State of the DC Universe in a Post Avengers World

3/07/2013 Stephen Colbert 0 Comments



It's been a great decade in the theater for geeks.  Sci-fi is making a resurgence in a mostly good way, fantasy is finally being done properly, and comic book movies are pretty universally enjoyed.  Many would even argue that Hollywood was changed forever with the advent of the Avengers.  Leading up to this point the many comic book movies we saw had independent or even contradictory universes.  Batman existed in multiple iterations, Superman existed in multiple iterations, and Catwoman existed in multiple iterations along with several other properties and none of them had anything to do with each other.  So here comes the marvel movie universe and ties all their independent titles (the ones owned by Disney at least) into the same world, culminating in a billion dollar team-up film with the Avengers.  It might have been a different story if Avenger's hadn't been successful, but now everyone views superhero movies differently and with Chris Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy being wrapped up (probably) and a Superman reboot with Man of Steel only months away, all eyes are on the Warner Brothers' DC comics universe wondering what it has up its sleeve to match Avengers.

The DC movie universe is in a precarious position and the next few steps they take will be very important in a post Avengers comic book movie world.  Can DC make an enjoyable and financially successful run at a combined movie universe through Justice League in the same way Disney did with Marvel's Avengers?  It's possible, but it need to get its act together.

Justice League, as many people know, is the DC Comics team that would be considered their Avengers equivalent.  The roster is as long and storied as Avengers, so a movie will have to only contain a handful of the primary members.  I think the movie would need to stick to Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Flash, and The Green Lantern.  Flash and Wonder Woman are the only 2 that don't have a big screen movie recently, but there are also issues with the others.

Batman just wrapped up The Dark Knight Trilogy and The Nolan brothers and David S. Goyer put some good effort into bringing a close to the arc of Bruce Wayne and Christopher Nolan said (along with Christian Bale) that he was done with Batman.  We've heard that before from the likes of George Lucas, Michael Jordan, Brett Favre, and it's not like Bruce Wayne only hung his cape and cowl up once in the comics, but the fact of the matter is Batman was pretty solidly wrapped up.  In order to include Batman in The Justice League they will either have to reboot it (AGAIN), awkwardly re-open the trilogy and give Christian Bale the largest check in movie history, or run with Joseph Gordon Levitt's John (Robin) Blake as Batman and start the Justice League franchise without Bruce Wayne as Batman.  An awkward predicament enhanced by some other details I will expand on later.

The Green Lantern was recently attempted with Ryan Reynolds and didn't go over too well.  I honestly haven't seen it, but the few that did were unimpressed.  So does this need to be rebooted?  Will DC have the same trouble with the Green Lantern as Marvel did with The Incredible Hulk?  I guess it's not easy being green...

Superman is really promising.  The new Man of Steel movie looks amazing and that's important because it will serve to launch the Justice League universe.  The trailer's all look awesome except for one problem...


See it?  Watch the video...

BINGO.  Right at the climax.  "Producer CHRISTOPHER NOLAN from THE DARK KNIGHT TRILOGY."  You know who else has their name on it?  David S. Goyer.  Writer of much of The Dark Knight Trilogy.  They are both even already attached the the script for the sequel to Man of Steel.

So, the cornerstone of the DC Universe's response to the Avengers is going to be written and produced by the men behind The Dark Knight Trilogy and they are going to plaster their name and the Dark Knight brand all over the new Superman movie, yet use a different Batman than the one Christopher Nolan created?

I'm glad I don't work for Warner Brothers.  They need to get their act together.  They will be shooting themselves in the foot if they don't chew their lumps on this.  Marvel struck out twice with The Hulk and ended up sticking with what they had and made it work for Avengers.  Some fans might not like it, but Chris Nolan made several billion dollars with Christian Bale as Batman and they can't scrap that for a new Caped Crusader.  It would confuse some audience members, probably anger many fringe geeks, and others would be less inclined to show up for yet another Batman reboot.

Warner Brothers needs to stick with what they have for Batman.  Stick with the Green Lantern they have, which has exactly the opposite problem as Batman.  Green Lantern is too small to be worth rebooting. They need to build their new Superman, find a way to introduce Flash and Wonder Woman, who could honestly be done in a similar way to Hawkeye and Black Widow from Avengers since they are also relatively minor to the general public.  There is a lot of talk around a Wonder Woman movie or TV show, but it's so politically loaded everyone is going to go crazy no matter who does it.  I'm not going to open the can of worms that is the sexism debate in comics that's going on right now, but Wonder Woman is not far off from the center of the issue.  There is a lot that need to be done and be done right.  If they don't have a Justice League movie out before Avengers 2 is out in 2015, I think they missed the boat.  The clock is ticking.

I say you drive a dump truck of money up to the houses of Christian Bale and Christopher Nolan and if they don't sign a contract, then save your money and call it a day.

To be totally honest, if they didn't somehow find a way for Christian Bale's Bruce Wayne to have a cameo in Man of Steel to reopen his Batman story, this series is toast.  It's too disorganized and too messy to try to unify and they are better off waiting another decade to reboot everything in a unified universe without having to compete with the Avengers.

Disney caught them with their pants around their ankles with the Avengers and if Warner Brothers tries to take off running to catch up without fastening their utility belt, they will fall flat on their face.

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