Defending DC properties

DC properties less fit for the big screen than Marvel's? Shenanigans. Here's why, in my opinion, such statements are simply shortsighted.

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By Nemeres - 6/28/2011
I just came off reading Mark Millar's opinions about superhero films. Even as I kept reading my way down the article, retorts started building up in my head. I've got this mad urge to get them out of me, so instead of exposing them to my indifferent dog, I figured I better do what I had never done before, and write an editorial.

Millar basically said that DC properties are unfit for modern movie-going audiences. They are too over-the-top, too extravagant, their concepts too hard to swallow. It seems like it wasn't just two months ago that a movie about the norse god of thunder came out to great reviews and financial success. The question popped in my head: "Are you actually saying that Thor is easier to relate to than the Flash?" Or easier to recognize, for that matter? Everyone and their moms know who the Flash is. I don't know where they get it from if they're not into comics, but they know. They know he's fast, they know his logo, they know he wears red. "Don't leave without me, I'll be done showering like I'm Flash." "Okay, if you say you'll be fast..." And I'm absolutely positive that just ten years ago more people knew who the Flash was than those who knew who Spider-Man was. So is it unfair to say that back in 2001, when the concept of superhero movies was as fresh as a tulip, the idea of a Flash movie would have had the same kind of response that the idea of a Spidey movie? Imagine it with the right marketing, the right trailers, the right everything. Flash-mania. The lighting bolt logo everywhere. Is it hard to imagine? Not for me.

My point here is that Marvel beat DC to the punch, and they developed their stuff so effectively that they can easily lay claim to the past decade. They took over that cinematic quota and sated the audience's hunger for the genre. Their characters were given the chance to prove themselves. WB, meanwhile, let that happen not only because they had other stuff in their plate (Harry Potter, Matrix, etc.) but because they wanted to play it safe, and patiently stick to the slow development of the two characters that had already proven they could spike interest: Batman and Superman. With Batman, they hit it big again. With Superman, not so much.

What's the difference here? Well, the people behind them. And just because Singer proved he didn't know well what to do with the character, does it mean the character's broken? If Superman Returns had been the best Superman movie ever and the masses STILL didn't care, I could consider that option. But it wasn't. And the same with Green Lantern. It wasn't, it wasn't, IT WASN'T! The best GL movie and the best Superman movie are still in there, untapped, waiting to be dug out. Do that, and the audience will adore it, just as they did with Iron Man, with Spider-Man, with the X-Men.

The difference between Marvel and DC is not the characters. It's the success ratio. DC characters remain unproven, and that DOESN'T mean they have nothing to offer. No, Batman is not the only viable one. Just as he needed someone to swoop in and save him, so do the other ones. No, Millar, the solution isn't animation. The solution is to find Superman's Nolan, or GL's Raimi. Plus, having Aquaman talk underwater is not as ridiculous as having a man turn into a sentient heap of sand in Spider-Man 3, and how much did that make again?

So to sum it up, I think DC characters are unproven, yes. Just as Spider-Man, Iron Man and the X-Men were before the right people came along and turned them into major kiddie/adult appeal and box office gold.
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10 Comments
Checkmate - 6/28/2011, 3:19 PM
Nice article, I definitely agree, that was just another case of Mark Millar being stupid.
golden123 - 6/28/2011, 3:20 PM
Right on!
LP4 - 6/28/2011, 3:43 PM
DC characters CAN be great...even greater than marvel. The only problem is DC/WB suck at making CBMs. It is a known-fact WB is nearing the low level of FOX in terms of CBMs.

Millar is a douchebag...a marvel-drone. But it doesn't make his comments any the less relevant. DC/WB set themselves up for public insults since 2006 when they hired on Singer to basically RAPE SUPERMAN on the big screen...then Jonah Hex...Catwoman...Steel back in the day...heck even 2 cruddy Batman flicks in the 90's and now...Green Lantern is their newest victim.

The insults from Millar though hurtful to me as a DC-fanboy...I take it as gospel truth. Warner Bros is the REAL problem here.

Paulley - 6/28/2011, 4:01 PM
Reallly... Marvel's characters have always been more grounded than DC's... DC has many many over powered characters.

as for Thor... umm yea gods are infact Aliens that ancient people mistook for religious beings and there technology for magic... Ancient Astronaut theory.

Green Lantern.. a guy who can make green things move cus he wears a ring that sucks green energy from a green lantern which inturn gets it from a green battery.... guy on LSD in a green room theory. ;)
LP4 - 6/28/2011, 4:04 PM
@yossarian- Exactly. That's the problem. WB is more focused on making buttloadds of cash, so in the end they don't give a flying [frick] about the quality of their films if only they could realize that by putting in the effort to make quality films...they could rake in way more money in the long-haul.

WB's thought process- "MONEY NOW" they don't stop to think about the possibilities...

Marvel Studios on the other hand they take their time and dish out quality CBMs.

And sadly I gotta admit...Marvel has both QAULITY and QUANTITY over DC/WB when it comes to CBMs. We've had...a bazillion Marvel films and like maybe a handful or more from DC/WB. But in the long-run like i painfully admitted...Marvel has both the quality AND quantity. Marvel has had lots of misses...but they've also had lots of hits and the reason being- THEY MAKE MORE CBMs. Thus their chances of having more hits are obviously greater than it would be for DC/WB who only barely release like what...1 film per year.

That is just pathetic and disgusting of Warner Bros. They've owned the DC film rights since what...the 60's maybe? They've done almost nothing with it on the big screen. Warner Bros are petty and disgusting and greedy. They should free DC comics to work with other studios. Maybe then we fans can finally get the Superman film we've waited for...or the Green Lantern film we've waited for...Catwoman etc-
Nemeres - 6/28/2011, 4:41 PM
@Paulley

"Over powered", that's a funny idea. These are superpowered characters, after all. Spider-Man is just as over-powered if you pit him against a wallet thief. Pit Superman against Brainiac or anyone who will give him a challenge and you have that solved. In fact that's the point, a big action showdown, a spectacle. Why do you think people go to the Transformers movies?
golden123 - 6/28/2011, 8:43 PM
@LP4: I love how you say "Who only barely release like what...1 film per year". I would say 1 DC film per year is a pretty awesomne deal.

@TheGODDAMNSUPERGUY: Not to mention Wolverine's healing factor, Doctor Strange, Namor, Thor, Thanos, Dr Doom, and Captain Mar-vell.
95 - 6/28/2011, 9:51 PM
DC'S CHARACTERS ARE "GODS".

MARVEL'S ARE "AVERAGE PEOPLE WHO BECOME SUPER".

MARVEL'S ARE EASIER TO MAKE MOVIES ABOUT.

DC'S REQUIRE MORE CGI, THIS IS WHY THEIR ANIMATED FILMS ARE SO GREAT.

DC MUST TAKE A DIFFERENT APPROACH THAN MARVEL.

I GREW UP WITH THE BATMAN AND SPIDER-MAN ANIMATED SERIES {EPIC!}, SO I'M NOT BIASED.



Paulley - 6/29/2011, 2:24 AM
The fact Sentry is a play on Superman and the fact that he is so over-powered that its impossible to actually come up with threats that are not extrmely over-powered..

DC is over-the-top and campy.. always has been.. always will be.. its their thing, and it just harder to translate to film.

DC's cartoon are fantastic, Batman TAS, JLU... let alone the feature length movies (not including Bat/Sups ones they were horrible IMO)..
TheShadow - 6/29/2011, 3:31 PM
@Paulley
Dude..don't even
I have been a fan of Spider-man comics since I was a baby. But, DC comics are so much better, I mean, they have some of the best writers around.
Besides, MARVEL has overpowered characters too...and DC has some of the most down to earth and realistic characters...

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