For the past several years of surfing the internet and going to websites like comicbookmovie.com or superherohype.com, there has been an ongoing debate between fanboys of both Marvel and DC about which company is better.
A lot of "Marvelites" (people obsessed with anything Marvel) would say that Marvel has much better movies than DC because of the Marvel Cinematic Universe as well as some success in their non-Marvel Studios owned heroes.
DC Fanboys (self-explanatory) would then go on to say that DC is actually better despite not having as many movies (and quite a few bombs) because of the Dark Knight Trilogy that Christopher Nolan released in the years between 2005-2012.
Name-calling ensues, threats take place, and relationships are severed...okay, so maybe not the last one. But it's ridiculous how irreverent people are to each other simply based on their likes and dislikes.
You might say that that's just how the internet is and to that I'd say: "When did we become okay with that?" Why is it socially acceptable to put down and ridicule others based on: (fill in the blank).
So, I want to kind of over-analyze some aspects of both Marvel and DC. Not to put the argument to rest, but just so that there's no confusion on where I stand as far as the whole DC vs Marvel debate.
One cannot deny that Marvel Studios has experienced great success based on what they've done within the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It's great, I love watching movies like The Avengers, Guardians of the Galaxy, and Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Marvel's success is definitely well-earned. Obviously, not every single one of their movies are on my top favorite movies of all time but that's just a matter of my own personal opinion.
This is evident in the humor they provide which is often slap-stick or silly dialogue (most of this provided by Tony Stark). Often times though, I feel the threat is not very real, I don't feel like the characters are in actual danger. The only one of their movies that I've truly felt for the character's safety and their lives was in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Yes, you can talk to me about the X-Men movies like the most recent X-Men: Days of Future Past, but they don't belong to Marvel Studios and I don't feel Marvel is very involved in those movies (hence why Marvel's becoming less careless about their X-Men comics).
Now DC, whose movie rights to their characters belongs to Warner Bros. has not had the success the way Marvel Studios have. Yes, they blew us all out of the water with Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight Trilogy (most of us anyway), but there were some obvious disappointments like 2011's Green Lantern and other movies that were extremely divisive like 2013's Man of Steel movie.
I loved The Dark Knight Trilogy, I love Man of Steel, I hated Green Lantern, but that's one movie out of the mix that didn't do so well. Yeah, you can throw out movies like Jonah Hex to the pile, but what I'm concerned about are the the legit superheroes.
The reason I have more faith in DC's movies is that they learned from their mistakes. They tried to use Green Lantern to launch the DC Cinematic Universe similar to how Iron Man did for Marvel, but it bombed badly. So they went to start right at the root of all superheroes with Man of Steel by using Superman as the launching pad.
You may not like that movie, but I loved it, they went for a serious tone that made the threat of the film feel genuinely scary. I think that that is the route to go because it distinguishes itself from Marvel, does something different. Also, I think that DC has the most potential because they have all their characters in one place unlike Marvel Studios who have X-Men and Fantastic Four over at FOX...Spider-Man's kind of iffy since the Sony Leaks.
Some might say that they're copying Marvel by doing the shared universe, and I would say that I don't care. There should be only two shared universes in Hollywood superhero films and they should be Marvel and DC.
But you know what, to sum up this point, I love both Marvel and DC movies. Even though I'm more excited about what DC has coming out, that doesn't mean I am not excited about the movie line-up that Marvel has coming out.
I have an opinion on all these movies and I've written about what it excites me about each film and what doesn't. I've also written about what movies I think both properties should make in the future and you can check those out in the link below:
2. Live-Action Television
All Marvel really has is Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and they'll be having Agent Carter as well. I think what Marvel's doing with their TV shows are great, they may not be as well-received as some of the shows that DC is having out right now, but that is, once again, a matter of personal preference. But I think it's awesome that Marvel is taking the time to not only connect their movies, but their TV shows as well. I think it's a fun way to bridge the sometimes exhausting gap between movies and just fill in as a treat before the big feature, especially considering how some episodes deal with the events of certain movies as well.
I do think that there is a fault to this as well, as cool as it is for hardcore fans like myself, who have to know everything that's going on in the universe (though I do need to catch up on these shows), for some, it's confusing probably and may seem more like a hassle to keep up with. But there are pros and cons to everything and I think the pros with Marvel's TV far outweigh the cons.
In the last few years, DC has provided shows like Arrow, Flash, Gotham, and Constantine to the small screen, with the promise of Teen Titans, Supergirl, and Krypton on the way as well. Obviously, not each show is highly regarded and some may be struggling, but there is no denying that shows like Arrow and Flash have generated some awesome critical reception, especially since Flash spun-out of Arrow. Having that connection is important.
However, I do think that it is best to keep the shows separate from the films that will be coming out. I know a lot of people feel differently but I think it would be a stupid and rash decision to try and connect to it all. The reason it works for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is because it spun-out of the Avengers, it wasn't written before, and Arrow and Flash were not built to be apart of the universe, the connection would feel generic and forced. It's best to let them keep their differences and exist as their own entities.
Coming back to Marvel real quick, I do feel that the Netflix TV shows that are coming out next year will blow any superhero TV show that is currently on TV right out of the water. Think about having 13 hour long episodes of movie-quality entertainment. If you've not heard, Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist will each be getting their own 13-episode series to lead up to a 13-episode Defenders series. All shows will be on Netflix and all will be connected to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. I think this is an enormous step in the right direction for Marvel television.
3. Comic Books
Now, when we get into the comic books, this is where I really start judging what I think is better than others and I may go on a bit of a rant here. DC in my opinion is better than Marvel in the comic books right now. That may just be my opinion, but it's one of my opinions I feel strongest about.
But in 2011, when DC launched the New 52 comic books, I started getting into those because it was a jumping on point for me and that was exciting. Yeah, not all of their books were the best, but there were some real winners in there, namely Scott Snyder's Batman.
So when I saw that Marvel was going to do a relaunch or "reset" or whatever it was with the Marvel NOW! stuff, I was excited. I wanted to be the guy who collected Batman and Spider-Man, but I felt the quality of their books were so poor and very lacking in any substance, and not to mention the artwork was not as crisp and clean as DC's books. I've even talked to hardcore Marvel fans and showed them the DC stuff which they never read, and they were convinced too and began making the change to DC as well because of both the increased quality of writing and art.
But listen, hear me out, I want Marvel's books to get better than they are, I know they have some good ones, don't get me wrong, but I feel like that their success in the movies is polluting their comics. Everything now is Avengers, and I understand that any business is going to ride the high of success, but it just needs to allow both the movies and the comics to have some distance from each other. Not every title needs to be linked to Avengers.
But before anyone can call me biased, I do collect Marvel as well as DC as far as comics go because there are books they are putting out that are very solid stories, I just wish their flagship titles would do as well and that books like X-Men and Fantastic Four wouldn't be treated like the black sheep just because FOX isn't making Marvel happy.
One of the execs at Marvel were asked back in 2011 or 2012 about their thoughts about the New 52 and if they felt threatened by what DC was doing and they said that they're glad for the success because both companies thrive on each other's success. When there's a popular movement in movies, TV, or comics that brings people in the comic book store, they'll go pick up the book they were on a mission for but may have their eye caught by a book by the other company and walk out with both.
As you can see, I try to remain as unbiased as I possibly can because I love both companies. I understand that both will have ups and downs in all categories mentioned above and others as well like video games and animation.
As usual, sound off with your thoughts below, keep it civil and respectful because in the end, it's all just supposed to be fun. It's not life and death.