Marvel is widely known for being the less serious cinematic universe of the two, but that doesn’t mean DC can’t be funny either.
Yes, the arrowverse remains on strong footing in the ratings, but in one of my first posts on this website I mentioned the bleak future for DC movies. I pondered whether or not the DCEU films have staying power past 2020. I also wondered why we need a new Batman movie. How will that save the DCEU? Yet, while The Batman continues to undergo early production problems, the marketing is strong for The Lego Batman Movie! Isn’t it bad that The Lego Batman movie is the only film in the DCEU lineup that I actually care about seeing? This begs the question. Could comedy be the DCEU’s saving grace?
Premiering last night to moderate ratings, NBC’s new TV show Powerless swoops into the equation. It’s been called the Office with Superheros and Firefly’s Alan Tudyk shines through as Batman’s cousin Van Wayne, as does Ron Funches one of the engineers. The cast is rounded out by the hopelessly optimistic Vanessa Hudgens who just basically quotes from her character’s book half the time.
The series is not without fault, however. It used to be much closer in style to The Office with no link at all to the DCEU, but now it’s close to Parks & Rec and it added Batman. Fans who got a sneak peak of the pilot at Comic-Con were impressed with the pilot about insurance agents cleaning up super-heroes messes. Now, however, it’s a workplace comedy about Vanessa Hudgens’ Emily who is in charge of reshaping the ailing R&D Department of Wayne Security so that they can come up with new ideas to save the world. It’s simple humor is quick, clean, and effective, but with none of the nuances from The Office and too much start-up childlike optimism.
That being said, it’s not bad for DC’s first official foray into comedy before The Lego Batman Movie comes out next weekend. There is a limitless world that Powerless can explore when superhero fights interrupt average daily life. A question not yet addressed in either universe to any reasonable conclusion and that’s a powerful idea. If Powerless does well, and The Lego Batman beats it’s own expectations of $50 Million. Then the DCEU has a save available here. They can go full comedy and they should joke about the times they tried to be be serious, like what Batman does in the Lego Batman Movie with DC’s Batman VS Superman.