You don’t see me making a habit of comparing DC superhero movies to Marvel superhero movies because I think it’s a useless and counterproductive exercise. I’ve been waiting all my life to see superheroes brought to the big screen with such artistry, talent, respect, majesty and mind-blowing spectacle and I go see ’em all. True, there are some I’ve enjoyed way more than others but on the whole, this is a wonderful time to be a comic book fan as well as a movie fan.
But I do have to point out something. When I went to see MAN OF STEEL I saw kids in the lobby waiting to go in, excited to see Superman on the big screen. Some wore Superman T-shirts or carried Superman action figures. And I felt happy for them as I fully and completely understood that kind of excitement.
An hour later, many of those same kids were either asleep, bored or asking their parents when the movie was going to be over and they could go home. If you had ever told me that kids would be bored watching a Superman movie, I would have laughed myself into an aneurysm. And when the movie was over those same kids walked out of the theater with no excitement or joy in their eyes or heart for Superman. Which really made me sad.
Contrast that with BLACK PANTHER. I’ve seen it two times now and at both showings the kids were engaged and excited with what was going on up on the screen. And when they walked out of the theater they were talking excitedly about Wakanda, Princess Shuri, T’Challa and of course, M’Baku and the Dora Milaje.
In their eyes I saw imagination and joy and I knew they had the thrill of adventure in their hearts.
And maybe the difference between DC superhero movies and Marvel superhero movies is just as simple as that.