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Thursday, September 29, 2022

DC Can Succeed, But Not If They Chase Miracles

During Friday’s earnings call for Warner Bros. Discovery, CEO David Zaslav told investors that he was working with Disney giant Alan Horn to create a ten-year plan for his DC brand, comparing it to a Kevin Feige-like Horn did it with the veterans of Marvel. and Michael Iger. This makes him the latest in a string of executives who think the key to DC’s success is copying what Marvel has done. But we’re here to tell you that DC has decades of evidence to suggest can do succeed, but not when they pursue Marvel to do so.

DC was The brand name in superhero comics for decades began with the introduction of Superman and continued through the 1970s. Even as the Marvel craze started to take hold, and characters like Spider-Man and the Fantastic Four began to change the genre forever, DC kept holding onto sales. After all, he had Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman. It could be then and now, it could be argued that none of the characters in Marvel’s library stand up to those icons.

They’re the key to DC’s philosophy on larger-than-life, completely unattainable symbol costumed heroes. As shown in the relief mural at the Central City Police Department flamboyantThe Justice League are essentially Mount Olympus for superheroes, and one of DC’s greatest strengths is its pervasive, crazy, cosmic mythology.

Marvel won over fans by being basically human, human, and relatable. The audience, overall, was made up of kids, and Marvel talked to kids in the ’60s on their level and didn’t think they were stupid, whereas DC of the time seemed to write by parents. Going books, for kids. This is part of why characters like Barry Allen and Hal Jordan have such a reputation for boring old farts, whether it’s actually earned or not.

Marvel, while it has some excellent cosmic and mythological characters, generally excels at just the opposite. It’s easy to point to Marvel’s early ethos that its characters should belong and be the “hero next door,” but in the case of the MCU, it’s broader than that. In the movies, the Marvel/DC controversy has been a big question of science fiction versus fantasy.

While DC movies certainly have science fiction elements, they are arguably more fantasy-inspired – even if it’s more akin to “science fiction” star wars, You have gods and monsters, aliens and Amazons. You have Kryptonian super-science that really only sounds like science fiction until you realize the big plan to revive Superman is to “zap the Kryptonian magic machine with lightning and see what happens.” ” and then — These are all broad generalizationsBut hear us out.

On the Marvel side, you have the Asgardians. and late amazing lady Introduced Zeus in the traditional way, then Justice LeagueIntroducing new gods, Marvel’s Asgard is just a hyper-scientific alien race that is easily mistaken for gods. In Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Peter learns that he can basically “hack” magic because “it’s just math.” Most fictional and fictional elements of the MCU are usually openly ridiculed by the characters living in-story.

But there is a truth in the film that it is very difficult to sell fantasy movies to a large number of audience. most successful, aside The Lord of the Rings And some other outsiders, like science fiction or action movies, are dressed up, and even “disguise” doesn’t always work. Even more fantasy, stylized science-fiction movies like speed Racer either valerian One can face an uphill battle to engage with the audience at large. American film audiences are trained to respond to natural, “realistic” filmmaking.

All this to say, if David Zaslav and Warner Bros. Discovery plan to copy Marvel’s method, DC will not only catch up to Marvel, they will almost certainly catch up. can’t, After decades of dominance, DC hasn’t taken back the best-selling spot in the comics market from Marvel, and there’s nothing in recent memory to suggest that DC is turning that tide towards film. will be able to. of things.

It’s almost a mirror image of the comics: for years, DC dominated, while Marvel either produced nothing at all, or created content that was a shabby copy of DC. Superman: The Movie changed the blockbuster landscape in 1978, and batman It did it again in 1989, before Marvel even had a superhero film in theaters. But except for Christopher Nolan’s exterior dark Knight trilogy, DC hasn’t been able to “brand name” itself in the superhero movie space since batman and robin flopped and Sam Raimi presents his take on Spider Man.

None of this is to say that DC’s incredible, $2 billion, record-shattering superhero movie can’t ultimately come down the pike. They have characters who are certainly able to connect with everyone if the right story is told by the right people but the notion that there is some magic formula is Warner Bros. Could Discovery follow through to replace a brand that is clearly in free-fall, carbon copy of who is one of the most successful entertainment brands of the past decade and transformation? This is bullshit. Total bullshit, and if WBD stock’s performance through Friday is anything to go by, shareholders know it.

DC’s characters are inherently larger than life, and as such, they often require a certain kind of very dramatic, archetypal, sometimes campy, approach to work side-by-side with Marvel’s work. Previous management understood this on some level, which is why after the success of Christopher Nolan, he tried to position himself as an anti-Marvel by giving more creative control to filmmakers associated with DC projects. In many cases you need the unique and sometimes weird fingerprints of Tim Burton, Richard Donner, James Gunn, Zack Snyder throughout your film for this to work. These are the people whose movies are visually dynamic, and who draw you in to their vast mythology. If you have characters who are gods and demons, you need a filmmaker who can comfortably tell stories about gods and demons, to really engage with the audience.

This means two things: One, competing with Marvel on Marvel’s terms is almost always going to be a losing game, and as much as anything else, we now have three sets of managers trying to embarrass themselves. are; And two, without a visionary — and crucially, what is striking at the moment, so that that person’s vision can capture the enthusiast — DC doesn’t stand a chance against Marvel, who are more human and relatable, and whose science – Fi approach is easy to implement. To be successful, DC’s filmmakers need to play to their strengths.

Playing to the strength of the material is something that executive producer Greg Berlanti has been unbelievable in recent years. Berlanti teamed up with such collaborators as Mark Guggenheim and Sarah Schechter. flash The show defined a generation of superhero TV, bemoaning the fact that fans of 20 years hardly knew anything about Barry Allen and mixing his best qualities with elements of Wally West’s beloved stories. Berlanti Productions uncovers the weird and wild side of DC DC Legends of Tomorrow And doom patrolwhich may not have been as popular flamboyantBut there are arguably even bigger ones to build a brand, because they’re completely different from anything that happens in the superhero realm.

To be successful, you need to know what you have, and how to make the best use of it – and it seems to me that Warner Bros. what is . The new government appears diligently committed to repeating the mistakes of the past.

Marvel has the privilege of getting into a superhero space that was largely untapped, and using the recent failure to kickstart something new with movies Spider Man And X Men, Since Marvel has now changed itself to be the superhero brand, and the advanced superhero Major blockbuster genre right now, his strategy — start with cool, simple movies about A-list characters, form an A-list team, and wait a decade to get into cool, weird stuff — worked for him. This is unlikely to work for DC, especially since Warner Bros. has a history of overreacting to films that perform poorly. disastrous welcome at last Justice League due in no small part to subsequent interventions Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice The WB failed to make as much as it wanted in theaters.

So far, most of Zaslav and Discovery’s projects have expressed enthusiasm for “safe” films of A-list characters, some of whom have already had a few failed chances to connect. Yep, it’s exciting to see what will happen with it black adamAnd it’s nice to see a return to the world of Shazam! Because the first film was a huge breath of fresh air. But for years, The WB tricked themselves into thinking that people only wanted to watch movies featuring Batman and Superman. Felt like no one in Burbank had ever read a comic that wasn’t The Dark Knight Returns either death of supermanAnd as a result the films had to suffer.

In a decade that featured several TV and film projects featuring Batman, Superman, and The Flash, it is arguable that DC’s best films were weird, stylistically daring projects such as amazing lady (a period piece set during World War I), Shazam! (a return to the Amblin movies of the ’80s), and suicide squad (Which embraced James Gunn’s bloody, off-kilter horror roots in a way that a Marvel movie simply couldn’t). And it’s not an attack on more straightforward movies like man of Steel And suicide squad, When it comes to DC, it is not even an outsider.

(if we Were going to attack suicide squadHowever, we’ll do so by pointing out that the film was cut by network executives, who were desperately trying to imitate Marvel’s success. Guardians of the Galaxy And completely took an interesting, talented director out of his chair in the process. just saying.)

Ask a DC reader what their favorite stories or comics are, and if they’re 50 or younger, the list is likely to include a lot of one-shots, stories from Elsworlds, and off-brand titles. Justice League International, Kingdom ComeMark Andrico manhunter (with Jesus Saaz, Javier Pina, Rags Morales, Sean Phillips, etc.), James Robinson and Tony Harris Shaktimanand Tom King and Mitch Gerads Mr. Miracle,

None of those books were a safe bet, and some of them didn’t even sell well at the time of their publication, but they are evergreen in the trade paperback market and are consistently referred to by the next generation of superstars as foundational texts. goes. If DC plans to go 10 years into the “plan” for their shared universe without addressing the B- and C-list characters, they’re doomed.

This is something that Berlanti understood instinctively, and it seems that the contribution that Berlanti Productions has made to DC’s recent fortunes is likely to be completely ignored under the new regime. Didn’t launch with Arrowverse superman and lois or even flamboyant, started with arrowA show about a character that most viewers only knew as the beautiful of Clark’s two blonde sidekicks smallville, For a decade, that franchise marked DC’s most successful integration of the shared universe concept — and in many respects, it was arguably a more successful application of the idea than the MCU in terms of storytelling. And by the end its best reviewed shows were like this black lightning And DC Legends of TomorrowNone of which is likely to be green in the current climate of the WBD.

At the end of the day, a big part of the problem is the inevitable feeling that Warner Bros. doesn’t see DC’s heroes as characters, but as characters. brands, DC doesn’t have stories to tell, they have IP to be exploited, And while it’s a great way to sell fake-vintage t-shirts and overpriced action figures, it’s also a very poor approach to storytelling and universe-building.

Do not put your faith in this news source or website. You never know…

Reference from comicbook.com

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