (e.g. the Atom and, one of my personal faves, Metamorpho).

It might not be obvious, but with such a large cast of heroes our JLA can split up into three groups at any given time. This will come in handy as most of the action takes place on Earth and Apokalips and New Genesis simultaneously.

A very late after-though:

After nailing down most of the cast, it was ONLY THEN that it occurred to me to look for other fan attempts at casting a league. *facepalm* Here are the most notable of these:

The most comprehensive cast was compiled by THEHAWK. I had come across this months ago, but lost the link. So, I’m pretty glad that I’ve rediscovered this little gem (hehe). The one that gets me is Ben McKenzie (from The OC who is super-puny) as the Detriot League’s Steel (who is super-muscular) and as you’ve read that character isn’t even in my movie, so the mere strength of my disagreement compels me to mention it here.

Another cast list was proffered by The Faust. The Faust is a pretty prolific “fan-caster” of comic book movies and makes some interesting choices. On the positive side, he includes a synopsis of his proposed plot and I’ll admit that next our Apokalips plot, his is my second choice. In fact, if we went in that direction, I’d go further a step and suggest a plot involving The Joining (from Batman: The Brave and Bold). However, I can’t agree with his picks for Aquaman, Hal Jordan, or Superman.

I found a pretty reasonable cast list from Comics in Crisis as well. This is a pretty sober list, except for suggestions of who should play Wonder Woman and Hawkman. The blogger also picked a cool non-JLA hero as the plot catalyst for the JLA to team up, although I don’t agree with the actor chosen to play this hero.

I also came across three other single-author lists. This one gets Superman wrong (I’m forever biased against this choice, I know), Hawkgirl incredibly right, and gives us an Aquaman I don’t recognise.

The other one has the perplexing suggestion of Leonardo Di Caprio as Aquaman! Yup, some choices are pretty insane.

Then there's this list with the same title but different actors.

Of course, even insane choices can remind you of another actor in a Kevin Bacon game sort of way. You know, you read the fan choice of Actor X as Superman. This guy’s nuts, you think. Actor X doesn’t look like Supes and none of his roles gives any hint of him being Kal El or Clark Kent material. But just as quickly, you think about a co-star of Actor X as the perfect Aquaman. Fantastic! I would have never thought of him if it weren’t for the crazy intertubes guy who suggested Actor X play Supes. So, we should pay attention to lists that in our opinion get it wrong.

I’ve also come across a non-movie-related, cast-the-league-into-the-archetypes discussion. Might help anyone involved in writing a superhero team movie where the source material (and membership) is vast and you’ve got no clue which heroes to include.

Another Justice League movie fan plot summary can be read here where one of the commenters even outlines his preferred plan for a four-part series of JLA movies.

All in all, I hope future JLA screenwriters would explore the interwebs for some inspiration. They don’t have to adopt the plots and casts in a wholesale manner, but they could always borrow a few clever angles. It’s pretty easy to do. All I did here to find all the above lists was Google JLA movie and the word cast and a few variations. Not hard to do at all.

Here that obligatory notice I usually put at the start of these posts:

For those first-time readers, please read Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, and Part 5 to see the rest of this fanboy thought experiment.

Monday, February 1, 2010

JLA: The Movie – How it should be done (Part 5)

As per usual, first time readers are directed to please read Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4 before reading the rest of this post.

Okay, so we’re missing some actors for some of our supporting roles (Booster Gold and Mister Miracle most notably). Hey, it’s a trilogy, remember? We’re introducing characters gradually. So, we don’t have to have a MASSIVE roll call in the first scene of the first movie.

When you’re stuck in any creative endeavour, a great piece of advice is to work backwards. In casting terms, this is just offering up names of actors you’d like to see in your movie without thinking about specific parts. After you have the names, think which open slots fit which actors.

Here’s what I dreamt up:

James Roday (from Psych) has a talent for one-liners, intellectual humour, and sarcasm. How about giving him the Blue Beetle role? That is, if Ted Kord makes it into the movie. His hair colour is a lot closer to Ted’s than other actors I know.

If Blue Beetle did make it into the movie, it would go down a little something like this...You remember the fact that Booster is a time-traveller, right? Goldie wants to save his heroes the JLA, but doesn’t know how. Well, that’s not the only bit of info about which he’s not 100% confident. It turns out that where (or when) he’s from, this info isn’t freely available. Yup, Booster had to steal it (in data-form) and flee to the past almost immediately without reading it. Unfortunately, it turns out that time travel isn’t like clicking your ruby shoes together. No, it’s more like riding a rollercoaster into the ocean where an undertow violently unseats you. Bad news: Skeets was damaged in the time jaunt. Now Booster has the when but not the how or where of the JLA’s demise. Part two of the stolen data (which was derived from a simulation*) gives him a name of someone who could help and the coordinates of this person’s nearest (temporally speaking) confirmed location. The name and coordinates are corrupted somewhat. So, midway through the mission, Booster sneaks off to find “Ted K----” in the now larger search area and meets Blue Beetle. Booster finds this out much later, but he was supposed to find Ted Knight (a.k.a. Starman).

* The simulation’s purely academic purpose was (or will be :)  to discover how the deaths of the JLA members could have been prevented, but any real attempt would be illegal. The future has its own irony.

Another casting option would be to give my initial Mr Miracle candidate (Ray Park) the role of Blue Beetle purely for his acrobatic prowess, but we’d lose the Beetle humour (or so we think).

Jensen Ackles (from Supernatural) has a talent for anything not mundane, physical acting, can come off as cocky, and delivers hilarious lines. I suspect he would make a really great Blue Devil. In fact, he might elevate the character. Alternatively, you could cast him as Booster Gold, if only for the fact that initially both characters try (too hard) to prove that they belong in the league. That's where his talent for playing up cockiness comes in handy.

As an unrelated aside, I’m totally straight when I say that I’d love to Mister Ackles in a Green Lantern uniform, but not in this movie and not necessarily playing a well known GL. I just think a classic GL mask would suit his face and clean-cut look.

Blue Devil meeting Blue Beetle – great dialogue is a must. This point could be moot if it’s nay to the Beetle’s inclusion.

How about James McAvoy (from Wanted) as Mister Miracle? Remember, there’s supposed to be a bit of a size difference between Scott and Barda. Lucy Lawless is 5'11 tall. I’ve always pictured Barda as say five years older than Scott as well. Perhaps McAvoy (Height 5'7'') looks too much like a wimp to play Scott...

Jake Gyllenhaal (Height 5'9'') could also be a good Mr Miracle.

Some other casting options:

Sean William Scott as Booster Gold could work, because Booster comes off as someone who’s in it for himself (at least to some of the JLA) and the actor always strikes me as semi-weasel-esque ambitious type (just his face).

Joaquin Phoenix as Orion might work. I think Phoenix has sadness in him - a sadness that a son would carry when he realizes that he will never experience peace as long as his father is around...

This Joaquin could pull off the son of Darkseid...

But not this Joaquin (below)

Are there any objections to Rebecca Romijn (from the X-men movies) or Jamie King (from Sin City) as Black Canary?


Jessica Biel is the PERFECT Hawkgirl. Yeah, I wasn’t exactly planning to have Hawkgirl in the JLA movie, but Miss Biel is just a great fit in terms of attitude and looks that you could work her into the plot. I mean, Hawkman and Hawkgirl are two totally different personas. Maybe, we’ll go with how their relationship is portrayed in JSA or maybe we’ll let the audience infer it during the story’s most dangerous scenes (when they are split up).

How about Clancy Brown as Darkseid (or the voice of Darkseid)? Okay, he does Lex Luthor's voice in animated DC movies, but he could pull off Darkseid.

"Superman, you have no concept of forever!"

Next time: A shocking surprise called...Part 6!