Recently, I’ve read online tweets or snarky blog posts about Marvel’s aggressive grand plan for interweaving the various superhero franchises into common threads of storylines, including movie crossover events. One sardonic reviewer for the film Avengers 2: Age of Ultron (which I loved!) had the audacity to sound shocked that there was already a seven year strategic plan by Marvel to develop continuing sequels for both individual and team-based superhero events. Shocked? Seriously?
My response to that person is, you must have never read superhero comics during your lifetime. Personally, I couldn’t be HAPPIER that Marvel has a strategic plan for their superhero franchises. The fact that they plan to continue interlocking characters and storylines as the films progress is particularly encouraging. So often in the past, films and television programs based upon comic book heroes have operated seemingly independent of the various superhero universes, which always seemed strange to me because comics have a long history of crossover storylines and cameo appearances with heroes, villains, and the casts of key supporting characters.
I’ve primarily been a Marvel fan since childhood, especially Iron Man and Spiderman. The tangible angst and personal failures of Marvel heroes always seemed both believable and often germane to real-world problems that I was experiencing. I identified with Peter Parker’s self-confidence issues, as well as his desire to do the right thing even when it ran contrary to either public opinion or political machinations. As for Iron Man, Tony Stark’s personal demons were palpable and helped provide his hyper-intelligent wealthy aura of perfection with a real-world counterbalance that I could also identify with. Hell, even Tony’s and Peter’s personal relationships were challenged and imperfect. Who couldn’t identify with that?
By contrast with DC, though I was (and still am!) a huge Wonder Woman fan, few of the heroes from the DC universe seemed anywhere near realistic compared to the rest of us mere mortals. I never saw Clark Kent or Bruce Wayne struggle with ANY problems that real-world people seemed to have. Even the way their characters’ lives were conducted seemed not only idealistic but unrealistic. While idealistic in nature, I believe that most readers want to see shadows of themselves, or at least their real-world problems, reflected in the fictional characters they invest their time (and money) into.
But I digress…
Back to Marvel’s Master Plan for Success. Interestingly enough, DC appears to be catching on.
Yes, for all of you DC lovers out there, take heart. It appears that DC’s management team has FINALLY managed to get their collective acts together and take a few key ideas from Marvel’s playbook. First and foremost, DC has begun linking the character and storyline universes together. Next DC has established a timeline for release of their future films and television programs.
If there is a challenge to both DC and Marvel’s strategies, it’s the prospects of maintaining the momentum for filming schedules, strong storylines, and compelling character developments over a series of arcs and seasons. Still, as a longtime fan of all things superhero, I’m hopeful that these new developments will provide fans with everything they have patiently waited for quality conversions of their heroes from the small comics pages to both the big and small screens.
Thus far, I’ve been pleased with The Flash and Daredevil, and I’m cautiously optimistic regarding how well Gotham has progressed. And of course, I’ve loved all of the Marvel films that have been released in the past five years. Moreover, I’m feeling hopeful for the upcoming Supergirl show, as well. Now if they can just get Wonder Woman right on the big screen, I’ll be one step closer to completely satisfied.
Which superhero films or programs have you been anxiously awaiting? Also, which current superhero films and programs have you been enjoying?
As always, enjoy life; be kind to those around you, and Happy Reading!