'Justice League' Designer Gives a Closer Look at Darkseid's Creepy Parademons

Tuesday, 08 August 2017 - 10:04AM
DC Comics
Justice League
Tuesday, 08 August 2017 - 10:04AM
'Justice League' Designer Gives a Closer Look at Darkseid's Creepy Parademons
Image credit: DC Comics
Have you noticed how, in all trailers we've seen for Justice League thus far (not to mention that dream sequence from Batman v Superman), Darkseid's underlings, the parademons, all look more or less like generic grey blobs of CGI with wings? Patrick Tatopolous, production designer for Batman v Superman, has shared a nice, close-up look at a parademon, and it's hard not to notice that these creatures are staggeringly similar to every other grey CGI villain in the DCEU.




Sure, this thing looks pretty scary and you wouldn't want to meet one in a dark alley, but it's hard to see it as unique in a movie landscape that's increasingly dominated by generic grey CGI monsters. By contrast, the parademons in DC comics look decidedly more colorful and unique. Green and yellow costumes go a long way to making these things eye-catching, especially as it makes them stand out from Superman and Wonder Woman, both of whom wear red and blue.




What does it say when a bright, colorful hero like Superman or even the upcoming Captain Mar...eh, Shazam defeats a wave of dark, grey, homogeneous parademons? In a different movie universe, the consistently grey villains could stand to make the film's superheroes look all the more heroic and godlike by comparison.

That's almost how things could play out in the DCEU, but because the Justice League all lack color to begin with, the message falls flat. Man of Steel tries so hard to be The Dark Knight with Superman, with all the colors washed out, that any of the joy and fun that we get from Christopher Reeve's red and blue costume is replaced with brooding angst. This has set the trend for the rest of the heroes in the DCEU, as all the character designs draw so heavily on Batman's gritty oeuvre that there's no choice but to make the villains as dark and grey as possible in order to avoid the villains upstaging the heroes in terms of character design.

This isn't to say that other comic book movies have more colorful enemies—look at the Chitauri or the Ultron robots in The Avengers. Or, for that matter, the Putties in the Power Rangers movie, any of the Decepticons from the entire run of Transformers films, or the Swarm troops in Star Trek Beyond. For contrast, consider the Stormtroopers of Star Wars. They're ostensibly colorless and homogeneous, making our heroes look cooler by comparison, but their bright white suits with contrasting black trim have made them iconic parts of popular culture for decades.

Maybe it's time for DC to lay off the greyscale villains for a while, if only so that we can get some variety in our enemies.

Justice League hits US theaters November 17th, 2017.
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