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Monday, September 12, 2016 

WSJ whitewashes the career of Geoff Johns

And come to think of it, so too is Warner Brothers. The Wall Street Journal wrote about WB's decision to make their DC adaptations less dark than they've been of recent, but say nothing about what the past career of a certain writer who's now ascending to work on their film production was really like:
The studio has reworked the 2017-slated “Justice League” in hopes of making it less grim and depressing than March’s “Batman v Superman.” And it has put fan-favorite comic book and TV writer Geoff Johns in a senior position overseeing the next wave of movies, along with veteran production executive Jon Berg.

One of the duo’s main goals, they said in their first interview since taking the jobs this past spring, is to make DC superheroes on the big screen more inspiring.

“Mistakenly in the past I think the studio has said, ‘Oh, DC films are gritty and dark and that’s what makes them different.’ That couldn’t be more wrong,” said Mr. Johns, who has written comic books featuring most of the company’s top superheroes. “It’s a hopeful and optimistic view of life. Even Batman has a glimmer of that in him. If he didn’t think he’d make tomorrow better, he’d stop.”
If he really believed in what he said, he'd never have shoveled such crude, nasty and disgustingly greasy elements upon series like the Flash and Green Lantern. Just what business does he think he's got telling us what would make more sense coming from a different writer with more rationale, after all the crud he foisted upon nearly every DC title he scripted, right down to the Islamist propaganda he shoved into GL? In retrospect, even his work on JSA was uninspiring due to all the pretentious nostalgia it relied too heavily upon. But, no surprise at all the WSJ's writers never researched any of his most revolting work from a visual perspective.
Many have complained that such a sense of optimism was precisely what was missing from​ director Zack Snyder’s “Batman v Superman” and his 2013 Superman reboot “Man of Steel.” Neither Ben Affleck’s Batman nor Henry Cavill’s Superman crack a smile, and both films feature so much death and destruction, including killings perpetrated by the main characters, that bloggers labeled them the “DC cinematic murderverse.”
Well gee, many have also complained well before the movies became such a big deal that their comics were becoming devoid of optimism and lacking a sense of humor too, and Johns didn't do any better. He was part and parcel of the editorially mandated bleak direction forced upon the DCU, under Dan DiDio's vision dedicated to trolling the audience. He was quite cooperative with Brad Meltzer, and Johns was a co-writer on Countdown to Infinite Crisis, the special that was produced for the goal of killing off Ted Kord, the second Blue Beetle. Even the ongoing series he wrote weren't free of irritating deaths, and they certainly contained quite a bit of fetishized violence. I wouldn't be surprised if plenty of bloggers would also be quite willing to label the past 2 decades of DC a "murderverse", to say nothing of a "turnevilverse", in allusion to how they transformed characters like Hal Jordan and Jean Loring into vile villains.

Something not mentioned in this article is that Jimmy Olsen was one of the characters killed off in Batman vs Superman, in a pure shock value moment. There's one example of what's wrong with the film. If they don't see any value in any notable character, then they had no business conceiving the crummy movie to start with.

At the end of the WSJ article, they tell that:
As he is writing screenplays and working with Mr. Berg to develop other coming DC movies including “Flash,” “Aquaman” and “Cyborg,” Mr. Johns has pulled back from his work on DC television shows and comic books.

This past May, however, he wrote a special called “Rebirth” that gave DC’s comic-book line a more hopeful tone and a renewed focus on each superhero’s core qualities—following complaints that, like the recent movies, they had gone astray from what fans loved about them. Early sales numbers have been strong, and Mr. Johns said he is applying lessons to his film work.

“We’re trying to take a really hard look at everything to make sure we stay true to the characters and tell stories that celebrate them,” he said.
Wow, how come he didn't do that over a decade ago when he was first working for them? Some of his would-be attempts at character drama were pretty half-hearted too, ditto some of his alleged attempts at humor, which were actually pretty laughless. How come he was shoving so much grossness into Flash and then GL? Even his work on JSA after David Goyer left started reeking, and did I mention that at the time he was working on the titles, Hector Hall, then portrayed as a Dr. Fate nominee, and Hippolyta Hall, aka Fury, were killed off almost as quickly as they came? What was the whole point of using any Infinity Inc. members if he couldn't do anything better with them?

And Johns didn't write stories that were true to their past characterization, nor did he write stories that celebrated them honestly. I'm also not sure why somebody whose involvement on the 2011 Green Lantern movie is thought to be perfect for developing the Justice League movie now. If he didn't succeed with that film, why should we expect him to do much better with their newest movies? The WSJ's once again disappointed by not asking any challenging questions, nor acknowledging what kind of embarrassments DC and Marvel alike put out over the past 2 decades.

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