Wednesday, 27 April 2011

The Big League part 2

Hey, who wants to hear more of my opinions regarding which heroes we'll be seeing in the JLA film? You're in luck. 'cos they start in the next sentence.

Red Tornado (Ulthoon / John Smith)
Joined: Justice League of America #106

Red Tornado is one of those characters who has quite a complicated origin. Originally created by League villain T. O. Morrow, the android was supposed to infiltrate the League on his behalf and take them down from the inside. Once the android was completed, it was merged with two other beings, Ulthoon, the Tornado Tyrant of Rann and the Tornado Champion. But we can ignore most of that. Reddy's origin, despite these complications, is easy to boil down. He's an android merged with an elemental being which gives him power over and the ability to create, yes, tornadoes. However, this isn't the most interesting thing about Red Tornado. Reddy is another of those characters who falls under the umbrella of a synthetic man seeking to become more human, but where Reddy differs from many of the others with the same goal, is how close he comes. He even marries a human woman and adopts a daughter, Traya, who he cares for deeply. Sadly, there probably wouldn't be much room for this in a League movie, and while Reddy has been a favourite of mine for a while (since his appearances in Young Justice where he helped guide the young heroes of the DCU), I think it's unlikely that he'll appear in the first League movie. But don't be surprised if he pops up in a sequel.

Hawkgirl (Shayera Hol / Shiera Hall)
Joined: Justice League of America #146

Remember what we said last time out, about Hawkman being a continuity nightmare? Yeah, well, no Hawkman, no Hawkgirl. Sure, the Justice League cartoon got around this easily enough, but they had five seasons to explore Hawkgirl's character. She won't be in the movie.

Zatanna (Zatanna Zatara)
Joined: Justice League of America #161

The daughter of golden age magician Giovanni Zatara, Zatanna followed in her father's footsteps to become a powerful practitioner of magic in her own right. An interesting facet to Zatanna's powers is that most of her spells require her to speak magic words aloud. These magic words, for the most part, are simply her saying what she wants in English, but backwards. It's an interesting quirk, which may be quite difficult to show properly on screen without being laughed at, but there are ways around it. Zatanna's a popular League member, who also has strong connections to Batman, and it would be a shame if she didn't appear in the film. This has absolutely nothing to do with her costume. Honest.

Firestorm (Ronnie Raymond and Professor Martin Stein)
Joined: Justice League of America #179

Okay, Firestorm, the Nuclear man, is actually two people. Ronnie Raymond was merged with Professor Stein, and gained power over the elements. Raymond guides Firestorm's body, with Stein mostly existing within his mind, but it's Stein who guides Raymond in the best use of Firestorm's powers, advising which elements will work best in which situations, which ones to combine for a variety of effects, and so on and so forth. Firestorm's powers, and his very nature as two separate people in one body, would be a bit complex to go into in the Justice League movie, so I wouldn't expect to see him, though an eventual sequel dealing with the nuclear man isn't out of the question.

Steel (Hank Heyward III)
Joined: Justice League of America Annual #2

Steel was a member of the League when a fair few of its members were, well, a bit rubbish. Seriously, we've got Gypsy and Vibe coming up soon. In fairness, Steel isn't actually a bad character, he's just... Well, when you're strong and invulnerable, but not as strong or invulnerable as Superman, Wonder Woman or the Martian Manhunter, is there any point in you being on the League? We won't be seeing Steel in the film.

Vixen (Mari McCabe)
Joined: Justice League of America Annual #2

Vixen is basically a female version of Animal Man (more on him later), who uses a mystical amulet to tap into the powers of various animals on Earth. There was a time when you would've said that there is no way she'll be appearing in the film, but her appearances in the Justice League cartoon (where she was voiced by Gina Torres), and her subsequent membership in the League when Brad Meltzer relaunched the book, have lifted her out of obscurity and arguably into the second tier of DC heroes, alongside such characters as Elongated Man and Doctor Fate. Don't be too surprised if there's some kind of an appearance in the film, but it won't be a starring role.

Vibe (Paco Ramone)
Joined: Justice League of America Annual #2

Whoo! Racial stereotyping a-go-go! No. Unless Michael Bay directs the Justice League movie, Vibe will be nowhere near it.

Gypsy (Cindy Reynolds)
Joined: Justice League of America #236

For when one racial stereotype on your team just isn't enough! In fairness to Gypsy, she has transcended her origins and become so much more in recent years, especially when compared to Vibe, but you still won't see her in the movie.

Blue Beetle (Ted Kord)
Joined: Legends #6

The original basis for Owlman in Alan Moore and Dave Gibbon's seminal Watchmen, Blue Beetle was a scientist who invented gadgets to help him in his crime fighting career. To be honest, you kind of have to hope that Blue Beetle won't appear in the Justice League movie, not because he isn't a good character, but because it would be better to see him and his colleagues from Justice League International in their own spin off movie. Base it on the I Can't Believe It's Not The Justice League / Formerly Known as the Justice League comics by Keith Giffen, J.M. DeMatteis and Kevin Maguire, and, if done properly, you have yourself a cracking superhero comedy movie. This should definitely happen.

Captain Marvel (Billy Batson)
Joined: Legends #6

When young Billy Batson shouts the magic word "Shazam!" he is transformed into Captain Marvel, the world's mightiest mortal, with the wisdom of Solomon, the strength of Hercules, the stamina of Atlas, the power of Zeus, the courage of Achilles and the speed of Mercury. When Captain Marvel first appeared, published by Fawcett Comics, DC weren't too happy with what they saw as copyright infringement on Superman and sued Fawcett. DC later gained ownership of Captain Marvel (though were unable to promote him or his comic using the name Captain Marvel, due to Marvel copyrighting that name in the period when he wasn't being used), so he often appears in comics simply titled Shazam! Captain Marvel is an interesting character, as he's essentially a child in an adults body, with super powers which genuinely rival those of Superman. In fact, since his own powers are magic based, Captain Marvel once knocked Superman out with three punches, making him a real force to be reckoned with in the DCU. He won't be in the first Justice League film, but he's such an interesting character when handled properly that it wouldn't be a surprise if DC and Warner Bros give him a solo movie in the not too distant future, before moving him over to the JLA.

Doctor Fate (Kent Nelson)
Joined: Legends #6

Doctor Fate is essentially the DCU's Doctor Strange (although he appeared first, Strange seems to be more well known), filling a very similar role of the go to guy for any DC heroes dealing with a mystical threat they don't quite understand. Back in part six of my Avengers blog, I covered Doctor Strange, saying that his powers made him difficult to write well, just by the very nature of them. The exact same thing applies to Doctor Fate as well. It should be pointed out, the two characters are actually quite different once you get beneath the surface, but for the very same reasons that Doctor Strange won't be in the Avengers, we're also not likely to see Doctor Fate in the Justice League, at least for a while.

Green Lantern / Guy Gardner / Warrior (Guy Gardner)
Joined: Legends #6

When the dying Abin Sur crash landed on Earth, his Green Lantern ring found two possible candidates to become the new Green Lantern of Sector 2814, Hal Jordan and Guy Gardner. Jordan was chosen, simply because he was physically closest. However, Gardner was eventually drafted into the Green Lantern Corps as Hal's back up, which eventually lead, quite naturally, to Gardner becoming Sector 2814's Green Lantern when Hal was out of action for a while. When Hal did return, Gardner challenged him to a fight to see who would be Earth's Green Lantern. The loser would leave the Corps. Of course, the loser was Gardner, but that was far from the end. Gardner gained possession of Sinestro's yellow ring, and began a new superhero career as Guy Gardner. However, this too came to an end and (here's where it gets a little complicated) Gardner, who now discovered that he had alien DNA within him that was seeded a thousand years ago, then drank some alien water which... Um... Look, the how doesn't matter. He became Warrior instead, with a completely new power set. But, to be honest, it was kind of a rubbish power set and he looked pretty bad too. So, thankfully, when the Green Lantern Corps returned during after Green Lantern: Rebirth Gardner was invited to rejoin, becoming a Green Lantern once again. Gardner won't be in the first Justice League movie. Expect him to appear in a future Green Lantern sequel though.

To be continued...

1 comment:

  1. My man-love for Guy knows no end. He's the reason I started reading US comics in the mid-80s "What? They're not all as dull as Superman you say? Cosmic scifi and a real attitude problem?"

    Defining moment in JLA was in issue 3 facing off against the whole Rocket Red Brigade

    RR #4 "Ah look, a chance to face off against those Americani superheroes again."
    RR# 5 "I hope it's Superman or that Martian fellow"
    RR# 7 "Or even that sexy Black-Canary. (beat) But don't tell my wife"

    *Guy comes into view*

    RR (all) "Oh no! Not him again!!!"

    Well that or the time he flew through IJL's shuttle post Invasion!