(Jonathan Ryan posting for Jen Schlameuss-Perry.)
Warning: Potential Spoilers
I came across some of DC’s “Justice League Gods and Monsters Chronicles” short videos today. I could share them here for you to make up your own mind, but I don’t want to be the one who shares them with anyone. They bill it as “dark” which is usually something I can get behind (tonight’s blog was initially going to be about how awesomely dark the new Aquaman looks, but then I saw the shorts) —because with superheroes, the darkness eventually yields to light. It may be that the shorts were only showing the darkness before the light, but what I saw was so devoid of hope, kindness, caring or humanity that I don’t think I could sit through it to get to the payoff—if, in fact, there is one. What I saw was just gross and vulgar.
The shorts that I saw appeared to be disturbing just for the sake of being disturbing, there was a bunch of bad language in it and, Harley Quinn was unnecessarily scantily dressed.
The series is the precursor to a movie length feature which will be released directly to DVD and download of our Justice League heroes in an alternate universe where they keep the world in check in not-so-heroic ways. Fine. But this so far, is so devoid of anything even remotely heroic it actually made me not want to watch another minute. Clearly, it’s written for an adult audience, but even as an adult, it’s not something that I’d ever want to see more of.
I love superheroes. I love villains. I love parallel universe stories. But, even in those stories there’s something useful or inspiring to take away—there’s some compassion or mercy—something heroic. The closest thing to mercy or kindness represented there was Superman killing something resembling a child (Brainiac) because it couldn’t control its emotions and was causing a lot of harm. I guess he put it out of it’s misery…he got its consent, and he stopped the damage from getting out of hand. He wasn’t happy about having to do it, but it all bespoke hopelessness.
I don’t know where the “gods” aspect comes in—all I saw was monsters. There should be some distinction between the good guys and the bad guys. There were no good guys in this show. Maybe that was the point. Maybe they are trying to show what happens when those elements are missing in an individual with immense power. There’s great truth in that. I think that part of the current struggle in our society is the dwindling common agreement on the line between a right and wrong. Maybe the series can be a comment on that. There has to be something positive in it if it’s about the Justice League.
Jen Schlameuss-Perry is a massive fan of sci-fi, cartoons and superheroes and loves to write about them in light of her Catholic tradition. She currently works for a Catholic Church and practices martial arts, cares for her family and pets and writes in her spare time. Check out some of Jen’s other stuff on her Facebook page or her website.