Tuesday, June 14, 2016

What If...?: Justice League

So after the solo films of "Aquaman", "Cyborg", "Wonder Woman" and "The Flash" (which you can read about HERE), we're finally gonna get a "Justice League" movie. If you've read my previous entries (starting with "Batman v. Superman") then you should know Maxwell Lord and The O.M.A.Cs are the primary antagonists for this film. So let's dive in and see if I can do The Justice League better than D.C. can.

The film starts off with Bruce Wayne introducing his new satellite (as mentioned in "Man Of Steel II") Wayne Ind. is aiding the Department Of Defense by providing satellite technologies than have the capabilities of detecting alien frequencies to enable Earth to be prepared for any potential alien attacks in the future. This satellite also allows Batman to trigger an EMP from anywhere in the world in The Batcave (essentially the satellite can function as Goldeneye if/when Batman needs to, for any potential issues that could arise from villains getting their hands on technology like that). Superman meets Batman in the Batcave and asks Batman about the satellite.

SUPERMAN
Nice satellite.

BATMAN
Thanks.

SUPERMAN
What's it for?

BATMAN
For The Department Of Defense, it's a communications device that can pick up frequencies being transmitted beyond Pluto.

SUPERMAN
And for you?

BATMAN
It's a laser guided EMP.

SUPERMAN
Anyone ever tell you you're paranoid?

BATMAN
...not to my face.

Meanwhile at The Department Of Defense, Maxwell Lord meets with The Secretary and Maxwell Lord tells him that The O.M.A.Cs are ready to launch. The Secretary is confused as to why they'd launch The O.M.A.Cs now, but Maxwell Lord informs him about Aquaman and the other meta-humans and informs him that Earth is under-threat now. The Secretary disagrees but Maxwell has The Secretary detained (by somehow pulling rank on him, FORESHADOWING) and launches The O.M.A.Cs. Amanda Waller is brought in and declared the new Secretary Of Defense, Amanda is confused but Maxwell Lord arrives and talks to her.

MAXWELL
Ms. Waller, or should I say Madame Secretary, now.

AMANDA
I suppose I have you to thank for that, don't I?

MAXWELL
You don't sound so pleased.

AMANDA
Pleased is the last thing I am. Just who in the hell do you think you are?

MAXWELL
You really don't know, do you?

AMANDA
Know what?

Maxwell Lord reaches in his breast pocket. Amanda braces herself for a gun, but Maxwell pulls out something and places it on her desk. Amanda looks at it and releases, it's a chess piece, a BLACK KING.

MAXWELL
Now do you know who we are?

Amanda Waller reaches in her breast pocket and puts her own chess piece on the desk, a WHITE QUEEN.
AMANDA
So, he finally shows himself.

MAXWELL
Yes, I do.

AMANDA
What now?

MAXWELL
Nothing. Everything linking you to this has been removed, Secretary, sorry, Former Secretary Holmes will take the fall should anything go wrong and you'll be nicely set up to clean up afterwards and continue our goals. Also, I'll have to thank you for the materials Mr. Luthor acquired, they were extremely helpful.

AMANDA
I have no clue what you're talking about.

MAXWELL
Oh...my mistake, Madame Secretary, carry on.

Anyway, Batman shows The Justice League (Flash & Wonder Woman) an off the grid facility that they can use as a headquarters, medical facility and communications spot. Wonder Woman has a U.N. Conference she needs to go. At The U.N. conference, Maxwell Lord is selling other countries on O.M.A.C protection against the threat of meta-humans. Being a Metahuman herself, Wonder Woman isn't cool with this and then Maxwell Lord lays down the evidence of the other Justice League members, specifically detailing the existence of Amazonians, Atlantians, The Flash and Martian Manhunter (who'll only be foreshadowed and won't show up until another movie). Wonder Woman is highly dubious on this but Maxwell Lord exhibits his own meta-human ability (mind control) and gets a majority vote to agree to launch The O.M.A.Cs.

Wonder Woman quickly attempts to go after Maxwell but an O.M.A.C stops her and Wonder Woman gets into a scuffle with it. The conflict being she has to protect U.N. members while at the same time try not to get her ass kicked (which proves difficult). Of course, she beats The O.M.AC, contacts Batman and tells him that she has to regroup and she'll meet him at H.Q. later. Wonder Woman goes to The Thymescira and tells them about the on coming threat of O.M.A.Cs and then encourages them to make contact with the Atlantians. Aquaman isn't keen on helping at first until she tells him that The O.M.A.Cs are coming from them as well. Aquaman agrees to meet her friends.

Wonder Woman arrives The H.Q. with Aquaman and Superman arrives with The Flash. Wonder Woman tells Batman that Maxwell Lord is a metahuman and is using The O.M.A.Cs to eliminate all metahumans. Seeing as how the threat is mainly focused on metahumans, the general public won't care very but Superman decides to speak out against The O.M.A.Cs as Clark Kent and uses the Daily Planet as a platform to turn public opinion of The O.M.A.C Project and Batman decides to see if he can dig up some dirt on Maxwell Lord. Batman's investigation takes him to S.T.A.R. Labs where he finds that Maxwell Lord was cybernetically enhanced after the disaster in Metropolis, he's suddenly discovered by Maxwell and Maxwell unleashes an O.M.A.C on Batman. Batman dukes it out with The O.M.A.C but it's clear he's no match for it and retreats. Superman, Batman & Wonder Woman theorize on Maxwell's motives citing he could be motivated by revenge against Superman for what was done to him. But before they can think too long about it, O.M.A.C.s arrives and starts fighting the trio.

Meanwhile The O.M.A.Cs have been launched in other countries creating a police state in various countries. Government Higher Ups are yelling at Maxwell Lord and demanding answers, that's when Maxwell Lord pulls out his gun and kills one of them citing that The "New world order is here and it's name is Checkmate.". The Justice League is fighting in the streets and with Wonder Woman holding her own along with Aquaman and The Flash. Superman is having the most trouble because The O.M.A.Cs are equipped with radioactive lasers (imitating a red sun effect). The O.M.A.C has Superman pinned and right before it goes for the kill shot, someone picks it up and throws it away. Superman looks up to see Victor Stone a.k.a Cyborg coming to the rescue. Superman asks him who he is and Victor tells him he's a huge fan of Superman and wanted to help. Superman thanks him and sees a group of people and asks Victor to look after them while he flies off into battle. Vic does so.

Maxwell Lord address the world through the President (via mind control) that Earth has been under siege by metahumans and The O.M.A.C launch was to ensure the protection of everyone on Earth against the threat of metahumans and that The U.N. agrees with this policy. Back on the ground, The Justice League is having a tough time battling The O.M.A.Cs and Batman suggests they retreat to another place he has off the grid, Superman once again citing Batman's paranoia. The Justice league arrives at the other off grid cite and lament about how they got their asses handed to them. Superman states that he couldn't find anyone on Maxwell Lord prior to his appearance now and Batman tells him about his cybernetic enhancements at S.T.A.R Labs, Cyborg citing that he met Maxwell before. Before they can connect the dots, the doors blow open, The Justice League prepare for a fight. Two O.M.A.Cs enter but immediately become docile. A figure enters, a man and he steps out of the shadows and it's this guy;



No, actually, this guy;



Batman immediately recognizes him as Michael Holt, Superman and Cyborg know the name, The Flash, Wonder Woman and Aquaman are lost. Batman demands to know how Michael Holt found him, and Michael says that The O.M.A.Cs are tracking them and he managed to use his T-Mask to hack into their mainframe and follow The O.M.A.Cs here while rendering them docile. Batman still isn't satisfied with the answer and Michael tells them he's here to help because he helped build The O.M.A.Cs and wants to stop Maxwell Lord.

If I can pause for a minute, if Tony Stark can build Ultron, Michael Holt can build The O.M.A.Cs. The reason why is because after the death of Michael's family and his younger brother, despite being a genius, an expert at everything, a world class athlete and conquering every realm of study known to man, Michael felt empty inside and depressed. In that moment of darkness, after The invasion of The Kryptonians, Maxwell Lord came to him with an opportunity to help save the world. Despite his depression, Michael wanted to help make a difference in the world and building The O.M.A.Cs to save the world from another potential alien invasion seemed like a noble cause.

Wonder Woman demands to know why Maxwell Lord is targeting metahumans despite being a metahuman himself and what his end goal is. Michael tells them that Maxwell Lord works for an organization known as Checkmate and their goal is to eliminate every metahuman on Earth, and Michael cites that the Checkmate superiors weren't aware that Maxwell Lord was a metahuman himself. Superman states that there are no records of Maxwell and Michael says it's because he erased every trace of Maxwell Lord's existence. Michael Holt once again declares he was in a state of deep depression and was highly suggestible. Batman asks how Michael can help. Michael tells Batman that he knows where The Checkmate facility is and Batman can use his satellite EMP to shutdown the O.M.A.Cs temporarily so they can enter the facility and shutdown the grand O.M.A.C mainframe known as BROTHER I.

The Justice League along with Michael travel to The Checkmate Facility. The Flash & Aquaman stay outside the facility to handle The O.M.A.Cs once they reactivate after Batman triggers the EMP. Superman, Wonder Woman, Batman, Cyborg & Michael Holt head to BROTHER I. When they arrive, Superman recognizes The O.M.A.Cs design from Lex Luthor's body armor (hence why Amanda Waller stole it) and the group runs into Maxwell Lord. They demand an answer for his actions and Maxwell Lord tells them that the alien invasion changed everything and the world needs stronger leadership, including Checkmate. Maxwell reveals that his master plan is to rule the world from the shadows, using his ability of mind control to manipulate world leaders into doing his bidding while he remained in the shadows. Superman declares that Maxwell won't get away with it and that's when Maxwell locks eyes with Superman and tells him "Kill them all."Superman goes after Batman, Cyborg and Michael, but Wonder Woman gets in the way and IT'S ON! Superman and Wonder Woman duke it out, HARDCORE! In the fray, Maxwell escapes.

Batman, Michael and Cyborg reach BROTHER I's mainframe that's HEAVILY guarded, Batman dukes it out with some O.M.A.Cs, Michael uses his T-Mask to shield himself from The O.M.A.Cs and Cyborg is duking it out with The O.M.A.Cs. Michael get wounded and can't continue, Batman tends to Michael and tells Cyborg it's up to him to stop BROTHER I. Michael tells Cyborg the shutdown sequence and Cyborg interfaces with BROTHER I giving him remote access to all The O.M.A.Cs launched around the world and orders them to fly into The sun. The O.M.A.Cs have been destroyed. Meanwhile Wonder Woman manages to get ahold of Maxwell Lord up Superman rushes her, luckily she wraps her lasso around Maxwell and manages to incapacitate Superman. Wonder Woman demands to know how to break Maxwell's mind control on Superman and he simply states "You have to kill me.", just as the other Justice League members arrive to check on the situation, Wonder Woman breaks Maxwell's neck, leaving a shocked Justice League, a confused Superman, a dead Maxwell Lord and a horrified Batman.


Why is this important? For starters it sets up a parallel between Wonder Woman and Superman having to make the tough choice to take a life. Superman killed Zod in "Man Of Steel" the EXACT same way for the EXACT same reason, and therefore establishes some sympathy from Superman towards Wonder Woman, who, although doesn't approve of her action, understand why she made the choice. It also establishes Wonder Woman's characterization, Wonder Woman is NOT a superhero, she is a soldier and doesn't have qualms about taking a life IF/WHEN necessary, although she'll do anything she can to avoid doing such, she can accept that such a time will come when a life has to be taken. Third, it creates a schism in The Justice League. I've always wondered why The Avengers didn't assemble in "Iron Man 3" or "Thor: The Dark World" or "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" and the movies never gave a solid reason WHY the other Avengers didn't aide their friends. Wonder Woman killing is enough to drive Batman away and put her at odds with the rest of The Justice League, hence why they won't appear in each other's movies.

With Maxwell Lord dead, Batman declares that he won't have anything to do with The Justice League so long as Wonder Woman is allowed to continue to be a member. The other members, although not 100% behind Wonder Woman agree that she didn't have much of a choice. Superman comes to Wonder Woman's defense, but Batman rebuffs him telling him that they don't get to decide who lives and who dies and the second they cross that line become something other than what they are. Wonder Woman laments the fact that despite the heroes being heroes they still have trouble doing what's necessary and she decides to return to Themyscira. At the end of the movie, Superman writes an article in The Daily Planet revealing Maxwell Lord behind The O.M.A.Cs and his plan to bring a secret government cabal to power citing an anonymous source named "Mister Terrific" (Michael Holt). The Daily Planet also states that Maxwell Lord's whereabouts are unknown.

Bruce reads The Daily Planet article and cites how it was smart of Clark to not openly mention Checkmate or the fact that Maxwell Lord is dead citing that if Checkmate is planning anything else, that'll wanna cover their tracks in finding an eliminate Maxwell Lord first. Alfred tells Bruce that despite his aversion to killing, Wonder Woman made the right choice and Bruce knows it. Alfred theorizes that Bruce is not so much disgusted with The Justice League as he is with himself because he knows deep down that one day he's gonna have to face the same choice and wonders if he'll be able to accept it. Bruce doesn't respond to this and instead says that he has a meeting to get dressed for. At S.T.A.R. Labs, Cyborg and Michael are working together to enhance his body and make him more combat capable. After having rolled with The Justice League, Cyborg is ready to fight for his community and Michael Holt encourages him to change the world and never give up.

Meanwhile at an empty Batcave a light on the computer is blinking, its the communication light of the satellite, it's picking up a transmission, the computer unscrambles the transmission and this;

...appears on all the screens. The end.


You'll notice I didn't touch much on The Flash & Aquaman. Sadly, there won't be very much for them to do as they'll be added muscle. However, The Flash will be largely comic relief with Cyborg playing as his straight man. Not saying The Flash will be all laughs and giggles, but Wally West is a very light-hearted individual and with Cyborg being in his early 20s, you can't put those two kinds of people around each other without some humor ensuing. That being said, this is just a quick rundown of all the plot points from start to finish in  as bare bones with detail as possible so if it feels like The Flash & Aquaman don't get mentioned much, it's because in the grand scheme of things they're apart of a whole and will get their moments to shine in moments of the story which are unimportant to elaborate on in such a bare bones fashion. Cyborg and Michael Holt are the highlights as they'll be newly added characters and hopefully their involvement is organic and warranted. Hope you guys enjoyed that and let me know what you think. Should I keep it going? Let me know and I'll catch you guys later!

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