There is no doubt that DC Comics and Warner Bros. are trying to emulate the success of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Warner and DC have been making superhero movies for years now, but it has taken until now for the possibility of a combined universe to come to fruition. You almost have to point to Marvel and their success with The Avengers.
But with this new strategy from DC Comics regarding their film universe, does this mean we could see the same kind of influence from the comics world on the movies? It’s always been a factor in the Batman series, from Adam West’s campiness to the brooding reality of Christian Bale. So much that I doubt we’d have the Batman that’s been so successful on the screen if not for the source material.
The same can’t be said for Superman. It can’t be said for Green Lantern either. I can’t really say it for any of the other attempts. One of the main complaints about Man of Steel was that it wasn’t the Superman people had come to know. Mark Waid in particular took exception with what he saw on the screen, comparing it to what he put on the page in series like Superman: Birthright.
So what does the future hold for DC Comics at the box office? Regardless of past indifference to the source material, I believe there will be more of a connection to the printed work this time around. I talked about how Marvel was combining it all and finding success, so it’s only right that DC would follow suit.
Also take into account the leaked images and details we’ve already seen. This Batman is one that is closer to how he appears on the page than any that have come before. The characters are appearing left and right. A universe is growing together. The bigger it gets means it’s going to need something to lean on.
So like I did for Marvel, we’d take a look at the future DC Comics films and rank them based on their source material. Hopefully we can pull out something good and hope for the best in the future. They’re ranked from worst to best in terms of anticipation based solely on the source material.
Of course we could always get another Green Lantern and reboot it all in the near future. Doesn’t mean we can’t take a moment and talk comics.
Wonder Woman represents a problem that a lot of the DC Comics characters do. She is far more recognizable for her TV credits than her comic book work. It’s hard to shed the image of Linda Carter when you’re talking about Wonder Woman than to cite a specific story that really sets her apart.
Not to mention that a lot of more memorable stories have happened in recent years, from the 1980s forward. Following Crisis On Infinite Earths, George Perez provided a classic reboot of the character that’s usually mentioned in the same breath as John Byrne’s run on Man of Steel with Superman.
DC Comics was a mess and is still a mess for the most part. The New 52 has tried to reinvigorate what is there, but it’s so hard to get all the knots out. That could be why there hasn’t been as much success at the theater beyond Batman and Superman.
The big part about Wonder Woman and why she is such an important character is her status as a strong female lead. She’s included in the holy trinity of DC characters and for good reason. She has to be included for that alone, a fact established by years of comics.
Jerry Ordway’s Power Of Shazam series from the 90s is a good example of what you can achieve with Captain Marvel. The New 52 version helps bring the mystical nature of the character to the forefront and remove the stigma that he’s nothing more than a Superman clone.
Both stories could serve to create a strong Shazam movie, basically turning him into the DC version of Thor if they are lucky. I always thought Marvel used to fly under the radar, but held a lot of cool characteristics that younger loved for some reason. Kingdom Come probably helped cement that a bit, showing him as an almost equal of Superman. Could that be a sight to see on the big screen? Payback for all that destruction in Man of Steel? We’ll have to see.
The idea that they would adapt Neil Gaiman’s Sandman onto the big screen is frightening. Not only is the series daunting and expansive with characters, but it just seems to not lend itself to a full blown adaptation. If anything, I would see it as a TV series. Something that lends itself more to the comic book narrative.
Sadly I don’t think we’ll get that. I think we’ll get the half assed attempt that smells like a Tim Burton fart gone bad. It doesn’t even really fit in with the scheme of the other movies, so that right there lends itself to trouble. Not that I would want it to necessarily, but having something to lean on is usually a safer bet than giving Hollywood free reign over a classic work. It isn’t like you can make Watchmen out of this, considering all the volumes and side works included.
I just can’t see this going well at all. I’m certain I’m very negative, but this is just a bad idea. Prove me wrong, I say.