The debate over Marvel’s shared universe vs. DC’s separate universes approach to their heroes continued this week following comments from DC chief creative officer Geoff Johns to trade publication Variety.
Johns says creating a connected multimedia universe is limiting and restrictive in terms of storytelling: “We want to give freedom to creators, so that they can take their passion and [and make] the best show, the best film, the best game without having to tie it into other things…. Yes, it’s got to be adapted and expanded, whether it goes from TV to comics or comics to film, but the DNA of it is always true.”
It’s a fair enough point, the producers of Marvel’s “Agents of SHIELD” have admitted having to link into a multi platform universe has limited the show in some ways, especially in the first season. On the other hand, being a smaller piece in a larger setting “gives it much more weight” according to executive producer Jed Whedon.
Which works though? The first season of “S.H.I.E.L.D.” suffered a critical backlash and quickly dropping ratings, though creatively was seen as picking up in its back half when it tied into the larger film universe. On the flip side “Arrow” is coming off not just a well rated but very well reviewed second season, while new DC-based shows “Gotham,” “Constantine” and “The Flash” are considered the hottest new shows of the Fall. Marvel could reclaim some ground later though with the debut of “Agent Carter” and “Daredevil” next year.