Watch Wednesday

Watch Wednesday #19: What the Comics Predict for the Justice League Movie

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’re well aware of the insane influx of superhero movies as of late, and 2017 has been house to plenty of them.  The crazy part is that they’re not just successful, they’re genuinely good films.  Of the top ten highest grossing films this year, five of them are superhero films, and four of the ten best-reviewed films of the year are also superhero films.  That’s something that has never happened before, and it’s all thanks to years of source material–comic books, to be precise.

What the Comics Predict for the Justice League Movie

The next superhero film to hit the theatres is Justice League, whose official release date is November 17, so in less than 48-hours.  In comparison to team-up films like The Avengers or even Thor: RagnarokJustice League has far less set-up for both its party members as well as its plot.

Basically, if you’re not a DC fan, or otherwise not super well-versed in the comic lore, Justice League is a bit of a blank slate.  Luckily there are awesome people like Rob behind ComicsExplained.  A YouTube channel dedicated entirely to answering all the questions behind Marvel and DC Comics in an easy-to-understand way, ComicsExplained, of course, has a video about the New 52‘s Justice League, volume 1.  Watch the video, become enlightened, and let’s talk Justice League shop.

But what exactly does Justice League, volume 1, mean for the Justice League movie?  It’s all stemming from a very different backdrop–Superman is “dead” in the cinematic universe, for Pete’s sake.  So what parts of the source material are they going to adapt?  Well, here’s what I think ComicsExplained’s video helps us to guess about the upcoming films.

#1 – Mother Boxes

To go a little deeper than the ComicsExplained explanation of Mother Boxes, they’re basically compact and sentient supercomputers used by the New Gods.  The New Gods are a confusing set of characters, but to keep it simple they are literally a set of gods who exist outside of the DC multiverse.  Even more simply put, they’re like DC’s version Asgardians–not really the same, but as a comparison, it works well enough.

A Mother Box has multiple uses, but the most important one within the Justice League comic book is that it is the New Gods only means of travel to the Multiverse (you know, Earth).  The presence of Steppenwolf–the big bad of Justice League and one of the New Gods–tells us that Mother Boxes must have some part of the plot because without a Mother Box it would have been impossible for him to get here.  In fact, in a deleted scene from Batman v. Superman we see Steppenwolf showing Mother Boxes to Lex Luthor, so how’s that for a confirmation, eh?

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While Steppenwolf was not the baddie for Justice League, volume 1, he is a New God from Apokolips just like Darkseid, so he’s most likely the first stepping stone for Darkseid to pop up as an after credits scene in the film.

#2 – Where There are Mother Boxes, There are Parademons

Although not all New Gods are evil, it seems like pretty much all the ones who are stopping by Earth are, and they’re almost always packing some Parademon power.  In Justice League, volume 1, Parademons are lifeforms or corpses that are harvested from realities or worlds conquered by Darkseid.  They are taken and remolded into hordes of thoughtless soldiers, bred to overwhelm any and all heroes who stand in the way.

We see these poor dudes being created in the Justice League trailer, as the warriors of Themyscira face off against Steppenwolf and his army of flying monkeys–er, Parademons.

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Poor guy.

As the video explains, when the Mother Boxes are activated, Parademons begin pouring out of them.  Literally, Parademons go out and grab people to make more Parademons, building huge towers that basically act as Parademon workshops, busting one more and more Parademons until any forces attempting to battle them eventually are just too exhausted to fight.

Thanks to this tidbit, when you take a look at the Justice League trailers we find ourselves not only catching glimpses of buttloads of Parademons, but even tower-like structures like that described in the comics.  Which means, the team’s goal in the film is going to be shutting down the Mother Boxes in order to stop the Parademon supply.  This is where Cyborg becomes important.

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#3 – Cyborg, V.I.P.

In Justice League, volume 1, after all the Mother Boxes around the world inadvertently activate, Cyborg is exposed and crippled by the explosion.  His father then injects him with nanites in order to build him a new, computer-esque body.  Thanks to his new bodily upgrade, Cyborg is able to connect with a Mother Box and see not only Apokolips but also feel the malevolent force that is Darkseid.  It is this power, along with his knowledge of the New Gods, which allows Cyborg to be an indispensable part of the Justice League.

In the DC cinematic universe, Cyborg’s relation to the Mother Box has taken a different turn, as Cyborg basically becomes a Mother Box.  If you recall Diana’s snooping behind Bruce’s back in Batman v. Superman, including cloning his computer, you’ll remember that she fell upon a series of videos of what would be her future costars.  Included in that is Cyborg’s origin story, which involves a strange, warping black box building him into the half-man, half-robot we know and love.

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The Mother Box as seen in Batman v. Superman.

If we relate DC’s comic Cyborg to the cinematic Cyborg, we can easily place a large amount of importance on his character in finding a way to shut down the Mother Boxes and stop the Parademon horde.  While the other supers are clearly in it for the fight, Cyborg is critical to actually win the battle, if the comic indicates anything.

#4 – The Super Seven

Although this largely feels like a longshot, it’s still got its possibility, and there are a few things that have me wondering about it.  First off, in the comics, after sending Darkseid back to where he came from, the Flash notably announces, “You can call us… the Super Seven!”

Well, this is significant considering the Imagine Dragons Reddit page discovered a track listing on the Justice League IMDB listing a song by Imagine Dragons which was titled, “Unite the Seven”.  Luckily the user was able to screenshot it before it got taken down.  Of course, we were all expecting Superman to make his oh-I’m-not-actually-dead appearance by the end of the film, but if we’re talking all seven members of the Justice League, does that mean Green Lantern will re-debut on the big screen?

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What are your thoughts on what’s to come in the new Justice League movie?

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