With Avengers: Infinity War breaking box office records (and many hearts) and Black Panther still in the top 10 grossing movies, it’s easy for Johnny-come-latelys to jump on the bandwagon of one of the internet’s favorite pass-times, trashing DC. But what many of the trash talkers don’t realize is that they are actually stupid. Here’s why.
DC Invented the Superhero Blockbuster
There were already 1 Batman, 3 Superman, and 1 Supergirl movies before Marvel’s first movie Howard The Duck came out in 1986. And it was a huge flop. Not only did DC create the first superhero blockbuster with 1978’s Superman, but they continued the tradition with Tim Burton’s Batman in 1989. Both films earning enough money and popularity to garner several sequels. It’s safe to say Marvel’s present day smash hits were built on the backs of Superman and Batman, not Howard the Duck.
(Marvel didn’t have any real critical or commercial success adapting their characters to the screen until 1998’s Blade, that’s 20 years after Superman, if you can’t math good)
Marvel Has Had Flops Too
Without even bringing up the aforementioned flop, Marvel has had it’s own missteps as well. Selling off their film rights to numerous studios in order to keep the ship afloat led to the mishandling of some of their biggest hitters like The Fantastic Four, Ghost Rider, Daredevil, Wolverine, Hulk, and Punisher. While many of the films based on these characters did finally see some commercial success, critics, film-goers and especially fanboys weren’t generally pleased with the results.
Even Marvel’s biggest early hits, X-Men and Spider-Man have been rebooted and ret-conned to try to fix big mistakes and appease angry fans. It wasn’t until Marvel got their own film studio and made their B team into stars that they finally started seeing steady critical and fan acceptance. Daredevil and Punisher have since been demoted to the small screen for the time being.
And even within Marvel Studios string of hits, they have seen their own lukewarm reviews, upset fans, and having to recast roles and rehire directors.
DC Has Had Success In Recent Years As Well
The biggest head scratcher for me when hearing people slam DC is the thought that they’ve either never heard of, or can’t remember, a little thing called THE DARK KNIGHT TRILOGY. It’s only an Oscar winning film series by a Oscar nominated director. Not to mention a box office smash. Then there’s the Oscar-winning Road To Perdition, based on a book published by a DC imprint, as well as even more recent critical and box office hits like The Lego Batman Movie and Wonder Woman.
The DCEU Isn’t As Bad As The Internet Wants
Even if you want to ignore the other studios and film series and strictly play the MCU vs DCEU game, be careful when bringing Rotten Tomatoes’ highly criticized rating system into play. While several DCEU movies got ‘rotten’ critics ratings, they received better scores on Metacritic and As and Bs from CinemaScore. Which is likely better than any report card you brought home. In all reality, the DCEU should probably be joking about you on social media.
Marvel Vs Dc Is Just Bad Business
At the end of the day, while Marvel vs DC is fun to discuss with your buddies at work, school or the comic shop, it’s bad business when shit talk goes viral. I like to think of it like I’ve learned to think of the teams in Pokemon Go, ‘We are rivals, not enemies.’ When Marvel Vs DC is just a friendly rivalry, it keeps everyone upping their game, and in the business world a high tide raises all ships. If the box office numbers keep going up, all comic properties stand to win. If the trend of critics and die-hard fanboys taking major dumps on DC films continues, that might sway casual fans to not see the movies, and bad box office numbers will see less films until maybe we aren’t getting any superhero movies anymore. Not likely, but those sick of the superhero ‘trend’ do predict that the bubble will burst someday, like film history saw with Westerns or… Kung-Fu. And I’d rather not prove the haters right.
As a Big Fan of DC
While I am a bigger DC fan, when it comes to feature films, I watch and enjoy both DC and Marvel. But to be honest, all the shit talk on DC does to me is ruin Marvel films. Since I’m always seeing DC trashed, I get on the defensive. I nitpick Marvel films to the point that I am overcritical and, honestly, bitter about them. I see the same problems in Marvel films that get DC films drug through the mud and it makes me resentful. While Marvel fans think bringing DC down makes Marvel better, it’s possibly turning potential fellow fans away.
All in all it is about taste. If you genuinely didn’t like Suicide Squad, Batman V Superman, or Justice League, good for you. That’s fine and you’re entitled to that. But do you really have to bag on something you didn’t like every time you enjoy something you do? Do you really think it’s smart to bag on a whole film history based on the ‘poor performance’ of a few recent films?
Through politics, racism, and nationalism, tribalism is tearing apart our local communities, our nation, and the world at large. I know it’s part of our nature, but do we really want to see it happening in our fandoms as well? It’s entirely possible to like both, or, in the very least, not like not of this or that, and just keep your negative comments to yourself.
But, if you really can’t control yourself and you HAVE to go all Marvel fanboy vs the enemy, I guess we’ll just have to hand it to you, Marvel Studios does rule superhero cinema right now. But that’s ok because DC still rules comics, animated features, and television. Marvel has to win something I guess. ;P
More than anything though, sticking up for DC is tiring, and the whole conflict is boring. Hopefully this is the last thing I will have to, or care to, write about it.