Last September it was revealed that the commonly used “DCEU” abbreviation for the DC movies wasn’t even official. It was actually just invented by a writer in an Entertainment Weekly piece.
Today on Twitter DC’s Geoff Johns congratulated his new partner in leading the DC films to the big screen, and used “DCU” to describe the cinematic universe:
Him using “DCU” instead of “DCEU” may signify that DC has settled in on an official abbreviation for their movie universe.
With so much of the movie blogging community wanting to spark some stupid war among DC and Marvel fans by fueling stupid tribalism with their idiotic bias against DC, most are failing to realize that many people are fans of both comic universes.
I’ve been reading comics for more than thirty years. I remember the four individual issues of The Dark Knight Returns as among the first comics I ever bought. But I also remember Marvel’s Star line and the Silverhawks comic, the resurgence of new talent in Marvel’s superhero line, and the rise of both Valiant and Image in the 90s. I read it all. Everything was different and had totally different tones.
Marvel was set in the real world, in real cities. Its characters are (mostly) normal people thrust into the world of super powers and the stories largely deal with that angle. On the other hand, DC is usually a bit more escapist set in fictional cities with god-like heroes. Both have a different tone and feel, and demanding one conform to the other would take away that which makes Marvel or DC what they are.
That’s why the people demanding DC movies copy Marvel are clueless idiots who shouldn’t be talking about comic book movies.
In the comics right now DC is going through something of a new golden age or renaissance with Rebirth. Marvel has had some issues in recent years, but they’re trying to fix it with their Legacy reboot (which is basically a copy of Rebirth). I still read both Marvel and DC, for the same reasons I have for over thirty years. I like DC for what makes it DC, and I like Marvel for what makes it Marvel.
Marvel’s movies have been doing such a great job at being “Marvel” that a friend of mine doesn’t even read the comics anymore, the MCU is his Marvel now. Likewise the DC movies feel like DC comics, especially the recent New 52 era, and those wanting it to just be a copy of the Marvel tone miss what makes DC what it is.
It’s entirely possible to like DC and Marvel, and it’s not necessary to flat out lie about one company to beat it down because you’ve sold your mindset to another.
Supergirl Season 2 kicked off last night with “The Adventures of Supergirl”, finally bringing Superman into the Arrowverse. Along with the Man of Steel, the episode made numerous references to past Superman events on the big screen. It’s not uncommon for the Arrowverse shows to reference DC comics places and people, but this episode made it sound like the Christopher Reeve movies actually happened in this timeline.
The California Earthquake
Early in the episode Superman is asked about his actions during the California earthquake. This is a reference to the end of Superman: The Movie where Lex Luthor sent a nuclear missile to cause a massive earthquake, breaking California off into the sea and giving him plenty of beach-front property (including an itty-bitty place called Otisberg).
Cat Grant’s new assistant in this season is named Miss Tessmacher. This is a direct reference to Lex’s girl in the original Superman movie. Cat even screams at her the same way Lex Luthor did in that movie.
Lex Being in Prison
Season two of the show brought in Lex’s little sister Lena and we learn that Luthor is spending multiple life sentences in maximum security prison. It’s a little less of a direct tie to the 80s Superman movies, but Luthor did end up in prison at the end of Superman: The Movie before Miss Tessmacher broke him and Otis out in Superman II.
In the DC universe Corto Maltese is an island off the coast of South America. It has been referenced in the Arrowverse before in Arrow in Season 3 and was even mentioned once in Smallville. However in an episode of Supergirl with so many references to the older DC Superman movies, it stood out as in the 1989 Batman movie Vicky Vale was known for her photojournalism in Corto Maltese.
Yes, the episode did mention Gotham but this isn’t the first time the Arrowverse has ventured there. Arrow has mentioned Bludhaven (and the show was very close to getting to use Nightwing at one point), and we know both Batman and Superman exist in the universe. At the start of Legends of Tomorrow Rip Hunter says he’s “seen Men of Steel die and Dark Knights fall” referencing both the Doomsday and Knightfall events in DC comics. So a Gotham reference in Supergirl really isn’t something new…
Ever since DC Comics relaunched their line with the amazing Rebirth event, the company has consistently topped
Marvel Comics on the monthly sales charts. The combination of $2.99 cover prices and stories that return to the core of the popular DC characters has paid off in an even bigger way than the New 52 did five years ago.
Marvel has been having serious issues for a while with comics. Ever since the Marvel Now! initiative kicked off, the company seems to be pandering to what’s called “investment collectors”. These are the type of people who don’t actually read or collect comics, they only walk into their local comic shop to pick up the #1 issues in a delusion that they’ll skyrocket in value. The problem for these people is now that Marvel does new #1 issues every year it lessens what a #1 means and they’re basically worthless now.
If restarting the comics isn’t enough, Marvel has an obsession with publicity stunts. Captain America is no longer Captain America, Thor isn’t Thor, Hulk isn’t Hulk, and Iron Man isn’t Iron Man. You could even argue that Spider-Man isn’t Spidey anymore since Dan Slott basically turned Peter Parker into a Tony Stark clone. DC goes back to the core of the characters with great stories. Marvel tries to get covered on The View.
Marvel’s endless grasp for attention is alienating long-time readers of the comics. The focus on shocking publicity stunts is coming at the expense of the actual comic stories, and Marvel’s superhero output is at its worst state in the last thirty years. Even the XTREME days of the 90s provided more escapism than the current soapbox of grievances that many Marvel superhero books currently are.
Marvel has never done a continuity reset the way DC did with Crisis and you could kind of argue that they didn’t really need to because Marvel’s core superhero line started in the 60s as opposed to DC’s in the 30s. But now it could be time for Marvel to do a true reset with a fresh start that brings back the characters as people remember them. It worked out fantastically for DC with Rebirth, and Marvel’s superheroes deserve the same respect.
Marvel needs to remember that it was the characters and their stories that made them what they are today. To continue to throw that away just to get some air time on the nightly news is a betrayal to the readers who have loyally followed the company for decades.
The comic sales are in for July 2016, and DC Rebirth continues to make life hard for Marvel and their publicity stunts.
Diamond has posted the top-selling comics for last month, and the top ten books only include two Marvel titles because Civil War II released twice last month:
1 JUSTICE LEAGUE #1
2 JUSTICE LEAGUE REBIRTH #1
3 BATMAN #2
4 CIVIL WAR II #3
5 BATMAN #3
6 NIGHTWING REBIRTH #1
7 CIVIL WAR II
8 NEW SUPER MAN #1
9 NIGHTWING #1
10 HAL JORDAN & THE GREEN LANTERN CORPS REBIRTH #1
DC can thank this success for producing great stories from writers who understand the characters who are teamed with some great artists. If it was just that fans would probably still flock to the books, but the $2.99 cover price is also definitely helping them especially in light of Marvel’s $4.99 books that often have sub-par art.
Things won’t get much better for Marvel as they recently announced a big Civil War II delay that will see the final issues of that event launching after their big Marvel Now! annual #1 relaunch. The same thing happened last year with Secret Wars, and it alienated a lot of fans as the fallout for that even played out in the single issues before it even ended.
Superman fans who have been wanting a solo sequel to Man of Steel may not have to wait much longer as Warner has put that in “active development”.
The news comes from The Wrap today, which wrote this:
“Despite Superman’s battle with Batman, DC has been silent on a sequel to “Man of Steel” featuring Superman solo, leading many frustrated fanboys to believe that another film wasn’t going to happen. But a person close to the project told TheWrap that Superman is a top priority for the studio and getting the character right for audiences is of tantamount importance.”
We’ve already had Zod as a villain, and Doomsday has been done. Hopefully we get a new Superman villain who hasn’t been done on the big screen yet such as Brainiac (Superman III doesn’t count).
Something we saw back at the release of Batman V Superman and now with Suicide Squad is a common thread among “critics” who bitch and moan that DC isn’t more like Marvel. This just makes these critics look like clueless idiots who never picked up a comic book in their lives. Wishing that DC was more like Marvel would basically turn DC into Marvel, and the fans of the two comic styles are fans of them because they are different.
I’ve been reading comics for more than thirty years (in some cases before some of these critics were even born), and over that time I’ve read a lot of Marvel, a lot of DC, and a lot of other publishers. And anyone remotely familiar with DC and Marvel knows that they are both very different, with different tones, and different styles of stories. Tribal fanboyism has sent DC fans on a crusade against movie critics, but in this case the comic readers definitely have a point to make.
Marvel comics are traditionally have a much lighter tone than DC, with their stories set in real-world locations such as New York City. Marvel’s heroes are typically normal people trying to cope with being given super powers. Their comics also try to meld popular pop culture into their stories to show that these comics are set in the same world as the readers.
While DC can have levity, their tone is traditionally a little more serious than Marvel. DC’s heroes are treated like the Greek Pantheon where they’re “gods” who are trying to be human (with the exception of Batman, of course). The DC adventures are set in fictional cities such as Metropolis, Gotham, Coast City, Central City, National City, etc.
The differences between the two have already been translated to the big screen, and due to eight years of Marvel releases film critics seem to expect every superhero movie to be just like Marvel movies. But that line of thinking is absolutely stupid and shows that they’re just trying to torpedo an entire genre. Complaining that a DC movie isn’t a laugh-fest like a Marvel movie is like complaining that Schindler’s List isn’t an uplifting family tale like E.T. the Extra Terrestrial.
DC Comics readers are finally seeing the DC Universe being faithfully translated to the big screen in the same way Marvel Studios has been faithfully adapting their comics. The side effect of this is that film critics, unfamiliar with the fact that DC and Marvel are two entirely different companies, have decided to target their favorite heroes in their attempt to make their “Superhero Fatigue” delusion a reality.
Today marks the release of the first episode of Telltale Games’ six-part Batman episodic story, and it’s one of the best of Telltale’s recent output.
If you’ve never played a Telltale game, they’re basically a modern version of a PC point-and-click adventure game although their recent output has eliminated most puzzles. It’s not a combat heavy action experience, as any action is handled in a quick-time-event where you just tap buttons or move in a direction. The core game is the story, and for Batman they’ve done a pretty cool job creating an original Batman tale.
Set early in his career, Harvey Dent isn’t Two-Face yet and Oswald Cobblepot hasn’t begun calling himself the Pengiun. Likewise Catwoman is unknown to him, and is just a cat burglar he runs into. As with other Batman stories set in this time period, Falcone takes on a bigger villain role than he does in Batman stories set later in his career.
I won’t spoil anything about the story, but the first half of this first episode was feeling more like a “Telltale” story to me than a “Batman” one. That changed at around the halfway point, and by the time it was over I was really looking forward to see where they will take this. It’s not completely original, as Grant Morrison did a similar thing in a story he did during his run where a misdirection was put in place that named Alfred as Bruce’s real father. One of the big story threads in this is similar to that, but it’s a cool hook to build the six episodes on.
Another thing that’s cool about this Batman is that he also used an electronic voice changer like the Ben Affleck Batman does. I thought that was a much better decision than the Christian Bale Batman voice that sounded like Batman smoked a carton a day. It’s cool to see that same concept being used in another version of Batman.
The first episode of Telltale’s Batman story is now available on PC, consoles, and mobile devices for $5. You can buy the episodes individually, or save $5 by getting the digital season pass.
There are a couple of big rumors floating around about DC Comics that are worth talking about…
According to Bleeding Cool, two big things will be happening with DC Comics in June. The first is that they’ll be restarting all books again with fresh #1s, and the second is that Scott Snyder will be leaving the main Batman book.
The first rumor is something Marvel does almost every year with newer launches of Marvel Now. DC did it recently with some books as part of the DCYou flop, which came out of the Convergence event that was just to fill the months as DC moved from New York to California. DCYou didn’t really affect sales even close to what the New 52 did, so if they want to try to copy Marvel Now one almost can’t blame them.
The other rumor is that Scott Snyder would be leaving Batman to write Detective Comics. That’s what Snyder was writing before taking over Batman for the New 52, so if true he’d at least still be writing Batman.
Again as this is just a rumor, however DC Comics publisher Dan Didio just Tweeted this image:
This sounds like it’s going to happen people.
ComiXology always does great .99 cent sales, but the latest one is great if you’re a DC fan. They have all of Blackest Night on sale along with Brightest Day. That’s the culmination of Geoff Johns’ now legendary run on Green Lantern, and it’s a steal at .99 cents an issue. The follow up Brightest Day is when a bunch of characters (such as Aquaman and Swamp Thing) are resurrected in the DC universe. In all it’s about $33 for the entire run of both and that’s a great deal.
As part of the Legends of Tomorrow sale they also have ten recent issues of Johns’ Justice League for .99 cents starting at issue 30. These are some really great issues as well where Luthor takes on a bigger role in the league and the current artist on the book (the great Jason Fabok) started his run.
The sale is accessible on the front page of ComiXology. It runs though 1/25/2016.