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Interview with a Comic Book SuperFan

Updated: Dec 23, 2023

The MCU and DCEU have been ramping up their movie universes like crazy over the past few months and I thought I could get a fellow MCU and DCEU fan to share his opinion on the same. This superfan has an interesting take on all things comics as his Twitter handle @NebsGoodTakes suggests.

1. How would you summarize the MCU so far?

The MCU is the blueprint that's responsible for how geek culture is perceived and made today. It has spawned the modern blockbuster formula that we see in every other competing action franchise and will continue to see for the foreseeable future.

Marvel Studios

Any current high-budget show or movie you watch has been influenced by it in one way or another, with formerly distinctive franchises now feeling more like diet MCU content. The biggest example of this of course is the new wave of Star Wars media, with shows being cranked out quickly in a factory, crafted to have just the right amount of cameos, quips, and sub-par direction.

Other companies aren't safe either with the Monsterverse franchise losing its identity over time, and any 5 Dwayne Johnson films chosen at random looking exactly the same.

2. Your pick as a Comic Book SuperFan of the top 3 MCU movies/series and top 3 DC movies/series so far?

My top three favorite MCU projects are Infinity War, Black Panther, and Loki. My top three favorite DCEU projects are Birds of Prey, Zack Snyder's Justice League, and The Batman. I've always been drawn to strong creative visions and all of those projects deliver in that regard, even if I have my issues with the Russo brothers for literally any other movie they've made.

Avengers Infinity War

To me a visually bland and passable film is far worse than a flawed creative one, for example I'd rather rewatch Batman v Superman over Captain America: Civil War any day.

3. I think the MCU has reduced its movies to creative ads these days, do you think that's the case?

I as a comic book superfan absolutely agree with that. Phase four has been almost entirely unsatisfying to me so far and that's because these films and shows aren't to exist on their own.

They are crafted to generate the most online speculative content possible. Even Moon Knight, a show without references to other MCU projects, was tripping over itself to set up future content, using a mental disorder as a post-credits scene.

4. How do you think the MCU handles contentious issues such as race, gender representation, and geopolitics?

The MCU handles serious issues very poorly, to put it mildly. It all stems from neoliberal creative teams who are incapable of telling these stories in genuine, heartfelt ways.

The gay couple in Eternals was a wonderful representation but arrived in the same year as a leftist revolutionary randomly blowing up an apartment building to remind the audience that she's somehow supposed to be a villain.

To put it bluntly, the MCU can't properly offer solutions to these societal issues because they want to gain profits at all costs and will tow the liberal line to do so.

5. Usually comics are an eternal source for superheroes and with movies, it's on and off. How long do you think the superhero fad will last in the theaters?

It's been an ongoing joke that every time people predict that superhero cinema will fade, they end up being wrong. Personally? I think we're gonna be here for a couple more decades at least.

What the what?

The fact is we haven't even seen the best Marvel or DC content adapted yet. There is mountains worth of fresh new adaptations to get through, and the filmmaking process will adapt over time in more creative ways to keep the general audience interested.

It's worth noting that the MCU isn't the first big cinematic universe either, that goes to Japan's Godzilla films during the Showa Era. They were able to expand that simple concept into the most crowd-pleasing movies the world has ever seen, and Marvel's cultural impact will last as it expands into other genre spaces over time.

6. What do you think the MCU is doing right and the DC doing wrong in the theaters? The prognosis for both of them?

The MCU is doing so great because they've turned fandom into a science and every project is a checklist, other studios have tried and failed several times to replicate their perfect mold of a cinematic universe.

Christopher Reeve as Superman
The OG superman - Christopher Reeve

There's clearly something wrong when Marvel can make a successful film out of any C-list character they choose, but WB has been too timid to bring Superman back for years.

It's admirable that the focus of DC films shifted into more creative and standalone projects, but you can only split up your fanbase into different opposing factions for so long before your lost profits come back to bite you.

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