I am a Marvel fan-boy. You may have read this article I wrote: Why DC's Multiverse Can NEVER Match The Marvel Cinematic Universe! As the Moviepilot Twitter page put it - Shots Fired!
Here's the thing. I honestly thought I was writing it from a neutral stand-point. But thanks to all the constructive criticism in the comments, I realized it was far from being objective.
So to all those DC fans out there. I'm sorry I bashed your movies in front of you. I know how much it hurts to have a favorite movie studio get brutally murdered by a fanboy. So I decided to ask myself this question. DC vs. Marvel - Is It Really That Simple?
My answer is no it's not. After thinking through some things, I've decided that they aren't really that comparable. Yeah, they both make superhero movies. But in all honesty, DC has great movies...but in a totally different way then Marvel.
So why is it not that simple? Let's begin...
The Marvel Godfather Loves DC Himself
Now this may be a lame way to start, and it's not even really a reason why we can't compare DC and Marvel. But it is Joss Whedon (The Avengers) I quote here. Someone asked him about the superiority Marvel has over DC. He replied:
"I don’t think I would say that. I think that would be a little presumptuous of me. I think that both studios have kind of different agendas, different ways of approaching the superhero genre, and the ethos of the thing, and the esthetic. They go very dark and serious and sometimes it works amazingly, and Marvel tends to be a little lighter. Both have movies that I adore, and both have movies that I’m like… [pained expression]. Including bits of my own. I would not want them to do what Marvel does. I like what they do when they get it right. When you get a Heath Ledger, and Batman Begins, and those things that really grip you. That’s something nobody else is doing, and I like it. I want them to do what they’re doing."
And you know what? I love Joss Whedon. He's a really great inspiration to me and to many, many Marvel fanboys, geeks, and nerds. So if he thinks DC is great then there's got to be at least a few reasons why DC is just as great as Marvel.
Compare Loki and the Joker. No don't. You can't. Both are villains. Both are evil in their own way, but neither one are better than the other. And that's simply because DC has chosen a path to follow with their movies, that is different than Marvel's path.
DC has chosen to create movies that are dark, that follow the gritty, down-to-earth storytelling of DC comics. They've chosen to stick closer to the comics than Marvel has. And that's not a bad thing at all.
When it comes to superhero movies, I've found that the fans seem to loosely split over one issue: how well the movies stick to the comics. DC has chosen to stick very closely to the comics, which appeases many fans...and that's great!
On the flip side, Marvel has decided to take a more fantastical journey in their movies, rather than a dark tone like in their comics. Instead of making Tony Stark a depressed, drunken, druggie like in the comics, they've turned him into a laughable, playboy superhero who embodies a very happy, care-free man with an awesome suit.
It's impossible to say if either side has taken a wrong approach. Each side has their approach, and depending on who you ask, it could be a great approach or a not so great approach. It's all a matter of opinion.
I'll sum this up with a quote from Zack Snyder when he was asked (a couple months ago) about Batman vs. Superman challenging Captain America 3: Civil War head to head in the box office.
Look, I’m a fan of the Marvel movies… and the thing that’s awesome is, we make a different movie. We have a different product than them, although they both exist in sort of the superhero world, which is great. I think that those are the opportunities. That’s what you get at the movies, you get a chance to go to all these different worlds. And I’m as interested in going to the Marvel Universe as anybody. So, I personally don’t think that there’s any, from my point of view, we definitely don’t have any animosity or anything of that nature. We’re all in this big business together, and we hope people are interested in the adventures that we put up on screen. And I do believe it’s infectious, and the next weekend you’re like, “You know what? Let’s go do that again, that was awesome. We saw a cool movie, maybe we’ll get another cool movie.”
It's A Fan War
If these quotes from Joss Whedon and Zack Snyder prove anything, it's that the DC vs. Marvel war is 100% a fan war. Honestly, I've never once felt attacked as a Marvel fanboy by any head honcho from either superhero studio. I've never read anything online about the two studios trying to cut each other's throats.
However, post an article about how Marvel is better than DC or vice versa and all hell breaks loose. Why? Does this mean something?
Yes, this means something. I hypothesize that if every fan woke up in a weird condition, where you had no particular feelings about either studio, and watched either a Marvel movie or DC movie then they might decide both were excellent. I have a theory that since we are die-hard Marvel or DC fans we have preconceived notions that DC movies will suck or Marvel movies will suck or DC studios is just completely failing or whatever the issue is. This is not how should be though.
They Are Their Own
They are their own. For many, many more reasons that someday I hope to write about, DC is really that good. They may not be Marvel, but they don't have to be. They've got just as much talent, just as many great comics, just as many great movies as Marvel.
They both have different approaches, so of course they'll be different. Different isn't bad. For the first time guys, I'm honestly excited about Batman vs. Superman!