This summer Marvel has two superhero movies coming out. Thor is already kicking ass (I’m honestly surprised how much I enjoyed it; the trailers made it look like shit), and Captain America: The First Avenger looks amazing, so there’s no doubt Marvel Studios will be flooded with cash.
And what does this all mean? That when The Avengers hits in 2012, it’s going to be Marvel’s chance to dickslap DC in the hardest way possible.
What the hell has Warner Bros been doing with DC? Sure there have been some animated shows and DVDs, but outside of The Dark Knight, DC superheroes have been absent (and technically Batman is a crime fighter).
I guess what it basically comes down to is that DC lacked one key component to any franchises success: forethought. Since Spiderman and X-Men, Marvel has been building a brand and a following outside of their comic books. Sure they’ve had a few missteps (cough, Hulk), but their track record is pretty astounding. And what were all of these things building to? The previously mentioned Avengers movie. Marvel has slowly been planting seeds; and it’ll pay off in a big way in 2012, subsequently introducing mass audiences to some of the lesser known heroes and villains and thus the Marvel movie universe will continue to expand.
So what does DC need to do to remedy the situation? To put simply, they need to start thinking smart. The biggest thing to that is start building to a Justice League movie, but it’s more than that. DC assigns directors to franchises for the wrong reasons. Bryan Singer made The Usual Suspects, which offered deep characters and so Marvel approached him for X-Men. Then he did Superman Returns and it didn’t work. I can quickly explain why. “Bryan, we absolutely loved X-2.” “Thank you.” “We’d love you to make something like that happen with Superman.” Did you spot the very obvious problem here? DC goes after directors who have already shown off a blockbuster success. Martin Campbell who is directing Green Lantern can do action really well - see: Casino Royale - and I bet that’s why he was offered the job, he made a boatload of money, and DC wants part of the pie, but even Nolan, they weren’t looking at him for characters, they were seeing dollar signs.
Ultimately, Marvel will win because it is trying to do more than make money, it is trying to tell stories and entertain. DC, you fucked up, and you’re going to pay for it for a while.