37 – Dawn of the Justice League

coverblackWarner Bros. Pictures and DC Films presents: Dawn of the Justice League on the CW. Analyzing DC’s strategy, rebranding as DC Films and the Justice League Universe, new Batman v. Superman footage, first look at Wonder Woman, and breaking down the first official Suicide Squad trailer set to Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody.

Answers, insights, and commentary on:

  • Bridging the gap from Man of Steel to the Justice League
  • DC Films and the Justice League Universe
  • Superman and Batman from conflict to comrades
  • Wonder Woman and the pedigree of epicness
  • The influence of rock on Suicide Squad
  • Suicide Squad trailer breakdown

…and more.

DC Films Presents: The Dawn of the Justice League | CW
Suicide Squad Official Trailer 1 | WB Pictures
Suicide Squad Official Trailer 1 – High Bitrate | 3GB warning!

Charles Roven Talks Character Balance | Collider
Queen: The Story of Bohemian Rhapsody | BBC
Debbie Harry and Harley Quinn Comparison | DCCU
David Bowie & Grant Morrison’s Joker | ComicBuzz
Neil Gaiman Writes a Final ‘Love Letter to Batman’ | Wired
Urban Search and Rescue – X-Code | Wiki
De gustibus non est disputandum | Wiki
Under Pressure | Queen and David Bowie

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  1. They probably didn’t use DCEU because maybe they will use different Universes; this is just the Justice League Universe and DCEU might be the broader term used to encompass all the different universes.

    I’m just trying to speculate on the different terminologies used for the DC Films movies.

    • Maybe, but I don’t think “DCEU” was ever officially a thing. It appear in two articles and fans snapped it up prematurely, but I have never seen a Warner Brothers press release, executive, or brain trust member use the terminology… despite countless opportunities to do so since it first appeared. Contrast that against “JLU” which has come straight from the mouths of Roven and Johns in an expensive and public TV special.

      The TV special itself argued that “Justice League Universe” is broader than just the heroes coming together, specifically with respect to Suicide Squad as squarely in the JLU. I imagine anything outside that continuity will still be DC Films but not JLU, but we’ve yet to be officially told anything is outside the JLU at this point.

    • I would tend to agree with DRAWKWARD about the branding aspect. Just like Batman and Superman, Justice League is a very popular brand and has proven its success in both the comics and on (animated) television, and in direct to video media. It would behoove DC Entertainment to exploit that brand in the effort of marketing their new line of films.

  2. was refreshing the page everyday FINALLY ITS UP

    • Thanks for listening! Generally, if there’s going to be an episode it’ll release Sunday or Monday. I wasn’t planning to release an episode this week, but depending on my case load, students, kids, etc. there’s definitely enough new material to talk about between the new TV spots and Empire’s article and more! Really great time to be a fan if you enjoy all this stuff and have the time to consume it all.

  3. Greetings Doctor, thanks for another great episode.

    I’m not sure if you received my PM, so I’ll ask you here.

    Do you think DC would actually consider another reboot for their continuity this year?

    Considering the “Rebirth” quote Jim Lee and Dan Didio posted in their social medias, is it possible they would really reboot their line once again?

    Wasn’t the point of ‘Convergence’ not having to reboot again? Wasn’t ‘The New 52’ going to be their last reboot?

    • I’ve been thinking Rebirth might be a character coming back because the last two times they used Rebirth were Green Lantern: Rebirth and Flash: Rebirth which brought back Hal Jordan and Barry Allen respectively.

      Though it might not be that or a reboot but it could be a relaunch.

      Rebirth might also be DC saying they will start writing stories that take place pre-New 52. With the Darkseid War storyline it was revealed that everything was canon in the DC Universe and the previous reboots did happen; Metron actually witnessed Crisis on Infinite Earths and Flashpoint happen.

      • That’s an interesting idea… that Rebirth might be a line of comics from before Flashpoint. If your market can support it, maybe you double dip with more than one universe. Certainly Marvel has done it for ages with the Ultimate line. DC’s Digital First books mostly take place in alternate universes. It’s not like fans can’t juggle multiple continuities so they could offer a separate Pre-52 line. It just goes to show we have no idea what Rebirth is, definitively, at this point.

    • Thanks! Extremely busy week so haven’t sorted through the mail yet sorry!

      I wouldn’t get too stressed about Rebirth. It’s a brand that was successful with Green Lantern and successful* with Flash (* I have a ton of problems with the actual execution of Flash Rebirth, but at the end of the day we’ve moved past it and it accomplished its larger strategy goals). We don’t know how the brand is being used or applied but no matter what happens, the world will literally keep turning.

      From the perspective of a Flash fan, Flash spun its wheels for about half-a-decade, but now we’re enjoying an acclaimed TV show with a feature film around the corner. The long view is that everything is going to be fine.

      The short view is it’s really stressful to worry about unsubstantiated rumors and even if they were to come out and say tomorrow, “It’s a reboot.” Well, you still don’t know how well it’s going to be executed or what it will lead to down the road. I wouldn’t invest a lot of energy into hating something before I had ever seen it… what would I get out of that besides an ulcer, migraines, sleepless nights, or ground down teeth? Unless I felt strongly enough to campaign in a way that would actually make a difference, it’s just self-inflicted negativity and bellyaching.

      As for the last two questions, no I don’t think that was the point of Convergence and I don’t think they ever promised the N52 would be the “last reboot”.

      Of course, that’s my opinion and corresponding peace with creative directions. I know there’s going to be tumult and nonsense and bulging veins and fan rants… but I also know the world is going to keep turning and I’m still going to get good stories to enjoy now and again regardless. As we learn more there might be more to engage with, at this point it’s nothing but rumors.

  4. Doctor, Henry Cavill said “Superman will win”.


    What exactly do you think that means? Did he really just spoiled the much anticipated battle? Or did he meant a moral victory? Something else?

    • I think you have to take the quote in context: “It’s not about one on one. Of course Superman is going to win. But it’s deeper than that.”

      So he’s not saying, “Of course Superman is going to win [in Batman v. Superman] [literally or morally].” He’s most likely saying, “Of course Superman is going to win [if this were about one on one, literally]. But it’s deeper than that [literally fighting one on one].” It’s reinforced by Affleck’s comments:

      “Well… When you see the film, you’ll realize it’s more complicated than that! There’s no real winner. I like the idea that Truth is the winner.”

      • Thanks for the answer, now I have another question if that’s okay. Are you familiarized with “Watchmen” also by Zack Snyder? If you are then I wanna know your thoughts in something.

        There is people stating that Superman is getting a similar treatment to Dr. Manhattan, you think such claim is valid? And if it is, what are your thoughts about it? You think it fits the character? Is out of character?

        • Timely question, I literally just rewatched Watchmen during a flight last week (I actually binged on Snyder films both ways). I think the claim is valid insofar as the real-world impact of a legitimate and powerful super-being with national leanings. However, that’s where the comparison stops because the characters are different, both in the scope of their powers and the nature of their humanity. Let’s just put it this way. In the cynical world of the Watchmen, the advent of the superman leads to a twisted future suspended by a lie. In the more realistic world of BvS, the advent of the superman leads to a dawn of justice created by the truth.

          Yes, there’s parallels, but they exist throughout Snyder’s filmography and it’s definitely something I want to touch on in an upcoming podcast.

          • I’ll be waiting for that episode Doctor. Just one last question for now, have you checked the Dr.Pepper prequel comics? You planning to make an episode of that?

            They did an amazing job by further developing the world’s perspective of Superman, a development I’ll look forward to in the film.

  5. Great podcast as usual…Now it’s time to dig the new TV spot and Empire article!

    as with the confusion, I’d like to think it as:
    Marvel Studios = DC Films
    Marvel Cinematic Universe = Justice League Universe

    How about that Doctor?

    • The only thing that bugs me a little is that “Justice League Universe” can very easily be confused with the Animated DC Universe that spanned from the 90s-06.

      Not to mention that it sounds too exclusive. Suicide Squad has nothing to do with the Justice League, as well as any possible film that explores lesser known proprieties like Booster Gold & Blue Beetle.

      DC Extended Universe may not be official, but at least had a nice and unique ring to it.

        • The name for the animated universe is the DCAU (more likely to be confused with the DCEU). The name for one particular show within that universe was Justice League Unlimited. Unlimited is ambiguous but Universe is clear (a universe of continuity). Even if there is confusion, it is with something with strong goodwill and acclaim. Whereas “EU” risks confusion with Star Wars where that material was entirely optional and ultimately abandoned.
        • Suicide Squad takes place in the same continuity, features Batman (with many more unseen ties), and is explicitly marketed as part of the universe. It’s properly exclusive because it makes it clear Sandman and the like will not be part of the same continuity. Booster Gold will have no more trouble being a part of the Justice League Universe than Booster Gold had trouble appearing on Justice League Unlimited or Blue Beetle on Young Justice. The Justice brand has always been broadly inclusive.
        • It’s unnecessarily vague. “Extended” implies it’s larger than something that already exists, but it fails to define what that thing is. From the name itself, the best you can guess at is the “DC Universe”… so this extends the DC Universe? So it’s material outside or beyond or supplementary beyond the thing we care about… the DC Universe. If used to reach the general audience its a term telling them this is something fringe you don’t have to care about. Extra homework when all you care about is the DC Universe. Any benefits to the term are lost by having to overcome this explanatory barrier to general audiences. However “DC Films” and “Justice League Universe” are self-defining and complimentary.
        • “DC Films” immediately gets to the core canonical material the general audience cares about. “Justice League Universe” defines what the universe is… the universe with the Justice League in it. The Suicide Squad objection doesn’t work because inherently a universe will have more things in it other than the Justice League… so clearly the term isn’t describing a universe composed solely of the Justice League but a universe containing the Justice League. DC has always done this. “Earth 2” doesn’t mean there isn’t Oa in that universe, it describes the universe containing Earth 2.

        The word extended carries a generally poorer connotation “lasting longer than is usual or expected; prolonged”. The most common terms associated with “extended”? “Stay”, “Warranty”, and “Forecast”. I will gladly suffer some possible confusion with the Justice League Unlimited and all the associated goodwill versus millions recalling pushy people pitching unnecessary and unwanted extended warranties, the unexpected and unwelcome stay of the inlaws, or the anxiety tied to caring what the extended forecast will be.

    • Not sure when I’ll have time to do a new episode, Super Bowl party prep is probably taking up my free time this weekend.

      That’s the gist. We just don’t know explicitly what DC Films is. For example, we know Marvel Studios does not work on the Marvel TV projects even though they occur in the MCU. By contrast, it’s likely that DC Films works on DC licensed movies- like Sandman- even though they occur outside the Justice League Universe.

  6. Dear Dr. Awkward

    One of the things that interests me about Batman V. Superman on the recent issue of Empire Magazine was hearing that Diana is 5,000 years old and has retired from being Wonder Woman long before BVS, and that got me thinking about her life prior to MOS/BVS, what would she have done to preserve peace in Man’s World as Diana Prince and what exactly caused her to stop being a warrior(which will be answered in her own film).

    The Reasons why as well as Gal saying that she has seen what humans are capable of are interesting and refreshing. Interesting because it allows the filmmakers to find a new angle on Diana and her internal conflicts with Man’s World and War, it makes her and the audience question the relevance and reason of her being a Warrior/Wonder Woman in the face of what she has seen during her time in Europe during WW1, and it’s refreshing because it shows a version of Diana that we haven’t seen, let alone get in comics and it stops taking the character for granted in terms of her immortality, her emotional strength and her faith in Wonder Woman in doing any real change in the world.

    When it comes to Immortality, most people take for granted that it can be a great thing, but in reality it’s both a blessing and a curse, especially if you’ve have been immortal for five thousand years. To have been able to witness of pretty much everything prior to WW1, but also to have to keep your distance of almost everyone you will meet, knowing that they will eventually die and you won’t is something that can be hard on anyone, especially an Amazonian Warrior Princess.

    Having known this about Wonder Woman, is this something that interests you and something that you hope will be explored in future/potential with Diana?

    Also, going back to Man of Steel and Krypton, I was(and still) amazed at how fully realized the planet was in just 20 minutes and how world building was created from Snyder’s Direction, the concept art, set design, Weta Digital’s Visual Effects and Hans Zimmer’s Score and it got me thinking about the other places and worlds in the DCEU(Themyscira, Atlantis, Speed Force, OA, Apokolips, Etc), and i wanted if you had any thoughts about that as well and also what place/world are you interested in seeing?

    Till Next Time, M.H.

    • 1) I used to watch the Highlander TV show fervently, so the many facets of immortality are of endless fascination to me. However, it’s easy for the psychology to become a little too alien which is why I suspect most of those 5,000 years are passed in some kind of bubble or paradise which has nominal effect on her personality. Maybe. There’s many ways to play it, so I’m open to their take.

      2) Right now, Atlantis probably, especially because of how the completely make Krypton their own. Atlantis resides beyond DC Comics so imagine the stops they’ll have to pull to redefine it for all of popular culture. A huge challenge but one which will bring the best out of the filmmakers, I’m sure.

  7. So Dr.Awkward, you heard the incredible news?


    I’m so hyped for this! And the timing couldn’t be better. Crossovers like this really open the doors for many future opportunities for all DC media, especially if it’s a Multiverse type of crossover.

    However, changing the topic, I do have one little doubt that surfaced recently, and I would really appreciate a response. You see is again about Henry Cavill:

    Do we have any confirmation that his contract has been renewed/extended beyond the original 3 films he signed for?

    A few detractors that really dislike Cavill have claimed that “Justice League Part One” will be his final film as Superman and he will be recast afterwards. I do not give weight to such comments and have no intention whatsoever to argue with them. However I do have minimal fears that such claims ‘could’ be true since I haven’t stumbled with any article or interview covering the topic, but I think I recall that you partially covered some of that contract stuff in a previous Podcast, did you?

    If you don’t mind, could you clear any doubts about that? Is Henry Cavill really locked to star in all the DC Films installments that feature Superman?

  8. Dr. Awkward did you see the five prequel comics for Batman v Superman?

    Chapter 1 Batman is the focus. Chapter 2 Lois Lane is the focus. Chapter 3 has Senator Finch as the focus. Chapter 4 is focused on Superman. Chapter 5 is about Lex Luthor.

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