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Cassandra

The Coming Epic Failure of the DC Movie Universe

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The Gauntlet itself was shown as an easter egg in the first Thor film. I strongly suspect (but don't know for sure) that the tesseract, the stone in Loki's staff, and the Aether were known (by the Marvel braintrust) to be Infinity Stones by the time The Avengers began post-production. Even GotG was in development as far back as 2009, and so it is conceivable that by 2011 they knew that the power stone would play a central role in the events of the film.

 

Then again, maybe Joss Whedon saw all those unrelated elements and unconsciously threw Thanos in without realizing how he was potentially tying all of it together. Makes the case for his genius as a storyteller...

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There was an awful lot of serendipity involved there when you consider all the other Infinity Gauntlet elements that were laid down prior to The Avengers. Seems strange to use Thanos purely as an unrelated easter egg.

 

CA:TFA used the Cosmic Cube. Red Skull always seems to be chasing the Cosmic Cube. That it houses one of the Gems came later in the development cycle.

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As i understand it, Thanos at the end of Avengers was just a Whedon fan nod, and a way to slip in the "court death" line.  But then they thought "sayyyy..." again.  Who knows what to believe though?  Publicists and people in interviews will say just about anything.

 

I mean, when Lucas was interviewed during the filming of Star Wars, he said it was a single film, one story.  Then when it did really well, suddenly it turned into a trilogy, then it turned into one of 9 parts.  He only put "part IV" on Star Wars and called it "A New Hope" because it was meant to feel like one of those old time serial movies he loved growing up.

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But why? I fail to see the need you refer to.

Not for comic nerds. They know the situation. For general movie going audiences and especially kids growing up who arent so familiar with these characters yet.

 

We need to establish Batman as the "dad" of the Bat family. Dick Greyson as the big brother and Batgirl as the sister, then the other Robins if they decide to include them. The bat family is so intricately woven together, the way in which you introduce them is of the utmost importance in establishing their extremely complex relationships.

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I think "establishing their extremely complex relationships" may be a bit too much to hope for from the DCEU. I'll be happy if the Wonder Woman movie and the possible Batgirl movie avoid getting the stink of the rest of the franchise on them.

Hey, I'm just giving my opinion on what I think they need to do to get the feel right. Whether or not they actually even attempt the relationship dynamic is conpletely up in the air. (Personally I would love to see a creepy love triangle between Batman, Batgirl and Nightwing to show just how effed up their dynamic is, but I dont think they would go that far).

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I think you're giving them too little credit IMO. I don't think they had everything plotted out when they made the first Iron Man movie. But having Fury name-drop the Avengers in the post-credits scene, and then having Stark name-drop them in the Hulk post-credits scene, was a pretty clear tip they were hoping to go that direction.

 

 

From what I understand they just did the Fury thing at the end of Iron Man as a fun bit for fans, a reward for sticking out that long in the theater.  Nothing planned, no intentions, not a teaser for something greater.  They had no idea Iron Man was going to do well, let alone become a gigantic cultural phenomenon.  It was only afterward that they said "well hot damn, maybe we can do something here..." and for the first time in movie history set up a story with multiple characters by giving each one their own film to establish them (well, most of them).

I lean to the latter interpretation as well. "Hey, let's drop something in here for the comics readers". Actually, post-credits scenes may be the real cinematic innovation of the MCU - my son has been disappointed the DC movies don't have them.

 

Another perfectly "natural organic way" to do it is to produce a team movie first, and then if it is successful, spin off solo movies for each of the other heroes after that. Let's not make the mistake of thinking that just because the Marvel approach has been successful that it is the only way to go about it. The X-Men movies were pretty successful before they spun off Wolverine (and by extension, Deadpool), for instance.

Funny...the Avengers as a comic was a team book to bring solo characters together, and the X-men was a team book from the start that (after a long time) spun off solo characters (the first, the Beast, after X-Men had already failed on its own). Both books saw their first issue at about the same time, too.

 

My understanding from remarks by Kevin Feige is rather the opposite. According to him Marvel Studios had in mind from the first Iron Man movie to build a connected series of films leading up to the first Avengers -- what they call "Phase One" -- although all the details weren't worked out at that point, and of course all that was conditional on Iron Man 1 doing sufficient box office.

And there's a pretty lengthy George Lucas interview where he discusses the original multi-movie plan for Star Wars, including his decision to make the Falcon's co-pilot a Wookie, because it would be s shame if we never got to use the Wookies because we did not make it to the third film (and, since we did use Wookies, we had to revise them to Ewoks in ToTJ). At what point in the cycle did Fiege say "we had a plan right from the very beginning"? Do the facts support him more than they do Lucas' claim to a "writer's vision"?

 

Honestly though, I have less of a problem that they are jumping right into their team movie and more of a problem that they are talking about (and filming) secondary character projects before even establishing their primary core characters.

You mean like Ant-Man, and the Guardians of the Galaxy? In some ways, secondary characters are better choices. When you mess around with their back stories (Don Blake was Jane's old boyfriend?), personalities (since when was Iron Man a wisecracking smartass?), etc. there's less backlash. Clearly Superman has to appear in the red and blue, but we don't need wings on Cap's cowl or Thor's headgear.

 

Suicide squad was too early.

Why was it any more premature than a GoTG movie? None of the backstory was set up. Drax is supposed to have major links to Thanos. Gamora is Adam Warlock's sidekick. We haven't seen the Collector try to Collect the Avengers yet. Groot hasn't invaded the earth or fought the Hulk! Rocket hasn't appeared in Hulk's anniversary issue yet!!!

 

Um, what other Infinity Gauntlet elements were laid down? The only comparable thing even mentioned before the first Avengers was the Tesseract, which didn't even look like an Infinity Stone. It was an obvious Cosmic Cube riff. The way Loki's staff looked and how its effects were described, it seemed to be drawing its power from the Tesseract. It was definitely depicted as inferior in power to the Tesseract. There was no hint at the time that it contained another Infinity Stone. All the other Infinity references were introduced in Phase Two films.

Kind of like the comics it grew out of. "Hey, how can we link these elements to have a new, overarching plot?"

 

The Gauntlet itself was shown as an easter egg in the first Thor film. I strongly suspect (but don't know for sure) that the tesseract, the stone in Loki's staff, and the Aether were known (by the Marvel braintrust) to be Infinity Stones by the time The Avengers began post-production. Even GotG was in development as far back as 2009, and so it is conceivable that by 2011 they knew that the power stone would play a central role in the events of the film.

"A central role"? It was a McGuffin. And the earlier ones just as easily explained as retcons. Nothing in the early movies suggested they had anything to do with each other, which could be "won't they be surprised when we pull it all together" or just as easily "hey, maybe we can make it look like this was the plan all along".

 

Not for comic nerds. They know the situation. For general movie going audiences and especially kids growing up who arent so familiar with these characters yet.

 

We need to establish Batman as the "dad" of the Bat family. Dick Greyson as the big brother and Batgirl as the sister, then the other Robins if they decide to include them. The bat family is so intricately woven together, the way in which you introduce them is of the utmost importance in establishing their extremely complex relationships.

So, how many years do we spend doing this? Comics as a medium are not the same as movies. They are released on a much faster publishing schedule. Building 75 years of backstory isn't really a practical objective. Really, we should have started with the WW II Justice Society, since that's really where DC's Supers legacy started, and built from there, right?

 

And, of course, Avengers sucked because there was no Giant-Man and the Wasp, and they were founding members. Look what that did to Ultron and the Vision. We should have had at least two or three Ultron-focused movies before he made the Vision to infiltrate the Avengers, shouldn't we?

 

Or maybe we should recognize that comics, prose novels, movies and weekly TV shows are all different media, with different strengths and weaknesses, which therefore need different approaches.

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The Gauntlet itself was shown as an easter egg in the first Thor film. I strongly suspect (but don't know for sure) that the tesseract, the stone in Loki's staff, and the Aether were known (by the Marvel braintrust) to be Infinity Stones by the time The Avengers began post-production. Even GotG was in development as far back as 2009, and so it is conceivable that by 2011 they knew that the power stone would play a central role in the events of the film.

 

Then again, maybe Joss Whedon saw all those unrelated elements and unconsciously threw Thanos in without realizing how he was potentially tying all of it together. Makes the case for his genius as a storyteller...

I dont for a second buy Whedon just putting Thanos in the end of the film as a bonus for the fans.

 

Why?

 

Because the Emmissary spoke to Loki in the middle of the film mentioning "The one who put the scepter in your hands" meaning Thanos. Why would that line be in the film if Thanos was just an easter egg.

 

It was a part of the plan, thats why. Whedon is full of crap.

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You mean like Ant-Man, and the Guardians of the Galaxy? In some ways, secondary characters are better choices. When you mess around with their back stories (Don Blake was Jane's old boyfriend?), personalities (since when was Iron Man a wisecracking smartass?), etc. there's less backlash. Clearly Superman has to appear in the red and blue, but we don't need wings on Cap's cowl or Thor's headgear.

Ant Man is not a side character. He is supposed to be a core member of The Avengers. I would add Wasp to that as well.

 

The Guardians of the Galaxy didnt come in till Phase 2. In Phase 2 they needed to jntroduce the wider Marvel Universe that exists beyond the earth and the GotG was an absolutely brilliant way of doing that. When it comes to DC, Green Lantern should be that vehicle.

 

And Marvel is still not focusing on side characters aside from the GotG. Black Panther, Dr Strange and Capt Marvel are all core characters. They could do the Inhumans because Blackbolt becomes a major mover and shaker in the Marvel Universe (esp if they plan to introduce The Illuminati). They could do Namor as well. What Marvel is not doing is wasting time on doing a movie about The Wrecking Crew, or giving Elektra a stand alone film.

 

 

 

Why was it any more premature than a GoTG movie? None of the backstory was set up. Drax is supposed to have major links to Thanos. Gamora is Adam Warlock's sidekick. We haven't seen the Collector try to Collect the Avengers yet. Groot hasn't invaded the earth or fought the Hulk! Rocket hasn't appeared in Hulk's anniversary issue yet!!!

They had set up the wider marvel univers within the galaxy. At the point where GotG came out (phase 2) the situation on earth had been pretty well established. Thus GotG informed audiences of the political situation in space and showed them exactly how powerful and how feared Thanos was. And it also gave us the necessary back story on the Infinity Gems, so now we can namr them within the other films without needing that exposition. Guardians handled that. It was time.

 

Kind of like the comics it grew out of. "Hey, how can we link these elements to have a new, overarching plot?"

They dont have to do that with the movies. They have 40+ years of history with most of these books. All they have to do is figure out what version of the characters they want to go with, which stories they want to tell and put it together so it all makes sense. When they started the movie franchise, the first few films might have been trial and error seeing what resonated with audiences. But they are well beyond that now and reaching deep into long established Marvel lore to advance the franchise itself.

 

 

"A central role"? It was a McGuffin. And the earlier ones just as easily explained as retcons. Nothing in the early movies suggested they had anything to do with each other, which could be "won't they be surprised when we pull it all together" or just as easily "hey, maybe we can make it look like this was the plan all along".

Likely somewhere in the middle of those extremes.

 

 

So, how many years do we spend doing this? Comics as a medium are not the same as movies. They are released on a much faster publishing schedule. Building 75 years of backstory isn't really a practical objective. Really, we should have started with the WW II Justice Society, since that's really where DC's Supers legacy started, and built from there, right?

We spend as many years as we need to. We need to establish the rules first. Make introductions. Let the audience become familiar with and get comfortable with the characters. Then you destroy their world and change everything. It will resonate with audiences a whole lot more that way. Just look at the box office of the Marvel franchise. They are quite obviously doing something right.

 

And, of course, Avengers sucked because there was no Giant-Man and the Wasp, and they were founding members. Look what that did to Ultron and the Vision. We should have had at least two or three Ultron-focused movies before he made the Vision to infiltrate the Avengers, shouldn't we?

I would have preferred that Antman been a founding member. And I would have liked to have seen Ultron introduced in an Avengers film and be helpful to the Avengers first, then betray them. It would have had much more impact then.

 

Speaking of Vision. The fact that Jarvis became Vision was awesome. Jarvis was introduced in the original Iron Man and had been in every movie that featured him. Audiences knew and were comfortable with Jarvis. So when Vision spoke with Jarvis voice, the average movie goer feels as if they already know the character. There suddenly isnt this new character that needs history and background in a team movie where there is very little time to do that.

 

Or maybe we should recognize that comics, prose novels, movies and weekly TV shows are all different media, with different strengths and weaknesses, which therefore need different approaches.

I am acknowledging this approach. I would say this for any studio attempting a long running and wide reaching movie or tv franchise. Not just for comic book movies.

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I feel that Suicide Squad would have been a lot more effective with audiences if we had seen Harley get taken down by Batman and locked up at the end of the first Batfilm with Joker vowing to break her out

 

 

Probably but in terms of time frame it doesn't work; he first met Harley in prison after Batman caught him and threw him in the clink.  Basically they rushed things because they wanted movie with hot girl Harley in it.  But of all its problems, rushed introduction of characters wasn't Suicide Squad's major flaw.

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I dont for a second buy Whedon just putting Thanos in the end of the film as a bonus for the fans.

 

Why?

 

Because the Emmissary spoke to Loki in the middle of the film mentioning "The one who put the scepter in your hands" meaning Thanos. Why would that line be in the film if Thanos was just an easter egg.

 

It was a part of the plan, thats why. Whedon is full of crap.

So why is the Adam Warlock cocoon in the Collector's collection? Why is Howard the Duck in the end credits for GoTG?

 

They are Easter Eggs, or maybe we decide to use them in the future, in which case they are not Easter Eggs. What reason does Whedon have to say "Thanos was just a tip of the hat to comic fans" if he is part of a master plan for the movies going forward? Now that he is part of the master plan, no one is afraid to say so - they're hyping it. Why would they not have started hyping it earlier if they knew they had something to hype?

 

Ant Man is not a side character. He is supposed to be a core member of The Avengers. I would add Wasp to that as well.

Given their publishing history, the are side characters.

 

The Guardians of the Galaxy didnt come in till Phase 2. In Phase 2 they needed to jntroduce the wider Marvel Universe that exists beyond the earth and the GotG was an absolutely brilliant way of doing that. When it comes to DC, Green Lantern should be that vehicle.

Again, publishing history. If the movie did not go crazy at the box office, we would never hear of them again (except, probably, in a post-credits scene...).

 

What Marvel is not doing is wasting time on doing a movie about The Wrecking Crew, or giving Elektra a stand alone film.

Elektra had a standalone film. It didn't do well. Not sure whether Marvel even has the rights. And sorry, but Ant-Man is no more a major player in the Marvel Universe than Elektra.

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To those following both threads, sorry to be repetitive here.

 

You know, it's interesting that here, the MCU is praised for its vision which, when you cut through it, is "movie event series", while over in another thread we discuss comics and complain about "the events".

 

Marvel Phase 1: The Coming of the Avengers (assuming I accept "The Grand Plan existed from the outset)

Marvel Phase 2 (well, all movies after Avengers to and including Civil War): Avengers Disassembled

Marvel Phase 3: The Infinity War

 

So the movies are great because they are nothing but big, universe-spanning events, and the comics suck because they have too many big, universe-spanning events.

 

Different media, different tools required for success. Frankly, the movies are a success because they have made whatever changes are needed to translate the characters to movies the broader public enjoys watching.

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To the "build the back story", there will be young kids in the theatre to watch Infinity War who did not see any of the prior MCU movies. They will love it. Maybe they will pursue the backstory. Maybe they won't.

 

Just like a young kid in the early '70s picked up an Avengers, or a JLA, comic on the newsstand and was fascinated by this already-existing world and all its characters, even if he didn't always know the backstory, or figure out exactly what was going on, or who was who.

 

Write good stories. Deliver them with good visuals (drawn or filmed). Make them a magical place. THAT will draw in the fans.

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Elektra had a standalone film. It didn't do well. Not sure whether Marvel even has the rights. And sorry, but Ant-Man is no more a major player in the Marvel Universe than Elektra.

 

I am pretty sure that Elektra returned to Marvel the same time Daredevil did.

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Whedon has stated that in The Avengers there needed to be someone behind the scenes pulling the strings as to Loki's return & the Chitari. Whedon suggested that had to be Thanos (as big bad). Marvel Studios went along with it. It was Whedon's idea.

 

Now, I'm sure there were discussions about how to build on that for storytelling purposes and the success of Avengers and positive reaction to Thanos' cameo (fans went nuts, and everyone one else asked "who?", so fans explained) led to the infinity war storyline.

 

Also remember Feige stated many years ago that he has a plan for the MCU stretching out to approx 2023-2025.

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So the movies are great because they are nothing but big, universe-spanning events, and the comics suck because they have too many big, universe-spanning events.

Speaking for myself, I get tired of the Big-Ass Crossover Events (BACE) in the comics because they're constantly interrupting the storyline of the standalone comics I read. A book is trying to run its own arc, but then every 6-12 months that story is at best temporarily shelved for several issues while they instead tell a piece of someone else's story for a few issues. Or for books that are not so lucky, the arc they were working on gets completely shitcanned due to changes made in the BACE, because the BACE trumps everything else.

 

I remember trying to follow the Slott/David She-Hulk series in the 2000s, and every 6ish issues was a completely different series, for reasons only explained in the BACEs. One minute she's a practicing attorney; next issue she has quit law and is with SHIELD full-time; then she's back to law for five minutes only to get disbarred and now she's a bounty hunter? It just got ridiculous.

 

It would be one thing if the BACEs were well-written and worth reading in their own right, but most of them are overblown, overstuffed, all-spectacle-no-character turds IMO.

 

By contrast: the fact that today's MCU movie ties in to one I saw 6 months ago is continuity, not disruption.

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Speaking for myself, I get tired of the Big-Ass Crossover Events (BACE) in the comics because they're constantly interrupting the storyline of the standalone comics I read. A book is trying to run its own arc, but then every 6-12 months that story is at best temporarily shelved for several issues while they instead tell a piece of someone else's story for a few issues. Or for books that are not so lucky, the arc they were working on gets completely shitcanned due to changes made in the BACE, because the BACE trumps everything else.

 

I remember trying to follow the Slott/David She-Hulk series in the 2000s, and every 6ish issues was a completely different series, for reasons only explained in the BACEs. One minute she's a practicing attorney; next issue she has quit law and is with SHIELD full-time; then she's back to law for five minutes only to get disbarred and now she's a bounty hunter? It just got ridiculous.

 

It would be one thing if the BACEs were well-written and worth reading in their own right, but most of them are overblown, overstuffed, all-spectacle-no-character turds IMO.

 

By contrast: the fact that today's MCU movie ties in to one I saw 6 months ago is continuity, not disruption.

Reminds me of the original Simonson run on Thor that had the original Secret Wars. He did a total, iirc, of 3 panels, 1st showing Thor and the others entering a gate, 2nd showing the empty gate with a caption saying something like "something momentous happened", the third showing them returning. He then ignored it and resumed his ragnarok storyline.

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Speaking for myself, I get tired of the Big-Ass Crossover Events (BACE) in the comics because they're constantly interrupting the storyline of the standalone comics I read.

 

 

I liked how the very first one worked; in Simonson's Cask of Winters storyline, it was suddenly winter in the middle of the summer everywhere.  You got an issue of confused Spider-Man in the snow, etc, and that was pretty much it.  I think the Fantastic Four fought some dark elves and wild hunt.  That's all they did; it wasn't about sales and interconnected "gotta catch 'em all" multiple book tales.  It was just an event that impacted the whole setting.

 

Its all crass sales now, a way to push people to buy other comics.

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Weadon has stated that in The Avengers there needed to be someone behind the scenes pulling the strings as to Loki's return & the Chitari. Weadon suggested that had to be Thanos (as big bad). Marvel Studios went along with it. It was Weadon's idea.

 

Who is this Weadon person you speak of?

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