DC doesn’t need to follow Marvel’s model to be successful


The Appalachian Online

Malik Rahili

“Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” was destined to be hated from the get-go.

From the moment the first trailer aired, people broke out their pitchforks and torches and wanted to hate this movie.

“Ben Affleck is going to be a terrible Batman.” “They gave away too much in the trailers.” “Marvel has a better cinematic universe.” “They’re just trying to copy Marvel!”

These are just some of the popular chants that the angry mobs have been shouting, with a few expletives removed.

I, for one, couldn’t have been more excited to see Batman fighting Superman on the big screen. I was like a kid in a toy store on opening night, and I was grinning from ear to ear while watching the movie.

Hell, I’m even wearing a “Batman v Superman” shirt while I’m writing this.

Full disclosure: I love DC Entertainment. I love all the characters, their stories and their universe. But, I am not a DC comic guru.

However, I have read a handful of comics and understand the major story lines that pertain to major characters like Batman and Superman.

Now, back to the movie.

“Batman v Superman” was an awesome film. The second I left that theater, I wanted to turn around and watch it again. The characters were great, the story was good and it was a huge stepping stone for the DC cinematic universe.

“Batman v Superman” did a fantastic job at setting up their characters. From the grizzly and tough Batman, a Superman questioning his existence, the mysterious and badass Wonder Woman and a Lex Luthor who is off his rocker, “Batman v Superman” played host to some of the best DC characters we have seen on the big screen.

These characters are deep and conflicted. They have flaws and internal struggles and are far from one-dimensional. They aren’t the knights in shining armor that the Avengers are. The dynamic between all of them made for some of the best moments in the movie.

I was worried that having all of these characters under one roof was going to bog down and hurt the movie, especially after hearing about the cameo characters.

But “Batman v Superman” didn’t take too much time to try and shoehorn these characters in. They were executed perfectly. Cyborg, the Flash and Aquaman’s cameos were quick two minute ways to show that these characters exist in this world, and that was all we needed. We didn’t need an exposition on each of these characters and who they are because we will be getting those in stand alone movies as the DC cinematic universe expands and their roles become more prevalent.

Their appearances were important in setting up the overarching storyline of the “Justice League” and not “Batman v Superman.” From the nightmare sequences and Flash talking to Bruce from the future, there is a bigger story in “Batman v Superman.” It hints that Darkseid is coming and Bruce must unite the Justice League in order to stop him.

That. Is. Awesome.

Rather than making years of single-character movies lead up to “The Avengers,” the only one average people really care about, DC is coming in guns blazing and hitting DC fans with the Justice League from the ground floor.

This is because DC fans already understand who Cyborg, the Flash and Aquaman are. This movie is for DC fans who already understand the universe they are in and the characters that are in it.

Disney and Marvel make movies for everyone.  That is not Warner Bros. and DC’s approach. They don’t need to piggyback off of the success of Marvel and “Batman v Superman” makes shows why.

Now to be clear, I am not saying this movie was perfect. It has its problems. Batman kills people, which is totally out of character, and the pacing in the beginning is awkward.

The whole “Martha” scene wasn’t handled well and the African desert scene doesn’t really go anywhere or have a point.

But DC has started something special and unique with their cinematic universe. Variety is the spice of life and watching Marvel movies again with a DC skin slapped on it would not have been a better route for DC to take.