The war between MCU and DCEU will continue to go on for ages, and since the Superhero Genre is on the boom on the big screen, there seems to be no stopping this war of fans, studios, and even the critics. Marvel has been able to really capitalize on the movies department and DC has thrashed MCU everywhere else.
DC has been ruling the business when it comes to animation. Their animated TV shows, animated movies, and PS4 games have sold like anything and people actually love DC for this. The comics keep bringing in a lot of original content whereas Marvel keeps re-launching their comics with a new run every now and then and then ret-con it with the older runs. But Marvel Studios have completely made it work when it comes to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and the DC fans have always hoped that the movie department takes a cue from the comics and all the animated stuff, and finally give them what they want.
The MCU has become the biggest brand in the entire Hollywood, and all the A-List actors now want to be a part of this magical Universe. DC, on the other hand, have tried to put out a Universe which is a little rushed due to the competition they face, has not managed to make movies at the level and the pace at which Marvel does.
Marvel camp has a tonne of interesting material to work with on the big screen, there are Avengers, Secret Warriors, The Defenders etc. while DC’S Teen Titans and Justice League are hardly a match. The creative team behind the success of Marvel movies is one of the most prolific, hardworking and top-notch in the entire entertainment industry.
The scripts are extremely well researched down to the last detail in a way that it appeals to the comic-book nerds and the general comic book audience at the same time. Marvel Studios have been pushing this big universe-altering, world-changing events on a regular basis, for instance, Loki’s Invasion with Chitauri army, HYDRA infiltration of S.H.I.E.L.D, Civil War, Infinity Wars etc. while DC offers big events occasionally like Flashpoint.
The Marvel has an amazing repertoire of talent to direct its many projects include the best and finest names in Hollywood – James Gunn, Joss Whedon, Jon Favreau etc. who are absolutely committed and they put their heart and soul to bring their vision onto the big-screen while DC sticks with handful of people to build its universe. Marvel Studios is ready with 20 different projects that are in various stages of development going to form future MCU for the next 10-15 years. On the other hand, DC is struggling to build its universe and even the Justice League failed to set cash resisters ringing and the future seem uncertain.
Marvel has a fanboy in Kevin Feige who has been in the entertainment industry for several decades. He brings his technical expertise and prowess onto the table and have brought worldwide box office revenues of over $8.3 billion from a slate of superhero movies. DC believed Geoff Johns and Ben Affleck combo will somehow turn-around its fortunes, but Affleck is almost certain to give up cape and cowl as he could not find the same frequency on which he was operating.
Marvel Studios has mastered the science and art of marketing and how to connect with the massive fanbase of Marvel comics. From product positioning to digital advertising campaigns, everything has been thought through well in advance.
On the other hand, DC Studios has failed to generate buzz around some of their marquee movies like Batman v Superman, Justice League etc. and as a result these movies over promised and under delivered. Another problem of DC is that they do a terrible job at making trailers so much so that they gave away the entire plot in the trailer itself in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.
In fact, except Chris Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy, and Wonder Woman, DC has struggled with the Superhero genre in every attempt they made. They may be ahead of the game in the live-action TV business with the Arrowverse, but the area that brings in the big bucks and matters the most at the end of the day, lacks the quality actually required to be successful.
The rivalry between Marvel and DC comics is always on and is pretty old. Recently, one of Stan Lee’s interview with HBR in 1977 was being circulated around the internet in which he admitted to indulging in name calling and trolling DC comics. Here is what he said:
“They’ve been trying to catch up. They’re doing the best they can, bless their innocent little hearts. We used to have a lot of fun with them when we started outselling them. They studied our books, and they’d say, ‘You know, I noticed they use a lot of red on their covers. Maybe that’s it. And they would start putting a lot of red on their covers. The minute we would learn of that, we would take all the red off our covers. And our books still sold better, and that would drive them crazy.”
“It never occurred to them that we take the work a little more seriously and maybe we have a little bit more of a sense of humor. And maybe people don’t like things that are a little bit stuffy. They like things that are whimsical or humorous.”
Now, comic book writer Mark Millar has shared his vital opinion on why DCEU has not managed to get at par with the Maverick, MCU. In his recent interview, the writer of Kingsman and Civil War, Mark Millar talked about what has gone wrong with DC and absolutely right with Marvel. Here’s what he said:
“I think it’s really simple, the characters aren’t cinematic, and I say this as a massive DC fan who much prefers their characters to Marvel’s. Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman are some of my favourites, but I think these characters, with the exception of Batman, they aren’t based around their secret identity; they are based around their super power. Whereas the Marvel characters tend to be based around the personality of Matt Murdock or Peter Parker, or the individual X-Men, it’s all about the character. DC, outside of Batman, is not about the character. With Batman, you can understand him and you can worry about him but someone like Green Lantern, he has this ring that allows him to create 3D physical manifestations and green plasma with the thoughts in his head but he’s allergic to the color yellow! How do you make a movie with that? In 1952, that made perfect sense, but now the audience have no idea what that’s all about.”
“People will slam me for this, but I think the evidence is there. We’ve seen great directors, great writers and great actors, tonnes of money thrown at them, but these films aren’t working. I think they are all too far away from when they were created. Something feels a little old about them, kids look at these characters and they don’t feel that cool. Even Superman, I love Superman, but he belongs to an America that doesn’t exist anymore. He represents 20th Century America, and I think he peaked then.”
Well, this is a very interesting angle to look at this particular aspect, but if MCU can make a character like Captain America work extremely well, then Superman is the king of all Superheroes and he has the potential to do as well as all these Marvel characters, and so do the others in the DC Comics lore. It is just that they need to find the right combination of Darkness, humor, heart, and hope in their movies and they will be good to go.
So what do you think about this? Do you agree with Millar’s opinion or do you think there could be a completely different reason? Maybe its time that DCEU takes a page from DC comics playbook. Tell us what you think in the comments.