Posted on Tuesday, February 24th, 2009 by Peter Sciretta
Academy Award-nominated and Hugo Award winning geek writer/director Joss Whedon has a theory on why it’s so hard to translate DC comic book characters to the big screen: “Because, with that one big exception (Batman), DC’s heroes are from a different era. They’re from the era when they were creating gods.” Whedon explains to Maxim that DC’s characters, like Wonder Woman, Superman and Green Lantern, were “all very much removed from humanity.”
“Batman was the only character they had who was so rooted in pain, that had that same gift that the Marvel characters had, which was that gift of humanity that we can relate to.” …”And the thing that made [rival publisher] Marvel Comics extraordinary was that they created people. Their characters didn’t living in mythical cities, they lived in New York. They absolutely were a part of the world. Peter Parker’s character (Spider-Man) was a tortured adolescent.”
Whedon knows a lot about creating characters and the art of storytelling. I think his theory has merit. Personally, I’ve always enjoyed the Marvel characters more because they feel more rooted in reality, and less fantastical, even when that isn’t the case. Daredevil has super hearing but Superman is basically a god on earth, able to do anything imagineable. And I know I’m probably going to get some nasty comments from DC fanboys, but concepts like Wonder Woman’s invisible plane look stupid on the comic page. I can’t imagine how they would look on the big screen.
Now if only Joss Whedon could figure out how to create a television show that doesn’t get canceled…