Aidan Scott - Guest Artist
Presenting, the Marvel-ous Studios
Marvel vs. DC; The Cinematic Universes
August 29, 2018
Hello my fellow superhero aficionados! I know this is an opinion piece, but let’s talk facts: Marvel Studios makes the raddest superhero movies out there. Jimmy Kimmel “took to the streets of Hollywood” to help me with this exact argument. He found that people could name more Marvel superheroes than American presidents which is proof that Marvel is popular. So well known, in fact, that DC shivers in its shadow.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe makes super–ior superhero films. Trust me, that’s not just an opinion. Based on box office records, this statement is a fact. Marvel’s biggest box office hit was “Black Panther,” released in 2018, at a whopping $700 million.
Can you think of a time DC had that much “cha-ching” in their bank account from one movie? The DC Cinematic Universe’s largest box office record earned a total of $533.3 million with “The Dark Knight,” released in 2008. What difference does a $166.7 million gap make, right?
Here’s my spiel, guys. Marvel turns DC to dust in three different categories: continuity, communication and character.
Let’s get started on continuity, shall we? Marvel has the beautiful tradition of intertwining all their movies with another one, as perfectly as Captain America’s entrance in Infinity War as he prepared to fight against The Black Order. As a result of this marketing ‘geniusness,’ viewers begin gearing up for the next addition to the superhero franchise before it is released. We see this with Iron-Man’s presence in “Spiderman: Homecoming.”
Communication between Marvel and its fan base has also been immensely successful with the cast constantly interacting with fans on social media platforms. One example would be their Instagram pages where the DC account maintains 6.9 million followers. Marvel holds more than three times that number, at 22.2 million followers.
Now let’s address the heaviest topic: the characters. I apologize to DC fans when I say this, but DC isn’t even in the race anymore (I hope we can still be friends). Marvel’s characters are funny, relatable, and most importantly, they don’t always make the right decisions.
For example, Iron Man is the arrogant friend who thinks they’re a genius, while Thor is the friend who lacks common sense. They are all guilty of making mistakes, but in the DC-verse, it seems that everyone always knows what is right. They can put their feelings aside, a notion that simply isn’t human. And let’s face it, weakness can sometimes overcome strength because it’s not humanly possible to always put the fate of the world before the life of a loved one. This was proven in Infinity War when recently initiated Avenger, Mr. Starlord (cough, cough) broke his superhero persona with the devastating news of tragedy.
Now, I understand the human craving for repetitive thrills and looming danger from the safety of your couch. DC’s villains can be much darker than Marvel’s, with a more diabolical streak. DC also created the first successful female superhero standalone film, and, yes, there is the nasty rumor that Marvel copies DC’s characters.
But, I have to ask, who really wants to see those inhumane villains on the big screen anymore? Today, our world is already dark enough — viewers prefer villains that can do damage but also have jokes to throw out. Sure, the DC villain, The Joker, worked out the first time he was incorporated into their movies, but times change and DC has not. However, every failure meets with a success, and DC met its only real-world success with Wonder Woman.
On another note, the idea that Marvel steals the DC characters is absolute bogus! Both parties are guilty of mimicking each other’s characters. Aquaman, a member of DC’s Justice League, was invented in 1941— perhaps modelled after Namor who was developed in 1939. Cyborg, another part of the DC Justice League, was created after Marvel’s Deathlok was developed. Copied, perhaps?
Marvel stands for more than just superheroes; it stands for learning from mistakes, evolving into a better human and standing up for the causes you believe in. If we appreciate the lessons Marvel preaches, perhaps one day we all will be like Tony Stark: genius-billionaire-playboy-philanthropists.