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Old April 10 2013, 02:26 AM   #46
The Overlord
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Re: Why is DC so far behind Marvel in terms of movies?

Christopher wrote: View Post
Nightowl1701 wrote: View Post
Sorry, I should have clarified that. I was referring to the whole "Flashpoint/New 52" mess where they rebooted the whole DC comic universe itself (and totally botched it).
But how is that an imitation of the Nolan films in any way? There's still plenty of fantasy and sci-fi, the Batman continuity has barely been changed from what it was before, and The New 52 has been widely critiqued for its sexist and pandering portrayals of characters like Catwoman, Starfire, and Voodoo, which doesn't seem anything like the Nolan films. The New 52 wasn't about imitating the movies, it was about responding to the growing market for digital comics by giving new digital-only readers a jumping-on point for the whole continuity.


The Overlord wrote: View Post
See that sounds good in theory, but you are making things less fantastic and more mudane in the process, what are you really capturing? How would you make X-Men or JLA work on a TV budget?
Good writing. At their best, superhero stories are about characters and ideas most of all. Maybe a live-action TV show can't serve the action as well as a comic, animated series, or movie can, but if the writing is strong enough, it won't need to. The Bixby-Ferrigno Hulk series had immensely less action than the comics -- just two Hulk-outs per episode, usually lasting just a minute or two each -- but the writing and character work were strong enough that it's admired to this day as one of the best comics adaptations to live action.
See the problem I have with that is, with the Hulk TV show is, they hardly had any characters from the comics in that show. Its alright show, you never get to see anything truly fantastic in that show. You never saw the Abomination or the Leader or a bunch of over the top characters from the comics, its not really the Hulk if its missing these fantastical elements. It feels like taking something big and trying to make it smaller, losing something in the process. Its not just about action scenes, its about doing all the major characters from the comics justice. I want the character stuff and the fantastical elements, if a TV show can't deliver that, then I don't care about it.

I think the Ang Lee Hulk failed because it was an overwrought character piece, that lacked some of the fun elements from the comics. I preferred the second Hulk film, which still had the character stuff, but had more of fun and fantastical elements from the comics.

Christopher wrote: View Post
Well, that's not really a fair example, since that was a CW show with a much smaller budget than a show on a major network might get -- particularly since 8 years' worth of cast and crew raises meant that the budget available for FX and action was a smaller proportion of the total. Also, it's worth noting that Smallville's FX and action improved greatly in the 9th season -- not because they got more money, but because the action sequences were designed more creatively so they got more bang for the buck.
Really frankly most live action TV shows based on super heroes have not impressed me period, most of the villains on the Flash TV show were made up or pretty bare bones version of their comic book selves. Lets not get into the bad production values of Birds of Prey. If it took Smallville 8 years to figure out how to do a good action scene, that is pretty faint praise, most shows don't make it to 8 seasons and most of the stuff with Darkseid was pretty bad in season 10.

Really something like Walking Dead, which is based on a comic book but is not a super hero series, works as a TV show, because as a concept it is less expensive and over the top then most super hero comics. I think Punisher could make for an interesting TV show on HBO or a cable channel like that. It is also a shame that HBO turned down Preacher, I actually think Preacher may work better as a TV show then a movie.

Really how many good live action super hero shows there been?
Christopher wrote: View Post
About as many as you'd expect per Sturgeon's Law, maybe around 10% of the whole. No worse that the percentage of good shows in any other genre.
I still think super heroes have fared better on movies then a TV show, I can think of way more super hero movies then live action TV shows I actually like.

Christopher wrote: View Post
You would likely have to use animation to make most super heroes work on TV, but then you get into the problems of the animation age ghetto.
Sadly true. I find it startling that, nearly a generation after Batman: TAS proved how adult and sophisticated animation could be, there even still is such a thing as the animation age ghetto. You'd think people would've figured it out by now.
Well they tried airing BTAS in prime time once and it didn't get great ratings, so I don't think BTAS really broke the animation age ghetto, it just resulted in an overall improvement in American kids animation overall, over the 30 minute toy commercials from the 80s.

We don't live in Japan, they have more a boarder spectrum of animation then we do. Maybe the animation age ghetto will change in the future, kids animation seems to get away with more now then when I was a kid, but its here for now.
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Old April 10 2013, 03:24 AM   #47
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Re: Why is DC so far behind Marvel in terms of movies?

The Overlord wrote: View Post
See the problem I have with that is, with the Hulk TV show is, they hardly had any characters from the comics in that show.
Well, yes, that's my point. It wasn't like the comics in any way -- in fact, other than the recent Mark Valley Human (Standing Next to the) Target, I can't think of a single comic-book adaptation that had less in common with the source material -- yet it's beloved by many Hulk fans to this day because it was, quite simply, a good show in its own right. Fidelity to the source, in terms of action or visuals or anything else, is nice, but its absence can be forgiven if the show is just plain well-written. People try to concoct so many explanations for what factors make a show succeed or fail, but they're overlooking the simple and obvious answer: good writing, good acting, a talented staff. As long as you have those, the rest is negotiable.


I want the character stuff and the fantastical elements, if a TV show can't deliver that, then I don't care about it.
But you don't need special effects to do fantasy. A lot of good fantasy stories have been told simply through ideas and situations. You know why the original Star Trek had so many stories about telekinetics and godlike beings? Because it doesn't cost much money to have one actor hold out his hand and another pretend to be thrown across the room or strangled or rendered unable to speak. The story about Captain Kirk being split into two people? Sure, there were a few split-screen shots, but mostly the story was told through discussion and character interaction, the "effect" of the split conveyed through performance. SF and fantasy are about ideas, not just spectacle.


I think the Ang Lee Hulk failed because it was an overwrought character piece, that lacked some of the fun elements from the comics. I preferred the second Hulk film, which still had the character stuff, but had more of fun and fantastical elements from the comics.
Perhaps, but another problem with the Lee film was that it overdid the visual spectacle, with the overly literal comic-panel effects that were a constant distraction and just too cutesy for the film's own good. More FX doesn't automatically equal a better story.


Really frankly most live action TV shows based on super heroes have not impressed me period, most of the villains on the Flash TV show were made up or pretty bare bones version of their comic book selves.
At first the network didn't allow any supervillains at all; it wasn't until the second half of the season that the producers were given the freedom to use them. And Mark Hamill's Trickster is very well regarded; it was the prototype for his Joker from Batman: TAS (and Corinne Bohrer's Prank from the season finale may have been a prototype Harley Quinn of sorts).


Lets not get into the bad production values of Birds of Prey.
Which was on the same network as Smallville and thus, again, had a much smaller budget to work with than a show on ABC or FOX would have. It's nonsense to make a blanket generalization about all TV based on those examples.

Although I recenty rewatched BoP, and I didn't have much problem with the production values. Their digital cityscape of New Gotham was very impressive for the day. True, the production had a very stagey, artificial feel, but that was evidently intentional, since this was pre-Nolan and the show took its design and visual cues from the fanciful Burton and Schumacher films.


We don't live in Japan, they have more a boarder spectrum of animation then we do. Maybe the animation age ghetto will change in the future, kids animation seems to get away with more now then when I was a kid, but its here for now.
But by now, we should have people who grew up on B:TAS and Gargoyles and the like becoming decision-makers in the industry. So they should know better than to assume animation is just for kids. This should already be the future in which that's starting to change.
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Old April 10 2013, 04:52 AM   #48
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Re: Why is DC so far behind Marvel in terms of movies?

Christopher wrote: View Post
The Overlord wrote: View Post
See the problem I have with that is, with the Hulk TV show is, they hardly had any characters from the comics in that show.
Well, yes, that's my point. It wasn't like the comics in any way -- in fact, other than the recent Mark Valley Human (Standing Next to the) Target, I can't think of a single comic-book adaptation that had less in common with the source material -- yet it's beloved by many Hulk fans to this day because it was, quite simply, a good show in its own right. Fidelity to the source, in terms of action or visuals or anything else, is nice, but its absence can be forgiven if the show is just plain well-written. People try to concoct so many explanations for what factors make a show succeed or fail, but they're overlooking the simple and obvious answer: good writing, good acting, a talented staff. As long as you have those, the rest is negotiable.
Negotiable for you perhaps, but not me.

The Hulk TV show is a bit before my time, so I can't comment a lot on it. But see I like the Hulk and I no interest in that show, I prefer the comics that has over the top stuff in it. To me not having the Hulk battle the Leader, the Abomination, giant battles with the military, take those away, its not the Hulk anymore, its just Hulk-lite. It would be very hard to care about a Hulk TV show without those elements in it, to me they are pretty important. I think its easier to have an sense that Hulk is being pursued and can't. You can't do Planet Hulk or any story with the Maestro, they are important Hulk stories and if you can't have TV shows adapt a lot of these important stories, I don't think I would care about it.

If they made a novel series and couldn't put certain characters in it because it be too expensive, then I wouldn't want to be adapted in the first place.

You might like a paired down Hulk story, I don't think I would, I just can't make that many compromises just get something on TV. It have to amazing writing, the best of HBO level writing, to like a Hulk TV show that is missing a lot of the key elements from the comics.

Christopher wrote: View Post
I want the character stuff and the fantastical elements, if a TV show can't deliver that, then I don't care about it.
But you don't need special effects to do fantasy. A lot of good fantasy stories have been told simply through ideas and situations. You know why the original Star Trek had so many stories about telekinetics and godlike beings? Because it doesn't cost much money to have one actor hold out his hand and another pretend to be thrown across the room or strangled or rendered unable to speak. The story about Captain Kirk being split into two people? Sure, there were a few split-screen shots, but mostly the story was told through discussion and character interaction, the "effect" of the split conveyed through performance. SF and fantasy are about ideas, not just spectacle.
Except Star Trek was made for TV, comic books are not. Maestro, Abomination, the Leader and his over the top mad science is harder to do then most of the stuff on Star Trek, because Star Trek is made with a TV budget in mind.

If Star Trek had to cut out characters to work in another adaption, wouldn't that mean that something is missing in the adaption? Likewise if characters like Abomantion, the Leader, Maestro, etc can't work in a TV series, doesn't that mean missing is missing, a big something, if you grew up reading about them? Its not just spectacle, its leaving out characters and plot points that I think are key.

Christopher wrote: View Post
Perhaps, but another problem with the Lee film was that it overdid the visual spectacle, with the overly literal comic-panel effects that were a constant distraction and just too cutesy for the film's own good. More FX doesn't automatically equal a better story.
Well I liked the second Hulk movie, it had some spectacle, but it was more fun and closer to the comics.



Christopher wrote: View Post
At first the network didn't allow any supervillains at all; it wasn't until the second half of the season that the producers were given the freedom to use them. And Mark Hamill's Trickster is very well regarded; it was the prototype for his Joker from Batman: TAS (and Corinne Bohrer's Prank from the season finale may have been a prototype Harley Quinn of sorts).
But that was just one or two episodes? Most of the Flash TV show was just bland, I bought the DVD of the show and I think the show was pretty dull. It was not a very good show and that is why it was cancelled after a season what do you think makes it a quality program?

The problem I have not liked most of the live action super hero TV shows, so that is why I don't care about the TV shows compared the movies. To me, the movies are almost always closer to the comics then the TV shows are, the two Donner movies were closer to the Superman comics then Smallville was and that is what matters to me. The movies are better at honoring the spirit of the comic books then the TV sows have been. The TV shows are almost always inferior adaptions to the movies, which is why I don't care about DC making more live action TV shows then Marvel, because I have not liked most of them. I would rather see a Flash or Wonder Woman movie, then another attempt to give them a TV show, considering I didn't really care for the last Flash TV show and saw that Wonder Woman pilot.

Christopher wrote: View Post
Lets not get into the bad production values of Birds of Prey.
Which was on the same network as Smallville and thus, again, had a much smaller budget to work with than a show on ABC or FOX would have. It's nonsense to make a blanket generalization about all TV based on those examples.
Okay, but how many TV live action didn't have to leave things out or change things just to meet a TV budget? How many super hero TV shows have had great production values? That is the problem is corners have to be cut to meet the TV budget and thus often loses the vision that original comic book had. Again that is why I had problems with Smoke Demon Darkseid, Mikhail Mxyzptlk and the meteor freaks, they don't make the story better, they just make it worse, they are less interesting than stuff in the comics.

Christopher wrote: View Post
Although I recenty rewatched BoP, and I didn't have much problem with the production values. Their digital cityscape of New Gotham was very impressive for the day. True, the production had a very stagey, artificial feel, but that was evidently intentional, since this was pre-Nolan and the show took its design and visual cues from the fanciful Burton and Schumacher films.
Well I didn't like the production values in that show.

Christopher wrote: View Post
We don't live in Japan, they have more a boarder spectrum of animation then we do. Maybe the animation age ghetto will change in the future, kids animation seems to get away with more now then when I was a kid, but its here for now.
But by now, we should have people who grew up on B:TAS and Gargoyles and the like becoming decision-makers in the industry. So they should know better than to assume animation is just for kids. This should already be the future in which that's starting to change.
That is just not case. I will say one thing, for the past 20 years DC has made way better animation.

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Old April 10 2013, 06:38 AM   #49
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Re: Why is DC so far behind Marvel in terms of movies?

Guy Gardener wrote: View Post
It just seems weird to me that regular people wouldn't know who Iron Man or Thor were.
Many of them did. It's the "nerds" who like to pretend that their knowledge is special and unique, and that those pesky normal people are too dim-witted to be aware of their hobbies. It makes them special and unique, you see.

Nevermind that both Thor and Iron Man was showing up in completely non-genre related places all the time. The most notable example I can think of is Adventures in Babysitting. And as you pointed out, Iron Man had several animated shows going all the way back to the 60s or so.

The same is true for most of DCs bigger heroes, too. Many people know who the Flash, Green Lantern, and Wonder Woman are. They're amongst some of the most universally well-known figures of pop culture around the world, though not quite up there with the likes of Superman... but not some alien, wholly unknown entity limited to a handful of geeks on the internet, either. No matter how much that handful of geeks on the internet desperately wish it were true.
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Old April 10 2013, 12:25 PM   #50
Christopher
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Re: Why is DC so far behind Marvel in terms of movies?

The Overlord wrote: View Post
Negotiable for you perhaps, but not me.
You've made your personal opinion clear, but obviously no television show or movie is made to satisfy the tastes of a single individual (aside from its own creator). I'm not talking about me, and I'm certainly not talking about you. I'm talking about the audience in the aggregate, because that's what's relevant when we're talking about the popularity or success of a work of mass entertainment.


If Star Trek had to cut out characters to work in another adaption, wouldn't that mean that something is missing in the adaption?
Well, aside from the fact that the word is adaptation rather than "adaption"... no. The word "adapt" means "change to fit a new context." It is not the purpose of an adaptation to exactly duplicate the original. If you want the original, just read or watch the original! The point of doing an adaptation is to create something that takes the concepts or characters of the original in a new and different direction, that offers a fresh angle or perspective on the ideas. Of course things are going to have to be changed when a work is adapted to a new medium or format. Often, characters will be dropped or added or combined or reinterpreted. It happens all the time.


Likewise if characters like Abomantion, the Leader, Maestro, etc can't work in a TV series, doesn't that mean missing is missing, a big something, if you grew up reading about them?
It's not missing, because it's still there in the original work. The adaptation is a new work, an alternative approach to the basic concept. It's the differences between versions that make them worth having. If they just copied each other exactly, that would be redundant.


But that was just one or two episodes?
The Trickster was in two episodes, yes, but supervillains were used throughout the second half of the series.

Most of the Flash TV show was just bland, I bought the DVD of the show and I think the show was pretty dull. It was not a very good show and that is why it was cancelled after a season what do you think makes it a quality program?
Actually it was cancelled for a variety of reasons, including the high budget it demanded, a bad timeslot that went up against stiff competition on NBC and FOX, and frequent pre-emptions by news reports. (I still remember how annoyed I was that half of the Bill Mumy episode was pre-empted by a half-hour of Dan Rather talking about the minor and ultimately harmless heart problem that then-president Bush had been hospitalized for that day. They cut to the news report at the worst possible moment, just after a gun had gone off between two wrestling characters and before we found out which one had been shot. It was pretty easy to guess, of course, but what an aggravating moment to pre-empt the show!)



Okay, but how many TV live action didn't have to leave things out or change things just to meet a TV budget?
Again, that doesn't matter. If you want something exactly like the comics, then just go read the comics. The point of adapting a work of fiction to a new medium is to attract a new, different audience, to expose the concept and characters to an audience that would never have experienced them in their original form. So of course it's not about pandering solely to the tastes of people who like the original version. It's about creating a new version that appeals to the audience of a different medium. Sure, it's good if you can create something that satisfies existing fans of the original as well as making the concept accessible to new fans, but the latter is usually more important -- particularly when you're adapting something like a comic book, which is read by thousands or at most tens of thousands of people, to TV or movies, which have audiences in the millions or tens of millions.


How many super hero TV shows have had great production values?
In comparison to other television shows of their eras? Several. The Adam West Batman had impressive visuals and production design and very impressive action for a 1960s sitcom, although the third-season budget was slashed and the production suffered. The Bixby Hulk was an elaborate production for its time with extensive location work and heavy stunt work making it a very expensive show. The Flash, as I've said, had cutting-edge VFX from some of the same people who worked on Star Trek: TNG; a superbly designed and executed Flash costume; and great set design. And I was quite impressed by the VFX on the short-lived 1991 Human Target series from the same producers as The Flash -- they did some extraordinary work with split-screen and doubling effects, rivaling the best work along those lines that had ever been done onscreen up to that time.
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Old April 10 2013, 12:37 PM   #51
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Re: Why is DC so far behind Marvel in terms of movies?

Mister Fandango wrote: View Post
Guy Gardener wrote: View Post
It just seems weird to me that regular people wouldn't know who Iron Man or Thor were.
Many of them did. It's the "nerds" who like to pretend that their knowledge is special and unique, and that those pesky normal people are too dim-witted to be aware of their hobbies. It makes them special and unique, you see.
I agree with Iron Man. Every time I hear that Iron Man was only known by nerds, my reaction was "huh?" From my lifetime, he had a 90s cartoon show and he appeared prominently in an episode of the Spiderman cartoon show (along with War Machine). I didn't know his details as well as Spiderman, X-Men, or the Fantastic Four, but I still knew him fairly well.

Thor, on the other hand, I was only vaguely aware of existing. But it helped that I knew the mythological Thor. I think the real test will be the Guardians of the Galaxy because I have no idea who the fuck they are.
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Old April 10 2013, 02:11 PM   #52
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Re: Why is DC so far behind Marvel in terms of movies?

Marvel needed an appropriate antagonist for the Mad Titan.

The obvious choice was a blatant Jesus allegory that would force the righteous indignant lot to look for their torches and pitchforks... Don't poke the bear.

Tony Stark in the movies is still drinking.

AA really should have been hitting up with Marvel to get with the program so that Stark would get with the program so that millions of sheep like Americans would get with the program because a movie told them to.
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Old April 10 2013, 02:52 PM   #53
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Re: Why is DC so far behind Marvel in terms of movies?

The Hulk has always been about smashing stuff and outlandish foes and the like. I always liked the period where Hulk was often in other dimensions and worlds and the like. But there is also the story of Banner and his struggles to keep the beast under control and the series did a good job with that. I understand the desire to have the former but I wouldn't say the series didn't have anything in common with its source material. And we did get to see Hulk smash but his power levels were scaled differently.
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Old April 10 2013, 04:21 PM   #54
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Re: Why is DC so far behind Marvel in terms of movies?

Mister Fandango wrote: View Post
Guy Gardener wrote: View Post
It just seems weird to me that regular people wouldn't know who Iron Man or Thor were.
Many of them did. It's the "nerds" who like to pretend that their knowledge is special and unique, and that those pesky normal people are too dim-witted to be aware of their hobbies. It makes them special and unique, you see.

Nevermind that both Thor and Iron Man was showing up in completely non-genre related places all the time. The most notable example I can think of is Adventures in Babysitting. And as you pointed out, Iron Man had several animated shows going all the way back to the 60s or so.

The same is true for most of DCs bigger heroes, too. Many people know who the Flash, Green Lantern, and Wonder Woman are. They're amongst some of the most universally well-known figures of pop culture around the world, though not quite up there with the likes of Superman... but not some alien, wholly unknown entity limited to a handful of geeks on the internet, either. No matter how much that handful of geeks on the internet desperately wish it were true.
I can't speak for any other nerds, but I find it funny that you consider Adventures in Babysitting a good example of why Thor would be well known by the masses.
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Old April 10 2013, 08:58 PM   #55
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Re: Why is DC so far behind Marvel in terms of movies?

Tosk wrote: View Post
I can't speak for any other nerds, but I find it funny that you consider Adventures in Babysitting a good example of why Thor would be well known by the masses.
I find it more funny that you think that's what I actually said.

I cited that as an example of a "completely unknown" comic book hero appearing in a mainstream movie that had nothing to do with comics, without having any explanation needed as to who he was, what his origins were, or why a little girl would be obsessed with him. (Hint: It's because he's not, nor has he ever been for a good long while, as "completely unknown" as the desperate-to-be-special-for-reasons-no-sane-person-can-comprehend kiddies so deeply wish he was in order to make themselves feel elitist and special.)

On a slightly related topic, I also find it amusing when people assume their own ignorance is the same as the collective ignorance of the masses. I have a friend who, just a few months ago, had no idea who George Takei was. Oh, he's an avid Star Trek fan, could quote entire episodes if you let, but he had no idea who the actor playing Sulu was. When it was pointed out to him, he scoffed and claimed "nobody knows that" and adamantly stuck to his guns.

Kind of the same thing here.
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Old April 10 2013, 09:01 PM   #56
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Re: Why is DC so far behind Marvel in terms of movies?

Crimson Tide had a plot point that depended on a character's knowledge of Silver Surfer comics.
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Old April 10 2013, 09:08 PM   #57
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Re: Why is DC so far behind Marvel in terms of movies?

It's so strange to me when people argue that something can't work in a movie if audiences have no prior familiarity with it. That belief ignores the existence of entirely original movies, or original characters within those movies. Some movies and shows have characters who are fans of real comic book characters like Thor or the Silver Surfer. Other movies and shows have characters who are fans of imaginary works of fiction created for the films, like the way characters in Community (I think that's the one) are fans of Inspector Spacetime. It doesn't matter whether the character has a prior existence in real life, since all that matters is the role the character plays in the story.
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Old April 10 2013, 09:41 PM   #58
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Re: Why is DC so far behind Marvel in terms of movies?

The superhero episode of Glee pissed me off.

They all invented their own generic super heroes, but still dressed up in pvc and capes.

Their entire shit, is that they cover musicians, but they can't cover comics?
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Old April 11 2013, 12:31 AM   #59
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Re: Why is DC so far behind Marvel in terms of movies?

Mister Fandango wrote: View Post
Tosk wrote: View Post
I can't speak for any other nerds, but I find it funny that you consider Adventures in Babysitting a good example of why Thor would be well known by the masses.
I find it more funny that you think that's what I actually said.

I cited that as an example of a "completely unknown" comic book hero appearing in a mainstream movie that had nothing to do with comics, without having any explanation needed as to who he was, what his origins were, or why a little girl would be obsessed with him.
If that was the point you were trying to make, then I apologize for misunderstanding.
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Old April 11 2013, 01:33 AM   #60
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Re: Why is DC so far behind Marvel in terms of movies?

It's probably worth noting that there's a generational factor here. My dad knows Batman and Superman and Captain Marvel (and the Phantom and the Green Hornet and the Shadow, etc.), but didn't have a clue who the X-Men were when the movies came out, because he stopped reading comic books in the 1950s--and certainly wasn't watching animated X-Men cartoons in the nineties or whenever.

Basically, there's a spectrum. On one end, there's the household names like Superman and Spider-Man and Wonder Woman and the Hulk, whom are basically the characters whom even grownups remember from TV. And then there's the characters they have maybe heard of if they have kids who watch cartoons and stuff. Iron Man and Thor and the Silver Surfer and such used to be in that category, prior to becoming movie stars, but not anymore. (I saw Iron Man coloring books at a craft store the other day!)

DC had a generational edge on Marvel for decades, just because Marvel didn't really hit it big until the 1960s, but that advantage has faded as the Golden Age of Comics fades into the misty recesses of memory . . . and folks like my dad are replaced by folks who watched Iron Man cartoons when they were kids.

Times change. Mandrake the Magician used to be a household name. Nowadays, not so much!
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