DC and Marvel Are Both Losing (But Marvel's Ahead)
One of the greatest debates of our time is whether Marvel is better than DC, and because of the success of the MCU, while the DCEU has released mostly box-office failures, people believe that the former is the best. However, they are forgetting the years of comic books, and the fact that DC created superheroes with Superman in the 30s.
Marvel came later with the Human Torch, and their rivalry started in the 60s when Stan Lee was set on making a team that could compete against the Justice League. The result was the Fantastic Four, made alongside Jack Kirby. For years, they have battled with each other in movies, and this feud has no end in sight. Here are some interesting comparisons between them and why they could both fail.
1. An advantage for Marvel: People like their movies more
ZappiStore says that Marvel films are more successful because the stories have more emotions than any DC film lately. In their study, they discovered that people’s facial expressions would change in DC motion picture trailers when something CGI popped up, but nothing when the characters are on screen. Marvel trailers show the complete opposite.
2. DC wins in this case: Animation
Although the DCEU is not doing well, their animated series is hugely successful. Bruce Timm and Paul Dini’s Batman: The Animated Series and its standalone films have become children’s go-to movies. The difference is that the cartoon version has shown the emotional side of their heroes with stories that build upon that, and they connect really well with kids.
3. A win for Marvel: Their actors
The MCU is led by Robert Downey Jr. and has not been afraid of recasting if needed like they did for the Hulk and Punisher. Furthermore, they have taken chances with new faces such as Chris Hemsworth for Thor and Letitia Wright as Shuri. Marvel actors are indeed more committed to the franchise than DC, as evidenced by Henry Cavill and Ben Affleck’s exit.
4. An advantage for DC: Television
Their cinematic universe is not great at all, but things are much different when it comes to small screen series. Gotham is on season five, while Supergirl is loved by fans who enjoy watching Melissa Benoist as Superman’s cousin. Furthermore, there are crossovers with Arrow. They also have The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow, and Batwoman is coming up.
5. Point for Marvel: Crossovers
The universe in the MCU is connected, and they take advantage of that, showing several characters in movies like Avengers, Captain America: Civil War, and Infinity War. Furthermore, their use of post-credits scenes allows them to build momentum regarding the next film. Their television shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D and Agent Carter also take place in that world.
6. DC wins: Girl power
It might have taken some time to make, but 2017’s Wonder Woman changed the landscape of superhero movies, as it was believed the female-led action figures would not attract the audience. The film grossed more than $800 million and received amazing critics. DC has announced more female-centered projects like Brid of Prey, Batgirl, and a movie about Supergirl.
7. An advantage for Marvel: More superheroes
Marvel has given more characters their origin stories, and they can use them freely in future films. Venturing away from the main superheroes like Captain American, Iron Man and Thor, and focusing on Ant-Man, Guardians of the Galaxy and Doctor Strange allows them creative freedom. They can create interactions between them and funny scenarios.
8. Point for DC: The legacy
In Marvel, each hero stands on their own, but the characters in DC have plans to pass on the torch, so to speak, to younger heroes. Justice League created Young Justice, who will take over once that others decide to retire. The mantle of The Flash and Green Lantern has been passed down for years, and this ensures that their stories never die.
9. Marvel wins: Comedy
The main DCEU criticism is that their films are too dark and serious, and when Joss Whedon tried to make something funnier in Justice League, people did not enjoy it. Infinity War might have ended on a serious note, but the MCU has never been afraid of humor, and movies like Ant-Man and Deadpool embrace this. Thor: Ragnarok was also hilarious instead of just mythological.
10. DC takes the cake: Their villains
Aside from Jared Leto’s Joker and Jesse Eisenberg’ Lex Luthor, most of DC’s supervillains are much more interesting than any featured in the MCU. One important aspect to note is that Marvel’s heroes always remain good, while their villains are always just the bad guy in town. DC presents backstories for these characters that make them much more compelling for audiences.
11. Marvel might lose in the end: The merger between Disney and Fox
Most people know that Disney acquired 21st Century Fox, and fans are worried about how some characters will be handled from now on. No one expects to see Deadpool as a Disney princess, and what they will do to X-Men is concerning because the franchise already had so many reboots and changes in the timeline.
12. DC might lose in the end: Their actors run away
Ben Affleck is apparently stepping down from the role of Batman, though no one liked him in the first place, Henry Cavill’s departure is also a concern. There is no official word yet, but there are rumors already about Michael B. Jordan replacing Cavill, and Noah Centineo could play the role of Bruce Wayne. While Gal Gadot is set to return as Wonder Woman, the others are still unknown.
13. Marvel might fail: Remakes
We all enjoy Marvel movies, but their many remakes are sometimes tiring for fans. Tobey Maguire portrayed Spider-Man for three films, while Andrew Garfield did it for two. Now we have Tom Holland as Peter Parker, and while we love him, it’s another version of the character. The same goes for The Hulk, who has been played by Eric Bana, Edward Norton, and now, Mark Ruffalo.
However, their worst failure was trying to remake a movie about the Fantastic Four in 2015, when the originals were not well-received in the first place. It is still considered one of the worst films in history, and what is even worse, it did not follow the comic books at all. It was also ridden in the feud between director Josh Trank and 20th Century Fox.
14. DC might fail: Revolving door of directors
When Zack Snyder was forced to back out of Justice League, Joss Whedon took the project, reshooting around 20% of the film. Therefore, what we saw was Snyder’s violence with Whedon’s humor that undermined women. Furthermore, they tried making Batman a little more likable to no success. Gavin O'Connor stepped down from Suicide Squad 2, which James Gunn will be directing.
15. Marvel’s weakness: No diversity
While there are many different storylines, the fact is that Marvel’s superheroes are mostly white. The release of Black Panther was a massive change for the MCU and proved that people wanted more diversity. Moreover, after the success of Wonder Woman, Marvel is getting ready for Captain Marvel, paving the way for a change.
16. DC’s weakness: The Big Three
They have also been criticized for their lack of diversity and relying on the three main characters: Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman. Suicide Squad was a refreshing change, and Justice League introduced more characters. Hopefully, with their other projects coming up, things in the DCEU will take a turn for the better.
17. A bad point for Marvel: Failed spin-offs
While the MCU is a worldwide success, their television series have not fared so well. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D has been renewed for season six, but ratings have been getting worse lately. Agent Carter was canceled after two seasons, and several of their series on Netflix like Daredevil, Iron Fist, and Luke Cage have recently been canceled as well.
18. A bad point for DC: The scandals
DC loves getting down and dirty with its stories. The Killing Joke is still considered ones of the darkest Batman tales ever shown, and it received horrible criticism for Barbara Gordon’s treatment under Joker. The animated movie had a seriously intimate scene between her and Bruce Wayne, and other films have shown questionable things that left fans confused.
19. Marvel might lose in the end: No respect
Iron Man and Captain America are the pillars of the MCU, and therefore respected, but other characters are not treated in the same manner. Black Widow is currently nothing more than a female figure that flirts with the men. She refers to herself as a monster because she is sterile. Hawkeye was not included in Infinity War, and disability activist Nyle DiMarco wants the character to be more like the deaf version from the comic books.
20. DC might lose in the end: No plans
The fact is that DC has not been able to create a successful franchise like Marvel. The MCU has several trilogies for some of its heroes, while DC’s trilogies have not been well-liked except for Nolan’s Batman trilogy and Christopher Reeves’ Superman series. Furthermore, they fail to maintain a steady timeline, which makes fans turn away from their films.
What did you think of this analysis? Is it possible that applying some key changes could help DC? Marvel could also benefit from switching things up although they are successful. We would like to know your opinion, so leave a comment down below and share this article with your friends who love both studios.
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