The first San Diego Comic Con trailer that I want to talk about is the one for Justice League. In part, because it was the film I was the most pessimistic about. I disliked Batman V Superman, I disliked Man of Steel, so the idea of Zack Snyder getting his hands on the rest of these characters for an ensemble film—and an important one at that—seemed like it just couldn’t end well. But, after the trailer, and after watching Zack Snyder’s director’s cut of Batman V Superman, I am feeling a bit more positive.
The trailer opens with Bruce Wayne tracking down Arthur Curry aka Aquaman in a fishing village. It has the same dark tone that we are used to in these films, and while I’m still not thrilled with their insistence on making Aquaman look gritty and badass (because he just doesn’t look like Aquaman), Jason Momoa does a pretty good job of selling me whatever it is he is actually trying to do here. He immediately shows his strength by lifting Bruce Wayne up and pinning him against the wall, he is heralded as a protector and hero of this fishing village, which lends some credibility to the virtuosity that we have come to expect from this character, and his refusal to help actually plays into Aquaman’s major antagonistic plot element. He’s the king of Atlantis, but is also from the surface world, so intervening with surface affairs is problematic for him politically. Actually, in general, this part in this trailer does a better job of convincing viewers that Aquaman is more than just a guy who can talk to fish than Aquaman Rebirth #1 did, because this trailer shows his strength and the complexities in his character, and doesn’t feel the need to tell us about it.
What really sold me on this trailer, though, was the scene with Ezra Miller’s Barry Allen. I admit that I am slightly biased here. I love the Flash, and so when Bruce Wayne said “Barry Allen” upon Barry’s entrance into his apartment, I internally squealed. That said, what I liked most about this scene was that it was funny. I’ve said it before; comic books (at least superhero comic books from DC and Marvel) should be fun. Sometimes they are dark, sometimes they are serious, but primarily they are an escape. They are there for enjoyment, and this is something that for the last two movies, I felt DC/WB didn’t understand. But this whole trailer shows some lightness in the dialogue and interactions between characters that gives me hope. I shouldn’t really be surprised. In the wake of BvS, WB decided to do Suicide Squad reshoots, because it was, apparently, not funny enough. That should suggest that they realize that humor and lightness is important to the success of this franchise.
I do wish Ray Fisher’s Vic Stone aka Cyborg got a bit more time in this trailer, because I’m still not sure what to make of him. His interaction with Batman towards the end of the trailer has a very serious and down to business attitude about it, but if the rest of the character interactions are any indication, I don’t think he’ll be like that for the whole movie. And if he doesn’t say “Booyah” at least once in this film, I will be disappointed.
The last thing that we REALLY got out of this film is our first real look of these character’s costumes in action and I… Am not really a fan? The Flash is wearing this weird armor-like costume? I’m sure they will explain why in the film, but, seriously, if they wanted to do Injustice that badly, just make an Injustice movie.
(please, actually, make an Injustice movie. That would be amazing).
Vic Stone’s costume is… fine, but it looks oddly like he’s made of crystal or something? It may have been the light. I’m still not thrilled with Aquaman’s costume, as I said earlier. Come on! What’s wrong with the orange scales? But costumes aside, what we have seen of these characters gives me some hope for the film.
All-in-all, though, if this trailer is indicative of the writing in the film, and if they keep this ratio of lightness to grimdark within the film, I think it will be a pleasant surprise. I am cautiously optimistic.