Seeing as I am a huge comic fan one would think that I would soak in as much comic book entertainment as possible and in some ways this is true. However when it comes to the likes of Live Action DC and even in some ways to Animated DC shows and movies I find that I really can’t get very excited about them. So let’s explain why I think the DC universe has always failed when it comes to Film and TV!
- Lack of Diversity- OK I know we are looking at DC here but for a moment let’s take a look at Marvel Comics and their movies/tv shows. While many Marvel movies have crashed and burned there are twice as many that have done well and become franchises. When we look at just a small amount of the Marvel cinematic universe we will find something that looks like this:
- Iron Man- 3 movies
- Thor- 2 movies
- Captain America- 2 new movies and 1 OLD movie
- Punisher- 3 movies spread out between the years no real relations to each other
- Hulk- 2 movies new, 1 old tv show, several old movies based on the old show
- Daredevil- 1 movie
- Elektra- 1 movie spinoff from daredevil
- Ghost Rider- 2 movies
- X-men- 3 movies + 1 Prequel + 2 Wolverine Spinoffs +1 prequel/new tie in
- Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.- Weekly TV show
- Avengers- 1 movie with one more on the way
And the list goes on and on and this is just a small taste of the Marvel Universe that has been out there in the last 20 years and doesn’t even take into account any of the Cartoons. Now let’s see what has been going on with DC.
- Batman- 1 OLD tv show, 1 older movie series with 4 movies in it, 1 newer movie series with 3 movies in it, several cartoons
- Superman- 1 OLD tv show, Smallville, Lois and Clark, 4 OLD movies, 1 newer movie, 1 brand new movie rebooting series, Several cartoons
- Flash- 1 old tv show only lasted 1 or 2 seasons
- Wonder Woman- 1 OLD tv show
- Green Arrow- 1 new weekly tv show
- Green Lantern- 1 Movie that most DC fans want to forget and a few cartoons.
Now I keep hearing from DC fans that DC has the best super heroes in the world and how their Universe is so vast etc etc. So my question is why has DC never done anything with this? Marvel has a truly vast universe in their comics one that hasn’t been rebooted ever that anyone knows of and they just keep adding to it with alternate universes like the Ultimates but where is DC? DC has just rebooted their comics for the 3rd or 4th time and while Marvel has a ton of team franchises it can create DC really has one and that’s the Justice League which it has done nothing with other than Cartoons which after watching them I have to say are kinda poorly done if you compare them to the “Iconic” Justice league comics. Marvel also seems to have a lot more stand alone characters that can build up their cinematic universe whereas the characters in DC that are well known have all already really had their time in the sun again, and again, and again.
- Continuity- One of the big problems I have with a lot of book turning into movie/tv shows is the lack of continuity. Unfortunately this is something that is big in the DC universe mainly because of the fact that they keep rebooting the same few series instead of doing something new. One of the great things Marvel has done in the past was when they made a new Cartoon for the Xmen they would create a new Comic series that reflected the TV show perfectly. Even with the first movie of Ghost Rider they rebooted the comic somewhat to reflect the movie. Now on Batman they basically kept the lore correct no matter how many times they rebooted it however Superman is where the continuity just goes right out the window. With Superman you can never be sure at what age he started to manifest his powers, was it as a young boy on the farm or was it when he was in college? Did he meet Lex luther in metropolis or were they high school rivals? How does Lois and Lana fit into the stories? Depending on the show it all changes and none of them are true to the comic books really. So if you want to see the stories of DC’s most Iconic hero match up then you’re bound to be confused.
- Too much Camp- When you look at the DC shows and movies for the most part until just recently the shows and movies were campy as can be. Batman with Adam West was campy as hell, then the Batman movies while starting darker steadily became campier and campier. Superman wasn’t very campy in Story Line really but the various odd powers he suddenly had were certainly jokes in and of themselves. It seemed though that with Nolan’s Batman trilogy that DC/WB finally realized after seeing a bunch of marvels stuff that just because it was a comic book based movie doesn’t mean that it has to be ridiculous in the extreme. So finally now a days we are starting to get the better more real to life take on a comic book which is more how they are written as well. So let’s see if DC keeps up with it.
These are the main reasons I haven’t really been able to get into the DC line of movies or shows. Though if I must be truthful this has always seemed to be the way I thought of the comics between the top 2 companies as well and for a lot of the same reasons. Perhaps one day DC will surprise me with something I find better than what they have done before but so far no real luck on that.