When you look up the writing staff of Marvel Comics films you will see a short list that generally consist of Stan Lee and a couple of other writers. When you pull up the writing staff of most of DC Comics films, like the new "Justice League" you get around nine names - some dead and some still alive.


It is the classic case of too many cooks in the kitchen for DC versus Marvel's concept of one chef (Stan Lee) and a chef of the kitchen. The stories are more cohesive with the smaller staff and with the creator still living, there is more continuity. Period.


Director Zach Snyder may well be a fan of DC Comics universe, but there is little he can do about the helter-skelter way the stories are squished together. Gotham City and Metropolis are twin cities separated by a bay? Seriously? That was the concept introduced in last years "Batman vs Superman" fiasco. The only saving grace was Gal Gadot's Wonder Woman character.

This time, after Batman - having vanquished the pesky Superman - notices robot bugs are destroying parts of the earth. It seems that somebody is looking for something and will stop at nothing to get it. The "it" turns out to be Mother Boxes, three of which are scattered around. Batman (Ben Affleck) quickly figures out that the Earth is about to be attacked.


Wonder Woman lets him know that he is a little late to the game because the attack has already started on her secret country of Themyscira, where one of the boxes is hidden and heavily guarded. It seems the ceature after the boxes is named Steppenwolf (Ciaran Hinds) is out to impress hi mommy by getting the boxes and destroying every planet in the universe. Just 'cuz!


Batman realizes that he is too weak and puny to defeat Steppenwolf alone or with Wonder Woman and needs to assemble a few other superheroes. Aquaman (Jason Momoa) is reluctant until his people are attacked, Cyborg (Ray Fisher) also joins and with the same zeal as Spiderman, The Flash (Ezra Miller) is itching to play with the big boys.

Unlike Marvel's "Avengers" - that carefully introduce each character with his own movie before grouping them together, DC decided to go ass-backward and introduce Aquaman, the Flash and Cyborg without the benefit of personal backstories. The only two you know are Batman, Wonder Woman and the soon to resurected Superman. Oh come on, that's not a spoiler... hell he's on the poster!


So we don't even get the benefit of a "Dirty Dozen" intro to the principles nor a believable reason why Steppenwolf wants to destroy the universe. Is he doing it because Ego (Kurt Russell) wanted to in "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2"? Who knows.


Smashing the group together is about as artistic as a bad joke, which the writers included plenty of in the script. Once again, the only character to come across well is Wonder Woman. The worst character is Aquaman who is constantly brooding about something. The talent of the various actors helps a little, though it's still wierd to see JK Simmmons as Commissioner Gordon when he was once Peter Parker's publisher J. Jonah Jameson.


If you take away the special effects and the occasional humorous quip, all the star power in the world can't help this flat as cardboard story.


"Justice League" continues the DC trend of being very, very disappointing. Perhaps in the next one, Wonder Woman will knock off the rest and take her rightful place at the side of Iron-Man. Oops, different universe.   -- GEOFF BURTON