ByMartin Drake, writer at

Superheroes have always been entertaining; celebrated and loved for decades by fans and readers alike, whether their comics or feature-length movies. Now these days it would seem we have been forced to choose a side as the rift of business pushes both the heroes of Marvel and DC to opposite ends of the ring.

Guess it's time to choose. Let's also look at how both are progressing with their attempts to top each other by using their own game-plan methods.

Marvel Cinematic Universe

It appears Marvel has a strategy here with releasing up to two movies every year. Take note they always had the Avengers in mind from the very beginning, and decided to include a series of individual hero films to serve as a build up. After the crossover they were all fully acknowledged as a 'Mega-Franchise' altogether. It now continues the trend of building each movie up to the next, gaining more fans than ever. Now they even bring some lesser-known characters from the comics onto the big screen, making those profits speak for themselves.

Phase 1

Iron Man (2008)

The Incredible Hulk (2008)

Iron Man 2 (2010)

Thor (2011)

Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)

The Avengers (2012)

Phase 2

Iron Man 3 (2013)

Thor: The Dark World (2013)

Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)

Guardians Of The Galaxy (2014)

Avengers: Age Of Ultron (2015)

Phase 3

Ant-Man (2015)

Captain America 3 (2016)

Doctor Strange (2016)

Guardians of the Galaxy 2 (2017)

Thor 3 (2017)

Avengers 3 (2018)


Black Panther

The Inhumans

TV Shows

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D (2013-present)

Agent Carter (2015)

Daredevil (2015)

Jessica Jones

Iron Fist

Luke Cage

The Defenders

Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D shaped up to be a worthy source of evening entertainment, due to it's tie in with the The Winter Soldier. It makes an example of how shows like that need to rely on the support and continuity of their big screen 'parents' to get through a rocky start. And it did prove to work fine on its own after the first half of season one, and is now renewed for a second.

As for DC, fans including myself loved The Dark Knight Trilogy. It accomplished international success and brought memorable moments and acting for years to come (Same can't be said for Green Lantern). You have to give it true credit, but sadly, it was not sustainable to enter DC's expanded universe, forcing them to reboot the hero too early, an outcome that may have caused some disfavor with a few fans of the Caped crusader.

Let's be honest though. The result of The Avengers being a major Box-office success DID draw DC's attention towards how much green they can s**t themselves.

This is where they also slipped up; by already releasing some well-known hero movies before the DCU was instigated, they all had so little to offer in terms of universal boundaries; the heroes were limited to their own existence and had no potential to reach greater lengths any time soon with the Justice League. By picking up the pieces to reboot everything back together they have wasted a LOT of time, leaving Marvel to run the track unchallenged with a FIVE-YEAR head start!

DC Cinematic Universe

Man Of Steel (2013)

Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice (2016)

Justice League (2017)

Wonder Woman (2017)

Man Of Steel 2 (2018)

Batman(Again) (2019)

Looks like they're going for the reversal of what Marvel are doing by starting with a lead-up to the Justice League Crossover, followed by numerous spin offs currently in the works.

TV Shows

Arrow (2012- present)

Gotham (2014)

The Flash (2014)

Much like Daredevil, Green Arrow can be considered as a superhero B-lister, so it was only fitting that he received his own TV show, a shot with boosting his popularity, though you can't ignore certain comparisons in terms of wealth, resources and ultimately the billionaire playboy - turned vigilante cliche. Did they rely too much on recycling the concept from Bruce Wayne?

Speaking of which, Gotham looks like an overly-stretched premise on the origins of Batman and the Police of the city, and doesn't seem to be linked to Ben Afflecks character in the upcoming movie. Is it a wise idea to introduce a show that can't integrate with it's own universe?

Maybe its all down to pursuing the same vision as their Marvel counterparts in terms of movies and TV shows (Typical competitive corruption). They could be in over their heads as making a heap of money just might be important to DC, even more than maintaining the full purity of their own characters.

Another interesting contrast between the two is that Marvel movies use humor mixed with thrills of the action served all at once, making them enjoyable. DC falls below in comparison and only amend with the dark brooding undertones The Dark Knight Trilogy brought about.

The Flash is.. wait what?

So Marvel's Ant-Man gets the Silver Screen treatment but not one of the most popular members of the Justice League???

''I'm sorry but what are you tryna pull here?!''
''I'm sorry but what are you tryna pull here?!''

Moving on from the clash of two titans. Behind the scenes you've got the fat cats of Disney and Warner Bros., with 20th Century Fox and Sony jumping into the game by over-stretching the spandex costumes of their own heroes. X-men is working just fine on its own, but the Fantastic Four reboot is sure to end like the Dark Knight Trilogy. Hopefully on a high note.

Sony seems to be milking their only franchise; Spider man. Having already told his story in Spider man 1-3, The Amazing Spider man reboot makes a good excuse to squeeze more money out of 4 films and a Sinister Six spin-off. Also serving as the ultimate commercial for countless of their own products.

Seriously, just give the rights back to Marvel, we want Spidey joining the Avengers!

Whether or not its all because sudden money-making Brainiacs have got ideas pouring in all at once (conveniently) or if Marvel studios have them going like jumped up pigeons, is still unclear..

Suppose at the end of the day, in terms of business with the superhero genre; Have a plan. If it throws any character onto the big screen without ruining them for the people who are giving the money, you deserve every penny you get. Take your time and wait for the perfect spotlight, don't try to steal from another act so you don't mess up. If it was only that simple...

Let the controversy BEGIN!

(As for Marvel fans, check out my page for Avengers 3 regarding Thanos and how the Infinity story-line will tie everything together throughout Phase 3)


What franchise do you think has the right idea?


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