Monthly Archives: October 2014

Why DC’s Cinematic Universe Will Fail

The Emerald Specter is back in the driver’s seat for you all and I’ve decided to kick things off with a look at the impending DC Cinematic Universe, the one that will supposedly rival Marvel’s Cinematic Universe. Without burying what I think in some obscure paragraph down below, I’d like to say that the DC Cinematic Universe will fail… now read why I think that.

EmeraldSpecter300Marvel had no plan, apparently, about starting a Cinematic Universe. They launched Iron Man as (what they would be planning as) a stand alone trilogy. There was just a plan to set another one of their characters towards the big screen and hopefully make themselves a little bit of money in the process. Well, guess what, someone got wise and threw in a stinger (coda?) at the end of the credits to tease out the Avengers. The buzz was so intense that they included a stinger (coda?) at the end of the Incredible Hulk and almost completely designed Iron Man 2 around the idea that Avengers was happening. Thus began the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).

Marvel’s cadre of super heroes has always been a little, for lack of a better description available to me right now, more realistic. No one NEEDS a cape. Underwear is solidly underneath the clothing. Very few heroes need a logo for marketing purposes. That’s not really fair to DC but if we’re just comparing surface details, that’s basically the way things boil down. Marvel’s heroes are more realistic.

My favorite super hero is Captain Marvel/Shazam. I’ll call him Shazam from this point on. He’s originally a Fawcett Comics creation but that company was purchased by DC, so even though I “grew up” reading mostly Marvel comics, I am solidly a huge fan of Shazam from DC. I love what the New 52 has done with Shazam and I’m really hoping to see more of that because if they’re going to leave Billy Batson perpetually 11, he might as well get a cool revamp like he has.

But what does this have to do with DC failing?

Man of Steel was the grand relaunch of Superman’s origin… again. Just like their other “big name,” Batman, we’ve seen Superman done to death. We didn’t need another origin of DC’s most famous super hero but since we got one, at least the origin was a fairly awesome one. Man of Steel received mixed reviews but I give the movie a solid 4 out of 5. This was DC’s first salvo in an attempt to build a DC Cinematic Universe (DCU), which they have begrudgingly gone ahead with.

I say begrudgingly because Warner Brothers, who owns DC, seems to have a hard time with the concept of doing anything with any character on the big screen that isn’t Superman or Batman. They have openly admitted that Wonder Woman would be too difficult (in the past) and after Green Lantern failed (they went in the wrong direction, cast the wrong lead, and went too CGI for this movie) they seemed to really want to crawl back in their holes and go with another Batman or Superman reboot. Really? That’s when Man of Steel hit.

This is being written after a great success with Guardians of the Galaxy, a second season of Agents of SHIELD (a show that had it’s own problems until Captain America: The Winter Soldier) started off strong, and DC having made a slew of movie release announcements. What have they announced? Well, that is why I am going to tell you… and it’s why I think they’ll fail.

In 2016 we’ll get Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (to be read as “Batman Five Superman Colon Dawn of Justice”), which is quite possibly the most ridiculous title for a movie I have yet to hear. Leave off the first three bits and just call the damn thing Dawn of Justice, for the love of all that’s holy. What’s this about? Well, I’m guessing that Batman is going to battle Superman, and we already know about a slew of cameos by other DC heroes to be named later in this list.

Also in 2016 we’ll get Suicide Squad. This will have little to no real success as there is no build up of these “villains,” they’ll be doing heroic things and most people won’t know what the issue about their villainy is, and as far as I understand it from the “buzz,” there isn’t anyone interested in seeing this movie. I’m not.

We move to 2017 for Wonder Woman and Justice League Part One. Only after Marvel released a fun movie including a talking raccoon and talking tree does DC say to themselves “well, maybe a film about a woman would work.” Wonder Woman should have been on the big screen a long time ago and the fact that she hasn’t only shows that old, white men not only run the country, but they also run Warner Brothers. And you split your Justice League into a Part One and Two? Playing this hand like this was a huge mistake and I can say that unless you have a solid single movie premise that gets resolved IN THAT MOVIE, you’ll fail with this one. How do I know it’ll fail? The Matrix, one of my favorite trilogies ever, has been given terrible reviews for leaving a second movie open and having a supposedly flimsy end to the third. If Justice League couldn’t survive as a single movie, you should have played those cards closer to your chest, DC.

We move to 2018 with the Flash and Aquaman. First, let me say that casting Jason Momoa as Aquaman was the single best piece of casting I’ve seen. Better than RDJ as Tony Stark. Better than Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones. What I don’t like is that you’re all over the map with your “plan.” Either do the build up like Marvel and debut everybody before Justice League or do Justice League first and all the movies can be “prequels.” I’ll actually get to the Flash a little later, so I’m quiet right now.

How about 2019 with Shazam and Justice League Part Two? While I have been super excited for a Shazam movie, I’m really disappointed that I have to wait until 2019 to see it. And that is assuming that the production doesn’t get pushed back. Moving on.

We have 2020 giving us Cyborg and the Green Lantern reboot movies, ending the announcements of DCU. Unless GL is a new Hal Jordan (done much less Ryan Reynolds) or is John Stewart, I’m not interested in this movie. I have never been interested in Cyborg.

The DCU seems poised to fail.

As I made comments above, if you are using Man of Steel as the launching point, simply call the second movie Dawn of Justice to introduce a few of the other Justice Leaguers and conquer a foe just complicated enough to need multiple heroes. After that, jump right into Justice League (a stand alone film), followed by Wonder Woman, the Flash, Green Lantern, Shazam, Aquaman, and Cyborg movies telling their origins. THEN go for a second Justice League movie. DC/Warner Brothers seem to have no surface plan, even though to do what Marvel did, they need to have a detailed roadmap.

Now let me get to my Flash comments. Arrow on the CW is one of the most awesome shows on TV right now. They recently spun off the Flash as another show and if they would have used Stephen Amell and Grant Gustin as Green Arrow and the Flash in the movies, I’d have been more interested in what the DCU was doing. As it is, though, they are casting a separate Flash for the movies and are leaving Arrow and the Flash TV shows as separate universes. Dumb, dumb, dumb, dumb, dumb…

You have built up a history with Arrow over three seasons. The Flash is starting with a bang. Man of Steel gives you enough punch for a Superman to carry the Justice League movie WITHOUT needing Batman five Superman colon Dawn of Justice. Add in Green Arrow and Gustin’s Flash and you’re ready to obscurely explain where Batman, Aquaman, Green Lantern, Wonder Woman, Shazam, and Cyborg came from while fighting someone like Darkseid.

If the DCU doesn’t fail, I’ll be shocked. They aren’t surprising us with anything, they’ve got an erratic looking roadmap and have teased very little to get anyone excited. The Nolan trilogy had two good movies and a “meh” one, yet they toss that one in the trash to reboot for what? Yeah.

Time will tell, but my money is that Marvel will do much better than DC because DC makes some very odd decisions.

The Emerald Specter’s Day Off

I’ve talked about weeding the garden, I’ve talked about what I’ve got planned for the future, and now I haven’t really posted a bunch in the last week… and I can tell you that you might be waiting a little longer for a post after this one, too. But, at least I can do a little bit of talking about things because sometimes life intrudes on plans.

For me, the last 18 months have been really, really hard.¬†Deaths and losing family members (which includes pets) has really taken a toll on me. The problems have mounted and I need to step away from things for a couple of weeks. I don’t want to dwell on what has happened or work through what I’m feeling at the moment. What I want to write about is what I’ll be working on and how often to expect things for the near future.

What? Again? This mo-fo doesn’t nothing BUT talk about what he’s going to do. Not true.

Mondays will see Storytelling Specter being released on a regular basis. Though I told you I’d be releasing one per day during NaNoWriMo, that isn’t going to happen. I want to participate in NaNoWriMo and if I’m posting daily I can’t participate correctly. Storytelling Specter is going to continue to be about writing in different forms, where to get ideas from, and what I’m writing about. If you want to see the columns get longer, start promoting the column when I release it because that ramps up the clicks and that’s how to see more of Storytelling Specter. Right now I write 500-ish words, if the hits rise by 50% I’ll do 1000-ish words per column.

Tuesdays will be left blank for the time being, mainly because Life Imitates Wrestling, Ingress Intel, Footie Specter, and Specter Fantasy Football aren’t in the mix anymore, this day will be left open for the time being.

Wednesdays used to be home to a couple of columns but now this is where we’re going to start releasing Game Specter. I’ve powered through a good chunk of Fate and I’m interested in finishing the learning process with this to actually get playing. Game Specter will also be spawning another little spinoff, an actual play podcast. My co-host Bob (from the Greatest Show and hopefully Kain’s Korner) and I are rounding up a group to start running something. Interested in learning more about the details, why not try watching the Greatest Show 43? We discuss things openly and with any luck, something more will come out of the details we discussed. Game Specter will talk about what you can do in role playing games and ideas for running them, too. Let’s get things moving!

Thursdays are also going to be open for the time being. If I can keep a couple of days open now and then, I can throw in some test columns now and then. Like what? Well, I’m glad I asked myself. When the World Chess Championship happens in November, you’ll be seeing Chess Specter leap onto the website. Chess Specter may also have a spinoff but I shouldn’t go letting all the secrets out right now, should I?

Fridays will continue to see the release of the single most popular column on Emerald Specter: Fitness Specter. This column continues to be a solid hit getter… this column continues to be a popular one, regardless of the exact topic. This column will also be changing a bit, too. Fitness Specter will continue to roll out about things to help you get motivated and in shape. What I’m going to start including, though, are personal updates about my own journey. Now that I’m back from vacation, writing this in my basement, I feel horrible about the fact that I haven’t done any fitness related things on my vacation. That has set me back quite a bit and I feel that if I am posting updates, including pictures and personal tips about my own progress, that I can be held accountable at a level that I haven’t been up to this point. Are you interested in this, too? Well, just like the suggestion for seeing more of Storytelling Specter, you have to share and promote for more clicks. I’ll even give the same promise for a 50% increase in hits, 1000-ish words per column! Let’s see this thing move forward and grow!

Saturdays will be left unused, as they have been. I plan on doing things on Saturdays in the future but let’s not get ahead of myself.

Then come Sundays… every Sunday (well, ok, nearly every Sunday) at 1pm Eastern/12pm Central/11am Mountain/10am Pacific time is the Greatest Show, which can normally be found in post on YouTube’s Emerald Specter Channel. I’ve been posting the “events page” link each week we do the show and that will soon be followed by a return to releasing the show in an audio and video format on a podcast feed.

Now comes the “he’s going to talk about what he’s going to do in the future” segment.

Mixlr provides a means for broadcast audio (vis a vis a radio show) and I plan on doing such a show. I’d like to put one on every day of the week but I’m a one man operation and that means I don’t bite off more than I can chew. I plan on doing a single show per week and building from there.

I meet with a writing group every Monday night and that’s where the bulk of my writing gets done. I am writing towards a novel which will also be turned into a serial audio production. I won’t have a full cast or anything, I don’t have the money to do anything like that right now, but I will be narrating and including sound effects (and the like). That means I need to write and write hard. With several plans on the horizon, I want to start putting this out so that I can mainstream this website to release my work.

Finally, I wanted to talk a little bit about what I’m doing for the rest of the year. As of writing this, I’ve put an offer in on a home in Portland, OR and I plan on moving there as soon as possible. I can start applying for transfers at my work on October 18 and I will be applying to literally everything to get me out there as soon as possible. If everything works out, ideally, I’ll be in Portland before 2015 starts. I don’t intend on spending another birthday in North Dakota. There’s a better life for me there, less memories and more changes to forget the pain this place has left me with… there’s a better life going there.

Until then, though, I’ll keep doing what I’ve told you that I’ll keep doing. I am going to take a week or two off before resuming the regular rotation, but I think I’ve released enough so far to keep you entertained while you wait.

Think on it.

Look at the Address

Hey there Specter fans… are you still using as the URL for this site? Are you aware this is now No?

I write this knowing that some people are still using the old address. Maybe that’s out of habit. Maybe that’s an old link you’re following from someone else’s site. Hell, maybe you just like the tastiest website on the planet and you can’t let that URL go. I just need to tell you that the URL may not be mine in the near future and if you want to continue coming here for the Emerald Specter goodness, you may want to start using the new URL.

Just a quick thought.