Today Greg Berlanti’s DC journey has come full circle. The big announcement about HBOMax, Warner Bros’ entry into the overcrowded world of streaming services, included news about another Berlanti DC Comics show – he will be creating a Green Lantern series. That particular property is significant because it’s the one where Berlanti entered the DC Extended Universe… and it was a major failure.Continue reading “Berlanti Triumphant”
Marvel set up their cinematic universe in phases. The first phase was leading up to The Avengers; the financing deal the then-fledgling studio got would allow them to make The Avengers pretty much no matter what, although they had contingency plans in case the solo movies bombed (there had been talk of releasing the movie as an Iron Man sequel, for instance).
Since then the phases have been largely delineated by the Avengers movies, with the solo films swirling around and leading into the next team-up movie. It has, to put it mildly, worked. The planning has not been impeccable, but it has been strong enough so far to overcome director changes and the vagaries of public interest.
The DCEU (DC Extended Universe, what the fans call the DC Comics Movieverse) has not been so lucky. The DCEU has seemed like a cinematic encapsulation of the phrase “Man plans, God laughs.” Looking to compete with the MCU, DC’s parent company Warner Bros in 2014 announced an ambitious slate of superhero films… and the wheels started falling off almost immediately. Two of the films from that slate – Justice League, Part Two and Cyborg, are functionally gone. Another, The Flash, is supposedly happening, but has been plagued with the kind of director turnover that can only be attributable to the production office being built on a cursed burial ground. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice was savaged by critics and came up short at the box office. Justice League was destroyed by critics and audiences, and was essentially a bomb, not only failing to crack the gold standard one billion dollars worldwide, but actually earning less than every previous DCEU film.
There’s a lot of Krypton retcon happening these days.
Let’s start with the world of comics, since there’s big news there: Brian Michael Bendis, one of the most Marvel-associated writers of the past few decades, has jumped ship to DC. After redefining Spider-Man and inventing Jessica Jones he was tempted away by the chance to write Superman, and who can blame him?
His first issue is out this week, Man of Steel #1, the beginning of a weekly Superman saga. The issue itself is… fine? In true Bendis fashion the whole issue feels like a prologue, or like the first five pages of a more complete comic book, but he loves that decompressed storytelling, so we get three pages of Superman meeting a new fire chief. It also introduces a new villain to the Superman mythos, one who seems to have a connection to the destruction of Krypton.