Ever since Iron Man hit theaters in 2008, the race for control of the silver screen's comic book world has been dominated by Marvel. While there have been a few good super hero movies here and there (Watchmen, Big Hero 6), the Marvel Cinematic Universe has bullied its way to the top of the genre and doesn't seem to be in any danger of losing its throne. Due to its enormous success, the idea of an expanded, comprehensible universe spanning the course of multiple movies has become more popular in recent years. In October of 2014 DC publicly announced their plans for a similar extended universe and the release dates for their next nine movies.
With 2013's Man of Steel being the first film released, it at first seemed that DC had a long way to go before they would catch up, if they were able to at all. They were already ore than five years behind, and other than the incredible Dark Knight trilogy (more on that later), had not released a movie popular with the public since 1992's Batman Returns. Critics and fans alike were worried that the unproven studio had bitten off more than it could chew and was doomed for failure.
Then the Suicide Squad trailer dropped.
I know I can't speak for everyone, but I was more than impressed by this short look into DC's big 2016 release not named Batman v Superman. While the trailer itself got me excited for the film, the premise itself had me itching for next year to come quickly. Marvel's struggle to providing noteworthy villains has been well-documented, with only Loki and the Winter Soldier standing out as fan favorites. Without memorable, interesting villains, there is a cap to how good movies of the superhero genre truly can be. Movies that hit on the villains, such as The Dark Knight and the original Star Wars trilogy, are viewed as classic and more complete movies. The heroes are placed in actual danger by dangerous villains with complex, realistic motivations that we as viewers can sympathize with, even if we don't agree. Marvel has failed at this so far, and based on the way Thanos' story line seems to be progressing it is a very real possibility that Phase 3 could end in similar disappointment. Yes, the MCU movies are extremely entertaining, but it's evident that they have been lacking in this area.
This is where Suicide Squad comes in.
While running 5 years behind had its cons, mainly lack of name recognition, DC also has somewhat of an advantage. They have seen Marvel's hits and misses (we're looking at you, Iron Man 2), and have recognized their weaknesses. By having their third movie in the franchise consist almost entirely of villains, they are opening up new possibilities that Marvel has been unable to. If DC can use Suicide Squad to establish a number of fan-favorite super villains, then they have the potential to pull even with or even surpass the MCU. Harley Quinn and The Joker are the obvious candidates, and Will Smith (Deadshot) has always been popular. Even if only a couple of these baddies hit it big, then DC can build a much better universe than Marvel has.