Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Who are they?: 'Justice League' SDCC exclusive trailer review

"He said you'd come. Now let's hope you're not too late." -- Alfred Pennyworth to an offscreen mystery person in "Justice League" 
This new "Justice League" poster was revealed at the 2017
San Diego Comic-Con.

San Diego Comic-Con International got fans buzzing with the four-minute exclusive trailer of Zack Snyder and Joss Whedon's "Justice League" film.

It's mostly new footage, which mentions Superman and delivers a few glimpses of the villain Steppenwolf, who has a voice-over. I stand by my opinion that Steppenwolf is a much better name for a rock band than a villain. Why can't the Justice League face more than a powerhouse?

Judging from opening minutes (which is slightly expanded from the first official trailer), Wonder Woman is gonna kick all kinds of a**. And of course, Ezra Miller's Flash will deliver a great deal of the humorous lines. But neither of these are a surprise.

The scene in which the Flash tells Commissioner Gordon "how rude" is that his teammates "really just vanished" is funny and befitting the socially clumsy Barry Allen, is awkward. Another great character moment is Gal Gadot's Wonder Woman telling her co-worker she didn't do much last night. A classic!

Punchy dialogue and memorable scenes like these are the major reasons why Whedon was brought in for extensive reshoots. His uncanny ability to bring the best out of characters will take "Justice League" to another level -- and possibly save the whole project.

What has gotten fans really talking are the glimpses of characters in the footage.

Who are they? Who wears the red cape that Ben Affleck's Bruce Wayne is studying in the hologram?  And who is Alfred Pennyworth addressing, saying "he said you'd come"? I'm assuming the "he" Wayne's butler is referring to is Batman, but who knows?

Fans have jumped to saying it's Superman in the hologram and talking to Alfred. But I predict the Justice League might discover/meet the resurrected Man of Steel during, or even after, the fights with Steppenwolf and his Parademons late in the film.

Henry Cavill first will appear in Superman's black and silver rebirth suit from the comics (we're assuming and/or hoping!). I suspect he'll only have a cameo at the very end -- quite similar to Luke Skywalker in the closing seconds of "Star Wars: The Force Awakens."

I could be way off, but I don't expect Supes to be the one who shows up to save the outnumbered Justice League's bacon -- it's a bit too much of a cliché and much too convenient. What better way to create anticipation for more Superman than only giving him a few minutes of screen time?

The hologram could be Supergirl, who also likely is the person appearing before Alfred. There have been rumors that Supergirl might make her DCEU debut in "Justice League."

Why not have Supergirl help save the day (still a cliché, but hey, it's more creative than Superman doing it!) and have her come face to face with her Kryptonian cousin in his Skywalker-like cameo to end the movie? Besides, the Justice League needs more female representation than Wonder Woman.

The person Alfred sees also could be either Green Lantern or even Martian Manhunter. Both heroes are founding members of the Justice League.

Since I previewed the 2017 genre films (at least!), I've predicted GL would show up in this film. Wayne and Wonder Woman could have been looking for Hal Jordan's Green Lantern and Supergirl, but they only found Aquaman (whose underwater scenes look promising), Cyborg (whose armor is
more badass the more I see it) and the Flash before Steppenwolf and his army start creating havoc.

Why Jordan as Green Lantern? Simply, he's the most well-known space cop of all the comic-book Green Lanterns. Plus, if he's the veteran ring-bearer -- as I've understood he's supposed to be in "Green Lantern Corps" -- it makes sense that Jordan might be on patrol and rushes to Earth after hearing about the Steppenwolf situation. Of course, a similar scenario could be the reasoning for the mystery person to be Martian Manhunter.

Another reason this could be Green Lantern is that Steppenwolf says "this world will fall -- like all the others" since there are "no protectors here. No Lanterns. No Kryptonian." And wouldn't it surprise him when Jordan's GL -- and maybe with some other Green Lanterns -- show up and kick Steppenwolf and his army's butt?

Besides, DC Entertainment and Warner Bros. announced at SDCC that "Green Lantern Corps" is on the DCEU slate of films to be made relatively soon. And if the mystery person is GL, I'm all for Ryan Reynolds having a second chance at playing a more grounded and better version of Hal Jordan.

(CCC recently reviewed the unrelated "Green Lantern" film. But now, if Reynolds is recast as Jordan, could it be a loose part of this film continuity?)

Of course, "Shazam" is going into production next year. That would be another great tease for the DCEU -- much like Gadot's Diana Prince and Wonder Woman's memorable appearances in "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice" or even in the case of Marvel Studios, Tom Holland's likable Spider-Man fighting on Team Iron Man in "Captain America: Civil War" before going (mostly) solo in "Spider-Man: Homecoming." There's nothing like getting fans pumped for an additional character in a movie universe than having him or her playing a small part in one film before starring in a related solo movie.

Personally, I want the mystery heroes to be Supergirl and Green Lantern. Without counting Superman, that would "unite the seven," as the promo line goes. "Justice League" is looking promising -- and so does its roster.

Grade: B

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