With the creation of its “Cinematic Universe,” Marvel has brought to the big and small screens one of the things that’s so much fun about comic books: the interconnected nature of the various stories. Superman can pop up one week in Green Lantern. Spider-Man can swing by the Baxter Building to ask the Fantastic Four for a hand. The Avengers and upcoming Justice League movies take the “cinematic universe” concept to its next inevitable stage, but one staple of comics we probably never will see on the big screen is the cross-company team-up. But one YouTuber has taken the time to envision what such an epic event might look like, and the results are, well…super.
That clever compilation of badassery is the work of YouTuber Alex Luthor, and it’s legitimately one of the best fan videos I’ve ever seen. You’ve got fan service like a meeting between Batman and Iron Man, or seeing Thor throw down with Superman. And having Doom be the one who cracks open the multiverse and makes it all possible is a nice touch (at least he isn’t a hacker). The video also makes excellent use of Ken Watanabe’s “Let them fight” line from Godzilla.
But where the trailer really shines is in how well it blends footage from different movies, years apart, and makes them feel like a cohesive whole. The Tesseract gateway from Avengers mixes with Doom footage from the terrible Fantastic Four movies mixes with the particle accelerator explosion from The Flash, and it all fits together perfectly. Thor throws a hammer in one movie and smashes Kal-El through a diner in another. Ghost Rider races down the side of a skyscraper as Flash races up toward him. Arrow and Hawkeye face off to see who’s the better bowman. And, in maybe my favorite nearly seamless moment from the whole thing, Barry kicks into superspeed to unwind the tornado being kicked up by Thor.
Technology has made it relatively easy to make a fan video like this these days, but having an eye for continuity, for visual storytelling, for making it all truly feel of a piece — that’s a helluva lot trickier, but Alex Luthor has it in spades. That’s how you wind up with the Flash punching Colossus in the mug, courtesy of a shot of the Flash actually punching the similarly metallic villain Girder. Well played.
Of course, there are a few roadblocks. We don’t actually have modern live-action movies for Wonder Woman, Aquaman, or the Justice League yet, so the video has to borrow from other sources. We get a few moments pilfered from CGI video game cutscenes, which is fine, but also footage from David E. Kelley’s aborted Wonder Woman pilot, which is in terrible quality and sticks out like a sore Amazon thumb. Still, that’s just picking nits. And I do have to say, it’s pretty great to see Spidey and the X-Men alongside the MCU heroes where they belong.
As awesome as it would be to see the Man of Steel punching the Incredible Hulk into the moon, the legal wrangling necessary for the House of Ideas to join forces with the Distinguished Competition make it likely that we’ll never get the big-screen equivalent of Justice League vs. The Avengers. Then again, it wasn’t that long ago that I would have dismissed the possibility of ever seeing an Avengers movie, so maybe I’ll be proven wrong.