Strip Talk #26: The DC universe could learn some lessons from Marvel

The DC Uni­verse is at a cross­roads I guess you could say. While the Mar­vel Cin­e­matic Uni­verse has enjoyed unpar­al­leled suc­cess, the DCU has all but died an igno­min­ious death. Sui­cide Squad: flop. Bat­man vs. Super­man: flop. Super­man: flop. Jus­tice League: flop. Aside from Won­der Woman, the Dark Knight tril­ogy and Aqua­man, the DCU hasn’t been able to touch the pros­per­ity of the MCU. There are rea­sons for this, but to keep this short, I’ll name just a few.

  1. The direc­tor carousel is too much. There are too many names involved in projects and there are too many of the same names pop­ping up that shouldn’t. Brett Rat­ner. Seri­ously? Zak Penn? Joss Whe­don? With the excep­tion of Penn, all of these direc­tors are prob­lem­atic in their own right, and Rat­ner is an absolute joke who man­aged to some­how screw up X-Men: The Last Stand so ter­ri­bly a whole new movie was done to coun­ter­act it.
  2. Despite hav­ing rec­og­niz­able char­ac­ters, DC doesn’t know what to do with them. Super­man is the most obvi­ous out of them all, mostly because they don’t seem to know how to write Clark Kent and Lois Lane. Bat­man is sec­ond given the num­ber of dif­fer­ent actors to play him. The Green Lantern should have been easy to write, but that flopped a decade ago and they haven’t returned to him since.
  3. Con­sis­tency isn’t in DC’s wheel­house. All of their movies suf­fer from some type of incon­sis­tency, whether it’s writ­ing the over­all plot or char­ac­ter moti­va­tion. DCU can­not seem to get it together when it comes to estab­lish­ing and stay­ing with a char­ac­ter over the course of more than one movie.

With the myr­iad issues sur­round­ing the DC Uni­verse, it’s a won­der there are films in the pipeline, but there are. Shazam is shap­ing up, there will be a sequel to Won­der Woman and Aqua­man per­formed rea­son­ably well to prob­a­bly war­rant a sequel as well. How­ever, there have been other down­turns: Henry Cav­ill is out as Super­man as is Ben Affleck as Bat­man. Jared Leto’s Joker was panned but Joaquin Phoenix may be able to res­cue the character.

I don’t know who needs to hear this, but I’m implor­ing the DC Uni­verse lore­hold­ers to take notes on Marvel’s Phase Three and pay atten­tion to how a comic book film should be done. It’s made Mar­vel buck­ets of money over the past 10 years. Obvi­ously, some­one over there has cre­ated the Super Sol­dier Serum of Movie Suc­cess and suc­ceeded in per­fect­ing it.

Lyn­d­sey Hicks is editor-in-chief of Gam­ing Insur­rec­tion. She can be reached by email at lyndseyh@gaminginsurrection.com

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