Tag Archives: dc comics

Wonder Woman and Getting Characters Right

DC Comics hasn’t had much luck with movies lately. They’ve been striving to catch up with Marvel Comics’ unsurpassed cinematic universe with several films of their own—with mixed results. Then this past weekend Wonder Woman was released. A lot was riding on it. It was the first female-led superhero film in 12 years (and none of the others were successes). It was the first time Wonder Woman was ever on the big screen. DC desperately needed a film to save their “extended universe.”

And it was, well, wonderful.

This blog isn’t a review of the film. What I want to talk about is the first and most important reason why I think this film succeeded. It’s something that took DC’s film division four tries to learn, and it’s something you as a writer can benefit from knowing.

Get your characters right.

One of the major problems the DCEU films have had is they’ve tried so hard to reimagine and/or “modernize” their already iconic characters that they’ve almost ceased to be those characters. Superman is brooding and doubtful. Batman is paranoid and murderous. And don’t even get me started on the Joker.

Here, though, DC doesn’t screw around. They present Wonder Woman—a character I’m sure they were too scared for years to put on screen—as she should be: earnest, inspirational, and above all, compassionate. I’ve not read many Wonder Woman comics (though I suddenly want to read more now), but I’ve always thought that she was written best when she was written as I just described. Yes, she is an Amazon warrior. Her strength rivals Superman’s and her fighting prowess probably exceeds Batman’s. But hers is a distinctly feminine strength. Her drive to fight comes from a desire to comfort and protect. In the film, she witnesses the horrors of war, seeing wounded soldiers and civilians, and without speaking a word, the audience knows her heart is breaking. She’s naïve, but she’s not brooding, doubtful, or murderous. It’s a welcome change from what DC’s been doing with their films.

Along the same lines, this film isn’t steeped in feminist propaganda. By that I mean making all the men in the film worthless idiots (like what was done in last year’s horrid Ghostbusters remake). Wonder Woman is determined to forge ahead and make her own way, but she gladly seeks and accepts help from men. The male characters, especially Steve Trevor (Chris Pine), are all strong, competent, and well-written characters. Wonder Woman even (gasp!) falls in love with one of them and (SPOILER WARNING) renews her faith in humanity because Trevor told her he loved her before dying heroically. In other words, Wonder Woman saw the best of mankind thanks to men.

Let this be a lesson to you, writers: believe in your characters and let them be true to themselves. Don’t let culture or trends dictate how you write them. That’s a one-way ticket to cookie-cutter clichés. Write the characters you want to write. Make them unique. Make them your own. What audiences want isn’t always what they need, or even what they want in the long run. That’s why you need to let your characters be true to themselves, and by extension, you remain true to yourself as an artist and storyteller.

What did you think of Wonder Woman? What are some ways you’ve learned on how to write your characters right?

But I Digress…, Episode 38: Suicide Squad vs. Sinister Squad


“But I Digress…”
Hosted by Nathan Marchand

“I’m not gonna kill ya,” says DC Comics and Warner Bros. “I’m just gonna hurt ya…really, really bad.”

My friends Sergio and Luke join me to review the newest DCEU film, Suicide Squad. We watched it as part of a “Squad Double Feature”–we watched the Asylum’s “mockbuster” Sinister Squad first. All three of us had choice words about both movies.

What’d you think of Suicide Squad (or Sinister Squad)?

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But I Digress…, Episode 35: A Review of ‘Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice’

“But I Digress…”
Hosted by Nathan Marchand

“And there came a day unlike any other”–

Oops. Wrong company and franchise. 😛

Anyway, in this episode I review DC’s much-hyped Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice. But I’m not alone. I’m joined once again by my buddy Sergio. Guess which one of us liked the movie and which of us didn’t.

(By the way, Sergio’s awful couch makes skinny people look fat and fat people look…fatter). 😜

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My text review of the movie.

‘Marvel vs. DC’ movie coming in 2020!

Author’s Note: I originally posted this today on Examiner.com, but they put the kibosh on it and took it down inside of five minutes. I guess they have no appreciation for April Fool’s Day jokes. Regardless, here it is.

In an unprecedented move, Disney and Warner Bros. have struck a deal to adapt the epic crossover comic book miniseries DC vs. Marvel for the big screen. Published in 1996 and written by Ron Marz and Peter David, with art by Dan Jurgens and Claudio Castellini, the four-part story saw characters from both publishers clash to save the multiverse. Kevin Feige and Christopher Nolan are executive producers with David S. Goyer slated to write the script and Bryan Singer directing. This announcement was made with a trailer created by super-fan Alex Luthor.

“Despite being competitors, DC and Marvel have had some classic crossovers,” said Feige. “Since both companies are building cinematic universes, it only seemed logical to have them crossover.”

Bryan Singer jumped at the chance to direct this massive film. “Since I’ve directed both Superman and the X-Men, I think I’m the only guy in Hollywood qualified to handle characters from both companies,” he said.

The comic book featured over a dozen bouts like Superman vs. Hulk and Captain America vs. Batman. Half were determined by the creators while others were decided by fan votes, which is something that will also be done for this film.

“This is for the fans, so we want them to be involved,” said Nolan. “When the movie’s website is launched, it will feature a page where they can cast their votes on the more high-profile matches. We freely admit that they might know better than us.”

Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, and the rest of cast of Avengers will be joining Henry Cavil, Ben Affleck and Gal Gadot in this epic war of worlds.

“I could so take Bat-fleck,” Downey said. “He looks all mopey and sad. Plus, I’ve got better toys.”

Ben Affleck was unavailable for a retort.

Adding to the scope of the film, Marvel is in talks with 20th Century Fox to allow the X-Men and Fantastic Four to be part of the massive crossover.

“Since both of those franchises have tampered or will tamper with the fabric of reality, it made sense story-wise to include them,” said Feige. “This would allow us to sort of include them in the MCU without having them in the MCU. Negotiations have been tough, but I expect we’ll have a deal hammered out soon.”

DC is also considering adding the likes of Grant Gustin (“The Flash”) and Stephen Amell (“Arrow”) to the mix because of their respective shows’ immense popularity. Given the nature of the story, it’s definitely possible.

While all the main players are set, the studios have yet to cast Axel Asher, aka Access, the character who will serve as the bridge between these worlds.

“He was just a regular teenager until a bum told him he was next in line to inherit special interdimensional powers,” said Goyer. “I love that about him. It’s as much his story as it is about the huge fandom-fueled brawls.”

Several actors have apparently auditioned for the coveted role, including Josh Hutcherson (“The Hunger Games”), Taylor Lautner (“Twilight”), Channing Tatum (“G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra”) and, interestingly, Liam Hemsworth (“The Hunger Games”).

“I’d love to be in a movie with my little brother!” said Chris Hemsworth, who plays Thor. “We always competed with each other growing up.”

Don’t expect to see this crossover clash in theatres for a while, though, since most of these actors are contracted for other films.

“These actors all have a lot on their plates, so we’ll have to wait for everything to align,” said Nolan. “But it will be worth the wait.”

The question on everyone’s mind, though, is will Stan Lee have a cameo?

“The man will be almost a hundred years old by then!” said Singer. “But I think he’d be honored to be part of the film, even if he’s carted in on a wheelchair.”

“Marvel vs. DC” is slated to be released April 1, 2020.

NaPoWriMo, Day 29: “Fortress of Solitude”

This poem was inspired by the Fortress of Solitude, the “home away from home” Superman has in Antarctica. While that was the inspiration, not every line in the poem applies to the place.

Be sure to come back tomorrow for the final day of National Poetry Writing Month because I will write a type of poem I’ve never written before–a sonnet!

For now, enjoy today’s poem.

Fortress of Solitude

I retreat to a hiding place
Away from the world’s demands, others’ judgments, my problems.
Here, I savor the tales of heroes,
Wishing I was one of them.
Here, I am free to be me
When none understand who I am.
Here, I commune with my Father,
Hoping to find the strength to face the day.
It is my Fortress of Solitude:
A lonely stronghold protected by cold walls.
The door is unlocked—
I would welcome any who enter,
And share my dwelling with them,
So it may be a home and not a house of seclusion.
Yet few accept my invitation and none stay,
Leaving me alone in hallowed and hollow halls.