Monday, January 11, 2016

Superhero Media: Justice League - Gods and Monsters

Bruce Timm, the driving force behind much of the '90s DC animated television, has begun his own unique "universe", and it's pretty damn awesome. Wonder Woman is a refugee from New Genesis, Superman is the son of General Zod and Batman is Kirk Langstorm, a vampire. Naturally this version of the league is a tad more direct in its approach, just straight-up murdering people that cause enough trouble. This kind of "kick in the door" approach to crime-fighting causes friction with global governments and soon a cadre of famous DCU scientists (including Will Magnus and Ray Palmer) are plotting to eliminate the league. I won't spoil what's actually going on, but suffice to say, it makes Final Crisis look like it was written in crayon. 

At the end of the day, Gods and Monsters isn't about the narrative so much as it is about the characters. Remember the "characters I want to see more/less" entries on this blog? This is exactly what I was talking about with Batman. That Wonder Woman and Superman get the same treatment just makes it all so much better. The world that Timm creates for Gods and Monsters is to the DCU what the Ultimate Marvel Universe is to Marvel 616; it's cleaner, less complex and a hell of a lot deadlier. Ultimate Marvel had no problem killing major characters, like Beast, Spiderman and Norman Osborn, which made it different and, in some ways, stronger in narrative than 616. The bodycount, both literal and psychological, in Gods and Monsters sets it apart as more than a simple homage to the same "big three" of the DCU that have been saving the day for over 70 years at this point. 

Hardcore DC/Batman/Superman/Wonder Woman fans may not like Gods and Monsters. It takes the characters in a new direction that is not comfortable or fun. Bruce Timm has shifted the tone with this film and firmly stated that he's not playing by the old rule book. People die, stuff breaks and the world will never be quite as safe as it was when the "big blue boy scout" was rescuing cats from trees. There are sequels in the works and I'm mad keen. I want to see Superman rip a guy in half on television and Batman make a vampire robin. Keep up the good work Bruce! 

No comments:

Post a Comment