Sex appeal? Superman? Nah! Not to Gen-X. He’s way too goody goody. Too nice to be sexy. And a little ‘uncle’ don’t you think? What about Batman? He could be sexy. With his billions and his gadgets and his racy nightlife? Nope! There are enough balding, mid-aged sugar daddies out there with cars and villas and girls eating outta their, uh, capes. But sexy? A bit farfetched, right?

That’s the perception of general audiences. There seems to be a tiredness to the Superheroes from DC. Save for Wonder Woman! Aah! Now we’re talking. She’s a whole lotta ‘hot. And she shows a streak of S&M with her golden lasso and her dominatrix costume. That’s a lot of fun and attraction to the youth. Maybe that’s why the ‘Wonder Woman’ movie worked but ‘Justice League’ is falling way below the expected box office weekend of 110 million $. Struggling around the 94 million $ mark. That shows audience fatigue. And that’s not a good sign.

Justice League

“Superman is too good to be sexy. He’s invincible. He’s invulnerable. He’s, well, super. But he’s not sexy. He’s a good samaritan ‘uncle’. A cleft in the chin and a tousled lock don’t make him sexy and the red underwear worn outside is no longer a ‘cool’ talking point. Rappers do that now. Hip hoppers. Not our Supes?”

If Marvel has stolen a march with ‘Avengers’ and all their characters, it’s because they began in the young fun zone. The first ‘Hulk’ was dead serious. And the BO didn’t see as much green (beyond Hulk) as the studio would’ve liked. But combine that with Ironman’s humor, Thor’s stoic straight-laced one-liners ‘hammered’ in and Spiderman mumbling more than Mel Gibson on steroids. Throw in some lightness and some sex appeal and some super romance and you have a light light experience.

“As for Batman, his darkness is now a yawn. Teens party longer hours than this night vigilante. He looks tired and portly. Bruce Wayne was supposed to be far more exciting a person. A rich dude with racy wit and richie rich gadgets. But ‘Big Ben’ (Affleck) is not the sprightly youngster from ‘Armageddon’ anymore. He’s almost tubby in his three-piece suits. The Joker looks a bit sexier than him to our girls. ‘Why so serious. uncle?’!”

DC’s venture with ‘Batman vs Superman’ was compared to the Indian film ‘Karan Arjun’ where two brothers are killed by the badman and they reincarnate to help their desolate mother. Her lines are now part of the Bollywood meme museum, “My Karan and my Arjun will come. They will come’. Came they did. Splattering the baddie blood all over. But we don’t expect that from Batman and Kal-El, the son of Jor-El. from Krypton. We don’t wish to see an emotional fight between these two; broken up by a weepy mother-figure and culminating with the classic Indian family embrace. We want them to use every superhero trick in the book to outsmart the other. We want them to smash up entire skylines and then combine to take on super-villains from space and restore those skylines. But no.

Ben Affleck and Gal Gadot-Superman is too good to be sexy. He’s invincible. He’s invulnerable. He’s, well, super. But he’s not sexy. He’s a good samaritan ‘uncle’. A cleft in the chin and a tousled lock don’t make him sexy and the red underwear worn outside is no longer a ‘cool’ talking point. Rappers do that now. Hip hoppers. Not our Supes?

“DC is trying to increase the roles of the sexy as hell Gal Gadot (Wonderwoman) to entice the younger audiences. And even introducing new characters. One place where they score is in the revamp of their original Aquaman, who came across as ‘gay’ (according to Hollywood biggies) in his comic book avatar. Hence, the extra testosterone pumped Jason Momoa (‘Game of Thrones’) – who seems to have women and girls swooning in the aisles!”

As for Batman, his darkness is now a yawn. Teens party longer hours than this night vigilante. He looks tired and portly. Bruce Wayne was supposed to be far more exciting a person. A rich dude with racy wit and richie rich gadgets. But ‘Big Ben’ (Affleck) is not the sprightly youngster from ‘Armageddon’ anymore. He’s almost tubby in his three-piece suits. The Joker looks a bit sexier than him to our girls. ‘Why so serious. uncle?’ The other problem is that Ironman is also rich and owns gadgets and has his own tower standing ‘Stark’ly on the skyline. It looks a bit more real than the fictitious Gotham city, a symbolism for a once decayed neighborhood in the old New York (pardon the paradox). New York City has long since cleaned up and Times Square is not a seedy 70s location no more. But Gotham city remains that. Filled with thugs and mugs.

Move on peeps, there are now thugs and mugs in outer space too if the movies are to be believed. And they have big bad weapons of mass destruction. Marvel tackled these inter-galactic villains quicker than DC’s Flash could say ‘gesundheit’. DC is trying to increase the roles of the sexy as hell Gal Gadot (Wonderwoman) to entice the younger audiences. And even introducing new characters. One place where they score is in the revamp of their original Aquaman, who came across as ‘gay’ (according to Hollywood biggies) in his comic book avatar. Hence, the extra testosterone pumped Jason Momoa (‘Game of Thrones’) – who seems to have women and girls swooning in the aisles.

“The secret of Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy success lay in the ‘relatability’’ of the hero. And Christian Bale brought a pathos to the role. he didn’t look like a fat bat. He looked like a hungry hero who could feel pain and who could weep. Maybe it was deliberate on DC’s part, but Affleck’s Bat looks too well fed and lethargic to even want to fight. If the studio intends to ‘kill off’ Batman in coming series, it’s a corporate call. But I feel to bring Bat back in a young relatable and human (don’t forget Bruce Wayne is human, however rich) avatar would benefit the anaemic vampire bat!”

Yes, I know comparisons are odious, but the secret of Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy success lay in the ‘relatability’’ of the hero. And Christian Bale brought a pathos to the role. he didn’t look like a fat bat. He looked like a hungry hero who could feel pain and who could weep. Maybe it was deliberate on DC’s part, but Affleck’s Bat looks too well fed and lethargic to even want to fight. If the studio intends to ‘kill off’ Batman in coming series, it’s a corporate call. But I feel to bring Bat back in a young relatable and human (don’t forget Bruce Wayne is human, however rich) avatar would benefit the anaemic vampire bat.

It’s almost as if the director Zack Snyder himself is building in lines that poke fun at Wayne. “So what’s your superpower?” asks Flash of him. “I’m rich” is the cliched reply, getting titters from an expectant audience.

“Superman is the savior of the world. And that equates with ‘ prophet’ right? Sounded good back in the days when the world needs saving a lot more. But now let’s leave that job to Jesus and the other prophets. Also, he needs to do something wicked in life; apart from playing with his two favorite initials L.L. (that could be Lana Lang, Lois Lane or Lex Luthor, huh?)”

Wonder-WomanSuperman is another story. He’s the savior of the world. And that equates with ‘ prophet’ right? Sounded good back in the days when the world needs saving a lot more. But now let’s leave that job to Jesus and the other prophets. Also, he needs to do something wicked in life; apart from playing with his two favorite initials L.L. (that could be Lana Lang, Lois Lane or Lex Luthor, huh?). He needs to get out of this hypnotized, “I am good … I am earning good karma … I am perfectly good …” state and play with some kryptonite marbles. maybe its time for DC to visit their corny-as-ever parallel universe where everything is the other way round? Revisit a dark Superman? After all, DC wrote those comic books, I just read and remembered them.

“Superman needs to get out of this hypnotized, “I am good … I am earning good karma … I am perfectly good …” state and play with some kryptonite marbles. maybe its time for DC to visit their corny-as-ever parallel universe where everything is the other way round? Revisit a dark Superman? After all, DC wrote those comic books, I just read and remembered them!”

To address the issue, Batman needs to fly outta his belfry real fast and go on a crash diet. Go into some time travel capsule and return rejuvenated. Superman needs to cheat on his girl and flirt with some other beauties. And also return as Superboy to capture the younger viewers. It may make the duo a bit sexier and give DC the much needed blood rush at the turnstiles. Meanwhile, the guys have their Wonder Woman and the gals have their Aquaman to hold fort.

Sad state of two once-upon a time unbeatable superheroes right? But nothing is lost. DC has the stories. they just need to pull them out and hammer them in. Not try and be a Marvel.

“Batman needs to fly outta his belfry real fast and go on a crash diet. Go into some time travel capsule and return rejuvenated. Superman needs to cheat on his girl and flirt with some other beauties. And also return as Superboy to capture the younger viewers. It may make the duo a bit sexier and give DC the much needed blood rush at the turnstiles. Meanwhile, the guys have their Wonderwoman and the gals have their Aquaman to hold fort!”

Oh yes, and keep the soppy emotions out. We see enough of those in our local Indian movies. So there.

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