Marvel vs. DC: Fans make the case for each franchise
Marvel(ous) Comics by Angelina Ye
Before I even start on how well-organized and nostalgic Marvel Comics is, I would like to acknowledge that DC did have a popular animated universe back in the late 20th to early 21st centuries. But I’m sorry to say that’s where it ends.
Though DC Comics was created before Marvel and designed the well-known superhero trope we see today, it was Marvel that improved upon it. Going above the original child-orientated comics DC put out previously, Marvel targeted all ages with superheros like those of the Fantastic Four and more. Marvel still does this today with their films, unlike DC who tries too hard to be grungy and dark, completely flying over the heads of their younger audience.
Looking at films of both DC and Marvel, Marvel has much better organization of their superheroes and movies, and they actually produce movies that can not only be watched alone, but also function with their other movies. Marvel Studios gives a more complete and fulfilling film-watching experience, while DC’s latest attempt to join superheroes together in “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” ended in a disappointing flop. But let’s also look at the numbers to see how well Marvel and DC films do in the box office: for highest box office results since 2008, “The Avengers” received $1.5 billion and “The Dark Knight Rises” only $1.1 billion.
Now let’s get into individual heroes. DC Comics has created an entire lineup of overpowered superheroes that somehow get defeated time and time again, even though Superman is essentially immortal and can apparently turn back time, as seen in the 1978 Superman movie. Why even bother with a Justice League if Superman can one-handedly defeat entire armies, plural? It comes to the point where DC either has characters too strong to be interesting, or they have to suffer from massive plot holes from magically reducing a superhero’s powers. Marvel, on the other hand, doesn’t have this problem with heroes like Captain America and Black Widow. And though some may argue Thor is exceptionally indestructible, even he’s been beaten before. It’s more captivating to watch a hero fight against stronger forces and their own weaknesses to champion justice and humanity, instead of wondering why Superman doesn’t just wipe the villain out in two seconds with his laser eyes. DC has already created a foundation of unrealistic superheroes, and the backlash is seen in how fewer people watch their movies and how they rebooted all the comics with the New 52 back in 2011, effectively destroying the nostalgia it previously held.
While DC may have had their golden age, today is all about Marvel with movies like “The Avengers,” “Guardians of the Galaxy” and so many more.
In Defense of DC by Joyce Lee
To be honest, I’m not much of a DC Comics fan, but there’s something about nostalgia with its animated shows (Teen Titans anyone?) that just makes you want to defend DC in a time when all things DC are shunned in favor of Marvel’s Avengers.
With the introduction of Superman in the 1930s, DC popularized the classic superhero: a courageous, sometimes god-like character driven by a moral purpose. Not only did Superman inspire the creation of thousands of super-powered characters in entertainment media, but he remains a cultural icon to this day.
Aside from superhero heavyweights like Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman, DC’s legacy extends to their antagonists; after all, a hero is only as good as their villain. The Joker is among the greatest fictional villains ever created, equaling Batman in popularity and cultural impact. Other villains such as Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn blur the line between good and bad, providing character depth and femme fatale strength that is rare in Marvel villains.
With strong characters and storylines, DC also led a wave of edgier films, such as Christopher Nolan’s Batman-centered “The Dark Knight” trilogy. With DC matching Marvel in action-packed battle sequences, it all comes down to personal preference: Marvel’s humorous, fast-paced escapades or DC’s gritty, brooding realism.
The DC movie lineup over the next few years seems to surpass that of Marvel’s, with plans to release “Wonder Woman” in 2017, followed by “Aquaman,” a typically white character who will be played by Hawaiian actor Jason Momoa. There are even talks of a movie written by a woman featuring an all-female superhero team with key figures like Batgirl. “Wonder Woman” will be the first major female-led superhero movie to be directed by a female director, Patty Jenkins, beating out Marvel’s still nonexistent Black Widow movie. (And let’s not forget Marvel’s recent fiasco with turning Captain America, created by two Jewish men, into the universe equivalent of a Nazi.)
While DC’s universe seems scattered compared to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, its use of a “multiverse” across television and film allows for more individual development and standalone stories. Also, lighthearted shows like “The Flash” and “Supergirl” exist to balance out the overwhelming angst of the DC movies, offering audiences a variety of options in style and mood, as opposed to Marvel media, which offers a single, formulaic model, often sacrificing depth for cheesy, untimely humor and deux ex machina endings.
So, Marvel or DC? The short answer: DC, because, let’s face it, the Justice League would destroy the Avengers in three seconds flat.