Friday, June 20, 2014

Adding All These Characters to Batman v. Superman Is Bad For the Future of DC, Not Good

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Just recently, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice became Batman v Superman v Wonder Woman v Cyborg v Aquaman, and possibly v The Flash v Green Lantern (Because, seriously, how can you introduce Aquaman and not introduce The Flash and Green Lantern?). Now, while many comic book fans, including yours truly, think that Wonder Woman and the rest of the gang who aren’t Batman or Superman will probably show up in some post-credits scene, let’s just think about this for a moment. Is all this news about characters who will undoubtedly show up in the Justice League movie good for Batman v. Superman, or bad? If you ask me, it’s bad. In fact, it’s very bad, and I don’t see anything positive about it at all. It’s all leading up to one gargantuan mess, and we, the audience, are going to suffer for it.

First, there’s the possibility that these characters are actually not just in the post-credits scene and are actually instrumental to the story. If that’s the case, then many people will be looking for them in the movie and will be grossly disappointed that all this hype has been built up for these characters and they aren’t even going to be in the main film. Now, if characters like Wonder Woman and Cyborg were never mentioned ahead of time, very much like how S.H.I.E.L.D. and other groups and characters were never mentioned prior to a Marvel movie’s release and were instead just Easter eggs, then they would be a pleasant surprise at the end. This would totally ramp up anticipation for their characters in future films. But as it stands, when we find out way, way, way in advance that Gal Godot is not only set to play Wonder Woman, but that she will actually be in Batman v. Superman, then you have unnecessary anticipation levels. If Wonder Woman is not in the movie and is only in a post credits scene, many Wonder Woman fans will be disappointed, and deservedly so. Why mention her if she’s not going to be kicking butt in the main film? Why all the press?

Then, you have the issue that DC and Warner Bros. are just plain desperate to catch up to Marvel by adding all these Justice League characters, because honestly, introducing Aquaman and Cyborg in a movie called Batman v. Superman just reeks of desperation. For a long time, there was always the question of whether there would even be a Justice League movie. And now, not only is there going to be one, but the characters in it are going to be introduced in the most slapdash way possible. Say what you will about Green Lantern or Aquaman, but these are names that a majority of the public already knows in some shape or form. That said, their backgrounds aren’t as familiar as say, Batman or Superman’s, and you can’t just have a movie where you throw in The Flash or Wonder Woman, and expect people unfamiliar with their histories to fully get a sense of who they are. It’s really not fair and for several reasons.

One reason it’s not fair is because fans of these characters aren’t getting a fair deal. Someone like Green Lantern got the short end of the stick last time and most certainly won’t get much time to shine if he’s sharing the spotlight with Batman and Superman. Another reason it’s not fair is because movie goers who want to truly understand these characters really won’t get to. For most people, Aquaman is a joke as TV shows like Entourage have perpetuated the idea that he’s lame. But just because he’s now being played by Jason Mamoa, that doesn’t mean audience members will suddenly change their opinion on the character. They will mostly just be confused if he’s this tough guy and not much is explained about why he’s not like the wuss people have always thought he was, which will be what happens when he’s introduced with around four or five other characters. And thirdly, it’s not fair to the characters themselves to just throw them in a blender like this. If anything, a character like Cyborg needs his own movie, and a good one, to be truly accepted as anything but some weird, mechanical black dude a lot of people have never even seen or heard of before outside of the comic book community. The last thing he needs is to show up in some post-credits scene scowling. That would be really dumb.

Honestly, it feels like with announcing all these newcomers to Batman v. Superman, Warner Bros feels that they aren’t strong enough to star in a movie of their own. We already see that with the last Green Lantern movie, but just look at what Marvel did. The first Incredible Hulk was seen to be a failure. So Marvel revamped the character and made a new movie. This was all prior to The Avengers, by the way. But Warner Bros. is going ass backwards with this. They are going to introduce characters who aren’t as popular as Batman or Superman in their movie. Is it really enough to have Aquaman slam down his trident in a post-credit scene for us to get a sense of who Aquaman really is? I definitely don’t think so.

And that’s why introducing characters in this way, with new updates every few months, is a bad way for DC to move forward. Sure, it will keep people thinking about the film and its possibilities until it comes out on May 6th, 2016 (The same day as Captain America 3). But if they blow this and introduce all these characters in a poor way, it’s going to blow up in their faces and really set DC back several years. Unless the execution is absolutely perfect (And with Zack Snyder at the helm, I’m not positive it will be), this could be a huge mistake. Here’s hoping it isn’t, but things aren’t looking good.

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