Well, I've decided to write an op-ed about all the articles I've been reading on MP and all the buzz currently surrounding the DC and Marvel Cinematic Universes. Disclaimer - I am a DC fan and this is my second article on the topic. In my first article, I wrote how DC was superior to Marvel, YES, even after the Avengers, or as Marvel fans call it, the Holy Bible of Comic Book Movies was released. Now, before any Marvel fans get all wound up, just continue reading before you make any criticizing statements about how Marvel rocks, rules, etc. I'm not here to bash Marvel. I'm here to make a point. I've come to realize, after painfully reading Marvel fans articles on how "DC is doing it wrong," or "DC will never catch up," that DC and Marvel are just different.
Yes, you can claim that one is superior, and I still believe that DC is far better, but let me explain what I mean. I have watched every Marvel release since their cinematic reign began. Iron Man, Thor, GOTG, etc. And I came out of each movie enjoying the films, BUT, here’s what I realized. Despite how much of a feel good movie any of them were, they did not satisfy the same experience or feel that I get from a DC Movie. Again, that is not to say it wasn’t a comic book movie, or even a bad comic book movie, it is to say, that for me and I assume many DC fans, not a comic book movie because it wasn’t a DC movie. Different DC fans may explain it differently, but doesn’t matter. That said, I’m sure Marvel fans will say the same about DC movies.
Let me explain. To me, even the best Iron Man film, will never compete with a basically good Batman or Superman film. Imagine a world where you can create an Iron Man/Spiderman/Thor film and have every second of that film, from start to finish, just rock the viewer with excitement. Just call it god’s gift to movies. Not just a great comic book movie, but a great movie. To me, ME, it will never compete with anything well done involving Batman, Superman, Green Lantern, Justice League, etc. It’ll never happen as far as I’m concerned.
Although many fans will claim the Burton films were the best Batman flicks, at the time, I would have agreed but the Nolan Trilogy was, and still is, the definitive films that are the Batman character. I watched the Burton Films as they were released in theatres so I was around when they were actually in theatres, so it’s not like I view the Burton films like many of us would view the Adam West Batman series. In other words, I was part of the times, or zeitgeist, when both the Burton and Nolan films were released. Burton tore it up before Nolan came along. That’s just my opinion but Bale’s interpretation of the character has been engrained in our social conscience as much as Reeve’s Superman was during the 70’s.
That said, I’ve watched every Marvel flick, even Sony’s films, i.e. Spiderman, X-Men, Wolverine, etc. were released. I enjoyed them all. Some more than others, obviously but it’s not like I approached any of those films thinking how much I’d hate them just because they’re Marvel characters, or because they weren’t DC characters. Quite the contrary, I enjoyed them all. Well, not the third Blade movie, or the FF4 flicks, but I think we can all agree they were equally as bad as the Green Lantern flick but I digress and that’s a discussion for a different day.
So let me go on. Guardians of the Galaxy was a good movie, a really good movie. It was, and I’m not saying to appeal to any Marvel fans. That is my opinion. But I didn’t come out of that thinking, there’s a team like the Justice League. Quite frankly, I had the same opinion about the Avengers. I love Tom Hiddleston as Loki, absolutely loved Chris Pratt as Peter Quill, Chris Evans is perfect for Captain America, and I don’t even have to mention how RDJ is literally Tony Stark. Despite all this, the Avengers is not and never will be the Justice League. That’s important to me. Doesn’t make them crap, doesn’t make them any less of a comic book movie, but I don’t appreciate them the same way I did the Nolan films, the Man of Steel, or even the Smallville, Arrow, Flash and Gotham television series. BTW, I tried watching Constantine, the pilot episode and I thought it was horrible, just lost all interest in the first 15 minutes. But again, to get back on track, I get more pleasure watching the current DC Television roster than I have with any Marvel movies.
Now, what am I really saying when I explain that to me, the DC television roster is better than the Marvel cinematic roster. Simple, DC and Marvel are simply, in one word, DIFFERENT. I’m not trying to yell by using caps, just emphasizing how I’ve come to understand the products. They’re different. I’ve heard arguments about how DC’s serious tone was supposedly Marvel’s at first and vice versa but here’s the thing, it doesn’t matter. Period. Why? Because it doesn’t change the fact that DC has decided to use a darker tone and appeal to an older audience with its products. Marvel, which is now apart of Disney, had done what Disney movies do, which is provide a great comical and pleasurable movie that kids can watch with the rest of the family. It’s not bad, or terrible or whatever word you want to use that labels it in a negative tone. It just isn’t a bad thing. It works for marketing and it has been and will continue to be a success. There’s nothing DC and any of its fans can do about it. BUT, who cares? Seriously…Who…Cares? Because it’s not what DC is trying to make, it’s not what DC is attempting to model. Man of Steel, the Nolan trilogy, Arrow, Gotham and even the Flash have all been all a darker take on their respective characters. And here’s the best part of all to both DC and Marvel fans alike, it’s a win/win situation. Clearly Marvel fans are happy with the Kevin Feige product and I, obviously through this article, am establishing, that I love it. Just to elaborate, I own a PS4, Xbox 1, PS3 and WiiU, and the minute the new Arkham Knight video game comes out, I’ll be spending more of my money to enjoy the products that DC/WB continues to provide for fans like myself. For those of you who happen to enjoy both products equally, good for you, I can’t do that, and it’s not a conscientious effort on my part, it is just how I’ve learned to understand what I, as a comic book fan, have come to understand about the comic book universe and my place in it.
Final note, I’ve really enjoyed both Avatar the Last Airbender and Legend of Korra television series. The series creators, Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko, really outdid themselves with their creation and have managed to overcome any barriers I just described through the Marvel/DC dichotomy. What an excellent experience the series has created for me and I plan to write my next article on both the ATLA/LOK series as well as their impact on such a large spectrum of people in the comic book universe.
Hopefully, this article helps put an end to the boasting that either side has with their respective preference…If it does, it will be a step in the right direction. Thanks for reading…