Crafting a sequel to any successful film is a daunting task. Fan expectations can be high, bizarre and even unreasonable. This is a weight that a creator must ignore to a certain extent in order to produce something of value. Perhaps the key to a good sequel is taking the established world and then throwing something unexpected at it. Think The Empire Strikes Back and The Dark Knight. Both take their prequels and throw a few more wrenches into the works. Respect is maintained for the previous work but the audience is provided with a more complex narrative created by both films, or as many as the line maintains. In the best case scenario, you end up with work that shatters the perception of the original and improves on it. Creating a sequel to a great film, which doesn’t necessarily have room for improvement, must be even harder.
Back in 2011, I wrote a piece for Sequart about the nature of continuity and the many techniques that Marvel and DC had used to remedy the problems that come with it. While it isn’t the most complex essay I’ve ever written, I couldn’t help but return to it as DC’s Rebirth books have dominated the comics’ scene for the last year or so. Actually, in the piece I assumed that DC was about to embark on an initiative more similar to Rebirth than that of the actual New 52. We cover more about the confusion surrounding the intent of that initiative in the second episode of Season Two, which you can watch here on the site. At the end of the Sequart piece, I came to the conclusion that continuity was an endorsement of the fan base, a way of telling the reader that their interest was appreciated and that their time had not been wasted. As time has passed, my belief in this has only grown.
While ECW was perhaps under appreciated in its day, that cannot be said in the modern era. The relatively small organization is now a heavily promoted part of the WWE library and its influence on the professional wrestling industry is constantly acknowledged. ECW has gone from the fringe to the standard and its influence is no longer the cutting edge. So, the question becomes, where was the new frontier founded? Read More
In Man of Steel, we were presented with a vision of Superman distanced from previous film incarnations. Superman: The Movie, and most of its sequels, present Superman as a pillar of virtue. A god whose only weakness comes in the form of Lois Lane. Aside from the questionable lengths which Superman will go to in order to either please or save Lois, it is those around Superman who are evolving while he remains the same. This functions just fine, but Snyder and company chose a different direction for Superman, one that has, and presumably will, have ripple effects through the coming DC Films.Read More