There have been many classic pop culture rivalries over the years including Star Wars vs Star Trek, Coke vs Pepsi and even Magic Johnson vs Larry Bird if you’re a member of the ‘ball is life’ crew. However, the ongoing battle between Marvel and DC is without a doubt the most relevant in terms of the current film industry and many would concede that whilst it’s mostly a matter of personal preference with regards to the comic book franchises, Marvel are without a doubt winning the war when it comes to producing the most watchable movies (at least in recent times).
However, that’s not to say that Marvel’s recent efforts have been particularly stellar either – it’s merely a case of DC really struggling to bring their characters to life whilst maintaining believable plots and storylines which are true to the comics that they’re based on. The highly anticipated 2016 Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice looked like the ideal chance for DC to attempt to turn the tide in their favor and yet the movie was rightly panned by critics and registered a measly 27% score on Rotten Tomatoes, which you could actually argue is a little too generous. However, one positive that did come out of the movie was the appearance of Wonder Woman and her consequent eponymous debut on the big screen, which was met with critical acclaim across the board.
Whilst not as good as the aforementioned Wonder Woman, DC’s latest effort Justice League is also a significant improvement on its predecessors and has helped to convince fans that DC may yet have a few tricks up their sleeve. As of 1st January 2018, Justice League has grossed around $652 million worldwide and has proven to be a pop culture hit, with merchandise relating to all characters flying off the shelves as well as various video games and slots online, which are designed in classic comic-book fashion against the backdrop of the fictional city Metropolis whilst battling Steppenwolf. The symbols on the reels of the slot game are all superheroes, inlcuding Superman, Batman and Green Lantern.
After the success of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2 earlier in the year, all eyes are on DC to deliver in the new year with Avengers: Infinity War, which once again looks set to be yet another jewel in crown of the the DCEU. Of course, there’s little doubt in anyone’s mind that Infinity War will be a commercial success but it also seems that with the popularity of the previous installments in the franchise, the new Avengers movie will outperform Justice League on all fronts or will at the very least, be considered the ‘better’ superhero movie.
Aside from Wonder Woman, Batman, Aquaman et al simply pale in comparison when up against Iron Man, Loki and Chris Hemsworth’s Thor and whether this is down to casting or direction, it would take a brave soul to bet against Marvel coming out on top against DC in their latest battle. Nevertheless, DC fans should take comfort from the success of Wonder Woman and the undoubted improvement which was seen in Justice League and whilst the DCEU isn’t quite there yet, there are clear signs of progress.