According to the latest internet rumors, it might actually be time to say "Why so serious?" to DC Comics themselves.
According to HitFix's Drew McWeeney, as well as several other internet writers, DC has instigated a new "No Jokes" rule for their upcoming superhero adaptations. Apparently, DC and Warner Bros. are eager that movies such as Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice generate a serious tone and are treated with the reverence they apparently deserve.
Of course, more practically, this might be an attempt by DC to carve their own little safe space among the increasingly crowded superhero market. Clearly, as Guardians of the Galaxy has proven, Marvel have that whole 'fun, funny comicbook movie' thing sort of locked down. So, instead of attempt to take on Marvel at their own game, it seems DC might be trying to dominate the other end of the spectrum.
Indeed, those of us who saw Man of Steel will know it wasn't exactly a light-hearted, laugh-a-minute flick, while Christoper Nolan's The Dark Knight Trilogy was similarly - although not entirely - devoid of humor. According to McWeeney, this could be because "DC treats their superhero characters more like gods," while Marvel are more inclined to see their creations as human and flawed.
But could a 'No Jokes' policy actually be as successful as Marvel's more light-hearted approach to the genre? Personally, as someone who wouldn't consider themselves a hardcore comic-book film fan, I would be more inclined to see a more humorous approach to superheros as opposed to something which took itself too seriously. For me, however, it's a matter of accessibility which is perhaps less of an issue for die-hard fans.
It does seem that numbers are currently on Marvel's side though. Guardians of the Galaxy - perhaps one of their most overtly humorous releases to date - is due to be the highest grossing movie of the year, while The Avengers also broke $1 billion at the box office. Although Nolan's Dark Knight Trilogy did well, it never reached the heights of The Avengers.
Having said that, it is hard to imagine a Batman or Superman movie which had the same tone as a Marvel flick. They do inherently seem more compatible with a darker tone and aesthetic.
Of course, I should reiterate at the moment this is still just rumors, but it seems unlikely DC will ever officially confirm such a controversial comment.
Still, let's take a look at the juxtaposition between Marvel's comedy and DC's darkness in the videos below:
Now compare some of those scenes, especially the ones between adversaries, to the ones below:
While here are apparently the 'funniest scenes' from The Dark Knight Rises:
Not quite the same as Marvel's, eh?
What do you think? Does comedy also have a place in DC movies, or do they always need to be dark and serious?
Whose approach to comic-book movies do you prefer?