Get ready for the longest article you've ever seen in your life. (I'm totally serious...this will separate the men from the boys).
Zack Snyder's Aquaman picture reveal brought about some interesting and often heated discussion among the comic book movie community. A good many fans feel that it doesn't look anything like the Aquaman they know and grew up with, while fans of Zack Snyder's approach say that it isn't really that much different as far as liberties taken go with the film versions of other comic book characters. A few people quickly go to knee-jerk defense mode with criticisms of the MARVEL Studios films under the wrongful assumption that anyone who disapproves of what Snyder and WB are doing with the DC characters is automatically a "MARVEL only fan looking to hate" because of a comic book company "rivalry" or whatever. They get critical of how MARVEL handle their costumes and characters, with some claiming their interpretations aren't really that much like the source material to begin with and a few even going as far as to say that the MARVEL Cinematic Universe approach isn't anything like the comics at all -- a sort of weird justification in and of itself when one misrepresentation doesn't justify another.
Of course, many of the critics of Zack Snyder's Aquaman aren't solely MARVEL fans looking to hate on the look because of a petty "rivalry" between companies, but actual fans of DC Comics and Aquaman themselves, however, in the minds of many throughout the community it seems you can only be one or the other.
So, in this article, I will examine and quantify many of the more popular comparisons and see just how well the two mighty giants of superheroes measure up against each other when the lights are dimmed and the curtains drawn, and the cinematic adventures we discuss for years to come begin. So grab Michael and the popcorn because...
One common justification from some Zack Snyder fans for the WB/DC race changes seem to be the film version of Nick Fury, played by Samuel L. Jackson. Now I'm not sure if they're being disingenuous, are just not very bright, or just genuinely don't know, but the film version of Nick Fury is based off of Ultimate MARVEL Nick Fury from the Ultimate MARVEL Comics line, who is black and based off of Samuel L .Jackson. Ultimate Marvel Nick Fury did not replace the regular MARVEL Comics 616 reality white one when he was created, we still had both and one did not negate the other, it was the best of both worlds, just as the horny, cannibalistic, murderous, grey Ultimate Hulk did not replace the regular green Hulk who was not evil, but just wanted to be left alone, from the regular MARVEL Comics:
So this is not changing a character or race swapping (or modern day blackface and white guys dressed up like indians as I call it, only difference being that unlike that stupidity, in today's stupidity the races actually are changed with the characters, not just the actors) in the movies but rather staying true to what the characters are.
It's also pretty common knowledge for anyone that has followed these films that the MARVEL films tend to draw a lot from the Ultimate MARVEL Universe and amalgamate it with elements of the classic MARVEL Comics Universe. So pretty much everybody knows that MARVEL Cinematic Universe Nick Fury is based off of Ultimate Nick Fury, who is based off of Sam Jackson, so how can that possibly be wrong?
He was based off of Jackson years before the prospect of any of these movies, too, it only makes sense that they'd get the perfect actor Ultimate Fury incarnate to play him:
^ Nobody has to tell you that's Nick Fury.
Movie Hawkeye is based off of Ultimate Hawkeye as well:
^ Yup, nobody had to tell anybody that was Hawkeye.
^ Scarjo may not have been my personal choice for Black Widow, but there's no denying she looks the part and much more so than Jason Momoa does Aquaman. Solution: They dyed her hair *gasp!*. Beats going God knows what direction and accentuating the problem by giving her a ton of tattoos since "hard assassins usually have them", eh? Or something else equally dumb.
Sure, some think the Cap movie suit could have been a littlebetter, but it still looks a helluva lot like Captain America.
Captain America's alter ego, Steve Rogers, also looks pretty much identically like his comic book counterpart. This is, IMO, one of the best CBM castings of all time. They've even got the color of Steve's transformation pants right. The true care and attention to detail here is wondrously commendable. In fact I'd say it's... MARVELOUS.
We were lucky to even get Bucky since they drew so heavily from the Ultimate Universe, and Bucky had been dead for years in the regular MARVEL continuity, but nevertheless they did a great job with him and Winter Soldier. And guess what? Still looks like him.
Sure, I'll give you Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch, but their costumes look like amalgamations of their classic and Ultimate uniforms for the most, and the actors chosen to play the characters they have made resemble them through their hair color and features at least, which is more than can be said for Snyder's Aquaman and the rest of his JL cast.
Besides, look at Black Panther:
^ Funny....Hemsworth looks more like the Peter David Aquaman that Snyder's Aquamariner is supposedly "based off", you know, the one "cursed" for his blonde hair.
Was it really THAT hard to find actors that looked like the characters and could act and embody their personalities as well? MARVEL seems to have no trouble with doing that ten times over. DC/WB, not so much. Are we REALLY going to say that MARVEL is "just as bad as DC/WB" and "gets just as little right as they do!" because one or two characters' costumes aren't quite as on mark as the others? Really?
Now I've nothing against subtext and little attentions to detail that enhance the characters and are within the parameters of the characters that help make them a little more tangible, but I can't help but think that given that MARVEL Comics' Thor is inspired by the Thor of Norse mythology, Zack Snyder would be more likely to give us one that looks like the images below just for those reasons. As anyone familiar with Norse mythology knows, there's a great deal of difference between the MARVEL Comics character and the one of myth, one of the most notable ones being the mythological Thor has red hair instead of blonde.
Snyder would in all likelihood lean toward the "real" Thor, the one of myth, because it would presumably measure as more "realistic" to him than the Thor of comics for some reason. And while it can be debated for days over which is more "realistic" of the two, "silly" or not, this is not the MARVEL Comics Thor on which the movie is supposed to be based. In fact, it looks a lot like Volstagg:
^ Yes, that's actor Ray Stevenson up there from The Punisher: Warzone. It seems MARVEL doesn't like much to go to waste, eh? (And almost seems like some unintended form of subtext by having a character there that looks like that)
Now as I said, I'm fine with a little bit of parallel, subtext, and real world comparisons here or there, but WB/DC and Snyder seem to lose the characters within them. A good example of a proper use of subtext and parallel, a "real world parallel" no less, is the War On Terror one found within Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight:
This is a good example of subtext well done; it's not overt, it hasn't consumed the character and is merely a parallel for a scene, and is not the central theme of the film or what the character(s) is(are) all about. It's one of many nice little threads that tie the film together.
Unlike the sequel, The Dark Knight Rises, which is essentially a 3 hour film of Nolan sociopolitical commentary on the Occupy Wall Street movement with Nolan characters and a 20 minute Batman cameo thrown in. Hardly seems like a Batman movie at all.
And while this isn't necessarily a bad thing on its own, it's not really what the character is and is about.
Like in the case of the new Aquaman, or how Superman and Clark Kent were very much lost to Jesus destiny speeches and symbolism engulfing the character instead of remembering that a Superman film still had to be made and that they needed to show how Clark and Superman are interwoven together, and that the reporter aspect of him is just as much a part of him as his powers are, in Man Of Steel. It's not just another job he takes and learns, it's something deeply essential to his character. Superman and Daily Planet Clark are all extensions of Smallville Clark, who is just Clark Kent, the man, with the powers of Superman (i.e., the "real" guy of the different identities and the one from which they stem). This is overlooked and ignored entirely in Zack Snyder's film in favor of unfitting Jesus parallels, and the reporter aspect is limply tacked on to the character at the end, with little more explanation than we had for any of the other random jobs Clark took in the film that didn't make much sense to begin with.
What they seemed to have missed is that while Superman can learn and do almost anything, his writing and journalism isn't a skill; it's a talent.
^ Skill is something you learn. Like mowing the lawn and stocking shelves and cleaning dishes for most people. And like in this part from Superman: Red Son, in which he learns medical skills at superspeed. That's a skill.
^ Talent is something you take to naturally, something you've done on your own and in your spare time and are naturally geared towards. Like playing an instrument or making a painting. It's something strongly tied to who he is, and is something he's been doing all of his life. It's not just "another job" to him that he does for convenience. It's who Clark Kent is. A journalist.
But instead of this, which is something people would have liked to have known about the character and would have made him stronger to people and actually made him more of a person, we mostly get this:
And a bunch of Jesus destiny speeches about how "preordained" Superman is and how he will become this kryptonian "messiah", "savior of mankind", with little taken into account about how much this really doesn't make sense for a character who was sent here from a dying world to save himself, not us. So while it is because of Krypton that he has his powers, it is only because he IS Clark Kent and the Kents found him that he grows up and decides to become Superman on his own (nature VS nurture themes that would have made Man Of Steel a very strong film, themes that were hinted at in interviews with writer David Goyer but ultimately left unrealized in the actual film), not because he was fulfilling a mostly predetermined destiny by his ghost father upon its revelation to him. Superman is something Clark Kent created, it is his "performing name" a la his costume's circus origins. Those aspects are the things that make Superman work as a character, and have made him the enduring success and phenomenon that he's been for over 70 years (really, Superman is the last character who should ever lose his secret identity or true costume due to a hipster counterculture that wouldn't exist if not for Superman, since he started BOTH of those concepts which became known as the superhero). So they lost all emphasis on Clark Kent in the quest to continue to broaden the Jesus analogy that started in the original Christopher Reeve film, and consumed the character almost completely in Man Of Steel.
(And yes, it is true that Superman returns played this up as well)
It is true that Zack Snyder cannot be blamed exclusively for this in MOS even if it is at its most blatant there, because the Jesus/Superman parallel subtext really first took off and has its roots within the original Reeve film, which, to its credit is very well written and that goes for the film itself in its entirety as well (I suppose that's the difference between getting the writer of The Godfather and getting the writer of Blade Trinity), but why was this added there in the first place, especially when if there were a religious parallel of the character before it was always Moses? (Moses/Superman: Child sent away from destruction to save himself grows up to be a hero and fights bald villain (who built a city in some incarnations of Lex Luthor and like Pharoh), which is where the similarities begin and end).
Well seeing as Superman: The Movie was the first serious really big budget movie attempt at superheroes, and the last mainstream public recollection of them was mostly the comedic and campy Adam West Batman TV show (which is what the producers wanted Superman: The Movie to be like, and director Richard Donner had to fight hard against, even though the films ended up becoming pretty close to that not long after Donner left them), the filmmakers wanted to find a way for audiences to take the character (and superheroes) seriously.
So they looked to religion, because what do people take more seriously than that?
Not just religion, but the most famous figure associated with it: Jesus. And figured that if they drew parallels between Superman and Jesus, that because people take religion and Jesus seriously, they will take Superman seriously, too. It seems to have paid off for the most part, but while I admire the intent, I disagree with this being the way to do it, and believe the characters can be taken seriously and work on their own, but I understand the reasons for doing it. It's an unfitting parallel we especially don't need today and never really did, and should be omitted in favor of playing towards the character's strengths like the wonderful animated series have done. Nowadays, this initial interest in providing "subtext" with DC characters seems to have gotten way, way out of hand.
Also, had they not been so caught up in Jesus "subtext" and imagery, and giving Superman a beard because Bruce Wayne had one in Batman Begins, they could have maybe shown to audiences how Superman shaves instead of just running an ad campaign on it making it more overt and then not bothering to address it at all in the film.
Not only would this have enhanced the character by answering a valid question and provided some levity from within the characters in a film filled with mostly destruction porn, but also the filmmakers would have learned how heat vision worked if they'd bothered to check this out; and that it travels with the eye, not solely with the head, thus further negating the already half baked and poorly developed/illustrated scenario in which Superman must break Zod's neck at the end of the film.
I say all that to say that I really don't understand why WB/DC, including Snyder, feel the constant to do this with as many of their characters as possible, and stretch them into things that they aren't in the slightest. Is it that they don't understand them? Are they just bored with them? Do they not have enough faith in them working on their own? Do they just not like them or care?
I don't need Aquaman to have his race changed and have polynesian tattoos and be a pacific islander (he's from Atlantis, not Pacifis), and look like a rocker Pirates Of The Caribbean reject to enjoy him and for him to be good as a character. I don't need Batman to be made into sociopolitical commentary to enjoy him. I don't need a Wonder Woman who is like a "female Superman" and doesn't embrace her femininity and is "hard and tough" and like Xena in order for me to enjoy her. And I don't need to see Superman turned into Jesus in order to enjoy him or for him to be good.
And neither do audiences. There's a time and a place for all of that, and it's just not here. Let the characters be themselves for once and they will work fine. They're great characters, after all.
Now with all of that in mind, let us really contrast all of the MARVEL castings, costumes, actors, and direction with that of the Snyderverse from WB that are supposed to represent the DC characters:
Could just as easily went with something like this ^ (excuse the poor manip) over the gloomy garbage they did, the "shorts' were never the "problem" with Superman, they're no less "realistic" than the rest of his suit, and they're an iconic part of his costume that the public is well familiar with for over 70 years. They are a thing to be proud of and own up to and embrace, and like the rest of his costume, only work if you want them to, and using the "it's from outer space" justification would have worked just as easily for those as it would the rest of his costume. It breaks up the colors, helps ...ermm..."conceal" him better (seriously, any guy who's ever tried on tights knows what I mean...just think male equivelent of a woman wearing a really tight shirt with no bra, and you should get the picture...only it's much less becoming because it's...you know....a d*** .. :-P).
Also, someone please explain to me how the Man Of Steel suit is anything like the New 52 Superman suit? I hear from people all the time how "it's based off of that", and I'm wondering "how?". I mean look at the two of them, the one has a utility belt, collar, and armor all over, and the other has piping and is made of almost snakeskin like material. Not to mention the fact that MOS was already far into production when New 52 debuted, making it pretty much impossible for it to have been based off of it. It just simply isn't any way you look at it (and even the MOS suit as is is an improvement to the New 52 Superman armored-collared robo-puzzle-lines all over it suit).
^ Looks nothing like any version of Wonder Woman, ever. Reds are all browns (color of crap so it fits), costume is like Xena, who was NOT based off of Wonder Woman, Wonder Woman didn't even wear armor beyond the occasional ceremonial once or twice a decade in any major story until AFTER the Xena Warrior Princess show (Kingdom Come, New Frontier). The actress is too skinny and pole like with no curves and only resembles the character through high cheek bones and hair color, she is israeli looking and has an israeli accent and can barely speak fluent english, and is a terrible actress so don't count on the aforementioned being disguised -- and no, this does not make sense or add "realism" to a magic amazon who has always spoke whatever language of her choice perfectly before, who, if all else fails, has a telepathic tiara and a magic lasso of truth to help her to do so. If Wonder Woman had a "non white" specific ethnicity, it would be a GREEK one, as well as the accent, NOT an israeli one, and saying the two are the same or similar is as dumb as saying mexican is the same as italian. Another Snyder fail.
And the whole "it's a filter" thing on the images and "they will look totally different later on" is bullcrap because THAT is how the director chose to show them to us and is what they will look like in the film. It ain't gonna look red and blue in live action, it'll be just like that.
Yes, we know the Batman suit won't be monochrome in the film like its initial picture reveal, but it was only taken as a monochrome picture because WB didn't want to rock the boat too much with their most popular character who is known to the world as being in mostly solid black suddenly appearing in a black and gray like suit so early on.
Just like how the first image of Superman in MOS had him looking exactly how he would in the film, but his missing shorts that should have been there were hidden by the deliberate pose they had him in as not to stir the pot too much early on.
There's also a myth going around by Snyder fans that Gal Gadot not only looks more like Wonder Woman in the face than Lynda Carter, but body too, and that's absolutely ludicrous. Gadot fans also claim that she and Lynda Carter were the same weight, and if that even is true, it doesn't matter because you simply cannot tell with Carter because she is proportioned and distributed vastly better all over than Gal Gadot. It's as though the only way fans of Snyder's take can prop his Wonder Woman up is if they tear the old one down and besmirch it to try and brighten the contrast.
I mean just look at this strictly off of the face and body and tell me who looks more like Wonder Woman to you:
Doesn't help that Gall Gagot's making Goldblum face in the pic, either:
Fans of Snyder's Wonder Woman also criticize Lynda Carter's acting abilities by saying she's no better than Gadot, which makes you question if they've ever seen either act, or even speak: Lynda Carter can at least speak fluent english, and also has a personality and projects intelligence. Gal Gadot looks more like an anorexic Kardashian than anything Wonder Woman.
And nobody wants that.
Actually, in truth, Kim Kardashian would probably be a better Wonder Woman than Gadot: she's just as awful an actress, but at least she'd look more like the character. That's a 0.01 on a scale of 1 to 10 (Hey, Affleck's Batman, it's a brave new world ).
And how about The Flash:
Yeah. I think we can pretty much universally agree that this is the worst casting decision ever made in a superhero movie. He's pretty effeminate and androgynous and looks asian in the face, and like he'd reek of second rate pot and leftover fast food in a car. Doesn't have any personality traits like the character either; he's got virtually nothing in common with any version of The Flash. A dog playing a cat makes more sense than this. He doesn't even have anything in common with the worst Flash of all, Bart Impulse Allen:
Even if you cut his hair, he still couldn't be further from the character. Everything from his face and features all the way down to his personality and how he comes off in everything:
He just looks and acts like a chick, and he deliberately enhances that and plays it up and to that and is very proud of that. Now this isn't a problem, but it is for The Flash, one of the most hetero dudes of all time, particularly when this actor Ezra Miller will be providing a physical performance and not just a voice (even then, there are better voice actors for the part).
Sure, Sir Ian McKellen is gay, John Wesley Shipp has been rumored to be gay, and Neil Patrick Harris is gay, the last two even played The Flash, one in live action, the other just voiced him, but those guys still looked and came off as men and masculine, and nobody would have ever guessed that they were gay unless they told you. Yes, Heath Ledger played a gay cowboy, but even in the film he was still masculine and acting like a man (sans tent scenes), and yes, he was handsome, and The Joker is scary, but Heath's handsome features were disguised by makeup and prosthetics.
Same applies to Michael Keaton, who had the intensity and piercing eyes that worked as Batman, and had 95% of his body covered in the suit, and was played by martial artists, acrobats, and belly dancers throughout.
The Flash isn't like that and his mask is completely different (assuming Snyder even respects that). Also, Zack Snyder is NOT Christopher Nolan or even Tim Burton.
Nolan's worst film is Interstellar.
Burton's worst film is Dark Shadows.
Snyder's worst film is Sucker Punch.
His best film is Dawn Of The Dead (or 300 for most). Both Interstellar and Dark Shadows are infinitely easier to sit through than Sucker Punch. And I understand that Snyder may mean well and think he's just emulating the WB "wild card everyone hates becomes a huge success" route that's occurred with the aforementioned roles before (Keaton, Ledger), but he is neither the talent or visionary to make the "WB wild card" a success, and neither are the actors he has selected. Even prior to their comic book movie roles, Keaton and Ledger were some of the best at their crafts.
Sure, Ezra Miller gets praise for being decent in Perks Of Being A Wallflower and We Need To Talk About Kevin, but who was he playing in those films? A flamboyant yet insightful homosexual and an eccentric, weird, "deep" and pretentious creepy kid, two things not very far from the real Ezra Miller (aside from the murderous part in Kevin of course).
Heath Ledger and Michael Keaton were the EXCEPTIONS to the stunt casting "wild card" rule, not the rule of thumb. Look at all the other off the wall choices WB has had for the characters over the years: Nicholas Cage, Sean Penn, Ralph Fiennes, and Will Smith as Superman (Smith at least had the good sense and the brains and balls the studio didn't to turn down the roll because he said "Superman is white and you can't be messin' with white people's superheroes"), Bill Murray as Batman, Marlon Wayans as Robin, Jim Carey and Tim Allen as Brainiac, Jack Black as Green Lantern, and even Oscar winner Halle Berry as Catwoman, all were notably bad ideas, despite being very talented at what they do. There is a part in movies for everyone but not everyone is right for every part, making movies one of the most diverse but discriminatory fields in the world because it has to be to nurture and stay true to its creativity (or what sometimes is its creativity, I should say, given the lack thereof these days).
Stunt casting for big names is no different than and is just as bad as stunt casting for big names and political correctness/diversity or just political correctness/diversity.
Ezra Miller...even if this guy wasn't gay, you'd still think he was by being around him, aside from being just downright irritated by this guy's personality in general and trying to ignore the fact you'd like to punch him in the face.
I don't believe they could have found a worse choice for the part. You could throw a rock and hit a guy more like The Flash than Ezra Miller as well as much of the rest of this cast.
And while Grant Gustin may not be perfect, he easily looks and is a helluva lot more like the character than Ezra Miller, and could be made to be even more like the character than he is (re: blonder hair) pretty easily:
Like him or hate him, a "Peter Parker" Flash is still within the parameters of the character (a "guy next door", all american, "adorkable", joe suburban, easy going, down to earth type) than anything Ezra Miller is.
Yessir. Grant's the man.
Whoever would pick Ezra Miller over Grant Gustin, even just off paper, as the character needs their head examined. Again, I'm not in the "It has to be connected to the CW and it MUST be Gustin" group, just in the "Not Ezra Miller, and someone who fits the part just a bit" group.
And LOL @ anyone who seriously thinks this is what we will get with Ezra Miller as Flash in the Justice League film by Snyder, that they will make him look anything like this:
You're totally wrong.
They did not go through all the effort of picking up the phone and calling this guy to cast him as The Flash (exactly how it happened, btw: http://comicbook.com/2015/01/23/ezra-miller-recalls-moment-he-became-the-flash/ ) because they want him to look anything like the character. We will not be getting a Flash who looks like "Chris Evans' younger brother" in the film with this guy, like I have said. We will be lucky if they even trim his hair.
Just as I told the Snyder apologists we will not get an Aquaman that looks anything like this:
And that we will not get a Gal Gadot Wonder Woman who is anything like this:
One of the last rumors on Green Lantern was that this is the "Green Lantern" they were speculated to use:
Potentially played by Michele Rodriguez:
Since then, it's been revealed that it's not true (the Michele Rodriguez part at least), and she delivered one of the best clarity smackdowns ever and pointed out how stupid and WRONG race swapping and changing characters for the sake of "diversity" is, she's probably got the biggest set of lady-balls ever and I commend her for her words and bravery.
I hope the studios took note, but it's too bad they probably wouldn't listen anyway, even if they did see it. But would it honestly have surprised ANYONE if that rumor WERE true at this point, given the rest of the castings and direction? Absolutely not.
To call everyone racist, sexist, and bigots and equate them with the KKK and nazis because they don't like the idea of turning a character into something he or she isn't is incredibly ignorant and wrong. Unless they say and imply they hate women and/or different races in general and don't believe they have any place anywhere in cinema, or don't believe they should be superheroes, then they're not racists, bigots, or sexists. It is amazing how the media and how many pop culture pundits are always trying to do away with "rules" like they don't matter, even at the expense of the characters. The characters have characteristics and traits they adhere to that makes them characters. The look and sex of a thing is just as important as it is to me or you, and in the case of making a movie and bringing the characters to life, you must treat them as though they are real life, as they are me or you or any historical figure you've only read about in different paper pages and never met and have only watched in different shows on television, in order to bring them to life and have people buy in, hence the term "bring to life". So no, that does not mean that Steve Rogers can be a black man or woman. He has to be Steve Rogers.
Is it really a "surprise" that people are rightfully outraged when a character that is one way and that way in people's minds is suddenly being portrayed the opposite way, and are they wrong for showing frustration over it? Of course not! That's one of the reasons why these companies do these stunts: to get people outraged and create controversy, because controversy = interest, interest = attention, and there's no such thing as "bad publicity" in the minds of many entertainment businesses.
I'm really tired of seeing the "smarter than the average fan" people in charge say this sort of condescending and disingenuous thing. Almost like assuming someone hates Star Wars because they don't like the prequels, therefore they must be against Star Wars. Nope, they just don't like those ideas with Star Wars because they don't feel they're very good, even if others do.
WARNER BROS and ZACK SNYDER cast all of the people they wanted for a reason. It's because they have a plan, and that's pretty plain for anyone to see, good or bad. They believe that people will only go to see a movie if there's someone in it who looks like EVERYONE, instead of just a good movie with great characters, that represents the icons we know and love as people know and love them. When the comic books wanted different ethnic characters, they did something not even Hollywood has done: they created them, and many of those characters went on to become not just some of the most successful and popular non-white male superheroes, but some of the best characters in general of all time. The comics industry has always been home to some of the most forward thinking people in entertainment, many of the non-white characters were created in the same supposed "racist" era of the Fantastic Four, and only the ignorant and poorly researched could make such accusations that the folks making the comic books were somehow "racist". You don't get to tell them they're wrong for imagining a character they created a certain way, whether its skin or costume color.
I don't mean to burst anyone's bubble or dreams, but at some point you've just got to accept reality and realize that this sucks, and if you genuinely love and are a fan of the DC characters, you'll be disappointed with the Snyderverse takes on them.
And while it's true that the Cyborg casting is fine, he shouldn't be replacing the Martian Manhunter, who is the only consistent member of the team since their inception right until about New 52 (New Fifty-Screw). Cyborg should be there in addition if anything (he should be in Teen Titans/Titans).
Just because Geoff Johns wants to relive his childhood and have the JLA as close to the Superfriends roster as possible since that was his first exposure and Martian Manhunter rarely appeared in the lineup, doesn't mean he has to ruin everyone else's along the way to do it. Myself and many other fans want and love the Martian Manhunter.
But, seeing how Zack Snyder has handled everything else perhaps J'onn's absence is a blessing in disguise: who knows what the hell Snyder would turn him into.
It's incredibly disheartening to realize we are finally getting all the things we want but in all the ways we don't want them. Like a dream turned into a nightmare.
And sure, Affleck at least looks like the character and Batman looks pretty good out of the cast and characters-- yes Affleck does look like Batman/Bruce Wayne:
...but it's also true that he looks like Ben Affleck. And nobody likes Ben Affleck (a man whose talents are best suited BEHIND the camera anyway, not in front of it).
He's so crappy he doesn't even get his own puppet in Team America:
So while the Ultimate MARVEL Universe may not be MY favorite versions, it's still got its roots in the MARVEL Universe, and the movies reflect that.
THIS Aquamariner that Snyder has given us with Jason Momariner does not reflect any aspect of the character Aquaman at all. From what looks to be his scale like skin, tattoos all over, eye make up, dread like hair with frosted hilights, to the actor and his complexion being virtually nothing like any version of the character at all, it's very clear who has taken the bigger liberties. MARVEL gets it right 8/10. That's not bad. WB/DC, not at all. The only thing that looks right is the batsuit so far. That's it.
Aquaman didn't need to be every Jason Momoa role ever but with a trident to be cool because he was already cool the way he was, and would have worked fine if someone just believed in the character and wrote a good story. For all its faults, that's one of the few things the New 52 did right: just give the classic Aquaman some modern writing.
He didn't need to be Khal Drogo because he was already awesome. He just needed an awesome writer.
So the MARVEL films win this EASILY. There's not even a contest of who has done a better and more accurate job of portraying their characters on screen, because with WB/DC, there IS no competition.
And it's this staying true to the characters that have contributed majorly to the MARVEL heroes' success on film. They really believe in their superheroes, and actually like them and want them to be themselves and it shows, and they didn't do it with most of their A-listers and household names who had multiple cartoon series over the years, they did it with the 5¢ bin. They know and understand the characters they have and recognize that they're great, and don't have to make them into things that they aren't; trends, "ultra compensatory edgy" (nothing to compensate for), religious and political allegories, or make them all like their most popular characters in order to make them work.
Now some of you have already left the article itself (let's face it, a while ago) to go and bash the Mandarin in Iron Man 3 already, but to you, I say this: This article intended to focus primarily on the heroes, however, there's no denying that Ben Kingsley as the Mandarin was perfect casting, and for 2/3rds of the film, he is the Mandarin of the comics, which is 2/3rds more true to the character than Ezra Miller, Gall Gagot, Jason Momariner, and Jesse Zuckerberg will be to the characters they're playing. Joker with tattoos all over him that resembles a juggalo is stupid, and a Harley Quinn that looks like a prostitute punk rocker oversexualized version of Tank Girl and has virtually nothing to do with a harlequin (her namesake) completely misses the point of the character. They look like henchmen posers the Joker would kill the first five minutes of the film rather than the characters themselves. They may as well not even be called the Joker and Harley Quinn....call them Juggaloker and Whorely Quimm is more like it.
"Dropping the ball" with Mandarin is in no way comparable to screwing up with the Joker; one is a lesser well known character from one of the notably weakest rogues galleries in comics, the other is an iconic, world renown character dubbed the greatest supervillain of all time in not just comics but in many mediums outside of them as well.
Quality and quantity of the characters is key-- you tell me which is worse: changing Ambush Bug into something he isn't or changing Superman into something he isn't? This is about the level of iconography many of the DC characters are at in comparison with the MARVEL ones, yet it is still MARVEL doing justice to even these lesser well known characters 8/10, which is a perfect score compared with other companies.
Truly, the MARVEL SUPERHEROES have arrived. And until WB/DC starts to get this the way they do, there will never be any "competition" let alone even any comparison. And they can start by bringing back the real DC logo.
Yes. Yes, you are, Chris, and yes, you're right.
MAKE MINE MARVEL!