Tag: Marvel

Disney Studios ruining good franchises with greed

By Kendall Rainer

Disney Studios holds the largest film franchise on the planet and is still growing, with new stakes in entertainment companies arising every year.  

The familiar family-friendly company has made its mark with some of the most profitable movies that have hit the silver screen. However, they are steadily ruining some fan-favorite film series. 

Disney purchased Lucas Films in 2012, which subsequently gave them the rights to the “Star Wars” franchise. Shortly after the purchase, Disney Studios began production of the first installment of a sequel trilogy set to take place after “Star Wars: Return of the Jedi.” Star-wars-9-plot-reveals-guerilla-war-1013044

In December 2015, “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” was released. The film grossed more than $245 million on opening weekend. That figure makes it sound like it was a big hit. However, the film was lackluster in both story and the overall action that fans have come to expect from a “Star Wars” film. Although the visual effects were quite stunning and done well, there was still something missing that didn’t quite make it feel like a “Star Wars” film.

Disney continued to produce “Star Wars” Universe films such as “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” in December 2016, “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” in December 2017, and “Solo: A Star Wars Story” in May 2018. All of these movies hit it big on opening weekend but seemed to be missing a lot of the traditional “Star Wars” feel that came with the original six movies.  

Since Disney has taken over the “Star Wars” film franchise, the films have suffered. If George Lucas had not sold his company, “Star Wars” films would be significantly better. The fan base of the films would be growing continuously instead of shrinking as it has been since the release of the first “Star Wars” film Disney produced. 

Lucas Films isn’t the only film franchise Disney has ties with. Disney purchased Marvel Entertainment in 2009 and has helped Marvel produce the most successful film series to hit the big screen, grossing more than $18 billion worldwide. 

The Marvel Cinematic Universe has 28 films in the series. Some of the highest-grossing films from the series include: “Guardians of the Galaxy” (July 2014), “Doctor Strange” (October 2016), “Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2” (April 2017), “Spider-Man: Homecoming” (April 2017), “Thor: Ragnarok” (October 2017), “Black Panther” (February 2018), “Avengers: Infinity War” (April 2018), “Ant-Man and the Wasp” (July 2018), “Captain Marvel” (March 2019), “Avengers: Endgame” (April 2019), and “Spider-Man: Far from Home” (July 2019). cover

However, Disney did not ruin any of these films. They were actually a huge success. The film that began to round out phase three of the MCU, “Avengers: Endgame,” was one of the most highly anticipated films of the year and grossed $1.2 billion worldwide on opening weekend, breaking the record for highest-grossing opening weekend film. 

The following film, “Spiderman: Far From Home,” completed phase three and was a pivotal part of the MCU linking the past 10 years of films with what comes next in the MCU, phase four. 

However, Disney’s destruction of the MCU came after “Spiderman: Far From Home.” Everyone’s favorite “Friendly Neighborhood Spiderman” will no longer be a part of the Marvel Universe, as Disney burned their bridges, at least for now, with Sony Pictures, which owns the rights to the Spiderman films.

The reason for the two cutting ties is the fact that Sony did not agree with Disney’s proposition to increase the financing of the Spiderman films, with Disney receiving 50 percent of the profit from the films. Sony was also disappointed in Disney’s proposal to scale down Marvel President Kevin Feige’s involvement in the films. 

Feige has produced all of the films within the MCU and acted as an executive producer in the Spiderman films within phase three.  

The split, for which Disney was largely to blame, has ruined the future of the MCU, as Spiderman plays a crucial role in phase four and is a favorite character in the Marvel films.

Phase four will still continue to be produced and will garner some amazing movies and television shows. However, Marvel will have a hard time trying to write out Spiderman from the plans. Subsequently, some films may suffer. 

Comic Corner

DC Comics

action.jpgAction Comics #991

“The Oz Effect Part 5” brings a conclusion to the story arc, but creates more questions.

Jor-El, Superman’s father, has basically come back from the dead, with a piece of Kryptonite lodged in his head. Wielding a staff that relieved the pain of the Kryptonite, it was also driving him mad.

Kal-El, Superman, and Jor-El were finally starting to connect when Jor was pulled away by a portal, leaving Superman to find his father.

 

 

batmanBatman #35

In “The Rules of Engagement, Part 3” Selina Kyle, Catwoman, is fighting Talia Al Ghul, daughter of Ras Al Ghul, who is the leader of the League of Assassins, for the right to marry Bruce Wayne, the World’s Greatest Detective.

Talia is the mother of Damian Wayne, the current Robin.

The sword fight between the two women is enjoyable, and the entire story arc has been extremely relateable. In all of its outrageous glory, the story is very grounded in a real-world situation that a large number of people have found themselves in, in some form or fashion: merging families.

This is defintely something I’ve been through, and seeing a character I cherish go through this is inspiring.

lostBatman: Lost #1

Following the events of “Metal #3”, in “Batman: Lost,” Batman is lost in the Dark Multiverse. Barbatos is showing Batman how he supposedly had a hand in all of Batman’s cases, from the very first one, making him the idolized detective that he is.

Barbatos tells Batman that he has only shown him a handful of the Dark Batmen that all of Batman’s fears and failures have produced in the Dark Multiverse.

The entirety of the “Dark Knights: Metal” arc has been pretty mind-bending, but “Batman: Lost #1” is mind-blowing.

 

GLHal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #32

In the third part of the “Bats Out of Hell” “Metal” tie-in, “None More Black,” Green Lantern squares up against his evil Batman counterpart, the Dawnbreaker.

Hal Jordan, Green Lantern, is nothing if not inspiring, and his inspiration shines, literally and figuratively, in “Bats out of Hell Part 3.”

The Dawnbreaker’s ring absorbs light, and upon discovering this, Hal puts his ring to strobe, constructs a massive Green Lantern megazord, and puts the beat-down on the Dawnbreaker.

The pages are filled with contrasts of bright green and solid black, which works beautifully.

 

laughing batThe Batman Who Laughs #1

In “The Batman Who Laughs #1,” on Earth -22, in the Dark Multiverse, The Joker pushes Batman to his breaking point. Batman kills The Joker

Upon dying, the strongest form of Joker toxin is released into the air, and Batman, having just snapped his neck, was in close enough proximity to the Joker to get infected, and his brain started rewiring. Batman and The Joker became one, and Batman killed the bat family, the Justice League, and Superman’s family.

Then Barbatos shows him the whole Dark Multiverse, and sets him and all the other evil Batmen lose on Earth 0.

 

JLJustice League #33

In the “Bats Out of Hell Finale,” Cyborg’s Mother Box, the source of his powers, tells him it’s time to give in and let it take him over.

He gives it partial access, and is able to get free and let the Justice League out of their restraints, so they can team up against the evil Batmen.

They’ve finally made some progress, but it’s only “halftime,” according to Cyborg.

Their Batman is still lost in the Dark Multiverse. If the whole event hasn’t been a climax,than it is reaching its climax in this issue.

 

nightwing 1Nightwing: The New Order #4

In “Nightwing: The New Order #4,” The Flash, Beast Boy (or Beast Man now?), Raven, Cyborg, and Starfire, the mother of Jake, and Dick Grayson’s ex-wife, saved their long-lost friend Dick from being pummeled by the Green Lantern, Jon Stewart.

They’re all at odds with Dick for what he did to remove the powers from the planet, when they find out that Jake is being held because he might be the cure for people to get their powers back.

Kory, AKA Starfire, and Dick hashing out things as estranged lovers is quite relatable, and it’s cool to see that was written into this strange, alternate future.

 

doomsday clockDoomsday Clock #1

The world is ending. Much of the comic gives a mild back story for the Watchmen.

Previously a masked hero, Adrian Veidt, the self-proclaimed World’s Smartest Man, has been charged with the death of 3 million people.

Dr. Manhattan hasn’t been seen in years. The Comedian is thought to have been murdered by Veidt.

A new Rorschach has been sent to collect The Marionette to recruit her for something Veidt has cooked up.

A notion is made that Dr. Manhattan has fled to another universe, then we see Superman having a nightmare and the comic ends with a quote from Ozymandias that seems to reference Krypton.


Marvel Comics

Daredevil #595daredevil1

Matt Murdock is a lawyer who was blinded by chemicals as a child and developed hightened senses. He is the Devil of Hell’s Kitchen, Daredevil.

In “Crushed by the Kingpin,” Matt returns from overseas to discover that Kingpin, Wilson Fisk, was elected mayor on a platform that all but mirrors Donald Trump’s.

Wanting to right this wrong, Matt sets out on a crusade against Fisk that is quickly shut down by a request from Fisk to build a case against the vigilantes in New York.

Displeased, Matt sets out in his tights to clear his head, when things take a bad turn.

 

The Incredible Hulk #710hulk

In “Return to Planet Hulk Part II,” Amadeus Cho, now The Incredible Hulk, is on Sakaar, fighting in the Warlord’s trials called the Gauntlet.

As the champion of the Doka’abi tribe, Hulk makes it through the first trial, which was basically an alien monster truck rally where everyone was trying to kill Hulk.

Amadeus “takes back the wheel” from the Hulk persona, then gets angry upon discovering that he’s only made it through one of five trials, which I’m assuming will continue in the next several issues.

 

The Mighty Thor #701thorC

Volstagg has been confronted by Mangog in “The Wrath of the Mangog.” A creature that is said to be “ferocity personafied… born from the rage of an entire slaughtered people.”

Mangog is the ultimate judgement of all Gods, and he has found Volstagg’s tenure as the War Thor wanting.

Almost the entire issue focuses on the Mangog demolishing the War Thor.

At the end of the issue, Malekith, the forefront of the war on the Nine Realms, appears out of nowhere and tells Mangog where he can find more Gods to slaughter.

The Punisher #218punisher

Frank Castle became the ruthless antihero The Punisher when his wife and children were murdered in a Central Park shootout and crooked cops kept their killers from receiving justice.

In “Punisher: War Machine Part 1,” ex-Director of S.H.I.E.L.D., Nick Fury, approaches Frank for a job that just so happens to intersect with the Punisher’s current personal vendetta.

To pull off Fury’s mission, though, he’s going to need to requisition something from the Air Force: Tony Stark’s designed War Machine armor.

He aquires the War Machine suit and sets off on Fury’s mission with pure excitement.

 


*Marvel comics have returned to original numbering since the “Legacy” relaunch.

‘The Defenders’ satisfies Marvel fans with exciting team ups

by RILEY GOLDEN//Entertainment Editor

defenders elevator

The underground criminal ninja organization known as the Hand is after the Immortal Iron Fist, and they are willing to level New York to get him.

“Marvel’s The Defenders” is an eight-episode series on Netflix that sees Charlie Cox, Finn Jones, Mike Colter, and Krysten Ritter reprise their respective roles as Daredevil, Iron Fist, Luke Cage, and Jessica Jones in the culmination of what their individual series’ have been approaching for the past two years.

Matt Murdock (Cox) was blinded as a child and developed super hearing abilities that allow him to pinpoint things better than those with sight. Now he is a lawyer by day and Daredevil by night. Between “Daredevil” seasons 1 and 2, the Devil of Hell’s Kitchen stopped Madame Gao’s (Wai Ching Ho) underground Hand operations, confronted and defeated Wilson Fisk (Vincent D’Onofrio), and encountered the Punisher (John Bernthal).

The other individual Defenders’ series are good, but Charlie Cox does an incredible amount of justice to the role of Daredevil. Sseasons 1 and 2 of “Marvel’s Daredevil” are arguably the best material to come out of the Marvel Cinematic Universe to date.

  Jessica Jones (Ritter) is an alcoholic private investigator with superhuman strength. In “Marvel’s Jessica Jones” season 1, Jessica takes a case that leads her to Zebediah Kilgrave, or Purple Man (David Tennant), who she kills. Jessica also meets and hooks up with Luke Cage (Colter).

“Jessica Jones” season 1 is kind of boring, but Cage’s presence is great for the dynamics of the series and Kristen Ritter plays a perfect Jessica Jones.

Luke Cage was in jail when he was beaten within an inch of his life. A doctor at the prison did an experiment on Cage that gave him unbreakable skin and super strength. In season 1 of “Marvel’s Luke Cage,” Cage encounters Cottonmouth (Mahershala Ali), Black Mariah (Alfre Woodard), and Diamondback (Erik LaRay Harvey) and comes out on top. That is, until the prison he broke out of years ago comes looking for him. The stakes never really feel too high in “Luke Cage” like they do in “Daredevil.” The action is cool, and Mike Colter fits the role extremely well.

When Danny Rand (Jones) was 10 years old, his parents’ plane crashed with him on and his parents on board. He was the only survivor. Danny was rescued by some monks from a different dimension, known as K’un-Lun. He was trained by the monks of K’un-Lun and became the Immortal Iron Fist.

In “Marvel’s Iron Fist” season 1, Danny meets Colleen Wing (Jessica Henwick), and encounters two of the leaders of the Hand, Madame Gao and Bakuto (Ramon Rodriguez), who also trained Colleen. Danny’s one responsibility as the Immortal Iron Fist was to protect K’un-Lun, and he failed. His guilt from this will follow him into “The Defenders” series.

At the beginning of “Marvel’s The Defenders” season 1, we meet Alexandra Reid (Sigourney Weaver), the leader of the five founders of the Hand, who is dying of cancer.

Luke is getting out of prison when he’s met by none other than Foggy Nelson (Elden Henson), who is there to let Luke know that the law firm of Hogarth, Benowitz & Chow are at his disposal, should he ever need them. Seeing Foggy, Daredevil’s best friend, greet Cage in the second scene of the series is so cool and delivers a solid foreshadow of how awesome it’s going to be to see these heroes and their supporting characters meet each other.    

Cage couldn’t care less and immediately goes to Harlem in search of Claire Temple (Rosario Dawson), the nurse who also gave medical aid to Matt Murdock. Luke and Claire hook up, and afterward, Detective Misty Knight (Simone Missick), a friend of Cage’s, comes looking for him to update him on what’s going on in Harlem and to let him know how he can help.

Matt is working as a pro bono lawyer, trying hard to keep his feet on the ground and off the rooftops, and letting the NYPD do their job. After he finishes the case he was working on, Karen Page (Deborah Ann Woll), a close friend of Matt’s, asks if she can get a statement on the case over a bite to eat.

“But when we first see Daredevil, he’s questioning White Hat, and there’s no doubt that this is the Devil of Hell’s Kitchen”

Jessica is still drinking out of contempt for her powers, and she meets up with her friend, Trish Walker (Rachael Taylor), on her way home. When she gets to her apartment, there is a mom and a daughter waiting for her so they can ask her to look for their husband/father. Jessica begrudgingly accepts the case, only to be told by her “friend,” Jeri Hogarth (Carrie-Anne Moss), of Hogarth, Benowitz & Chow, that she should drop it.

After a brief stop in Cambodia, where they may or may not have encountered Elektra – yes, the dead one – Danny and Colleen meet an ally just in time for him to die, but he tells them to track the Hand in New York.

Alexandra is sitting on the roof of a high rise when Madame Gao approaches her and tells her “it’s ready.” New York then experiences a massive earthquake. Right before the earthquake, the husband that Jessica was tracking killed himself in her apartment. After the earthquake, Misty takes Jessica in for questioning.

Some kids break into someone’s store, and the owner tries to shoot them when Matt saves them, telling the owner that they’re just kids. Later, he meets up with Foggy, who tells him his knuckles “speak volumes” about what he has been doing. Matt gets upset when Foggy calls him out, but Foggy tells him he’s there to help. He offers Matt some pro bono cases that he doesn’t have time for, one of which involves Jessica Jones.

Jessica is being questioned by Misty when Matt bursts through the door and tells Misty she can’t question Jessica anymore without him present. This scene is cool because it’s basically Daredevil and Jessica Jones in the same room together, although Matt is the only person in the room aware of it. Jessica doesn’t know who he is and doesn’t want his help.

The information that Misty gave Luke led him to some 18-year-old kid getting mixed up in something bad. So Luke followed him to a warehouse where he sees a man they call White Hat, one of the five founders of the Hand.

The sword wielded by the ally Danny and Colleen met in Cambodia leads them to the same warehouse as Cage. When Danny goes after the kid that Luke was following, Luke steps in to protect him, and a fight breaks out between Luke Cage and the Immortal Iron Fist. This is just so cool. Cage brushes off every attack and throws Danny around until he unleashes the power of the Iron Fist on Luke’s face and sends him flying.

Claire and Colleen bring Luke and Danny together to talk to each other, and they realize that they’re on the same side and can work together to fight the Hand.

Alexandra brings Elektra Natchios (Elodie Yung), Matt’s ninja girlfriend, back from the dead and calls her the Black Sky. Bringing her back to life used up the last of the Hand’s life-restoring substance, which seems to be their largest motivator in this series. Alexandra plans on using the Black Sky to get the Iron Fist, the only thing that can unlock the door to their substance. Alexandra is holding Stick (Scott Glenn), Matt’s and Elektra’s mentor, hostage when he cuts off his hand to get free.

Danny’s and Luke’s investigations lead them to Midland Circle Financial – where Daredevil had his showdown with the Hand – while Jessica’s investigation and Matt’s history with the Hand lead them to the same place.

Danny calls out Alexandra, who’s having a meeting at Midland Circle, and she sicks her ninjas on Danny for an awesome conference room fight. When Danny starts getting pinned down Luke shows up just in time to help. This makes for some sweet tag-team action when Jessica and Matt – with Jessica’s scarf tied around his head – show up to join the party for one rad fight scene that leads them into hiding in a Chinese restaurant.

Danny writes the restaurant owners a nice check so they can stick around, and the restaurant owners insist that they prepare food for them. So the Defenders sit down for a late-night meal and to get to know each other when the Hand comes after them with full force, which is when Matt finds out that Elektra is alive.

As cool as this show is, we don’t get to see Matt suited up until the fifth episode of the season, which is kind of a bummer. But when we first see Daredevil, he’s questioning White Hat, and there’s no doubt that this is the Devil of Hell’s kitchen. The Murdock boys have the devil in them, and the first appearance of Charlie Cox as Daredevil in this series had me on my toes. It was brutal and left no questions about who Matt Murdock is.

Fast forward a little bit and the heroes have gathered all of their friends at Misty’s police station. Danny has been taken by Elektra, and the other Defenders are stuck at the police station, brainstorming how to get out and save Danny.

In the middle of this, Foggy brings Matt a “change of clothes,” his Daredevil suit. This scene is so cool, because it shows Foggy taking steps to accept who Matt is.

So, the drunk private investigator with super strength, the unbreakable man, the Immortal Iron Fist, and the Devil of Hell’s Kitchen go to stop Elektra and the Hand in what is an awesome fight scene between the Defenders and the three remaining leaders of the hand.

Madame Gao was one of the cooler enemies in this series, but Sigourney Weaver’s Alexandra was a weak villain and pales in comparison to Vincent D’Onofrio’s Wilson Fisk from “Daredevil.”

“The Defenders” is a decent culmination of events for these four heroes with super cool team-ups and fight scenes. But it lacks a true villain.

I give “Marvel’s The Defenders” a 7.8 out of 10.

7.8/10

Marvel cinematic universe dominates DC

by RYAN FITZGERALD//Staff Writer

mcu-group

When it comes to establishing an extended cinematic universe, Marvel rules all.

In 2008, Marvel Studios took a giant leap with its initial “Iron Man” film. An origin story about a second-rate superhero, fronted by a presumably past-his-prime, Robert Downey, Jr., which was to serve as the foundation and corner stone for Marvel Studio’s first phase of superhero films, including “Thor,” “Captain America: The First Avenger,” and lastly, “The Avengers ” – which would serve as the inceptive culmination of Marvel’s central core of comic book protagonists.

For Marvel Studios to go all-in financially, with hopes that audiences and film lovers across the world would fall in love with characters that were once graphically depicted in strips from books of yesteryear, was something unheard of in the modern movie business.

The success of Marvel Studios speaks for itself. To start, “Captain America: Civil War” was last year’s highest grossing film, bringing in $1.15 billion.  Since 2012, Marvel has landed at least one movie among the top three highest grossing films for any given year. Last year, “The Avengers: Age of Ultron” and “Ant-Man” each grossed more than $180 million, respectively.

Maybe you want to look past actual financial figures? In just 2016 alone, “Doctor Strange” and “Captain America: Civil War” both held Rotten Tomatoes ratings with favorability above 90 percent. Since the beginning of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), no film has dropped below 65 percent.

Additionally, Marvel Studios continues to push the boundaries.  This year, “Doctor Strange” garnered an Academy Award nomination for Best Visual Effects, carrying on the expectations of mind-blowing graphics, as well as challenging make-up and costume design that originated with “Iron Man” (2008), and then spread to “Iron Man 2” (2010), “The Avengers” (2012), “Iron Man 3” (2013), “Captain America: Winter Soldier”(2014), and “Guardians of the Galaxy” (2014) – all of which also got Oscar nods for Best Visual Effects.

Marvel brings a sense of lighthearted, yet sincere, fun to the big screen.  Audiences loved the interaction between Rocket and Groot in “Guardians of the Galaxy.” “Ant-Man” was clever and brought out the best of Paul Rudd’s acting chops, which are rarely seen. Though the series of “Thor” films lack a bit of luster, viewers are introduced to “Loki,” one of the MCU’s most notorious villains.

All of this is what makes the MCU great. There seems to be a bit of formula to it, similar to that which originated with the original comics themselves – audiences are introduced to our protagonist, who most seemingly is fighting an internal moral or ethical battle, as they discover or are given some sort of superpower.

Then the audience meets the antagonist, who is fundamentally opposed to whatever optimistic outlook our heroes have. A battle ensues, and then, through insurmountable odds, our hero hails as victor over the villain, with the answer of whatever questions they’re contemplating about life coming full circle. Throw in a few quips, add witty banter, and you’ve got a Marvel movie. Is there anything wrong with this? No. It works as a narrative. Audiences can relate to strife and overcoming obstacles. Then mesh those characteristics with quality acting, writing and visuals, and you’ve got pure entertainment.

So what about DC Comics, Inc.? More specifically, what about DC Entertainment? You know, the folks that bring you the characters of Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, The Flash, Green Arrow, but I digress – I could go on, but the point is made. Why is a discussion about “Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice,” (Batman v Superman) such a polarizing topic?

Since opening in March of 2016, “Batman v Superman” – the film selected by Warner Brothers (WB) to set up the DC Extended Universe (DCEU), got fried by critics. One critic claimed that “Batman v Superman” was “a movie that beats you into submission and makes you wonder if the sun will ever come out again.” Others have called it “dismal,” “tiresome,” sloppy,” and “a blur of pretentious speeches about what lurks in the hearts of men and noisy fight scenes and nonsensical dream sequences.”

Something was off. Something was obviously missing. Rarely, if ever, are critics speaking of Marvel films in this same manner. Even “Paul Blart: Mall Cop” received a better Rotten Tomatoes score. “Batman v Superman” was supposed to bring us spectacle – fans finally get the throw down they’ve all been waiting for…Batman. Superman. Mano A Mano. They even brought Zack Snyder in to direct. That may not be saying much, but the man can film an outstanding action sequence – exactly what the movie needed.

For Warner Bros., the stakes were high for “Batman v Superman,” and with a slate of 11 superhero films on the roster for the next four years, this was not the time to re-think the company’s approach to this property.

Nonetheless, the tension at WB began to build after what studio executives considered nothing less than a disappointing showing for their film that originally had everything going for it. Studio Executives from WB sank nearly $400 million into the film, including the production budget and marketing, but only returned a profit of a little more than $320 million, domestically. Though not terrible numbers, the true tell is that the film fell nearly 70 percent on its second weekend, meaning new viewers and repeat movie-goers, weren’t showing up – the biggest drop ever, among the films in the big-budget comic book superhero genre.

The studio plunged further into chaos following another sub-par attempt at expanding the DCEU with “Suicide Squad” – a film clouted with talk of requiring reshoots to add more humor to brighten the film’s mood, all before rumors began circulating that there was a director-preferred, R-rated, extended cut of the movie which had contained more footage of the Joker, which fans were seemingly promised in the previews and trailers – all before it was cut from the film at the will of studio executives, against the wishes of director David Ayer.

Fallout from “Batman v Superman,” and even “Suicide Squad,” has rippled throughout Warner Bros. First, WB chose to bring in Geoff Johns to “co-run” their new DC film franchise with Jon Berg, who was already working on “Justice League” and “Wonder Woman.” As DC’s chief content officer, Johns found success helping launch the comic label’s birth in the television sphere with shows that have skyrocketed in popularity, such as The CW’s “Arrow,” “The Flash,” and its latest series, “Legends of Tomorrow.”

But chaos continued. “The Flash” has slowly become the film that may never be. Phil Lord and Chris Miller, writers of the original script, opted out of directing the film. Then, Seth Grahame Smith was to make his directorial debut with “The Flash,” in 2018, but left the film over “creative differences.” He was soon followed by Rick Famuyiwa, who also left the project under similar circumstances.

Then it was announced in January 2017, amidst all the director shake-ups, that the script was going to receive a page-one re-write, a bad sign for a film that is compiling its supporting cast with the expectation of hitting the pre-production stage in March 2017.

Though “The Flash” still does not have a director, Ezra Miller remains signed on to bring Barry Allen to the big screen. Following the “The Flash” fiasco, WB and DC Entertainment ran into the same problem with Michelle MacLaren, who walked away from “Wonder Woman,” citing “creative differences.”

Then there was light to be found at the end of the tunnel. News emerged that Ben Affleck, who portrayed Batman in “Batman v Superman,” would serve as an executive producer on “Justice League,” and would write, star in, direct and produce his solo superhero film, “The Batman.”

Affleck was by far the best part of “Batman v Superman,” giving a solid performance that brought a lot of promise to the new Dark Knight, along with hope for what is to come down the road in DC’s cinematic universe.  He’s an Oscar-winning director, with several noteworthy performances. This was the reassurance fans needed to just hold course and look past all the reorganization and restructuring.

Then low and behold, Affleck announces that he’s exiting the director’s chair, won’t step behind the camera, and will let some other soul take the helm of what was his solo Batman film. All of this comes after rumors circulated that the project was having script issues, including Chris Terrio coincidentally turning in a re-write for a new version of a Batman solo movie that may lead the film in a different direction than what Affleck had originally intended.

This situation (though grim) is not the end all, be all. Leading a film that also requires your talent as a director and producer is a lot of work, and it takes a lot of time. Maybe Affleck bit off more than he could chew. All in all, it is an understandable situation.

However, more of the same seems to be in store for DC Entertainment. WB announced a couple weeks ago they were in negotiations with Matt Reeves as a replacement director, until those talks broke down a week later as things got heated between Reeves and studio executives.

Where does WB go from here? What can fans expect from the DCEU going forward? To start, “Aquaman,” fronted by Jason Momoa and directed by James Wan, who has seen tons of success with the “Fast and Furious” franchise, is still on schedule and has had few to no hiccups (all things considered). It is expected to hit theaters in October 2018. “Wonder Woman,” having overcome its own director re-shuffling, is already holding test screenings with plans to open nationwide in June 2017.

Inherently, the DC cinematic universe will always be compared to that of Marvel. Is that necessarily fair? No, but that’s just how it is.  Marvel Studios has been at this game for almost a decade, and they’ve encountered nothing but success and praise along the way – quite a chip on the shoulder of Warner Bros. With this burden to bare, all the shake-ups, confusion, and lack of direction for the DC properties is explained.  Fans have expectations; they have standards in mind, which are built on minimum expectations for superhero films set forth by Marvel, as viewers subconsciously compare every comic book film they see to their favorite Marvel production.

Yes, maybe DC wants to set itself apart and go a darker, more gruesome route than that set by Marvel. Maybe these movies are supposed to be more mature, and not directed toward a general audience. That’s a great philosophy, but it’s not exactly translating to success in the eyes of studio executives who are worried about profit margins and critical acclaim. Maybe all of this rigmarole will result in movies that are adored by fans and critics alike. Only time will tell, but the evidence suggests otherwise.