Film

TRAILER: Comic-Con Justice League Teaser Trailer

Written by Jake Barber

(WARNING! Some minor Batman v Superman spoilers are included below as well as a variety of generalisations/ speculations with regards to Justice League. If you haven’t seen either Batman v Superman or the Justice League trailer I suggest you stop reading immediately, exit the Fortress of Solitude you must have been occupying for the last 4 months and prepare to have your life irrecoverably changed more so than General Zod’s DNA).

Mark the 23rd July in your calendar as the day every DC super-fan, nay, every fan of the Superhero sub-genre in general, had their dreams answered in the form of a 2:46 minute trailer. Justice League, where have you been all my life? Do we know who the big bad of the film is? No. Do we get a general premise of the film’s plot? No. Are we bothered about either of those two niggles? ABSOLUTELY BLOODY NOT!

DC and Warner Brothers were true to their word and not only did we get a plethora of trailers for their TV properties including The Flash, Arrow and DC Legends of Tomorrow, we were also awarded the privilege of salivating over the final Suicide Squad trailer as well as the World Premiere (75 years in the making) of the Wonder Woman trailer. However, as great as all of these were, most notably the Wonder Woman trailer, they all fell to their knees like Superman breathing in synthesised Kryptonite the very moment our Leaguers graced the screen.

If you’re as aflame with excitement as I am already, I hope this article will throw some extra petrol onto the fire. Nevertheless, if you’re still more flame retardant than Superman in a Senate Courtroom, I hope this piece will go some way to stoking said embers. So why should you be counting down the days until November 2017? Well lets be honest, why the hell wouldn’t you?

Recruitment Drive

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I think it’s safe to conclude that both the characters of Batman/Bruce Wayne and Ben Affleck‘s portrayal of the duo in Batman v Superman were one of the singular facets of the film not to be torn apart by critics and audiences alike, the portrayal of the Dark Knight instead receiving high praise. DC and Warner Brothers have clearly reacted to both the praise and criticism heaped upon Batman v Superman and have placed Batman front and centre within the trailer. It has long been public knowledge that Batman would assemble the League with the help of Wonder Woman, however the trailer places the onus once again on Affleck’s broad shoulders, a smart move on DC/ Warner Brother’s part, Affleck already a firm fan favourite and quencher of many a DCEU hater.

We are treated in the trailer to the recruitment of the Flash, who decides he wants to be part of the team quicker than that of his namesake and Aquaman, who let’s just say doesn’t appreciate Bruce evaluating his meta-human abilities in an underwhelming tone when he arrogantly remarks, “I hear you can talk to fish”, an in-joke to all those who often write the subterranean off.

All That Whiskey

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Moving on with a link fresher than a coastal seafood platter is the introduction of Aquaman, a character often parodied and mocked for his set of abilities, namely being able to communicate with and control sea life. James Wan and Jason Momoa promised us a more badass take on the King of the Seven Seas and the trailer certainly didn’t disappoint. Aquaman is depicted as one of the more volatile members within the group of heroes, a worthy accolade after witnessing Batman’s special (PUN ALERT) “brand” of justice in Batman V Superman.

Like Drax in Guardians of the Galaxy or the Hulk in the Avengers franchise, Momoa is a man of few words and exudes the role of the straight man, most likely providing the set up of many a joke whilst never becoming the butt of said joke. Momoa oozes coolness, personally intriguing me more so than any of the other characters in the trailer whilst expertly building anticipation for his own standalone movie which will come after Justice League.

Flash-mobbed with Humour

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With one-liners and a performance within the trailer that strikes its target more consistently than Batman throwing a Batarang, Ezra Miller steals the show or rather the trailer with his comic delivery. Already, Miller has firmly positioned himself as the character audiences will most notably strike a cord with, they too just as excited as he is to be on the same ride that only a Justice League movie can provide. His humour is expertly twinned with that of a youthful vulnerability, his desire and need for “friends” resonating with audiences and most notably with one of the main demographics of the film, teenagers.

Miller epitomises how we ourselves would react if approached by someone as idolised as Batman when asked to be on a team of like-minded people with abilities. Barry Allen is depicted as an IT nerd in his cobbled together room of monitors and equipment, a young loner getting to grips with unimaginable powers at such a young age, the opportunity of unity and friendship a greater lure than any of the accolades being a hero can afford. Miller’s fast wit and masterful timing also paves the way for other characters within the trailer such as Bruce Wayne, to have their own humorous moments and consequently addresses and debunks one of Batman v Superman‘s biggest critiques, its inability to deliver humour.

Zack Synder‘s visual, gritty tone is still firmly apparent within the Justice League trailer, however comic relief (a measure firmly embedded in that of Marvel’s cinematic tone), is interspersed throughout and not at the detriment of the overarching threat Bruce Wayne warns of. Like Barry in the trailer when he asks Bruce if he can keep the Batarang he catches mid-air after having it hurled at him, this hybrid tone is something that I would love to personally ask Synder, “Can we keep this formula?”

Borg to be Wild

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Never in my wildest dreams did I think we would get a full trailer for Justice League, I had resigned myself pre-comic-con to some test footage, a poster if I was lucky. However, we got much, much more and no more so than Via Ray Fisher‘s Cyborg. Although only briefly appearing in the trailer, Cyborg’s inclusion was unexpected, the CGI gurus behind his sleek design deserving full praise at having expertly rendered the character in time for his inclusion in the trailer and in all his cybernetic glory. The design leaps off the pages of the comics and Fisher’s angst is evident in the one line directed at Batman near the end of the trailer. I expect us as an audience to witness Cyborg’s painful transition from talented jock into that of part man, part machine, the battle to remain human a clear focus within the film. There’s also the fact that he is one of the three Mother Boxes, all be it a walking, talking version. Could he be of paramount interest to Darkseid and the imminent threat Bruce speaks of?

In a League of Their Own

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For me personally, the greatest moment of the trailer came not from within the trailer but instead via that of the cast gathering and reacting to the trailer before and after its screening. Whether it was Ezra Miller channelling his inner (as well as outer) Gandalf or Ray Fisher, complete in his “BORG LIFE” t-shirt, strutting his stuff on stage, the dynamic between the cast and their overall sense of excitement at being lucky to be part of such a moment in pop culture, was intoxicating. Affleck, Gadot and Momoa happily snapped away on their cameras like the lucky audience of Hall H, savouring this moment in cinematic history.

That all said and done however, the most welcome addition came via Synder’s appearance, a man whom in my humble opinion has been unnecessarily vilified and demonised for his direction of Batman v Superman, a film I still view as a masterpiece, the man in my eyes a cinematic genius. More than anything this was a statement of intent, the cast standing side by side with their Director, Affleck and Gadot positioned by Synder’s side, clearly indicated that it was business as usual. This team dynamic rendered the actors’ performances within the trailer under Synder’s supervision all the more satisfying.

So were you left beleaguered by the Justice League trailer or was your excitement ultimately justified? Let me know what you thought below or on our Twitter page, I’d love to hear if the trailer yielded anything I may have missed. So feel free to drape yourself in Wonder Woman’s Lasso of Truth and let loose.

About the author

Jake Barber