We all love a good superhero team up, but every team up requires a threat worthy of a united heroic front. These are five Justice League villains who could carry their own weight in a Justice League movie. They must also be fit to take on the entire team while being standalone characters. Of course, none of these characters is real but whatever; it’s my list, not yours, so suck it. Sinestro, Brainiac, Manchester Black and the Elite, Gorilla Grodd, Parasite are all great characters to play with, but I’d prefer to see them in their own movies battling their respective heroic nemesis so they remain honorable mentions (unless they were to say join a secret society of supervillains or what have you). It’s all but confirmed that Justice League Part 1 will use Darkseid as the main threat (because build up isn’t relevant, I guess) so he’s off the list alongside the honorable mentions.
Here’s the fun part: I organized these Justice League villains in order of how I would use them in Justice League films. Let’s get started.
Amanda Waller, the Suicide Squad & Vandal Savage in
JUSTICE LEAGUE: MORTAL
Yes, that was the title of the canceled George Miller Justice League movie. It’s a great title and suits the purpose of this post.
Following further destruction on Earth, Amanda Waller and her task force of supervillains are recruited to put a stop to the Justice League as they are perceived to be doing more harm than good. As the Justice League finally gets a hang of this “no collateral damage” thing, they find themselves at odds with the mysterious agency known as A.R.G.U.S. and discover an adversary that can’t simply be punched away. Batman and Cyborg work to discover the mystery behind the secret financers of A.R.G.U.S. and Wonder Woman discovers an ancient threat even older than the Amazonians.
With great power comes great responsibility. But with immortality comes wisdom and apparently manipulation. Vandal Savage is a 2,000 year old warlord who has partaken in nearly every major historical event in history as he guided humanity towards his vision of perfection. What he perceives as the betterment of mankind isn’t exactly what the Justice League has in mind. It’s the perverse opposite of the Justice League’s attempt at safeguarding humanity and allowing it to grow on its own terms as they would seek to stop it from falling under harm’s shroud. Savage has no heavy hitting superpowers to speak of but his influence, intelligence, and wisdom are just as dangerous as any of the strongest Justice League members.
Plus, anything that gives Viola Davis more screen time is honestly a win for humanity.
JUSTICE LEAGUE: WAR WORLD
(Note: In between films, the Green Lantern Corps has already been introduced so John Stewart is already a member of the team.)
The Justice League goes up against the Death Star. You want Star Wars numbers at the box office? Here’s one way to do it. Flashback to thousands of years ago: The alien race known as the Green Martians create a weapon the size of Earth’s moon that can travel across the galaxy to destroy entire civilizations. The alien conqueror known as Mongul dooms his entire species in a war to steal the War World, but they shoot the key required to activate it into space where it lands on Earth and cause the War World to self-destruct.
Present day: The Justice League are deep in their heroic days with public opinion still recovering from previous entanglements with Darkseid and A.R.G.U.S., the last surviving Green Martian, J’onn J’onzz, comes to warn Earth of the impending threat from Mongul. He has finished recreating the War World by enslaving an alien species known as The Reach but still requires the materials found in the original key to activate its weapon. The key is located on our Earth leading to the Justice League facing off against an intergalactic war criminal hellbent on taking over not just our planet but the entire galaxy.
JUSTICE LEAGUE: THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD
Everybody loves a good old fashioned story of mind control. What you get is essentially the Justice League vs. Invasion of the Body Snatchers with a hint of The Blob (the 1980s version). With so many superhero stories involving mass destruction and disaster (especially on the big screen), what if the conflict wasn’t whether or not a city or planet would be destroyed but rather a battle for free will? In this scenario the Justice League and every villain on Earth would have to team up to save their planet. This movie practically writes itself.
There is not a single sequence of mass destruction. There is only the Justice League running from country to country in an attempt to save citizens by fighting a star fish from outer space. I imagine the final confrontation concluding without a single punch. The remaining Justice League members who haven’t fallen under mind control (Cyborg and Wonder Woman) merely talk to the central intelligence of Starro and reason with it in order to free humanity.
Doctor Destiny in
JUSTICE LEAGUE: DESTINY
You know how Age of Ultron is actually a really great movie complete with themes of introspection on heroism, legacy, and some wacky dream sequences that brought out the heroes’ worst fears? Imagine a whole movie about those dream sequences! Doctor Destiny is a petty criminal with delusions of grandeur, only he finds a way to manifest those delusions into personifications of the deepest fears of the Justice League. Better yet, you can have the Justice League question whether or not what they’re doing truly matters. For those who like a little heaping of destruction, we can still implement disaster sequences and dream chaos on par with the work of Roland Emmerich but with the thematic conceit of the destruction representing their shattered states of mind. What better way to differentiate yourself from the pack than by literally introspecting the entire point of the genre?
The Secret Society of Supervillains in
JUSTICE LEAGUE: UNLIMITED
Vandal Savage returns and has secretly been uniting the biggest villains on Earth – ideally Lex Luthor, Black Manta, Ra’s Al Ghul, Gorilla Grodd, Sinestro, Deathstroke, Queen Bee – to destroy the Justice League and change the course of human history.
The Justice League is continuing to safeguard humanity, work further on their attempts to reach out to other parts of the galaxy with the help of the Green Lantern Corps, while some members contemplate retirement. Even with new heroes surfacing on a regular basis, can the Justice League survive against Vandal Savage’s never ending attempt to control humanity? This is the big one. This is where one version of the DC Cinematic Universe ends and another begins. Here the Justice League stands tall against Vandal Savage, people die, and the champions of Earth understand the good fight never truly ends. Some may retire, some may perish, but as long as good men and women stand for what is right, evil can never truly triumph.
Featured Image: DC Comics