Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Marvel May Rule on the Big Screen, But DC Beats Them on the Small Screen

How A Racoon Beat The Shit Out Of Superman

If you're anything like me and you spend about twenty six hours on the internet every day, you may have seen the awesome looking new trailer for Marvel's latest film, The Guardians of the Galaxy. It looks exciting and hilarious. Marvel has always set the bar high and almost always hits those expectations out of the park, so this looks like it's going to be deeply made of win and awesome. Here, let me post it for you if you haven't seen it, because oh my god. OH MY GOD.

Marvel is stepping out of their Avengers comfort zone with this new franchise. You won't see Tony Stark or Loki pop up here. They are tangently related (mainly through Thanos, the big bad for Marvel's Phase 2 in the films) but this is really it's own universe. The fact that it looks like it's been giving as much loving care as the Avengers is especially heartening. I've got a good feeling about this one.

Someone who probably isn't feeling so great right now is DC, the beleaguered owners of Batman and Superman, who just can't catch a break. While Marvel has their films planned out through 2020 (including Avengers 2: Age of Ultron, Antman, a possible Hulk film and a possible Blackwidow film), DC has no idea what it's doing this time next week. They've been an absolute failure at utilizing their immensely popular franchises into anything more than complete and utter mediocrity. They own the Big Three when it comes to superheroes; Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman. They are doing nothing with these properties and that allows Marvel to make mincemeat out of them. At this point, Marvel could release a Deadpool movie that was only an hour of a guy in a Deadpool costume talking to himself in a room and it would gross more than the proposed Batman VS Superman film.

The one thing that, if done well, would make DC oodles of money is a Wonder Woman film, which they are outright refusing to persue. Meanwhile, Marvel heard the demands of fans and has announced that Natasha Rominov is going to get her own feature length film. If you had told me in 2010 that Black Widow would get her own movie before Wonder Woman, I'd be floored. Now I just shake my head at the pigheaded idiocy of DC.

DC has become a laughing stock where it's films are concerned. There's no thought put into the films they make, there's no care. They all seem as if they were developed by people who wear thousand dollar suits and talk importantly on bluetooth headsets instead of by creators and people who are passionate about the characters and comics. They all feel like they were made to cash in and make a quick buck. The only exception to this rule is the Batman trilogy that Christopher Nolan helmed which was dark perfection. Those movies seem like exceptions rather than the rule and most DC films that have been optioned recently already have a thick veneer of suck coating them already. The proposed Batman VS Superman film is already made of fail and it hasn't even been made yet.

At this point, I would much rather watch a gun-toting racoon than I would a Superman movie and DC should be incredibly worried by that.

But, on the other hand...

But A Guy With Some Arrows Is Killing Shield Agents

While DC is abysmal at making feature length films, they are killing it when it comes to TV shows. How they have such a huge disconnect, I'll never know. There's a fascinating sounding Gotham TV police procedural in the works, as well as a Constantine show and a show about the Flash. They all sound pretty great. The predecessor to all of this has been the shockingly good Green Arrow TV show. Sure, it's on the CW, but it's still a pretty great way to spend an hour and the characters and effects are done surprisingly well. Even DC's cartoon offerings are exceptional. There is the seminal Batman: The Animated Show that is a defining moment for the Batman mythos and introduced the best Joker this side of Heath Ledger. They also had a hand in the old Teen Titans cartoon (the new one is a sad abomination but DC isn't fully responsible).

With DC doing so well in TV, you'd expect Marvel to be crushing them too, right? Sadly, not the case. Agents of SHIELD had so much potential and it was largely squandered. The characters were mostly boring (with the bright spots being Fitz and Simmons, the Ron and Hermoine of the team) and the show moved at a glacier pace. I'll admit it, I got bored and I stopped watched. I expect I'll marathon it when it shows up on Netflix or Hulu but for now I don't really care. Marvel's foray into TV was a massive disappointment for many fans who wondered how Marvel could do something wrong for once. I think there was some resting on laurels involved and maybe Marvel didn't try as hard as they should had to make the show as engaging and funny as their film offerings.

Whatever the case, when it comes to TV, DC wins hands down. That must be a slap in the face to Marvel, but also maybe a signal that they should try a wee bit harder on their TV offerings. While DC has two or three shows coming out this fall, Marvel has none. C'mon, Marvel, would it kill you to make a cartoon or something? How about a weekly half hour comedy about Darcy from Thor? I would watch the hell out of that. Maybe a zany Deadpool cartoon on Adult Swim or a Runaways drama? You aren't even trying!

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