The first look at the new DC Animated film, Justice League Dark has been released and it gave us a lot to ponder and look forward to. In Batman: The Killing Joke bonus features this eight minute video is what we gravitated first. Justice League Dark has been in the mix in some shape or another to become a film for quite some time, it appears clearly that the animated route will be the first go. Perhaps hopefully someday we will get a live action take on the big screen, until then let’s dissect that sneak peek and see what we learned.
John Constantine, our favorite DC sorcerer is finally back on the small screen. He will inevitably be the reluctant leader/hero of Justice League Dark. He is the jack of all trades of dark arts and may his methods be unorthodox or even controversial he knows how to get the results he wants.
The Demon Etrigan, a character the most hardcore of DC fans love and has gotten a short run of comics. He has guest appeared in many shows and other comics, but it looks like the time is now to give this character the limelight, he is essential to the story.
Zatanna, the gorgeous magician but really a wizard that people love to cosplay at cons is also getting her first appearance. Actually from here on out it’s safe to say that it’s all these character’s first time in animated movies. Never-the-less Zatanna is probably the most powerful wizard in the world of DC. Her using her powers or choosing not to will be fascinating and entertaining to watch.
Deadman, he has always been a fun character to read. He is essentially a ghost and takes part in a lot of possession. Comedy and awkwardness often ensues. Little is known about what his involvement is in the film.
Swamp Thing, a beloved character that has only had a campy film made done by Wes Craven back in the early 80’s. To most fanboys we remember the Alan Moore run of Swamp Thing. That series alone has made this character some of people’s favorites. The oddness and complexities of what stories can be told with Swamp Thing are very intriguing. Little is also known about what the involvement of him is.
The usual Justice League will be taking a backseat… except Batman
In this case our mainstream heroes are not the right guys for the job. While characters like Green Lantern, Wonder Woman, and Superman will make appearances in the film their screen time will be significantly short. Justice League Dark is about a whole new team taking on forces our usual Justice League just doesn’t understand… Batman on the other hand, while he may not understand he is our eyes into this dark world trying to make sense of what the hell is going on and seemingly trying to debunk the existence of magic. Aliens such as Superman and Darkseid he can comprehend, but magic? Nope. Perhaps by the end of the film Constantine will make him a believer.
Magic is introduced into the DCAU continuity
Since Justice League: War, two of the three animated DC Comics films have been in the same continuity, none of which yet has really dealt with the existence of magic. You could argue that in the story-line dealing with Raven in Justice League vs. Teen Titans had a lot to do with magic, but for the sake of argument they seem pretty adamant that this film is the gateway into the dark world of magic. Characters in this film who use magic will have their own specific “runes” and the design of their spells/magic will be distinct for each character.
Etrigan’s past causes the film’s conflict
The Demon Etrigan has a medieval past and that past is what threatens our heroes in Justice League Dark. There isn’t much else to go on with the antagonists, the producers seem really tight lipped about it. If you’re a fan of Etrigan I’m sure you can speculate on who or what the threat may be. Either way this looks like the perfect opportunity to bring this unsung character into the spotlight.
Matt Ryan is back!
To all you fans who loved last year’s single season of Constantine on NBC you were as heartbroken as I was when they cancelled it. Matt Ryan portrayed a fantastic John Constantine and we couldn’t get enough of them. The CW seemed to agree and pulled an awesome move of bringing the Constantine world and the Arrow world into one. Matt Ryan came back to portray his character one more time in one episode of season four’s Arrow. While that was a great guest appearance, fans still felt that it just wasn’t enough. It also doesn’t seem like Matt Ryan is ready to give up playing the character. So it’s quite a treat for all of us to have him come back in this medium. Hopefully it still won’t be his last.
Another tidbit to point out is the director of this film will be Jay Oliva. He has done, in my opinion the best of the DC animated films (Dark Knight Returns, Flashpoint Paradox, Assault On Arkham to name a few). His style is also on the dark and edgier side so him as the director for this one seems like the perfect marriage.
Justice League Dark will release on home video Fall of 2016. (Which is sooner than expected, the pattern usually has the first animated film of the three released in January or February)