Hey there, shes, hes, shims, hers, hirs, zes and so on – show co-host Bobby Hill here. Time for some real talk. As we grow the podcast and live shows, Jay and I want to also be able to put some original content out to you here, so that you can get our unfiltered opinions on these universes, even ONE MORE additional way. Sometimes you just want a salient opinion or two, right? With that in mind, I proudly present: See, What People Don’t Realize Is.
If you don’t listen to the podcast regularly, first of all, shame on you. Secondly, Jay has a tendency to couch “bombshell” tie-ins or reveals of easter eggs or even things that people would never think to realize at all, to the phrase, “See, what people don’t realize is…” It’s hilarious, it happens once every couple of shows, and now I catch myself doing it, too. In honor of that, every so often, we’ll deliver an original post about a piece of news, an opinion we have, etc about either the MCU or the DCEU, and they’ll all be titled similar to our first “See, What People Don’t Realize Is,” which, as you can see, is the mighty argument of Marvel vs DC.
With the failure of Suicide Squad in the form of what seems to matter most to the “die-hard,” Spider-man underoo owning, “I’ve been a member of Superherohype since it was Spidermanhype” crowd – that is – the critical reviews, DC again finds itself in an artistic/storyline problem when it comes to how it’s compared to Marvel. Man Of Steel was bleak, BVS even bleaker, as well as misshapen and a bunch of other adjectives meaning “not very good,” and the director of those two, Zach Snyder, was already on to helm Justice League. Cyborg looks like he’s not going to get used right, everyone except the execs at Warner seem to want Grant Gustin to be every Flash (understandable,) leaving the hopes of the franchise on Gal Gadot (unproven) and Jason Mamoa (terribly nice, but no box office cred,) with the hope that Ben Affleck will Robert Downey, Jr his way through each film. Let’s face it, Affleck hasn’t done nearly the amount of drugs necessary to have the charisma of Robert Downy, Jr.
As DC is producing all of that, Hollywood scene-darling Benedict Cumberbatch (Oscar nominated) and Brie Larson (Oscar winner,) are about to release and prepping to film, respectively, for Marvel. “How is Marvel so good at this and DC so bad?” is the question you should be asking. We have – for a couple of years now. As we’ll be talking about on episode 38 of our podcast, Time Warner CEO, Jeff Bewkes as even admitted the quality from DC is lacking. Marvel has made their series of films look seamless, as well as weaving in elements from their various television series’ while DC has kept their movie and TV divisions, well, divided. In fact the product put out by Greg Berlanti through the CW network (and Supergirl on CBS till they moved to the CW,) is really the only watchable DC fare in the live-action world. Now he’s taking on a Booster Gold movie which will rightfully not be connected to whatever mess is happening in the formerly Snyder run world, now helmed by Geoff Johns. A lot of people hope Johns will right the ship. He’s a DC stalwart who’s been involved with nearly everything there for almost 20 years. But can he?
See, what people don’t realize is, what Kevin Feige has done with Marvel is unprecedented. Because it’s 8 years and multiple successes in, it seems like what Marvel is doing isn’t even new any more, but it is! Before Tony Stark showed up at the end of the Incredible Hulk, the idea of live-action superhero continuity – or continuity of different movies through a series of loosely connected characters was unheard of. Sure, you might get a spin-off character, but by the time of the first Avengers movie, there had been 5 connected films, directed by 4 different people, with the 6th film bringing all of those characters together and directed by an entirely different person. And, while none of those films are “perfect” movies, they are all entertaining, fun, worth whatever the theater was charging prices, and you know it because when they pop up on TV now, you watch at least a half-hour of any one of them if you’ve got time.
Then they followed it up with 6 new films with 5 new directors and the same guy who directed the last uniting of all the characters, coming back to direct them all again; and once again, despite none of them being perfect, and one or two even being a little lackluster (Thor and Ultron, anyone?) the rest were outstanding. Guardians Of The Galaxy and Winter Soldier are so good, yet so far apart in style, that you almost don’t get how they’ll ever bring all of those characters together, but your trust it at this point, because 13 movies in, the track record is pretty solid.
I contend that the magic is in Kevin Feige. Making ONE successful movie is hard to do. Making a series of 13 and counting, interconnected films with different directors and main characters, etc, and having them almost all be at least decent, is a skill that maybe a few people could pull off? Managing the fact that actors age while comic book superheros normal do not, the economics of paying returning actors whose profiles have risen, largely due to what they’ve accomplished in their Marvel role, making schedules work, and still not dropping a string of shit-piles? There might be 4 people on the planet who might be able to make a thing like what he’s done, happen. I don’t know who the other 3 are, I just have my over/under set really low on this. Is Geoff Johns one of them? I don’t know. Does this let DC off the hook for fucking things up so far? Not at all. At the very least, good management knows that you don’t have the artillery yet, or at least realizes that one of your underbosses deserves more shine (I’m looking at you, Berlanti.)
They really should let Greg Berlanti in on more of the movie-verse. Yes, his CW shows are a little, uh, built for the CW is probably the best way I can describe it. But, if Booster Gold is a hit and he makes the Black Lightning show he’s prepping for Fox into another success, they need to start paying attention. Or, they could always take my advice from a previous episode, and do what Sony did – let Marvel make your movies!
That’s What’s Up!