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Penny Arcade - Comic - The Axe

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The Axe!

Penny Arcade - Comic - The Axe

Videogaming-related online strip by Mike Krahulik and Jerry Holkins. Includes news and commentary.

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    LucascraftLucascraft Registered User regular
    It's a bad look with no context, and WB has allowed the story to circulate for far too long without issuing any sort of statement or justification for why they scrapped 90mil dollars worth of work and effort.

    From the outside with no context, all we can see is that they canceled a movie starring a Latin American female lead, while simultaneously allowing the Ezra Millar Flash movie to proceed despite his insane, dangerous, violent, and illegal behavior. WB's PR department should have gotten out in front of this thing days ago, rather than allowing it to fester and generate this much animosity from everybody everywhere. If there's a legitimate reason why they canceled it, they need to say so. And honestly, "we thought it would be bad" is probably not a strong enough justification, considering they have allowed movies such as Batman and Robin and The Matrix 4 to be released to the public.

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    HevachHevach Registered User regular
    edited August 2022
    They eventually came with, "A strategic shift in plans for the DCEU, etc etc."

    My reaction is WHAT DCEU? Its in shambles, everything's cancelled except the two things that are merely delayed for years, you've canned the actors of four out of six if it's existing top bill heroes and that somehow didn't include the one who was a fugitive from justice. just let it collapse into it's component parts and salvage what you can of solo projects or sell the whole thing to the Borg Disney and stand back.

    Hevach on
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    RatherDashing89RatherDashing89 Registered User regular
    Black Templars, then?

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    zepherinzepherin Russian warship, go fuck yourself Registered User regular
    Hevach wrote: »
    They eventually came with, "A strategic shift in plans for the DCEU, etc etc."

    My reaction is WHAT DCEU? Its in shambles, everything's cancelled except the two things that are merely delayed for years, you've canned the actors of four out of six if it's existing top bill heroes and that somehow didn't include the one who was a fugitive from justice. just let it collapse into it's component parts and salvage what you can of solo projects or sell the whole thing to the Borg Disney and stand back.
    They keep trying to copy marvel. Stop it do your own thing. They keep looking at the things that are working, and ignoring them to continually double down on the shit that isn't working.

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    GrendusGrendus Registered User regular
    What have they been doing that was working?

    They've had a few standalone or largely standalone films like The Batman, The Suicide Squad (aha! it's the 'The' that makes them work), Joker (damn, there goes the trend), Shazaam. The only ones connected to the larger DCEU that did well were Aquaman and Wonder Woman (but WW84 bombed). There's no trend, WB just seems to be flailing in the dark with no idea how to manage their properties.

    I dunno what kind of faustian bargain Disney made, but Marvel's success seems to be unique. Everyone else who's tried to build a contiguous movie franchise has, at best, struggled. Sony managed two Venom movies before flubbing their "Spiderman Villains" universe with Morbius (and managed to kill their live action Spiderman series by trying to introduce the entire Sinister Six in The Amazing Spiderman 2). Last I heard the Fast and the Furious shared universe hasn't gone anywhere since Hobbes and Shaw. Universal has tried several times to get a shared Monster universe (first with Dracula Untold, then The Mummy). I can't tell if Spiral was trying to turn the Saw franchise into an expanded universe, but I haven't heard anything since. Haven't heard anything about the expanded John Wick universe... I dunno. Somehow Marvel has put out as many entries in their shared universe as other studios have tried getting a universe going.

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    HevachHevach Registered User regular
    edited August 2022
    Disney took a gamble by getting subject matter enthusiasts in at the start and catching relatively cheap actors in multi movie contracts on historically B-list heroes and some even lower list villains, putting them in adaptations of relatively minor storylines in service of a long term plan that was basically just "Infinity Gauntlet in ten years" scrawled on a napkin. It reveled in the source material and only cut deeper the more it worked.

    DC started from a position of shame in the subject matter and blew their wad on the biggest characters and stories and speedran through them in three movies with no plan for the future. They only shed their shame of being comic book movies briefly for Aquaman, and looking back years later I don't actually think they did, they just saw Guardians of the Galaxy doing weird shit and tried to do the same, but for all the spectacle of that movie I can't for the life of me recall anything usefully specific of it.

    Disney's plan could have failed badly, but DC's was doomed from the start.

    Hevach on
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    OverkillengineOverkillengine Registered User regular
    Black Templars, then?

    That was my guess from the symbol, though the colors are slightly off. Might just be artistic license though.

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    PyrianPyrian Registered User regular
    Black Templars, then?

    That was my guess from the symbol, though the colors are slightly off. Might just be artistic license though.

    Yes, Black Templars. It was announced: https://www.penny-arcade.com/news/post/2022/07/22/black-templars

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    LtPowersLtPowers Registered User regular
    Allow me to also posit this disparity:

    Marvel's heroes are well known for their angst and drama. Their powers come with limitations; their responsibilities carry weight; they have real lives just as complex as their superheroic lives. That adapts well to the screen, where you need to have characters with realistic motivations and complications.

    DC's heroes tend to be more straightforward (because, to be fair, their most prominent characters are older and borne of a different storytelling era than Marvel's). Easy to write comics for, harder to write compelling multi-film screenplays for.

    That's not to say it can't be done. The various DC animated series prove that it can. But even there I think the episodic format works in its favor. It's just not easy to write feature films for those characters, especially those who can do almost anything and don't carry a lot of personal baggage (like Supes and Green Lantern). The original Superman film worked great largely on the strength of Chris Reeve's performance (I could probably say the same of the first Wonder Woman film and Gal Gadot), but the sequels struggled.

    DC did have success with Batman, of course -- not coincidentally, the most realistic and down-to-earth of their troupe, with a dark past and complex motivations. Batman translates well to the big screen for similar reasons as the Marvel characters.

    So, yeah, I'm not discounting the impact of poor management, poor advance planning, and all that. But I think there's something fundamentally different in the types of supers Marvel and DC put out that makes some of them easier to write for than others.


    Powers &8^]

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    v2miccav2micca Registered User regular
    I mean Gabe is correct. Warner Bros has developed a bad reputation for releasing shitty comic book films that don't make money. But I guess his logic is that the best way to divest yourself of that reputation is to continue to release shitty comic book films that don't make money?

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    Anon von ZilchAnon von Zilch Registered User regular
    v2micca wrote: »
    I mean Gabe is correct. Warner Bros has developed a bad reputation for releasing shitty comic book films that don't make money. But I guess his logic is that the best way to divest yourself of that reputation is to continue to release shitty comic book films that don't make money?

    I think his logic is, why stop now? And the comic doesn't even mention anything about saving their reputation. It's going to be in the toilet for a good while still.

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    dennisdennis aka bingley Registered User regular
    edited August 2022
    v2micca wrote: »
    I mean Gabe is correct. Warner Bros has developed a bad reputation for releasing shitty comic book films that don't make money. But I guess his logic is that the best way to divest yourself of that reputation is to continue to release shitty comic book films that don't make money?

    I think his logic is, why stop now? And the comic doesn't even mention anything about saving their reputation. It's going to be in the toilet for a good while still.

    Yeah, Gabe delivers the final line with an angry face. He definitely isn't approving of any of their choices.

    dennis on
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    garhentgarhent Registered User regular
    edited August 2022
    garhent was warned for this.
    Sex appeal sells in movies, there is an extremely small demographic of men totes mcgotes into transwomen like Eddie Murphy +1. They might as well decided to put out a morbidly obese Wonder Woman at their next movie to attract the demographic into the morbidly obese. I get microtargeted advertising, but not for a $100M movie. If they want to put out a trans actor playing an established character don't do it don't rape the character. Make a brand new character and have them be trans. The character will either sink or swim based on the merit of the story, not on past membaberries. We've got ReeRee Williams coming in as Iron Man, its already bad enough. If WB is smart and they put out their core characters they will eat what marvel is trying to shovel out. Shazam, Wonder Woman and Aquaman has all been good to me, I hope the rumors they are only keeping Aquaman is false.

    Whippy on
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    dennisdennis aka bingley Registered User regular
    Well, that's a take.

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    HevachHevach Registered User regular
    Because the only reason that any character can exist in any medium is as an object of sexual desire.

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    garhentgarhent Registered User regular
    edited August 2022
    garhent was warned for this.
    Hevach wrote: »
    Because the only reason that any character can exist in any medium is as an object of sexual desire.

    Sex appeal has an impact on sales. As does character raping an existing character. Make a new character if they want the character to be trans, not take an existing character. As long as they have good writers with a good story people will probably be interested in it or give it a try. At this point, the minute I see a gender swap, race swap or genital whole swap its a sign of a bad movie 9 times out of 10. Make new content and stand on it, don't change characters people have loved for 50+ years.

    Whippy on
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    dennisdennis aka bingley Registered User regular
    You're getting really close to (if not right on top of) some serious transphobia here. This is not welcome here.

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    garhentgarhent Registered User regular
    edited August 2022
    garhent was warned for this.
    I'm stating If they want to create a trans character for the WB, make a new character. Do not take an existing character with a 50 year history+ and trans them for free advertising. If WB can put out a good trans super hero with good writing with good reviews I'll watch it. Now is that Transphobia Dennis? No, it isn't. But at this point, the amount of garbage being putting out by Marvel and DC, its unlikely I'd bother from their studios.

    I also don't like to see characters with established histories essentially raped of their identity and turned into something else while wearing the skin of the original. Whatever they did to Batgirl, was so horrific WB took $100M loss rather than release it. Remember Superman stating "Truth, Justice and the American Way", well that had to go as did his US citizenship. A lot of people didn't like that including the artist who left after getting a shot at Superman when they did that. And now we got a new character Isom, that might be a new super hero universe of worth, not created by character rape but creating something new. Also because that artist didn't like the character rape of superman.

    Whippy on
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    v2miccav2micca Registered User regular
    dennis wrote: »
    v2micca wrote: »
    I mean Gabe is correct. Warner Bros has developed a bad reputation for releasing shitty comic book films that don't make money. But I guess his logic is that the best way to divest yourself of that reputation is to continue to release shitty comic book films that don't make money?

    I think his logic is, why stop now? And the comic doesn't even mention anything about saving their reputation. It's going to be in the toilet for a good while still.

    Yeah, Gabe delivers the final line with an angry face. He definitely isn't approving of any of their choices.

    The logic for stopping is simple. The movie will cost more money to finish, promote, and distribute (be it via streaming or traditional theatrical model) The films reportedly did not screen well. Internal analyst have projected that even at its current price tag it will lose money. In that situation where you gain nothing by releasing the film, why would you? Just to appease a subset of snarky assholes online that will simply use the film's existence as confirmation that you are shit studio? Really trying to understand the upside of this philosophy that you are in a hole, you should just keep digging instead of trying something else.

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    garhentgarhent Registered User regular
    edited August 2022
    v2micca wrote: »
    dennis wrote: »
    v2micca wrote: »
    I mean Gabe is correct. Warner Bros has developed a bad reputation for releasing shitty comic book films that don't make money. But I guess his logic is that the best way to divest yourself of that reputation is to continue to release shitty comic book films that don't make money?

    I think his logic is, why stop now? And the comic doesn't even mention anything about saving their reputation. It's going to be in the toilet for a good while still.

    Yeah, Gabe delivers the final line with an angry face. He definitely isn't approving of any of their choices.

    The logic for stopping is simple. The movie will cost more money to finish, promote, and distribute (be it via streaming or traditional theatrical model) The films reportedly did not screen well. Internal analyst have projected that even at its current price tag it will lose money. In that situation where you gain nothing by releasing the film, why would you? Just to appease a subset of snarky assholes online that will simply use the film's existence as confirmation that you are shit studio? Really trying to understand the upside of this philosophy that you are in a hole, you should just keep digging instead of trying something else.

    It goes more down to WB's foray into DC. Some liked the darkness of the Snyderverse, I was in the /meh. Wonder Woman 1 was awesome and then came Wonder Woman 2 which was horrible. Batman, Joker and Suicide Squad were more /mehs. Aquaman was good. Shazam, arguably aimed at children it was a good popcorn movie. A lot of people are looking at WB and what they've done for movies, injecting unnecessary politics or bad writing and aren't happy with them.

    Zaslav has been getting rid of the gunk and hopefully with a leaned down WB and DC, they'll get back to writing good content. I quit buying comics 8 years ago from Marvel and DC due to the writing and art. I'm personally hoping that a DC being run on profit rather than ideology will be good. I take the cancelling of Batgirl an extremely good sign.

    edit: And I should add DC animated generally is pretty good. Not 10's but no 3's or less mostly mid to high, so DC has been doing very well there.

    garhent on
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    LttlefootLttlefoot Registered User regular
    Maybe best to think of films in a vacuum rather than binding them together just because they have same publisher or same characters. Pixar recently found out that no one is obliged to see lightyear just because they are toy story fans. They will only see it if it’s good on its own

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