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Tuesday, August 13, 2013

This Means Justice League: War

I'm betting this is how Aquaman feels upon word of the newest DC Animated movie, Justice League: War, coming in 2014. Why is he so mad? Because there doesn't seem to be any indication that Aquaman will be part of it, despite the fact that it's based upon the first six issues of the New 52 Justice League book, where the team--including ol' Arthur here--squared off against Darkseid!

Seriously--they've announced who will be playing Superman (Alan Tudyk), Batman (Jason O'Mara), Wonder Woman (Michelle Monaghan), Flash (Christopher Gorham), Green Lantern (Justin Kirk), and Cyborg (Shemar Moore), but not a single mention of Aquaman! What's the deal, Warner Brothers?

Post Script: All around the web, WB seems to be taking down the promo video for the movie, but you can still find it here. Thanks to newest F.O.A.M.er Moise Gamin-duPont for the link!

Post Script 2: As if DC is personally trying to hurt me, it would seem (based on the video), that Aquaman's role in the movie is being taken by...Shazam.

Post Script 3: I wrote this in the comments, but I think it's worth repeating here: there may be a perfectly justifiable reason why Aquaman has been removed from this movie. But the fact that DC/WB saw no reason to mention what that might be--not anticipating (or simply not caring) people's reaction--is the part that confounds me the most.

Aquaman is one of DC's biggest hits in the New 52, so removing him from a major project like this was bound to incite some gnashing of teeth. Why not head it off by addressing it (even briefly) up front?

Post Script 4: Over on our Twitter feed, we see that Warner Bros. itself has taken notice of this post! So please keep commenting, sharing, and tweeting (remember to be polite, though, please!). This is the best way for us Aqua-Fans to be heard!



r duncan said...

Not Shazam! Drat!

Richard said...

People who love Captain Marvel are as angry about this as you are, because people who love Captain Marvel hate this "New 52 Shazam" travesty with a passion. So they've managed to annoy to fan constituencies with one move.

Earth 2 Chris said...

The New DC's Mission Statement:

1. Exploit

2. Annoy

That is all.


Jorge PR said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jorge PR said...

Maybe they just haven't cast him yet? (dreaming costs nothing...)

There are lots of Arthur's frames shots in the video, despite he not being mentioned at all, but why to show him if he won't be there? And in the 7:42 mark, they make a close-up of Aquaman, so there might be hope.

But even if not, please no Shazam in his place! That would be the final insult.

Anonymous said...

Commander Blanx declares, "While I have my issues with Cyborg replacing Martian Manhunter as a JLA founder, my main problem is that I've never found Vic Stone remotely interesting. I let it go though, because I understand the need to improve diversity among DC properties. Also, because J'Onn J'Onzz requires the opportunity to exist as a solo character instead of remaining the JLA's mascot/resident eunuch. Ideally, they're saving Aquaman as a surprise guest, but barring that, his exclusion gives me hope the he seriously has his own movie (live action or animated) in the pipeline. Most of the criticism leveled against Aquaman for decades was derived from his poor use in Super Friends and Justice League. While he suffered from exclusion in the '80s & '90s, he still came out of that period as a stronger character who proved himself with several successful mini-series and a long lived solo ongoing. However, if they just arbitrarily replaced Aquaman with Captain Marvel, it's a travesty. That simply does not make sense on any level beyond Johns having a boner for his dubious reinvention of Shazam. Small children will point and say "why dere two supermanses?" The good news is that I've skipped most of the Superman/Batman cartoons, and if Wonder Woman's role is as small as it seems (lots of time with the voice actress, virtualy none with the character,) this will be one less I have to suffer through. I swear, DC only tops Marvel in animation by default, since Marvel's DTV movies somehow manage to be even worse."

Jorge PR said...

I just checked Wikipedia, and there says Aquaman won't be (well, it doesn't say that, but Arthur is not in the cast), and which is worse, Shazam is in! No actor is listed for Shazam in IMDb though.

The listed cast in Wikipedia is:

Jason O'Mara as Bruce Wayne / Batman
Alan Tudyk as Clark Kent / Superman
Michelle Monaghan as Princess Diana / Wonder Woman
Christopher Gorham as Barry Allen / The Flash
Justin Kirk as Hal Jordan / Green Lantern
Shemar Moore as Victor Stone / Cyborg
Travis Willingham as Shazam
Steven Blum as Darkseid

Bleak said...

As much as this ticks me off, it also doesn't surprise me. Aquaman fans should be used to getting screwed over by now. He wasn't part of the core team in the Justice League animated series, (relegated to a handful of guest appearances), was replaced by Cyborg in the Doom animated feature, was replaced by Robin as part of the JL in Lego Batman 2, has apparently been absent from some of the scripts for the upcoming, (yeah right), JL movie, and has had only short cameos in other JL movies such as The New Frontier and Crisis on Two Earths.

So you can understand why I am not surprised at all.

Designer Daddy said...

Rob, can we do anything to protest/complain/boycott? I know there's little we can do now to change the film, but I'd at least like DC to hear our collective voice.

And I'd give full support to anything you come up with on The Shrine.

This isn't only surprising to me, it's blatantly insulting.

Ben said...

Bad for my fandom.

Good for my wallet!

Joseph Brian Scott said...

Aquaman's getting his own animated film but being cut out of the JLA one? Doesn't make any sense.

Earth 2 Chris said...

"Aquaman's getting his own animated film but being cut out of the JLA one? Doesn't make any sense."

The New DC. There's No Understanding Them Now.


Ryan said...

Hey DC!

When you put Cyborg with the Titans he's the cornerstone of the team. When you put him with the League he's a token character who will always be out-shined.

When you changed Captain Marvel's name to SHAZAM it didn't change the fact that he will always be a nostalgia character with a limited following.

But Aquaman is the break-out hit of the New 52, a BAMF in Injustice & Flashpoint and yet you exclude him from War?

Guess my money is no good to you then.

Russell said...

Rodney Dangerfield called Aquaman from heaven. He says, "Tough luck, man!We'll NEVER get any respect!"

rob! said...

Responding to various comments:

--It's entirely possible Aquaman will be in this in some capacity, maybe even in a surprise last minute appearance ala New Frontier. There are so few surprises left in movies or TV anymore that I think I'd enjoy something actually unexpected happening.

--I don't think DC cares at all about a protest or organized complaint.

--I'd argue calling Cyborg a "token" character (aside from the loaded double meaning that word carries), anymore than I would Hawkgirl when she replaced Aquaman in JLU. Sometimes its nice to shake up the Big 7, although of course it'd be nice if it wasn't always Aquaman or MM who is losing his slot.

--There may be a perfectly justifiable reason why Aquaman has been removed from this movie. But the fact that DC saw no reason to even mention what that might be--not anticipating (or simply not caring) people's reaction--is the part that confounds me the most.

Aquaman is one of their biggest hits, removing him from a major project like this was bound to incite some gnashing of teeth; why not head it off by addressing it (even briefly) up front?

Unknown said...

The New 52 version of the world's mightiest mortal is a mere shadow of the real Captain Marvel.

Tegan said...

For me, no Aquaman means I'm not even slightly interested. They've lost my money.

MetropolisKid41 said...

How do they leave out Aquaman? Seriously?!?! In addition to Aquaman not only being in the actual story this is based on, he also in the time period this story arc was being published had a solo title that was one of the top 10 selling monthly books! Aquaman's solo ongoing book outsold every Marvel book being published!!!! That's something Wonder Woman and Flash can't say, yet they're in the movie. This is ridiculous! Aquaman has proved that he's a top tier character despite DC and WB trying to snub him.

Anonymous said...

Gives me more of a reason not to watch it. I hated the first arc of Justice League and with Aquaman now out, just tells me that I won't have to give a living thought about this again.

Sphinx Magoo said...

Looks like they're trying to legitimize their poor handling of Captain Marvel (yeah, that's right: CAPTAIN MARVEL) by sticking that Bizarro version of him in this movie to replace Aquaman.

Amzi said...

Well, if there's an Aquaman movie at least I can buy that instead.

Aaron said...

Is it possible that DC feels Aquaman us a top seller and Captain Marvel is a dud? Maybe they're just trying to give him some exposure?
I'm not saying it's a GOOD plan, but maybe that's the rationale?

Michael Holloway said...

I must agree with all my fellow Aquaman fans that our beloved Sea King needs and deserves a place in the new "Justice League: War" movie, and perhaps in time his own live action or animated TV series or movie. Aquaman is THE BEST superhero and one who needs to be shown more love.

Joe Slab said...

@the ghost who blogs -

I was just thinking the same thing! Aquaman is in the forefront of a lot of recent well-received mainstream exposure with his best-selling title and appearances in INJUSTICE Game & Flashpoint Paradox and DC is DESPERATE for fans to embrace characters like Cyborg & SHAZAM -- so hence they are placed in high exposure projects like DOOM & WAR.

In any case, you can follow ongoing conversation between the Shrine and WB PR man Gary Miereanu where he confirms both our fears about WAR and that another DCAU feature is already in producing with the Sea King at its helm. So there's that :)

Joe Slab

Joe Slab said...

*** the conversation I am referring to is via Twitter!

Sphinx Magoo said...

Warner could easily solve this by having Aquaman AND Captain Marvel (yes, I said CAPTAIN MARVEL) in JL:W.

See, I know of Rob's grudge against Earth's Mightiest Mortal, but there's no reason we can't let by-gones be by-gones and get 2 heroes for the price of 1. Plus, I think Warner and DC wimped out by changing Captain Marvel's moniker. It should be a proud mark of defiance against the House of Mouse that he be called Captain Marvel.

Kent G. Hare said...

^Bleak - My two favorite DC properties are (individual) Aquaman and (group) Legion of Super-Heroes. I'm used to being kicked around too by now. I noticed Aquaman's absence from the JL War previews, too, and just sighed resignedly. DC is doing so much wrong these days, and so little right. But I support wholeheartedly any efforts to make them rectify this.

^Sphinx Magoo - Damn right. The REAL Captain Marvel is probably my second favorite individual character - NOT "Shazam". And DC should always promote him, within legal trademark limits - as "The REAL Captain Marvel."

Luke said...

I don't get DC. They have a popular underdog character outselling major titles and they still won't give him any respect. So frustrating. Undermining a character like this is a self-fulfilling prophesy.

Bleak said...


God stuff sir. Aquaman has been far and away my favourite DC character for over 30 years. :)

Anonymous said...

I actually like New 52 Shazam but still I want to understand the logic of replacing Aquaman with Shazam. This doesn't make sense.

Andy Luckett said...

I wholeheartedly echo the feelings of my fellow commenters. It truly makes no sense to omit a cornerstone "Original 7" character with unique powers from the group, only to sub in a character whose power set is similar to Superman's. I do think Captain Marvel is a worthwhile character, but his presence in this Justice League lineup waters down the variety of the team.

Beyond that, omitting the Sea King takes away all that he brings to the comic book storyarc, such as the fantastic moments of sharks attacking Parademons and Aquaman jamming his trident into Darkseid's face. Also lost are the interesting dynamics of Arthur thinking himself the natural leader, and clashing with Batman and Green Lantern over that issue.

But for some unknown reason, DC Animation makes more work for themselves by reconfiguring the story to include a Captain Marvel that is barely fully formed in the New 52 continuity, who has had no interaction with the team.

Why tear out a chunk of an existing story and patch it with part of another? If DC Animation wants to use Captain Marvel, great. Give him his own movie as well, based on whatever storyline they like. The more good animated movies, the more we all benefit. But don't drop important characters that your audience wants to see without any explanation. It comes off as disrespectful.

Diabolu Frank said...

@andy luckett "Why tear out a chunk of an existing story and patch it with part of another?"

In their defense, that's what they did when "Tower of Babel" was adapted as "Doom," and I thought that worked out very well. There's certainly room for improving that godawful first New 52 arc. Say, is "War" a stopgap flashback, or did the departure of Batman in "Doom" mark the unofficial end of the Timmverse? I haven't watched "The Flashpoint Paradox," so maybe that's the endpoint?

Earth 2 Chris said...

None of the DCU animated movies really fit into the DCAU/Timmverse. Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths was originally intended to be the follow up to Justice League's "Starcrossed" 3-parter, and lead-in into JLU. But they didn't do it then, so they dusted it off years later. So it doesn't really fit into that continuity. Sure there are elements from the Timm shows, but they don't really fit into that timeline.


Shellhead said...

Two steps forward, one step back.