By Matthias Armstrong
The Charter News – 1/1/19
When you compare DC and Marvel and their cinematic appearances it is clear that DC is struggling to make and keep making good films, but why is that?
It seems today that Marvel movies dominate the superhero genre in basically every way. For example, their comics and characters get the spotlight while their movies make billions of dollars and are, loved by fans. Whereas when you look at the DC cinematic universe and the support it receives it is somewhat disappointing.
If you go back before these huge movie releases and before there was even a superhero movie genre then you find that DC and Marvel were neck and neck when it came to entertainment. What happened? Well they made movies, and whereas Marvel movies such as Thor Ragnarok, Avengers: Infinity War, and many others became hugely successful, DC has been having a tough time creating a captivating cinematic universe with its latest installments of The justice League and Aquaman.
There are a couple reasons for this and it really comes down to the studio. You might say that DC doesn’t have relatable characters or that because they’re so powerful it doesn’t make them fun to watch, but I believe those viewpoints are only founded on the movies’ depictions of the characters.
In truth the characters DC has created in their comics are extremely entertaining to read about and pretty relatable.
For example in the movie Man of Steel Superman is shown as a godlike figure with no human weaknesses and human emotion, besides his love for Lois Lane, and this creates a disconnect between the audience and the character. His alter ego, Clark Kent, is only used as a disguise and his personality is completely faked and shallow.
In the animated series Justice League, which is probably the best depiction of the DC characters from the comics, Superman is shown to be a funny, wise, interesting, emotional, and relatable character. They did so well depicting him by showing his human side. Yes, he has godlike powers; yes, he’s basically invincible, but he was raised on earth as Clark Kent from an infant to an adult and all his emotions and all his character is human. By showing that side of him, his character is rather incredible and enjoyable to watch.
One reason why they didn’t create that relatable character is maybe because the people making superman for the movie didn’t fully understand the man behind the glasses. The personality of Superman is depicted throughout hundreds of thousands of pages and to grasp his full being you have to read tons of comics. What they tried to do is create a personality for a character with the least amount of exposure to the actual person itself.
This is true for almost all superheros DC has tried to bring alive with the movies.
That is a major difference between Marvel and DC. When Marvel creates a movie, the people making it truly know the characters and they make a movie combining tons of aspects of each of their unique story arcs.
One solution to this dilemma faced by DC is to really invest in researching and getting to know the characters they are trying to bring to the big screen. By properly portraying their interesting stories and personalities, it becomes a grasping and entertaining movie to watch.
A movie made by fans for the fans is how you create an enthralling universe full of wonder that everyone can watch with excitement and interest. DC definitely has the history and the characters to do just that, they just haven’t figured out how yet.
Pond, Shaun. “How Can DC Save Their Movie Universe?” Geeks, 11 Sept. 2017, geeks.media/how-can-dc-save-their-movie-universe.
Mendelson, Scott. “The DC Films Universe Is Dead. Long Live Warner Bros.’ DC Films Series.” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 16 Sept. 2018, www.forbes.com/sites/scottmendelson/2018/09/14/warner-bros-dc-films-universe-is-dead-long-live-the-dc-films-series-henry-cavill-ben-affleck-superman-batman/#5c148b67185c.
Campbell, Scott. “MCU Vs DCEU: The Definitive Comparison (So Far).” WhatCulture.com, WhatCulture.com, 4 Apr. 2018, whatculture.com/film/mcu-vs-dceu-the-definitive-comparison-so-far.