Strip Talk #35: Firings, new hires at root of DC’s bad plans

You know how you buy something and immediately have buyer’s remorse? Yeah, it’s beginning to look a lot like that over in WB land. It never fails that just when we praise WB/DC for getting it together, they immediately turn around and muck things up. The latest foolishness is the best example of DC gonna DC.

Let’s start with the hiring of James Gunn and Peter Safran to run the now-christened DC Studios. I’m not entirely sure I’ve discussed my dislike of James Gunn, so we’re going to now. I don’t like him. There, I’ve said it out loud. I think Guardians of the Galaxy is good, but it and him are overrated in the grand Marvel scheme of movies. The first installment of that branch of the MCU is great. The second movie drags too much, and the opening sequence is entirely too long. And, the genius that’s ascribed to Gunn is not there for me. I don’t know about Safran, but I do know he’s a manager-type behind the scenes for a lot of A-list celebrities. So, to sum, you’re asking me to trust a guy who’s lauded for making a nice movie and an unknown guy who’s a talent manager to run a longstanding comic book movie company that has known issues in leadership? OK. We’ll see how long this lasts.

Next, let’s gobble about the decisions made by the new regime in the weeks after their hiring. Whew, let’s take stock: Henry Cavill, who made a cameo at the end of Black Adam as Superman and has been the best choice since Christopher Reeve, is effectively fired from the role. Dwayne Johnson, who spent 15 years getting Black Adam made and viable with some aggressive old-fashioned marketing and blood, sweat and tears, is told to sit by the phone and wait for a call. Gal Gadot (Wonder Woman) is still around, but Ben Affleck (Batman) is out after Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom. Jason Momoa is still in as Aquaman, but Ray Fisher is also MIA and probably never coming back as Cyborg. And, last but certainly least, Ezra Miller appears to still have a job despite a lot of felonious activity. There’s a lot of other problematic folk still around as well (cough, Zachary Levi, cough) but the principal names of the Justice League are either question marks, gone or hanging by a thread. The debacle and ensuing uproar dealing with casting is enough to make any DC fan frustrated and uneasy yet again, but as a casual observer and Marvel lover, I’ll take MCU burnout any day over incompetence.

Finally, that level of overwhelming incompetence with the turnover and weird decisions in handling the structure of the DCEU is just the sort of reason why I can never get down with DC. I love Batman and the Joker, tolerate Superman and dislike everything else enough to never pay attention, but it seems I’m justified in ignoring most everything going on. It’s a turn off seeing the multiple changes in leadership, the turnover in the acting talent and nonsensical decision being made for no reason. No one asked for the changes to the Justice League and yet, here we are, having to look for another Superman and Batman. I just want DC to get it together and create some magic again. Maybe put a smile on my face, for old time’s sake.

Lyndsey Beatty is editor-in-chief of Gaming Insurrection. She can be reached by email at lyndseyb[at]

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