I'll be honest here: I never knew the difference before I got married. My knowledge of comic book heroes came from Saturday morning cartoons. Marinating in a stew of testosterone for the second half of my life has expanded my knowledge considerably. I think it started when Mr. D and I used to watch the X-Men on Saturday mornings before we had kids.
Then along came Batman and Spiderman. My sons began watching the TV series and movies and reading the books. Gradually I started to pick up on the subtle differences between actual super powers and being a super hero. I began to understand the background, evil nemesis (nemesi?), relationships and mythology for various characters.
We took the whole Avengers thing pretty seriously over here, piecing together Thor, Captain America, Iron Man, Black Widow, Hawkeye and Hulk. And we've closely followed The X-Men and The Amazing Spiderman. (I, for one, am eagerly awaiting the Black Widow's movie because she is FIERCE.) We're speculating what will happen in Avengers 2 and in the next X-Men movie.
Then I saw an announcement this week about a Justice League movie in the works and I guffawed. Sorry, DC Comics, but you don't have it going on. You did nice work with The Batman franchise, but other than that, it's been a flop. If this film ever does come to fruition, I'm not hopeful and here's why:
* You've failed to create the back story for your other characters. The Avengers worked because Iron Man, Captain America and Thor laid the groundwork. Each film incorporated the big picture and provided a little bit of connection, luring us from the individual character's stories into the big united front.
* You take yourself too seriously. Other than The Flash, your superheroes offer no levity or humor. Batman is a total downer of a dude. Superman is stern and self-righteous. Most people don't even know who Aquaman is. On the flip side, Captain America appreciates the goofiness of his situation (frozen and thawed out 60 years later), Iron Man's a crazy genius and when he's not Hulk, Bruce Banner understands the big picture because he's also a genius.
* You don't include female characters in a meaningful way. I'm part of the 52% of the viewing population that likes to see ladies kick ass. Rogue, Natalia "Natasha" Alianovna (AKA Black Widow) and Storm are pretty fierce. Even the gals who play sidekicks, like Gwen Stacy and Pepper Potts have moxie and ferocity. In DC-land, the sidekicks are helpless reporter types who sit on the sidelines like Lois Lane and Vicki Vale. YAWN.
* You don't include mortals in a meaningful way either. As a mere mortal, I like the idea of mortals and superheroes working together to save the planet from impending doom. Bruce Wayne's about the only DC superhero with manmade super powers and even he doesn't put much stock in his fellow human.
You won't see me standing in line to watch any Justice League movie, I'm firmly on Team Marvel, though I do appreciate the mythic heroes DC has created.
And yes, reader, the fact that I've even given this so much thought proves I'm a bigger geek than one ever though thought possible.