Tag Archives: DC

DC Strikes back?

Hello Dear Reader

DC Strikes back?

So we have had the latest superhero movie, this time from the DC universe.

Batman V Superman:Dawn of Justice is the start of what DC hopes will put them on the same footing as the current Marvel universe. DC comics began in the late 1930’s featuring Batman as a detective outside of the law. This proved a success and other characters started to be introduced in their own spaces. Soon we had Superman, the man of steel from another planet.

In 1960, DC brought together its core of characters as the Justice League. This team consisted of AquamanBatmanthe FlashGreen Lanternthe Martian ManhunterSuperman, and Wonder Woman. The comics were a success and in turn prompted Marvel to bring together its own team, the Avengers.

Moving forward to the digital age and the dawn of the superhero movie. For the past few years we have been treated to the carefully planned building of Marvel’s team and it has been a stunning success. There are back stories, each major character having its own movie working towards the Avengers.

DC must have realised the success was something they had to follow. They had a number of poor reviews for some of their films, including the Green Lantern and Superman Returns. One film barely recovered its production costs, so DC had to come up with a new blockbuster.

Bringing together its core characters and introducing the non DC public to the Justice League was a clear option.

There is now an art to selling a movie to the public. Fans of whatever it might will clearly split into two camps; the hoping its great and the worried it’s going to fail (again). For myself, being a Marvel fan, I was honestly hoping for a good movie to push Marvel to be better.

Batman V Superman had the right selling points, it looked good and it appeared brilliant. The trailers gave all the teasers. I don’t often give spoilers about any new movie as a rule. My reviews tend to just review. However, I do want to comment about what I feel are the differences between the two universes.

This movie opens once more with how Bruce Wayne becomes Batman. Why? Do people forget this every time the last movie ends? Yet nothing on Superman. There is a darkness to this as there appears to be with many DC movies. Some of it is good, some is over played. We sort of recap the end of Man of Steel using it to feed into this movie. It is a clever idea but it takes a bit too long to get going. The movie drags from the starts. It has stunning visual effects, yet there was little noticeable music. I am not sure I could place any themes anywhere, was that good or bad?

The story itself is disjointed, while Batman was torturing bad guys looking for a certain someone, Superman was being setup. Bruce Wayne was also ‘unhappy’ at the destruction Superman caused yet being hailed a hero. It seemed to annoy him. Clark Kent for his part did not seem to like the vigilante dispensing justice. Yet both of them were doing something of a similar role. Plot hole? That is one of many but all films have them. It seems to me that the DC executives have watched so many other versions of Big X V Big Y and thought that’s our movie!

Yet they have forgotten to build in the sub-elements of the plot. Batman uses guns, not just to scare but kill and he has dreams of killing. Superman appears bored almost trying to recoup his mantel in human eyes by saving a few people. He fails in a couple of places. Then there is Lex Luther. An attempt at a psychotic, match-maker who helps telegraph the plot in stunning fashion. That is one of the biggest disappointments of this movie. Not only are some elements telegraphed, they are pounded out time and time again.

The plot device to make the two fight is weak, how did Luther find out about a secret that no one else could find, Superman’s mum. Did I miss that?

How did Batman know that Luther was planning to get Superman to make the two fight?

How did a supposed alien spaceship who clearly says you can’t make this alien, let an alien make a bigger badder alien?

One good point (I think) was the introduction of Wonder Woman. However no back story unlike how Marvel handle the main characters. She just appears, trying to keep a photo private that shows her to a whole bunch of people while she is in costume. She seems to have half the powers of Superman with the strength of Batman and more brains. There is also the brief flash (pardon the pun) of Flash, Cyborg and Aquaman without knowing who they are. Lex however seems to know it all, maybe he read the comics.

The film is way over 2 hours, it dragged for me. There are times when you think they should have expanded on that point, explained more yet they miss it. Somehow DC keep missing the mark in the movie universe but in the TV they have the edge. As I said before, Green Lantern was an almost movie, Man of Steel lost the end and Superman sort of returned. There is no humour in this film and it lacks a little humanity for me. There are so many words one could describe this film and it has been by many both ‘professional’ critics and fans alike.

My rating for this movie is 6 out 10.

Tagline: ‘Not again. We just finished building that darn place.’

Marvel Reboot

Hello all

In the comic world there are a number of major players, the top two being Marvel and DC. Many of their titles have run for well over 50 or 60 years now. With the rise of new multi-million dollar (not pounds sorry) movies and television shows now appearing, there is a point when the big bosses take a look at what they have. Sometime ago, DC comics entered into what they called a ‘Crisis’ storyline which basically involved merging universes into one and producing a new comic line called ‘The 52s’.

This offered DC the chance to start again or reboot as in the IT term. Now Marvel have announced their version of the ‘Crisis’ story. In some respects, there is only so many ways to tell a story with the same characters. Take Doctor Who for example, they have had the same evil characters throughout the past 50 years. So how do they keep it fresh? I think for them, they sort found their reboot by accident when they introduced the Doctor’s regeneration. That allowed a new actor to face each bad guy in a different story. Has that damaged the Who universe? Not one bit. It has kept going (just about) for 50 years and has no plans to stop, as yet.

However, Doctor Who is just one main character and he always becomes the Doctor after each regeneration. There is the Tardis which sort of regenerates as well yet stays the same on the outside. The odd lick of paint makes it a bit brighter but its the same each time. Sometimes his time travel crosses universes but unlike DC’s merging, the Who universe does not really recreate a character. Yes the Daleks and Cybermen look new but they are just production changes.

The problem for DC and Marvel, any major universe in fact, is how to keep the same while changing and not lose readers or viewers. It’s a very difficult time when you pen the words, ‘and the world exploded killing everyone’. Many writers face the same problem, when to draw a conclusion to their favourite character. Many fans can never understand why a writer would wish to end their favourite character. Why do you have to stop?

Ian Flemming faced that very problem when he decided to kill James Bond after only a short time. There was an out cry and he came back. For some writers, a character or characters take on a life of their own and they can also take over the life of the writer. They invade their thoughts, they almost stalk the writer calling out for new stories. Write me, write more for me, a character might say to his writer. The writer has to decide what is best.

For me, the decision by Marvel to rewrite its own universes into a new one is a bold and maybe dangerous step. DC took that same step and it is still here. Is the new DC universe any better? I don’t know, but the new television series of Arrow and The Flash certainly have made an impact. Marvel movies and their television show has upped the stakes. Marvel comics have a huge fan base, very loyal and very passionate about their universe. There is the problem for any writer of any  long-standing character or universe, the fans.

How do you explain to them that all will be fine as you rip apart what they love? How do you explain that as the writer you can no longer find another version of the same story. That is the tough part.

The Marvel announcement will no doubt cause many posts on many web pages with many points of view. Stan Lee has already commented on the change in a positive way. One idea is to take a trip back in time and start again or bring back old dead characters or rip up all the past of a character and bring them back to something. Whatever happens, whatever the plans are it will upset someone and bring someone new to the universe. Wait and see.

 

Tagline: ‘Hang on, wasn’t the universe a different colour a moment ago?’