Prepare for Disappointment

DCnU Justice League preview image by Jim Lee

So, this was announced. I’m not surprised. It was just a matter of time given The Avengers and how wildly successful it has become. And rightly so.

But it’s the perfect example of how DC continues to do everything wrong that Marvel is doing right. The Avengers was planned for years ahead of time. It was built up with FIVE other movies that managed to be solid in their own right. On the other hand, DC’s given us Green Lantern and that was just . . . terrible. I won’t even get into the Nolan films because I’d probably rupture an artery. I’ve already talked about some of my issues here.

I’m not saying that Marvel is without fault, though, I also don’t follow them as closely. But in general the only venue that DC has consistently out performed them is in animation. Unfortunately, that’s not where the money is, but rather than take stock of what makes their animation superior they’ve continually mishandled their other ventures. And of late even their animation has been pretty lackluster.

I’m pretty sure if this JL film gets off the ground it will be the death of any future DC films. I’ve been a DC Comics fan practically my entire life, so I should be devastated by this realization but frankly I’m almost relieved. I’d like to think it might be just the thing that will put them on a path to making something decent — and perhaps by some miracle it will be. But I look at the current thread of their books lately and I’m so disappointed by what I read that I can’t quite believe even this would be rock bottom enough for them to understand how wrong things have become.

I am not going to bemoan the loss of the DCAU because I’m actually glad it ended on a high note when Justice League/Unlimited was doing well and the stories were pretty strong. Though, it is worth noting that Batman: The Animated Series will likely always be my definitive Batman, and certainly rank amongst my favorite television shows, animated or otherwise. But judging from what’s come from DC since, I really feel that they are truly blind to what actually makes the good things they put out. There have been a dozen DTVs since then and most of them have been pretty middle-of-the-road at best, a few have been downright terrible, and a handful have been something pretty great with Batman: Under the Red Hood likely the best of the bunch. The current animated series on television are no better. Young Justice has a few good points to it — really great action, mostly — but it’s not even up to Justice League at it’s weakest and while the Green Lantern series is easily better than the similarly named film, the best I can really say about it is that it’s boring. If that wasn’t bad enough, there’s a new Batman series on the horizon and it is frightening how awful it looks. Gun-toting Alfred, all I’m saying.

Essentially I feel that DC has lost touch with their characters. The thing that truly boggles my mind is that the DCnU was supposed to be a means to bring all the characters back to their roots. To simplify and streamline the comics and make them more accessible to a new generation. I didn’t support the idea when it was announced because everything I heard about it just boded unwell, but it could have worked. Instead it’s created an even bigger mess of the books and honestly has turned most of my favorite heroes into people I don’t like. Wonder Woman especially has basically turned into exactly the thing she used to stand against; she’s little more than a bitchy killing machine. (Admittedly, I lost my taste for her after Maxwell Lord’s murder, but as terrible as that was things in her book have just gotten more upsetting.) Logically, I get it — the books are selling and comics have always changed with the times. Maybe I’m just nostalgic, like a piece of my childhood is steadily being chipped away. But looking at as an entire entity it just feels, well, wrong.

The movie announcement bothers me mostly because I’m sincerely worried that we won’t just get a horrible film, but it will be a film populated by characters that are no longer recognizable to me. And really, that’s the most disappointing thing of all.

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