Also, Marvel has had mixed luck in trying to pass the torch to a new generation of more diverse characters on the comics side. Some, like Afro-Latino Spider-Man Miles Morales, have been warmly received, but others, like new Hulk Amadeus Cho and teen Iron Man successor Riri Williams, have received far less nurturing from the publisher. Too often, these new characters are introduced amidst the usual internet ballyhoo, but after 10-20 issues, they're quietly pushed into supporting roles so that Bruce Banner can continue his sad monologuing without distraction.
Meanwhile, DC has a somewhat better track record with these transitions, with Green Lantern John Stewart and Blue Beetle Jaime Reyes being fan favorites. Heck, the latest Martian Manhunter series gives the character a new black alter ego, and nobody's batted an eyelash. Not that diversity is a competition; it's just that the landscape is clearly changing, and DC seems more ready for it.
Related: 4 Signs DC Comics Has No Clue How To Make Superhero Movies
Zack Snyder's Mishaps Could Be A Long-Term Benefit
Zack Snyder managing to make a boring movie about Batman and Superman punching each other is a fuck-up of staggering, historical significance. But let me ask you: Why was Marvel the one to kick off the cinematic universe thing? DC was the first to have success at the box office, with Superman in 1978 and Batman in 1989, and they haven't been plagued with the rights issues that have overshadowed Marvel like the specter of death. The reason is simple: You don't need a universe when you've got goddamn Batman and Superman.
If Man Of Steel and Batman v. Superman had been critical darlings and maybe pulled in a few hundred million more each, would we have had a billion-dollar Aquaman movie in 2018? Doubtful. Would we have interesting, varied stuff like Shazam!, Birds Of Prey, Plastic Man, a goddamn Aquaman spinoff, and that Joaquin Phoenix Joker movie in the works? Even more doubtful. Would we have the human emotion known as joy? No. None.
Don't forget, it wasn't a mainstream franchise like Spider-Man or X-Men that launched the MCU; it was Marvel's perpetual mid-tier drunk uncle Iron Man. Batman and Superman taking a time out means Warner Bros. needed to delve a little deeper into DC's bench, and as Aquaman shows, the audience is game for this.
Make no mistake, though, B&S are only taking a temporary hiatus. Sure, Snyder burst into the Cinematic Universe Saloon, promptly shot himself in both feet, fell through the front window, and got kicked in the junk by his own horse (all in slow motion), but Batman and Superman are still two very potent bullets in WB's chamber. However, the fact that they're momentarily retired forces DC to be daring and creative for once, rather than lighting up the ol' Bat signal again and hoping giant paychecks fall in their laps. Even in the world of big-budget superhero movies, getting out of your comfort zone can make all the difference.
Nathan Birch is a professional writer of trivial things. Keep up with his latest nonsense at his website or by following him on Twitter.
Support our site with a visit to our Contribution Page. Please and thank you.
For more, check out Wonder Woman Has Changed The DC Universe (Spoilers):
The first-ever Cracked Podcast LIVE TOUR is coming to a city near (some of) you this spring! Tickets on sale now for Chicago IL (April 11th) and St. Paul MN (April 12th).
Follow us on Facebook. Because you're the hero we NEED right now.