Whether you're partial to Marvel or DC comics, movies or cartoons, you know that there is an ongoing feud between these fan bases. Whether you're partial to Batman or the Hulk, you know that it's a subject that can polarize people. It seems that with the upcoming lineup of DC films, and Marvel's ongoing Cinematic Universe, this fan feud has become even more intense as fans duke it out online in comment sections, Rotten Tomatoes reviews and everywhere else!
The argument of DC vs Marvel won't be solved over night, but with all of our help and fellowship it can end! I'm here to explain, and convince you, that this feud is hurting the fans more than it's helping!
Here are five reasons this feud is ridiculous and needs to stop!
1. Neither Universes Would Exist Without the X-Men or Spider-Man films
It's true that DC has been doing superhero movies before Marvel ever did, but in 1987 Superman IV didn't even make back their budget in the box office, and holds an 11% on Rotten Tomatoes. Inside of ten years, and two failed Batman films later, both Marvel and DC decided superhero films weren't feasible, and that the public didn't want them. Marvel was really struggling financially and, with this new belief, they sold the film rights to several of their beloved characters including Spider-Man and the X-Men. In 2000, Fox Studios released X-Men, and in 2002 Sony released Spider-Man. Both films were received extremely well as realistic action-adventure re-creations of their comic counterparts, and they performed well at the box office. Both films received sequels which did even better than the originals! These franchises reinvigorated the superhero genre, and forced both Marvel and DC to realize that superhero films could be loved by mainstream movie-goers and we received the new Batman trilogy, as well as Iron Man which began the MCU.
Truth is both the original X-Men and Spider-Man trilogies ended poorly, but by then the studios realized how much potential there was, and how hungry the fans were for their favorite heroes to finally come to the big screen!
2. Fans Feel They HAVE to Choose
One of the biggest problems in the ongoing feud is that fans feel they need to pick a side! For myself I grew up watching Marvel cartoons, and reading Marvel comics. I also grew up watching Adam West's Batman, but still always loved the gigantic Marvel universe. In recent years I've fallen in love with Flash, and I'm one of the few who actually enjoyed the Green Lantern film! Probably because I didn't know any better when I had no background on the character--but still I have really enjoyed both franchises.
It's hard to not love the Flash television show, but because I didn't grow up with DC, I believe I enjoy the Flarrowverse because I don't know the comic stories so I never know what will happen next! Why can't I enjoy watching Flash, but still claim that Wolverine and the X-Men are my favorite superheroes? Unfortunately, the Marvel/DC fanbase is so split that when the conversation of superheroes come up I always end up feeling obligated to defend Marvel because it's what I've grown up with. I'm also highly invested in the characters already because I know how deep and rich they can be. By making me feel like I need to take a stance one way or the other, I'm actually being pushed to one side instead of being allowed to enjoy both! We need to shift, and instead be encouraging others to get to know both the Marvel and DC universes! If we can show each other how wonderful these long running characters are, we'll easily be able to see each other's side of the argument.
3. The Next Generation of Fans Feel Forced To Choose
Just like how I feel compelled to defend Marvel because I grew up with it, this battle between fan bases is making new fans feel they need to choose. Recently I spent a weekend with my thirteen year old nephew where he asked me questions about Marvel characters, upcoming projects and film rumors like I was somehow involved in the film industry! He proceeded to rip apart DC, and refused to see that there was very much potential in the beginnings of the DCEU. This is so unfortunate because it takes away those opportunities for someone to enjoy something they otherwise would have. I know my nephew would enjoy Flash, but I couldn't convince him to even try!
If the feud continues we'll end up polarizing fans into two group with even less crossover than we have now. It would be unfortunate because both universes can exist, and both can be extremely successful and entertaining!
4. There's Room For Both!
The bottom line is that there's room for both franchises, and there's room for all fans to enjoy them both! Even though both fit into the superhero genre that doesn't mean they're the same! You don't hear about Harry Potter fans arguing with Lord of the Rings fans over which is better. They're both fantasy, but there's room for both, and they're so vastly different. No one is going to love every Marvel movie, and no one is going to love every DC movie, but if you give them a chance you're going to easily find good in both franchises, and be opened up to new favorite characters that they would have missed out on before.
5. We're All Winners
As the upcoming lineup of superhero films grows with the DCEU and Marvel's MCU, as well as future X-Men films, it's very likely that fans will be competing. Fans will no doubt begin throwing out box office numbers, or rotten tomato scores as proof that their favorite franchise has "won".
The truth actually is that all franchises fluctuate in the box office and in fan reception. With so many superhero films coming up over the next few years we should remember that despite which one makes more money the truth is that we're all winning. We're all winning because we are getting to see the golden age of superheroes in mainstream media. We're all winning because the characters we grow up with are finally becoming household names. And finally, we're all winning because we are all so lucky that there is enough interest in our current culture to receive this many superhero films!
So next time you think of making a comment, or posting something argumentative I challenge you to think of your motive. Instead let's work together to ensure that both franchises take off and be accepted by mainstream fans! We're lucky to be getting so many wonderful and diverse films about these ageless and deep characters, let's remember that we're all winners because we get to see our favorite characters so deeply explored!