Follow the Playbook!

It’s taken me five years to get a book to the point where it even felt close to publishable. Along the way I learned a lot about story and writing and novels and marketing… the list goes on. I learned all of that by reading non-fiction books dedicated to the subject. Other writers, successful writers wrote their playbook. I bought it, read it, and learned from it. I would hesitate to say my books are formulaic, though they follow a basic story structure, I followed the playbook put out by other writers who have found what works.

We went to the movies last weekend for Mr. Quinn’s birthday. He and I both love a good comic book movie. I love Marvel. Like, we don’t miss opening weekend when a Marvel movie comes out. I own them all and we regularly rewatch them, and I don’t like to rewatch movies. Admittedly, not all of the movies are home runs, but most of them are good and the way they all tie together is my favorite thing.

If you’ve been paying attention, no Marvel movies came out this month. We’ve already seen Thor: Ragnarok (twice). So, what superhero comic book movie did we go see?

Justice League.

I hate walking into a movie silently thinking pleasedon’tsuckpleasedon’tsuckpleasedon’tsuck.

But that’s what I do every time we watch a DC Comics movie. And usually, they’re stinkers.

This one was too.

I’m not going to review it. You can google and find better reviews than I could write. I agreed with most that I read about the problems that the movie had.


Seriously, the spoilers are mild. But if you haven’t seen Justice League and don’t want any spoilers, please stop now.

What I want to throw out is this: Marvel wrote the playbook here. They’ve been so very successful. They make money hand over fist every time they put a movie out. All DC had to do was follow the playbook. Allow me to lay it out like I think it should have been done:

  1. A new Batman movie. In Justice League, there’s a little scene where Batman is really feeling his age. It was a minor theme in the Dark Knight trilogy as well. Reboot it, but skip the origin story. Do a movie where Batman struggles with getting older. Maybe he retires and focuses on training Robin and Batgirl. But then they face a foe so powerful that they all three have to work together and he realizes the pain is worth it to help his friends and save Gotham…
  2. Keep Wonder Woman exactly how it was. One nitpick (and I could be off-base here I don’t remember if it was in there or not): hint at the existence of the Motherbox – something powerful being protected and hidden by the Amazons. Just a hint.
  3. Aquaman Movie: Jason Momoa could carry a movie. Fight me if you disagree. Anyway, cover the history of the Atlanteans. Again, there was an intriguing discussion about his parents and childhood in Justice League, but I need/want to know the story! Give me the story! Also, hint about another Motherbox.
  4. Superman – kill him or whatever. IDC.
  5. Cyborg movie: Perfect for current affairs and the rise of AI. He struggles with letting the AI make decisions and control him, almost gives in, but learns that humanity must have a say! Here, we learn a lot more about the capabilities of the Motherbox and see it in use – also alerting Steppenwolf.
  6. NOW! Do a Justice League movie. We know the characters, know what they’re capable of. We love them because we’ve seen them struggle individually. Now they have to come together to fight the big bad! Yay!

I would watch the heck out of those movies…

If you’re curious – I’ll talk a little next week about how this applies to writers.

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