Here's How I Would Reboot 'Justice League' For DC Films

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Many fans of DC comics agree the film franchise could really use a reboot. In my previous articles (which you can revisit here and here), I proposed a brand-new Batman and Superman story arc that would create the basic setup for the Justice League film.

After Superman learns about an army of mind-controlled Lanterns led by Despero is set to conquer Earth, the Man of Steel along with Wonder Woman, The Green Lantern, Martian Manhunter and The Flash stand to face the looming invasion. The idea is to have the invasion plot introduced early on and then have the rest of the film primarily take place in outer space. It's a nice subversion of the whole third act “destroy a major city” trope as well as separating itself that much more from Marvel’s the first Avengers film.

We could foreshadow the return of Batman by having Wayne Enterprises fund the voyage to Despero’s homeworld. Everyone has a dog in the fight. Superman is ultimately fighting the unprincipled ideals of Lex Luthor, Martian Manhunter is fighting for his literal freedom, Wonder Woman is fighting for the planet she was tasked to defend, Hal Jordan is fighting to free the minds of The Lanterns and The Flash is fighting for his place on the team.

By and by they free the Lanterns of their mind control, but lose the larger fight against Despero. He beats them to Earth where Batman is waiting for him, sporting a primitive version of the mech suit from The Dark Knight Returns . It's a tough fight but together with the help of the Justice League and the now independently thinking lanterns, Despero is defeated and is escorted away. The six that remain on Earth (Superman, The Flash, The Green Lantern, Wonder Woman, Batman and The Martian Manhunter) receive medals of honor as well as an official Government sanctioned name: The Justice League of America.

Batman refuses a place on the team, establishing the rift between him and their leader, Superman. So ends the first Justice League movie. Part Flash Gordon, part War of the Worlds, mostly fun summer blockbuster.

I'd follow this with two more Justice League films, each light on Batman, so that characters like Aquaman (Charlie Hunnam) and Hawkgirl (Isla Fisher) really get a chance to play in the sandbox while things are still colorful and fun. I'd have all the promotional shots be near recreations of Alex Ross pieces, maybe have the trailers feature fun pop tunes of the day.

Following Justice League, I can bang out a series of Flash films that focus on infinite crisis, a Batgirl centered mini-series starting with The Killing Joke and ending with the formation of Birds Of Prey,  and an all out balls-to-the-wall reimagining of Wonder Woman: Paradise Lost. Hell, throw Gorilla Grodd into the mix. The rest of the movies that follow don't exactly matter just so long as they lead to Tower of Babel.

I'd lay the groundwork for Batman's mistrust of The JLA, juxtaposed with Superman’s further submission as Government tool. The other characters would fall in a gray area on either side, erupting into the 70’s, an era of paranoia and political mistrust.

With the backdrop of galactic battles and fun capers from fan favorites like Brainiac and Darkseid, a larger thesis about what the supers mean to themselves and their world would begin to shape. They would speak to and grow with their corresponding decades. Transforming them from symbols of hope and justice to statements about unchecked power and privilege.

Batman, in his stubbornness, becomes the downfall of the superheroes. He gives them a bad name. Working outside the law, brainwashing young adolescents to become costumed crime fighters, refusing to join the JLA. Justified or not, it's on him that the frequently rotating members of The Justice League place the blame for the surmounting backlash against Superheroes. Their glory days came and went by the command of Gotham's Knight.

Ultimately, Wonder Woman would abandon the land of men and return to Themyscira. Hal Jordan would leave his sector for good. Martian Manhunter would return to Mars and the rest of the remaining JLA would go into hiding. All except for Superman, who learned early on the importance of sacrifice for the sake of a greater good. And so he remained as the last and only known superhuman operating on Earth.

This would lead to the final film in the DCEU, which would, of course, be an adaptation of The Dark Knight Returns appropriately set in the mid-'80s. Unlike Frank Miller's vision, this Batman would die, along with the spectacular age he ushered in. So that's how I’d fix the DCEU mess. That or just make everybody a girl. 

How would you recreate the DC cinematic universe? Let us know in the comment section below.

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