“People said the Age of Heroes would never come again.” – Diana
I haven’t yet seen Justice League. For me, the world of the DC Comics in film has become too dark, too brooding, with the possible exception of the Wonder Woman film. I heard Superman dies in Batman v Superman, and honestly my interest faded. Justice League: The Art of the Film may have just changed my mind about watching, however.
The Art of is unlike any “art of” book I have read to date. For one, there is very little to actually read. Most of the book is large spreads of pictures, either artwork, stills from the film, or 3D renderings of things that were created entirely in the computer and had no real world analog (ie, most of Cyborg, it seems). This was actually refreshing, in a way. There are just enough words to let you know what you were seeing, descriptions and the like, but mostly the pictures do the talking in terms of explaining the design aesthetic and language.
Justice League: The Art of the Film is divided into broad sections, displaying the design of the major factions in the film, and then each hero (and villain) in the film, showing the progression from concept art to production.
This book provides evidence for my disappointment with DC films. Actually, you don’t even need to crack open the book to see what I am on about. The front cover shows our six heroes standing heroically, in concept art. Each is in vivid colors. Remove the dust jacket, however, and you see a production still. Everyone is in shades of grey and the colors desaturated. I long for color in a DC film. Let Aquaman be green and yellow! Let Superman be blue and red. For god’s sake, give Batman a little yellow or blue like he has in the comics!! The artwork shows that these motifs were there at the beginning, and somewhere towards the end were cut out. For shame!
At over 200 pages, this book is hefty and should be on a coffee table somewhere, but beyond the uber-geek, I don’t know who exactly this book is for. It doesn’t spoil the movie, or really give any insight into the design process. It really is simply a series of art leading to behind-the-scenes stills. The book doesn’t tell you why they made any particular design choice or the influences behind them.
In all, this “art of” book disappoints me. But, the little story and character details that were teased, plus my appreciation of the Wonder Woman character, might induce me to see the film. Maybe.
Titan Books provided me with a free copy of Justice League: The Art of the Film, but that in no way colored my review.