It’s really a tale of two time periods. In the space of 30 years, the superhero movie has grown. The DC comics characters of each era (the Batman of the 90′s versus the Batman of the 000′s) are so distinguishable from one another that they probably belong in different genres. Though Warner has only produced four live action servings of this form of story-telling, there is no end in sight for the dark, serious and realistic tone of superhero stories, and films 95% tragic and 5% hope now seem to trump comedy, fantasy and victory.
Christopher Nolan’s massive Dark Knight Trilogy was a financial gold mine. ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ itself grossed over a billion dollars, keeping close but not near enough to ‘The Avengers’. Marvel has been immensely successful in its creation of a franchise that brought us individual films before bringing the characters together in an ultimate superhero team up.
DC has the potential to overtake Marvel, however they have to be careful. Marvel had a plan, and executed it near perfectly. They gave us each character in their own solo outing before throwing the characters together for ‘Avengers’. They established their universe over the course of a few years and reaped the rewards. However, DC has their own healthy stock of superheroes, a list that could arguably gain more support from audiences than Marvel’s.
DC is in a rush to give the world their superhero team-up tale. However, they have taken a completely different course of action. The tone and feel of their movies has never been more in contrast to one another, keeping a memorable distance between the two rival companies. If DC is the toddler at this stage, then Marvel is the father that the toddler doesn’t want to grow up to be like. But they want the success that Marvel has enjoyed, and there is a lot of work ahead to be done. So what is working for DC’s young line of modern films, and what needs improvement, if they are to become the best, live action comic book franchise?
This article was first posted on July 16, 2013