Now that Comic Con is behind us one thing was blindingly obvious. The announcements by Marvel generated a huge amount of positive vibe. People are actively looking forward to the new films.
Yes, the Marvel films do have their flaws, only a few are really good, many are average at best and some are mediocre.
But they remain fairly consistent and have retained momentum despite near constant cries that Superhero movies are about to die every second now.
Warner/DC has not be so fortunate. Man of Steel's tone deaf attempt to revisit what can only be described as the archetypal superhero was mostly based on an executive decision driven by the morbid fear of presenting the same product as Marvel and accidentally boosting rival sales through confusion.
MoS's mixed reception prompted some panic in the Warner/DC ranks. MoS showed almost no confidence in the Superman character "Don't make him a boyscout ! Give him mixed feelings, ambiguity and drama, lots of drama !"
What was first announced as a sequel to Man of Steel was quickly retooled into a piece centered around a character that couldn't possibly fail, the Batman.
The title tried to set the new pace : Batman v Superman : Dawn of Justice. They even brought in two of the most popular comic book stories and mashed them together in some make believe voodoo ritual that would magically be unbeatable at the box office.
All the magical thinking producers and Hollywood executives could muster simply didn't work.
They then tried something that would tick all the right boxes. Not just one dark anti-hero, but a whole Suicide Squad of them. Batman, Joker, Harley Quinn and a bunch of nobodies the audience never cared about. What probably started as a grim, violent Superhero version of the Dirty Dozen was rewritten to include jokes, a hipster soundtrack and a plot that felt like a ten year old kid so eager and proud to show they did a whole puzzle on their own, rushes to show it to you, trips, falls and scatters the pieces all over the room.
By now you had to be a hardcore Bayformers type fan not to feel at least a little disappointed by this blind flailing in the dark and hit nothing.
Wonder Woman seemed to finally buck the trend. It was a fairly typical superhero film, but the popularity, positive buzz and cries for "More of that, I like it !" Couldn't be clearer signals.
The only problem is that the next lynchpin movie in the series, was greenlit long before Wonder Woman made an impact and helmed by the guy who had disappointed audiences twice before.
The New Justice League movie may be a complete disaster. Zack Snyder was struck by a horrible personal tragedy and bowed out, and was replaced at the last moment. The trailer clearly showcased Wonder Woman with a vague promise to see more of what you liked in her stand-alone film, though it's clear that the central character was going to be Batman as the elder statesman bringing all the new heroes together and show them how it's really done.
At this point I have to mention Ben Affleck. Love him or hate him. He didn't look very happy at Comic Con, with the same sad look in his eyes as he had in the wake of Batman v Superman : Dawn of Justice. He knows this one is another stinker and the frantic attempts to add some colour to the cheeks of a dying patient "Isn't he looking great ?" Afflecks knows it, it's too little, too late. His proposal for a Batman film was shot down, and it's clear his heart isn't in it any more.
But there might be a silver lining on the horizon. In the shape of Flashpoint. DC is notorious for rebooting their universe every decade or so. Flashpoint is one of them.
If any one else had tried such a blatantly transparent trick, they'd deserve to be waterboarded with battery acid. In the case of Warner/DC, it's a stroke of genius.
It's a far from elegant solution, but if you have one shred of good will left towards Warner/DC and their long struggle with trying to overcome their own stupidity that forced them to paint themselves into a corner from the start, it's a way out …
It doesn't mean it will suddenly make them see the light or prevent them to compound all their mistakes even further. It does allow them to avoid a complete reboot and even retain the bad films as canon pieces and if you have a ton of goodwill and forgiveness to see them in a new light.
Flashpoint would allow them to toss out all the bad ideas, and keep only the ones that do work. You don't need to fire those who have shown potential but were never given it as such.
You could have a post-flashpoint Superman who has actual colour in his costume, was raised by good people, instead of Captain Misanthrope and Ayn Rand and you could have Cavill say, "Weird, it's as if I wasn't quite myself lately." Cue the John Williams theme and give him some feel-good action that would put Christopher Reeves to shame.
I could live with that …