Yes, you have read this articles title right, the DC Movie Universe (DCMU) is getting it all wrong with its gritty contemporary take on their superheroes, it should instead be aiming squarely at its Silver Age. Let Marvel be contemporary, let’s get retro DCMU!
Why So Serious?
To distinguish itself from the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), the DCMU has decided to go for a washed out color palette and double the dose of seriousness and go gritty. You know because dark and gritty somehow means realistic in a universe where people put on capes to fight crime. This I feel is doing a huge disservice to the entire DC Pantheon.
The DC universe has always been a more serious place than Marvel, the stories always having a darker undertone and it made a nice counterpoint to the lighter buzz of Marvel. Even the Superman books had a darker edge to them as writers sought to make the man more relevant than the super.
However the DCMU jump down the dark and gritty hole with their characters is wrong, because it doesn’t suit the style of the books. You see there is something inherently 60’s about DC’s heroes and that is where we should go.
All About Style
I would decamp the entire DCMU into the Silver Age and capture the optimism, the paranoia and atomic dangers of that time period. I would still keep the serious edge of the books, but dress it up in 60’s style. Make it buzz with life and then put the superheroes right into the middle of it. There is something about the DC pantheon that fits this period perfectly.
I’m not talking about the camp of Batman ’66, but the DCMU does need to do something to distinguish it from MCU, placing it back into the 60’s it the perfect place for it, retro styles, hyper-technology and a world were Superman actually doesn’t look out-of-place (but can still feel a little old-fashioned). Everything about DC would fit so easily into this time period as everything back then seemed possible… Hopeful…
Contemporary isn’t for the DCMU, but with a little retro 60’s style would kick their heels at the MCU giving them the edge they need. What do you think?