I think it is fair to say that comics currently rule the world. Well, they certainly have had their fair share of worldwide exposure thanks to Hollywood and a plethora of movies. In the past, it was generally accepted that comics were for sweaty, slightly unhinged individuals and that comic movies were gash. Maybe not too far from the truth, if it was still the early nineties. And most of those individuals are probably still reading comics and wearing suits and have corporate jobs (I wasn’t sweaty or unhinged actually). The recent onslaught of movies have for the most part been good or excellent. They pull huge numbers of cinema goers and break every blockbuster record under the sun. Are comic movies here to stay? Yes. Are they going to continue being hugely successful? Yes. However, the long term success of these movies now rests on the shoulders of one company, and it’s not Marvel.
Marvel have shown us the way. They have done an excellent job of creating a universe where their characters can co-exist. Aside from the legal wrangling re X-men, Fantastic 4 and Spider-man, they have pretty much tied themselves up to large and small screen viewings for the next 100 years. We know their formula and it has been good so far. Guardians of the Galaxy is going to try and take a different direction and it may fail (although at the time of writing, it seems to be very well liked critically and by fanboys). Regardless of what happens with Guardians, Marvel will have to nail their next big budget effort. Age of Ultron has to be better than Avengers otherwise it will be deemed a flop.
But that’s Marvel. The real point here is this. DC Comics have to get the Batman Superman: Dawn of Justice film absolutely right otherwise punters (aside from hardcore fans) will decide (and maybe rightfully so) that they have had enough of comics on the big screen. It doesn’t really affect geeks like me. I’ll still read the source material (until I run out of space). I’ll still go and see the movies. But it’s not necessarily comic geeks like me that the studios need to woo. I’m already a convert. Comics are in my blood. So, tune in for part 2 of this post and find out what I think DC have to do to get this right and set the correct course for all future comic franchises.