Mark Millar has never been one to hold his tongue. So he unleashed a mouthful when, during a Yahoo interview, he was asked why Warner Brothers’ DC Comics-based films weren’t hitting the way Marvel’s were.
“I think it’s really simple the characters aren’t cinematic and I say this as a massive DC fan who much prefers their characters to Marvel’s. Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman are some of my favourites but I think these characters, with the exception of Batman, they aren’t based around their secret identity they are based around their super power. Whereas the 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. DC, outside of Batman, is not about the character. With Batman, you can understand him and you can worry about him but someone like Green Lantern, he has this ring that allows him to create 3D physical manifestations and green plasma with the thoughts in his head but he’s allergic to the colour yellow! How do you make a movie with that? In 1952 that made perfect sense but now the audience have no idea what that’s all about.
People will slam me for this but I think the evidence is there. We’ve seen great directors, great writers and great actors, tonnes of money thrown at them, but these films aren’t working. I think they are all too far away from 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.”
Well, perhaps Millar slept through last year when ‘Wonder Woman’ was the third-highest grossing domestic film of the year. And as far as being defined by their powers, I might get hate for this, but take away their powers/gimmicks and the cinematic versions of Iron Man and Doctor Strange are the exact same person.
As for Millar, he created ‘Kick-Ass!’ which became a sleeper hit film and spawned a sequel and has a deal with Netflix to release a string of movies based on his original concepts, so he may know what he’s talking about.
But what do you think? Is Millar on point with his assessment? Are the DC characters simply out of date with modern taste?