The Big Pow-Wow: Marvel vs. DC at the Movies

There have been many trailers, synopses, and spoilers (hopefully not so much), but in a couple of months, the movie blockbuster face off will be set to take all of your money. DC and Marvel are finally going to throw their strongest material in the ring and fight for box office supremacy. We are going to ignore the 2011 Green Lantern movie (that did not exist). Going into this, I’m going to breakdown each entity, tale of the tape style to see where they match up. I’m going to break up Marvel into two parts because Fox owns movie rights to some of the characters (ugh!)  This is perfect time to start of with our returning champion, Marvel (Disney).

Civil War

Marvel (Disney): To say that Marvel has a lead would be a gross understatement. If this was a 200 meter race, they are rounding the last curve to the finish line. We are within phase three of the MC universe to where last year, Marvel made Ant-Man a very enjoyable movie as something that you cared about. That’s a feat within itself. Some people would say Avengers: Age of Ultron was not as good as people would have thought. To be honest, the first Avengers was a tough act to follow and it’s really hard to make a conductive plot with that many characters.

We will bring you to Captain America: Civil War which seems to be Avengers 2.5. The inclusions of Black Panther and Spider-Man will be interesting to say the least. We’ve seen Black Panther and have not yet gotten a glimpse of the new Spider-Man yet, but both are going to be key parts in the assemble plot. The Russo brothers arguably made the most complete Marvel movie on the books with Captain America:The Winter Solder.

I have faith here, especially because they will be hemming the overall accumulation of these phases with the Infinity War movies in 2018 and 2019.  There will be some set up and fallout here. The second half of the year sees Doctor Strange come to the screen and the cosmic/magic essence finally come into the MCU. If you are going to have Thanos eventually come and crush the buildings, this is key.

My worry with Disney’s movie is how to do you keep it fresh after so many movies? Perhaps, I’m wrong to question it because we are still going back like Thanksgiving seconds. If Marvel can keep including different elements and styles of movies into their phases, maybe they can sustain past superhero burnout. We keep waiting for that one dud and it never comes.


Marvel (Fox): Deadpool. Deadpool. Deadpool. Did I mention Deadpool? Ryan Reynolds was tailor-made to play this character and the fact that this movie will be a hard “R” had the comic loyalist in me rejoice. If this movie does well, it could probably open up some more “not for kids” comic book movies. Looking at the trailer, it also looks like there will be some inclusion of some X-Men characters as well which could come to play down the road. Wouldn’t it be cool to see Deadpool side by side or fighting Wolverine in a proper movie? He’s hilarious, breaking the 4th wall. I also find it cool that an “R” rated movie is starting the engines as far as the 2016 movie race is concerned. Opens on Valentine’s Day, if you’re daring, you might try to tie that into a romantic weekend.

X-Men: Apocalypse ( Apocalypse costume aside) is looking to be another solid X-Men story directed by Bryan Singer. Days of Future Past not only wrote the wrongs of The Last Stand (another movie we want to forget and now we can). You have the most powerful mutant in the universe that will give us the concrete formation of the X-Men. As this will be the end of the First Class trilogy, where does the X-Men go from here? You could package it with the crash and burn Fantastic Four franchise. There are also talks of an X-Force movie and two new shows coming to TV next year furthering this universe.


DC: Yes, they have their work cut out for them fighting  a battle of two fronts from Fox and Disney studios. It’s almost not fair – DC would have to put out at least four movies this year, but the shows Arrow and The Flash are fantastic, so it almost levels out.  The one thing that DC has going for it is the ultra-realism that Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy has set. The DC movie will be the darker and gritty of the two companies which will probably draw a lot of loyal comic fans to the theater. Batman v Superman has a lot of intrigue and hype surrounding it, but it also has questions.

This will be the movie where we finally see the Justice League together on-screen, presumably at the end of the movie. Is it too much, too soon? It’s a lot to load into a movie that is setting up your whole movie universe. You have all of the Justice League, Doomsday and apparently, another huge bad guy that will set up the upcoming Justice League movies. DC is loading all their ammo into one shot. Then again, it’s Batman v. Superman – how can you walk away from that?

Suicide Squad, I feel, is going to be the dark horse of all these movies combined. First off, you have a movie with a basis of villains which is fresh. We’ve been inundated with hero and villain fight, hero wins narratives for years now, so it will be a rather new concept. The mystery here is with a new Joker (Jared Leto), the Batman tie-in, and how this will all fit into the DCU. Will we see these villains again in future movies? Hopefully. Looking into what we have seen thus far, there is healthy optimistic. You can’t go wrong with a Harley Quinn and Joker pairing.

The big question is, are we ever going to get tired of superhero movies? Within all these movies, there are going to be different things to appeal to different audiences which is why we are going to be winners in this. With so many stories to be told (these movies are coming two at a time until 2020!), will we eventually say enough? Most likely not. I think that now that we a have a fair fight, each company will push each other to put their best feet forward. If so, take all my money – despite who wins in the end.