Comixplanation – How the DCCU Can Beat the MCU

Hello interweb, Nate here.  Okay, let’s get a few things out of the way: yes I’m still going to finish NonComic Month, yes this post is technically breaking the whole “no comics allowed” rule for this month, and yes this is the new series (that you guys probably forgot that it was even mentioned by now) that I mentioned in my New Years Special.  This new series I call Comixplanation as I give xplanations on things in relation to comix (see what I did there?).  Now one thing is after DC announced their Convergence event (yet another DC event made to reboot their universe) I bet you guys kinda thought I would talk about it as I seemed pretty excited when I talked about Marvel’s Secret Wars event.  The only difference is this is Marvel’s first multiverse-wide reboot while DC is rebooting their universe after they just rebooted it with Flashpoint and the New 52 5 years ago and honestly I never did care for the New 52.  So while I’m excited about Secret Wars I’m really ticked about Convergence (where do I get in line?) and really don’t want to talk about it right now.

So anyways, one thing that I’m kinda excited and kinda nervous about at the same time is the upcoming DCCU (DC Cinematic Universe).  Now I have to admit, I never really wanted to pick sides in the whole “Marvel Vs DC” debate (even making a whole post about it) but that was mostly because I was always worried that if I publicly stated that I like X better than Y than you guys would start thinking that I disliked or even hated Y even though I love Y, I just like X a little more.  Now that I see how stupid that is I’m just going to come out and say it: I like DC a little more than I like Marvel.  I won’t go into the details here (that probably deserves a whole post all to itself) but it does go to show that I really want the DCCU to succeed even though the movie Man of Steel kinda makes me nervous about the whole ordeal.  So here are some ways that the DCCU could be better than the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe) and whether this is just me giving myself false hope or these facts will contribute in one way/shape/form will be seen in the future. Also, it should be noted that “could”=/=”will”, these are all theoretical and may not actually work out.

My Thoughts on Man of Steel

Okay, we can’t really talk about the DCCU without talking about the 2013 film Man of Steel so let’s get that out of the way.  Man of Steel was basically made to test the waters for the DCCU rebooting the Superman franchise and making it a little grittier than before.  Honestly, I didn’t like the movie that much.  Where there elements I liked?  Sure: we finally get a really good live-action Superman fight.  But other than the action scenes (which where awesome) the movie didn’t understand Superman, the film was way too boring, and I didn’t like what they where going for.  The whole point to Superman is that he’s a god among men and that he has all this power but chooses to use that power to protect people.  This film seemed to see him as a messiah sent to earth destined to become Superman.  At first this might seem like the same thing: god among men choosing to use his power to protect people and a messiah sent to earth destined to become Superman, until you realize that choose=/=destined in the slightest, kinda the opposite.  On top of that, while the action scenes where pretty cool, Superman is suppose to care more about the people of Metropolis over his own life and yet we see him fighting General Zod in Metropolis and killing hundreds of people (well we don’t actually see anyone die (except for Zod) but c’mon, someone had to die during that fight).  Remember in the old Superman movies when Zod realized that one of Superman’s weaknesses was that he cared for the people of Metropolis?  That is a big part of his character, he much rather die than have anyone else die.

Now okay, you could argue that this is a “different version of the character” and that I’m just using my powers as an internet blogger to publicly rant about some changes to the character that I didn’t like.  Well alright that’s a fair argument I guess, but I honestly don’t hate changes, I hat stupid or unnecessary changes.  For example, look at The Amazing Spider-man.  In the original story (that was also used for the Raimi’s movies), Peter used his spider-powers for fame to become a wrestler which indirectly and accidentally caused the death of his Uncle Ben and that’s where he get’s his guilt to become Spider-man.  In TASM, Peter instead get’s angry with some guy at a gas-station who wouldn’t accept his money, let’s a robber who stole some of the station’s money go, and indirectly causes the robber to shoot Uncle Ben causing the guilt to set in.  Is it a change from the original story?  Yes, but as far as I can tell the change was just a shorter and quicker way to get to the same result.  But with Man of Steel the changes are there simply to make Superman “cooler”.  Honestly, stop trying to make Superman “cool”.  Superman is Superman, he’s his own adjective, he’s not “cool”, he’s not “gritty”, he’s not “dark”, he’s just “Superman”.

So yeah, that’s all I really have to say about that movie.  The creators just didn’t understand Superman.  If you want a good Superman story (and I mean a really good Superman story) then check out Grant Morrison’s All Star Superman, he actually understands the character.


The Characters are More Iconic

Characters like Iron Man, Thor, and Captain America wasn’t exactly well known outside of comics before the MCU started.  Don’t get me wrong, they where popular and they weren’t as obscure as let’s say Guardians of the Galaxy but not everyone outside of comics really knew them that well.  Meanwhile characters like Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Flash, Green Lantern, etc. are all really well known and many of them don’t even have (good) movies yet (although they’re about too).  Honestly when I heard they where doing Man of Steel and immediately after do the Justice League prequel Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice (wait they’re really calling it that?  Um…okay) without giving their other major characters their own movie until after Justice League I kinda thought they where rushing into it a little fast.  Marvel released movies for Iron Man, Thor, Hulk, and Captain America as well as introduce fellow characters Hawkeye and Black Widow in said movies before making 2012’s Avengers.  The thing I realized is that characters like Iron Man, Thor, Hawkeye, and Black Widow wasn’t  house hold names until these movies so they needed a way to introduce these characters to a wider audience before releasing them all into the nerd dream of the year Avengers.  DC’s character however are already house hold names.  Everyone knows the back story and powers to Batman and Superman, everyone already kinda knows Wonder Woman, all anyone really needs to know about Green Lantern to understand a Justice League movie is that he’s a guy with a ring that creates things out of no where, everybody knows Flash and thanks to his CW TV series everyone knows his back story, everyone knows Aquaman (even of it’s a negative representation of him that hopefully will be changed after the movies), and the only character anyone really needs info on is Cyborg who (outside of the 2000s cartoon Teen Titans and the god awful Teen Titans Go!) isn’t that well known to the general public.

Does that mean every DC superhero is well known?  And honestly I wouldn’t want DC to touch their B-List or C-List characters until they’ve proven they could make good movies.  Marvel needed to prove they’re good at movie making before they even tried to make Guardians of the Galaxy (which was an obscure superhero team even to some comic book readers) and now their planning on making films like Inhumans, Ant-Man, Black Panther, Doctor Strange, and Captain Marvel.  Now I do know that DC is making a Cyborg movie (although they kinda have to seeing as Cyborg is probably the only Justice League member people don’t know well) and a Suicide Squad movie, but hopefully this means that DC can make other movies like a Teen Titans film, Static Shock, Blue Beetle, or maybe even Nightwing.


An Undivided Franchise

Currently Marvel/Disney owns Spider-man but Sony still has control over the character, they share the rights to Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch with 20th Century Fox, and Fox owns the X-Men (one of if not the biggest team in Marvel) and Fantastic Four.  So no matter how hard Marvel tries, their cinematic universe can never look like the true MCU that fans really want.  We’ll never get to see Avengers Vs X-Men, we’ll never see Reed Richards and Tony Stark together in the same room, and we’ll never get to hear “Hulk Smash!” and “It’s clobberin’ time!” in the same movie.  On the other hand, Warner Bros owns the rights to all of DC’s movie characters and as such we can see the live-action DC universe DC fanboys (and fangirls) have always wanted.


DC  Can Learn From Marvel’s Mistakes

Despite how much audiences love the MCU you can’t deny films like Iron Man 2 and Hulk were bad films.  While these bad films didn’t really damage the MCU that much it still did some harm (albeit little).  DC may be behind on their cinematic universe and they’re kinda too late if they were planning on making a flawless cinematic universe (thanks Man of Steel) and the fact that said bad movie was the first movie DC released for their DCCU (meaning that they’re starting their cinematic universe with a bad movie), they still can learn from Marvel’s mistakes and make a good movie-verse.


End Poll

So what do you guys think?  Will the DCCU totally fail, or will it succeed?


  1. I actually voted no, but for opposite reasons than you may think. I actually thought Man of Steel was incredible and it’s currently my favorite live action film of all time. Unfortunately, therein lies the problem. The review ensure that DC will not make a film quite like that one again and if they do revert back to the dark themed films of the past, then the DCCU is going to be in a dire position. I’m still holding out hope that the DCCU will be good or decent, but the MCU has probably already won the war. With titles like Daredevil and the other Netflix shows, the MCU brand has likely weakened a bit, but many people likely won’t even think of those as MCU titles so it’s only a small loss. It’s just going to be tough for DC.

    I much prefer DC to Marvel though so I am hoping for their success. For Man of Steel, I do think that it was out of character to do what he did to Zod. As for the innocent bystanders part though, I still disagree with that aspect. Zod is Superman’s physical equal so it would be just about impossible to stop Zod from destroying the city. Think of it this way, say you are fighting a guy who is just as strong as you and has much more combat experience. Then say that you’re fighting around sand castles. If the guy wants to break them, there’s no way to stop him. You can tackle him, but you’ll fall into some of the castles and you can leave, but he’ll keep on crushing them. I still believe that it was a no win situation and that Superman still did his best to stop Zod.

    Ah well, I’m still looking forward to Batman V Superman. Hopefully this will set us on the right track as far as reviews go as well as quality.

    1. Alright, I see what you mean. Although whenever I think of the fight I always think of Nostalgia Critic’s review with the song at the beginning where he sings “I try to save people, but under my protection the civilian death toll has tripled” XD. Plus this is Superman’s first villain so he’s not exactly that experienced yet. Although that still doesn’t excuse the whole “choose to use vast powers for good vs being destined to use them for good”.

      1. I know that it felt like he was destined to be a hero for you, but from Superman’s point of view, it’s still a choice so I wouldn’t consider there to be a difference there. He had to make the sacrifices to become a hero and he ultimately still made the right call.

        Hey, if not for Superman, the death toll would have been multiplied even more. Only a few hundred or so humans would likely be kept as slaves once Zod and friends took over the world.

  2. I’ll be honest I liked Man of Steel but that might be just because he’s closer to the Superman we know and love than New 52 Superman.

    1. I guess but there where things that I didn’t like about the film. Pa Kent felt very out of character, Superman felt out of character, the idea that he was destined to be a hero vs choosing to use his powers for good bothered me, Pa Ken’s death scene was rediculous (seriously, All-Star Superman handled it so much better), and over all I felt like this was suppose to be a Superman film I was waiting for (Superman without the cheese of the Christopher Reeves films and taken more seriously) but something about it just felt off to me.

  3. My kindle is being I jerk so I will finish my statement here. I understand where you are coming from but movies like this sometimes it takes awhile to for movie franchises to find their footing the first time. Hopefully by the time Wonder Woman is released they might have finally worked out the kinks. I thinking her movie will be really great if she’s mostly inspired the Perez, Rucka, and Simone stories.

    1. I’ll be up front here, I never read a Wonder Woman solo title before so I don’t really know her character as much ad I know Batman and Superman. While I hope her solo movie does well, I probably will need to read more of her comica to make a fair comparison.

      1. Can I recommend one for you than? Also I liked that Wonder Woman looks like she’s from Mediterranean Sea area in the movie rather than Anglo-Saxon like most artists portray as.

  4. Gail Simone’s starting story arc for Wonder Woman titled “The Circle” if like her run on Birds of Prey than you will like this book. Although there might some references in later story arcs that will cause the reader continuity lockout that doesn’t make it any less enjoyable.

      1. I will be honest I read most of my comic from my library I live in New York City. Specifically, in the Borough Queens we have a large catalogue that rivals the NYC library system. I love my home.

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