While it may be a little early to start freaking out about Marvel’s Doctor Strange (it won’t be released for another month) I can’t help myself—I’m beyond excited for this movie. Until recently, I always preferred DC Comics’s superheroes and films to Marvel’s, but with the recent releases of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and the absolutely pitiful Suicide Squad, I had to reevaluate my fandom and what I think each company’s real strengths and weaknesses are.
For me, DC’s strongest suit is Batman. The caped crusader, his villains, and the multitude of variations they’ve all seen over the years, both on and off-screen, have captivated me since I was a little kid. There’s something especially captivating about the badass billionaire orphan detective and the foes he’s constantly battling. I don’t have the time or space to harp on why I like The Dark Knight so much here, but I think his popularity over the years speaks for itself.
Besides the solo Batman film that Ben Affleck is directing and starring in, DC holds few to no other interesting titles for me. The trailer for Wonder Woman looks promising, taking the heroine back to her time fighting alongside the Allies during WWI, but I’ve learned to be skeptical of great-looking trailers (i.e. Suicide Squad and Man of Steel). While current DC Films head Geoff Johns stressed the different direction he wants to push future DC movies, the fact is that Zack Snyder, the director of Batman v Superman, is at the helm of the Justice League film. Despite Johns’s desires to emphasize the “hopeful and optimistic view of life” these comics and their heroes hold, it’s easy for fans to be skeptical of future outcomes with Snyder still behind the scenes.
While DC seems to be working tirelessly to pull its s—t together over the next few years, busting out a Justice League film and several individual hero’s movies, Marvel is working in a different landscape with much more promising conditions. Marvel’s been at its game for a long time. The writers behind the franchise have worked well and closely with one another to make a cohesive cinematic universe that feels similar. It doesn’t always look the same, as filming styles change between directors and the specific types of movies that are being made, but, generally, the Marvel films have a harmonic tone. This is something that, with its previously beyond-grim aesthetic and Johns’s promise to lighten up the franchise, DC cannot boast.
Aside from its tone, the Marvel cinematic universe looks like it will experiment with many of the company’s less popular heroes, giving audiences new characters to watch over the next decade instead of 30 different iterations of the same superhero. With Doctor Strange, audiences will be introduced to a mystical dimension-shifting warlock. We’ve already gotten a peek of the African-king-turned-badass-vigilante Black Panther in Captain America: Civil War. Though it won’t be coming out for almost three years, Captain Marvel will see Brie Larson staring as Marvel’s first female lead. While DC will have the first superhero female lead with Wonder Woman, Wonder Woman already has a large following and fan base and is considerably easier to sell to the general public than newcomer Captain Marvel will be.
Regardless, it’s obvious that Marvel isn’t afraid of exploring a whole new frontier of superhero possibilities, while the DC execs comfortably churn out cookie-cutter versions of heroes that moviegoers have seen over the years. It will, however, be interesting to see how long Marvel can successfully sustain its continually evolving cinematic universe and what the company will do when it eventually runs out of useable superheroes. But, hell, I never expected to see an Ant Man movie, so maybe it’ll never run out of superheroes to work with.
For the time being, it’s hard to continue being a DC fanboy. Sure, we’ve got Ben Affleck’s The Batman to look forward to, but besides that, the future looks grim for that comic book syndicate.
Featured Image By Marvel Entertainment