The Ultimate Battle of Heroes: Marvel vs. DC

By Zehra Ashruf

Disclaimer: The following opinions are strictly directed towards the film industry of Marvel and DC.

Amongst their multiple recent movie releases, Marvel and DC comics have reclaimed their influential position in the film industry. However, one of these publishing companies has consistently been preferred.

DC comics are known for the most iconic of superheroes. The names and comics of “Superman” and “Batman” have been well established and familiarized. Despite the fame, DC has been struggling to uphold its reputation. Within the last couple years, DC released Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Justice League. I was quite impressed by the graphics and quality of fight scenes, but every other area was lacking. Prepare yourself for my brutal honesty: the dialogue was poor, the plotlines were below average, and the cast lacked chemistry. The actors seemed less like a team and more like complete strangers. Each film was a desperate attempt to include more characters than necessary; in other words, it was a clear priority of quantity over quality.

However, Wonder Woman proved itself to be DC’s savior. Apart from a couple of questionable scenes, this movie provided a brief distraction from the steep decline of DC movie releases. I applaud the initiative taken to write the main character as a strong, independent female. However, her appearance in Justice League wasn’t enough to change my opinion of the film.

It is truly heartbreaking to see what DC movies have come to. I still remember a time when their storylines and acting were much better. I’ll remind you of The Dark Knight Trilogy, directed by the incredibly talented Christopher Nolan, that I personally believe is one of the best superhero movie series of all time. Christian Bale’s portrayal of Batman in this series is undoubtedly superior to Ben Affleck’s. Despite my bias, the published comics of DC were incredible in addition to their older movies. To me, DC still has a chance to redeem itself and become the competitor that the current Marvel deserves.

There is no doubt in my mind that most movie-watchers have grown to prefer Marvel, and I completely understand why. Spider-Man: Homecoming introduced 21-year-old actor Tom Holland to the world. His youthful portrayal of Peter Parker has made him an immediate fan favorite. The makers of Thor: Ragnarok included a pleasantly surprising twist of humor to the film, which rose Thor from his title of the most underrated and irrelevant Avenger. Let’s not forget the Avengers, the team that deserves its own article. And if you happen to be looking for a Marvel movie recommendation, I strongly suggest Deadpool.

These modern films and the actors’ performances have presented themselves as even better than the classics. Not only are they well-made, but they are dramatic, exciting, and humorous. For these reasons, the audience consistently chooses Marvel over DC. However, what they fail to recognize are the flaws of Marvel movies as well. There are the minor ones, including the music, and the constant choice of comedy over substance. But there’s one flaw in Marvel movies that cannot be overlooked or forgotten: the villains. Nearly every Marvel movie comes with an underdeveloped villain, often with minimal screen time. Apart from Loki, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has failed to write interesting or impressive storylines for their villains. If you’ve seen as many Marvel movies as I have, you’ll begin to notice some repetitive plot points and the consistent lack of risks.

So, I understand this may have seemed less like a comparison of Marvel versus DC as it was intended, and more of a critique of each. Remember, I’m not qualified enough to be calling myself a true film critic, so feel free to disagree. But despite their individual flaws, I love Marvel and DC and I’ll probably watch anything that either will release.