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How Marvel Outshined DC At Comic Con Without Even Trying

posted Jul 23, 2013, 9:53 PM by samantha@filmmusicmedia.com   [ updated Jul 24, 2013, 7:20 AM by Kaya Savas ]
If you don't think this is innuendo for something dirty...you're wrong.


Comic Con has once again come and gone and I spent it frantically refreshing Twitter when I was supposed to be working. The struggles of a broke East Coast geek are real. There's quite a few things I keep an eye out for when it comes to Comic Con news, but the apex of my excitement comes when DC and Marvel have their turn to announce their plans for the future. Ever since Marvel has shuffled out phase one of their movieverse they have completely owned Comic Con. Their panels are one of the most anticipated of the weekend. Not only are people eager for previews of the sequels to their favorite comic movies, but they're eager to hear the announcements of what Marvel has coming down the line. DC...well DC has paled in comparison, usually only have one or two things to offer when it comes to the movieverse.

This year DC had a shot of doing something great. Man of Steel, despite having mixed reviews, made a ton of money. The Dark Knight Rises had Batman's story ending on a high point. Now would have been the perfect time to announce movies for a few more Justice League members, get people excited about a potential Justice League movie. Instead...we get more Batman and Superman in the form of a team up movie. Made by the same people that made Man of Steel. And that's it, pretty much.

Now I love Batman and Superman and, hell, I'm down for a team up movie but this...this doesn't seem like the smartest idea. No doubt the movie will make money, but think of the long term plan. Everybody knows who Batman and Superman are. We know their stories, they've had reboots and re-reboots and their own TV shows. The only thing a Batman/Superman team up will do is introduce a new Batman and give slash fanfic writers a lot of fuel (especially if people keep writing it as Batman/Superman...like I am now). It does absolutely nothing to help build up to a Justice League movie.

DC wants Marvel's success, why not just take a cue from their business model? Get the second Superman movie out there (this movie doesn't count, Batman always steals Superman's thunder), give the Flash and Wonder Woman their own movies (Wonder Woman would work well with the Thor model, I think) and reboot Green Lantern. Allow Hawkgirl and/or Aquaman to make cameos in order to introduce them to the series without having to give them their own movies. Then, boom, first Justice League movie. Make it focus on Martian Manhunter 'cause he'll obviously be a breakout character when people get to know him and then give him his own movie in phase two. You don't need more Batman in order to make him fit into the Justice League, we all know Batman can do as he pleases without needing to give you a reason. He's Batman.

Just embrace copying Marvel, DC, and start rolling in the money.

Marvel didn't even have to try to out-do DC at Comic Con. For one thing, they do have a bit of an unfair advantage considering phase one of their movieverse was hugely successful, but that took years of hard work. They've had their flops but they stuck with their plan and now it's paying off in a big way. They get automatic attention for the Thor and Captain America sequels because not only did the first films do respectably in the box office but everyone and their mother saw The Avengers and root for those two. They didn't have to do anything extravagant to get attention for Thor and yet they secretly brought in Tom Hiddleston to do a bit dressed up as Loki.

It's not just the fact that Marvel has built up a fanbase for their movieverse over the years, it's that you can feel their excitement over their projects. You could see that from the Guardians of the Galaxy panel. That's a movie that has to win people over with charm and enthusiasm because a summary is not going to be drawing in crowds (example: me giving it side eye in the article I wrote last year), and the panel won me over at least. You could just feel how enthusiastic the cast of the film was at the panel and how excited everybody seemed to be about it during the press line. There were jokes about Rocket Raccoon being a jerk, and Karen Gillian throwing off her wig and showing off her newly shaved Nebula non-hairdo during the panel. People were having fun and they obviously were amped for the project/ That is how you get people to buy tickets for a movie they had been previously hesitant to see.

I'm a DC fan, I am. I loved Man of Steel despite other people trying to tell me it sucked, and the Nolan Batman films were perfection. I guess that's why their lackluster performance at Comic Con annoyed me so much. I know there are great characters in the DC universe that deserve to have their stories told in film form, and it's disappointing to see them cover the same ones over and over again. I hope in time DC takes a chance and tries something new, but that's a wish I have for many forms of media these days. For better or worse, the Superman/Batman team up is what DC is offering us next and only time will tell if it was a good idea or not.

If nothing else, at least good fanfic will come out of it.