ByscreenPhiles, writer at
writing from a not-so-secret location in Washington, DC

Article includes mild spoilers for Ant-Man. Not enough to ruin the movie, but maybe more information than anyone who hasn't seen it needs to know.

If you're talking about Marvel Studios or DC Entertainment, you're talking about superheroes, which means – especially for those of us who don't geek out whenever either studio releases a movie – that each has to do with they can to differentiate themselves from the other, never mind Universal or Paramount, who have the Jurassic World and Terminator franchises (which aren't superhero-based per se, though the former is certainly a force to be reckoned with, box office-wise).

On the surface, it's pretty obvious the route each studio is taking. DC Entertainment – if Man Of Steel and the trailers for Suicide Squad and Batman vs Superman: Dawn Of Justice are any indication – is using a very serious – some would say 'grim' – take on on superheroes, while Marvel Studios appears to be going a more family-friendly, accessible route (though if [Captain America: The Winter Soldier](tag:254973) has shown us anything, it's that Marvel can encompass other genres, such as political thrillers, which is a plus).

When Kevin Feige, president of Marvel Studios, is asked about DC Entertainment, he’s often very complementary, but his movies themselves tell another story about how seriously Marvel works to differentiate themselves from their competition beyond the ways already mentioned.

Such as their color plate, which tends to use brighter reds and blues. Another that's worth mentioning is that the weather in DC Entertainment movies tends to be gloomier as well, and that there's more rain in the the trailers for [Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice](tag:711870) and Suicide Squad than all the movies of the MCU combined – though the most crucial difference between the two studios is that for Marvel, lives matter.

In fact, during [The Avengers: Age Of Ultron](tag:293035), the entire last act of the movie is spent saving civilians, in contrast to Man Of Steel, where civilians existed apparently for no other purpose than to be pounded to jelly by Zod's World Engine.

Though originally I didn't really see saving people as any sort of imperative on Marvel's part, till I saw Ant-Man and realized that there must have been a decision from on high to go in that direction. The scene in question happens about midway through the movie, when Luis (Michael Peña) incapacitated a guard so Ant-Man could sneak into the Pym Industries building.

What's worth noting is that he makes it his business, when they're later evacuating the building, to go and save the guard knocked out earlier! That's like a Die Hard movie when McClain returns to save a terrorist that threatened him moments earlier.

In other words, it typically doesn't happen.

And speaking of the guard, he's a minor character – if he turns up three times in as many minutes I'd be shocked – though the movie makes a point of showing us Luis going back to save his life, which is interesting, especially since most viewers wouldn't have cared – or even remembered – if he hadn't.

It's important because what it shows is that while there are minor characters in Marvel movies, their lives – and human life in general – has value and that it's worth saving (or at the very least, making an attempt).

In the DC Cinematic Universe? Not so much.


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