OPINION: Marvel Remains Dominant Over D.C. In Quality and Popularity

By: Bryan Cornelio
Owlfeed Journalist

With the current controversy over the firing of director James Gunn and the recent release of the new Spider-Man game, it’s undeniable that Marvel Studios has been all over the public’s radar. With explosive popularity driven by box office success, it’s definitely hard to deny that Marvel has been in a higher state than DC.

Photo courtesy of http://whatculture.com/comics/8-times-the-marvel-vs-dc-rivalry-turned-ugly

“Marvel on sicko mode right now,” said Owlfeed Editor Julian Jones. “They have been on point with their recent blockbuster films. Not only are they making bomb movies, but they’re also catering their movies to a more mature audience, allowing for more explicit content to be shown.”

Jones believes that Marvel’s greatest feat is the fact that their movies cater to a wider array of audiences, not because of the capabilities of the hero’s in the big screen but because of how much more human and relatable these characters are.  

“I thoroughly enjoy the darker tones that DC typically has,” said Dylan McAllister, an avid supporter of DC comics. “…But in terms of delivery Marvel Studios has a good grasp on their audience. They establish a strong foundation to pull the audience to the characters they show in the big screen.”

Although Dylan loves DC’s foundation and the typical directions they go in terms of storylines, he feels that the characters within the DC universe lack connectivity.

“I hate how their characters are either extremely useless or unnecessarily godlike,” he said.

He feels that because of this attribute DC fails to capture the audience’s interests. Although DC can construct creative characters, the output that comes from the big screen doesn’t “move the audience to another world.” McAllister thinks that a hero’s narrative requires the storyteller to build the world, tropes, personalities and overall essence of characters.

“The Marvel cinematic universe stays mindful of the comics and although not perfect, mimics a fair amount of the comic books’ continuity,” McAllister said. “Whereas DC loves to take liberties in telling comic books through film and only stays consistent through animations.”

McAllister believes that DC made the mistake of honing animations to be its best feat rather than maximizing their efforts in crafting films, because of the fact that movies tend to be easier to grasp.

DC found recent success in the film Wonder Woman. A movie that has fleshed out foundations, it highlights the features that the people have adored and loved in the long run. It was a movie that reflects how a depiction of a comic book should be deep, creative, and imaginative.

Ever since I was a child the DC Universe dominated my household, so you can say I grew up on DC,” said AFHS drama teacher Javier Gonzalez. “The cartoons DC had really made an impact on me.”

Gonzalez’s biggest pull has been the designs and characteristics of both heroes and villains in comparison to Marvel’s. He believes that with the right people DC could dominate the box office industry just as well as Marvel and possibly leave much more impact.

For the longest time Marvel has known the factors essential in creating worlds that the audience can jump into. The studio is a master at crafting a foundation for their universe around the essence of what people loved about their comic books.

The conflict of emotions each character has in each movie.They really know what the audiences want and they deliver on it,” Gonzalez said, referring to what he hates to love about Marvel. He believes that the studio has honed its craft and genuinely mastered building characters deeply and pulling the audiences towards the characters’ personality, struggles, and joys.

In other words, the piece DC has been missing is the way that Marvel connects the differing worlds of the MCU from one movie to the next whilst staying relevant to the comic books’ overall narrative.

From the launch of the movie Iron Man, fans have created a cult following to the Marvel cinematic universe throughout its continuity. This has led to overarching support from the public, leading to the creation of movies such as the Avengers, Black Panther, and Winter Soldier, with the latter winning the “best comic book movie adaption award” by IGN and “best superhero movie” by Matchflick.

Although the studio has been making a killing in the box office they have also seen wide recognition over video game production with the likes of recent PS4 exclusive Spider-Man and cult-classic fighting game, Marvel vs Capcom. With that in mind, DC has also seen success in the genre, creating the incredible fighting game, Injustice Gods Among Us, which has had its own comic book tie in.

With both studios seemingly at equal reach to the public, the majority has, as of recently, been more exposed and pulled by Sony’s exclusive Spider-Man game. This has encouraged the studio to expand more on the genre and has announced future plans revolving around one world containing most, if not all, characters from the Marvel comics.

Although Marvel seems at its peak, the studio is also caught up with controversy with Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn being fired due to poorly made tweets in the past. This has created a rift within the Marvel community with the main actors providing complete support of the director, publicly opposing the actions taken against Gunn.

With that said, even though the controversy has brought upon a negative rep, it has also carried with it more popularity for the studio and more support from fans.

In regards to the box office, for years Marvel has been aware of what factors are essential to catering to the crowd, leaving fans wanting more.

Marvel will continually stand above DC, who has seen constant failure with their films, especially with the Justice League, the supposed contender against Marvel’s Avengers.

Marvel’s smooth buildup in the Avengers toward the ending credits where Iron Man meets Nick Fury to the elusive connections that the studio slowly fits together as more movies come out, shows how adept the studio is in creating imaginative worlds that intertwine with one another.

Warner Brothers should have had an easier job considering the fact that their characters were more well known to the general public. Their fatal mistake was that they were trying to rush out films in an effort to keep up with Marvel’s Avengers instead of building a storyline that smoothly unveils an interconnected world.

It can be argued that they shouldn’t have had to introduce characters that every kid, just like Gonzalez said, grew up watching in cartoons. But when the universe thrown in the big screen is so skewed from those comics and cartoons, those characters become unrecognizable and leave audiences lost and confused.