While writing my top 10 movies to see this year, I got to the Superman entry and started writing. Then it dawned on me, “they’ve switched sides”!
And by “they”, I mean Marvel and DC has switched sides.
I know what you’re thinking, “what are you talking about? What the fuck does that mean?”
Christ, you’re pushy!
After Nolan rebooted Batman by taking as serious a take on the material as anyone could, Marvel looked at Iron Man and went “fuck that, lets make this fun and pack in as much wry humor as possible!” Marvel Studios has kept that feeling with all of the Avengers films while with Man of Steel looks like DC is taking the opposite approach. Trying to make them as realistic and serious as possible.
Why does this all sound so familiar… Oh right, because this was what Marvel did to differentiate itself from DC. Funny that. Marvel was supposed to be the more realistic having characters living in cities that actually exist on a goddamn map. Go find Coast City on a map, I’ll wait.
So what the hell is going on here? I have a theory, and it’s not bunnies.
When you adapt a comic for film, there’s usually an element of making it realistic that needs to be done. In terms of Marvel films there’s a little bit less that needs to be done as the characters were created as far more flawed and located in actual cities. DC Comics has a little farther to go… just look at Green Lantern… that didn’t work out so well.
DC needs to make their films more realistic because, in some ways, they’re harder to accept when you cast real people in the roles–and I think they figured that out accidentally with Batman Begins.
Superman is looking to be more flawed in Man of Steel; Batman has an unwavering sense of justice in the comics and was put to the test in TDR. Even GL tried to tackle a character flaw in Hal Jordan’s fear but the film didn’t take itself seriously and it fell flat on it’s face.
Let’s not even get into why a giant yellow head cloud can travel faster than light but not escape the gravitational pull of the sun… yet a couple of F22’s can.
And just to be clear, nothing is making me happier than what Warner and DC are doing. I think this shit is awesome! I want to see these films have emotional weight to them, I think they’ll be better for it. I don’t think that they have to be darker, per se, but more character pieces than Marvel’s films.
And I love the irony of it all. Delicious, delicious irony.