Never fear, The Flash is here! (To save ‘Justice League’ from its grimdark self)

06.21.16

Let”s not beat around the bush. I”ve been very vocal about my dislike of how Warner Bros. is handling their DC movie universe. With over seven decades of content to pull from, it was exhausting to have everything hinge on the most cynical and jaded part of DC Comics” history. I like my superheroes to be a little more heroic, like what DC REBIRTH or Max Landis” SUPERMAN: AMERICAN ALIEN are currently doing in the comics.

So when I started reading all the set visits from Justice League, it wasn”t with anything resembling hope. After all, the mere fact that the studio was allowing set visit pieces to go up before the film finished production seemed like a huge red flag. Like a car accident, I wanted to slow down and rubberneck at the damage. Imagine my surprise when I realized at least one character now has me willing to give Warner Bros. my hard-earned dollars: Ezra Miller”s The Flash.

There”s something about The Flash – whether Barry Allen or Wally West – that can rescue even the dourest of circumstances. The Flash loves his job. He loves being a hero. He doesn”t see it as a curse, or a burden, or any other angst-driven noun. Even when he”s accidentally ripping a hole in space/time, or trapped outside of time itself, The Flash just wants to save people and make the world a better place. And he”s going to do it with tongue-in-cheek sass.


Image Credit: Warner Bros.

That kind of “I love my job, let”s do this!” attitude is sorely need in the DCEU. And to my surprise, the suits behind course-correcting the Justice League film agree. Out of all the set visit pieces, I read today, one theme that came up over and over again was how good (and out of place in the grimdark aesthetic) The Flash looked and played.

But it was the scene director Zack Snyder played for the group that really sold me. If it”s this good in text, I imagine it”ll be even better on screen. From BirthMoviesDeath:

In the clip Barry returns to his apartment, which is like a big warehouse space. There”s grafitti on the walls and a dozen TVs. He turns on a sparking fuse box to bring light to the place and the TVs jump to life. He walks into the main room and sees Bruce Wayne sitting in a chair.

“Barry Allen, I”m Bruce Wayne.”

“You say that like it explains why you”re sitting in my place in the dark in my second favorite chair,” says Barry.

Bruce, dressed impeccably, gets up and approaches the younger man. He holds out a printout of a screenshot of that Flash mpeg from BvS. He asks is Barry knows who that is.

“That”s someone who looks exactly like me but isn”t me,” Barry says. “He looks like a very attractive Jewish boy. He drinks milk, though, I don”t drink milk.”

Bruce tells Barry he thinks he has special skills.

“Sure,” Barry says. “I can code. I know sign language. Gorilla sign language.”

Bruce looks at the Flash costume that is mounted right in the middle of the room. “And this?”

“I”m into competitive ice dancing,” Barry says.

Bruce notes that the costume includes ceramic plates, the kind they use to keep the space shuttle from burning up on reentry.

“Very competitive ice dancing,” Barry says.

Then Bruce spins around and throws a batarang. Everything goes into slomo except for Barry, who quite casually steps out of the way of the oncoming blade. He slowly looks at Bruce, at the batarang, and plucks it out of the air. Everything returns to normal speed.

“You”re the Batman!” Barry says. “Can I keep this?”

“You”re fast,” Bruce replies.

“I think that”s underselling it,” Barry says.

“I”m gathering people with special abilities. There”s a great enemy coming -”

“I”m in!” blurts Barry.

Bruce is taken aback. So quickly?

“I need friends,” Barry says.<

And scene.

This exchange is everything I”ve wanted from a big screen Justice League. For over a year I”ve been half-joking that Warner Bros. should just let the writers from the animated Justice League Unlimited write their film scripts. While that”s a hyperbolic pipe dream, it looks like someone on the Justice League writing team has at least perused the banter made famous by JLU.

Now I know everything shown to the folks on the Justice League set visit was designed to put forth a “We”re fixing this” front. It”s possible that exchange between The Flash and Batman (Ben Affleck) is the lone beacon of light-heartedness in this film. But considering The Flash also makes a comment to Commissioner Gordon (J.K. Simmons) about how rude the League is for just vanishing without saying good-bye, I”m tentatively excited that at least one character will part the grimdark clouds with a dash of fun.

Justice League arrives in theaters November 17, 2017.

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