Marvel Got it Right, DC...

Marvel Got it Right, DC...

Civil War is upon us and it's looking to be a success with critics and fans alike. This reception should make us all comic book geeks happy. It also had made me wonder as a DC fan, how Marvel got things so damn right and DC with equally great characters not so much. Here is what I came up with.

Let me start by saying that I am not writing this to hurt the feelings fo DC fans. I am myself a DC fan, I grew up on steady diet of SuperFriends and the Legion of Doom, BTAS, STAS, JLA, JLU, etc. Sicne I have memory Superman has been my favorite fictional character - my grandparents were my real life ones -  and a model to follow (minus the flying - jumping from a 3 story balcony can hurt a lot). Even now, I still read way more DC than Marvel (Superman, Batman, Contantine, Dr. Fate, Suicide Squad, Aquaman, JLA, among others as compared to Thor, Dr. Strange and X-Men). However, if we are talking about cinematic universes (and those are the ones I am referrig from now on when I mention Marvel or DC) - damn! Marvel got it right. And DC... not so much, so far.

Go back to 2008 - How many of you knew who Iron Man was? - I know wrong crowd to ask - so let me rephrase: How many people on the street knew who Iron Man was? How many people knows today who Iron Man is? In the answer to these questions I think lays the key to Marvel success: Character development. Since the debut of Iron Man Marvel has taken us through 12 movies, built motivations, backstories and developed its charcaters and their places in a shared universe. DC has not, DC presented us with an stand alone film in MoS and tried to then incorporate that story into a shared universe as quickly as possible in BvS. This could have worked have the character development in those two movies been better, but not when they didn't give us charcters we can relate to or be inspired by. Which bring me to my next point...

Marvel want us to relate to its characters, to have fun with them, to gasp at their actions, follow their stories and relate to them. So far DC movies look more like a deconstruction of the genre... They want us to think what would happen if heroes walk the earth? They want us to be in awe of these demigod characters, but they don't give us a line to empathaize or to relate to them. Marvel so far involves everyone in their stories, DC invites you as the spectator of a grandiose opera, held together only by big unanswered questions and asthetics, but not a cohesive story. Which bring me to my next point...

Substance... Marvel movies have clear cut stories, yes they have twists and turns, but basically they are straight forward stories unified in a shared universe by minor plot points. Here asthetics, easter eggs, jokes are to further the story telling ,not the other way around. DC movies on the contrary seem to be constructed to fit an asthetic style and philosophy, in which the story takes second place to the message that wants to be sent... "the world is dark and super heroes - like those we loved a kids have no place in it"... By doing that they mistake our (at least my) love for the genre - I don't love comicbook characters because they can exist in the real world, I love them becuase they don't and they give me a place to escape when I don't want to know about politics, terrorism or Zika... they give us an unattainable reality, in which good is possible - A reality to strive to, not to deconstruct.

There are many ways to compare the universes, but I think I have said enough. Marvel has clearly shown a road to success, DC still has a few more chances before is left behind by WB. If the success of Civil War and failure of Batman v. Superman should teach DC something is to respect its characters and focus on story telling - not asthetics, not philosophycal questions. Question, plot points, easter eggs are all here to serve the story, to serve the character - not the other way around. DC doesn't need to go the Marvel way, but it needs to show us that they also have a way to draw us to its characters and make us care for their stories. I enjoyed both DC movies, but I think is was mainly out of the love I have for the characters involved and not so much for the actual movies - These characters can do, deserve much better.   

My hope is that Civil War is great, Suicide Squad is great, Dr. Strange is great JL is great, X-Men: Age of Apocalypse is great...you get where I am going with this. The more great comicbook movies we get the more we will enjoy, and the more we will get in the future. The success of Marvel  should only bring happiness to comic book fans. DC, may get there someday, but for that they need to change direction, respect the esence of their characters and imagine for a second there is a world where they can exist to give us hope not awe.  

Thanks for reading.
Take care -

PS1 - I'm sure some ppl will come here and tell us that Marvel movies are for kids - well taht's good kids love superhereos they sould be able to enjoy their movies without getting nightmares.

PS2 - I'm sure some other ppl will come here to tell us that DC is dead, they will gloat. I don't claim to understand this people we should be happy when any comic book movie does well and dissapointed when not.
 




 

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