Last week, I read Supergods: What Masked Vigilantes, Miraculous Mutants, And A Sun God From Smallville Can Teach Us About Being Human, by Grant Morrison.
It was definitely an interesting read. I struggled through the last third though. The thing is, the book is meant to be half history, half memoir, the kind of thing I normally adore. But while Morrison does an amazing job of putting a razor sharp historical perspective to the origins of the superheroes, but when it comes to the eras (multiple, he kicks that much ass) that he was an active part of, he resorts to navel gazing. It isn’t that I’m not interested in his strange Eat, Pray, Love style personal experiences with drugs and religion and writing Justice League of America, I mean, it’s fascinating, but it’s not the book I got invested in from the beginning, you know?
Anyway, that’s not what I’m going to write about right now.
It’s about the formation of the Marvel Universe and the DC Multiverse and how the formation of their respective movie universes are developing differently from each other, but kind of the same as their comic book counterparts.
The Marvel Comic Universe happened on purpose. It was the deliberate brainchild of Stan Lee, Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko. They planned it. Those characters were made to interact with one another. Except perhaps for Captain America, they were all created and put together at the same time. Like the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which started with Iron Man, there was always a plan.
After Iron Man, came Hulk, and Thor, and Captain America: The First Avenger, all ending in the ultimate culmination of what this all could be, The Avengers. As much as I love Batman, and The X-Men, The Avengers remains the pinnacle of the new era of superheroes, that Morrison touches on but doesn’t really talk about, the cinematic era. The Dark Knight, X2: X-Men United and X-Men: First Class are great films. They tell impactful and wonderful stories. But The Avengers meant something different than they did. (To read more on what I have to say on the subject check out my large scale musical theater comparison, The Avengers is Evita, where as The Dark Knight is Company, they are both going to leave serious marks on the genre, but one to people who really care about the art, and the other on the general public.)
The DC Multiverse was different. Over time, one company acquired several independent characters and imprints and realized that weaving them together would be profitable. Already, when it comes to DC adaptations we have the DCAU, The Burtonverse (which includes Tim Burton and Joel Schumaker’s films), Earth-16 (YOUNG JUSTICE!), the Smallville universe, the Arrow universe, whatever the hell they decide to do with Green Lantern, (Despite the movie’s horribleness, I would not be opposed to Ryan Reynolds coming back as Hal Jordan with Ben Affleck and Henry Cavill in a Justice League movie. He was a good casting choice who got screwed by a bad movie, much like George Clooney and Chris O’Donnell before him.), and the new official DCFU that kicked off with Man of Steel and will continue with Man of Steel 2: Batfleck.
Basically, DC is trying to patch it together, like they did before. The thing is, they did a pretty good job before, putting it together (Haha! More Sondheim references! I will make ALL THE SONDHEIM REFERENCES!)
So it’ll probably be pretty good.