(Longest headline ever. I know. Believe it or not, there was a longer version before.)
I can’t seem to find where he did the original interview, but I first say Mark Millar’s comments on the great CBR.com. They didn’t say they had the exclusive and no other site seems to say where he said it first. Good job everyone.
Anyways, Mark Millar created Kick-Ass and Kingsman and also wrote Marvel’s Civil War and DC’s Swamp Thing. Not entirely sure what he’s doing now. Either way, he’s been on both sides of DC and Marvel and no longer attached to either. An actual unbiased source who has a deep understanding of characters. Perfect person to explain why the DCEU is getting massacred by the MCU.
“Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman are some of my favorites, but I think these characters, with the exception of Batman, they aren’t based around their secret identity,” Millar said. “They are based around their super power.
“Whereas Marvel characters tend to be based around the personality of Matt Murdock or Peter Parker or the individual X-Men, it’s all about the character.”
He also added, “I think (DC’s characters) are too far away form when they were created. Something feels a little old about them. Kids look at these characters and they don’t feel that cool. Even Superman, I love Superman, but he belongs to an America that doesn’t exist anymore. He represents 20th Century America, and I think he peaked then.”
Prior to giving DC books a chance, I agreed with Millar 100 PERCENT. I’ve never found Superman all that interesting. He’s honestly more fun as a secondary character. Green Lantern? Aquaman? (Some will hate this but) The Flash to some extent?
I know he threw Wonder Woman in there, too, but I think the DCEU handled her a little more like the MCU handles it’s characters. They could easily do the same with Flash, like in his comics.
But still, the stories with Flash and the other characters are based more around their powers. They’ve made the conscious effort in the books to develop characters’ personalities more, so the same could happen with the movies at some point.
Either way, Millar’s right on with this. These characters are handled so differently than Marvel’s top dogs. Go down the list, the most popular villains, like Magneto, have intense back stories.
Millar highlights Batman as being an exception. Which I also agree with. A LOT of people who just see the movies will still say Batman is their favorite character. Between him being a regular dude and being orphaned at a young age, there’s serious interest.
Which is why I’ve been saying for a while now, DC would be more successful if it built off the Bat Family and Batman’s villains. Consider who you think the top super villains are, both Marvel and DC. Best one’s tend to fight Batman, Spider-Man and the X-Men. Bane and the Joker have proven to be successful options on the big screen. They did Ra’s al Ghul dirty in Batman Begins, but he’s another awesome option on top of Deathstroke (my favorite villain), Catwoman (also been done), Harley Quinn (big hit despite the terrible movie), the list goes on.
You of course have Jason Todd’s Red Hood, too. DC already did a great animated series on the ex-Robin’s rebirth.
Which brings me to the actual Bat Family. Nightwing/Dick Grayson, Red Hood/Jason Todd, Red Robin/Tim Drake, Robin/Damian Wayne, Batgirl/Barbara Gordon and Alfred. That is a LOADED bunch. There’s your foundation. There’s your answer to the Avengers.
A list of complicated characters that’ve grown into a dysfunctional family. Having read EVERYTHING Red Hood and a significant amount of Nightwing, I can tell you there’ve been some seriously in-depth looks at those characters. Then you mix in the Joker or Deathstroke or any other villain that fits the “complex” mold, and you can begin to branch out.
That’s where you start integrating some of these other characters. You bring in Wally West with Nightwing. Helps introduce the Titans or even the Flash. Red Hood could either have Arsenal and Starfire, or Artemis and Bizarro. Artemis brings in Wonder Woman, Bizarro, Superman.
And you wouldn’t ignore the other characters existing — the Supermans and Green Lanterns of the world — but you’d wait on sharing the full story. Keep people wanting more. Or even get a gage if they ACTUALLY want more of a backstory. maybe they’ve gotten enough of where Superman came from. Just treat him like you do Hulk and have him smash stuff.
(Quick aside, I don’t want Gal Gadot or even Henry Cavill and the other Justice League actors out. This is a tough reset, but Flashpoint could help with that, in addition to get rid of the ungrateful Batffleck. That way you move in the right direction and keep the good actors, because I blame them more than the stories.)
And there are extended-Bat Family members that could be integrated in LATER. No reason to forced them down our throats. It gives you options for later.
I may come across as biased, but I’d seriously start with Under the Red Hood. You have five villains — Red Hood, Ra’s Al Ghul, Talia al Ghul, the Joker and Black Mask — and both Batman and Nightwing at your disposal. Could even flashback to Clayface as Jason Todd threatening Tim Drake to introduce him.
Now we’ve got Batman who can go in one direction, Nightwing’s in the mix, Tim Drake is lightly in the mix and Red Hood can stay a villain for a while or turn vigilante. And you’ve got four kick-ass villains who you’ve introduced, but not gone too in-depth with, so you can use them again in some form or fashion again shortly after or down the line.
The Bat Family sets the stable base with strong villains making it easier to mix in other heroes and you develop them further from there, or decide these other DC characters are better suited as sidekick, non-sidekicks to the bat Family or other characters.
There are ways my idea could get ruined, but that’d just be poor execution by the writers, directors or producers. This plan would absolutely work. No doubt in my mind. Would they pass Marvel? Can’t go that far, but they’d certainly be much more successful. Definitely wouldn’t be the but of every nerdy/comic book related joke anymore.