Friday, April 23, 2010

Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths [what villain would you be?]

A few days ago I viewed one of the most well-written, thrilling animated features DC Animation has ever put out: Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths. The story is simple: there are many universes parallel to our own. In one of them, there is an evil counterpart to our Justice League called "The Crime Syndicate" and they are about to take over their world, unless our Justice League stops them. This idea of a parallel universe has been in print for nearly 40 years, but no movie has been made about it - until now].

Deathstroke the Terminator as PRESIDENT?! My vote in 2012!! ;)Written by the accomplished Dwayne McDuffie, it has several levels of goodness, including the hidden geek joys that no casual viewer would pick up on: such as the President of the United States in the alternate Earth [Earth-2] being Slade Wilson. In our universe, he's a mercenary assassin named Deathstroke the Terminator. Nice to see somewhere he's good!

All our heroes have evil counterparts in this alternate Earth. All the villains have good counterparts. In fact, we start off with Lex Luthor and the Jester [our Joker, now good] working together to steal a necessary device from two Crime Syndicate bosses - unfortunately, they are found out and, thanks to a very heroic action by the Jester, Lex succeeds in escaping to OUR universe, to get help from our Justice League.

I won't tell you more, but there are a few clips on YouTube so you can see the high production quality [opening credits ROCK!] The fights are very well choreographed and the minor 'unnecessary touches' in dialogue and subplots are welcome. [The reader must keep in mind animation per frame is expensive - you pare to the minimum to keep costs down. Unlike live action films, you do NOT improvise shots hoping to strike gold. The 'fatness' of the dialogue and camera shots in this film are as rare as hen's teeth. Several scenes could have been cut, but were not for purely dramatic effect. I salute these men for their generosity. The gamble is worth it, methinks.]

Now its time for me to spiritualize this [as one reader might say], and I say -

No need.

You were born. You make choices of faith - who you will trust and support. Reason plays a big part of it, but often we step froward in faith-based covenants - marriages, friendships, religion, social groups, etc.

If you have a heart of love and wisdom, you will seek out those who are the same as you. If not, you will seek out those others whom you share your philosophy with. "People matter..." versus "People are cancer..." versus "People matter but are riddled with cancer of the soul..." or any worldview in-between.

There is one disturbing element in the film, found in Owlman's philosophy. His character is voiced by James Woods and its a home run, IMHO. But his philosophy is nihilism - nothing matters because you are not able to control anything. In this worldview and explained in the film, EVERY choice we make creates a NEW universe. And so there is a domino effect of infinite universes. That means that your universe is nothing but an infinitesmal speck in all the rest.

Now I don't think this is at all close to accurate, but his hubris, his pride is to force the issue. To make a choice which WILL have an impact on ALL the universes.

He seeks to find the Earth all others are based upon - "Earth-Prime". If he can wipe it out, he can wipe ALL the rest of the universes out. So he can be "making a choice - a REAL choice" that affects all reality.

Now, that's the villain's logic. It is flawed, because what he really wants is not a choice, but ultimate CONTROL. He doesn't want to give birth to another universe by doing something different, he just wants to make THE FINAL decision as to what happens - to everything, EVERYWHERE.

I think we understand that desire, twisted as it is. If we were God, we'd not let this or that happen. We want to change the world or make sure what we do matters. There might be other universes, I do not know. We do know from the Bible that one day ours will end and there will be "a new heavens and a new Earth." Until then, this is the only one we live and move and breathe in.

When we are selfish and care not for the lives of others, we are saying the same thing all who are wicked say: the universe must pay attention to ME. My needs must be met, or I will [fill-in-the-blank].

If you were a superhero, what would you do to change your world?

If you were a supervillain, what would you do to control your world?

What is amazing is how close the parallels are. How charming the villains can be. [They smile a lot more than our heroes...]

And how easily we understand the desire to run the world - or ruin it - if we don't get our way.

Think I speak too broadly? Consider your world.

Your 'world' may simply be your home or your place at work. It may be a place on a forum or membership in a community.

You have more effect than you think. Be careful what buttons you push, what actions you commit, what words you say.

It may very well change your entire world -for eternity.

God made a universe by His word. Let us create and not destroy with our words as well.

Amen.

1 comment:

DudeBLog said...

Thanks for speaking out on this man I HATED WHEN OWLMAN SAID THAT LINE "it doesnt matter, nothing matters"

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