I love superhero comics and everything associated with them. If you know me at all you probably know that. You may also know that I have a strong preference for DC over Marvel. Why though? Well we’re going to need to backtrack and start from another question.
Are superhero comics considered sci-fi, fantasy, some combination of both, or a genre of their own? Of course you would find them in the comics/graphic novel section in the bookstore but I’m talking about content here. Many times I’ve wondered this and considered making it a Facebook status, refraining because maybe no one would answer. Let’s take a quick look at the incredibly popular Marvel movies, which are dominating the superhero scene right now, it would be safe to assume that they are all sci-fi. Except that after a Google search I see that both Thor movies are classified as fantasy. If you know anything about the God of Thunder you know that it’s based on Norse mythology and mythology is usually magic geared which safely falls under the fantasy category. However if you’ve seen and paid close attention to the movie it explains all this supernatural nonsense away with different dimensions and outer space. They turned an almighty God into an alien. Any claim they had to the fantasy category is wiped and invalid once you watch it. (I have a tornado of thoughts and ideas in my head about the whole sci-fi/fantasy thing that will be a blog post in the future, so for now lets end speculation as to why here.) This is exactly why I label myself certified DC trash.
The simple reason would be that I grew up watching DC cartoons, and that’s definitely a part of it. But I also grew up loving Harry Potter, The Spiderwick Chronicles and Percy Jackson even late into my teens. Fantasy was, is, my thing. To be able to shut off and go into these amazing, impossible worlds was all I would do in my free time. Another thing you may not necessarily know about me is that I hate science. Not that I don’t believe in it or appreciate its contributions to my daily life. No, I just hate that because I wasn’t really good at it I somehow became a secondary citizen in the academic world, which is the only world you’re allowed to experience as a kid/teen/young adult even (I sense another future blog post). The point is, it made me feel really bad about myself. So why would I want to consume something that reminded me of my inadequacy in real life? It really seems to defeat the purpose of fiction at this point in my life. DC doesn’t shy away from the magic or the supernatural, and by what we’ve heard so far from the upcoming movies it seems like they’re going to reflect that on the big screen.
Wonder Woman will be a demigod in the upcoming movies, which I have my own qualms about but you don’t want to hear that rant right now. The very thing that Marvel changed from its cinematic universe in order to appeal to a wider audience DC seems to be embracing in full force. After Batman Vs Superman the next movie in their lineup is Suicide Squad, a team of villains forced to work for the government in exchange for commuted prison sentences. Right off the bat DC is incorporating, at the very least, the right building blocks of what makes comics so great. They’re fun, they’re crazy, they’re out there. Anything you can think of, it probably exists in comicbook form. This is what has made the Flash TV show so amazing and successful. It embraces every part of its superhero origins and goes big. It’s fearless the way comics are. It’s fearless the way I want to be.