Comic book writer Mark Millar offers his opinion regarding the MCU/DCEU rivalry that plagues the online world, sharing that from his perspective, it boils down to DC heroes as “cinematic” as their Marvel counterparts.
A recent study showed why Marvel movies perform better than DC movies, revealing that people are more emotionally attached to Marvel heroes than DC Comics superheroes, giving them a reason to continue seeing MCU films just for the sake of learning where their favorite heroes end up. Clearly, everyone has their own preference regarding this supposed rivalry, but it’s interesting to see what Millar’s take is on the matter considering that he’s written written for both comic publishers for long periods of time, as well as having created his own famous stories.
In an interview with Yahoo! Movies, Mark Millar (Kingsman, Civil War) weighed in on the superhero movie franchise rivalry explaining why he thinks the MCU is raking in accolades, while the DCEU is struggling.
“I think it’s really simple, the characters aren’t cinematic, and I say this as a massive DC fan who much prefers their characters to Marvel’s. Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman are some of my favorites, but I think these characters, with the exception of Batman, they aren’t based around their secret identity; they are based around their super power. Whereas the Marvel characters tend to be based around the personality of Matt Murdock or Peter Parker, or the individual X-Men, it’s all about the character. DC, outside of Batman, is not about the character. With Batman, you can understand him and you can worry about him but someone like Green Lantern, he has this ring that allows him to create 3D physical manifestations and green plasma with the thoughts in his head but he’s allergic to the color yellow! How do you make a movie with that? In 1952, that made perfect sense, but now the audience have no idea what that’s all about.
“People will slam me for this, but I think the evidence is there. We’ve seen great directors, great writers and great actors, tonnes of money thrown at them, but these films aren’t working. I think they are all too far away from when they were created. Something feels a little old about them, kids look at these characters and they don’t feel that cool. Even Superman, I love Superman, but he belongs to an America that doesn’t exist anymore. He represents 20th Century America, and I think he peaked then.”
It’s an interesting way to angle why DC is seemingly having a hard time launching their cinematic franchise compared to Marvel. Then again, most of these heroes were created decades ago, and if Marvel can make Captain America a character worth seeing on the big screen, then DC can do the same with Superman. At this point, if fans can be emotionally invested in a talking raccoon and a sentient tree, they could also all get behind an alien, immortal god, whose only real weakness is a piece of substance from his home planet. The key, however, is finding the right narrative to present audiences.
Not everyone will agree with Millar, but that doesn’t mean there might not be some truth in there. Patty Jenkins was able to find a way to make Diana Prince/Wonder Woman compelling, despite her being an Amazon god. While many people were invested in Henry Cavill’s Superman, as well as where Zack Snyder envision Superman’s story going, a series of unfortunate circumstances led to that vision being aborted. Hopefully, with new leadership, DC Films can make all the necessary changes to ensure substantial success for the DCEU going forward.
Source: Yahoo! Movies