It’s always interesting to hear about adaptations that for whatever reason were never made. It’s not easy adapting from one format to another. Change too much and tick off the fans, change too little and lose the casual audience. Finding a balance everyone can accept isn’t easy, especially with guys like me around, but I do try to be fair and acknowledge the required changes versus the ones they shouldn’t, or as I call it “multiversal continuity”.

Justice League Mortal would have one advantage over the Justice League live-action movies we got from Zac Snyder and the mishmash that Josh Whedon was forced to make. It actually took elements from DC comic stories and was intending to merge them into something similar but unique. It chose the WRONG elements, did it poorly, and ultimately would have still ticked off fans, but not as much. I don’t call that a victory.

In the following video by ERod, the Blockbuster Buster, he takes a look at the history and only completed draft of the script for Justice League Mortal as part of his “Legends Of Fandom” series and shows us what we could have had if not for backstage issues working against them.

Catch more from The Blockbuster Buster on YouTube

Yeah, I’m not sure I like this version either. Before I get into why I have to ask…why are all the posters and video box text mirrored? It kept distracting me the whole video.

The biggest issue is what they were using as their template. “The Tower Of Babel”, where Vandal Savage somehow hacks into the Batcomputer and learns Batman’s protocols, is an okay story. They made an animated movie out of it that I want to check out. It makes sense considering Batman wanted a way to deal with the heroes should something take them over as much as any concern about them going rogue and turning evil. The whole OMAC thing is part of DiDio’s Darker DC and I am not a fan of that, or heroes brainwashing people, or anything else that lead to that. Wonder Woman being replaced by Batman in the neck snap makes even less sense. I’m not even that bothered by what Diana did in the comics because she didn’t have any choice. I’m more annoyed that she was put into that situation and they ruined Maxwell Lord.

I do agree that what they planned to do to Talia in her first live-action appearance was a bad idea. It’s bad enough what we got in Batman V. Superman ruined the first live-action team-up of DC heroes (though not the first attempt, as a live-action Justice League TV series did get a pilot–a terrible, terrible pilot even accounting for the obviously low budget that makes classic Doctor Who look like modern Doctor Who). Poor Talia would have suffered here, being reduced to henchwoman and giving her body over for the male villain to take over, which I’m glad no other DC project has ever….yeah, but Batman Beyond still did it better.

On the other hand, points for finally giving us a live-action Wally West, though at this point killing Barry would have felt obligatory rather than something good for the story. The whole “magic water hand” for Aquaman would have lost casual audiences. Even if you got people who grew up on Superfriends like myself, or the DCAU, some of this would require knowledge of events that either came from the comics or were heavily altered from the comics. So even the elements from the comics would have been used poorly and would have hurt the movie for everybody.

In the end, Warner Brothers were making the same mistake they made with the DCEU in that they wanted to get where Marvel was without earning it like Marvel did and the end result would have not been a good movie, not to mention a questionable adaptation. It just would have been a better adaptation than Snyder gave us with any of his movies and maybe could have given us a more traditional Shazam/Captain Marvel than the Geoff Johns re-imagining we ended up with. I don’t think I would have been happy with this. You only get one chance to do a milestone right. Warner Brothers failed at the ones they hit, but it sounds like that was always going to happen. At least the crap we got made someone happy, even if it was just Snyder’s fanbase.


About ShadowWing Tronix

A would be comic writer looking to organize his living space as well as his thoughts. So I have a blog for each goal. :)

4 responses »

  1. Jim says:

    I’m no Snyder fan, but why did you rag on just him and not Whedon as well?


    • Whedon, at least in this case, inherited a mess. He had to take something that was very dark in tone, throw in something to lighten it up, but didn’t have time to redo the whole movie because WB really didn’t care. They just knew that Snyder’s direction for a DC universe was hurting them and the solution was not well thought out. He did the best he could with what little WB threw at him, if Avengers is any indication. The end result was a tonal mess as what Whedon added didn’t mesh with what Snyder had but I blame WB for a lot of it.

      Frankly, I’m curious what Snyder would do with a superhero universe all his own but he wasn’t the right fit to adapt the DC universe because his view of superheroes is in contrast to how the DCU operates, which funny enough made him a good choice for Watchmen.


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