The Watchtower

Welcome to a very special edition of The Watchtower (I say that like every column”¦maybe it should become my tagline”¦)! Why is it so special? Because I’m starting work on it while cruising high above the U.S. of A. crossing the country once more, returning from west coast to east for the second time in a month. I was out in Vegas (yes, Las Vegas) with my lovely (and famous) girlfriend Megan, which leads us nicely into this week’s”¦

COMPLETELY OFF-TOPIC TANGENT

Fun fact about Megan: though she was not born in Vegas, she grew up there, thanks to her father being in the Casino/Hotel biz, so this was a neat chance to not only visit one of the country’s coolest cities, but also to see where my little bundle of joy came from and get a tour of Sin City from an insider.

But if you’re expecting stories of drunken debauchery and high stakes betting”¦you’re in the wrong place. There was drinking and there was gambling, but the primary purpose of the trip was to meet Megan’s grandparents, whom we stayed with for our all-too-brief three day sojourn.

I got to spend a pretty crazy night on the strip Thursday with Megan as my tour guide, but most of the trip was spent playing bingo, bowling, and hanging out with her grandparents.

And y’know what: I loved it.

I enjoy a party as much as the next devilishly handsome net god, but truth be told, I’d much rather sit down and get to know somebody than spend my night with my cheek pressed against a bar; all things in moderation and all that. I was more than a tad nervous about hanging with the g-rents, though, both because it’s always high stakes (in or out of Vegas) when meeting relatives of your one and only, but also because of that pesky little generation gap.

Well I am here to tell you that if you’re one of those kidz who never takes the time to get to know your older relatives or neighbors, you’re missing out. My father works in nursing homes, so I’ve met many of Massachusetts’ elderly, and they’re extraordinary people, but hanging out with Megan’s grandparents and their friends reinforced big time for me what a blast our elder statesmen (and women) can be. They were charming folks with so many great stories to tell and plenty of advice to impart. They were just fun people and a nice change of pace from the drunks and lowlifes I usually chill with (don’t worry Jamie & Tim, I still love you). They also share the kind of relationship I only hope I’m lucky enough to know after fifty plus years of marriage.

Lesson to be remembered: the elderly can be fun.

Other lesson to be learned: the sound of somebody else’s voice proclaiming “bingo!” is the most painful in the world.

And don’t you worry, I still got sauced enough to text message Jamie at three in the morning from Caesa’s Palace saying “I’m drunk in Vegas and you’re probably in a shit diner somewhere interviewing Ron Marz’ coffee bitch. Ben-1, Jamie-0!!!”


THE COLUMN PROPER

Ok, we all know full well there will probably never be a full length, live action JLA movie. We should all count our lucky stars we’ve got the cartoon show. There’s too many characters, too many different licenses, it would cost too much”¦etc.

But what if there could be a JLA movie?

Without a doubt, it would be a comic book fan’s dream”¦if done well.

With the exception of Mariah Carey’s “Glitter,” I’ve never been involved in a major motion picture production. However, I read lots of comics and watch lots of movies, thus I figure this makes me as qualified as anybody to pen”¦

JLA”¦The Movie!


The Cast

Ok, I know, these are characters that comic book fans have been doing dream “casting calls” on for years; no matter who I plug in here, I’ll get some yays and some nays. But my criteria was to assemble a cast of solid actors first and foremost (look at what having multiple Oscar and Tony winners has done for X-Men) and then filling some of the tougher to cast secondary roles with character actors I thought could get the job done (and more than once that meant dipping into the TV universe of Joss Whedon). As far as number of characters, the big seven was a must, and then I rounded it out with three other characters I thought were fun, well associated with the JLA mythos and fit my vision for the plot. Obviously in a cast of ten (plus villains) not everybody can be a star, but I did my best to make sure everybody at least has some time to shine. So here’s what I came up with, but before that, here’s how the respective character fit into the world I’ll be playing in:

-Superman and Green Lantern are both well-established heroes known to the public
-Batman is also a veteran, but is an “urban legend”
-The Flash is a newer hero making waves; he’s known but just getting started
-Green Arrow, The Atom and Black Canary are all experienced heroes who operate on a smaller level
-Wonder Woman, Aquaman and The Martian Manhunter are unknowns when the movie opens
So, my cast”¦

Hugh Jackman as Superman
The Character: First and foremost, Superman is THE MAN in my DCU, as he should be; he’s awe-inspiring to everybody who comes into contact with him, including the other JLAers (except probably Batman, but he’s just concealing it well). This is the guy you look at and say “damn, glad he’s on our side;” when you see him flying in the cavalry has indeed arrived. Internally, how he views himself as opposed to how he is viewed by others, there are two distinct sides to my Superman: the overanxious farmboy who is just “gee gosh” excited to be out there and doing so much good and the guy you seriously don’t want to f with if you’ve done harm to something he loves. The closest to a template I’d be using would be Jeph Loeb’s Superman.
The Actor: Ok, I know a lot of people are saying “Wolverine as Superman?! Are you insane?!” but those who know Jackman from more than just X-Men (and Van Helsing”¦ugh”¦) know he has the versatility to pull off this role. He showed when he hosted the Tonys that he has that charm and wide-eyed glee Superman needs to convey. More importantly, Jackman has more charisma than perhaps any other leading man in film right now; he wins over just about everybody who sees him. When Hugh Jackman is on the screen, all eyes will be focused on him first and foremost, which is what I want from my Superman. So to review: he’s charming, he’s charismatic, he’s larger than life and oh yeah, he can be a bad ass; and as far as Clark Kent goes, again, Jackman’s Broadway work shows that he can manage a more timid character. This is an obvious choice I’m surprised nobody at Warner Brothers has come up with yet (especially since they already stole X-Men’s director).
Relationships: He is polite and cordial to the other heroes, but almost to the point of being unintentionally condescending. It will be established that he and Batman have worked together often, but Superman, much like when he first debuted post-Crisis, doesn’t entirely approve of Batman; they’re not at “friends” level yet, but they trust each other more or less”¦Superman stills keeps an eye out. He’s worked with Green Lantern on numerous occasions and feels comfortable with him. A (hopefully) cool mentor-student relationship will develop between Superman and The Flash. Superman feels a certain empathy towards The Martian Manhunter given their similar origins.

Christian Bale as Batman
The Character: I’m going with the Grant Morrison JLA interpretation of Batman all the way because I really think that’s the only way he can be a vital part of the team in modern times (Waid, Kelly, etc. have written echoes of Morrison’s Bats). The only reason he is a part of the League is because he knows that without him all these brightly garbed morons with the power to move mountains will screw everything up and blow up Earth or something. He wants to spend as little time as possible with this cosmic junk and get back to the streets where he can make a difference, but perhaps more than any other Leaguer he recognizes Spider-Man’s old “with great power”¦” axiom and thus he may be the most heroic of them all; he’ll drive you nuts, but at the end of the day, you love him.
The Actor: Not a tough pick here, hopefully he can just do the transition from Year One Batman to seasoned pro without too much difficulty.
Relationships: Batman sees the other members of the team, Superman in particular, more as resources than people. He has a measure of respect for Green Lantern but shows it by mostly keeping his distance. He doesn’t care much for Aquaman or Wonder Woman and has little patience for Flas’s inexperience. He trusts and respects Green Arrow & Black Canary because he can relate to them more than the super-powered members of the team, but he is quick to put Ollie in his place when he’s being an ass. He sees The Atom as the most valuable member of the team because of his intelligence and ingenuity. He is the only person to work with J’onn prior to the opening of the movie and has developed a respect for him as well. Batman regards himself as leader of the team, not because he wants to be, but because they need him to be; he’ll bark out orders first, worry about people’s feelings”¦well”¦never (like he did when he led the early JLI).

Catherine Zeta-Jones as Wonder Woman
The Character: My Diana will be an Amazon in the classic Greek sense of the word: very scary. She’s drop dead gorgeous, but she was bred to be a warrior, thrives on violence and goes into machine mode in the heat of battle. I’m a fan of the old mythology the Amazons were derived from, and there was nothing about “preaching peace” in there (plus, like Ares, I’ve never quite understood how that paradox works with all the fighting), they were just bad asses; that’s what I’m doing here. Diana is very driven, very single-minded: she wants to find her people (see the plot) and will beat the crap out of anybody in her way. However, the other side to Diana, the side that will emerge when the action slows and we’re waiting for the next act to begin, is the curious little girl who has never seen beyond her island. Diana entered the contest not because she wanted to serve as an ambassador, but because she wanted to see the world. Through he interactions with the rest of the League, Diana will see both the good and the bad of Man’s World.
The Actor: Zeta-Jones is a beautiful woman, which was one factor in picking her, but more I like that she can be a bitch (Chicago) and a weapon (Entrapment) without having to vamp it up; she has a presence and quiet intensity about her that make her believable as a royal member of a warrior race. I considered Angelina Jolie for the role, but in my mind, Zeta-Jones has a lot more class, and that’s what put her over the top for me; at the end of the day, Diana is still a princess, and Zeta-Jones is one of the few actresses out there I’d believe as one.
Relationships: Diana both intrigues and scares most of her teammates. Batman is one of the few people not fazed by her and the interests her. She respects Superman’s power. I’d like to see a bond form between her and J’onn; she will close herself off from the rest, but he will read her mind, pissing her off at first, but later providing her with a sympathetic shoulder. She will have a similar relationship with Aquaman as she did during Wai’d JLA run: they are drawn to one another because of similar heritage, but frustrate one another with their mutual arrogance as well. I’d see Diana developing further relationships in a sequel, but for this movie, she’s pretty much a bitch (and Black Canary will definitely tell her so) and will keep to herself, softening as the movie goes perhaps.

Matt Damon as The Flash
The Character: Flash is the rookie of the team, the guy who just got his powers and wants to make his mark, the most idealistic character in the movie, and our eyes and ears, our point of view character. He’s in over his head, he’s in awe of the people around him and wants desperately to prove himself. He’ll make mistakes, but ultimately he’ll push himself as hard as anybody else on the team. I very much want to capture the “sidekick trying to make the big time” mentality Wally West had right after he took the mantle of The Flash from Barry Allen (though Barry will not be mentioned in this movie) and that Mark Waid wrote so well, but also the “everyman with super powers” idea that Geoff Johns has written so well. Wally West is the sweet kid just out of college who holds the door for old ladies but can’t get a job.
The Actor: Admittedly I’m a Matt Damon mark, so casting him as my favorite character is a bit of a vanity thing, but the fact that he’s perfect for the part certainly helps my cause. Unlike his former partner in crime Ben Affleck, Damon has not worn out his welcome with filmgoers: the public loves him, which means he’ll do well as the character the crowd is supposed to empathize with because he’s a genuinely nice guy. He also has experience as the “rookie among pros” from Ocean’s Eleven (a lot of aspects of his character from that movie would carry over here). He also has the comedic timing to make Flas’s inexperience work for humor. Damon is just a classy and talented actor who brings a lot to the table for an important character.
Relationships: Flash kind of hero worships Superman and they will develop the student-mentor relationship I mentioned earlier. Flash is intimidated by Aquaman and Wonder Woman and terrified of Batman. He relates to Black Canary, the nicest one of the bunch and closest to him in age, which of course pisses Green Arrow off. All that said, when the chips are down, Wally will stand his ground for what is right.

Denzel Washington as Green Lantern
The Character: I’m going with John Stewart over Hal Jordan or Kyle Rayner for a number of reasons. First, it of course never hurts to add a minority character, if we’re to be perfectly honest (and since it gives me a chance to use Denzel, well, all the better). Second, Kyle is too similar to the Flash character and Hal would be too similar to Superman; John brings something else to the table. Third”¦did I mention I get to use Denzel? My John Stewart would be the most professional member of the team, a former soldier who is extremely disciplined; he’s also the most well-known and respected super hero in the world after Superman. Basically he’s got Hal’s reputation (pre-Parallax) and animated John’s personality, with a little more badass mixed in because, well, it’s Denzel. GL is the glue that holds the team together; when everybody else gets out of hand, he’s the one who says “SIT DOWN” who they all actually listen to (as opposed to Superman, who is too nice to yell, or Batman, who doesn’t have the patience and would just leave the room). I love the animated John Stewart and I think a similar character will earn an even more prominent role on the big screen.
The Actor: Dude, it’s Denzel”¦you need a reason? Fine. Denzel has perfected the role of the hardened soldier who knows how to whip people into shape. He also has the ability to play well off just about anybody else in the business, both dramatically and comically. He’s also one of the best actors in the world. He’s also an Oscar winner. He’s also THE MAN (TM Tim Stevens 2004). There, five reasons.
Relationships: GL and Superman have worked together and he’s the one guy Supes will defer to on strategy. GL mostly will be playing the role of peacemaker, in particular between Aquaman and Green Arrow. As a soldier, Wonder Woman and her warrior culture fascinate him; they will be a potent duo on the battlefield. Since he and The Atom are about the only levelheaded ones of the bunch, they get along well.

Jude Law as Aquaman
The Character: My Aquaman is going to be the ultimate jerk; I’ll be borrowing a great deal once again from Grant Morrison and Arthu’s “I don’t give a shit unless it affects the ocean” attitude as well as the reactionary aggressive streak Kurt Busiek gave him in JLA/Avengers. He’s going to be the guy who doesn’t want to be there in the first place and then keeps saying “hurry the f*ck up, I want to get back to the ocean” because everybody is taking too long planning for his liking; and if anybody calls him on anything his answer is simply: “Fuck you, I’m a king” (most likely he would not swear like a sailor though, despite my write up here). What he lacks in power he’d make up for by being the most headstrong and first one to go after the bad guy on sheer arrogance. Aquaman has and always will have crappy powers, but you won’t care when you watch this movie, because you will absolutely love to hate him; and he will not wear an orange shirt.
The Actor: Nobody plays the pretty boy prick you can’t stand quite like Jude Law. He’s quite good at being arrogant, but in a way that doesn’t make you want to walk out of the theater, you want to keep watching to see what dickhead move he’ll pull next. Also, he has a history of playing characters that are somewhat off kilter, so he’ll have no trouble reminding us that no matter how cocky he is, Aquaman does not feel comfortable in this world. Law’s Aquaman will be a majestic outsider and an absolute jerk. (Megan suggested Billy Zane might also be a good choice for this part; having only seen him in The Phantom and never having seen Titanic, I don’t have enough to go on, but if you agree with her, e-mail me).
Relationships: Aquaman does not get along with anybody. He’s impatient and is not here to make friends. Superman is too pompous in his view; Flash is an idiot; Batman is a weakling. He is somewhat in awe of Wonder Woman, but does his best not to let her know that. He is going to clash big time with Green Arrow, filling the role of Hawkman in their classic establishment vs common man spars, but with even more vigor because he’s a bigger jerk than Hawkman ever was. Green Lantern will step in to mediate and find himself another target of Aquaman’s aggression.

Ben Kingsley as The Martian Manhunter
The Character: Very complex character and one who won’t make his appearance until about halfway in, so full justice probably won’t be done to him. I’m playing J’onn J’onzz as somebody who has been around a long time, knows what he is doing and instantly gains the respect of everybody who meets him. There is both gentility and sadness to him (I don’t know if we’ll get to go into too much detail about what happened to his race, but it will be referenced if nothing else). In battle he is not terribly aggressive, but is painstakingly effective. He has lost everything and is looking for a home and he is a true hero, willing to risk his life for a people he has never known. My hope is that the character of the Martian Manhunter will make audiences cry both tears of pain and joy.
The Actor: Not just anybody could pull off a role with this many layers, so I had to go with one of the most talented artists in Hollywood in Kingsley. In his Oscar-winning turn as Gandhi he showed the sympathetic side I want to shine through in J’onn, but he has shown in films like Sexy Beast and House of Sand and Fog that he is equally capable of showing rage and stone cold psychosis; J’onn is not an evil man, but he, his tragedy and his otherworldliness should evoke some level of fear and discomfort.
Relationships: J’onn contacted Batman before anybody else and there is tremendous respect between the two men. Superman becomes quick friends with him because of their similar origins. J’onn is the one character who attempts to break through to Wonder Woman. He likes Flash, Black Canary and even Green Arrow because they remind him of the innocence he has lost.

Nathan Fillion as Green Arrow
The Character: You absolutely need Ollie in there if you’re going to bring the JLA to the big screen and you are going to get the very best of Ollie. Loudmouth? Check. Liberal? Check. Smartass? Check. Relentless flirt? Check. Comic relief? Check. Charming as all hell? Check. Hero against all odds who refuses to quit? Check. I love Green Arrow because he can be a jerk one minute, a joke the next, and then still be the guy who refuses to give up when Superman and Wonder Woman just got knocked out and all he has is a bow and arrow”¦he’ll still take the shot and he’ll still mouth off to the bad guy while he does it.
The Actor: Hardest casting job by far. Who can be a complete jerk but the audience will still believe he’s charming enough to bag Black Canary (and be rooting for him)? Who can make a complete ass of himself and then still be inspirational and save the day? The answer was sitting right in front of me as I sat with my girlfriend watching the DVD set of Joss Whedon’s Firefly I recently purchased. Fillion’s Malcolm “Mal” Reynolds is Green Arrow as a cowboy in space, but toned down a bit; you always got the sense that Fillion was ready to go that much more over the top, be that much more of a jerk, a ladies man, a buffoon and a hero”¦here is where he will get the chance (if this movie got made, I predict Nathan Fillion would steal the show and become a bonafide star).
Relationships: In my dreams, GA and Canary come off as having a relationship that will both amuse and make the girls and Tim go “awwww;” they’ll bicker like an old married couple, flirt like teenagers, try to make each other jealous when they really don’t need to, and ultimately come together. GA will go after Aquaman like it’s his job and they will probably come to blows at some point. When Green Lantern steps in, GA will probably snipe at him too, but ultimately they’re destined to become buddies. GA will have some fun at Flas’s expense, try and flirt with Wonder Woman to disastrous results, be surprisingly at ease around J’onn, be the only one to really question Superman and Batman and be confused when The Atom uses big words; Green Arrow is the touchstone who has a relationship with every other member of the cast.

James Marsters as The Atom
The Character: Superman, The Flash, The Martian Manhunter and Black Canary may all end up being more likeable characters, but The Atom is the most sensible, and the one the audience will probably trust the most. He’s incredibly smart, justifying his place in the pantheon, but he has that scientist’s glee at everything he discovers; he never gets bored with what he does. I really like the way he was written by Paul Dini in the JLA: Liberty & Justice one shot as well as how Geoff Johns writes him in Hawkman, those would be my main sources of inspiration. He’s a little shy around people, but his eyes light up like stars when he’s explaining the inner workings of something.
The Actor: Spike of Buffy and Angel fame as an introverted scientist? Has Ben lost it? Seasoned Buffy fans will realize I have not, because I’m not casting Marsters for his portrayal of Spike, but rather his portrayal of William, Spike’s meek, poetic pre-vampire self. When playing William, Marsters exuded a passion for poetry and life that was held down by shyness and a society that mocked him, much in the same way I want The Atom to view science and interact with the gods. Marsters is also a terrifically underrated actor who can bring some real emotion to his work and this would be a good chance for him to show off his range.
Relationships: The Atom will keep to himself a lot, mostly shining in group settings, but I plan for him to have nice character moments with Green Lantern and Batman, both of whom look at him as very reliable, and possibly also with Flash and Green Arrow, who are just blown away by the level at which his mind operates. At some point, The Atom definitely needs to save the day.

Kate Hudson as Black Canary
The Character: My Black Canary is extremely spunky and confident in her abilities; she’s experienced and doesn’t feel she needs to take a backseat to anybody, but unlike Wonder Woman, she’s bubbly, not a bitch. My template for Black Canary is Mark Waid & Brian Augustyn’s take on the character from JLA: Year One. If Diana is the unapproachable princess who scares the dickens out of you, Dinah is the cute girl next door”¦who can still kick your ass.
The Actor: Kate Hudson is a must, given the last sentence of the previous paragraph. She is totally America’s “girl next door” right now, but as she showed in Almost Famous and other movies, she also has an edge to her. I think she’d fare a lot better in an action movie than many might think. She also has a very sly sexiness and an endearing sense of humor (again, see Almost Famous) that would make Black Canary a fan favorite character.
Relationships: See my Green Arrow entry for my take on their relationship. She’ll be the one to tell Batman “relax” when he gets too serious. She’ll also tell Wonder Woman she’s a bitch. She’ll find Flash to be very cute and make him very uncomfortable with her flirtatious nature, mostly to make Green Arrow jealous, but also because she genuinely likes him. She’ll make attempts to bring both J’onn and The Atom out of their respective shells. She’ll just roll her eyes at Aquaman.

James Earl Jones as the voice of Despero
The Character: He’s a complete monster who lives to conquer and cause pain; not much more you need to know. He’s f’in scary. See his appearances in Giffen/DeMatteis’ JLI, in JLA/JSA: Virtue & Vice and the episode “Hearts & Minds” from the second season of the Justice League animated cartoon. He’ll use a lot of brute strength, but he’ll also employ his third eye to turn the heroes against one another, because hypnosis is way too cool a power to waste.
The Actor: The actual Despero will be CGI or a stunt dude, so why not go all out and use the godfather of all evil space villains, Darth Vader himself?
Relationships: He wants to kill/maim/destroy everybody.


The Skeleton Plot

I’m borrowing a great deal from the pilot of the Justice League animated series because I thought it was an excellent introduction to the world of the JLA. Obviously since I’ve got more characters, a bigger scale, a more mature audience, etc. some of the tone will be changed, but plot-wise you will notice a lot of similarities. Also, to be honest, I’ve only got the first half of the movie plotted, but as you’ll see, that’s where YOU come in”¦

-The movie opens on Paradise Island, home of Wonder Woman. Amazons sparring, children playing, etc. obviously all women; we are introduced to Princess Diana via a conversation she is having with her mother Hippolyta, preferably about Man’s World and how Diana wishes to go there and Hippolyta doesn’t want her to (possibly an off-hand reference to Diana winning the contest to become Paradise Island’s ambassador to Man’s World, i.e. become Wonder Woman, and Hippolyta refusing to let her go). Important that Paradise Island is portrayed as just that: Paradise, creating a contrast for when”¦
-Suddenly and violently, fire fills the sky and a giant star-shape blacks out the space above the island, and hundreds of bestial aliens are launched (comic fans will probably realize that the “star” is Starro or The Star Conqueror, although in my movie there are lots of Starros and they are used by our main villain as transport/attack vehicles, no mind controlling face huggers or anything), no two looking alike (a mutt army, like in Lord of the Rings, etc). The Amazons are spurred into battle with the aliens”¦huge battle scene, right off the bat, Amazons taking on aliens, casualties on both sides, with Diana running around trying to keep order”¦and then it all ends with a huge explosion as the aliens detonate a bomb of some sort. Diana is attempting to crawl to her mother, who is lying prone, when a huge silhouette with a fin and three eyes appears behind her”¦she spins around groggy, the silhouette smiles and kicks her in the face. Diana awakens to find her mother and all the other Amazons gone, Paradise Island decimated and her world destroyed”¦she screams as we cut to the credits.

-First scene after the credits takes place in Keystone City. One of the Rogues (I’m gonna pick Captain Boomerang because I like him and because he’s not much of a threat) is robbing a bank. As the cops are held at bay, a flurry of scarlet and yellow disarms Boomerang and we get our first glimpse of The Flash. The cops thank him and ask his name, which disarms the smiling hero a bit. The message is that Flash is just starting out and is a bit of a glory hound, so he wants people to know who he is. He leaves the crime scene and races back to his apartment (no Linda, no parents, Wally lives alone) and changes into plain clothes, makes himself some lunch at light speed. He clicks on the TV.
-This is all to establish Flash as our point of view character, our eyes and ears, so to say.

-Through the TV we are taken to Metropolis where Metallo is raging out of control. Just when it seems he’s going to crush some citizens, he is tapped on the shoulder (and obviously this needs to be THE entrance of the movie) and Superman punches him out; quick pitched battle and Superman is cheered by the crowd and police, who thank him heartily (a contrast to The Flas’s situation). As a smiling Superman is greeting his public, a voice that only we (and Superman) can hear whispers “We’ve got a situation”¦cave”¦now.” Superman takes off with a “Duty calls!” leaving us (and Wally West) wondering where he is going.

-Cut to a subterranean cave filled with technology and trophies”¦Superman enters to a voice from the darkness saying “took you long enough;” Batman emerges from the shadows. Batman explains to Superman that he has detected something going on with UFOs entering Eart’s atmosphere (Paradise Island and other locations). Batman doesn’t want to get involved, “outside his jurisdiction,” but wants Superman to do something about it. The Man of Steel says he’ll look into it and departs, but Batman doesn’t seem terribly confident in his “partner.”

-Another Flash scene and maybe some other stuff, like Superman out of costume junk, goes here”¦also, Aquaman gets introduced at some point during this period with a pan of Atlantis and a conversation between Arthur and Vulko that mirrors the one earlier between Diana and her mother about the outside world, except this time it is Arthur who wants no part of the world beyond Atlantis’ borders”¦hey, I’m no screenwriter, ok!

-Ok, here is our BIG scene that really gets the plot moving”¦another Starro attacks Metropolis Harbor and it’s Superman to the rescue”¦except not, because this time Starro is the weapon and it’s too much for Superman to handle alone. Because it’s the ocean, Aquaman emerges from the depths”¦to bitch out Superman for disturbing the sea! While Superman and Aquaman are bickering, The Flash arrives on the scene and lands thousands of punches on Starro only to be brushed aside by a tentacle. Superman and Aquaman re-enter the battle, but it’s still not enough”¦though Flash is rescued by Superman and has a “whoa” moment. This leaves Aquaman alone against Starro until an emerald boxing glove knocks Starro further out into the ocean and Green Lantern makes his appearance. The quartet gathers for a further assault and the Batplane appears in the air, the battle joined and resembling the cover of the JLA’s origin from the Brave and the Bold. The battle is going to a stalemate until all the combatants look to the sky and see a glowing figure outlined in gold plummeting towards the center of Starro like a rocket”¦Wonder Woman! Diana unleashes a flurry as the men look on in awe and she strikes a point on Starro that causes the alien to explode”¦Diana emerges from the mist covered in goo and looking scary as all hell. Flash has another “whoa” moment. Superman suggests that perhaps it’s time to pool resources and introductions are made”¦cut to Batman in his jet not looking amused.

-We’re back at the Batcave where Batman has shared the info he has gathered. Superman begins to thank him and launch into a plan, but Batman cuts him off”¦gives some riff on his “I don’t trust the fate of humanity to people who are hardly human” and brings in Green Arrow and Black Canary, two adventurers he feels a bit more comfortable trusting (bickering like an old married couple”¦I would be unable to resist Flash inadvertently hitting on Canary, Arrow intervening and Canary firing back at Ollie). He also notes that “having a brain on board wouldn’t hurt” and picks up the phone: enter the Atom.

-We now have our JLA”¦minus one. So Batman thinks it’s time to introduce the guy who has been supplying him with his information; he opens a door and out comes”¦Despero. Diana immediately attacks, recognizing the creature that led the attack on Paradise Island and “Despero” repels her, then before the others can attack morphs into J’onn J’onzz and explains “now you have seen the face of the enemy.”
-J’onn goes on to relate his own origin and how the Martian race was destroyed by Despero, a galactic conqueror with a mercenary army and the Starro battleships at his disposal. The situation is dire, but J’onn has arrived on Earth in time for a defense to be mounted. Superman rises”¦this is a difficult task, but working as one, as a league of heroes devoted to justice, Earth has a chance.


And that’s what I’ve got. So here’s where we do something fun”¦the first ever Watchtower Reader Challenge! The JLA has been formed, Despero is coming and remember: the Amazons are still out there missing somewhere (hint: Despero needs an army and he has a hypnotic third eye)”¦what happens next?

I want you to tell me. You have the next two weeks to submit to me how the rest of the movie goes. People can die, people can live, people can fall in love”¦go nuts. My only rule is that you stick with the characters in the main cast, although feel free to throw in some cameos (and cast them).

I will meticulously pour over the entries and the best one will be reprinted here in The Watchtower”¦ok, and I’ll send you some comics or something.

The Nexus/InsidePulse folks are eligible to enter, but there will be a winner who is not an employee, this I guarantee.

So hit the computers and I’ll be back next week with another special treat a lot of you have been asking for since Megan made her debut on the Roundtable a couple weeks back.

Oh yeah”¦

In the mean time, thanks for reading.