‘Justice League: War’: DC delivers action that may leave some viewers with battle fatigue

Superman Justice League

Is it possible to have too many explosions in a superhero movie? DC’s latest, ‘Justice League: War’ is 79 minutes long, and almost the entire run time is filled with things going “boom.” In theory that sounds great, but there are only so many hordes of Parademons a guy can watch get sliced in half, bashed and vaporized before one asks: “Is this all there is to it?”

For those who are unfamiliar with the tale, Batman, Cyborg, Flash, Green Lantern, Shazam, Superman and Wonder Woman find themselves together for the very first time, fighting the forces of Darkseid in a battle that will determine the fate of the earth (of course). The movie was adapted from the 2011 reboot by writer Geoff Johns and artist Jim Lee (although the animated movie replaces Aquaman with Shazam).

In short, ‘Justice League: War’ is great if you like endless strings of carnage and destruction, but less so if you expect at least a few scenes with emotional depth. Only Cyborg gets dealt a decent hand in the characterization department, and even that is rushed though as quickly as possible to get back to the front lines. While the final battle with Darkseid is impressive, the ease with which Superman, Wonder Woman and the rest dispose of Darkseid’s minions becomes tiresome after 30 minutes.

Perhaps the worst aspect of ‘Justice League: War’ is writing that directly undercuts the heroes’ complains that they’re irrationally feared by the general population. For instance, Wonder Woman acts somewhat incredulous that a group of angry protesters outside the White House are wary of super-powered beings, and then later in the movie she forces a street vendor to feed her and a child ice cream, free of charge, at sword point.

Could it be, Wonder Woman (i.e., writers at DC), that people “fear” you because of your “might makes right” mentality? Just wondering. It’s hard to root for a hero when her idea of “justice” is whatever she decides from moment to moment.

Wonder Woman Justice League War

‘Justice League: War’ also is diminished by gratuitous use of foul language. What could have easily been an animated movie for adults and kids to enjoy was squandered by the random interjection of “shit,” “ass,” “whore” and a joke about cross-dressing that seemed to serve no other purpose than to push the rating to PG-13. Does anyone ever watch a DC movie packed with action and say, “I would have given it an ‘A’ but Green Lantern didn’t swear enough for my taste,”? Of course not. Watch some old episodes of ‘Batman: The Animated Series’ to see how top notch DC entertainment is done.

Batman Justice League War

Speaking of Batman, ‘War’ actually does get an ‘A’ for its treatment of him this time around. True, I was disappointed that Kevin Conroy wasn’t voicing the Dark Knight, but Jason O’Mara did a decent job. DC nailed Batman’s interactions with Green Lantern — they were quite humorous — and there is a scene between Batman and Superman that captures the dynamic between the two of them almost flawlessly.

Superman Batman Justice League

How many mortal men can hold up their hand to Supes like a traffic cop and get him to come to comply? Not many, but Batman is one of them. DC deserves kudos for writing the scene so it all transpires believably.

Wonder Woman Justice League War Darkseid

While ‘Justice League: War’ does tend to drag on at times due to the never-ending stream of Darkseid’s minions populating the earth, the final battle is rather satisfying. It truly takes the team to take down Darkseid, and each hero has their moment to shine. Nobody’s power is underutilized and nobody is treated as if they don’t belong. While all of them essentially know deep down that Superman is in a “league” of his own, they also treat each other as equals on the battlefield. In fact, it is a collection of inferiority complexes — not pride — that often threatens to derail victory. It is only when the warriors begin to feel comfortable in their own skin — and trust the hero next to them — that victory is sealed.

Check out ‘Justice League: War’ if you get a chance, but don’t go in expecting some of the weightier issues tackled by, say, ‘Batman: Under the Red Hood.’ If you do that, you probably won’t go away disappointed.

Related: Superman vs. The Elite explores the big dilemma: Christ or Patton? To kill or not to kill?

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Geoff Johns’ Simon Baz: Politically correct Green Lantern joke

Two tattoos — but only one of these characters is a car thief. Hint: He’s near and dear to liberal writer Geoff Johns.

Geoff Johns’ new Green Lantern, Simon Baz, has something in common with me — we both have “courage” tattoos. The major difference between us? He’s a car thief, and I’m a law abiding citizen. I got mine while I was on leave with my Army buddies in Greece and everyone from my platoon decided it was time to get some ink. I hated all the options available, but I wasn’t about to deal with the jokes that would follow if I punked out. Simon Baz? His ink seems to stem from all the hardship he had to endure as a Muslim American, post 9/11. Sadness. The kind of sadness that propels a man to a life of crime.

The Four Color Media Monitor and Carl’s Comics beat me to covering Green Lantern 0 — the politically correct nightmare of a comic that couldn’t have come out at a worse time for Johns — but this one is too good to pass up. Johns, taking a cue from the Obama administration, was probably hoping to hit the “reset” button on September 11 with the introduction of a prominent Arab American superhero. He was hoping his portrayal of the racist, Islam-fearing Middle America and the water-boarding U.S. government would tell Muslim comic fans everywhere, “Hey, we’re the bad guys, but there are liberal creative types like me who are exposing it to change the world.”

Unfortunately for Johns, the Libyan militias who murdered Ambassador Christopher Stevens, two former Navy SEALs and another American on September 11, 2012 had other plans. It turns out that the world is more complex than a Geoff Johns comic book after all. Who knew.

Here’s the abridged version for how Simon Baz came to be:

  • 9/11 happens. Simon Baz, from Dearborn Mich., is subsequently harassed for his heritage after the attacks.
  • Somewhere along the way, Baz becomes an automotive engineer. He loses his job, and becomes a car thief.
  • Baz steals a car that ends up having a huge bomb in it. He drives it to his old, abandoned factory during a police chase, and it explodes.
  • Baz is interrogated. He becomes frustrated that in a post 9/11 world, in Dearborn Mich., that a Muslim engineer directly linked to a blast that took down an entire factory is suspected of having terrorist ties, and yells: “I’m a car thief, not a terrorist!”
  • The government doesn’t believe him. Let the water boarding commence! (Oddly enough, this happens under the current administration. Sadly, “President-indefinite-detention-for-Americans-Obama” is not mentioned by name. That sort of thing, name-dropping a sitting president in a negative light, stopped in comics when Bush left office, I guess.)
  • The famous ring chooses Simon Baz to become a Green Lantern, telling him “You have the … error … ability to overcome great fear.”
  • Cliffhanger.

Personally, I don’t care that Simon Baz is Muslim. I really don’t. What I care about is that once again we have a liberal writer who feels the need to jam his politically-correct vision of the world down the reader’s throat.

Note: Images below are not in the order they appear in the book. If it’s not obvious why, feel free to ask in the comments section.

Look out! It’s post 9/11, and gangs of predominantly white anti-Islam bigots are roaming the streets looking to pick on a random girl wearing a hijab. Yawn.
Cop #1: “Hey Chief, we chased this guy down. He drove a car filled with enough explosives to take down an entire automobile plant. It’s rubble. Lit up the night sky. Background check says he’s an engineer. Muslim American. Yes, he’s from Dearborn, Mich., but I think we can rule out terrorism, dontcha think?”
“I told you, I’m a Muslim-American carjacker and NOT a terrorist! Why does everyone go to the terrorism thing every time there’s a lone Muslim dude at the scene of a megaton explosion? Yeesh. My parents should have stayed in the Middle East, where Christians like you guys are second class citizens and you don’t have the power to pull this kind of crap.”

While I’m sure the “error” message Simon got from the ring will explain why a thief was chosen as a Green Lantern, it is rather interesting that out of all the good Muslims in the world … Geoff Johns chose a guy whose instinct is to resort to crime when he’s in a jam. PS: His costume also looks like something that he pulled from a Hamas bargain bin. Might want to change that one, Mr. Johns.

Hamas called. They want credit for the new Green Lantern costume or they’re taking you to court, Geoff Johns. Well, that or they might kill someone.

Ah yes, no American comic featuring a Muslim would be complete if the creators didn’t make sure to let everyone know how dark and twisted America is at its soul. I heard that if you’re Muslim and you get caught jaywalking, you might wind up with a black bag over your head at an undisclosed location. Geoff Johns told me, so it’s probably true.

Again, I really don’t give a rip that Simon Baz is Muslim. I don’t even care if he puts a force field around himself during battle to take time to pray to Mecca. Knock yourself out, Mr. Johns. But what I do care about is the lopsided debate that you’re injecting into the material. Sure, you’ll go to the Arab-American National Museum to do research, but I doubt anyone like Ayaan Hirsi Ali will ever be reached out to. Ever. So instead of getting a thought-provoking read about culture clashes and religion, we get yet another lecture from the sensitivity police. No thanks. I think I’ll save the disposable income.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I think I’ll read Guy Delisle’s Pyongyang for the tenth time.

Note: The Pyongyang review is here.

Green Lantern Ryan Reynolds Swipe a Declaration of War by Allahpundit; Conservative Comic Nerd Returns Fire.

Hmmm. Ryan Reynolds looks eerily familiar to Tony Stark here. Does Allahpundit have a point? It doesn't matter. He should hold his fire because comics generally have conservative themes (particularly a character like Hal Jordan) and they resonate with youth. Unlike Meghan McCain.

Allahpundit has thrown down the gauntlet. I’ve been a long time fan of his work, but we all know that from time time to he finds ways to test even his hard core fans’ patience (think Meghan McCain ).  This time, war has been declared on Conservative Comic Nerds everywhere!

Needless to say, if they’re now this far down into the bottom of the comics barrel for superhero movie ideas [i.e., a Green Lantern movie], it won’t be long before pre-production on an Aquaman flick is announced. We all know it’s coming, so let’s start preparing mentally.

You called down the thunder, Allah, well now you got it!

The comic book movie that started an amazing run that hasn’t stopped since 1998 was Blade. It showed the industry of the marketing potential that existed, even in lesser known comic superheroes (interestingly enough, it was Ryan Reynolds who stole the show from Wesley “I want to be Charlie Rangel and not pay my taxes” Snipes in Blade III, an underrated flick in my opinion). Green Lantern isn’t some two-bit superhero—he’s a classic.  And even though there are two or three Jonah Hexs for every Iron Man, overall comic book movies help instill the kinds of moral codes today’s liberalism habitually tears down.

Watchmen was loaded with conservative values (even though it was written by a left-wing moon bat). Kick Ass makes the case for American Exceptionalism better than 98% of all conservative commentators out there. The list goes on and on. I’d rather hold my fire on Ryan Reynolds when he’s portraying a superhero because it’s only a matter a time before he plays another US contractor buried in Iraq. Think of all the mouthpieces of the left, and then imagine them inadvertently planting the seeds of conservatism in a generation of young minds because they played Spider-Man, Batman, Superman, Captain America, or some obscure hero whose principles shackle liberal screenwriters into crafting characters Americans can be proud of.

I know that there are going to be embarrassingly bad comics movies made every year, but it’s the one area of popular culture where conservatives have the upper hand. Our ideas sell, and Hollywood can’t deny it.  Conservatism is articulated on screen every time a hero doesn’t hesitate to identify evil—and fights it. Liberal moral relativists will groan in pain if Captain America shines instead of becoming Saturday night entertainment for Euro-weenies and Jihadi Film Clubs. It makes no sense to make jokes at the expense of the one genre that imparts conservative values and resonates with young people.

I’m praying to God that they come out with The Umbrella Academy: Dallas. While Allah (and again, I love your work) might instinctually consider it the bottom of the barrel, I enthusiastically recommend it to anyone thinking about buying a graphic novel sometime soon. It’s written by Gerard Way of My Chemical Romance. Take a look at their latest video. Watch it and tell me there aren’t conservative motifs everywhere (e.g., evil centralized government, underground radio, American muscle cars, resistance movements). Do we have another closet conservative on our hands? Who knows, but I don’t want to disrupt whatever inspired it.

Likewise, I have my fingers crossed for the day when Zack Synder finally comes out of the conservative closet. I can’t wait to see what he does with Superman.

I’m going to chalk up Allah’s Green Lantern misstep to latent jealousy at Ryan Reynolds’ rock hard abs (I know I’m jealous). But if it happens again, all options are on the table; I’m going Nuclear Nerd on the pundit from hotair.

Go to Vegas and put money on The Umbrella Academy to be a hit movie. If you want you can thank me by sending a portion of your proceeds to my bank account. I have a lot of student loans to pay off, and I can't write as much as I want until they're gone.