After a not-so-brief hiatus, I return to the geekosphere to find some new info on the upcoming Justice League movie, called Doom. Sounds uplifting. Here are some main points thanks to the almighty Wikipedia:
– Is a loose adaptation of JLA: Tower of Babel, which I can’t tell you anything about since I haven’t read it.
-Dwayne McDuffie adapted and wrote the screenplay before his death.
-Among returning voices are: Tim Daly as Superman, Kevin Conroy as Batman, Susan Eisenberg as Wonder Woman, Nathan Fillion as Green Lantern, Michael Rosenbaum as The Flash, and Carl Lumbly as Martian Manhunter.
For those of you who watch superhero cartoons (and I’m betting that’s most of you), you should notice an almost-reunion there. Every voice actor from the original Justice League show is coming back…..except Phil LaMarr as Green Lantern (John Stewart) and Maria Canals-Barrera as Hawkgirl. Instead, we’ve got Nathan Fillion as Hal Jordan as well as several other members.
Don’t get me wrong. Mr. Fillion is a brilliant actor and a perfect fit for Hal–maybe if he was cast instead of Reynolds the live-action move wouldn’t have sucked. But now Hal has a live action movie, two animated films, and an upcoming animated series. Why all of a sudden is Hal the only Green Lantern worth seeing?
And when you have a reunion of all the other Justice League actors, why in the world leave out two of the most beloved and well rounded characters?
Green Lantern, John Stewart, was a member of the Marines before being chosen as a Green Lantern. He’s highly strategic and militaristic and is usually focused on developing the team as a cohesive unit. And Hawkgirl, Shayera Hol, is a Thanagarian cop accidentally stranded on Earth. She’s rash, a fighter, sarcastic but fiercely loyal to her team and if you can spot it, she has a soft side.
They had their own relationships with the rest of the team– John and Wally got along oarticularly well, and Shayera and Diana had a oarticular disike for each other after Shayera betrayed the team to the Thanagarians (see the second season finale for more). But perhaps most memorably, the two had a romantic but also emotional and complicated relationship that developed at the end of the second season and continued to the show’s end. It added a mature and genuine element that is rarely seen in animation.
Neither have been seen since on the big or small screen since. An evil incarnation of Hawkgirl was briefly shown in Crisis; there was no John Stewart in the animated GL film, and a cameo in the live-action one was apparently cut.
After being skipped over in the last Justice League movie, Crisis on Two Earths, Hawkgirl and John Stewart are overlooked, both individually and together, once again. And how much more so in this film, when the most original JL voice actors will be returning since the cancellation of the show. And when their relationship was very much left unresolved at the end of the series.
Yes, John and Shayera are full characters, and so much more than just their sex or skin colour, but the diversity conversation is also a big part of this. We desperately need better representation of diversity in the animated movies (and is it such a big deal to have two GLs in one JL movie?). We need to see more female superheroes who kick ass, not just Wonder Woman, who remains the only woman with her own movie.
But in the end this is about great characters, phenomenal voice actors, who deserve the limelight; an opportunity missed once again. Bruce Timm and the rest of the DC crew, you have a lot to answer for.
So I pose this to you: do you feel the same way? Are GL and Hawkgirl better off ‘untarnished’ in the show? Or do you feel that they are being unjustly overlooked?