Recently, a rumor has begun that WB and DC execs are nervous about the upcoming Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice, but not because of the film's quality. Rather, they are concerned that the script and storyline is "too smart" for the fans of Marvel movies. This is the exact kind of inter-company hate that I, and a large portion of comic book fans, absolutely despise. The DC/Marvel feud has gone on far too long, and it is something that is simply causing too much inter-fandom rivalry. Too often, I'll scroll through a comment section and see something along the lines of, "Oh well, you're just a Marvel fan, you won't get it", or "Just wait until your next Batman- I mean DC movie".
These kinds of put-downs are the cause of the constant war between the companies. It's simply to naive to say that Marvel movies are all childish and fluffy, and just as bad to assume that DC is too sophisticated for the average moviegoer. According to Hitfix, DC execs went so far as to brand the entire MCU as "popcorn flicks". There are plently of these so-called "popcorn flicks" under the DC name, and Marvel has its own serious, intense movies.
MARVEL IS NOT ONLY FOR KIDS
Whenever someone tells me that Marvel movies are only for little kids, I would direct them to the movie right here, Captain America: The Winter Soldier. This movie is an intense thrill-ride from beginning to end, and features plenty of mature themes such as government overwatch, or being forced to fight a friend. This is not a film that is intended for young kids.
In defense of the "popcorn flick", the true purpose of film has always been to entertain. Not every movie should cause your entire worldview to change, and it's unnecessary to believe that to be the case. Case in point: Deadpool, recently released to theaters, is one of the most fun movies I have ever watched. It didn't cause me to rethink everything I have ever known, it simply existed to bring fun to audiences.
FROM THE DC STANDPOINT
I can say without a doubt that I thoroughly enjoy many "serious comic book movies". The Dark Knight is my overall favorite comic book movie. I will admit that DC has a far more serious outlook, overall, towards their films than Marvel. However, DC has had plenty of lighthearted fare, such as Green Lantern and Batman & Robin. Granted, these were not the best received movies, critically, and that can be believed as impacting DC's view on lighthearted movies. However, considering Marvel's success, there is no reason to put the lighthearted flicks down. On a similar note, there is a such thing as a movie being "too serious". Man of Steel is an ideal example. The film took a beacon of hope, like Superman, and featured a scene of him drowning in a pile of human skulls. The overwhelming gloom of the film was a big part of the polarizing reaction it received. DC seems to have learned from this, as recent teasers for Batman vs Superman are emphasizing the moments of levity in the film.
To be honest, I feel that Fox's X-Men movies, for all of their faults, hit the nail on the head in terms of the right tone for a comic book movie. X-Men: Days of Future Past is a great example. While the apocalyptic future scenes had a necessary bleakness, the scenes set in the 1970's had a bright feel, and the film wasn't afraid to be funny. Both Marvel and DC could learn from this, and they already seem like they have, with similar tones being featured in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, [Captain America: Civil War](tag:994409), and Suicide Squad.
All in all, I believe that there is a time and place for a lighthearted tone in movies (Guardians of the Galaxy, Ant-Man) and for darker, more serious movies (The Dark Knight, Man of Steel). Both types of movies have proven that they can be successful, so there is no reason to be condescending in either direction. Each franchises can learn from the other, and neither is perfect, but with the right tone, the quality of the films from both companies can skyrocket.
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