In news that should surprise absolutely no one, Guillermo del Toro has dropped out of the proposed Justice League Dark movie. Or the Dark Universe movie. Or whatever everyone decided it was called. Every few years or so, del Toro tends to take a look at the dozen or so projects he’s spearheaded, gets realistic for a few seconds, and then shakes a few of them off. His take on the darker side of the DC comic book universe, which is still in the early stages of development, is the latest victim of his busy schedule.
Many of comics’ most popular heroes have been around for decades, and in the case of the big names from the publisher now known as DC Comics, some have been around for a sizable chunk of a century. As these characters passed through the different historical eras known in comics as the Golden Age (the late 1930s through the early 1950s), the Silver Age (the mid 1950s through the late 1960s), the Bronze Age (the early 1970s through the mid 1980s) and on into modern times, they have experienced considerable changes in tone and portrayal that reflect the zeitgeist of the time.
With this feature we’ll help you navigate the very best stories of DC Comics’ most beloved characters decade by decade. This week, we’re taking a look at the best Justice League comics.
As one of their first attempts to compete with Marvel Studios and their growing Cinematic Universe, DC and Warner Bros. released Green Lantern, a 2011 film starring Ryan Reynolds as test-pilot-turned-super-powered-space-cop Hal Jordan. The movie, which was fairly faithful to the DC comics, introduced Hal and the entire Green Lantern Corps, a whole force of space cops from all over the universe, including popular Green Lantern characters like Sinestro (Mark Strong) and Kilowog (Michael Clarke Duncan). The movie was designed to launch a new franchise of Green Lantern adventures (it even ended on a cliffhanger teasing Sinestro’s turn from hero to villain). This was going to be the start of a brave new era of DC films!
When Warner Bros. announced their upcoming superhero schedule last year, one title notably missing was a solo Batman movie. Sure, Batman was going to be a big part of both Batman vs. Superman and the two Justice League movies, but would Batfleck be getting his own trilogy, a la The Dark Knight? It turns out, yes, yes he will. Latino Review is reporting that Ben Affleck will both star in and direct the spinoff, titled The Batman, which is set for November 2018.
If you've been keeping up with DC's Justice League, then you probably already know that we're barreling towards the book's next big event, "Darkseid War." Set to launch in the next issue, the storyline features characters from Jack Kirby's Fourth World Saga taking on the Anti-Monitor, and while one also assumes that the actual Justice League will also be in somewhere, we now know at least one of the characters who's going to be involved: Mister Miracle, sporting a brand new costume design from artist Jason Fabok.
This week saw the release of the Multiversity Guidebook, a sort of map for a series of one-shot stories that has inspired a lot of contemplation, examination and confusion among comic fans.
To offer an even deeper look into the universe-spanning series and its meaning, ComicsAlliance spoke with writer Grant Morrison about everything we could manage in half an hour: where the idea for The Gentry comes from, Morrison's commentary on Watchmen in Pax Americana, the idea of dangerous knowledge, how these seemingly standalone stories tie together, and just how this sprawling project will wrap up.
I've mentioned before that I've always been fascinated by comics and video games that never quite made it to the shelves, and this week, YouTube's PTOPOnline, which specializes in unearthing those exact unreleased games, found one that's of particular interest: a Justice League fighting game for XBox360 that was in production back in 2012.
What makes this one so interesting (at least to me) is that we actually did get a Justice League fighting game (of sorts) in the form of Injustice: Gods Among Us just a year after this one was in development. Well, that, and the fact that it's illustrated with that timeless comic book conflict of Bizarro vs. Bane, in what seems to be a battle of who can best punch the other directly in the crotch. Give it a watch!
Q: What is the lasting impact of Justice League International? Does it have one? -- @dagsly
A: Does Justice League International have a lasting impact?! Well let me ask you a question, Dags: Does Batman have pointy ears? Does Clark Kent wear glasses? Does Aquaman have pruney fingers and breath that smells like krill? Just so we're all on the same page here, the answer to all of these questions is "yes," especially in the case of JLI having a lasting impact. It's not just that it was a good book, but that it formed a foundation and a blueprint for the way pretty much every team book would work thirty years later.
I mean, I don't want to exaggerate any more than I usually do or anything, but after Lee and Kirby's Fantastic Four and Claremont, Byrne and Cockrum's X-Men, Keith Giffen, JM DeMatteis and Kevin Maguire's Justice League is arguably the most important team book in comics history.
When Warner Bros. announced their big slate of upcoming DC superhero films a few months ago, we all pretty much assumed that these movies and characters would operate in a shared universe. Given the ‘Justice League’ connection, how could they not? What we haven’t been clear on is whether some of the other DC heroes, like Shazam and Guillermo del Toro’s ‘Dark Universe’ characters, would also inhabit the same universe. As if sensing the little question marks over our heads, DC Comics has confirmed what we all assumed: Yes, their WB superhero movies will operate in a shared universe.
In a recent essay, I posited that rather than being the villain of Christmas as he is popularly understood, the furry demon known as the Krampus is actually the Batman of Christmas. This got me thinking: who would play which role if we were to build an entire Justice League of Christmas? If you are wondering, yes, this is what it's like inside my brain all the time. And so, I propose to you this roster for the JLXmas.