DC Universe Intro Frame-By-Frame

While we didn’t blog the release of the Blur Studios intro cinematic to DC Universe for some reason, this interview between DC’s Jim Lee and Blur Studios’ Tim Miller is just a fascinating analysis of craft. They go through the full intro, beat by beat, talking and debating the choices – what works, what they wished worked better and the thinking behind it all. If you’ve any interest in this sort of thing at all, it’s an enthralling ten minutes.

And here’s the full cinematic…


  1. entertainment-ups.com says:

    Thanks for this blog and this article post. I have friend who is getting into screenwriting, I will have to share.

  2. Cat says:

    Thats one hell of an amazing Trailer, gonna watch the frame by frame commentary tonight :)

  3. Calabi says:

    I have to say I dont like that trailer, they kill of all the superheros, its depressing, superheros are about optimism. Also I hate time travel bollocks it makes the whole story pointless, as you know they can and will pull a rabbit out of the hat at any time. Although I do like the invidual action elements. Why did they have to kill them off(cries).

    • Ian says:

      Because “I’ve come back from the future to save the world even though you were then when Brainiac in the future and couldn’t save the world then so perhaps this is actually all a little pointless” doesn’t work quite so well as a plot driver. ;)

    • DJ Phantoon says:

      “I hate time travel” Then you hate Doctor Who, Star Trek, Infamous, basically all Superhero stories, and the Terminator movies.

      Time travel isn’t going anywhere.

    • fartlancer says:

      Time travel is going anywhen.

  4. Rinox says:

    Seeing all these characters and not being able to place some of them at all makes me a little sad of my dwindling knowledge of the DC universe. :-( And to think that I used to like DC for being relatively ‘sparse’ on the heroes, unlike Marvel where everyone and their grandmum is a superhuman.

    • Masked Dave says:

      Are you kidding? DCs mythology is WAY more confusing and complex than Marvel’s.

      Just because you didn’t know they were there didn’t mean they didn’t exist.

    • Rinox says:

      Whoah chill, I never said I was an expert or anything. But if you ask most people (non-experts) to name DC heroes they usually don’t get any further than Superman, Batman, Wonderwoman and Green Lantern.Maybe Captain Marvel.

    • DJ Phantoon says:

      It’s not that most of the bad guys are new, it’s that some of them are fairly old. Black Adam has been around since 1945. He’s been in plenty of stuff since then, but villains rarely get a comic.

  5. Ian says:

    Good lord, let me try that again.

    “I’ve come back from the future to help you save the world even though you were there when Brainiac attacked in the future and couldn’t save the world then so perhaps this is actually all a little pointless”

    • Ian says:

      Oh good grief, that was meant to be a correction of my reply to myself in reply to Calabi above. ¬_¬

    • BigJonno says:

      Not your day, is it?

    • SpinalJack says:

      Lex killed the heroes before Brainiac attacked which is why there’s time travelling involved… to not kill the heroes

    • Ian says:

      @ Spinal Jack: I know, if you look back up to my original (typo-riddled) post that’s what I was saying, that them dying is what drove the time travel.

  6. Skinlo says:

    I love the badassery of Superman, although I’m disappointed by how stupid he is.

    • SpinalJack says:

      That’s the thing about western comics, villains never die and heroes are always stupid.

    • ReV_VAdAUL says:

      I don’t read comics at all (no personal animosity, my parents never let me as a kid and I don’t have the time to get into them now) but man that trailer was awesome and the commentary made it even cooler getting some of the context I missed with my passing knowledge of the fiction.

    • ReV_VAdAUL says:

      Woops didn’t meant that to be a reply, oh well.

    • RyePunk says:

      If you want smart Superman go read Allstar-Superman by Grant Morrison.
      The problem is that Superman isn’t stupid, but that is arch nemesis needs to be smarter than him.
      So Superman tends to come off as stupid by comparison.
      At least he’s not Booster Gold stupid.

    • DJ Phantoon says:

      Wait, Batman is a hero. How is he stupid again?

  7. Ysellian says:

    Didn’t like the trailer much. Don’t like seeing heroes die.

  8. Sarkhan Lol says:

    I had an odd kind of emotional dissonance over this before it even started, when the first thing I saw was “May contain content inappropriate for children”. I grew up with these characters, so it took me aback, I mean I expected a degree of grit and adult concept (Dark Knight was a great movie) but I was anticipating something more akin to, say, the Cadmus arc from the JLU animation, which was outstanding, and less of a desaturated dystopia where no one but the Joker has anything to smile about. I like grimdark just fine, but it feels like they just cranked all the knobs on the grimdark machine to 11 and hit record.

    I’m not trying to can the game, which I know next to nothing about, but I’m not sure which audience they’re trying to appeal to with this.

    • Rinox says:

      a desaturated dystopia where no one but the Joker has anything to smile about. I like grimdark just fine, but it feels like they just cranked all the knobs on the grimdark machine to 11 and hit record.

      Those two sentences made my day, ty sir/madam :-)

  9. theleif says:

    You don’t like seeing heroes die? Madness, i tell you!
    Oh, man, that’s what made Neil Gaimans Black Orchid, one of my favourite comic book ever. Oh, and Zenith by Grant Morrison. Awesome.
    That’s also what (in my opinion) made Heroes the TV-series fail misearbly. They didn’t dare to kill their (or maybe it’s fans) darlings.

    • Sarkhan Lol says:

      Oh, sure, totally agree, but this feels like less of a poignant death scene and more of a Schindler’s List situation.

  10. Kazz says:

    I’ll admit it, I drooled a little :(

  11. Sarre says:

    I agree – this trailer completely turned me off the game, which I’d been otherwise excited about. It’s just so grim and unpleasant. Its very “girlfriend it he refrigerator. As a piece of filmmaking it’s well done, but it doesn’t seem to really capture the fun and “Zap! Pow!” that the overall design tone of the game seemed to be going for. Its too easy to just say – “wow, we’ll kill everybody, and then it’ll be meaningful!” How much more challenging – and genuinely meaningful – to really get underneath what makes these characters interesting. What it boils down to for me – if you didn’t know who any of these characters were before seeing the trailer, you’d never guess that any of them were “heroes”.

    • DeepSleeper says:

      Yeah, that’s basically what DC comics from 1988 onward (and Marvel comics from… well, I don’t follow those as much, but the Ultimate universe sure seems to be a “LET’S KILL EVERYBODY” thing from outside, anyone got better examples?) have been all about. The situation has to Get Serious. To show how serious it is, they have to kill off either three C-list characters, two B-list characters, or a major A-list character after a half-issue of build-up.

      Then they wipe them away, give someone else that costume and codename, and wait a few months before killing them again.

      Silver Age 4 life, yo.

  12. Igor Hardy says:

    Was that the evil Superman from Superman III?

    • Rinox says:

      I’m not expert, but I believe that was Black Adam, Captain Marvel’s evil twin (not really, but more or less).

  13. Matt says:

    Why are people complaining about grimdark here? The grimdark here is the future you’re trying to PREVENT. All those heroes dying? You’re trying to PREVENT that future. If the trailer wasn’t grimdark, why would you care about preventing it?

    • Sarkhan Lol says:

      Yeah, I was a little taken aback by the skullfucking scene in the intro to Horsez as well, but it turned out that it was just a vision of a POSSIBLE future that you then have to do really well at show jumping to prevent.

  14. Mad Doc MacRae says:

    This is just the opening cinematic of Dawn of War 2, really. It’s all there, the two sides duking it out, each time a new unit/hero is introduced there’s it’s counter unit/villain. Then in the end the space marine sticks his enemy with a sword/spear and is like “I won” and they’re like “nope there’s a third party invading fleet behind you!”

    link to youtube.com

    It’s almost shot for shot in a few places.

  15. Lukasz says:

    everyone complaining about grimdark haven’t read dc or marvel comic since 1995. Comics are not meant for children these days but 12 and up teens.

    good trailer. what i didn’t like was small:

    Green lantern was underused although Hal’s powers are amazing
    Wonderwoman had troubles with deathstroke. Diana can go toe to toe with superman (at least for short while) Deathstroke should have not be a threat to her.

    Now. amazing trailer but doesn’t tell much about the game.

  16. Dhatz says:

    it started with a megawesome trailer and what is there? a lame wow clone that has puked all over itself.
    this game shouldn’t bee mmo in the first place, MAYYYYBE then it wouldn’t suck.

  17. rocketman71 says:

    Jim Lee?. Isn’t that the goddamned bastard that destroyed Wonder Woman starting at #600, with JMS’ help?.