There’s been a lot of talk about the upcoming superhero movie Batman vs. Superman. But what if the real battle to be seen isn’t on the screen, but in the box office? DC seems to be stepping up its game to compete with Marvel’s barrage of hit movies like Iron Man, The Avengers, and Ant-Man. Do DC’s heroes – and villains – have what it takes to take on the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe)? Let’s look at what each side has going for it.
The recently-announced cast of DC’s 2016 movie Suicide Squad proves that they have something Marvel sorely lacks: diversity. The film stars actors Will Smith and Viola Davis, hugely-popular actors and people of color, and it also boasts more leading roles for women like the character of Harley Quinn (played by actress Margot Robie). DC has so far proved itself to have more and better diversity compared to Marvel’s endless array of white dudes. This is also something Marvel fans have been aching for, as exemplified with the recent #DiversifyAgentCarter Twitter trend. As long as DC stays focused on diversity and doesn’t just use this representation for token value, it could end up giving them a huge leg up on Marvel.
You just can’t go wrong with names like Superman and Wonder Woman. DC has some of the most iconic superheroes in comic book history, especially for the many of us who are not dedicated comic book fanatics. While Marvel has had to spend time developing name recognition of characters like Black Widow and Nick Fury, DC is already one step ahead. Though Marvel proved you can still be wildly successful with a virtually-unknown cast of characters with last summer’s Guardians of the Galaxy, they still have a lot of work to do with the upcoming Captain Marvel and Black Panther.
If the trailers for the Ant-Man or Deadpool are any clue, Marvel movies tend to be a bit more fun and, more importantly, funny. DC heroes like Batman tend to take on a darker tone as seen in The Dark Knight movies, which are some of the darkest superhero films to date. It makes for good drama, but for an overall movie-viewing experience, audiences like to laugh. And whether it’s Tony Stark poking fun at the Hulk or Spiderman acting goofy in front of girls, well, there’s just a lot more silly fun in the Marvel universe. DC’s trailers for Batman vs Superman and Suicide Squad already show the films going in the darker direction, which may leave audiences craving something lighter.
If you’ve ever dared Google “Captain America fan art” without SafeSearch on, you can surely assume the kind of active imaginations going on in the Marvel fandom. It’s not just risque romances though – Marvel’s fans are powerful, taking on Twitter campaigns and asking heated questions at convention panels in order to make sure their favorite heroes remain loyal to their image. With Marvel’s expansive universe including movies, tv shows and merchandise, there’s plenty of ways for people to get sucked into the fandom and remain active for years. And that’s something that DC has not quite developed – yet.
Too close to call. Both sides have some awesome things going for them, and the hype around both has been overwhelming especially since the revelations at 2015 Comic Con. There’s just no telling what the future holds, but it will certainly be epic on either side. And who knows, maybe the rivalry will come to the screen with a showdown between the Avengers and the Suicide Squad – now wouldn’t that be cool?