We Deserve Better, DC Comics

Let’s imagine a world where Christian Bale was still Batman and Zack Snyder stuck within the realm of the Dark Knight universe. I would be happier, you would be happier, hell even Christian Bale would be happier. and we wouldn’t have to endure the two and half hour shitfest that was Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice. DC Comics always has been dark when it came to its films, but there was an underlying feeling of hope on the horizon. Unfortunately with Batman v Superman, there is no hope.

Let’s Talk About Characters, Baby

From the opening scene of Batman v Superman, it was clear that this was Batman’s movie, not Superman‘s. That’s great and all, but even from the glimpse into Bruce Wayne’s parents’ death, it was clear that this wasn’t a Batman that would be recognizable to fans. It bothered me how Thomas Wayne attempted to punch the attacker before he made a move because it changed the whole dynamic of Batman’s quest for the underlying good. And boy, did it change it a lot. Don’t get me wrong, how could you cast Jeffrey Dean Morgan in a movie and not have him be a macho man, but that isn’t who Thomas Wayne was. Due to this turn of events, Batman became a superhero everyone feared, not just the guys lurking in the shadows. He used extreme brute force and even seemed to take joy in his excessive cruelness. He stance on justice was that “real men fight for it,” not aliens who come down and play god. While I’m aware that Batman is a vigilante, this was like a step too far into Snyder’s dreamland. I mean, when the people he saves identify him as a “devil,” then we have to know someone went wrong somewhere. Nothing against Ben Affleck, he did fine and it was the best fighting from Batman we have seen to date. I just don’t want him anywhere near the Batman character, plain and simple. (Please Ben, go take your script and get someone else, preferably Bale.)

As for Superman, can this guy be anymore of a wet blanket? He wants the same thing as Batman, and he will be just as pouty to prove it. When he isn’t too busy saving Lois Lane, who was painted as a glorified damsel in distress, he is wondering why people don’t like him. As Martha Kent pointed out in the Comic-Con trailer, “be anything they need you to be or be none of it.” Superman is the ultimate vision of good, but he is also idealistic and it that idea is killed a little bit when he just seems so down and negative about everything. We never see a side of Clark Kent where he isn’t brooding in a corner, complaining about the bat. And maybe that’s the problem, there wasn’t enough of a difference in moodiness between Batman and Superman, and their triumph to friendship felt forced and too quick. Understandably, I guess you have to speed up things when Doomsday starts attacking. But there has to be a way to personify who Superman is as a character. Look at Smallville, they successfully captured the essence of Superman growing up and becoming a hero. Why can’t a major motion picture do the same?

The Golden Age of Television

DC Comics is dominating the television game. With Arrow, The Flash and Supergirl, they are literally setting the stage for comic book stories to be told. The disappointing thing is, Zack Snyder doesn’t want to use the television version of these superheroes because it doesn’t match his “tone.” These series already have a decent size following, and if they incorporated them into their movie multiverse, people would be even more drawn to catching up on what they missed out. Marvel did it with their show Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, and that show isn’t even as highly reguarded of as any of the holy trinity. People are more interested in characters that they know and trust, and Grant Gustin is that when in character because he fully embodies Flash.

Truly, I feel like DC Comics and Warner Brothers is missing out on a huge opportunity by not incorporating these shows. They are established and well written, and even with the different “tone,” Snyder’s Flash sounds a lot like the television show. Greg Berlanti has brought some much life to DC Comics with these three television series, and I feel like he could do even more if he could incorporate them into the movie multiverse. Part of the reason we are in the second or third Golden Age of Television is because of series like these, and it is a disappointment that they won’t be transferred over to the big screen.

Zack Snyder’s Obsession with Frank Miller

Much of Snyder’s career has been over Frank Miller‘s work, such as 300 and Watchmen. Batman v Superman seems to carry a lot of influences from ThDark Knight Returns, especially Batman’s costume and the ultimate showdown between the two heroes. Unfortunately, that is where the comparisons stop. Kevin Smith said it perfectly when describing Snyder with Batman v Superman, “he read one comic once, and it was Dark Knight Returns, and his favorite part was the last part where Batman and Superman fight.” The thing is, every time Snyder adapts a film for Miller’s source material, it always has a feel like this. He takes what he likes, but he forgets the heart.

Miller is a brilliant writer and there is a reason everyone wants to adapt his stories, but imagine if Snyder had dug deeper for a story in both Batman and Superman’s lore. What if Snyder took from Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo‘s current Batman masterpiece to build his Batman? Or John Byrne‘s Superman: Man of Steel to shape the dynamic between Batman and Superman? Ultimately, Snyder had so much material to build off of, but he stuck to his safety belt and relied on watered down renditions of Miller’s stories.

Who Run the World? Girls

If there was one saving grace to Batman v Superman, it is Gal Gadot‘s take on Wonder Woman. Her entrance as the amazonian princess is electrifying. Any minute Gadot was on the screen, I was captivated, which is really unfortunate because she barely had any screen time. You’re biggest take away from this film should be your pure, unadulterated excitement for the Wonder Woman film coming to us in June 2017. While Batman has to dodge Doomsday attacks and Superman is off saving Lois Lane, Wonder Woman is facing him head on. She is the female superhero we have all been waiting for (and who we deserve), and I hope she marks the beginning of more female superheroes being transitioned to film.

Now on to Lois Lane. I want to begin this simply: Amy Adams deserved more from this film, and so did we. Lois Lane is a badass character, and Adams shined when she got to show off that side of Lois. Regrettably, those scenes were usually met with her somehow getting captured and Superman having to come and save her. This happened three times, THREE TIMES. Lois is way smarter than this, she even figured out that Lex Luthor was behind these crimes before anyone else (which, come on Batman is a super detective, and I’m supposed to believe he fell for Luther’s tricks, give me a break). Before she could even have a chance to save the day, they would have her do something out of character and that didn’t make sense, which ended up creating huge amounts of trouble. Still, Lois Lane was central to plot of this film. Even if they didn’t get the time or story they deserved, Adams owned her role and Gadot owned this movie reminding us that girls truly do run the world.

 

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Top 10 Comic Book Romances

To celebrate the holiday of love and the release of Deadpool, I’m serenading all of you by compiling a list of the best superhero romances through out comic book history. Okay, maybe that is a bit dramatic, but these are my favorite romances. Fair warning, they are a little heavy on the DC Comics side, but I can’t help what compels my heart.

10. Superman (Clark Kent) and Lois Lane

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Beginning this list with one of the most iconic comic book couples only feels right. When you think of superhero relationships, Superman and Lois Lane are probably one of the first to come to your mind. While I am not a Superman fan, there is something about their relationship that draws you in. Perhaps it has something to do with its everlasting power. While they aren’t always together there is a part of Clark Kent that will always hold out for Lois Lane.

9. Gambit (Remy Etienne LeBeau) and Rogue (Anna Marie)

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Rogue will forever be my favorite part of X-Men, and Gambit is your lovable southern mutant. Together they are a force to be reckoned with, but there is always something that will hold them apart. Rogue’s powers cause her to absorb the powers, life and even memories of any one who touches her. This causes a greater tension than “will they or won’t they?”

8. Wolverine (James “Logan” Howlett) and Storm (Ororo Munroe)

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I know many people prefer Wolverine with with Jean Grey, but I like to group Jean Grey and Cyclops (Scott Summers) and I love Wolverine with Storm. These two have a strong foundation of friendship and it blossomed into one of the better relationships within the Marvel universe. With all the alternative timelines inside the X-Men universe, at least I can pretend they are happy and married somewhere.

7. Raven and Beast Boy (Garfield Logan)

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I grew up with Teen Titans as a little kid, and then when I matured and got into comics I still found an attachment to Teen Titans. More specifically I found myself still compelled by the relationship between Raven and Beast Boy. Sure, there is Terra and Jericho that complicates the relationship between these two, but like the above characters on this list there is just a special connection between these two. While Teen Titans seems to come and go, these two seem to stick around forever.

6. Batwoman (Kate Kane) and Renee Montoya

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Kate Kane and Renee Montoya have a complicated history, but it is also one of the most progressive relationships in modern day comics. Through out Batwoman’s storylines, Kate Kane is still not getting the justice she deserve in DC Comic’s New 52. While Renee may not be the best fit for Kate, their relationship symbolized a new wave of comics and hopefully we will start to see more LGBT relationships blossom throughout the different superhero comics.

5. Poison Ivy (Dr. Pamela Isley) and Harley Quinn (Dr. Harleen Quinzel)

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To Preface this, Harley Quinn‘s relationship with the Joker has always bothered me. While many people still cling to that relationship, I have always preferred her friendship with Poison Ivy because it was an escape away from the abusive nature of the Joker. With the New 52, we have gotten to see Harley break away and become her own villain, and even more so we got to see the relationship with Ivy blossom into something more. I also do not think DC Comics is perfect, their handling of the Batwoman comics was poorly done, but I think they are starting to make strides and their comics. Making a relationship many people loved as cannon definitely speak volumes to me.

4. Batman (Bruce Wayne) and Catwoman (Selina Kyle)

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This was the first relationship I was really introduced to with my comic book adventures. Batman was my first love; I own every movie, watched every cartoon and have done my best to read whatever I can get my hands on. Furthermore, his relationship with Catwoman was electric. She was the yin to his yang, in the sense that she walked the fine line between good and evil. Batman, for his part, mostly brought out the best in Catwoman. Together, they kind of defined each others moral code. Kind of like Superman and Lois Lane, you can’t think of iconic couple without thinking of Batman and Catwoman.

3. Jessica Jones and Luke Cage

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They aren’t a perfect couple, but there is just something special they share. Through each chapters of their lives, they always find a way back to each other. Thankfully, Netflix and Marvel has done a great job of bringing this relationship to  life and showing its imperfections, as well as its perfections. I feel like I am simplifying their relationship, but it just feels very real minus the super powers. We even feel the journey between Luke Cage and Jessica Jones as they explore the world of parenthood and how they fit that into their “jobs” and everyday life. So maybe this couple truly celebrates the hero in all of us.

2. Peter Parker (Spider-Man) and Gwen Stacy (Spider-Gwen)

 

Gwen Stacy will always be the true love of Spider-Man, in my heart. Yes, there is Mary Jane, the girl who loved Spider-Man, but isn’t Peter Parker more than a costume? While the Amazing Spider-Man films suffered from a lack luster script, Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone really captured the essence and chemistry that I felt reading pages shared between Gwen and Peter. Thankfully, Marvel has resurrected Gwen Stacy and created Spider-Gwen. And yes, I relish in joy with the interactions between Spider-Man and Spider-Gwen. While the two can’t be together in their respective universes, maybe they can find love within the Spider-Verse.

1. Barbara Gordon (Batgirl) and Dick Grayson (Nightwing/Robin)

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And the couple to top the list is Batgirl and Nightwing. They grew up together, had flirtatious fights with stolen glances. They matured together and broke away from the bat that helped them so they could create good on their own. No matter what though, they always come back to one another. While they are good in their respective areas, they’re perfect together. They don’t have to hide who they are between each other, and they know each other better than anyone else could. Barbara Gordon and Dick Grayson are perfect together, whether they want to admit it (or succumb) to it or not.

 

 

Justice League Dream Cast

With the popularity of the Avengers it will be a matter of time before DC Comics start trying to churn out their own version with the Justice League. There has already been buzz around who should be cast in these legendary roles, and for fun I decided that I would insert my opinion on who would be the perfect fit for these films.

First up is Superman:

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With a Man of Steel Superman film in the works I feel like the first choice would be Henry. He has the looks, but can he fit the role? With Christopher Nolan as a producer of Man of Steel I have no doubt that he will fit the role perfectly. Cavill auditioned for the role of Superman/Clark Kent in Superman Returns before it was given to Brandon Routh, which helped him dodge a bullet as the movie was a huge flop. You will recognize him from his roles in Immortals where he portrayed Theseus or in The Tudors where he was Charles Brandon.

Reasons Why He Could Be a Good Superman:

While preparing for his role as Superman he has reflected solely on the comic book material. I think this will help him create a fresh image of Superman, instead of trying to live up to the incredible Christopher Reeve like Brandon Routh did. He also brings a fresh face to the image, I think this Justice League should bring in new and upcoming talent to plate.

Up Next: Tomorrow I will dream cast the role of Green Lantern