When it comes to the success and quality of superhero movies, DC Comics are very much in second place to Marvel.
While Disney’s Marvel Cinematic Universe is going from strength-to-strength, with the latest movie Black Panther securing wide-reaching praise, Warner Bros are struggling to earn the same sort of recognition for their movies. Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, Suicide Squad and Justice League have all been panned by critics with only Wonder Woman receiving any sort of praise.
So what are Warner Bros doing wrong? We put that question to Mark Millar during our conversation with him about his Kick-Ass reboot.
The celebrated comic book writer has worked both at Marvel Comics and DC Comics and says that the problem is simple. “The characters aren’t cinematic and I say this as a massive DC fan who much prefers their characters to Marvel’s,” Millar says.
“Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman are some of my favourites but I think these characters, with the exception of Batman, they aren’t based around their secret identity they are based around their super power.”
The writer explains that the movies based on Marvel characters like Matt Murdock and Peter Parker are focused more on their personality, while DC characters like Green Lantern are hard to relate too.
“DC, outside of Batman, is not about the character,” he continues. “With Batman, you can understand him and you can worry about him but someone like Green Lantern, he has this ring that allows him to create 3D physical manifestations and green plasma with the thoughts in his head but he’s allergic to the colour yellow!
“How do you make a movie with that? In 1952 that made perfect sense but now the audience have no idea what that’s all about. People will slam me for this but I think the evidence is there. We’ve seen great directors, great writers and great actors, tonnes of money thrown at them, but these films aren’t working. I think they are all too far away from when they were created,” Millar says.
“Something feels a little old about them, kids look at these characters and they don’t feel that cool. Even Superman, I love Superman, but he belongs to an America that doesn’t exist anymore. He represents 20th Century America and I think he peaked then.”
Millar wrote Superman comics for several years and his most famous title was Superman: Red Son, which imagined what the Kryptonian’s life would have turned out like if his spaceship had crash-landed in the Soviet Union.
The writer tweeted last year that Warner Bros were pitching directors an adaptation of it, and even Kong: Skull Island director Jordan Vogt-Roberts admitted that he had pitched a concept, but the studio wasn’t interested. However, Millar says he isn’t too keen on his book being adapted: “I’d rather they just left that one alone!”
Read the full Yahoo Movies interview with Mark Millar here.