With the issues Marvel has had with villains, how will DC fare with it’s all-villain ensemble Suicide Squad?
Disney CEO Bob Iger mentioned today that he thinks the Marvel Cinematic Universe “will go on forever”. This is great news for anyone who can’t get enough of heroes on the big screen. But if you’re worried about the excessive comic universe wearing thin, this isn’t the most comforting approach. When Iron Man came out we were blown away by this strange new kind of movie. We knew the character on paper, saw him drawn different ways, but now we could him on the big screen. That for many was the birth of this comic book movie phenomena we know now.
Eleven or so movies down, and you’d be forgiven for getting out of breath or a little tired of this expanding Marvel universe. Sequel after sequel of big hitters are threatening to get a bit stale. Not only that, but with Marvel having more pull on movie development, the blockbusters are all starting to look a little similar. Watching from the start to the end feels like a scooby-doo running sequence and it starts getting difficult to know when the dark elves end and Thanos begins.
You could argue that there’s one fundamental problem with Marvel films: the villains. Now they’re not all bad – I like Loki, I liked Red Skull, I was even a fan of Iron Monger. But 3 or 4 good villains over 12 films is pretty poor. Marvel appear to be spending a lot of time of the main character, and the villain is often a plot tool and nothing more. Loki is really the only villain with a good amount of screen time and back story. Sure, Red Skull may come back but Hugo Weaving has stated he would not be playing the character again, so it’s doubtful he will be back in a big role.
This leads on to DC. I’ll be selfish and admit I am more of a DC fan, and able to probably name more DC villains then Marvel. In DC’s “first” foray in the expanded universe – Man of Steel – they went in all guns blazing with Zod, played by Michael Shannon. Now here was a well conceived baddie. He had a lot of three-dimensional passion and was an integral part to the story. There was a great fan response to how Zod died at the end, with people writing huge pieces about how Superman can’t kill etc. So when has Marvel generated such a reaction?
Suicide Squad is a big gamble by DC, a film centred on Villains, some known, some not so known. These characters will obviously have parts in future DC properties, with an established back story and more screen time than most Marvel villains.
I am hopeful that DC can learn for Marvel’s mistakes, keep a running theme, but stop the carbon copy films. I want a villain centred film, a lighter toned film, a serious one.
Suicide Squad hits theatres August 5th, 2016. Watch this space for all the latest Suicide Squad movie news.