[List] - Justice League Film Part 2: 8 DC Teams I'd Rather They Made A Film About

Part 1, which of the various Justice Leagues should they make a film about, can be read here.

DC Comics' film division just can't get their act together. While Marvel is hiring directors for a movie that will feature a walking tree and a gun totting raccoon, DC is reduced to a lack luster conclusion to the Dark Knight trilogy, a depressing, rather then awe inspiring, teaser for Man of Steel, which on the surface sounds like a tired retread of the same material every Superman movie goes over, and despite suggestions that Barry Sonnenfeld wanted to make a film of the Metal Men, a promise that until a Justice League movies arrives in 2015, DC will produce no other films. Which happily means no Green Lantern sequel, but also means no other films based on DC properties.

Films that could be based on any of the following groups, none of which are as high profile as the Justice League, and none of which contain heavy hitters like Batman or Superman. But each of which could make just as entertaining, and interesting a film, and not get bogged down in trying to cram as many pop culture icons down our throats at once. And would probably be cheaper to make.

Hit the jump for those teams I'd rather see on screen before the Justice League.

The Blackhawks

A multi-national squad of the top pilots from across the world, united to fight against the Nazi's, and any other super menace that the world might conceive, during WWII. The team didn't report to a single government, acting as guardians of the world from the skies. Lady Blackhawk, the lone female member, slipped through time or some such, and ended up a member of the Birds of Prey (more on them in a minute). One of DC's older titles, it first appeared in 1941, when there were actual Nazi's being fought. Captain America proved that audiences still love a good old fashioned war movie, and despite George Lucas' best efforts, a movie about war planes is still something that people would go see.

Logistically speaking, a Blackhawk movie already exists, in the form of Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow. That movie, an ode to the old Fleischer studios Superman cartoons, is also a better Superman movie then any of the real Superman movies made. Really - Joe is Clark, Polly is Lois, Dex is Jimmy Olsen and Totenkopf is Luthor. It's a Silver Age story at it's finest.

Birds of Prey
Forget the terrible CW series, as almost everyone else has. Batman is a guaranteed money maker. And while it's not Bat-man, it is Bat-family, an aspect Warner's would be more then happy to upsell. You have a former Batgirl, now wheelchair bound techno genius. You've got a foremost marshal arts expert, and a revenge obsessed assassin. It's Batman, spread out over three ladies. But maybe the series has soured the concept. And the CW's newest Arrow has officially taken both Black Canary and Huntress off the market(which, to my mind, basically makes Arrow a version of Birds of Prey itself).

So let's refine the idea. I have mentioned in the past who I thought would suit the roles of Barbara 'Oracle' Gordon and Stephanie 'Batgirl' Brown. Make the film about Gordon's recovery, and Brown's heroic journey. Gordon used to be Batgirl, but can't anymore because of her injuries. She finds Brown, who wants to be a hero, but lacks the discipline and training to do so effectively. So she takes the student under her wing, and helps her to become the hero that Gordon herself can no longer be. It's basically a live action adaptation of Batman Beyond, but with women in the leads.

Trenchcoat Brigade/Justice League Dark/Seven Soldiers/Book of Magic

I lump all of those into one because they all involve the same characters, in different situations. But it boils down to this: Zatanna and John Constantine are continuously two of the most entertaining, engaging and attractive characters in the DCU. They deserve their own films, but would shine together. And while the Keanu Reeves movies wasn't bad, it wasn't Constantine. And, anything magic related would exploit a hole in Marvel's films: the MCU is founded firmly in reality. Even magic has a scientific explanation there. DC could fill that cinematic void by putting together the Justice League of the dark arts. Enchantress, Phantom Stranger, Mister E, even characters like Jason Blood. The one truly good book to come out of the New 52 is Demon Knights, whose plot could serve as the connection to the past, while Constantine and Co. work in the present.

Gotham Central

This one nearly happened, as a TV series. The wonderful book, which took a Wire/Homicide: Life on the Streets approach to the world of Batman, asked a fantastic question: what is it like to be a cop in one of the most corrupt cities in the world, which is protected by Batman. The Dark Knight shouldn't appear, it's his influence, his presence, that drives the drama. Again, Batman is a moneymaker, and I'm guessing so would anything even tenuously related to him.

A Gotham Central film could take any number of forms. It could be a political thriller, a la State of Play, but with cops, it could be a moral action film, like Training Day (which, I know, is a formula pretty much worn out). It could be a straight up buddy cop film, in the vein of the original Lethal Weapon. Or it could be it's own damned thing, stand so strong on it's own merits that future movies get made in the style of Gotham Central.

Shadow Pact

Want to match crazy for crazy? Marvel thinks they can make a movie featuring a talking raccoon? How about a super intelligent, hard drinking chimp who usually dresses like Daniel Rathbone? That crazy enough for you. Shadow Pact had a Mignolan-like absurdity to it when it first appeared, but also played the superhero team angle more straight then Constantine and his lot up there. These were the losers of magicdome, characters so small and insignificant, they weren't deemed a threat by the major players. Which was why their teaming up was so successful. No one expected Detective Chimp to be a major threat, but put him on a team with Blue Devil and Nightshade, and you've got something that will confound the enemy, and kick their ass. With all the barely human characters, this could be a motion capture performance-a-thon, the sort of big summer CG spectacular that studios insist are box office gold.

Secret Six/Villains United

The best thing to come out of the Infinite Crisis nonsense was Gail Simone's Z-list villain mercenary team. Led by Scandal Savage, the ranks included Deadshot and Catman, and eventually Bane. They were hired guns, but more often ended up running for their own lives then anything else. The real meat of the book came from the character interaction and development. You learned to care about these terrible people, in a way that readers aren't usually asked to care about even the heroes. We're expected to love the heroes, but we're never expected to care about the villains. If DC wants a piece of what Marvel has been doing, go the opposite direction, and build a base around the mountain of villains they've got in their catalogue.

The Outsiders

Again, we return to the idea that anything tenuously related to Batman could make potential money, we come to the team assembled by Batman, led by his protegee, to carry out the jobs that needed doing, but were either too messy or didn't warrant the big guns. The Outsiders were essentially super hero black ops. In, out, keep things quiet, and nobody knew they were there. Or, that was the idea. the team has never had a standard roaster in the same way that the Justice League has, which basically means DC could be free to throw whatever heroes they wanted under the Outsiders banner, and it would mesh. And since DC seems to be going for the dark and cynical side of the superhero coin (Dark Knight compared to Iron Man, Man of Steel compared to Thor), a movie about a bunch of under appreciated, expendable heroes might be their cup of tea.

Suicide Squad

Basically The Expendables, but with super heroes and villains. The Squad was a secret government project, that used incarcerated or disgraced persons of 'enhanced abilities' to solve problems that the government needed to stay away from. And expected not to return. The original comic was meant to have a changing line up, on account of the members getting killed during missions, but eventually the team solidified, becoming more like a super powered A-Team. The most recent, New 52 lineup is terrible, as is the book, as it has far too many known names on the team. the point of the Squad is to have members that no one would miss. Would DC have the stones to kill off the entire cast of the movie at the end, and start fresh the next time?

Of course no, don't be ridiculous. They can't get their act together long enough to realise Superman would never think about not using his powers to help people. His problem is that with his powers, he still isn't able to help everyone that he wants, namely everyone. He wants to help too much.

There you have it. Eight perfectly good properties that have absolutely zero chance of ever getting adapted into a movie. In fact, I'm going to make a prediction right here and now. Not that a Justice League movie will never get made, I'm certain it will happen eventually, and that it will be terrible. No, my prediction is thus:

After Justice League, DC will make a big show about putting into production a series of films based on high profile properties. Maybe one or two will actually reach development. The first will get released, maybe Flash, and do very mediocre business that frightens Warner's into backing off the other projects, all the while saying "why'd we give these guys in tights a chance again?" DC will shelve the other projects, devoting resources into rebooting Batman, which will either try too hard to mimic Nolan, or go too far in the other direction. Fans will be divided no matter which direction they go in, creating the largest schism in the fandom since Bat-nipples. A series of low budget projects, maybe Black Lightning, or Hawk and Dove will be released in August or March, to little critical appeal.

2020 roles around. We've seen the release of three Avengers films. Robert Downey Jr has made his final appearance as Iron Man. The code anme of Captain America has been passed on to a new character. Joss Whedon, who got a story and producer credit on the last film, leaves Marvel behind, having done very well for himself. Ant-Man 3 is in early development. Black Panther 2 is teased during the release of Dr. Strange. Marvel resists the urge to reboot, deciding instead to concentrate on making more movies about different characters then live in the past, and the shadow of those that helped them build the MCU. They've expand into lower budget films, featuring characters that don't require so much CG, making their annual output an average of four films. While none have surpassed the amount made by Avengers, critics are impressed with the level of quality of the films, with only a rare misstep. A TV show following Ben Urich and The Pulse enters its third season on ABC.

Meanwhile, at DC, an executive has a flash of brilliance. What they need to do is make a Superman reboot, where he fights Zod, and is sad.
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About MR. Clark

Adopting the descriptor of "successfully unpublished author", MR. Clark began writing things on the internet in 2012, which he believed to be an entirely reputable and civilized place to find and deliver information. He regrets much.


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