March 2019 Archives

Double Trouble

Just like us, only different

Jordan Peele’s Us didn’t really scare me, and that’s not a complaint. I didn’t find it particularly suspenseful, which is also not a criticism.

Those two sentences reflect not the craft of Us as a horror movie but the writer/director’s use of metaphor and symbolism — an area where he overplays his hand and gets into serious trouble.

Marvel’s Superpower

Brie Larson in 'Captain Marvel'

The conventional wisdom says that Marvel can do no wrong while DC bungles just about everything.

Yet it’s difficult to really compare them. The Marvel Cinematic Universe got a running start with Iron Man way back in 2008, and the DC Extended Universe didn’t begin until 2013, with Man of Steel. Marvel’s first Avengers movie dropped in 2012, while DC didn’t get the gang together until Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice in 2016. In time terms, DC trails Marvel by four to five years, and in volume it’s even further behind: There are now 21 movies in the MCU, while the DC Extended Universe has six.

But we finally have a good point of comparison for the two comic-book titans: Wonder Woman and Captain Marvel. They were released less than two years apart; they both represented the first solo vehicle for a female superhero in their respective universes; they were both directed or co-directed by a woman; and they’re both origin stories that largely stand apart from ongoing narratives.

In a narrow test of brand strength, they strongly support the idea that Marvel drinks DC’s milkshake.