Welp, I did Marvel. So DC is next, and boy is there a lot to talk about. This is part two of an opinion piece on where the DC Extended Universe is at now, and where it’s going. And while they have made some recent successes; their past failures and present issues are still a hurdle they must get over. Fans are split down the middle about whether the studio, Warner Bros should just reboot the entire thing, or keep making movies based in a fractured universe with almost no connection to each other.
First, let's just get it out of the way; Zack Snyder’s Justice League was a success and a big boost to fans who were told that not only did the cut not exist but would never see the light of day. Well, we now know that was wrong. While four hours may be too much for one to commit to watching a movie, there’s no denying that the Snyder cut was miles better than the original release, directed by Joss Wheadon. With releases like Birds of Prey, Peacemaker, sequels to Shazam, Aquaman, and new movies like Black Adam, The Flash, and a Black Canary project in the works, fans were seeing some progress. Slow progress, but it was there. Not to mention how successful The Batman was, early this year. Animated shows like Young Justice: Phantoms, Harley Quinn, and upcoming animated films are coming. In addition, with the business merger of Discovery, Warner Brothers were looking to be coming for Marvel’s neck. Or so everyone thought.
With DC, (at least, their live-action films, anyway), it’s a “one step forward, two steps back” thing. Let’s start with a small one. The CW is effectively getting out of the superhero business. The Flash is finally entering its ninth and final season. And while it still has its followers, it’s a show that stuck around too long. Now, Superman and Lois is still on, but with just the two remaining Arrowverse shows on the air (Batwoman, Legends of Tomorrow, Black Lightning being canceled.) and Titans on HBO Max being renewed, DC’s tv front is lacking. Then, there is the upcoming Gotham Knights series, which shows very little to do with the Batman mythos.
On to the films, and man, does it get rocky from here. Actor Ezra Miller is in trouble with the law, with claims of grooming minors and assaulting fans. One wonders if The Flash will ever see the light of day. Then, actor Henry Cavil is still out of the loop, as far as Superman projects are concerned. When asked if he’ll make an appearance in Black Adam, not even Dwayne Johnson could quell the disappointment in fans’ voices due to the uncertainty. Then, the trial of Johnny Depp and Amber Heard happened, with Heard’s scenes being cut from Aquaman 2. And if that wasn’t enough, recently, Warner Brothers decided to shelve Batgirl. So, that means it won’t be in theaters or available for streaming. A $90 Million dollar movie, scrapped, when it was almost done. See what I mean when I say, “one step forward, two steps back”?
(How every DC fan feels, right now. Sad thing is. they brought it on themselves.)
It's not like DC and WB studios don’t have the potential for greatness. With iconic characters at their disposal, why is it so hard to make a cinematic franchise profit, like their counterparts do at Marvel? They’ve had a good start, with their earlier films. They can make movies that aren’t in their Extended Universe, and still make money as well. Just look at Joker and The Batman. Perhaps it’s relying too much on their flagship heroes like the DC Trinity (Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman). Maybe they should just reboot everything. Start over. It’s clear that whatever plans Zack Snyder were, Warner Bros wasn’t on board. But in defense of Snyder, at least he had a plan. Nobody really knows what WB and DC are doing, other than trying to imitate what their competition is doing. Perhaps that’s the issue. Instead of just seeing what Marvel is doing and attempting to replicate success, they should stand firm and do their own thing. They were the first to introduce the whole “multiverse” thing, with both Grant Gustin and Ezra Miller being in the same scene in the “Crisis on Infinite Earths” crossover on the CW. They can have both movies that tie into a connected universe and standalone features. Their animated projects rarely miss, something that Marvel is lacking on. (What If ain’t enough, Marvel!!)
It's hard to be a DC fan, when you see so much progress from the other side. But I’m still here, hoping that one day, they’ll get their act together. Thank you for reading part two of this series. Post your comments bellow, and till next time fellow blerds
First, allow me to apologize for not doing a review on Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness, and Thor: Love and Thunder sooner. Had some computer issues that set me back, along with COVID. And although the most recent Phase 4 MCU movies are out, one must wonder; Where is the MCU headed? Who’s the next big bad? Kang, whom we’ve seen in the finale of Loki? The Celestials, from Eternals? Skrull Invasion? Multiversal War?! C’mon, Marvel, show all your cards! In the previous phases, we kinda knew what we were getting into. Thanos, Infinity Stones, etc. But now? Is Marvel Studios more interested in telling solo stories, rather than these epic tales that we’ve witnessed.? Not to mention, projects like Ms. Marvel, the aforementioned Thor film, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, and Captain America sequels in production, and Marvel characters from non-MCU projects coming into the fold. Fans are hungry for the next storyline, but we just don’t know what that is yet. Worse still, some are even calling it “the end of the Marvel Cinematic Universe”. And while I don’t think it’ll go that far; it does warrant some criticism. This will be part one of a series of where the two major comic book franchises are going, starting with the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Let’s get the bad out of the way. Some of the Phase 4 films and shows have been hit or miss. For every No Way Home, Shang-Chi, and Wanda/Vision, we get a Hawkeye, Black Widow, and Eternals. And with reports of Love and Thunder leaving fans split, some are questioning the direction Marvel is going. But, with the recent release line-up at the San-Diego Comic-Con, with two Avengers films coming out in the same year, Blade, Daredevil: Born Again, Fantastic Four, and other projects, is quantity better than quality? Sometimes, it feels like when an MCU show ends, another one begins, and if they’re connected to a film, then we have to play “catch-up”. That concept may be overwhelming, for the average viewer to get behind. What if they saw Avengers: Kang Dynasty without watching Loki, or Ant-Man: Quantummania?
Over on the competition’s side, DC is coming through with a third season of Harley Quinn, Black Adam, Shazam 2, and greenlit more seasons of Superman and Lois, The Flash, The Batman 2, and more. Also, while this may be a bit controversial, DC has been KILLING it with releases this year. It’s August, and The Batman is still being talked about, gaining far more positive ratings than some Marvel movies. The animated shows and films are still fire. And with Ben Affleck coming back to the role of Batman in two DCEU films, DC may be playing the long game and hiding their cards.
But, back to Marvel. The MCU isn’t going anywhere, and if it generates money, it will be here for years to come. And they’re also improving in some ways. From adding the Marvel Netflix characters into their canon, bringing more beloved characters into the spotlight like the X-Men, She-Hulk, and Namor. Plus, we may be getting Kang as the new “big bad”, who may be even more dangerous than Thanos. Not to mention, Dr. Doom is coming, so we already know ish is getting real. Especially, when we’re getting a Thunderbolts film, possibly showcasing the villains of the MCU in a new light.
All in all, it may be popular for critics to say that the MCU has peaked since Endgame or that it’s getting more and more “woke”. But I say that for all the faults Marvel has, it’s still the king of Superhero films. With more representation being shown, and by taking more risks, the MCU isn’t going anywhere. Haters be damned. That’s it for me. What do you guys think? Post your comments below, and till next time fellow blerds.
Since the release and success of The Batman, there have been reports of Warner Brothers signing actor Robert Pattinson for more movies, which may mean more of his version of the Dark Knight Detective. And while it was great seeing three of the best villains in Batman’s Rogues Gallery depicted so well, I think Matt Reeves can bring the magic again with the right antagonists. Here’s my list of some Villains for Reeves’ Batman films, and who can portray them.
Mr.Freeze-Giancarlo Esposito. This one
has been circling the web for a while, and I’m on the bandwagon. Esposito can portray some great villains, from Breaking Bad, The Boys, and The Mandalorian. Esposito can bring in the gravitas of tragic Mr. Freeze that hasn’t been seen since Batman” The Animated Series.
Dave Bautista-Bane. While wrestler turned actor Bautista is perhaps most associated with playing Drax in the Guardians Of The Galaxy films, I see no reason why he can’t jump over to DC’s side. While it may be too early to call in Bane in Reeves’ universe, if they ever do use the character, Bautista is the man they should call. His acting has improved, and of course, he brings the physicality necessary to play one of Batman’s most dangerous foes.
Deacon Blackfire-Mathew McConaughey. Deacon Blackfire is a twisted priest who kills in the name of God and was really the first villain to mentally break Batman. In the comics, Blackfire captured and tortured Batman, until he shook off the traumatic effects. While Blackfire isn’t a well-known character in the Batman mythos, the acting of McConaughey would be excellent to see as he portrays this character. If you need proof, just watch True Detective Season 1.
Black Mask-Guy Pierce. While he’s played bad guys before, in The Man In The Iron Mask, Iron Man 3, and Without Remorse, Pierce is my ideal choice to play the crime lord. Black Mask is one of the biggest mob bosses in Gotham City and can be a big rival to Collin Farrell’s Penguin.
Professor Pyg-Simon Pegg. Pegg has been shown to be a chameleon of sorts when acting in specific roles. No one knew he was even in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, due to the makeup team. And portraying a deranged surgeon-turned-killer, Pegg can give a twisted “Hannibal Lector”esqe performance.
Deathstroke-Scott Adkins. While the
action star almost took the role of Batman, when auditioning for Batman v Superman, Adkins’ martial arts skills can be on full display for audiences if he becomes the most dangerous assassin alive. Batman vs Deathstroke, live-action, is too good to pass up.
Wraith-Aaron Johnson. While he already played the lead role in Kick-Ass, and Quicksilver in Avengers” Age Of Ultron, Johnson has already worked with Pattinson on Tenet. The character, Wraith, is one of the few copy-cats that Batman has inspired, However, Wraith isn’t a crime-fighter. He’s a master criminal with access to technology like what Batman uses. It would be fun to see a darker reflection of Batman’s ideology.
Talia al Ghul-Priyanka Chopra. The Quantico star would be perfect to play the “on again/off again” love interest and occasional villain. While it may be too early on to bring her father, Ras al Ghul, Talia and Bruce could be on some adventure that can lead up to the League of Shadows making an appearance.
Calendrer Man-Mark Strong. The Batman had several references to the graphic novel, “The Long Halloween.” One of the many characters who Batman had to deal with, was Julian Day, aka The Calendar Man. He was a serial killer, who only killed on holidays. While not as popular as Riddler or Joker, I believe that Strong’s cool voice can bring forth a demented villain for Batman to pursue.
And that’s my list. Who are some of your picks for villains in the sequel? Who do you think should portray them? Post your thought below, and till next time fellow blerds.