Jason’s Jabs

by Jason Strangis

DC superheroes unite in ‘Justice League”


Before Marvel put together the Avengers and Fantastic Four, DC actually started the super-team trend way back in the early 1940s by taking the most popular heroes of the day and putting them together in one exciting comic book title. Now in 2017 the brand new “Justice League” movie combines the might of Batman, Wonder Woman, Flash, Aquaman, and Cyborg to face a powerful new enemy intent on conquering the world. While the DC heroes are trying to save our planet, they are trying to bring Superman back from dead as well. Not an easy job, to be sure.

Meanwhile, real-life director Zack Snyder is desperately trying to bring his film career back from the brink after critical reviews of “Man of Steel” (2013) and “Batman v Superman” (2016). Following those less-than-stellar reviews I’m sure that Snyder was given two main directions from DC leaders about Justice League. First, lighten up the mood and make the make the movie fun and family-friendly. Second, include more of Wonder Woman! After all, the Amazon Princess created a smashing sensation with her first solo film last summer, so DC wanted to be sure to keep the momentum going.

On those points Snyder seems to have succeeded well enough, making an entertaining comic book adventure come-to-life on the big screen. “Justice League” probably won’t win any major awards but it’s still a fun way to spend a couple hours at the theater during the holiday season. There are lots of good action scenes and some unexpected treats as well.

Considering Zack Snyder’s past three superhero efforts, “Justice League” seems to have the most heart and humanity. Despite their differences the JLA members all must work together to stop a supervillain named Steppenwolf (no relation to the music group). Granted, this little-known Jack Kirby creation of the 1970s might not be the most impressive-looking bad guy in the DCU, but he’s enough of a threat to get our “Superfriends” attention.

Ben Affleck is back for the third time as Batman. Admittedly I was skeptical when I first heard the news a few years ago that Affleck was being considered for the role of the Dark Knight but he has slowly won me over as the brooding Bruce Wayne/Batman. Overall I still prefer Michael Keaton and Christian Bale, but Affleck at least has done a decent job so far as the Caped Crusader. But as a comic book character I consider Batman much more of a loner and outsider rather than allied with others on a super-team, but it still manages to work out alright.

Gal Gadot, meanwhile, continues to shine as Wonder Woman. She’s featured a lot in “Justice League” and can definitely hold her own with the guys. Once again the fierce Amazon warriors also play a role in battling the film’s main villain.

For the first time ever Aquaman (Jason Momoa) is shown in a major DC movie, depicted as grim warrior of a lost undersea civilization. In contrast there’s the hyper-active Flash (Ezra Miller) running around at super speed while also providing comic relief. Finally, there’s Cyborg (Ray Fisher) — a half man/half machine creation who tries to re-connect with his humanity.

What about Superman, you ask? Will the Man of Steel make an appearance? Sorry, you’ll have to see the movie to find out if Big Blue is back for good. But by now most fans should have a good idea what to expect. As for a possible sequel to “Justice League,” it would be so awesome to see a future all-out battle royal against the Legion of Doom. Now that would be cool!