So two days ago, something big happened the world of comic book movies; you probably heard about it.
DC announced their movie schedule up until 2020, not including the next Batman and Superman films. Mostly new film ideas, intertwining stories, and two films with a large enough scale to rival The Avengers.
A Comic Fan’s Sense of Entitlement
Now ever since Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice was announced, despite my preference to Marvel comics, I was always slightly more excited to see how DoJ would turn out than I was about whatever films Marvel was coming out with.
It doesn’t matter that Captain America: The Winter Soldier was one of my favourite superhero films ever, or that Avengers: Age of Ultron is going to be out of this world. What matters to me was that this was something new. I watch the Marvel films because I’ve read the source material, and I’m interested to see what the adaptations will be like. However, whilst at this stage I have read a fair few DC comics, for the most part, it is still relatively unknown to me, and as such the movies come across fresher; I’m just interested to see what the story will be, what will happen, and how DC are going to fight back against Marvel’s constant kicking of their arse’s.
So I was listening to an iFanboy podcast the other week, in which one of the speakers pointed out that the worst thing about comic book fans is their sense of entitlement. As fans, we have enjoyed these characters far longer than everyone else. We were reading about them at a time when people didn’t even know who they were. I remember back in 2007, I, being the weird little nerd that I am, updated my Hotmail (how times have changed, eh?) status to ‘R.I.P. Captain America’. I quickly deleted that, because I was inundated with questions asking who Captain America was. It’s only been seven years, but now everyone knows who Captain America is. EVERYONE. But I digress.
My point is, that I could tell you excruciatingly unimportant details about the Marvel Universe, and from my perspective, I have a certain informed viewpoint about how the characters should be. As such, I’m not that up for debating a lot of these topics, because the majority of the time, (I think) I will know the definitive answers and reasoning’s to the discussion from a comic point of view. Discussing it doesn’t interest me that much, because unless I’m talking to someone who is just as nerdy as I am, then really I’m just having to feign lack of knowledge so that my conversee (?) can try to make whatever point they’re trying to make without me shooting them down because (I think) I know they are misinformed. It’s unfortunate and a bit arrogant, but for most comic fan’s, it’s the truth. And even when it isn’t, that exact sense of entitlement that comic fans have mean that I wouldn’t admit it when I was wrong because I and others like me are so sure of our comic knowledge that we wouldn’t claim to be wrong unless we were just doing it to make someone feel better. That and the fact that most people I know aren’t that interested in comic book news like I am. And yes, there can be some joy found in educating someone in a subject, but sometimes there’s just too much ground to cover, and it becomes a bit much. Especially when the other party doesn’t actually care all that much
Again, I’ve gone off topic a bit. I think what I’m trying to say is that with DC, I don’t have that overconfidence about what I do and do not know. On a basic level, I get downgraded from ‘know it all’ to a bit more than a ‘casual observer’. I can have my opinions, and I can engage in a more interesting discussion about it, because I know enough to maintain a conversation, but I don’t know enough where said conversation will be one-sided.
Ten Movies, Five Years
So with that in mind, here are my thoughts on each film announcement; what I understand about it; what I expect to see; and what I would like to see.
2016 brings us Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad.
I’ll try to keep my thoughts on BvS:DoJ brief, because frankly, we’ve all known about that one for a while now. After listening to various things and reading various sources, I have come to realise that doing what Marvel is doing, but backwards, is in fact the right way to go about things for DC. Although to some extent they are copying Marvel’s business model somewhat, if they were to copy it in the exact same way as Marvel actually do it, it would seem like far too much of a rip-off. DC needs to get their products out fast, but don’t have the luxury of testing the waters in the way that Marvel did, because if they tried and failed on any level, everyone would just dismiss them entirely. Establishing that Superman was not the first part of the DC Universe is important, because it means you can just jump straight in. Not everyone needs an origin story, and the majority of Justice League characters are fairly well-known anyway.
Suicide Squad, I think is also an interesting and smart move, especially considering that they’re looking to pull some big names to round out its roster. After the success of Guardians of the Galaxy, weirder properties have proven that they do have their place in the world of comic book film. More importantly, however, this would help hammer down the point that DC Universe didn’t start with Superman. To have a film about super-villain redemption, the super-villains need to have been around for some time in order for them to be captured and redeemed. This means, by extension, that unless all super-crime was dealt with by the authorities before Superman’s arrival, other heroes like Batman need to have also been around for quite some time. It reiterates that there is more going on than we’ve seen, and I feel like for DC’s approach to retain some level of uniqueness, that much is important.
But with that in mind, I’ll have to save the rest for part two, in which years 2017–2020 will follow.