By HARRY FISHER
Fans of comic book movies have been treated well in recent months. DC Comics took the world by surprise back in June with “Wonder Woman,” their biggest hit yet, but Marvel Comics fans have still been getting their fill with the likes of “Guardians of the Galaxy” Vol. 2 and “Spider-Man Homecoming” back in June. However, the excitement didn’t end over the summer. With Marvel’s “Thor: Ragnarok” and DC’s “Justice League” both coming out next month, the hype train is still rolling and likely won’t stop anytime soon.
With all this excitement buzzing in the air over the upcoming movies, many comic book movie fans have been looking back on the success of Wonder Woman and Spider-Man: Homecoming. Fans have contemplated exactly how their success reflects the quality of their respective cinematic universes. On the one hand, Wonder Woman is the first movie in DC’s new extended universe to receive mostly positive reception, instead of mixed or negative reviews.
This could indicate a shift in the quality of DC’s films, and it’s possible that future films will continue to receive positive reception from fans. On the other hand, “Homecoming” has not only made Spider-Man popular once again, but it has further cemented why Marvel movies are so well-received by fans and critics. Thanks to the overwhelming success of both movies, many people are now debating whether Marvel or DC is better and for what reasons.
It seems that most people believe that the Marvel movies are of a higher quality.
“I like Marvel better because their movies are more light-hearted and comical, and they have better action,” said Raven Sharrieff, a senior American studies major.
Indeed, it seems that many fans who say that Marvel is better than DC use the light-hearted comedy of Marvel’s movies as one of their main arguments. Most viewers seem to prefer it over the dark and gritty tone that most DC movies tend to have.
However, it should be noted that the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) had a significant head start, with seven films already out before Man of Steel, the first film in the DC Extended Universe (DCEU). It is highly possible that the poor reception of DC’s dark tone is due to Marvel already setting a trend for what comic book movies should be like. Viewers were already used to seeing light-hearted, family-friendly adventures in the MCU, so it is understandable why DC’s darker tone could seem rather off-putting.
It seems that “Homecoming” has also had some more recent influence in the love that people have for the Marvel movies.
“I really liked it, just like the other Spider-Man movies with Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield,” said Lindsey Brown, a junior English major.
She’s not alone, as it seems that many Marvel fans and casual moviegoers alike believe that “Homecoming” has brought back the same charm captured in the first two Tobey Maguire Spider-Man movies and the first of Andrew Garfield’s “The Amazing Spider-Man” movies. This return to form for Marvel’s most popular character, in essence their Mickey Mouse, could be a huge step forward for the company and their films.
However, thanks to the success of Wonder Woman, there is still a lot of love for DC films.
“I think Wonder Woman was longer than it should have been, but I still think it was the best DC movie so far,” said Sharrieff. “I loved the strength in her character,” said Brown. “I think it was well-written.”
A lot of people would agree with her. Wonder Woman has been praised not only for having a strong female protagonist, but for finally reaching the level of quality which DC fans have wanted to see in their movies since “Man of Steel.”
Of course, there were the extended cuts of “Batman vs Superman” and “Suicide Squad” which generally had better reception than their theatrical versions due to having more fleshed out subplots and character development.
However, while it seems that fans enjoyed these versions of the films more because they included everything that had been cut out due to studio interference, both films are still panned by fans and critics alike for being littered with various issues that simply couldn’t be fixed in an extended cut.
It seems that some of DC’s earlier films, before they began trying to construct an extended universe, are the ones that stick in people’s minds the most.
“I usually enjoy realistic depictions of superhero movies, so Nolan’s Batman movies I thought were done well,” said Jeff Taylor, a senior international relations major. “Prior to Nolan all of the older Batman movies were horrible.”
With Batman making a return to cinema in “Batman vs. Superman,” briefly in “Suicide Squad” and now “Justice League,” many fans seem to be hoping for Ben Affleck’s portrayal of the character to reach the same level of quality as Christian Bale’s in the “Dark Knight” trilogy and give DC an edge over Marvel.
“I think the Batman’s world is most intriguing and I like Black Panther in Marvel, but everything else is crap,” says John Turner, a senior international relations major. People like Turner are still very loyal to DC and want to see the company triumph over Marvel.
While Marvel is very clearly still ahead of the game, it seems that DC still has time to catch up. Both sides still have many loyal fans who want to see their respective companies prosper and continue to produce quality films for people of all ages. While it’s hard to say who will ultimately come out on top, both companies have a number of great films in their lineup. There’s no reason not to enjoy and appreciate both.