Marvel vs DC: Battle of the Universes

Thursday 9th February 2017 | Idrees

Unless you have been living under a rock or avoiding social contact, you would know that currently the superhero genre has been ruling the movie scene.

Who could have predicted so many years ago, just how dominant comic book movies have become. But with the comic book genre, unfortunately comes division. It’s almost poetic justice that an industry famous for creating mega fights would create the ultimate fight itself.

No, I am not talking about Batman vs Superman or Captain America vs Iron Man. I am talking about the Marvel Cinematic Universe vs DC Extended Universe.

As a fan of both, it is painfully obvious to see that Marvel has been running the game and unfortunately DC is always one step behind. Let us look at the workings of this ongoing battle.

1. Marvel took the first step

Marvel were the pioneers of the idea of the cinematic universe which automatically puts them one step ahead. The first MCU movie was Iron Man (2008) whereas the first DCEU movie was Man of Steel (2013).

Therefore, Marvel were a full five years ahead in which during this time, they released a total of seven movies. So not only were Marvel ahead of the game, they had already set the base for the MCU before the DCEU even began!

Iron Man scored 94 per cent critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes with a 91 per cent audience score. Whereas Man of Steel scored 55 per cent critics rating with 75 per cent audience score. In other words, not a good start for DC!

2. Patience 

Patience is such a simple yet complex concept.

Marvel had established their cinematic base with the Phase One process, which consists of six movies, that ultimately lead to their first team up movie (Avengers). Throughout these movies, we saw the progression of these heroes and their individual stories and motivation. So when it came to the eventual team up movie, we understood each character.

Batman vs Superman however introduced all the Justice League members. Granted three of these characters were introduced via email attachment, these were still the introductions of the characters.

Avengers ended up receiving a 92 per cent critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes with a 91 per cent audience score, whereas Batman vs Superman received a 27 per cent on Rotten Tomatoes with 64 per cent audience score. Big difference!

3. Casting 

Casting the right actors for your movie may be one of the most important processes for filmmaking. These actors are who the audience will gravitate to and gain a connection with. Try and tell me another person who can play Tony Stark (Go on…I’ll wait…)

This is a perfect example of exactly how Marvel have got their casting right. Robert Downey Jr was born to play the role. However, with DC the casting of Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor certainly turned a lot of heads and consequently resulted to mixed responses.

Now giving credit where it is due, the casting of Ben Affleck was met with huge controversy but once the movie was released, Affleck received huge praise for his role which demonstrates that DC does have it in them.

 4. Direction 

The director of a movie is quite possibly the most important aspect of filmmaking. The role of a director is to ultimately project their vision upon the movie and create life from the storyboard ideas.

Marvel understand this, for example with their hiring of the Russo Brothers who have elevated the Captain America franchise and adding their own twist.

However, DC received mixed reactions for their appointment of Zack Snyder as director for Man of Steel and Batman vs Superman. Snyder is known mostly as a visuals director and the dark tone he takes with his movies. With Superman being the beacon of light, it did not make sense for Man of Steel to project such a dark tone.

This is the same dark tone which has been criticised to such an extent that Suicide Squad went under major reshoots to gain a more lighter aspect and Justice League seems to have a major shift in tone.

I can understand how you may feel that I have been too harsh on DC in this article. But my concerns only stem from the fact that I am an avid fan of both companies and want to see both succeed and ultimately, we all deserve to see these amazing characters being done justice (Pun intended).

Despite my concerns, I still have hope for both companies because Marvel is not perfect either. But with growing interest in the superhero genre, I believe the studios will see just how much the world needs superheroes.