Dear DC Comics,
I had such high hopes for you! As a child, I religiously watched your shows on TV, your movies on the big screen, and read the comics when I could. I grew up watching Batman and Superman. I know that the Batman series from the 1960’s was campy, but that show defined camp! I had so much fun watching Batman and Robin tangle with those strange and wonderful foes! Superman was the best thing to see on the big screen! Christopher Reeves was larger than life, and Superman could really save the day! As I grew older, I watched Batman: The Animated Series and was introduced to this strange and lovely being, Harley Quinn. I didn’t know what it was about her, and her terrible abusive relationship with the Joker, but I found myself rooting for her and wanting to see more.
DC, you were doing a great job! Batman was one of the biggest movies of my childhood! Not only did Jack Nicholson play the Joker, but Prince did the soundtrack! Amazing! And Micheal Keaton did a great job as Batman. There was even nods to the source material in the movie which was great for us fans! That is when things started to decline. The second Batman movie was very dark, and visually hard to see. Plus, it was just gross at some points. Then you switched Batman up, twice in the following years. Batman and Robin is one of the most cringe worthy shows ever! It’s not even on a campy level. It’s just bad, and embarrassingly so. What in the world were you thinking, DC, when you gave the green light to these turds? When do you believe this was okay? Now, you are literally spending time and money making up for these movies because you lost fans.
The Dark Knight series was very successful, but it’s not the Batman movies most audiences want or need! These movies were great entertainment, but we wanted more. We wanted the pure Batman. And we still are waiting because for some reason you thought Ben Affleck would make a great caped crusader? That isn’t even the worst part. You destroyed Superman! The forgettable movie that came out in 2000 something was a boo boo. Smallville was a pretty good TV show so that made up for the kind of sad movie adaption with what’s his name. But “The Man of Steel!” Let’s talk about a monster mistake! I have never wanted to walk out of a superhero movie before (including Batman and Robin) until I saw this movie!
Superman was nothing like he was supposed to be! He was violent, angry, and had a body count in the hundreds. He made the Earth his battleground and destroyed buildings, and so many lives! He snapped a neck without much thought or remorse which made us all wonder, was Superman ever capable of being on our side? Now, if you are saying this was all the set up for Batman Vs. Superman, you are correct. But why didn’t you stick with the source material where there were more ways that you could have gotten these two Titans pitted against each other? I fell asleep during Batman Vs. Superman. I tried watching it again, but kept falling asleep. I woke up at the part where Batman stops killing Superman because they share a Mom with the same name…Wow…that was so deep!!! Congratulations, DC, you made me no longer care about these wonderful charters that I grew up with.
I watched “Suicide Squad” and this is the closest to your reboots, or New 52 vibe that you have gotten right. While you lacked in a cohesive story, you at least introduced so characters that were worth looking twice at. You missed the boat with the Joker, Deadshot, and Harley Quinn, but I’m hoping you will make up for it in stand alone movies, or a sequel. The potential for some good stories are there. Just leave out the Enchantress, and what was the point of Croc if you weren’t going to do anything with his character? You literally introduced more characters than you had a story for, and we grasped at straws to get one out of the entire move. One word: EDIT! One more word: FOCUS!
Let Lisa tell you what you need to do in order to get to Marvel status and not a joke. First, make all of your writers read your comics! Second, find writers who love writing, in this universe and about these characters! Your writers are coming off as though making these movies are a huge chore! Your current writers seemingly has a distaste for these characters. It’s like they are saying, “I’m sick of Batman so let’s make him a has been!” “Superman is boring, let’s find a way to make him even more boring, but more violent.” Violence does not equal a good story. You actually need conflict, relate able characters that you want to root for or against, and a reason to care. Your stories have been lacking in the very basics of people wanting to go on these adventures with the characters! Why do I care about whiny Batman? Why do should I care about a Superman who killed so many people? DC, you are a lost puppy, but you can find your way home.
You have a chance to do a first that no other superhero movie has done before. You have the ability to have an all female superhero movie. You already biffed that with Wonder Woman. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that both Wonder Woman and Justice League will do a great job at the box office. However, no one will actually love these movies! The way that Wonder Woman was used was so minor, and so cliche that I could care less that she was on the big screen. You might make it up with her stand alone, but I somehow doubt it. Put your interests in Harley Quinn. Harley Quinn is a movie where you could have a great female writer, director and star. Don’t mess these up for us! Don’t mess this up for the fans, and for girls. You have the power to start to mend the alienation between your terrible movies and your fans, so start there!
Make good choices when it comes to Nightwing! I have been waiting for a Nightwing movie for years! Cast the right butt! You’ve got this! Don’t mess it up. Batgirl is something I can get behind because you hired Joss Whedon. Guess what, he is a fan and loves the comics! That is what you are missing. You have spent so much time making these characters dark that you didn’t realize that you were making them unlikable! Your writers, directors, and even the very dark tones that you use in your movies only showed how much these characters were annoying you. By trying to breath life into them by making things darker, you lost their humanity. Go back to loving these characters. Get excited at the prospect of seeing them on the screen and don’t treat it like a chore. If it’s a chore, fire the writers, and for gosh sake, fire the actors! We know that Ben Affleck doesn’t want to be Batman so let the guy go. We are better off with someone who is excited and happy to play this character, not someone who hates it!
So, there ya go, DC. A little bit of free advice from a fan. You can change! You have the power and I’m rooting for you! In the meantime, I’m spending my money with Marvel, but I’m still hopeful that one day you will figure it out. All it takes is love of a charter, and the story, actors, and directors will come.
*Lisa Tebrinke is available for hire to write for DC Comics. Please, no Aqua Man because that would be a conflict of interest.