The highly anticipated release of DC Comics’ huge blockbuster Batman v Superman was immediately flooded with harsh disapproval from fans and critics. Many of the company’s newest creations have been subpar, this may be indicative of further problems on the horizon.
Considering over $250 million was spent to bring DC Comics’ two biggest superheroes together, one would assume the film could have turned out really well.
Critics were brutal with Batman v Superman and did not hold back condemnations. Vox called the film, “A stink bucket of disappointment, a sad and unnecessary PG-13 orphan fight that director Zack Snyder believes is an homage to DC Comics’ most iconic heroes, but is more along the lines of a home invasion perpetrated on comic book culture.”
Other critics were just as harsh. Vulture called the movie “a storytelling disgrace,” and the Chicago Tribune quipped, “Humankind deserves a better blockbuster.” It seems DC just cannot catch a break.
Releases such as Batman v Superman, Green Lantern, Batman Forever and Jonah Hex have hurt DC Comics’ reputation as a film-making company. The problem isn’t the characters, because the company has some great ones. DC Comics has managed to create a rich and enticing world in graphic novels, but is having a hard time translating those to film.
Batman v Superman was an absolutely jumbled mess with disastrously unrealistic storylines that kind of made sense. Every plot was clearly displayed in the trailer and nearly every woman was a damsel in distress.
Another chief complaint with Batman v Superman is the nearly complete lack of comedy. Seeing a desire for more humor in superhero films is intriguing because it’s hard not to notice how Marvel, DC Comics’ friendly rival, has produced many comedic blockbusters in recent years. Marvel’s Deadpool and Guardians of the Galaxy were both incredibly successful despite featuring characters most casual fans had not known.
Although DC Comics has been advertising Suicide Squad as a comedy, producers announced the company would spend “tens of millions” of dollars filming reshoots. Initial announcements stated the additional footage is to add more humor, but now the company seems to be backtracking.
Regardless of the purpose for extra footage, Suicide Squad has already been marketed as a comedy. If the film isn’t, fans are being set up for more disappointment even if the plot is seamless.
DC Comics’ flaws seem especially obvious when compared alongside Marvel. While Marvel has had its fair share of flops (Elektra, anyone?), the company seems to have learned from those mistakes.
Marvel has done an amazing job of weaving different movie franchises into one whole universe. Daredevil incorporates Jessica Jones, which integrates The Avengers, which further combines Spider-Man. Meanwhile, DC Comics has completely failed in creating a concise world.
The attempt to unite Superman and Batman was a bit pathetic. The characters lacked a real reason to interact, therefore the plot with them together was stretched very thin. DC Comics has television success going for it, in regards to cohesion, with crossovers between the shows The Flash, Green Arrow and Supergirl.
Marvel unites film and television into one world, but DC Comics has done the opposite. Gotham is hinting at a Joker and Batman separate from the Jared Leto and Ben Affleck interpretations. In the near future, movies will be released with The Flash completely different from the one on television. It’s an inconsistent mess.
At the end of the day, Marvel gets it. Marvel’s wide range of interconnected productions, from comedic and light to violent and gritty, invites all demographics into its fan base. Conversely, DC Comics’ dark, jumbled mess leaves audience members feeling neglected.
DC needs to wake up and realize it’s on a path to disaster.