Friday, June 30, 2017

DCCU, Facing Problem it has Already Solved, Will Probably Make Problem Worse

We live in an amazing time to be a geek. The Marvel Cinematic Universe has created a new blueprint for continuity (or, at the very least, reinvented what Abbot and Costello hath started), and the rest of Hollywood is scrambling to catch up, including Warner Brothers and DC Comics.

Ask anyone who doesn't embrace Superman as a character what their beef is with the Man of Steel, and a large number of them will tell you it's that he's too powerful. What possible crisis can occur that Superman couldn't solve himself, seeing as he's the guy who can invent powers for himself at a whim (like super kissing, turning back time by reversing the Earth's rotation, turning his chest emblem into a kite-prison)? Forget the fact that the Flash is the real overpowered hero in that group (a post for another day), Superman has always been portrayed as unbeatable.

Having "killed" Superman at the end of the cinematic dumpster fire that was (I will never, ever type out in it's entirety ever again, so enjoy it while you can) Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice, the new Justice League movie will supposedly have the league take on Steppenwolf, son of Darkseid, without the Last Son of Krypton.

Shyeah, right. They didn't even let his death stand for the last ten minutes the movie they killed him in, as the last frames show the dirt thrown on his coffin rising up. They just needed him mostly dead so that he didn't just solve the problem and end the invasion within seconds by spinning around fast enough to create an invading army sized vortex or turning his spit curl into a world shattering whip. There are, to my estimation, two methods to prevent Superman from ruining any dramatic tension a movie could have.

1.) Stop giving him ridiculous powers. There is a reason in the comics for Superman to have whatever powers he needs to end a crisis: some Golden Age comic writers were lazy hacks. Do a Google search for Superman's ridiculous powers, and bask in the glory that is "hand-borne miniature duplicates."

2.) Let his death have lasting consequences. In the comics, the death of Superman was far more dramatic, as it was set up for weeks of issues featuring Doomsday slaughtering every hero who stood up to him, and the titanic final battle was suitably epic. And, as expected, Superman returned eventually (after four imposters made everyone guess who was the real Superman before revealing the answer was E. None of the Above), but he was drastically weaker. He actually needed Kryptonian Battle Armor to engage in his daring doing.

Sidebar: If Superman has Kryptonian Battle Armor that allows him to be nearly indestructible for the brief period of time that he isn't naturally so, why the Hell doesn't he loan that shit out to his friends that aren't immortal demigods? Selfish prick. End Sidebar.

So why spend 90% of the movie having the Justice League get wiped up by Steppenwolf's Parademons only to have Superman rise from the dead and turn the tide with his seismic crotch-thrusting or whatever other ridiculous power they give him? Why not have Supes show up at the very beginning, and when everyone marvels at how indestructible he is, have him reveal that his "death" has severely reduced his power levels? Maybe he can now only leap tall buildings in a single bound, rather than just fly. Maybe he is just really durable rather than bulletproof. Maybe he can only lift a tank, rather than an entire continent. Maybe he can only shoot lasers out of his eyes for brief bursts that drain his solar energy. Maybe a hundred other different ways they can make him vulnerable and unable to resolve world ending crisises...es.... with a snap of his fingers.

No, they won't do that. By the end of the picture they will have him hoisting the planet over his shoulder with a knowing wink of his time-displacing eye lashes, and DC will be right back where they started from.

  

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