Hit Comics Properties that Became Movie Flops — Steel and Spawn

The seeds of this week’s superhero movie rewatch—both 1997 releases—were sown in 1992.

At DC, there were four monthly titles starring Superman: Action Comics, The Adventures of Superman, Man of Steel, and Superman. In ’92, “The Death of Superman” was the major storyline running through all four titles, culminating in the man of steel’s death at the hands of Doomsday. Four heroes took on the mantle of Superman following his death, one in each of those titles. In Man of Steel by Louise Simonson & Jon Bogdanove, they focused on John Henry Irons, a ballistics expert who created a suit of armor and called himself Steel.

At Marvel, several of the company’s most popular artists—Jim Lee, Rob Liefeld, Marc Silvestri, Erik Larsen, and Todd McFarlane—left Marvel to form their own creator-owned company, Image Comics. McFarlane’s contribution to Image’s first wave of titles was a dark hero known ...

Can Anything Save the DC Expanded Universe From Itself?

dceu_cover “Hate” is probably not the best word for what I feel toward the DC Expanded Universe, but it’s close. I’d say I’m really somewhere between searing disdain, deep frustration, and weary resignation, none of which are emotions any studio would want associated with their tentpole brand. The problems with the DCEU are bigger than just three crappy movies. What failed in Man of Steel was repeated in Batman v Superman and Suicide Squad and will likely continue to fail in Wonder Woman and beyond. Warner Bros. knows they need to retool their format, but whether they can, and what shape it will take if they do, depends entirely on how much course-correcting new DC division co-runners Geoff Johns and Jon Berg can do between now and Diana’s solo film. They have an uphill battle, that’s for sure. So let’s dig in to see where the DCEU went wrong and what, ...

That Loud, Messy Sound is the DC Cinematic Universe Finding Its Voice

SuicideSquad01 If you haven’t seen Suicide Squad yet, you should consider going. It’s the most interesting failure you’ll see this year: two tonally unique cuts of the same movie Frankensteined together by a studio that seems, these days, to panic at the first sign of trouble. It’s especially weird because both cuts share the same issues and the same strengths. The female characters, Amanda Waller aside, are thinly written to the point of invisibility and/or offensiveness—Katana, in particular, is absolutely wasted. The second act twist, however, works really well, and the moral grey areas the movie lives in come across very strongly throughout. The film veers wildly from intensely grim superhero/soldier noir to bloody-knuckled glee and back again, but way more of it works than you might have been led to believe. The standouts—Will Smith, Viola Davis, and Joel Kinnaman—are all in top form, but the entire cast is ludicrously strong. ...

Revisiting Man of Steel in the Wake of Batman v Superman


Love it, loathe it, or wonder why the rest of it couldn’t have been as great as the Wonder Woman scenes, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is now loosed upon the world. I saw it last week and it’s an interesting movie, far more for what it isn’t as what it is. While it begins in the ruins of Metropolis that Man of Steel created, it’s a very different creature when compared to the previous movie—not just because of the expanded cast or world building but the often very dour tone.

Whether that tonal shift helps the film or not is something the internet is gleefully debating right now. But what I found interesting was how much it helps Man of Steel. I rewatched that before Dawn of Justice and it’s a very different, and in many ways much better, movie than I remember.

A lot of its best ...