Up to now signs of the JLA movie failing are becoming more and more apparent. No one really knows the problem, but for them to be having this much trouble setting up the script doesn’t give us much hope for it’s success. It wasn’t too long ago that they actually scrapped the original script. Honestly I’m not too hopeful that they will go through with the film in the end and when I read a book like Masks, I think it has the capabilities to make a better film.
How Can This Happen?
Well for those of you that didn’t read the recommendation I wrote for the book not too long ago, which is many, I’ll reiterate what this book is. It’s 1938, and the Justice Party has swept into office in New York State. But the newly-elected officials are in the control of powerful criminals, who quickly corrupt the law to their own advantage. When a fascist police state is instituted, the only ones who stand in defense of the innocent are masked vigilantes like the Shadow, the Green Hornet, Kato, and The Spider. Not even just them but other heroes like Zoro Black Bat, Miss Fury, Black Terror, Green Lama and many more to make appearances throughout the series. They all rise to the occasion when their lives and those they protect are affected by the Justice Party.
There has already been a Zoro movie and one for Green Hornet, two well known characters in this book that would make great set ups for the eventual team up. Not even all the heroes have to have movies because I picked up this book not knowing more than half the characters yet still admired them for who they are as they were introduced. Unlike many people I don’t care too much about every single character getting equal time in the spotlight, it just doesn’t always work that way. I think when it comes to a movie like this the story and plot speaks louder than their screen time. Sure it’s okay to know about them, but it’s not needed to understand their stake in this situation and what they fight for.
Like Avengers, what makes this book so interesting are the characters interactions. Not only because they are just meeting each other, but for the fact that it’s not forced. Every conversation is very organic as they choose to work with each other, even getting into conflict beforehand since they knew nothing of the others existence. Not one of them is more special than the other and they all fight on equal playing fields. That alone is appealing because it means they have to work together to fight the Justice Party. I should also mention that the ones they fight are also well prepared and armed to give any one of them a hard time if they tried to pull an act of heroics.
Sure the book does have many heroes, but that doesn’t mean that any one of them are neglected because of it. If anything each manage to stand out on their own and have their own appeal because of their morals or backgrounds. Each have their own way of serving justice and that is what stands out most when you read a book like this. On film I don’t see this as being a problem because I was a big fan of Watchmen despite the negative responses it got and Watchmen portrayed the same kind of mentality that many of them carry without all the bloodshed. Not one character is the same, but it’s their goals that bring them together.
This a book that challenges what you would do to fight for what do believe in. They all fight for something and their values are what keep them strong when the Justice Party have taken almost everything from them. Like the old saying, if you stand for nothing, you’ll fall for anything. That is exactly what is portrayed in this book and would fit perfectly on the big screen.
Some might be turned off by the gritty tone of superheroes, but they are not superheroes, they are vigilantes. These are all regular people that suffered or watched the people around them suffer to stand up and make a difference. This is not Batman where they are gods among men, they have their weaknesses and they have their faults. That is what I want to see more of when I see someone ordinary wearing a mask.
And stay tuned!