2008’s Iron Man ignited the Marvel Cinematic Universe as we know it today. The 11 films that have been part of the MCU thus far have been nominated for plenty of awards, with recent films such as Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Guardians of the Galaxy both being Oscar nominees. It’s clear that Marvel and President Kevin Feige have developed a stunning collection of movies with essentially no competition. However, with the introduction of 2013’s Man of Steel, DC plans to develop their own cinematic universe to finally compete with Marvel. Unfortunately for DC, they will not provide much of a competition.
Here are 5 reasons why I feel DC’s Cinematic Universe will not compare to Marvel’s current cinematic masterpiece.
1. The Timeline
When the much anticipated Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice rolls around, it will be the second film in the DCCU (DC Cinematic Universe) as a follow-up to Man of Steel and a lead-up to a Justice League movie. Although the movie’s title has its own issues, DC’s entire sequence for their movies almost seems illogical in comparison to Marvel’s. The MCU had a solo movie for each of their primary characters prior to The Avengers, whereas DC is planning to introduce their primary heroes in Dawn of Justice and/or Justice League Part One without any previous solo appearance. Of course it will lead to the inevitable team up. The reason DC won’t do the same as Marvel is because they do not want to mimic their adversary’s setup, and they want to compete as quickly as possible. There is speculation regarding a team that is already organized in the Justice League movie which will most likely turn out to be true considering the difficulty of gathering characters to defeat an opposing force without any earlier structure among the characters. DC clearly does not have the patience as Marvel did, and I fear that this could potentially hurt them and their movies.
2. Zack Snyder and David S. Goyer
If there’re two people that you shouldn’t start a shared universe with, they're Zack Snyder and his wingman David Goyer. Although Goyer has the impressive Dark Knight Trilogy in his resumé, you can give the credit to Christopher Nolan for that. With the exception of those three Batman films, most of their creations have been disappointments. Zack Snyder is infamous for his overuse of CGI and cluttered fight scenes, which typically resulted in too many stale movies, like Man of Steel.
Goyer is no better. His trash talk about DC characters has more meaning to it than his movies. Ooh. In regard to the brilliant character of Martian Manhunter, he stated, “How many people in the audience have heard of Martian Manhunter?" The audience applauded and cheered. "How many people that raised their hands have ever been laid?" He later goes on to discuss how he should change the iconic character’s unique origin. I mean no disrespect to these two, but when someone has a large amount of responsibility to DC and treats important characters with disregard, they’re asking for it. Both Snyder and Goyer are figures that should not be in charge of a movie, let alone a DC franchise.
3. The Absence of Christopher Nolan
There’s no doubt that Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, and The Dark Knight Rises were some of the best superhero movies ever made, and the only three good DC movies. The International Movie Database (IMDb) even has The Dark Knight ranked the fourth best movie ever made! According to the same source, no other superhero movie even comes close. The astonishing director behind these movies is named Christopher Nolan. He redefined superhero movies as a whole. Including The Dark Knight Trilogy, he’s responsible for other breathtaking movies such as Memento, Interstellar, The Prestige, and Inception, which are considered some of the best movies ever made. Nolan is the opposite of Zack Snyder, and it now looks like he was their last hope.
4. Where Is Martian Manhunter?!
When DC initially revealed their plans for the upcoming years, there was no Martian Manhunter solo movie or any scheduled appearance. This shouldn’t only be my concern, but yours as well. Although there is time for this to change, it looks unlikely. Martian Manhunter is one of the most influential superheroes ever. He’s the founder of the Justice League who was one of the only full-time leaguers. Even Superman and Batman weren’t as committed to the Justice League as he was. The likely reason this brilliant character will not be introduced is due to his lack of popularity as well as his many similarities with the Man of Steel. The absence of the Martian named J’onn J’onz is defiantly a con, considering the multifarious powers and abilities and his incredible origin—which is a topic for another article.
5. The Characters
The debate in regards to who has the better characters, Marvel or DC, has been an ongoing issue ever since the golden age of comics. However, if one is referring to movies, Marvel would have the edge. And it looks like it will stay like this.
Marvel has a variety of characters with distinct origins and different powers from each other, which gives their characters more flexibility when developing a fresh movie, while DC is the opposite. DC characters such as Wonder Women and Superman are nearly identical, and they will both have solo movies. DC also plans to release a Ben Affleck Batman solo film. But do we really need more standalone Batman films? I like with the idea of Affleck’s Dark Knight appearing in movies as a secondary character or even a cameo. He will pop up in Suicide Squad, but not as a main character—which is what will make this Batman appropriate in the new DC Cinematic Universe. On top of this, The Flash will also be getting his own film. The problem? I understand that this movie would make money, and he is a fan favorite character, but what makes his on-screen character/hero different than Quicksilver? Marvel’s Quicksilver was a boring character until the end of the movie. It didn’t seem like this character mattered until he was killed.
If DC wants to make their characters memorable and great in their upcoming movies, they must show us what separates them from others of similar abilities. DC’s characters tend to be exceedingly more powerful than Marvel’s which can distance them from fans. Marvel maintains a light mood with humor. DC officials recently confirmed that their movies would obtain a darker tone and less humor than Marvel. This must change in order for their characters to be even somewhat relatable.
Terrible or great, these movies will at least do one thing right: box office success. Fans come to see the iconic characters that were developed in the comics despite the quality of the films they are in. Ultimately, DC’s packed Cinematic Universe has potential, but will not live up to what Marvel has built over the years. I’m a huge DC fan and I hope they’ll succeed, but there are multiple signs and reasons why it’s set up for failure.