OPINION: BATMAN IN A JL FILM? HELL YES!


Author: Chris Clow
Thursday, March 1, 2007

EDITOR'S NOTE: BOF's official stance towards a Justice League film is not to include Batman. However, I certainly want to give the opposing view a chance to have their say. -- Jett

Well, Iím not normally a guy to disagree with Jett, as I find we coincide with a lot of our personal views about the Batman. However, on this current point with a new JLA movie possibly in the works, I have to vehemently disagree with my editor.

I believe, as Jett believes, that the best Batman stories have little involvement from his partners. Now, with the new direction the books are taking ďOne Year Later,Ē I have to admit that Iím warming up to Tim Drake a bit more. But Batmanís solo stories are usually the best ones: Year One, The Long Halloween, (mostly) Hush, and (mostly) The Dark Knight Returns are just a few of the great stories featuring a solo kick ass Batman.

This brings an interesting dynamic to the Justice League of America, because I believe, as many fans do, that Batman is an essential factor in the craziness that the JLA is known to encounter. In a strange way, he keeps them more grounded. I do agree that what works in an animated show or comic book might not work in a feature film. But that doesnít mean that it couldnít.

If a JLA movie happens, the DC trinity MUST be included. If some of my fellow fanboys (and fangirls, which Iíve recently learned, do in fact exist) can try and remember back to the darkest year for DC fans, 1997, a television pilot for a JLA live-action TV series was shot. It did NOT include the trinity. Instead, we had the Martian Manhunter, Green Lantern (named Guy Gardner, but appeared and acted as Hal Jordan), The Flash, The Atom, Fyre, and Ice. It wasnít even aired. Besides the cheesy dialogue, the strange costumes, and the lacking special effects, the biggest complaint was that ALL THREE pivotal charter JLA members were not involved on any level whatsoever. Not even a dialogue mention.

Maybe Iím giving the studio too much credit, but I think theyíve learned their lesson as far as stupid superhero movies go. Batman Begins was anything but, Superman Returns treated itself very seriously, and the Vertigo movies seem to be doing well for themselves.

In the logic of the Batman character, I think it would be out of character if he didnít choose to involve himself in some fashion. There are plenty of good JLA stories to use as a backbone for a feature film, and some of them donít even involve leaving the planet. I can recall a fair few where the League tries to end the threat of a worldwide eco-terrorist.

In reading JLA stories, I still find it awesome how, lacking any superhuman characteristics, heís still in a position of authority. People with powers are afraid of him because of his resourcefulness. He can find out what weakens you if he digs deep enough, and he always does.

The important thing (if a JLA movie does happen) is NOT TO SACRIFICE GOOD PLOT ELEMENTS IN ORDER TO MAKE IT FAMILY FRIENDLY. You had an awesome, serious Batman film that was very successful. And an awesome (IMO) Superman film that was very critically successful. Look at the tone Meltzer is using in the current JLA book. It works. Hell, bring on some comic writers as insurance to make sure you donít screw it up. Guys who canít seem to do any wrong right now like Geoff Johns, or Grant Morrison. Both of them are very good writers who had awesome runs on the monthly JLA book. Namely New World Order (Morrison) and Crisis of Conscience (Johns) just to name a couple of their amazing stories.

I do however; think that the individual characters should be developed in their own films before a JLA movie happens. Youíve already got Batman and Superman, and from what I hear youíre working on The Flash and Wonder Woman. Green Lantern would make a kick ass Sci-Fi Adventure film too, by the way (At least, IMO). If any execs donít think so, they should go pick up Green Lantern: Rebirth right now (also by the supreme Geoff Johns).

Bottom line, I speak for the people who are for a DC-trinity inclusive Justice League of America film. Youíve wowed us before, WB. As long as youíre true to the spirit of the characters, and you donít screw anything up, the potential is there to make a great film based on the single greatest super hero team of them all.

Chris Clow is a student at Whatcom Community College where he is studying film, and is also an actor/writer for a pilot television series that has yet to be sold to a network. The first movie he ever saw in theaters was Tim Burton's original BATMAN, and he soon branched off into the Animated Series, and later the comics. He has written a critically acclaimed Batman fan script titled "Batman Interlude" which he hopes to create after receiving a film degree.


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