Guys. We’ve pleaded, begged, cajoled and cried and finally the movie gods have favored us. Around 10:00 am on yesterday (March 25th) – after a titillating series of teases Thursday and Friday – the first official JL trailer dropped. The powers that be don’t consider the Comic Con footage to be an official trailer so we won’t either. Like the vast majority of Comic Book movie fans and general audiences, I was thoroughly impressed by the glimpse I got of the latest offering from Zack Snyder and Geoff Johns. I’ve watched it over a dozen times since midnight and these are my major takeaways for my most anticipated CBM this year
1. Unbridled action
The king of stunning action sequences (300, Sucker Punch, Man of Steel, Batman v Superman) seems to be pushing the envelope even further. Batman fighting parademons, Aquaman spearing unfortunate Apokolips denizens with his quindrent(?!), Flash using the speed force and an all-out battle between Mankind, Atlanteans and Amazon warriors show us that JL will absolutely scratch our collective itch for superhero butt-kicking.
A sore spot for numerous but beleaguered fans of the DCEU, particularly the ponderous and solemn Snyder offerings, has been a critical insistence that DC “lighten up” or add more over humor. To fix that, this trailer showcases numerous quips and one-liners scattered throughout the roughly two and a half minutes. Cyborg gets one off, Batman and Aquaman each get a couple and even Commissioner Gordon gets on the fun with some sardonic wit of his own. As a proud service member in the vanguard of Snyder fandom, I’ll admit that I heard the promise of a lighter tone with more than a little trepidation. But it all seems to work here as far as I can tell. As long as the stories keep the gravitas of earlier entries, I have no problem with humor.
3. Aquaman is King
From the very moment that the first “Unite the Seven” image was released I’ve believed that Jason Momoa’s Aquaman would be the breakout star of this movie and everything I’ve seen since then has confirmed that to me. The coolest scenes in the trailer belong to Aquaman- the water bending, the parademon spearing – and his outfit is amazingly on point. It’s difficult to notice other characters when he’s on screen.
4. Man, Myths and Legends
The trailer does a great job at depicting a Batman that can hold his own in a war against our would be alien overlords, the throwaway line that Batman’s super power is his wealth actually points to a pretty nuanced mythology about both the character itself and our ideas about the untapped potential of prime human beings. Batman is a man constantly admitted to the realm of gods as an equal and this JL trailer gives us glimpses of why. Further, the brief clip of the massive pre-civilization war shows us that JL is not afraid to return to mythic origins to tell stories. Snyder, Johns and co are not afraid to plumb the depths of DC universe or fully embrace a world that is significantly stranger than our own.
5. Flash will be distinct from the DCTV version
Some well-meaning fans think that general audiences might have a difficult time appreciating two distinct Barry Allen’s on their screens. Whether or not that’s true Ezra Miller, Michael Wilkinson and the costume and effects teams working on JL have made sure to deliver us a Barry Allen that is tonally and visually different from the Grant Gustin version. Miller’s version of Barry Allen seems youthful and vibrant compared to the more staid and mature character that Gustin plays. Miller’s Flash emits blue lightning and Gustin’s yellow. Even the depiction of the speed force is different.
6.Superman will return… Eventually
The fundamental conceit of Man of Steel and Batman v Superman was that Superman as a humble, virtuous and moral character stood in sharp and seemingly incontrovertible opposition to a cynical and fearful world and until that opposition was overcome he could not fulfill his mission to be a beacon of light and hope to the inhabitants of earth. The death of Superman provided final proof that the cynics and the cowards were wrong and that Superman is a figure of distress only to the evil minded… But since this point has been passed over too many times to count, I imagine that the movie will spend its first half reinforcing this point for general audiences. Superman might not be in every portion of this movie but his absence will loom large because his sacrifice inspires and redeems Batman who will go on to finance and begin the league. Example: WW – driven from open life in the world by man’s hostility, bloodlust and incivility to his fellow creatures – tells us that it was said that “the age of heroes would Batman, redeemed from his rage and cruelty thanks to the example of Superman in BvS rebuts her. When Superman returns from the grave he will be revered and respected by all who looked up to him before his death… And even those who didn’t
7. Visually stunning
We all know that Zack Snyder has a preternatural talent for creating iconic imagery and breathtaking action shots so it is easy to overlook just how stylish and sleek JL looks, I think that is a mistake. Every frame bleeds cool (except for one unfinished CG cyborg image) and every outfit is striking. Regardless of how people regard the plot, I can’t imagine anyone taking visual affront to this movie.
Top 7 moments
- Aquadrogo spearing parademons
- Human/Amazon, Atlantean fight vs. Darkseid army
- Mera reveal
- Flash in the speed force
- Batman grappling into a slide to grenade a parademon
- Aquaman riding on the Batmobile
- Cyborg flying
Those are my thoughts on this first JL trailer.
Are you as excited as I am?
What was your favorite part of the trailer?