Let me begin by saying I grew up a huge DC fan. Superman was my favorite superhero growing up. So if anything, I am partial to all things DC.
However, with a major motion picture showdown coming soon to a theater near you, I have come to a realization about the Marvel vs. DC situation. Marvel will win the movie wars.
Beyond the fact that they have a head start on DC, Marvel has the true ingredients for sure and certain victory. A lot has already been said about Marvel being fun and DC being seriously epic, but I see a whole different reason for marvel's success.
I made this realization while contemplating "Captain America: Winter Soldier". As a fan of the Cap and knowing his general unpopularity, I was amazed the movie did so well. I thought about the message of the movie and how poignant it was in the national discussion on America's place in the world. Cap asked the hard questions we were asking about security, oversight, and world policing.
I also thought about the first Ironman movie back in 2008. That movie also touched on the real world problems we were discussing as a nation. Are we arming the terrorist we are fighting? Aren't we killing innocent people to get to the bad guys? Ironman asked these questions and answered them via wish fulfillment.
Both Cap and Ironman, in those respective movies, fulfilled our wishes by confronting the real world problems we were facing at the time of the release of their movies. Ironman stopped selling weapons to the bad guys while creating a machine that can differentiate the innocent from the evil. Remember that scene where his suit marked the bad guys and saved the innocent Arabs? That scene was followed by a collect shout for joy as our hero solved our real world dilemma. Cap on the other hand took a stand against "the man", even if "the man" was his own government he was supposed to be serving.
DC's model for Man of Steel and their other upcoming movies is not as grounded in our story as a country and as a people. Superman saves Metropolis from invaders from space. Not quite the problem we are facing as a nation.
When it comes to any good story, we are attracted to the conflicts and dilemmas that look like the ones we are facing. Other problems don't catch our attention as easily nor does solving those problems garner our roaring applause.
DC will give us great spectacles and pander to the desires of DC fans, but will we care about the dilemmas they are facing? I don't think so.
So, what is the key to the movie wars? Timeliness
But what do you think? Let me know in the comments below!