"You want me to critique how Marvel is doing and how DC is doing?"
The Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman may have sounded incredulous after a fan asked him to discuss how he thinks the two comic companies are doing with their movie adaptations, but he didn't hold back in his response.
The question came at the end of an onstage chat during a SXSW panel entitled "Creator Activism: A Discussion with Robert Kirkman."
After joking that both companies suck, Kirkman dove into Marvel's recent, successful run of movies.
"I think that anyone would be foolish to say that Marvel hasn't done something extremely special," he told Polygon on stage. "I think the fact that Iron Man ended with that Samuel L. Jackson ... I think the thing that people forget about the Marvel stuff is that all of that was a surprise. Iron Man was amazing and at the end of that movie you were like, 'What? How did that happen? I think he said the word Avengers. What?' And like everything that came out of that was very organic and also very exciting. "
Meanwhile, DC's approach to expanding their movie slate felt much less organic.
"I think that announcing that you're going to do a Justice League movie after the Superman movie, which was neat and had some awesome things in it, but it wasn't like amazing or groundbreaking ... I shouldn't have said that. It was an awesome movie and I liked it.
"I think [the approach to unveiling Justice League] seems derivative, which I think put them in a backseat position to Marvel. It's not organic and so there's going to be so much scrutiny on Batman vs. Superman when it comes out. It's got an uphill battle. If they hadn't told anybody that the Justice League was going to be appearing in that, and they were forming the Justice League and here's the Justice League plan, it would have been surprising and exciting and weird."
And weird works in comic movies, he said.
"If they work this thing out and Spiderman appears in the Captain America movie, if they hadn't told me that, it would be like the most exciting weirdest thing in the world.
"People are forgetting how important the surprise is in the grand scheme of things. But, you know, Aquaman looks awesome and I'm sure it will be great."