DC has Done it Yet Again: Pissed Me Off at the Box Office

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My heart is broken, having grown up reading DC comics as a kid. I just automatically assumed that the magic would transfer over to the silver screen and at LEAST put them on par with Marvel.

Nope.

In light of Marvel’s Avengers issuing out pimp slaps by way of box office receipts and pleased fans, DC tried something different with Suicide Squad…and failed. I found myself searching for a plastic butter knife to stage my own form of simulated seppuku just to not have to watch anymore of the movie.

So impassioned was I that I wrote this to a friend about it:

DC is sippin’ the Kool-Aid again. Seems the only place they’ve gotten it right was with Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy.

Last night, I wasted about 2 hours and 15 minutes of my life on a steaming pile of special EFX-laden crap called ‘Suicide Squad.’ I’m almost considering suing Warner Brothers for that time I’ll never get back. Anytime you find yourself asking yourself, “WTF is the point of this film?” over and over again, somebody got it wrong.

Okay, I’ll give it to them that Jared Leto’s portayal of the Joker was a fresh take on the villain, but that alone wasn’t enough to pull the movie out of the pile. The actress playing Harley Quinn was DEFINITELY pretty enough and I kept asking where the heck had I seen her (turns out, she and Will Smith were romantic leads in ‘Focus’). Smith was good but I quickly realized the reason why he was allowed to traipse around without his mask (or taking it on and of at will) was so we could continue to identify with the star power of the flick.

Speaking of which, this film is something I would pick outta my nose and wanna flick onto the folks who greenlit the project in the first place. Yeah, DC is trying hard as hell to keep up with the younger, fresher, more daring Marvel. However the former gets no forgiveness, as they never had to fuss about character rights, as DC and Warner have always been connected.

Oh, and I recently checked out the turd in which Batman and Superman (the most interesting DC property versus the most boring, overused, played out character in their arsenal) did battle. By the time they both mentioned that their mothers were named Martha, I was squirming in my seat, trying to figure out whether or not I should attempt to slice my wrists with a plastic butter knife.

With the exception of Nolan and Burton’s takes on the Caped Crusader, and ‘The Watchmen’ (which doesn’t even fall into the official canon), DC movies are a waste of my time. In fact, each time I go to the theater, stream through Netflix, or watch on a DVD I refused to purchase, I have to chalk up any DC movie as a 2.5 hour waste of my life, in advance. It’s not that Marvel doesn’t lay bricks every now and then (I’ve been told to avoid the last incarnation of ‘Fantastic 4’ like a whore with AIDS telling me she likes it raw), but they seem to have used their gestation time to produce better product.

This is like a relationship where the significant other continually asks for another try, when the track record of abuse, infidelity, and incurring debt is as plain as the pimple on my left butt cheek. The funny things is, I was watching ‘Suicide Squad’ at a buddy’s house. He and I are about to work on something that could very well become a compelling graphic novel. He kept saying throughout the film how cool it was but I kept thinking about picking sock lint from between my toes.

I don’t know what the answer is for DC when it comes to the big screen. However, they have the money, the artists, the writers, and everything else that would make any fan wonder why they keep wasting our time with their bullshyt. I’m actually angry and about ready to completely dismiss anything they put out, whether in print, on the small or big screens. I wish they would do something to prove me wrong, because I grew up cutting my teeth on their comics.

However, all feelings of nostalgia have now faded. It’s not about loyalty, but the fulfillment of a business relationship: when I buy a ticket, I expect to walk out of the theater feeling I’ve watched 2+ hours of magic take place. Instead, with the rising price of movie tickets, I’m left with emptier pockets and a sense of regret.

Here’s the deal: it’s not too late. DC could turn this thing around and offer us something other than the Caped Crusader or the Son of Jor-El; they could also stop trying so hard to be LIKE Marvel. At one time, DC was just as good. Until they decide to get it together, I’ll be holding onto my few coins and not wasting my time catching their stuff in other formats.

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Marvel is Pimp Slapping DC at the Box Office: A Fan’s Perspective

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BOOYAH

Yeah, I know that to kick sand into the eye of the old gods is utter blasphemy. For that, I may burn in comic book Hades, but at least I’ll die holding onto my beliefs.

Marvel is DUSTING its rival, DC, at the box office. But then, this should be no big surprise, since Stan Lee and his merry band of comic creators have been doing it on the printed page for decades!

I, like most folks my age, grew up reading comic books like biblical scholars read the Word. For my buddies and I, comics were the currency of our young existence. We traded them, we drew characters from them, and hell, we even BELIEVED them to a certain degree!

However, just as I eventually grew to realize that McDonalds’ burgers were not as tasty as I thought they were (to their credit, Ray Kroc once stated they were more a real estate empire than a burger joint), I understood Marvel was the superior product.

DC came off like the titans of Greek mythology. Once they wore out their welcome, they were taken out by the Zeus and his pantheon of gods. However, accepting that they were the top dogs on Mount Olympus, they did not see a reason to evolve or take any other challengers seriously.

But they were wrong. Enter Marvel, which had once had other names, like Timely Comics. They started up their own pantheon during the WWII era. In its Golden Age, heroes like Captain America, the Human Torch (not Johnny Blaze of the Fantastic Four), and the Submariner (who was more an antihero) held major pull. They were pimp slapping the Axis Powers all over the place. Marvel’s work was current for the time, keeping the readers’ interest.

Meanwhile, DC had rested on their laurels. Their own trinity of heroes (Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman) were not attempting to relate to readers. They came off like deities instead of human beings.

Batman, of course, was their most interesting property, and would go on to have some great runs on the silver screen. Tim Burton freaked it, while Christopher Nolan would come along years later and revive the entire franchise. Let’s completely forget the old TV series that starred Adam West and Burt Ward, though. I guess we should also overlook the two Dark Knight movies from the original run that almost derailed the whole thing…

Stan Lee, who was the face of Marvel (ask yourself, who was the face of DC?), dreamed bigger and hoped for more. DC had the golden ticket with Warner Brothers, whereas Marvel was tied up in all kinds of legal crap. Prior to the Disney buyout, they had no exclusive movie studio to back them. Again, DC simply accepted that they could put out flicks whenever they wanted, while Marvel’s stuff was shelved (Roger Corman’s original outing for the Fantastic Four), released as inferior product having little to do with the source material (Dolph Lundgren as The Punisher), or suffered in development hell (James Cameron’s Spider-Man).

This is how it comes around like a Kung Fu flick. The hero, who has had his entire family or crew killed off and his girl captured, is beaten within an inch of his life. Left in the wilderness, he uses his anger as rocket fuel to improve his skills and plan his revenge.

That dish, best served cold, has DC coming off more as Vanilla Ice than Ice Cube.

Marvel came out SWINGING, though there were hits and misses. People often forget the success of the first Blade movie. Spider-Man was a blockbuster. Fantastic Four was alright, but was nowhere near as interesting as the comic. The first outing of X-Men was so-so. Of course, things would improve with the unveiling of The Avengers Initiative.

Watching all those characters come fleshed out on the big screen was something of a family reunion. With Marvel, we could identify with Peter Parker’s awkwardness and failure to get the girl. We could understand how Ben Grimm felt, since he was stuck looking like a pile of rocks.

DC, however, had failed to make the connection. Superman and Wonder Woman were practically gods. Batman was flawed, but he was a multi-gazillionaire playboy (Marvel would do this one better with Tony Stark’s funds and alcoholism). Robin was outright irritating. In all, their characters paled in comparison.

So, how can DC level the playing field? It might be too late, but it’s time for them to pull from other parts of their arsenal. I know I would LOVE to see Mister Miracle on the big screen. Until DC begins to feel the milk money they’re losing at the box office, they’ll simply continue on in the same way. And that’s sad, considering Suicide Squad was supposed to allow them to flip the script a bit.