Huge Mistakes DC Won't Be Able To Bounce Back From

Even though Marvel and DC are both in the business of bringing superheroes to movies and TV, they couldn't be more different. One company has changed the landscape of superhero adaptations with its enviable string of successes at the box office and on the small screen...and the other company is DC. The bad reviews 2016's Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice received have reportedly motivated parent company Warner Bros. to shake up its comic-to-film business. Geoff Johns, who's been DC Comics' Chief Creative Officer since 2010, has been tapped to co-run DC Films to try and right the ship. But there's ample evidence that this move might be too little, too late.

Going too dark

Tim Burton's original Batman flick is a classic in large part because it went dark despite years of Adam West's campy Batman reruns on our TVs. Christopher Nolan's hugely successful Batman trilogy, likewise, embraced a dark realism that worked out pretty well. But when Man of Steel went that route too, the movie just didn't work like it should've. Superman is all about hope and optimism—so why does it end with the villain having his neck snapped and Metropolis being completely leveled? It's not a smart way to reintroduce one of fiction's most iconic characters to the movies. And on that note...

A newer, dumber Batman

Many have pointed out that Ben Affleck's performance as the Dark Knight in Batman v Superman was one of the movie's best bits. Maybe that's true! But the need to shoehorn Batman into this movie was also one of its biggest problems. The conceit of the entire film—that Batman and Superman needed to throw down—didn't actually make any sense when all was said and done. On paper, Batman's motivation to kill Superman because he perceives him as a threat to the Earth, is a plot point worth exploring. But the story of the film manipulated Batman's character in such a way as to make him seem kind of like an ignorant doofus, one who's easily duped by the likes of Lex Luthor. Even worse, the resolution of that plot—that Batman would realize he shouldn't kill Superman because their moms are both named Martha—is so stupid, it hurts to type this sentence. This is the new Batman we're supposed to care about going forward?

Making 'Arrow' a non-Batman 'Batman'

There are more Bat-problems on TV, too. The fact that Batman has had more movies than any other DC character is one bit of proof that he's the company's most important character. The fact that he's got top billing in what was supposed to be a Man of Steel sequel is another. And then there's Arrow, which is ostensibly a television adaptation of Green Arrow—but who has far more in common with Batman than he should. For proof, look no further than the inclusion of classic Batman villains like Deadshot and Ra's al Ghul as the hero's antagonists. Moreover, Green Arrow started out in the comics as little more than a Batman rip-off anyway, complete with a sidekick/ward, an Arrow Cave, and an Arrow Car. Shouldn't his TV show find ways to emphasize Green Arrow's strengths, rather than his similarities to a better character? Why not just make a Batman TV show at this rate?

Enough with the prequels

Oh, that's right, DC did make a Batman TV show—only Batman isn't even in it. Gotham is all about Batman's city and the cops who try to keep it safe. But it takes place before Bruce Wayne puts on his costume and starts to fight crime, which is literally one of the least interesting parts of the character or the mythos. Between Gotham and the Superman prequel series Smallville, DC seems to have an unexplainable need to dive deep into its characters' origins, while ignoring what makes its characters actually good. Even Arrow spends half its time each episode showing flashbacks to fill in Oliver Queen's backstory. What's the point? And let's not even get started with the fact that Warner Bros. is still pushing forward with developing the ultimate pointless prequel: Krypton, a show that is literally about Superman's grandpa.

Crisis on infinite screens

This is where DC's live action efforts get really aggravating. While its Flash TV show gets great ratings and fan response, DC and Warner Bros. decided it'd be a good time to make a Flash movie. Makes sense, right? Until you realize that the Flash movie will star a different actor, with a different story, that has nothing to do with the continuity of the show that's currently airing. The movies and the TV shows will have nothing to do with each other despite their concurrent productions. Additionally, Ben Affleck is running around as Batman on the big screen while his little kid counterpart is running around Gotham on TV. Doesn't anyone at DC realize this is a hugely missed opportunity—and will only serve to confuse fans of its properties?

It's only going to get worse

Zack Snyder, the man who made an incoherent mess out of a movie starring two of the world's most popular characters, is still in charge of directing the two-part Justice League movie. The first of that pair began filming only a few weeks after Batman v Superman earned a 27 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes. A short while later, Seth Grahame-Smith decided he wanted out, so he left his gig of directing the Flash movie. The question of whether or not DC Films can produce a movie that pleases critics and theatergoers alike remains unanswered, and will probably remain that way for a while.

Meanwhile, the new co-head of DC Films, Geoff Johns, has a lot of credit among the fan community for his popular work as a writer for DC Comics. He's also written several episodes of Arrow and The Flash, two shows that are hits in the ratings and in the hearts of fans. But he also worked as the co-producer on 2011's disastrous Green Lantern movie. His executive producer credit on Batman v Superman doesn't speak much better to his cinematic talents, either. Of course, it's totally possible that those credits weren't really reflective of his influence or ideas. Getting a producer credit in Hollywood doesn't mean much in the way of actually working on a movie—just ask Stan Lee, a nonagenarian who's been listed as an executive producer on every single Marvel movie and TV show, despite doing no real work on any of those projects.

Can DC turn things around and find a way to match Marvel at its own game? Maybe. But it's probably going to take a lot more than shifting around personnel to fix some of these problems.