How Alex Ross Imagined a Justice League Movie
Comics artist extraordinaire Alex Ross has long been the guy who imagined what our favorite comic book superheroes would look like if they were to be realized in live-action, way before we were actually getting live-action incarnations of our favorite heroes seemingly like clockwork in movie theaters and on TV.
Ross became famous been making realistic illustrations of DC and Marvel characters back in the '90s, back when the very idea of a Justice League movie seemed like the most pie in the sky of geeky pipe dreams. The painter, who made his name on the seminal series Marvels and Kingdom Come, has always leaned towards the more iconic and classic versions of Marvel and DC superheroes in his art. His Superman will always have red undies.
On his Facebook page, Ross has just released an image he painted for the movie poster of what his personal Justice League film would have looked like. And as you can imagine, the words "mythic" and "awe inspiring" are the key words whenever you're describing Ross' paintings, and this one is no different. No comic book artist loves the grander, mythological elements of the DC and Marvel comic book universes more than Alex Ross. You can check out the image down below:
In the idealized Ross JLA movie, it looks like he unsurprisingly went with the classic original founders of the team -- Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Flash, Green Lantern, Aquaman and the Martian Manhunter. Although the characters in his poster are mostly covered in shadow, if you know anything at all about Ross' preferred aesthetic, then you know they are sporting their original costumes. No armor plating or molded rubber muscle suits here, no sir -- spandex all the way, baby. Or maybe whatever passes for polyester on Krypton.
We aren't entirely sure when this lovely bit of speculative poster art was made, but based on the actors listed, it would seem to be the early 2000s. Everything about the actors listed just smells of the early aughts. Among the cast listed on the poster are Smallville's Tom Welling (as Superman, presumably) along with Buffy and Angel's Charisma Carpenter, we'd guess as Wonder Woman, Christian Bale (Batman, we presume), Wes Bentley, Roswell's Jason Behr, Shane West, the late Bill Paxton, and none other than Vin Diesel as alien despot Despero. The directors are listed as the Wachowskis, and the score is from the late James Horner. Given all of this, it's safe to say this was not a recent illustration. This Justice League movie might as well have its own Myspace or Friendster page, it's so mid-2000s.
Still, this is a super cool image, and in many ways we wish this actually were the JL movie that was coming to us in November. If only to have a Justice League line-up that featured Martian Manhunter and the Green Lantern among the team. Ross' artwork was clearly an inspiration for the real Justice League movie though, as evidenced by some of the promotional art that was recently revealed for the film.
Images: DC Comics / Warner Brothers / Alex Ross