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As the home of such icons as Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman, you'd think DC Comics would rule the superhero universe. But no. In fact, rival Marvel Comics is kicking DC's butt. How can this be?

Movies are where the real superhero action is these days, and Marvel, having scored major hits with the current "Iron Man" and "Hulk" films (and with "Thor," "Captain America" and the all-star team-up "Avengers" already in the pipeline), is cleaning up at the box office. Meanwhile, DC and its corporate parent, Warner Bros., haven't quite exploited their own stable of stars -- not just Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman, but also the Justice League of which all three of those characters are a part, along with Flash and Green Lantern. Turning these revered comics properties into money-minting movie franchises should have been a no-brainer. If the process has been mishandled, DC's numbers are down, and fanboys are in revolt, what can be done about it? Plenty.

-- Observe Neil Gaiman's "Law of Superhero Movies," which is that "the closer the film is to the look and feel of what people like about the comic, the more successful it is." This, Gaiman says, is "something that Warners tends singularly to miss, and Marvel tends singularly to get right." Warners may prove Gaiman wrong here with the forthcoming "Watchmen." Read More...

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