Marvel v DC: Dawn of a Fanboy's Dream
Growing up I watched the now classic cartoons Spider-Man, Batman TAS, X-Men, Superman TAS, and Justice League. Doing so fostered a love of superhero stories that has stayed with me into adulthood. I loved them all. This love never extended to reading comic books, however.
As a kid, I thought the adventures of my favorite characters would stay in animated form. Sure, they had made some Superman and Batman movies but the only god ones were the first of each franchise (with the second installments being alright and everything after that being crap), but I didn’t think Hollywood would go past that. Then came X-Men in 2000 and Spiderman in 2002. The age of the superhero movie had come.
Flash forward to the present and I have seen nearly every superhero and villain I grew up with in live action (whether they were interpreted well is another matter), and I could not be happier. I saw Batman AND the Green Arrow fight two different versions of Ras Al Ghul. I saw the same Wolverine fight two different versions of Sabretooth. I’ve seen three Spidermen over 6 movies. I saw Iron Man fight Hulk and Thor. I’ve seen Silver Surfer, Galactus (he sucked I know!), Apocalypse, Thanos, Lex Luthor, Joker, Harley Quinn, Luke Cage, Daredevil and don’t get me started on all of the b-level characters. What an amazing time to be superhero geek. The studios show no signs of stopping and I should hope they don’t!
This brings me to the title of this piece: Marvel vs. DC. I like superheroes, as I’ve said, and so I must have a favorite, right? Every superhero fan does, right? Marvel or DC? Truthfully, I like them both and don’t see the point of pitting one against the other. You may think Marvel movies are better than DC movies. That’s a fair opinion supported by box office numbers and Rotten Tomato scores, but I’ve loved many movies that bombed at the box office and many more with poor rotten tomato scores.
DC is different. They came to the shared universe game late and are rushing it, but I never thought their movies were as bad as people claimed. Very few movies, if any, are without flaws and in my opinion each film in DC’s new shared universe only had several major flaws that kept them from being great (Man of Steel: too serious, poor use of flashbacks; Batman v Superman: Rushed, Death of Superman not earned, Lex Luthor; Suicide Squad: Joker, Weak 2nd act, etc). None of the problems prevented me from enjoying the films, however. The one exception DC has is Wonder Woman. I felt that movies had no major flaws.
Marvel is a well-oiled machine that has found a formula that works and they stick with it. If it isn’t broke why fix it, right? They keep churning out fun movies year after year, but they don’t take many chances. That’s fine, they take chances with their Netflix shows. They make action comedies with superheroes as the stars.
I enjoy the fact that there are two different studios out there with two different universes and two different approaches to their characters. I like DC’s dark movies and Marvel’s light and funny ones. I like DC’s funny, corny CW shows and Marvel’s bloody serious Netflix ones. I wouldn’t want either studio to copy the other. I just want them to keep putting out content I can enjoy.
Internet forums and the YouTube comment sections are full of people listing reasons why one is better than the other. I just read them and laugh. In the war between Marvel and DC it’s the fans that win so why should I pick a side?