I was perfectly willing to simply count Justice League as the fourth or fifth best Lord of the Rings movie made by a major studio. I really was, I swear.
But then they had to bring one of my favorite Stephen King novels into it.
You don't do that.
You don't piss on my rug like that.
It's bad form, Whedon (because I know it was you).
Justice League: Pet Sematary
"The soil of a man's heart is stonier, Bruce," Jud Crandall said. "A man grows what he can, and he tends it."
Bruce Wayne shot back into reality from his daydream, the one that was letting the following narrative info-dump run its course freely. He was feeling angry in a bored, disinterested sort of way, reminiscing about how he'd ended up in Ludlow, Maine instead of where-ever Steppenwolf currently was. He was justified in being disinterestedly angry, he figured - after all, his carefully laid plans had, not to put too fine a point on it, gone completely to shit in the span of only five minutes.
His brilliant plan - a plan befitting a master strategist and detective such as Batman - was to repeatedly insult the most powerful member of the team until she took command. After that he would be free to resurrect Superman and then promptly kill himself, a necessary conclusion to a brilliant plan that became all the more brilliant when he ran it over in his head. The ending was key: he'd treated his childhood trauma in the most unhealthy way imaginable, living in a waking death shrouded in darkness; but after watching a man in red and blue spandex skewer himself on a some sort of rock/turtle monster hybrid, life had simply become too much. It had to end - then everyone would know peace.
Unfortunately, he hadn't accounted for the fact that people aren't typically motivated by a sudden barrage of insults. Wonder Woman promptly questioned why she would ever interact with someone either so callous or so stupid, and took off along with most of the team. Pillar One of Bruce's Genius Plan then went down in flames. They were fighting Steppenwolf right now, and while the feeble minded might think that was the appropriate reaction - what with the fact that time was ticking - Batman knew better: they needed Superman. Wonder Woman may have had the combined skill and power of Superman and Batman, and Flash was fast enough to bend the laws of time, but none of that mattered - they needed Superman. Superman had to live.
He told them that as they left. They took the Mother Box in response. Something about Bruce recklessly leaving it out in the open for Steppenwolf to claim. An utterly idiotic comment to be sure, but again, the insults he fired at his teammates only caused them to flip him the bird.
(bunch of useless jackasses...)
So Bruce required another plan. A better plan. And since he was as crafty as a bat, Bruce knew exactly what that plan would be. He could still resurrect Superman all right, and he didn't need a stinkin' Mother Box to do it either. He'd use an ancient, tried and true method. He would beat the rest of the League to the literal and metaphorical punch.
He'd use the Micmac burial ground in Ludlow. Hell yes he would.
Bruce liked this plan; he was excited to be a part of it.
That was how he came to be standing on old Jud Crandall's porch, a dead-body moldering on the steps, a warm beer in his hand. The sun was setting over the Maine horizon and a crisp fog was entreating on the entrance to the "Pet Sematary" just across the highway. It was almost time - Bruce could feel it.
With the info-dump now complete, Bruce decided to acknowledge Jud Crandall's existence fully. He turned and stared the old man in the eyes.
"What was that?" he said. Judd coughed.
"I said - "
"I don't care," Bruce said. He downed the rest of his beer, crushed the can, tossed it against the covered head of Superman's corpse. "We ready to go?"
"Ayuh," Jud said, doing the same with the rest of his beer. "Jus' let me get my prescription glasses. Don't wanna trip on the deadfall now."
"Couldn't I just burry you with Superman if anything happened?"
"Ayuh," Jud said. "Sure could. Question is: would you?"
Bruce thought for a moment.
"Probably not. You're not really plot essential, and I'm still kind of iffy on whether I find death to be repellent."
"What I thought," Jud said. He stepped off his porch and walked past Superman's body. He eyed it like he was an aged Stephen King character. "You're gunna carry that, right?"
"All right. Well, watch your step." Jud pointed out towards the Pet Sematary, its tree-formed entrance now completely misted over. "There's some weird shit out there. You drop it in the bog, you ain't gunna find it again. Fair warning."
Bruce nodded again, hefted Superman onto his shoulder, and followed the old man across the road.
Weird shit, he though. Yeah. Right.
Come talk to me when you fight a body builder that shoots ice out of a gun.
Bruce should have listened. There was, in fact, some very weird shit out on the bog.
Jud and Bruce cleared the deadfall at the rear of the Pet Sematary without any trouble, but after that the Universe apparently decided that all bets were off. Weird shapes that insulted sanity itself danced in and out of his vision. He thought he heard the footfalls of a massive, snarling creature - one that was impossibly high and yet totally hidden by fog. Voices that Jud assured Bruce were geese but which Bruce knew were most certainly not (he had experience with geese; a little know fact about Batman was that his second most traumatic experience in life, right after seeing his family murdered in front of him, was when he was attacked by a gaggle of geese when coming out of a Wayne Enterprise bond meeting). The voices echoed not in the night, but seemingly in his very brain - an uneasy sort of invasion into the Batman's mind that trumped all other mental attacks from his foes throughout the years.
Most horrifying of all though, something that Bruce in the coming years would try incessantly to block from his mind - for a split second Bruce was sure he saw a floating, CGI upper lip. It made his blood turn to anti-freeze.
"What in the unholy fuck was that?" Bruce asked Jud. He felt Superman slip from his shoulder and thought, upon reflection, that maybe he ought to just let the fucker drop into the bog.
"Lens flair," Jud answered back after a pause. There was hesitation in his voice, and Bruce can tell.
"Lens flair? Are you shitting me right now?"
"Look son," Jud said, spinning around. "You didn't see nothin', all right? Not no lip, not nothin'. If you don't keep your wits about you, your friend ain't gunna be the only dead Leaguer in Maine. Understand?"
The lens-flair-not-lip spun overhead again, and instead of arguing like he usually did, Bruce took Jud's word for it and sprinted through the last bit of the bog. The voices died out soon enough.
After the bog came a cliff, but the cliff was easy enough to navigate. Superman felt like he weighed nothing, and while Jud insisted that the Micmac burial ground had that effect on people, Bruce joked that it was because Clark had always been full of hot air.
Jud told him to shut his stupid mouth before he pushed his dumb ass back down the steps. Bruce, naturally, did as he was told.
They finally reached the burial ground - a soil-covered plateau near the top of the cliff. Stone carin's poked out over a thin layer of fog, forming patterns that Bruce's mind refused to put together.
"Seems like a nice spot," he said to Jud. The old man nodded.
"Ayuh. Real nice spot to make the dumbest decision of your life."
"What's that supposed to mean?" Bruce said.
"Whole lotta nothin', least to you anyway. C'mon - bury your friend and then let's get. I gotta do this whole thing over again with some doctor and his stupid cat."
Bruce unpacked Superman from his travel bag and started digging into the soil. A few minutes later, the dead Kryptonian was buried and had a massive stone carin to watch over him. Bruce began to feel impatient - he did, after all, have a speeding time-table to keep. The League would discover how right he was in possibly only a few hours, and Bruce wanted there to be enough time to gloat before he let himself get stabbed by a Parademon.
"How long does this usually take?" he said to Jud. The old man lit a cigarette and stared out into the stars.
"Usually? 'Bout a night or so. These things can't be rushed, you - "
The ground burst open before Jud could finish his sentence, pelting him and Bruce with fresh dirt and stone. Hovering in the air was Superman, looking confused and much more naked than he had when he went into the ground.
"Ah Jesus Holy Christing Fuck!"
And then began to pray.
"Hail Mary full of Grace help me win this stock-car race..."
Superman paid the old man no attention - instead he blinked twice, shook his head, then seemed to register Bruce's existence. The confusion dropped away for a look of relief as the nearly-naked, formerly dead hero landed in front of Bruce.
"Oh, Bruce! Holy shit, am I glad to see you!"
Bruce blinked. This was a positive development that none-the-less made him feel uncomfortable. The fact that a naked man was now hugging him didn't help.
Pushing Clark away, Bruce said, "Um, err, great. Terrific. Glad that you're...glad to see me."
"Oh you have no idea!" Clark said. "I don't know what you did to bring me back, but seriously - thanks!"
"It...uh..." Bruce stared over at Jud for support, unsure of what exactly to say. Jud had, coincidentally, fled down the hill, meaning that Bruce was on his own.
"You're welcome," Bruce said eventually. He turned his face as hard and serious as it could get. "Look, reunion's over. Steppenwolf is on the loose and - "
"Wait," Clark said. "Wait, did you resurrect me just to fight again? You did, didn't you?" His eyes turned pleading. "Tell me that's not what you did..."
"What did you expect me to do?" Bruce said. "We need you! You could truck the moon and still keeping going!"
"N'uh. Nope. No way man. I'm not fighting anymore." Clark started pacing, as though he was having a panic attack. "I've been dead dude, I've seen the other side. It sucks man, it friggin sucks."
Bruce blinked. "I...how, exactly, does it suck?"
"Ants!" Superman said. "Ants everywhere! And the sky kept screaming at me and I'm pretty sure I saw a giant spider with my father's - both of my father's - faces fused to the side!" He stopped pacing just long enough to grab Bruce's shoulders. Then he started to shake them. "I don't know where the hell I was, but I'm not going back - like, ever! I'm taking Lois and Mom to Antarctica and we're going to keep on not-dying as long as we can!"
Clark took a step back, crunched his knees, and prepared to take off. Bruce reached out a hand to try and grab him, but Superman swatted it aside. He said to Bruce, "Just some advice - I'd do the same thing if I was you. Maybe work on some sort of immortality potion while you're at it."
And with that, Superman took to the sky, saying "Maybe Steppenwolf will take care of himseeeeeeeelllllllllffffffff," as he went.
That left Bruce, alone in the Micmac burial ground with a man-sized hole in the middle of it. He was silent for a few minutes, letting the events of the past hour sink in, letting his mind go over them in careful detail.
Then he swore and blew out an angry breath.
"Great," said Bruce. "Now all my plans have been buggered to shit - again.
*Mumble grumble gripe*
(I didn't like the movie, but please don't take this as an attack on you if you did like it - I am, first and foremost, really difficult to please, and this is my way of coping with that)