The good news is that there will be far better movies under the “Justice League” brand. This being the first one left a little bit to be desired. I know that this serves to bridge the Golden and Silver Ages of comics but upon re-watching…I just found myself not enjoying a lot of the characters in this. It felt as if there was a need to make most of the league as unlikable as possible.
What I’d rather focus on is the importance of two elements in this adventure. The first being the importance of perception. In the world we live in now, so many people like to tout how they don’t care what people think about them. But what does that really mean? By definition, perception is a way of interpreting or understanding. Do we as a people not want to understand how the world works around us? Then again, we may come to find out that answer may be a hard one to accept. A Korean solider had no understanding that the end of the war had come, that a cease-fire was in place. Hal Jordan did…but when he couldn’t stop his adversary with reason, he had to resort to a more permanent solution. How many of us had to step over that line and do things that we may not necessarily be proud of in order to get to the next day? The movie doesn’t do the greatest job of explaining why the public at large (and by extension the government) is not big on the super hero concept. This would have better explained Superman being at odds with both Batman and Wonder Woman. We are aware that the JSA has disbanded, one of it’s primary members Hourman is dead and Batman being labeled as a wanted vigilante. To me Superman doesn’t come across like a government patsy (like he does much later in Frank Miller’s Dark Knight Returns) but someone who is concerned with the perception his kind (being defenders of truth and justice) through Wonder Woman and Batman specifically.
This leads me to the other element I wanted to bring up…representation. Superman has always been a character who represents the best of humanity. So he takes it personally on both ends of the spectrum when it comes to the aforementioned Dark Knight and Amazonian Princess. Diana allowed a group of women she rescued from rebels in Indochina to exact their own brand of justice. Considering this is Women’s History Month, is Wonder Woman wrong in her principles standing up for women being treated like tools, like animals? When Batman changes his costume to not strike fear into the people he tries to protect and adopt a young sidekick, you again see Superman wanting the best of his allies to come through. To represent something that you don’t have a passion for, that you don’t believe in…the end of the movie was about everyone coming together to represent something that they all believed in, even though some of the ideologies and motivations differed. We can be so divided on things simply because we allow ourselves to be at the mercy of how aspects of the world are presented to us and not find a reason to back up a cause that can bring people together.
Although this wasn’t one of my favorite movies, I can appreciate the message it was trying to get out. Even things like the Flash seeking validation, Martian Manhunter seeking acceptance and King Faraday gaining atonement are all valuable takeaways from this second installment of DC Entertainment.
Up Next…Wonder Woman