Monday, November 10, 2014

5 ways in which Cyborg will suck as bad as Steel

I don't envy you, kid. Except your charming good looks and your money and that you get to play a superhero, and you're a shoe in for an Obama Biopic.

Ah, yes, once again DC/WB had announced  a bunch of movies, and like a kid saying he'll be a rockstar one day, you have to humor the idea that, even if you know in your heart you've heard the same flights of fancy from others, who are currently flipping burgers. You just don't have the heart to tell DC it's more likely to end up sweeping floors than it is to make a Wonder Woman movie.

If I know my DC it'll be back to just Batman in no time (and occasionally Supes getting a reboot), but let's play their game. Sure, you plan to have  2 DC films a year ,yeah, whatever. Green Lantern and everything.

But most baffling of all of those is Cyborg. Dc HAS been trying to push the character to the forefront as of this last few years. He's on the new 52 Justice League, and also features in a big way on recent DVD and game based affairs.

And he was also in a pretty popular cartoon over 10 years ago. But you all knew that.

It's not the first time DC has tried to get hype for a black tech based superheroe. Years ago, shortly after Superman did his little tango with death, a character rose from the ashes of synergy. Steel. He was my favorite. When I read Steel had a movie coming out, I thought it was great. But I had THIS guy in mind.
I always wondered how he managed to move the face, though.

Instead, I ran across THIS in my local Blockbuster.
His helmet was like the movie...they both flopped.

Now, I know it was a different time, where DC movies where slightly more likely to be supershitty and slightly more likely to exist(but not too much, either). But I feel Cyborg is gonna end up being closer to Steel than it will be to The Dark Knight. It's not just because they both star a black Superhero. Buuut...

5)  A Black Superhero
No movie for you!

Well, it's not that making a movie about a black superhero is harder than anything. There's some good black superheroes out there, who just need their story told right.

 It's just that, historically, they've never been done right. But right as in "anyone would watch it, even if they didn't have some kind of ban against White People stuff".

Or maybe you have some counter-examples?

Sadly, Steel had to rely on being a "Black" movie, with gangbanger enemies, a chika-chicka 70s soundtrack , and an obvious blaxploitation feel. This is gonna be one of the challenges of Cyborg because...

4) The character's worth depends on other characters.
Seriously, Cyborg's not even the most interesting Titan

So let's say I'm not heavilly invested in DC comics of today. In fact, I'm not. All I know from Cyborg is what I know from the Teen Titans the cartoon(he's a cyborg and likes yelling Booyah!)

Sell me Cyborg. What are his enemies? What makes him special? What makes him likable?

I suspect Cyborg is at his peak in the Teen Titans. He's got attachments,  there, relations, stories. Just like Steel.

Steel's very origins where related to Superman. That's where he was at his most interesting. Otherwise he was just a black Ironman.

Which is one of the things where the movie goes wrong. Shaquille O'neil as a low ass budget Tony Stark? Come on!

Again, Cy-Hards, let me know if Cyborg has some great villains and stories waiting to be  brought to screen. Otherwise, he, too might just end up saving the 'hood from a gun dealer operating out of  an arcade.

3) The Tone is compromised
Not even Michael Jordan could have saved this tripe.

Steel the movie could never be like Steel the comic. No way with a budget like it had. The changes to it's source are mostly traceable to "not enough money." Even if it had had intentions of being the best possible movie starring the (other) Man of wasn't enough for Flying.

Cyborg faces similar problems, but money's no object this time. For you see, Cyborg is being set up in next year's Batman V Superman.
For the record, here's Smallville's low budget Cyborg.

Whatever they're gonna do in 2020 depends heavilly on what the character is set up as in Batman vs Superman and in the Justice League movie. If that movie has Cyborg as a wise ass clown, or boring and generic the solo movie's director won't be able to turn him into the next Wolverine.

And what exactly will be set up, with Wonder Woman, The Suicide Squad, and Flash and Aquaman all also being set up? Is it like when they set up Hawkeye is a human who shoots arrows in Thor?

2) DC is bad at cinematic universe building, Solo movies.
"In my planet, liking fried chicken is totally a white people stereotype."

DC's terrible record at making movies that aren't Batman and Superman is well earned. But a large part of that comes from spinning of secondary and tertiary characters into their own movies. Because as long as we're not leaving our comfort zones(Gotham and Metropolis), we might as well dredge up some of the unexplored characters from there.

This is how we ended up with Catwoman, Supergirl, and yes, Steel.  All these characters suffer from #4, and their movies are a testimony to that.

It might take some universe building, Marvel style, to get people into  Cyborg. Or rather, the opposite of Marvel: try to use a team up to promote a single character. Their attempts to initiate a united universe have gone straight to hell so far, unless the Justice League movie they have coming up is called Justice League : Mortal and The Suicide Squad's Amanda Waller is played by Angela Basset.

If you're a betting man right now, money's good on them screwing up  something that's both of the things they can't  ever do right.

1) You can't do the Marvel, DC
We don't roll our eyes when Marvel announces their Captain Marvel movie, DC.

Franchises everywhere want in on the Marvel thing, from Universal Monsters to Robin Hood. As always, Hollywood studio heads completely misunderstand the very basics of what makes something a success.

Marvel's first couple of movies only had little hints at a larger universe. They also happened to be mostly good-to-great  movies about characters  who where not as popular as the X-MENs and Spider-Mans of the world.

A Mediocre Batman movie is already a half won battle. Millions of people in the world who only know what movies say through Subtitles, millions who'd never Wiki-binge the Dc pages or pick up a comic, know Batman and are willing to give him money.

Getting people to shell out a Bunch of money for Guardians of the Galaxy takes something WB  didn't sure as hell put into Jonah Hex.

WB didn't put any heart into Steel. If they successfully put as much heart into Cyborg  as much as they did Steel, and history so far says that's likely, then obviously it's poised to be the next Steel.

If it ever gets off the ground, that is. If you can actually go through with a plan to make a movie in 5 years, I'll eat my hat. That I'll have in 5 years


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