It’s been a few weeks since the Avengers debut and Marvel studios has proven one simple thing a team superhero film has the legs to not only stand on its own in the box office but dominate it by reaching the masses. Marvel started this push back with the first Iron Man film and Incredible Hulk( which unfortunately did not fare well and a sequel never came which was a shame because to this day Norton’s Banner/Hulk are still my favorites )from then we saw Iron Man spawn a sequel Thor and Cap receive films while Black Widow, Hawkeye, and Fury( not to mention Agent Coulson )all had roles throughout this shared universe of marvel Superheroes on the big screen. This coming of a Marvel Universe in the movies was amazing for any comic loving geek around the world but if you’re like me you may have wondered while leaving the theater “What in the world is DC Entertainment doing with their stable of heroes?”
Now I’m a HUGE DC comics fan ever since I was a kid, my first trip to the comic book store I got a pack of trading cards and a comic book. The comic was Superboy and the cards were DC inside was a hologram Darkseid card( which I pronounced “darkseed” until my brother corrected me ), at that point I wanted more knowledge of these heroes and villains. I started reading Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Flash, Robin, Steel, Icon, Static, Blood Syndicate, then I hit the mother lode with The New Gods. I discovered a world of fantasy, cosmic powers, science everything a kid could want out of entertainment it was great!! Later on I got into Marvel a bit more with Spider-Man, X-Force, Dare Devil, The Punisher, Captain America, and Iron Man and I loved what I read but DC always held a special spot for me especially when Batman: The Animated Series started on television. Naturally with my love for DC Comics and animation I asked my mom if they had movies she rented Richard Donner’s Superman I and II for me and I loved every campy minute of it!!! Soon after I saw Batman then Batman Returns, the rest of the Superman films as well. By that time I had gotten older and didn’t really take to the other Superman films like the first two and after rewatching the batman movies I kind of stopped liking them I just couldn’t get why they killed the Joker yet I was reading him in my comics. The concept of comic to film adaptations was confusing to me i figured why couldn’t they just use what was in the books? By the time the third Batman film came out I simply lost interest in comic film adaptations and stuck to comics and animation.
Then after all those poor attempts at superhero films one came along that piqued my interest Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man!! I loved that movie and still do to this day to me it’s perfect but after I saw it I wondered when would DC bring back their heroes in similar fashion? Soon after Batman Begins rolled out and Nolan crafted this gritty noir masterpiece that was everything I loved about the great detective!!! But during all this time when the hero films started to really roll out my brothers, sister, and myself noticed that the film versions of these characters that we grew up with lacked the feeling of a single universe it was kind of a big deal to us we wondered when we’d see some team up films like we saw team up comics. We started talking Avengers, Justice League, suicide Squad, Defenders, Birds of Prey, Teen Titans all these great comic teams that we wanted to see film adaptations of. By that time I found out Nolan’s Batman was a standalone never to be part of something bigger than himself and I thought boy that sucks, and it sucked even more when Marvel Studios started the Avengers Initiative. By that point it seemed like DC Entertainment was playing a very sloppy game of catch up, which really bothered me because DC comics were great reads at the time and to this day they have a strong house of writers and artist Turner( R.I.P. ), Johns, Simone, Lee, Igle, Marz( really blows my mind that he wasn’t on the GL movie project ), Van Sciver, Morrison and the list goes on and on and on I didn’t understand why their films lacked the same creativity and drive that their comics and animated properties had.
It seems that the issue is the same revolving door of Batman and Superman is used far too much, DC has a slew of great characters that really should have films that need to work in a shared universe. Before you start to think that DC’s heroes are too unrelateable don’t as powerful as Captain Marvel is when he’s Billy batson he’s a kid that deals with the very human struggle of being an orphan that right there relates to allot of people who don’t have parents, along with him being orphaned he’s charged with this great yoke across his back to be this conduit of good. He’s a kid under a ton of pressure he may feel that he doesn’t really fit in anywhere yet he rises above what he battles with to help those who are even less fortunate than him. Diana of Themyscira may be a sword wielding warrior and the daughter of Zeus but she’s also an alien resident in our world who is trying to come to terms with life outside of what she’s used to living in a world that doesn’t understand her she’s an outsider relatable. Flash he’s a guy who at times doesn’t want to get involved with the bigger issues he’d rather remain low-key he has his moments of self-doubt who of us hasn’t? Though DC boast heroes of amazing power when you dig deeper you find very complex and human characters the problem with their films isn’t the heroes it’s the people who bring them to life. If DC Entertainment wants to compete with Marvel and more than that if they want to reach an audience of untapped potential comic readers they need to find their focus in film and be the visionaries they are with comics.
With Nolan wrapping up his Batman trilogy it leaves many wondering where things will go next reboot Batman? While that is possible they should steer clear of a Batman reboot if they want to feature Batman they could do one of two things or both. One focus on characters like Flash, WW, and GL put Bruce Wayne in these films in cameo appearances as a philanthropist but all the while he’s just there showing up to keep tabs on these up and coming heroes building his files on Super Humans who he sees as possible threats. Two just do a Batman Superman team up( yes Snyder’s Superman is coming out next year but he stated that MoS will be a stand alone film with no ties to other heroes or the JL just like Nolan’s Batman trilogy way to fail on that )that has Wayne buying out the Daily Planet watching Superman all the while there is a greater impending force at hand threatening the universe that eventually will call for the need of the JL maybe the White Martians or Legion of Doom. As for Flash and Wonder Woman there’s plenty to work with for a good film between The Rouges, Zoom, and Grodd the Flash is stacked with great villains to build a cohesive story. Diana has the entire Greek Pantheon plus her political ties throw in Steve Trevor and A.R.G.U.S. and you could easily tie in Amanda Waller, The Suicide Squad, Ares as the main threat, a betrayal by any number of characters that could usher out the Old Gods and bring in the New Gods. The material is there to do what Marvel has done but the vision is what’s missing and until DC Entertainment can find that vision we may never get to see The World’s Greatest Superheroes on the big screen together.