A few days back, I watched Justice League movie. Now, I am a big DC Fan. I have read Flashpoint, watched entire Justice League Animated Series, watched Season 1 of Batman Animated Series, Nolanverse, CW-verse. Yet, I didn’t like it. Strange, because, fans have a lower bar for their heroes, even put on a good spin on their flaws.
Initially, I thought it was because they crammed too many new characters, Flash, Cyborg and Aquaman. In rush for speed, they ignored character development time.
A few days back, I was watching Captain America Civil War again. I observed that it also had 2 new characters – Spiderman and Black Panther. I would count Antman as I haven’t seen him yet. The film seemed coherent.
The above theory of too many new characters was wrong. What could be the reason?
I came across more reviews. Another point which came out was the darker tone. It is true that audience generally doesn’t prefer dark movies. But critics do and this movie was smashed by critics too. Also, Nolanverse was also dark. There had to be something more.
Let’s go back and see How was Spiderman introduced? He was not introduced typically as bitten by Spider and indirectly responsible for Uncle Ben’s death. But as a normal teenager who doesn’t know what to do with his powers. Before taking him under his wing, Stark asked him “What gets you out of your twin bed every morning?”
What the story made clear was the motivation of Spiderman. This is very critical. Because we connect with WHY? We are emotional beings. We connect with each other with emotions. I can parrot a bunch of superpowers but ultimately, it will be the story in which you will be interested in.
“Why” doesn’t have to be positive or altruistic feeling. It can be a negative feeling like Black Panther’s revenge for his father or Joker’s motivation of watching the world burn.
Momentarily, we can be dazzled with visuals, but if we want to get deeply involved with something, we need to know “WHY?”
Another thing which bothered me in DCEU was in Man of Steel. When young Clark reprimanded for saving his classmates by pulling a bus out of the water. He asks,
“What was I supposed to do, just let them die?”
Superman’s parent taught him to always do the right thing. Not just when suited to you. Same concerns for Batman. One of Batman’s core value is that he doesn’t kill.
Origins and portrayals doesn’t affect. In fact, origins and portrayals are different across different adaptations. Core values are something that cannot be changed. Core values define the character irrespective of its adaptations.
The learning here is that we need to define our core values and know the motivation. Things will keep on changing, and at an even faster pace as time progresses. It can be any work or oneself. If we have those, it will be relatively easy not to get lost and perhaps, our story will be worthwhile.