DC vs. Marvel: What’s the Difference?

By Alisa Pierce
Assistant Web Content Manager

Superhero movies have finally come to fruition, with fans flocking to theaters to watch their favorite comic book characters come to life on the big screen. Marvel Comics in particular seems to be thriving, as Marvel movies have become extremely popular after Disney’s purchase of the rights to Marvel’s cinematic universe (MCU). Since then, those at Marvel have shown an incredible talent of choosing actors that fit character roles perfectly and excellent script and dialogue writing. Origin movies such as Iron Man, Captain America and Thor, which told the beginning tales of popular heroes, seriously pushed Marvel into the spotlight that many have desired.

This spotlight gave Marvel and Disney the green light to expand the MCU even further, with original Netflix and television shows such as Daredevil and Jessica Jones. This has given smaller and less popular Marvel heroes a chance at popularity, which, given Daredevil‘s success, seems to have worked.

However, Marvel’s rival, DC, has begun to fire back with their own movies and television shows. The DC cinematic universe (DCCU) has worked tirelessly to create content that would rival Marvel’s, but despite DC characters being traditionally more popular, DCCU’s attempt at gaining the upper hand has mostly failed. DC boasts characters such as Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman, but their movies and shows lack well-written scripts and simple plots. The DCCU movies have been criticized for having superficial character development and bulky plots with too much going on. Even their shows lack popularity, only barely matching the viewer levels of Marvel’s. The only exception to this seems to be Gotham, which has no connection to DC’s movies.

With Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice receiving poor reviews, DC’s saving grace seems to be the highly anticipated Wonder Woman, slated for summer of 2017. However, the fact that DC needs a saving grace at all shows how far they’ve fallen behind Marvel’s triumphs. Some have come to the defense of DC by stating that Marvel is only doing well because of Disney’s influence. This is a plausible argument, as Disney now has a hand in Marvel, Star Wars and many other projects.

However, DC’s apparent failure of producing rival content does not dismiss its talent at creating a universe where fans don’t have to watch years of movies to understand DCCU. Marvel’s tactic of releasing multiple origin movies might have hyped up the MCU, but it also left fans feeling impatient by the time the first Avengers movie hit theaters. Marvel Comics have also been traditionally less popular, which originally hurt the chances of the MCU being successful. DC held all of the cards when it came to character recognition, and Marvel was struggling to keep up.

DC might be struggling to produce content that flows as easily as Marvel’s, but many remain loyal to the hero stronghold that has the rights to Superman and Batman. Some also prefer DC’s grittier aesthetic, with movies that remain dark and mature. Marvel movies aren’t exactly kid movies, but they have always had a lighter feeling than the DCCU. Many feel as if this has left the MCU appearing less realistic.

No matter which is better, both DC and Marvel have a loyal fan base ready to watch every new movie and show the companies produce.

Featured image by JD Hancock.

Holly Henrichsen

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