WB Might Not Have A String Of Movies To Set Up Justice League, But Plan B Is Rolling Out To Stores Soon

batman and the flashMarvel paved the way for their innovative big-screen Avengers team up by giving Captain America, Thor and Iron Man their own standalone movies first.

Warner Bros. don’t seem to have the same plan for Justice League – and, arguably, they actually need to do more prep work than Marvel ever did.

Marvel only had to reconcile their previous presentations of The Hulk, but Warner Bros. have a very popular Batman to somehow reset, the troublesome Green Lantern movie to tidy away and ongoing plans to bring Wonder Woman to TV.

I think the studio understands that mass audiences would benefit from some idea that Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman and Green Lantern all known one another – and that the Contacts Book doesn’t end there.

So I think Variety have it right in supposing that the studio has long-term, movie related plans tangled up with their ongoing merchandising plans.

There’s not a full list of merch available, but Variety list:

tationery, sporting goods, and lawn and garden categories and include folding chairs with capes; melamine dinnerware; an apron that transforms the cook into Batman; sand toys that will help beach-goers create Gotham City; and children’s Batman, Wonder Woman and The Flash beach towels that double as capes.

And these bits of bumph will all work on familiarising the future movie audiences to the the interrelations of Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, The Flash and Green Lantern. Flip flops and toothbrushes will try to carry the load that WB’s own Phase One would have.

And what’s more, I guess we’ll be able to make assumptions about the movie’s character line-up from lunchboxes and boxer shorts. Martian Manhunter temporary tattoos, anyone?

If Justice League isn’t officially announced at San Diego this summer I’ll eat my hat. My Batman-Superman-Wonder Woman-emblazoned hat.

Below is the full press release from Target about their Justice League wares. Yes, they specifically mention The New 52. Because the merchandise might as well benefit the current comic too? Or because the New 52 is going to be a strong influence on the movie?  Or both.

In a first-of-its-kind partnership, Target® Corp. (NYSE: TGT) and Warner Bros. Consumer Products, in partnership with DC Entertainment, have teamed up to introduce an extensive summer collection of exclusive Justice League merchandise. The summer collection was inspired by “DC Comics – The New 52” comic book character designs and holds surprises for fans young and old. Featuring the full lineup of DC Comics’ iconic Justice League Super Heroes – Aquaman, Batman, Cyborg, The Flash, Green Lantern, Superman and Wonder Woman – the summer collection will launch at all U.S. Target stores and on Target.com beginning May 19.

The summer collection was co-created by the Target and Warner Bros. Consumer Products design teams and features contemporary and nostalgic, vintage-inspired graphics and designs. With more than 50 summer products available exclusively at Target, guests will see the collection come to life in home, stationery, sporting goods, and lawn and garden. Some of the more unexpected items include melamine dinnerware that features a purple and pink-clad Wonder Woman; an apron that transforms the cook into Batman; sand toys that will help beach-goers create Gotham City; and children’s Batman, Wonder Woman and The Flash beach towels that double as capes.

“We know Target’s guests love discovering unique merchandise, and this collection delivers the unexpected with a dash of great design. Fans of all ages are sure to love these one-of-a-kind summer items,” said Greg Van Bellinger, director of product design and development, Target.

“DC Comics’ Justice League characters are a powerful assemblage of the most recognizable Super Heroes in the history of comic books. We are incredibly excited to offer fans of all ages a unique collection and collaboration that pairs the heroics of the Justice League characters with the product design and marketing super powers of Target,” said Brad Globe, president of Warner Bros. Consumer Products.

In addition to the exclusive summer collection, Target will be part of a broader partnership with Warner Bros. Consumer Products that will offer more traditional Justice League licensed products. The broader partnership will span more than 20 categories including home, stationery, toys, apparel and accessories. All Justice League licensed products will range from $1 for Justice League temporary tattoos to $59.99 for a Justice League Rocker Chair. Target will also offer Justice League Halloween costumes for kids later this year.

With the release of “Justice League #1” in 2011, DC Entertainment officially kicked off “DC Comics – The New 52” as part of a re-launch of their entire comic book line of 52 new number one issues. “DC Comics – The New 52” Super Heroes are presented in a more contemporary way, including new costumes, characters and storylines.