Even though it would be way late I was going to keep my promise to do the Godzilla Vs. Kong review. While this week fought against me I was ready to do it. Then this stuff came up on Twitter.
I don’t know what sparks these fits out of Twitter but it looks like the defenders of the Snyderverse is at it again. Note that fans of the Snyderverse are not fans of the actual DC universe. They like Zack Snyder and his take on things, which is fine but trying to convince DC fans that man who says “if you don’t think superheroes wouldn’t kill are living in a fantasy world” and doesn’t realize the DC universe IS a fantasy world you have taken up a sucker’s cause. Something does not become “good” simply because you enjoy it. I can think of plenty of movies that from a quality perspective are considered not only good but the best the movie format has ever made that I have no interest in, and the reverse is also true. I’m not going to tell you The Pumaman is the height of superhero movies but I still enjoy it. I won’t tell you Black Panther is terrible (partly because it’s still on my Finally Watch list) but I will say that it isn’t the first all-black cast superhero movie because I own a copy of The Meteor Man and believe it to be underrated.
Snyder’s take on the heroes I grew up with, and the movies attached to it, do contain the things I love about those character, the worlds they inhabit, or the tone of those tales, and I came from the Bronze Age of comics that are a transition between the Silver Age and whatever the hell you’d call the 90s comics. I grew up with Superfriends and numerous incarnations of Superman. I read comics from multiple periods. Call me a “nobody” if you want but I know Superman, Batman, and the other members of the Justice League Of America than Snyder or his champions on Twitter ever will, and I have seen proper adaptations so I know it can be done.
If you want to see a real Justice League movie, and don’t have some anti-animation bias, what you should champion as a Justice League movie is Justice League: The New Frontier, an adaptation of a comic miniseries whose writer, Darwyn Cooke, was co-writer and producer on. The only other Justice League movies were set in the DCAU and are part of a series but while also a re-imagining, The New Frontier isn’t deconstruction and is made by people who at least understand why the DC multiverse and the iconic heroes that come from it became popular enough that the snobs wanted a live-action production. Snyder may understand Watchmen but that’s pretty much a rejection of the DC universe, much like Snyder’s line.
While the following video by Owen Likes Comics is focused on the comic, the story and art style are the same as in the movie. THIS is how a proper Justice League adaptation should be done.
Catch more Owen Likes Comics on YouTube
What made us DC fans love the Justice League and their individual members is what they used to stand for. Hope, optimism, inspiration, and aspiring to be like them not because of their powers but because of what they do with those powers. Many of Superman’s powers are not scientifically feasible and is definitely not something we can properly replicate in the real world. But as I said in Art Soundoff this week supervillains have powers as well. It’s what Superman does with his powers that make him stand out against the likes of Zod, Bizarro, the Plutonian, Homelander, that kid from Brightburn, and every other supervillain with some combination of Kal-El’s power set. Superman could conquer the world (unless you have any real understanding about how running a world works) but chooses not to, which you’d better hope someone who has those powers agrees not to do.
Zack Snyder believes in none of those things, at least when it comes to the movies and themes he prefers to make. Just look at his two less controversial adaptations, Frank Miller’s 300 and Alan Moore’s Watchmen. These are not aspirational heroes. These are darker worlds where his most enlightened hero was an owl who didn’t want his younger sibling to join a sort of warrior cult if I understand how the Pure Ones operate. I have yet to see a hopeful zombie movie, which is one of the reasons I am not a fan of the genre. I could be the greatest director in the history of cinema but I assure you my version of Sucker Punch would be nothing like the movie Snyder made and thus would lack the themes he was going for and piss off that movie’s fans. (I think it has fans.)
So yes, we “nobodies” can tell Zack Snyder how to adapt a comic book into a movie because we are fans of those comics books. We know why we love them and why some of these characters were popular enough to be made into the “approved” storytelling formats to become the cultural icons that Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman have become before Snyder directed or produced versions that failed to properly adapt those characters. We know the characters better than he does, saw adaptations that not only captured what we loved about those stories but found a mainstream audience (which is how they became cultural icons in the first place) who loved them for the same reason. If the TRUE depictions of these characters are not for you, then fine. Let Snyder build his own superhero universe and leave these character alone. He may even get some cross pollination of fans who would accept them as a different take. It’s what I was talking about in today’s Art Soundoff.
Just don’t tell me that I can’t judge something because I didn’t make anything or I’m not as famous as Snyder is. Because neither are you, so what right do you have to insist being famous means they’re somehow better than me. If that’s the case, never make another Kardashian joke because they’re more famous than you too, and have their own TV show. Do you even have a YouTube channel? Well then you’re kind of a hypocrite. Enjoy what you love, but not at the expense of what we love.