We’re getting some idea as to how Warner Bros Discovery is going to function after Discovery Networks purchase of WarnerMedia from ATT after they had it for the time it takes to make a hamburger. The only thing I know for certain is that DC Entertainment is being set up more like Marvel Studios, as their own entity within the larger company…and even that I could be wrong on. I remember when WarnerMedia was first formed the idea of everything under one function rather than the various groups doing their own thing like they did under AOL Time Warner was a point of contention for some of the acquired brands. So putting the various AOL Time WarnerMedia groups into their own…sub-units I guess will allow each group to retain what makes them unique and help the parent company overall. We saw earlier today that EA has failed to realize that and killed popular video game publishers and titles because of it.
This is kind of all I know however. There are some serious questions I have that aren’t being addressed because the entertainment news sources are part of the media snobbery and aren’t even thinking about it. I on the other hand have questioned I’d like to see addressed and it’s rather important to know going forward.
How divided are we talking?
Discovery Networks keeps their various channels separate. Even channels with similar styles function almost independently, at least to the viewer. There’s some overlap of shows or something that aired on the main Discovery Channel ends up on The Science Channel or History but for the most part you may not know that Discovery Channel and Discovery Family aren’t the only Discovery Network, and frankly Discover Family acted more like a kids Discovery Channel when it was still The Hub. Allowing the various companies that make up Warner Brothers Discovery with all the various acquired shows by AOL Turner Time WarnerMedia Hyperforce Go! do their own thing is only to the benefit of those various networks and companies. Discovery and Warner Animation shouldn’t operate the same, although if a few Warner Animation shows end up on Discovery Family it might compete with Disney XD’s various Marvel and Star Wars properties.
Then again, what about Hanna-Barbera? It basically folded the studio and it’s library–and the Ruby/Spears library it also absorbed–into Warner Animation…and then proceeded to do little or nothing with it outside of Scooby-Doo. The only Dynomutt story was sans actual Dynomutt because Mask Of The Blue Falcon forgot Scooby and the gang have actually worked with Blue Falcon and Dog Wonder and instead made it a fictional TV show so they can retell the story of a new production wanting to supplant the old show like with The Lone Ranger in the 1980s. (Since then the last batch of direct-to-video movies have tried to retcon every actual supernatural appearance in the franchise outside of Mystery Incorporated.) Unless you count comedic uses of the Space Ghost and Birdman properties the majority of the “world of super adventure” has largely gone ignored as of late. Imagine HB back as a nostalgia studio, giving older fans the heroes they remembered as kids and can show to their kids (meaning not some gritty adult remake nonsense). Also, Ruby Spears properties are ripe for new adventures, but that might be dividing way too much.
That’s just one example, mind you, but none of the cartoon channels owned by this juggernaut really do anything with these properties outside of home video. There’s also Warner’s music division, its animation division, its television division, its movie division…how well will these groups be allowed to work together? DC Entertainment is under this report going back to being its own entity so how will they get along with the other groups? I just wonder what the specifics of this plan are. Speaking of DC…
What’s DC Comics going to look like?
It’s in this article’s title so I have to bring this up. All the reports from the media snob press are about DC Entertainment and their various shows and movies. There’s stronger rumor that the Snyderverse will be pushed away as DC fans are more vocal about cleaning it up than Snyder fans are in keeping it. Actually, let me throw a bone here. What if Snyder got out of the DC Universe and created his own true superhero Snyderverse? The so-called “Snyder Bros” could get the type of superhero stories they want and DC fans can see the Superman they want to see again apart from it. Unless you’re part of the everything for meeeeeeeeeeeeee crowd that insists everything popular MUST align with your tastes and your tastes alone I see this as a win for both sides.
Sadly it’s this crowd that has ruined DC Comics even before the political sub-crowd used the opening for their advantage. DC comic sales are down and manga is kicking everyone’s butt. And yet I’ve heard nothing about the actual plans for DC Comics. If the source material dies you lose not only a meal ticket but will see cultural icons that predate your birth disappear under your watch. What does it say that Batman and Superman comics were around since the 1930s (1940 for Batman) only to disappear from public consciousness under Warner Bros Discovery? They must address the failings in DC Comics in the 2020s from the remaining DiDio acolytes continuing DiDio’s Darker DC to the only news reports being when another character turns gay. You don’t have to toss out new character to respect the old characters and their history but lose actual superhero readers and you kill superhero comics while losing the industry to Japan. There goes your source for movies, and you already do a terrible job tapping into characters that aren’t the same handful of heroes.
There are plenty of untapped superheroines and SOC (superheroes of color) that should finally get some acknowledgement outside of cartoon, since you look down on those as well like the rest of Hollywood. Try learning what you actually have and do something with more than the same six or seven heroes and their allies. If The Punisher can work, why not Wild Dog? Black Panther took decades to get his own movie and that’s the only reason they finally made a Black Lightning series. And that’s just DC. A properly done Icon and Rocket movie (I won’t hold my breath on it being done right) would actually get more support than either black Superman. Think what you can do with Thorn. You can please the old fans while creating new ones if you do it right. Speaking of which…
What about the kids?
Kids love superheroes. I saw an image on Tumblr (which is impossible to search for anything on) where a small boy using a walker “ran” to hug someone in a Superman costume. You have “Bat-Kid”, a Make A Wish recipient who wanted to be Batman for a day. A boy killed by his abusive grandparents found joy in his Superman costume. Little girls like to dress up as Wonder Woman. And yet kids are underserved by superhero media today, especially in comic books. This is how DC heroes continued on for so long. Superfriends lasted longer than any one DC show and I’d have to run the numbers on how well the DCAU as a whole fights for that title, though the two Justice League shows had grown with the audience and been more for older viewers than something like Justice League Action, which was buried by Cartoon Network because it wasn’t wacky enough. (Cartoon Network only wants wacky programs and if it wasn’t for Toonami there wouldn’t be ANY action adventure shows on the network.) So what are you going to do to bring them into these properties?
So those are some of the questions I have for Warner Brothers Discovery. I wish I had the clout to get an interview with someone over there so I could ask about these things to see if they’re even planning to address them? Will it be more of the same thing or will they finally do something with their library and fix their comics division while it still has a chance? I guess we’ll have to wait and see…because Variety and Entertainment Tonight don’t care about the answers unless it involves another gay hero who won’t actually fight superheroes or some celebrity. Oh, and do they even have a video game division anymore?