Competition is important. In business, for example, it helps to create quality products and services. This even works in entertainment. When I was a kid, I was keenly aware of the fact that there was something of a competition going on between Marvel and D.C. comics. This was obvious for a number of reasons. D.C. and Marvel embraced different approaches to creating superheroes. D.C. did larger than life characters going on amazing adventures; Marvel did larger than life characters with very down to earth problems. Spider-man always broke and having girls problems. The X-Men experiencing discrimination. The Hulk literally at war with himself and the world. I gravitated to Marvel because something about the Marvel ethos attracted me more than that of D.C. I didn’t dislike D.C., but I was a Marvel kid through and through.
So, in my case, Marvel won me over. Again, this is the nature of competition and it helped both companies keep trying.
At this point in history, the battle has moved out of the comic shop and into the movie theater. The next stage of the fight for the hearts and wallets of consumers will take place primarily on the silver screen.
This is why Warner Bros. cannot afford to reboot the Dark Knight franchise.
Hear me out. One day, some friends and I were at the comic shop and we were discussing the paltry performance of D.C. comics’ movies. We genuinely couldn’t figure out why D.C. had so much bad luck in the movie realm while Marvel has done stupendously well. From the spot on X-Men to the block- buster Iron Man franchise, Marvel has really been working the movie angle, the culmination being the mega-hit Avengers. D.C. movies, on the other hand, have been hit and miss at best. “Catwoman staring Hallie Barry, was just terrible and many have said the same about last year’s Green Lantern. Superman Returns starring Brandon Routh, was a good movie, but not good enough to prevent D.C. from deciding to reboot.
Here is what I am trying to say: The only true success D.C. has had to date is the Dark Knight franchise. And by success, I mean huge, once-in-a-lifetime, get-on-your-knees-and-thank-God success. So, I am puzzled by their decision to reboot, especially since Christopher Nolan has already said that The Dark Knight Rises marked “the end of our take on the character.”
But that doesn’t mean that The Dark Knight Rises must mark the end of that particular take. Why can’t Warner Bros. just find another good director and continue to develop the storyline? After all, this is exactly what happens in comic books. One writer will depart after years of writing a character, and another will come in and put his signature on the series. This keeps the character from becoming stale and actually ends up adding depth.
As I see it, this is D.C.’s best bet because a reboot will only serve to confuse moviegoers. And chances are, another take will not be as creative and innovative as Nolan’s. So, my advice to D.C. is to go forward, find a director who can create with an eye to what has already been done, and whatever happens, get your head in the game because Marvel is seriously skunking their competition. Ever since their Avengers landed, all eyes have been on D.C. to roll out the Justice League. So, they need to build the League around Batman and carefully plan and coordinate when and how the characters meet. They don’t need to copy the way Marvel does things because, as I said before, D.C. has their own ethos and they need to utilize that in the films.
Whatever happens, the next move D.C. and Warner Bros. make will either make or break their future.
Marvel has thrown down a serious gauntlet, D.C. You gonna pick it up?