Dear DC: Don’t Get Cocky with Suicide Squad or Batman vs Superman Just Yet

After last night’s insane Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice trailer was released, I kinda had to wonder if DC might be making the wise move with their whole grimdark thing.

I mean.

You showed me Wonder Woman and my face basically did this:
Let's Put a Smile on That Face

Then, later on in the evening’s festivities came a sweet little clip which the screengrab is from. David Ayer, writer director of Suicide Squad said, fuck it, here it is. Unlike it’s DCU counterpart, this one, which gives you the first look at Harley, Quinn, Kitana, Boomerang, Slipknot and of course The Joker, doesn’t have a full HD approved trailer so basically, this grainy cell phone footage is all we’ve got for now. So far DC is two for two with their offerings while Marvel and quietly unveiled the incredibly appropriate NSFW Deadpool trailer (which was also leaked) ultimately making Saturday night in San Diego the best night of the convention. Friday, the House That Owns Your Childhood essentially threw down the gauntlet with a star studded Star Wars behind the scenes featurette promising there is more to explore in the galaxy far far away.

But Circus, aren’t you here to talk about how DC shouldn’t get cocky with their new trailers?

Well yeah I am.

With these two trailers, DC like Batman in his Iron Suit is preparing for war and based on the fan response, it seems to be working. So far, the DC camp has taken a very smacktalk stance in the battle for your wallet and dominance in the cinematic world.

CEO Kevin Tsujihara has said, “The worlds of DC are very different. They’re steeped in realism, and they’re a little bit edgier than Marvel’s movies,” and Warner Bros. President Greg Silverman offered his take on DC (vs Marvel): “The filmmakers who are tackling these properties are making great movies about superheroes; they aren’t making superhero movies. And when you are trying to make a good movie, you tackle interesting philosophies and character development.” But, just in case we haven’t gotten the very serious message, Ben has his own take on the differences between the two film universes:

“It is more mythic, it is more grand in that way, and it is a little more realistic. Just by their nature, these films can’t be as funny or as quick or as glib as Marvel movies.”

Sure, Ben and Greg we want to have a deep psychological thriller about how being a hero has taken a toll on the mind body and spirit of a character grounded in the reality of the time with just a hint of the mystical but you’d just shit all over that too.

While it’s WAY too early to say that DC wins 2016, it’s also too soon to say that they’re finally understanding how to wrangle in their various properties under one single banner in the way Marvel has. They have actively stated, during the casting process for Justice League, that their CW/TV properties (Arrow, The Flash, soon to be released Legends of Tomorrow and The Atom) won’t ever appear in their DC cinematic universe. So. You’re saying for the past four years I’ve been looking at Steven Amell but I won’t ACTUALLY get to see him in the context of being a member of JLA because you’ve got someone else who’ll be taking the role? Same with Grant Gustin’s Barry Allen being subbed out for Ezra Miller’s Wally West? Okay so you just made me rot my brain with mellowdrama, GLIB FUNNY MELLOWDRAMA to then make me look at a whole new cast of characters who are essentially more expensive versions of the people whom you’ve grown a fanbase with.

Grant Gustin

Ezra Miller

vs

What DC is doing is splintering their own universe, ruining the cohesive bonds between their own properties just to make them all work in one world on the big screen.

So basically just like Convergence.

Imagine that you’re still learning about these comic characters, getting immersed in their worlds and diving into their years of history being retold on tv. You have embraced these TV actors and their stories as your new visual canon truth, dedicated fanfiction and Tumblr gifs to these people and then you’re told that world is a lie.

DC can’t get cocky or arrogant about any of their films because they continue to commit the same sin as their comic books; they accept one canon one truth only reject it in favor of the one that sounds more plausable. They want to continue to be the Anti-Marvel with grounded realism and real world consequences, frequently relying on comments like the ones quoted earlier for their basis in their logic. It’s worth pointing out that the events in the first The Avengers movie and Captain America: The Winter Soldier all had consequences that impacted both their MCU and blossoming TV titles in Agents of S.H.E.I.L.D and in Netflix’ series Daredevil without needing to be glib about the entire thing. DC while throwing their shade should be checking the playbook and developing their properties in a far more skilled manner.

That’s not to say that Marvel’s current success was straight out of the box; the company had suffered many a film fumble. Two Hulk movies within years of one another, the wildly varied Blade trilogy, Daredevil (thanks again Ben) the two vastly different Punisher films (fan favorite Thomas Jane vs the very gruff and more Frank Castle-esque Ray Stevenson). Their licensing agreements left them without the X-Men, Spider-Man and The Fantastic Four as they worked towards becoming a film studio; some of these ‘rebooted’ movies would be launched from Marvel Studios and slowly they began laying the groundwork for the multi-tier Marvel MCU phases we’ve seen. The blockbuster purchase of the company by Disney, didn’t hurt either. All of the mis-steps, retooling, ret-conning and ultimately accepting of their fates allowed for Marvel to take truly unique risks in their cinematic storytelling giving the world talking raccoons and one line trees. While still acquiring their properties, they’ve managed to tap into the TV market, which I will admit DC was dominating from Smallville straight on through to to their DC Direct animated movies, and have seen how DC failed to connect their visual dots. Marvel is working on retooling their animated series, canceling various shows and rebooting them to meet with current published issues as well as link with the films being released. DC cranked out multiple versions of the same characters with different stories and actors, banking on the name alone and hoping that they could continue to work behind the scenes to present a unified product.

Marvel launched solo film franchises for a majority of the Avengers. Except Black Widow but I don’t wanna talk about that.

even Coulson got a one shot for fuck’s sake.

and I like him.

Anyway, Marvel LAUNCHES solo films, introducing each character with the love and support that comes from a proud house, making sure the right people are in place and involved in the creation of each project and then forms the first of three Avengers movies. They break apart and come back together, it’s beautiful really.

DC is tossing all the kids into the pool with BvS: unveiling my beloved Wonder Woman, teasing Aquaman and possibly hinting at the rest of the JLA team when the second half of the gargantuan film launches the following year. They’ve gotten you hyped for a movie that will more than likely tax your brain with the information overload; they don’t trust you to get to know these characters and instead chose to use familiar faces to introduce you to their new friends.

It’s like going to a party and not knowing anyone but you’re like, okay I’m fine with this…while texting your real friends

unless this guy is there, then, bye friends

It feels like you’re going to sit in a theater with a numb ass and a bladder full of soda trying to find a reason to care because from their previous track record, cinematically, DC doesn’t care enough to try again. Maybe it’s the curse of Hal Jordan or maybe they think this version of events will be the canonical moment that truly does bring their movies together. I can see the logic in introducing them into Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice but it’s also at the risk of telling a story; it’s Bats, it’s Supes, its Diana it’s a roll call of heroes you’re not sure you should care about and for the next two hours you’re going to try your best to do so.

It could even happen with Suicide Squad. The only characters a neophyte would know or recognize are The Joker and potentially Harley Quinn; the success banks heavily on making them either likable or believable enough to engage a non-reader while entertaining a hardcore fan. That’s a lot to do.

Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe I’m seeing it as a long time Marvel fan who’s basically been through some of the best, worst, misguided points in the company’s history and I fangirl super hard for them but I’ve also done the same for DC and it’s difficult to cheer for a company that hides behind the same two characters.  maybe it will actually work out and the fans will be glad they suffered so long with the errors in continuity, retconning, rebooting and Batfleck but it’s the fact that DC is so transparent in their dislike for Marvel’s success that it makes it hard to not want to make a cheap comment. Maybe they can pop their collar this year; Marvel said they were going to scale back on their promotional work at the con. The things that stood out from this weekend are things that would’ve popped if both houses were pumping out hits (Heroes Reborn, Fear The Walking Dead) so it’s hard to gauge the success of the presentations at this point. The biggest miss for WB/DC is not releasing the official HD version of the same trailer; the reps are all very pissed the video even leaked and have been going on a takedown spree in an attempt to erase what’s been seen. The official word is that they wanted it to be just for the people in Hall H. I wonder if they would’ve flashy thinged everyone to ensure that nothing leaked.

It can’t be unseen.

This is the digital age. Don’t be so arrogant as to think that Hall H is some sacred Fortress of Solitude where nothing gets out. If anything, thank whoever uploaded the video for you because it’s burned up the internet just as quickly as the BvS clip has, going viral in a matter of hours. Marvel says they will release the clean (and dirty) versions of their Deadpool trailer in the next few weeks and that trailer was also leaked overnight.

So just release it you clownshoes, you need the help love and over analysis of the nerd community to ensure that our ADHD addled brains remember that both Batman vs Superman and Suicide Squad are released NEXT YEAR.

Do you see why DC can’t get cocky just yet?

Thor is A Woman and That’s Fucking Fantastic

There is a major shake up happening in Marvel.

Starting in October, Thor, The Might Asgardian Norse god of Thunder would be…Thor, the Mighty Asgardian Norse goddess of Thunder.

The statement released on Marvel.com:

Marvel is excited to announce an all-new era for the God of Thunder in brand new series, THORwritten by Jason Aaron complimented with art from Russell Dauterman.

This October, Marvel Comics evolves once again in one of the most shocking and exciting changes ever to shake one of the “big three” of Captain American, Iron Man and Thor. No longer is the classic Thunder God able to hold the mighty hammer, Mjölnir, and a brand new female hero will emerge worthy of the name THOR.

More on Marvel.com: http://marvel.com/news/comics/2014/7/15/22875/marvel_proudly_presents_thor#ixzz37Z7NQyO0

Speculation is wild about the origins of the new wielder of Mjölnir, and the only hint that the lucky lady is someone who Thor himself saved. She’s built herself off of his mighty blondness and as of October, we’ll find out just who she is and how Thor lost his mojo.

“The inscription on Thor’s hammer reads ‘Whosoever holds this hammer, if HE be worthy, shall possess the power of Thor.’ Well it’s time to update that inscription,” says Marvel editor Wil Moss. “The new Thor continues Marvel’s proud tradition of strong female characters like Captain Marvel, Storm, Black Widow and more. And this new Thor isn’t a temporary female substitute – she’s now the one and only Thor, and she is worthy!”

Throg

Beta Ray Bill

The hammer chooses the wielder, just like Hogwarts Sorting Hat decides that your weak ass is a Hufflepuff and worthy to wield the hammer. (I’m kidding, I don’t know if Hufflepuff is weak, I’ve always been sorted into Gryffindor) Everyone can be worthy to carry the hammer, which is the great appeal of the entire mythos behind the Cosmic Marvel universe.

In 1978, issue 10 of Thor, The Watcher speculated what would have happened if Jane Foster found the Hammer.

what if i did enough squats to git this outfit?

So it’s not out of the realm of possibility for the ownership to pass from Thor Odinson to someone else. It has happened before. Especially when you consider that Throg was an actual plot point.

Thor is a name, not a title.

Naturally, the nerd hordes had a temper tantrum regarding the sex change because nerd rage.

Essentially, comic book purists can accept Throg, vaguely recall The Watcher’s one shot story about Jane and Mjölnir but for her to actually happening during a current run is a problem. The statement includes (paraphrase) a nod to the neglected female comic book fan, which makes it seem like a bit of a cash grab but it also acknowledges that female fronted titles are in demand and Marvel suits aren’t stupid. Captain Marvel, AKA Carol Danvers has been having an amazing run under Kelly Sue DeConnick which has spawned into a great Ms. Marvel title. X-Men founding member Ororo Munroe, aka Storm, is getting her first lead title despite having been in comics for longer than the recently decreased Wolverine who’s had multiple runs as a lead character. Marvel has been leading the charge in comic book diversity where DC is struggling to keep up. Both companies have the luxury of celebrating 50 years in the business and Marvel seems to be the first out of the old guard to truly embrace that the world is in fact very different today than it was upon some of their classic titles first printing.

 

Yesterday it was announced that John Constantine in the upcoming NBC paranormal horror series Constantine would not be bisexual as is cannon with the comic book. That’s a whole other argument but the nerd rage was interesting. They were dismayed at having this part of the character be downplayed when it was essential to who he is. The show runners also discussed that he will not be smoking as much as he does in his Hellblazer title.

At the heart of the hero is still the heart of who they are.

What does it mean that Thor is being replaced by a woman?

Nothing.

What it means is that readers will be treated to a richer experience in storytelling because you have to make your character someone to care about. As a woman, you’re invested in a character that isn’t another run of the mill damsel in distress and as a male reader, you’re still reading a comic book with a ass kicking lead with a legacy. When Miles Morales, the famously biracial kid from Queens, became the new Spider-man, the world almost imploded. From the nerd purists to the racists, Miles becoming the new Spider-man was the prime example for why comics need to change, why diversity is important and why everyone should feel welcome and represented in the great big world of comics and fantasy. They are escape routes and lessons in being a better person packed into bright pages. People of color and women should be included in this world that essentially doesn’t know the same politics as this one does.

The truth is, Marvel should be working on creating a new female lead, fresh origins, fresh stories, fresh everything. They may still be a long way off considering the success of their legacy titles but the seeds are being planted now. They’ve started that with the introduction of Kamala Khan as the aforementioned Ms. Marvel but there are established rules with that power because of the years of the hero having been male. She still needs to be a hero with an old credo in a modern world that may not welcome her.  By introducing new faces in old roles however, you demonstrate that anyone can and will be worthy of the title of hero.

The rage comes from the boat of comfort being rocked and people who don’t like change being toss out of the boat. We don’t know who the new Thor is and won’t until the title rolls out in October. We don’t know the conditions to which Thor loses his ability just as we don’t know how long she’ll be Thor. For all we know, Sif is the new Mjölnir wielder and the ‘other woman’ is Loki in disguise. That’s what makes the speculation so exciting. Taking someone and putting them into an extraordinary circumstance, like becoming something more is a universal experience. It’s a journey that everyone will go through as they discover who they are. Why should an extraordinary experience like becoming a superhero, a guardian, a crusader be only limited to men, or white men? Why should we continue to tell the other that they will remain that way because comic books say so? We are at an age of discovery, where someone somewhere at every second will discover who they are, who they are meant to be and what greater allegory is there than the superhero comic book title? Image Comics, Top Cow and Dark Horse are fantastic when it comes to the idea of diversity in storytelling but they aren’t the MAJORS like DC and Marvel are, plus, their titles tend to lean more maturely than Marvel and DC do.

I get that people are upset that this is happening to their beloved character but it doesn’t change who that character is at the core of their principles. The wild thing is that when Loki has swapped genders, it’s so totally Loki that it’s accepted. Some of it is ridiculed because people are five and have problems with things that challenge their personal belief systems and that’s cool but their distaste is tainting a very simple thing. Sure, Loki is evil and evil people do lousy things but there was no real uproar once Loki went back to being a boy. Maybe women aren’t allowed to be evil? Even if they’re the god of mischief.

After Ragnarök, Loki returned in a female body working with Doctor Doom so Thor would unwittingly resurrect his Asgardian enemies[40] and manipulated Balder to make him the new successor to the throne of Asgard.[41] In reality, Loki retained his male form after Ragnarok but hid himself inside Thor’s reborn lover Sif. During this period, Hela and Loki used magic to send Loki to the past to cause the events that led to his younger self being adopted by Odin as a means to eliminate Bor, Thor’s grandfather.

You can deal with spectral cosmic forces, space and time travel but a chick in charge, burn down the world.

Bae material either gender

What will be interesting is if the new Thor sticks around, what threat does she pose when it comes to warrior woman iconography? Gender Swapped Starbuck was the space warrior of our dreams but that didn’t come with controversy. We’re years away from Xena who was years removed from Wonder Woman who grand mothered Buffy the Vampire Slayer.. Could the new Thor be the new power character we’ve been looking for in the comic book universe? Can she become the next mainstream hero to stand with Black Widow, Maria Hill, Storm, Kitty Pryde, Black Cat, Melinda May, She-Hulk and Elektra? Of course she can, the real question is, come October, will you be willing to go on that adventure?

Personally, I’m looking forward to covers that aren’t spandex and ass shots. I mean c’mon. I’m badass, but don’t pay attention to my ass, just watch yours while it’s getting kicked.

With San Diego Comic Con just around the corner, one can only speculate that Marvel has succeeded in dominating the show floor and panels with this announcement as well as the media tour for the upcoming Guardians of The Galaxy, which features the daughter of Thanos and master assassin Gamora. Details will probably start surfacing once the con kicks off and we may get an idea of what’s in store for Thor and the new wielder of Mjölnir, so everyone who is butthurt now will be placated later on. Odds are, the answer will be so decent, that whatever controversy that may arise will be quelled by just how stupid they had been in the first place.What we do know is that Marvel is continuing the trend of understanding that readers, good solid committed, readers will always seek, find and buy the titles that interest them because that’s the business they’ve gotten themselves into.

What we want to see is a character that gives new life to an old name, that makes you discover comic books for the first time or rediscover them all over again.

FOUND OUT WHO IT IS:

DC had better step it’s game up.