Folks, occasionally I decide to get serious and this is one of those times. I think.
I saw Justice League yesterday, a friend asked me how it was, and I said I genuinely enjoyed it. The next thing he says is ‘Compare it to The Avengers and Thor’ and I’m like, ‘Why does it always have to come to this?’
Today I’m going to give my thoughts on the age-old battle between Marvel and DC fans using their cinematic universes as a case study.
I’ve always said that I’m a huge fan of both comic book houses and I don’t feel the need to pick a side. On the comic book front, the two franchises have been copying and stealing ideas from each other for decades now so it’s no surprise that die-hard fans of both houses are at each other’s throats.
Bringing things down to the movie franchises, I believe arguments would be a lot more valid if fans watched the movies for what they were and within the boundaries of the universe where they exist.
The truth is die-hard Marvel fans still watch the DC movies and vice versa, I believe this is a sign that on some level we all agree that we are first COMIC BOOK FANS before anything else and that’s a huge unifying factor in my opinion.
First off, Marvel fans who complain about story issues in the DC Universe need to cut them some slack. It took Marvel a long time to become organized as well; with the divided movie rights and franchises issues happening at the top, (some of which still exist today).
One can argue that since the MCU kicked off, Marvel has managed to keep things fairly consistent but we need to keep in mind that the MCU started at a time when there wasn’t as much media attention or publicity on Comic Book movies as we had at the time the DCCU decided to start (excluding the Batman Trilogy).
When the DCCU started the eyes of the world was already on them because they already had a template to compare them to and expectations came into play. Marvel, on the other hand, kept improving their craft while DC was still trying to find their tone. They tried the dark and gritty for BvS (Batman VS Superman) and it didn’t work out so well, they also tried the light-hearted and funny for Suicide Squad and that backfired as well.
It wasn’t a question of tone, it was a question of rhythm and storytelling. The MCU found a rhythm and build on it with time, that doesn’t mean they are without flaws. If you go back to watch the first Iron Man movie and really try to be critical; you would see that that apart from the nostalgia, there were quite a number of errors in that movie that we blissfully ignored. Beyond that, Thor: The Dark World and Iron Man 3 were movies on the Marvel roster that really weren’t so great.
You want to know why they didn’t get the kind of backlash most DC movies get. The reason is simple folks: They started first.
If you still don’t see my point of view, let’s use Wonder Woman as a Case Study. So far, Wonder Woman is one of the highest grossing Superhero movies and the most favored DC movie amongst critics. Does this mean it didn’t have flaws? Of course not.
The advantage Wonder Woman had was simple. It was the first strong female lead solo superhero movie to hit the big screen in recent years. Marvel hadn’t done it yet so there was nothing to compare it to in terms of structure or frame. Let’s imagine for a second that Marvel Studios released Captain Marvel last year, do you think things would have played out the same way for Wonder Woman? I sincerely doubt that.
Some might argue that Wonder Woman is a stronger character in terms of fan base and popularity, however, Superman and Batman are both more popular and they were torn to shreds.
Of course, other factors come into play but I sincerely believe that the comparison between different universes that obviously have different goals in terms of direction keeps fans from seeing the merits of each franchise.
Now to the DC fans that complain about the MCU and mock the lighthearted nature of the universe, I admit it can be a bit daunting sometimes. But this doesn’t take away the time, effort and touch of brilliance that has gone into making these movies. Disney has their own quirks and one cannot blame them because they are a company whose focus is kids.
Nonetheless, Marvel hasn’t lost its merit and it is incredibly difficult to bring multiple superheroes together on the big screen and do justice with them. Marvel has pulled it off time and time again and although there have been hiccups on the way, their worst effort (Avengers 2) is still way better than DC’s worst effort (Suicide Squad) because they have had years of practice. DC fans may deny everything else, but this feat deserves some respect.
In conclusion, Justice League was great to watch. There is still a lot to work on in my opinion but it’s not based on anything Marvel has done but on the things that DC needs to do to make their universe function better as a cohesive unit.
Until next time folks.