Tag Archives: Ghost Rider

Worst Comic Book Character Portrayals

While there have been many truly incredible portrayals of characters in comic book movies and television series, there have also been more than a few absolute clunkers. Some of these aren’t necessarily the actor’s fault; they were just written horribly, given awful dialogue, or were stuck with crappy plots. But whatever the reason, they still flopped. Here are my worst of the worst.

25. Iron Fist (Finn Jones) – Iron Fist

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Netflix’s Iron Fist isn’t very good. It lacks an identity, has subpar fight choreography for a show about a Kung Fu master, and the worst thing about it is the lead. There’s literally nothing interesting about Danny Rand. He comes across as whiny and immature. For someone that’s supposed to be a “living weapon”, I wasn’t blown away by his fighting ability. In fact, I’d take Charlie Cox’s Daredevil over his Iron Fist any day.

24. Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) – X-Men First Class, X-Men: Days of Future Past, X-Men:Apocalypse

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Jennifer Lawrence is a fine actress and seems quite likable as a person, but her portrayal of Mystique is so inconsistent. Her motivations and characterization seem to change from movie to movie, and are whatever the writer needed her to be in that story.

23. Ghost Rider (Nicholas Cage) – Ghost Rider, Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance 

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Ghost Rider would be a very easy character to make silly and over-the-top, and Nicholas Cage didn’t even attempt to play it otherwise. He’s already known for being quite the over-actor, and it’s on full display here, complete with terrible puns and one-liners.

22.  Dr. Doom (Toby Kebbell) – Fantastic Four

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Will we ever get a good Dr. Doom in a live action movie? Hollywood writers just can’t seem to understand the things that make the character great and compelling. Sadly, another entrance in a long line of failed attempts at bringing Victor Von Doom to life.

21. Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) – Thor, Thor: The Dark World

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Natalie Portman reportedly hated being in Marvel movies, and it shows. For such a talented actress, her performance is flat and uninteresting. She also has zero charisma with Chris Hemsworth, making for a very blah love story.

20. Batman (Ben Affleck) – Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Suicide Squad, Justice League

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If there’s anyone that clearly hates playing their role in a comic movie more than Natalie Portman, it’s Ben Affleck when he dons the cape and cowl. He seems like he’d literally rather be anywhere but making these movies. With the quality of the 3 DC movies he’s been in, I can’t entirely blame him.

19. Colossus (Daniel Cudmore) – X2: X-Men United, X-Men: The Last Stand , X-Men: Days of Future Past

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One of several prominent X-Men characters that are supposed to be from countries other than the US that are passed off as American in the films. Piotr Rasputin, otherwise known as Colossus, is supposed to be from Russia, yet there’s no hint of a Russian accent on him whatsoever. And for a character whose power is to turn his skin into organic steel, we actually see him transform once for all of about 15 seconds in 3 movies.

18. Electro (Jamie Foxx) – The Amazing Spider-Man 2

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Another example of a good actor being stuck in a crappy role. Completely devoid of interest, and despite what was clearly meant to be a sympathetic role, you don’t even feel sorry for the guy because he’s so badly written.

17. Sebastian Shaw (Kevin Bacon) – X-Men: First Class

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Kevin Bacon delivers one of the most one-dimensional performances of his career. You just don’t care about his character whatsoever, nor is the character anything close to resembling his comic book counterpart.

16. Storm (Halle Berry) – X-Men, X2: X-Men United, X-Men: The Last Stand, X-Men: Days of Future Past

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Here’s where the “drop the accent” game started in the X-Men franchise. Halle Berry at least attempted an inconsistent one in the first film, but then dropped it all together in the second movie on. Spoiler alert: this isn’t the only time Ms. Berry will be appearing on this list. I promise I’m not picking on her as a performer in general…just in comic movies apparently.

15. Apocalypse (Oscar Isaac) – X-Men: Apocalypse

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Everything about this take on Marvel’s first mutant falls completely flat. Poorly acted. Poorly written. Poorly designed. Even his plans and motivations don’t make sense. Severely disappointing as I love Apocalypse in the comics and had high hopes for him here.

14. Mary Jane Watson (Kirsten Dunst) – Spider-Man, Spider-Man 2, Spider-Man 3

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Could they have made audiences care less about the love interest of the hero? Mary Jane is supposed to be a constant, grounding force in Peter Parker’s otherwise tumultuous life, but here she’s flighty, annoying, and really serves no other purpose than damsel in distress and creating relationship drama…bouncing around between 7 different relationships in 3 movies.

13. Diamondback (Erik LaRay Harvey) – Luke Cage

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I am unfamiliar with Harvey’s work outside of Luke Cage, but I seriously hope it’s better than what we got in the Marvel Netflix series. Tries way too hard to come across as a cool villain, but it doesn’t work at all. Just rather boring to be honest, especially in the shadow of Mahershala Ali’s brilliant performance as Cottonmouth.

12. Elektra (Jennifer Garner) – Daredevil, Elektra

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There’s plenty to hate about the Daredevil movie, and Jennifer Garner’s bland turn as Elektra is definitely one of them. For a character that’s supposed to be exotic and enticing to Matt Murdock, she gives a performance about as compelling as watching paint dry. Oh and on the topic of being exotic, they claim she’s Greek (as she’s supposed to be), yet she makes no attempt to speak with an accent.

11. Gambit (Taylor Kitsch) – X-Men Origins: Wolverine

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Much like Daredevil, there’s a lot to hate about X-Men Origins: Wolverine, a stupid story with plot holes big enough to fly the X-Jet through being first and foremost, but it also contains some of the absolute worst comic character portrayals ever (there’s another to come on this list). A primary example of writers shoehorning a character into a story that he had no business being in…and the version we got has very little in common with his comic counterpart other than his name. Gambit is known for his silver-tongued charm and razor sharp wit, yet Kitsch plays him with all the charisma of a coma patient…and seriously, why doesn’t his staff explode like everything else when he charges it with kinetic energy?

10. Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg) – Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

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Oh, the DCEU and their consistent misunderstanding of their own properties. Whiny, neurotic, and just plain stupid…that’s really the only way I can describe this version of Superman’s nemesis. And talk about idiotic motivations: Luthor wants to show the world how dangerous Superman is, so he creates Doomsday, which is even more powerful and dangerous…um, what?

9. The Joker (Jared Leto) – Suicide Squad 

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Easily the DCEU’s biggest bomb as a character is Leto’s pseudo-Joker (I refuse to refer to that as the actual Joker). Before I trash his utterly stupid look (which I’m going to), I’ll focus on the actual performance. It’s bad. Just plain bad. Not once did I believe I was watching the Clown Prince of Crime. His motivations are counter to those of the actual Joker, who would never have attempted to break Harley out prison. He would have let her rot until she found her own way out. Ok now for his appearance: what on Earth made them think that THAT is a look people wanted? This “Joker” looks like he’s a douchy rapper that’s part of a drug cartel, who just got some stupid tats in prison, and is on his way to a crappy Avenged Sevenfold concert. Oooo…how “dark and gritty”…

8. The Mandarin (Ben Kingsley) – Iron Man 3

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Speaking of pseudo characters. What was meant to be the MCU’s greatest plot twist ended up being nothing more than its biggest middle finger to comic book fans. Turning Iron Man’s nemesis into a fake and nothing but a distraction from the “real” villain, was a giant “F you” to longtime readers who were excited to see this major villain brought to life.

7. Juggernaut (Vinnie Jones) – X-Men: The Last Stand 

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If there’s one thing 20th Century Fox knows better than making terrible Fantastic Four movies, it’s delivering awful performances in its X-Men franchise, and sadly this isn’t the worst. A cheap rubber muscle suit and a stupid-looking helmet that’s purpose is never explained in the movie, so he just runs around with a trashcan on his head for the sake of looking dumb. Also, Cain Marko is not a mutant, yet he’s somehow effected by Leech’s power draining ability?

6. Bane (Jeep Swenson) – Batman & Robin 

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The first of 3 craptacular portrayals from Joel Schumacher’s equally awful Batman & Robin, making up half of the top 6. Take one of Batman’s most brilliant and strategic enemies and turn him into a mindless monster just because he’s big. Great choice. *insert eye roll*

5. Venom (Topher Grace) – Spider-Man 3

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You can tell that Sam Raimi didn’t want Venom in this movie, but was forced to by Avi Arad (former head of Marvel), as he gave the character no direction or seemingly any thought. Totally unbelievable as an antagonist. Why does the symbiote make Eddie Brock bigger, but didn’t Peter Parker? Why did it latch on to Brock and mutate immediately since he didn’t have adrenal cancer like he did in the comic? The only thing worse than Venom in this movie is watching the My Chemical Romance version of Peter Parker dance.

4. Catwoman (Halle Berry) – Catwoman 

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Here I am to crap on Halle Berry again. Everything about this role is bad. The acting, the writing, the direction, the costume…all of it. I appreciate the attempted homage to Eartha Kitt’s Catwoman from the 1960’s Batman television series, but the cheesiness and camp are just too much and it comes across like a B-movie performance.

3. Mr. Freeze (Arnold Schwarzenegger) – Batman & Robin

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But no one out camps Arnold’s turn as Mr. Freeze. Seriously, 75% of his dialogue is cold puns. One at the right moment would have been acceptable and might have gotten a little chuckle, but not a constant bombardment of “chill out’s” and “everybody freeze’s”. It really makes you hate a villain that should actually be one of the most sympathetic antagonists in comic movies.

2. Batman (George Clooney) – Batman & Robin 

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The final entrant in my dump on Batman & Robin trilogy. Completely unbelievable as Batman. Not even a decent Bruce Wayne. All the things that make Batman special are absent and quite frankly not things that Clooney is capable of pulling off. He was cast simply because he was a hot name.

1. Deadpool (Scott Adkins) – X-Men Origins: Wolverine 

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Here we are: the worst of the worst of the worst. Take everything about Deadpool that makes him unique and special and compelling…Hell take literally EVERYTHING away. Instead of kitanas, slap on some blades that pop out of his forearms like he’s freaking Baraka from Mortal Kombat. Instead of guns, have him shoot lasers out of his eyes. Instead of being a mercenary, make him a science experiment and slave. Oh and sew his mouth shut. Wouldn’t want the Merc with the Mouth to actually talk. Because I mean, come on…a source material faithful Deadpool would NEVER work…oh…wait…

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Werewolves and Vampires and Zombies. Oh My!

It’s October. Which means one of my favorite holidays is right around the corner, Halloween. I love Halloween. The costumes, the candy, and a little good old fashioned scariness all come together to make for a great season (because seriously it’s more than just one day). With spookiness and supernatural roots being part of the core of the season, what better time to highlight some of the greater supernatural characters in comics. I tried to steer clear of characters that dealt specifically with magic (John Constantine, Dr. Strange, Zatanna, etc.) and those who are the product of science experiments gone wrong (Swamp Thing, Morbius the Living Vampire), and instead focused on those that have more true supernatural origins and abilities. Let’s take a look at some of the characters that go bump in the night.

 

Spawn (Image)

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Arguably the most popular character on the list, especially at his peak. When Al Simmons dies and is sent to Hell for his sins, he was granted powers from Malebolgia (essentially Satan) with the intent on him becoming his greatest weapon against Heaven. Simmons rebels against Malebolgia and becomes a very violent anti-hero instead.

 

Blade (Marvel)

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Marvel’s half-human/half-vampire. After his pregnant mother was bitten by a vampire, he was gifted with the strength, speed, and stamina of a vampire (but also the hunger for human blood), without the weaknesses against daylight, garlic, and holy water. Blade decides to use his abilities to rid the world of vampires.

 

The Spectre (DC)

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Chosen as the Spirit of Vengeance after his brutal death during a robbery, Jim Corrigan is one of the more powerful beings in all of DC Comics. He is for all intents and purposes omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent with the ability to change reality. One of the few characters uneffected by DC’s multiple continuity resets, retaining knowledge of all of the realities that existed before.

 

Werewolf By Night (Marvel)

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As the name would suggest, Jack Russell, due to a family curse, transforms into a mindless werewolf during a full moon. However, he can also voluntarily transform outside of the full moon, and during these times he retains his human intellect. Much like Blade, Werewolf By Night uses his abilities to defend mankind by fighting against the forces of darkness.

 

Solomon Grundy (DC)

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DC Comic’s resident zombie. When Cyrus Gold was murdered in a swamp, he was reborn as a monstrous, almost mindless undead creature. Taking on the name Solomon Grundy after the nursery rhyme, he returns to the life of crime he had lived before his death. Mostly an enemy to the Green Lantern, he has also been a major villain in the Batman comics as well.

 

Ghost Rider (Marvel)

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Stunt-rider Johnny Blaze is fused with the demon Zarathos after a deal with hell dimension ruler Mephisto goes wrong. Blaze transforms into a skeleton wreathed in flame when in the presence of evil. Cursed to punish the wicked, he is one of the more violent and merciless anti-heroes Marvel Comics has to offer.

 

Deadman (DC)

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When trapeze artist Boston Brand is murdered during a performance, his spirit is imparted the ability to possess the body of any sentient being by the Hindu god Rama Kushna in order to seek justice. After doing so, he continues on as a force for good among the dark. When in ghost form he is able to become invisible, intangible, and can fly.

 

Moon Knight (Marvel)

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After being betrayed and left for dead in the Egyptian desert by his parter, mercenary Marc Spector is given the chance to survive from the Egyptian god Knoshu by becoming his avatar on Earth. He takes the opportunity, avenges his attempted murder, and begins fighting crime as the vigilante Moon Knight. With his sanity connected inseparably to the moon and its phases, the fuller the moon, the more violent and erratic he becomes.

 

 

Quick Shots From Comic-Con – Part 2

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Wrapping up the coverage of the major news coming out of Comic-Con 2016.

Captain Marvel casting –

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After months of speculation, and several women throwing their hat into the ring including former UFC Banthamweight Champion Ronda Rousey, Marvel finally announced who would be playing the titular character in their first female-led film: Brie Larson! Before she the casting was announced, MCU veteran Chris Evans had given his endorsement of her for the gig, which certainly helps her credibility. While I’m not overly familiar with her work, I’m optimistic about her potential to bring Carol Danvers to life. Marvel rarely misses when it comes to casting.

 

Justice League sizzle reel –

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While Wonder Woman amazed with its trailer, the sizzle reel for Justice League was a rather big disappointment. I get that DC is trying to lighten up the feeling of the universe after the overly serious nature of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, but the footage was just too focused on humor. Bruce Wayne was particularly jokey. And why is the most paranoid member of the Justice League revealing to each potential member that he’s Batman?  I also appreciate that they’re trying to make Aquaman seem more badass, but let’s face it, he’s still one of the lamest superheroes imaginable.

 

Ghost Rider on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

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When a train in San Diego was seen with an Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. advertisement that seemed to contain a fiery chain, speculation ran wild that Ghost Rider might be headed to the Marvel television property. That speculation was affirmed at Comic-Con, when it was announced that the Spirit of Vengeance would in fact be a major part of Season 4. While I am slightly disappointed that the version that will be present on the show won’t be Johnny Blaze, but the All-New Marvel’s Roberto Reyes, I completely understand and support their decision to bring in a minority character. AoS might have already been the most diverse show on television, and it’s going to be even more so now. That’s not a bad thing. I am a little surprised that Ghost Rider didn’t end up on Netflix, where his violent nature would seem to fit in better. But I’m still very much looking forward to seeing the character come home to the MCU.

 

Spider-Man: Homecoming concept art –

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It’s not much, but the concept art reveal for Spider-Man: Homecoming was still exciting. Spider-Man is and always has been my favorite comic character, so it doesn’t take much to get my anticipation up for anything regarding Ol’ Web-Head. Tom Holland was absolutely incredible in his small role in Captain America: Civil War, and I can’t wait to see him in a starring role. But this gave us our first look at the upcoming film’s big bad, Vulture. I’m glad they took a different approach with his flying suit to make it stand out from Falcon’s. And Michael Keaton playing the part gives the role a definite epicness.

5 Characters I Want to See In the MCU…And Who Should Play Them

Even with new Marvel Cinematic Universe projects being announced over the last few years, there are still several characters that have yet to be seen in Marvel’s ever-expanding interconnected universe. A couple of the characters on this list are all but guaranteed to show up eventually as they are villains for an iconic hero set to have his first solo outing in the MCU next year. But I still want to see them finally done right. With each charater, I’ve also listed who my dream casting would be. What other characters would you like to see in the MCU? Do you have a better casting in mind for any of these? Let me know in the comments.

Green Goblin – Jason Isaacs

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The Green Goblin is my all-time favorite villain (probably because Spider-Man is my all-time favorite comic character). While Willem Dafoe did well in his portrayal of Norman Osborn, I couldn’t help but feel like there was something missing: menace. Jason Isaacs, having already brought Lucius Malfoy and Captain Hook to life, can undoubtedly play a villain well. He also can convey menace as well as anyone in the business. As Green Goblin is Spidey’s nemesis, I’m sure we’ll see him sooner rather than later, but I just can’t wait to see him as part of the MCU and feel like Isaacs would be perfect for the role.

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Venom – Tom Hardy

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Another Spider-Man villain that appeared in the Wall-Crawler’s original trilogy. Where Green Goblin was actually done pretty well in that series, Venom was not. Hardly resembling the character from the comics, Eddie Brock was shown as a small, weakling of a man that was almost dwarfed by Tobey Maguire’s Peter Parker. This is not supposed to be the case. Eddie Brock is a massive individual that should dwarf Spider-Man even without the symbiote. This is why I think Tom Hardy would play this part so well. He proved in his role as Bane in The Dark Knight Rises that he can put on large amounts of muscle mass for a part. Then add in that he’s just an incredible actor as well, and you have a can’t miss casting for Venom.

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Moon Knight – Jensen Ackles

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Easily one of the most under appreciated, under marketed heroes in all of comics, Moon Knight needs a movie franchise or television series yesterday. The characters is tailor made to be part of the darker, grittier corner of the MCU on Netflix. Jensen Ackles, best known for his role as Dean on Supernatural, would be perfect for the role. A rather underrated asset himself, Ackles would be bring a genuineness and touch of humor to a role that could very easily be made overly serious, and could pull off the badass quality that is a must for Moon Knight. On top of that, he also bears a remarkable resemblance to Moon Knight’s alter ego, Marc Spector.

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Ghost Rider – Josh Holloway

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Stuck with the terrible taste in my mouth from the awful Nicholas Cage-fronted Ghost Rider movie franchise, I’m ready to see Johnny Blaze represented properly. Ghost Rider is an extremely compelling character in the comic world. So the MCU counterpart should be shown as such. Not the pun-spewing, blandness we got before. I’m torn on where the Ghost Rider should be though: the dark, violent content necessary for the character is more in line with the Netflix family of the MCU, but the amount of visual effects needed to pull it off would be more in the budget range of an MCU film. Whichever way they go, Josh Holloway, of Lost and Colony fame, would make a great Ghost Rider. He’s a very good actor that can easily pull off the dramatic elements required for the part. But even more, Holloway would give the character the cool-factor that was so missing from the last portrayal.

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Spider-Woman – Kate Beckinsale

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Another character that should have gotten the movie treatment a long time ago. With HYDRA being destroyed at the end of season 3 of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Spider-Woman’s backstory would have to be reworked, but I have faith that Marvel Studios could come up with a new dark and tragic history for the assassin turned superhero. I’ll admit that I love Kate Beckinsale. So perhaps I’m biased in my feeling that she should play Spider-Woman in the MCU. But my adoration aside, she is a fantastic actress with serious dramatic chops, but has shown in the Underworld franchise that she can handle action-heavy sci-fi roles as well. Add in the fact that she is absolutely gorgeous, which is a necessary element to the Jessica Drew character, and you have the perfect Spider-Woman.

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Rocket Raccoon Proves DC’s Ineptitude

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“DC doesn’t think Wonder Woman can carry her own movie, but Marvel is going to make a movie about a talking raccoon.”

I couldn’t help but laugh when my friend and fellow comic enthusiast Justen uttered this quip in a conversation a few weeks ago. While terribly funny, it is also a pretty accurate indictment on DC’s philosophy when it comes to making movies. Unless it’s about Superman or Batman, or the occasional graphic novel, DC doesn’t seem interested in making movies about their properties. Though I can’t completely blame them. They tried with a couple and both bombed horribly.

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There in lies the difference. DC is gun shy about releasing movies about their lesser-known characters because a couple of them failed, while Marvel, despite a few bombs of their own, continues to pump out films about any property that someone is willing to write a script for. Outside of Green Lantern and Jonah Hex, no secondary DC characters have been given the opportunity to make an impact on the silver screen. On the flip side, Marvel created the most successful comic movie franchise of all-time (The Avengers) on the foundation of perceived “B-List” super heroes. On top of that, characters like Daredevil, Elektra, The Punisher, Ghost Rider, and soon to be The Guardians of the Galaxy and Ant-Man, have all had the chance to carry a movie.

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Even the franchise that really started the comic boom in Hollywood, Blade, is based on a Marvel character that wouldn’t even qualify for the B-List. But Marvel had faith that their characters were marketable, and in turn knew how to market them. They were rewarded for their faith. It’s just a shame that DC doesn’t have the same faith in their characters or their abilities to market them.

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With the announcement that the third installment in the Captain America franchise will be going head-to-head its opening weekend against the currently unnamed Superman/Batman team-up movie, it will be an interesting showdown between the biggest comic publishers in the world. Even more interesting is the fact that while DC is teaming up their favorite sons for their project, Marvel is content to march out The Star Spangled Avenger on his own.