Compared to the world’s initial Justice League glimpses at San Diego Comic-Con 2016, a new trailer from this weekend’s New York Comic-Con outlines more of what seems like a plot for the November 17 film.
Reporters in Metropolis were never ones to pull punches. “The world remains in mourning after the death of Superman,” one broadcaster notes early in the new teaser. “Violence, terrorism, and acts of war are all on the rise.” The Daily Planet only takes it up another notch from there with a simple headline: World Without Hope.
And thus the stage is set for DC’s first foray into the modern world of cinematic superteams. Taking place after the events of 2016’s Batman V. Superman, Justice League sees Batman and Wonder Woman returning to deal with extraterrestrial beings descending upon Earth and seemingly fulfilling Lex Luthor’s end-of-world prophecies. In a pickle and without the services of the Man of Steel, the duo evidently embarks on successful recruiting missions for Aquaman, Cyborg, and The Flash. (The comic-heads in your life may also note hints at what seems to be Darkseid’s involvement.)
Given the hit (Wonder Woman) and miss (Batman v. Superman) nature of DC’s recent offerings, Justice League represents an important outing for the studio. Marvel has comfortably outpaced DC on the big screen—Captain America, Iron Man, Spiderman, Logan, Deadpool, and on and on—and equally distanced itself on the small screen. Marvel also reintroduced the “superfriends” aesthetic with the hugely successful Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy franchises, inspiring even the likes of Universal (and its historic monsters) to get in on such action.
To complicate matters, Justice League went through a major behind-the-scenes shuffle midway through its production. Original director Zack Snyder had to step away for personal matters, so DC went straight to the superteam source and tapped Joss Whedon of the original Avengers (and Buffy et al). In a vacuum, Whedon plus the return of stars like Gal Gadot, Ben Affleck, JK Simmons, and Amy Adams could be reason for optimism.
But a film about apocalyptic doom, war, and mass metropolitan tragedies enters a very different world in 2017 than what greeted the first Avengers flick back in 2012. And all the trailers thus far point towards Justice League skewing towards relying on the familiar Snyder aesthetic rather than the new Patty Jenkins’ one—big on action, small on plot and character. While there’s always some entertainment merit to that kind of movie, that may mean Ars movie maven Sam Machkovech’s takeaway from BvS could hold true here, too: “Synchronize your watch to show up in time for the final action sequences, then bail before BvS’ horridly cheeseball, sequel-setup ending kicks into gear.”
Listing image by DC