In this conversation piece, we will look at the clear line drawn in the sand between Marvel Studios and DC Films by artistic choices, cinematic views and mostly, the fans. The two comic companies have been in a tedious and unequal battle since the mid century but only now with their films dominating pop culture has the real war began. I have begun noticing this around the time The Dark Knight and Iron Man came out; if someone saw both of them films, chances were that they like one WAY more than the other. That’s normal but the Iron Man fans had foam in their mouths; they were rabid for more of the drug Marvel was selling. Don’t get me wrong, Dark Knight fans still live to this day but we all know that it was a Joker film and the Joker has a very passionate fan base. After Iron Man, Marvel had a string of mediocre films to help start pushing them into the direction of The Avengers, while this was happening, DC was only giving hardcore fans attention with the release of the hit or miss Watchmen. This allowed Marvel to take one giant leap ahead of its competition; only for money because we all know DC produces the more artful films.
The war got worse for DC when a blunder like Green Lantern came along and ended all the momentum the Nolan Batman films created. To keep digging DC deeper, here comes the monster named The Avengers. Now if anyone knows me, I HATE The Avengers. I believe it to be an over-produced and vapid waste of time BUT that isn’t an attack on the artist who made the film. It’s just a product of how Marvel makes their entertainment. But The Avengers now pushed Marvel Studios to another level while DC was at a stand still. This allowed the Marvel fans to get all the fire they needed to attack at any moment they felt their precious gems were in danger.
That seems like the best line to transition into Man of Steel. The first torpedo shot from DC to Marvel and boy were Marvel fans ready to retaliate. With complaints that the film was too artsy, too dark, and shockingly, complaints about the massive amount of destruction in the finale; Man of Steel almost had no chance to survive. But it turns out; Man of Steel was just the set up for what was to come from the company. Suddenly, DC Films became the DC Cinematic Universe and they laid out their battle plan to combat Marvel. Marvel fans still laugh this off and got to enjoy their blockbusters like Guardians of the Galaxy and Winter Solider. It was the first time I’ve seen the collective comic book community turn against something with Batman anywhere near it as he is the holy grail of all things comics.
Marvel had built their army and DC was still trying to enlist troops.
The most recent attack on DC has been all the hate for the upcoming Dawn of Justice film. From Ben Affleck being casted to fans saying how desperate it was for them to release the trailer on the day they did; Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice seems to dead on arrival. In the follow weeks was the release of Age of Ultron; what was hailed as the best Marvel film to date from Marvel itself. This was the first shocking moment in this new war for me; people didn’t go instantly NUTS over AoU like they did for The Avengers. Even website Rotten Tomatoes put Age of Ultron at a 75%, which is a big dip from the 92% that the original has.
Maybe Marvel’s formula has finally been shown and people are fatigued from the constant comic book life. I believe Ant-Man will be a good tell tale sign of how the future of the company will be going. While I never think they will lose their billion dollar box offices, I think the hollowness of the films is being exposed slowly. Now DC has to come back while the guards are busy and strike a major blow to Marvel; I believe the combo of Suicide Squad and Dawn of Justice will be the biggest asset.