Media Meltdown Podcast

Why DC's Entertainment Plan Might Be Better Than Marvel's

Friday, May 22, 2015

Let us get one thing straight right of the bat, Marvel is killing DC on the movie front. With the lackluster Avengers Age Of Ultron hitting the one billion mark, Marvel now has three films to reach that mark. Marvel has planned out its lineup for the next four years and was even able to get Spider-Man back into the fold of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which is a big get for them. They also recently launched Daredevil on Netflix, which has garnered praise from critics and fans alike. The darker, street level universe is being built on Netflix with Iron Fist, Jessica Jones, and Luke Cage to follow. All of this, of course, building up to a Defenders Netflix movie or series. Sounds like Marvel has their ducks in a row and is ready for what is to come, wait I forgot Agents of S.H.E.I.L.D. , let's talk about that show.

Agents of S.H.E.I.L.D. has an identity issue within this universe, it has to be its own show while at the very least acknowledging what is going on in the films or even waiting for a film to come out. This is why the first season of the show was mediocre at best, it had to patiently wait for Winter Soldier to come out to actually do what they wanted. Those last few episodes were good to great even, but at that midway point many people started to give up on the show. It was the fans who stuck it out that were able to tell the community to come back it is really good, and many did. Then the second season started with an average opener and with this season introducing the Inhumans into the MCU and having the task to tie in everything, it has become the work horse show. A show you do not have to watch to understand what is happening in the movies or Netflix shows. It becomes a bigger issue when Joss Whedon does not even acknowledge that Coulson is still alive in the newest Avengers movie.
There have been cracks on the movie side as well. Leaks of arguments between directors and Kevin Feig on what needs to be included into the films and in what direction a film should go into. Look at the outfall on Ant-Man, after Edgar Wright left the scrambled to find a director to keep the movie on track. In Avengers Age of Ultron there were rumblings on what should have been included or cut, Thor's magic bath and the farm scenes were in particular debate. None of this matters of course, Ant-Man will still make money and Avengers will keep on making more money. This being said, Avengers AOU felt like a set up movie for Civil War, and I think this might become an issues. With everything being connected there will be episodes and movies that will have this feeling. Everything must fit in the master plan for Marvel.

DC on the other hand has an uphill battle going, starting late in the game on the connecting universe. However, they have chosen to split the two universes into movies and television. Let's begin with the movie universe and the movie they hoped would be the springboard, Green Lantern. I do not hate this movie like most but they certainly threw a lot of things at you in this movie. They wanted it so badly you could feel them sticking a spoonful of medicine down your throat. People love to blame Ryan Reynolds but he was not the issue, the script and the need to play catch up was. Then they decide to start off with a clean slate with Man of Steel. They picked Zack Snyder to not only direct but start to put building blocks into place for the new darker and grittier DCMU after the successful Watchman adaptation. I know I am in the minority on this network but I enjoyed his take on Superman. Having him destroying the city while fighting his first real fight, learning as he goes along was a smart move. At the time everyone said Superman would not do that, but this is his beginning, he is learning. I said on one of the Newsrooms after that this could be a setup as well, this is how they bring in Luthor to help rebuild the city along with Bruce Wayne. I turned out to be right. Not only was this a good stand alone movie, it was a world building movie that we did not even know about. This dark world of the DCCU might not be for everyone and I understand that, and it is why we have the television universe.

DC's Arrow is one of the best shows on TV in my opinion, not only a superhero show. It mixes perfectly the brooding Oliver Queen with a light touch. He is the substitute Batman of the combined television universe, since Fox is killing the Batman franchise in Gotham, taking from a lot of story arcs from Batman books. This is ok with me because Stephen Amell is a perfect mix and plays the dual roles perfectly. This is, for me, a show I put down my phone and try to watch as soon as I can. Season two was better that than the previous building on the momentum and adding The Flash and super-heroes into this universe. The Flash has quickly become my favorite show on TV, it is by far the closest thing to a comic book on TV right now. They get casting right, the writers know comic book because of the story lines being introduced. Flash is very much about time travel and destiny, and the introduce things like the speed force and it makes sense in this universe. With the season finally just airing you know they are unafraid of what they are doing, and relish it.

So with DC you have to different universes you can watch and play in, you have the darker tone in the movies. With the television you have a lighter side, a fun and emotional ride that takes you to places you did not think you could go. Do not forget that with the Flash playing in different timelines and different Earths in the next season who know if the two worlds will ever collide in a Crisis on Infinite Earths type movie. Would you not kill to hear Stephen Amell say to Ben Affleck "You have failed this Earth!" gives me chills.

With Marvel, all their eggs are in one basket, and so far overall its been a tasty basket. The movies have been above average for the most part. Daredevil is killing it on Netflix, and S.H.E.I.L.D. is unbalanced at best. If Marvel messes up a couple of times, chooses a wrong project or a TV show fails, the whole thing could collapse. Do I think this could happen? Well anything is possible but I do not think so. What I do think is two choices are always better than one.

Signing Off For Now,
Stephen Operach

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Posted at 7:04 AM by Stephen Operach
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