DC Vs Marvel Studios | Serving 70mm ‘JUSTICE’ To The ‘CAPTAINS’ Of Comic Books
Which one is better?
DC? or Marvel?
It is by far one of the most contentious debates which took over the collective psyche of pop-culture enthusiasts across the globe. Friendships were strained, fiery rhetoric was exchanged and media houses were set ablaze by economic and visionary chasms. The DC and Marvel universes are not a recent phenomenon and by no account is their massive leap into cinematic prominence an unforeseen advent of the ‘icons of print communication’.
With the spectacular evolution of VFX technology and ready access to an ever-increasing pool of talented production professionals, the bringing to life of these comic book classics has taken a path of least resistance owing to a heady mix of multiple factors like nostalgia, financial viability, accessibility and just pure-play passion for these characters. That being said, getting the overall character of these legendary stories right in terms of seamless transitions from the world of print, to the world of film, hasn’t always seen success in terms of both critique and revenue generated. ONE of these illustrious media houses has seen more success in giving these renowned icons their rightful place in the Cinematic Hall of Fame. We shall now explore the reasons behind this favorable position that Marvel Studios has carved out for itself, often at the expense of an equally renowned yet creatively hamstrung DC Studios.
In this battle for superhero supremacy, it is clear that Marvel Studio has taken the lead in executing breathtaking and consistently solid cinematic content delivered to the fantasy-hungry and demanding audience of the silver screen. It is widely accepted that DC has faltered in converting these comic legends into real life characters on screen owing largely to a combination of the lack of a collective vision for the DC universe, and a stifling creative culture trickling down from the very top of the management.
One cannot deny that there is an expectation setting from a brand which has some of the most widely recognized superhero personalities (Superman & Batman) under it’s wing is duty-bound to produce nothing short of cinematic masterpieces.
This factor must obviously weigh heavily on the writers who are tasked with the impossible ask of assuaging a billion different view points, and at the same time convince the worshiping hoards to converge at the point of loving the film. It is at this point of the creative process where the compelling storyline behind some of DC’s power-play movie projects started to develop cracks wide enough to alienate and bamboozle a large section of the intended audience.
To start with, the lack of a viable and believable connecting strand between the DC universe’s different projects created a void in the audience’s perception of the film which left people and critics alike gasping at the sheer hollowness of the finished work.
It is not a far cry to assume that some of the biggest releases from DC studios, like Batman Vs Superman and the more recent let down of Suicide Squad, failed to incorporate a robust storyline and genuine appeal across a cross section of age groups. If you take the case of Batman Vs Superman, the dark and morose nature of the movie as well as the build-up (teasers and trailers) lacked the vitality and genuine feel good aspect often associated with superhero movies, especially amongst the above 55 and sub-teen age groups. Contrast this with the Iron Man movie franchise and the Captain America series which had abundant colour and character vitality, apart from their strong and relatable scripts, the hero’s persona and personal stories were heavily influenced by acts of selflessness, heroism and an obvious tilt towards the greater good of the universe, all classic hallmarks of any superhero story. We’re not saying that the DC renditions of their stories lacked any of these characteristics, but in the step by step approach for attaining a cinematic wonder, obviously a step or two was missed.
Looking ahead at the future of this epic rivalry between the House of Marvel and the House of DC, one can never accept the dominant position of Marvel as fait accompli for the subsequent clashes between these two giants. The DC universe has a very robust inventory of superheroes and super-villains, enough to see through the eventual catching-up with Marvel in the world of superhero movies. To achieve this impending parity DC must strive to streamline their vision for the entire DC universe, refine their scripts and stories to help the audience connect the dots and leave a trail of crumbs leading the audience to the next installment from the DC stable, without compromising a single aspect of the upcoming storyline, all things which Marvel has mastered in all of its cinematic projects.
It is never a bad idea to learn from your own mistakes as well as taking the right cues from all the aspects which your competitors have been getting right for many years. We would expect a Hollywood powerhouse like Warner Brothers, who own the DC franchise, to get its act right in the subsequent projects and use the harsh criticism of its previous projects constructively to furnish a piece of work which would blow the audience out of its seats and connect an entire spectrum of DC fanboys, young and old alike, and rally around some of our most beloved superheroes from the DC stable. The latest installment of Wonder Woman featuring the action oriented beauty Gal Gadot and pop-culture heartthrob Chris Pine gives the DC fanboys enough incentive to not give up hope on the legendary studio.
Are you hearing this DC brass? Don’t f*** this up!!
In the end, we say this:
To Marvel, “Keep up the great work!” (That new Thor teaser trailer was AWESOME!!)
To DC, “Don’t let us fans down. We still have faith in you.”
So which one is the better Studio? In this battle between DC and Marvel who is going to win?
We have our money on ‘the fans’.