For a slightly different post, I thought taking a look at the logistics side of our superhero universes might be interesting. Seeing just how much of our lives we spend in all of them with these superheroes. Listed below is all of their runtimes ranked in order; no reflection on their quality or personal preference, etc, this is just how it currently stands.
DC Cinematic Universe: 148 minutes, 2.46 hours. (Last footage: Man of Steel)
Only just starting out, after the thought of a Justice League movie was conceived and heavily planned way back before 2000, the DCCU has Man of Steel has its first entry. However, in the next few years, it's runtime will increase dramatically, with a whole group of movies, including the first female led superhero one of these current universes, hitting cinemas. (It exists in the Arrow/Flash universe in a multiverse- if ever that connection is officially confirmed, or a crossover comes to fruition, this would actually move potentially to the top of the list.) More on that at the bottom of the page.
Sony's "Amazing Spiderman" Universe: 278 minutes, 4.68 hours. (Last footage: Amazing Spider-Man 2)
Sony have confirmed that we'll be seeing other properties- namely Sinister Six and that rumoured female led movie- set within their Spiderman universe within the next couple of years. With two films so far, it equates to nearly five hours of footage, which will go up in the next few years.
The Dark Knight "Nolanverse": 459 minutes, 7.65 hours. (Last footage aired: The Dark Knight Rises)
I know, I know, I said current. The thing is, while The Dark Knight trilogy is over, rumours say that in the eventual rumoured Crisis on Infinite Earths movie, we'll see multiple DC properties come to life again in the DC Cinematic Universe, and, if Christopher Nolan were to be involved, The Dark Knight trilogy would be one of the few properties legible to crossover and plausible, even if a far cry from likely, to do so. On top of that, as it's often referred to as the "Nolanverse" and on whole it's the most critically acclaimed superhero universe out there, I think it deserves inclusion. Shoot me.
The X-Men Universe: 838 minutes, 13.97 hours as of May 10, 2014 (Last footage aired: X-Men: Days of Future Past)
With the prequel trilogy separate and The Wolverine movies acting as spinoffs, this sees the X-Men qualify quite easily for their own "cinematic universe" - not to mention it's the longest running one, around since 2000. While it's had a couple of misses, so have all of these universes, and on whole it's been met with positive reviews. It doesn't pump out movies as quickly as the likes of Marvel do, but we've still had seven of them, and that's only going to increase with Apocalypse, Deadpool, and Gambit.
Marvel Cinematic Universe: 2612 minutes as of the 2nd December, 2014, 43.5 hours (Last footage aired: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., 'What They Become')
The highest earning universe on this list (and second highest earning full stop, it's 10 movies only just behind Harry Potter's 7) and the one with the most films, the MCU has had a huge amount of runtime. Starting way back in 2008 with Iron Man and the often forgotten The Incredible Hulk, the MCU still goes strong today and is planned to continue for a long long time. Not only do they have their ten released movies to be considered, they've also got Agents of SHIELD, existing in their universe, plus upcoming TV shows that need to be factored in. Furthering that is all of the Marvel one-shots, ranging from All Hail the King to Item 47 that are also set in the same universe. As it stands, that's 43.5 hours we've spent in their universe, not counting the additional comics it's spawned.
Arrow/Flash Universe: 2695 minutes, 44.9 hours, as of December 10th, 2014. (Last footage aired: Arrow, 'The Climb')
Why was this post made today, of all days? Well, something happened today in the world of runtimes which made it worth holding back from a few weeks ago when I first wrote this, as it would have been outdated very quickly. In what is an extremely new development, Arrow's Season 3 midseason finale, The Climb, saw the Arrow and Flash universe surpass the MCU's runtime (with just under a minute left separating the two universes' runtime at the end of The Flash's The Man in the Yellow Suit midseason finale.)
There are now fifty five episodes of Arrow (I'm sorry, but I have to say, the end of Episode 9, HOLY CRAP), and nine of Flash- each run for normally forty two minutes, with a bit more and a bit less here and there. Add on the six installments of Arrow: Blood Rush, which account for an extra six minutes set in that universe (clearly a huge amount), and the extra Arrow and Flash first on screen footage together which aired at the end of Arrow's season 2 finale, (one minute, but I guess it needs to be included) and we have our full time set in that universe (that does not, of course, account for the extra comics set in that universe and the Arrow DLC for Lego Batman 3, which I don't include as part of runtime, even if they're set in that universe.)
Titans is also rumoured to tie in, as it'll be on a WB owned channel if its series gets ordered, and negotiations may see Supergirl also join this universe (who, cast by the people who cast Arrow/Flash, we should see cast soon.) Gotham is said not to be, and yet every now and then someone drops a hint it may just be set earlier in the timeline, so we'll see. For now, though, we have our 45 hours, making the Arrow/Flash universe- the Flarrowverse? - the longest running superhero one currently on our screens.
What makes it more difficult to rank is DC's (clever, but logistically complex) comic based approach to their universes- the multiverse. As Geoff Johns explains-
"We look at it as the multiverse. We have our TV universe and our film universe, but they all co-exist. For us, creatively, it’s about allowing everyone to make the best possible product, to tell the best story, to do the best world. Everyone has a vision and you really want to let the visions shine through ... It’s just a different approach."
So how do I rank that? As it stands, I have the DC movie universe and the DC TV universe separate, but they "coexist" too. In that respect, the "DC Universe" on screen sits atop this list, but I think how it sits now works, unless we get solid confirmation they're to be treated as the same soon.
So, that's how everything falls into place now! I may edit as time goes on, although at this rate (tragically, I'm crying) we won't be seeing our superheroes again until the new year, so how this all sits now will last over the Christmas period at least. Hope you found it interesting!