How Justice League 2 Can Work Without Batman and Superman

Will we ever see Justice League 2? That’s the million-dollar question that apparently no one has a clear answer to. The financial failure of the 2017 Justice League film put any plans of a sequel on hold, maybe for a while. With the success of movies featuring solo characters like Wonder Woman and Aquaman, Warner Bros. is choosing to focus more on telling individual stories, instead of group ones. I can’t say it’s a bad move, but that means we’ll be without a sequel to Justice League for a while. It’s unfortunate, but it gives DC a chance to properly expand their cinematic universe. Still, just keeping their all-star team on the fence isn’t the best plan. I mean, come on, they’re the Justice League. You simply can’t have a DC Extended Universe without them. So how long will it be before we see a Justice League 2?

In all honesty, that’s probably not even the best question to ask at the moment. Not too long after Justice League’s release, some very disconcerting news got out. Ben Affleck was confirmed to no longer be playing Batman and reports surfaced that claimed Henry Cavill was out as Superman. A DC Extended Universe without Batman and Superman? Now that was something to be worried about. Those two are DC’s star heroes and now they’re gone. That news only made the possibility of Justice League 2 even more unlikely. How can you have a Justice League movie without a Batman and a Superman? The natural response would be you can’t, but then again, it’s not impossible.

That’s right, I believe another Justice League movie without the presence of Batman and Superman can work. It will seem weird, but the point of telling these stories is being creative. Ben Affleck confirmed that he’s completely out of the DCEU, but Henry Cavill has said otherwise. In recent interviews, he has claimed that he hasn’t given up on the role and still wishes to be our Superman. We can cross our fingers and hope it’s true, but for arguments sake, let’s just put that aside for a second.

If you disagree with me, I get it, because I initially thought it wouldn’t work. However, with the right direction and story, a different kind of Justice League movie can be seen. For starters, if you want a good story, you got to have great characters.

Who else is there besides Batman and Superman? The first answer should be an obvious one. You guessed it, the undisputed queen of DC, the one and only Wonder Woman. Batman and Superman have often served as leaders to the Justice League and when they couldn’t live up to the task, Wonder Woman stepped up to the plate. This is why Batman sought her out and recruited her in the first place. The daughter of a god, a warrior trained from early childhood, and literally centuries of experience. Batman constantly pushed her to be a better leader and be a mentor for the team and when push came to shove, she did exactly that. Wonder Woman began as a naive child, but then evolved into a strong and capable leader. She’s exactly the kind of leader the team needs.

A leader needs followers though and DC has many heroes to offer. Other than Bats and Supes, her teammates included Aquaman, Cyborg, and The Flash. Aquaman acted as the angry loner who needed the push to fight for what was right, while Cyborg and The Flash were the young and inexperienced heroes who needed guidance. Wonder Woman served as the guiding voice and hand that helped steer these characters towards a heroic path. She’s become more accustomed to the mentor role, but she can’t always be the big mentor on her own. More Justice League members means more enemies to challenge them. They’ll need some heavy hitters and I can think of a few contenders.

First of all, who can substitute for Batman? He’s not the only DC hero without powers, far from it. Fans of DC television should think about a particular emerald archer named Oliver Queen. That’s right, the billionaire playboy vigilante called Green Arrow. Why can he be a suitable replacement for Batman? Let’s start with the obvious and begin with his lack of superpowers. Similar to Batman, Green Arrow relies on gadgets to fight criminals, with his bow and arrow being his favorite toys. DC has never been reluctant to cut down on the cheesiness its history is so rife with, and that includes things like Green Arrow’s boxing-glove arrow. Seeing that in the DCEU would be one heck of a site.

But his gadgets aren’t the only thing that would make him a great Batman-like League member. Despite his immense wealth, he’s a hero that fights for the working man. His reputation as a Robin Hood precedes him well, as he has a history of protecting the poor from the rich and powerful. He lacks Batman’s stern attitude and has a knack for being sarcastic. What really separates him from Batman is his ability to be light-hearted and use this to inspire those around him. A Green Arrow in the DCEU can be the perfect hero to rally the young heroes and use his lightheartedness to make them laugh. Where Batman motivated people through harsh words, Green Arrow can do it through much kinder and humorous words.

Now for the big elephant in the room. That’s right, a replacement for Superman. Which DC hero can possibly fill those shoes? One of my top picks is Hawkman, a hero who is already confirmed to appear in the upcoming Black Adam movie. Why him? Well, he comes from a world of hawk people called Thanagar and has lived a long time. He’s a strong warrior with plenty of experience, but he’s got some serious anger issues. This was always his biggest flaw, as it didn’t help him be the best team-player.

This would make him perfect for a new member of the Justice League, because he can prove useful while also causing some conflict. A warrior as experienced as him would claim leadership and Wonder Woman would naturally stand up to him. His rage would serve as a good balance to the serenity of Wonder Woman and their different views would cause conflict, but they would be forced to work together.

The other hero best suitable to stand in for Superman would be another alien DC hero. The shape-shifting alien known as Martian Manhunter. Like Superman, Martian Manhunter lost his home, his people, and is very powerful. If the League needs a heavy hitter, the martian is the man to go for, but his most defining trait is his humility. Martian Manhunter is an alien, but he’s about as human as you can possibly get. He’s got an almost childlike interest in the ways of humanity and is incredibly devoted to protecting Earth. Martian Manhunter can bring more than just his awesome powers to the League. He can be the beacon of hope to really inspire the League if they lose their hope and introduce them to his unique perspective on life. Plus, he just looks cool and he’s just one character fans are dying to see.

So that covers half of it but who will be the villain? There really is no definite answer, because there are many villains to choose from. I’d say the best thing they can do is to not use a CGI-heavy villain like Steppenwolf. If they want an alien villain, spend more time on that CGI, please. Personally, I’d be excited to see villains like Despero, Amazo, or the Injustice League. More human-looking villains has suited the DCEU well so far and it’s something they should stick to. If you’re thinking Darkseid, it’s honestly too early, so let’s give the League someone a bit easier to toughen them up before he does come around.

Justice League 2 is a movie we won’t see for a while, but that’s not really a bad thing. If they want to get it right the second time, they need to spend time building it up to it. No Batman and Superman is a big bummer, but that only means more DC heroes can make their debut. The universe of DC is massive, so the more heroes on board, the better. If we really want a solid Justice League 2, we just have to be patient.

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