There is turmoil now in the United States movie world, a controversy more raging than that propelled by supposedly Lecherous Harvey. This is the announcement by Warner Brothers and DC of discontinuing with the present batch of superheroes or, more precisely, the canceling of the lead actors such as Henry Cavill (Superman), Gal Gadot (Wonder Woman), and Ben Affleck (Batman).
Warner/DC is probably so terrified by Walt Disney/Marvel with “Wakanda” as its finishing kick this year. DC wants to completely erase its failures in the battles at the office box. Sure, DC’s formula of making their treatments moody, broody, and dark must have taken them to murkier, stinkier marshlands. The real world is gloomy enough. What with the pandemic and the thousands of deaths; the aggression of Russia and China; the rise of loony, populistic leaders; and the weather worldwide getting crazier. No fiction can beat those.
Warner/DC say it plans to reboot its stable of super heroes and films as a way of explaining its expulsion of Gal and the guys in tights. But the fanboys are uprising. Check the internet. With the way they are throwing bombs at the management decision, the head honchos led by James Gunn will come out as the villains.
Fanboys are zealots. They believe they own the intellectual properties they follow and that they have the right to dictate where it should go. That is their just rewards for being devotees. They are all over the vlog town asking for the head of Gunn.
I have experienced being at the butt’s end of fanboys and self-proclaimed comics experts when we revived Darna from more than a decade of coma. In 2001, the older children of the late Mars Ravelo asked me to help them mark the 50th anniversary of their father’s creation, with me as a publisher. Ako pala ang taya.
I said yes on the condition that I have full control of the content by being its writer. I knew that Darna is a much-coveted intellectual property, but I also saw how much it has been mishandled – from being a fag to being a doormat of romance. I knew we were taking a great risk because we had to nail down a template Darna character without losing old fans and gaining new ones.
As writer and publisher, I dove into the fray with eyes wide shut. Never has Darna nor any local comics given the treatment and respect we gave it. We had her in newspaper ads, posters, leaflets, and billboards. We mounted events in Eastwood, SM Megamall, and The Enchanted Kingdom each time we came up with one of the three-part issues. We probably made so much noise that, without any prodding, the media came and splashed the revival in their platforms. The product itself was topnotch, if I may say so. But, of course, the comics lords said we were doing it all wrong. In the end, Darna was chosen by the Manila Critic’s Circle as the Graphic Novel of the Year.
The icing on the cake was when the Ravelos, so elated with how we resurrected its property, offered me the whole treasure, to make comics, movies, or merchandise with any of their properties that include Lastikman, Dyesebel, Captain Barbel and more. I refused. I had a different vision for Mango Comics, the brand that I created for this venture. That is, to produce original content.
What I couldn’t resist, though, was the chance to do a Darna movie which was also on the plate. I raised funds to buy the multimedia rights, simply because I had this crazy notion that I would direct a Darna and add it to my modest portfolio of teledramas. To cut it short, my loony dream made a detour leading to Angel Locsin as the perfect Darna on screen, akin to Lynda Carter as Wonder Woman. Only, I was out of the picture. Abangan.