I'm a life long DC fanboy. One of my first experiences with Superhero's back when I was a wee one in my underoos was with the one and only Superman. Richard Donner, Christopher Reeve, Gene Hackman (and later, Terence Stamp) are responsible for my introduction to the world of Comic books. There was a time where I would tie my blanky around my neck, grab a ratty Superman comic and "fly" around the house belting out my rendition of John Williams' famed score. The pages came alive! The pages came alive and my retreat into these fables became a great escape for me. For me, I wasn't introduced to Batman, Wonder Woman, Flash, or any of the other Justice League members in their own books. It was through my Superman comics.
With Superman being my "gateway drug" to the broader comic book spectrum, I was introduced to some of my favorite characters like Batman, The Question, The Joker and more. From there, characters like Spiderman, Green Lantern, Savage Dragon, Spawn, The Tick, Judge Dredd and many more entered into my spectrum of knowledge. And it just kept growing.
I specifically remember picking up a random Iron Man comic and seeing Tony Stark in his armor for the first time. I also recall the first time I saw the panel where Joker was swinging his crowbar down with the debilitating blow to Robin. These modern day stories... were just that... They were stories. Reading about Spawn and his fight against Clown/Violator or the many X-Men, X-Force, or Justice League stories were essentially modern day Greek Mythology for many readers of my generation.
And at the same time, there was always that "Marvel is better than DC" crowd. Or the "DC is more grounded and realistic than Marvel" scene. And really... can't we look at it from a standpoint of "it's entertainment"? Comic's are more mainstream now than they ever were thanks to the success of the Marvel Cinematic Universe power train. Sure DC has had it's missteps in the last few years but they are gaining ground. While Marvel can thank Superman for paving the way for mass exposure to Comic Book superheroes, DC can thank Marvel for rescuing the comic book movie genre (starting with Blade in 1998 after the Batman movies officially hit a brick wall with Batman and Robin in '97).
What I'm getting at is, the comic book universe, both in book form and cinematic is more than Marvel or DC. It's more than "who did better at the box office. It doesn't need to be about numbers. Seriously. Back when I was a child, the most we had at our fingertips in the genre of Comic Book movies was the Christopher Reeve Superman, Keaton's Batman, Dolph Lundgren's Punisher and Howard the Duck (well... Red Sonja and Heavy Metal but that's a different post for a different time). We had dreams though. Wizard Magazine would give us the scoop on proposed comic book movies. The dreams and wonder of having a Spiderman movie staring Charlie Sheen, a Burt Reynolds as Tony Stark, an X-Men movie with Lundgren as Colossus, Michael Beihn as Cyclops, fricken Tia Carrere as Psylocke... the list just goes on and on.
But it wasn't a reality. We never knew the day would come where we would see Captain Steve Rogers tell Hulk to "Smash". At the time of this article, we are a few days away from the debut of Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman and a few more heroes appearing on the silver screen for the first time. This is monumental. And the main things critics are focusing on is "It's proposed to make X amount of money at opening".
I'm sorry if this post seems "preachy" but for what it's worth, it would be amazing where we can go to the movies, enjoy the entertainment for what it's worth, and grow the base of Comic Book Movies as a whole so we continue to get quality production. I know there needs to be a mass appeal to non CBM fans, and I think that can be accomplished if we CBM lovers help cultivate the audience. I'm a dedicated DC fanboy at heart. I make no bones about it. But I also can appreciate the fact that movies like Ant-Man and the Captain America movies have been masterfully done.
Right now, the two main camps: Dc and Marvel, have rabid fan bases that rival Democrats and Republicans. In the current political climate, the two factions are seemingly at each others throats. I hope that we can, as a comic book community, band together to slap each other on the back when our favorite heroes do good with the critics and with the box office, and defend each other when one of our favorites has a bad run (I know Iron Man 2 & 3 weren't perfect but the weren't THAT bad...).
What do you think? Do you get frustrated with constant "Marvel vs DC" argument or do you think it's a healthy rivalry? Let me know below and as always, that's for reading. My next piece is going to be a Batman vs Superman review as I see it Thursday and I couldn't be more stoked! Thanks for reading!