After the release of the much anticipated Batman v Superman, DC Comics has brought together a real world for its heroes to play in. Before the blockbuster, each film based on a DC Comics protagonist was simply a world to itself. There were many different Batmen and Supermen but they were never really existing together. Little nods here and there might tempt fans into believing that the world in the film was more than just what was being shown but little on-screen suggested that each hero was living in a world where they were the singular force of good.
With Batman v Superman, that has all changed. The inclusion of Wonder Woman and the outright tease of other members of the Justice League, Flash, Aquaman, and Cyborg, have clearly shown what the comic company has in store for the fans in the future. The world has been built and there are more super powered players who have yet to be introduced. The stage is set and the actors are preparing for their scenes.
All of this is very exciting to see. After several years of trying to catch up with Marvel in terms of movies, DC looks to have finally built the world that all of its heroes will exist in. They are taking the steps that Marvel did in creating the Marvel Cinematic Universe nearly eight years ago. The difference is, instead of introducing heroes with their own movies, DC has decided to shotgun blast the audience with heroes all at once.
Despite how good or terrible the movie itself was, it was convincing that this could be a world in which all of the Justice League can exist. The backstory provided with Batman may have been excruciatingly boring at times but it was there none the less. Superman was given his own movie and there was time taken to make sure that this version of the man of steel was introduced properly. Even Wonder Woman was given a slight backstory before she joined in the fray.
The universe has been built and the foundation laid for all of the stories that will be told afterwards but the real question is, “How strong is that foundation?”. Batman v Superman featured about 45 minutes of fun in a two and a half hour slog through endless dialogue and bat nightmares. Batman’s character was established too quickly to really get a read on one of the cornerstones of the Justice League and Wonder Woman’s character barely exists.
By not taking the time to establish well the founding members of the Justice League and the universe in general, DC has made its future harder to predict than it should be. There are clearly plans for the future with many single hero movies to come featuring some of the big names, but why wait and do that after doing their version of “The Avengers?”
They created hastily made versions of iconic characters instead of establishing them before bringing them together. In their rush to compete with Marvel, DC has misunderstood why films like The Avengers and other team ups have been successful. The audience cared about those characters as individuals and then when they teamed up they cared about it more.
Now, if the audience has seen the team up and doesn’t care for it, why would they bother seeing the individual characters that they already didn’t like in their own films? They have attempt to mimic the Marvel success by completely ignoring the reason it worked to begin with.
On the flip side, credit is due to DC for taking the complete opposite tone from its competition. Its choice of moody self-reflection and dark colors is on the opposite spectrum from Marvel. They are at least attempting to stand out while trying to be successful as well and that is to be commended. They have some amazing stories to tell and here’s to the hope that the universe can be the perfect foundation to tell those in.