Comic-Con, of course, is your go-to spot for big gigantic epic humongous super-cool movie news, ever since they realized you could fit the entire reading audience of the best-selling comic at either Marvel or DC into the building and have some space around the sides. Let's face it, it's either diversify or die, and luckily tons of people are into superheroes nowadays, even if they don't know that they're still publishing stories about them in small pamphlets to a niche audience of aging fans.
And this year's news was no exception. Marvel announced that they would be coming out with 'Captain America: The Winter Soldier', 'Thor: The Dark World', 'Iron Man 3', 'Ant-Man', and 'Guardians of the Galaxy', while DC announced that after the climax of Christopher Nolan's Bat-Trilogy and the relaunch of Superman that fans have already been aware of for over a year, they have...um...maybe a 'Justice League' movie? Sometime in 2015? They don't have a script or a director or a cast yet, but they're totally working on it.
Let that just sink in for a moment. Ant-Man and Rocket Raccoon will be hitting the big screen before Wonder Woman and the Flash. At this point, it feels like Marvel is just doing victory laps. "Hey, whaddya think, guys!" you can hear them saying. "Wanna fast-track a Squadron Supreme movie for 2015, just to mess with their heads?"
Seriously, how does this work? Does Warner Brothers just hate money? There is a huge audience out there right now for well-done superhero movies that treat their source material with respect while remaining accessible to newcomers, and their mainstream DCU non-Superman/Batman track record for the last five years consists of 'Jonah Hex' and 'Green Lantern'. And extending it back much further runs into 'Catwoman'.
What these guys need is to find their own Avi Arad; someone who is savvy about the film industry, while remaining ultimately in the corner of the DC comics guys. They need to elevate DC to its own division in their company, with its own studio that focuses exclusively on DC movies. They need to show deference to the people who know the material, instead of assuming that the tropes of the superhero comic can be easily and painlessly extruded through the mold of a summer blockbuster. They need high-quality talent behind the cameras; Christopher Nolan should be the base level of quality for this kind of thing. (Admittedly, Martin Campbell looked like a good choice on paper...perhaps the lesson to take away from 'Green Lantern' is that your script has to work first.)
And they need to do all this fast. Because at this rate, by the time they do finally come out with a 'Flash' movie, people are going to assume it's totally a rip-off of that Quicksilver guy from 'Avengers 3'.