Marvel Movies vs. DC Movies – The Differences in Approach

Published 1 year ago by , Updated June 27th, 2013 at 6:14 pm,

DC Marvel Movies Discussion Differences Marvel Movies vs. DC Movies   The Differences in Approach

DC and Marvel are prepared to battle it out in movie theaters during coming years, with Man of Steel paving the way for Justice League against Marvel’s Avengers. It’s not hard to see that each studio has, to this point, taken a very different approach to adapting their comic book heroes, but with Iron Man 3 delivering humor over the more serious comic book source material, we’ve come to wonder: how serious is too serious for superhero movies? And where have the studios planted their flags on the matter?

Rather than simply distinguishing between ‘serious’ and ‘funny’ entries in Marvel and DC’s offerings, we believe the differences go much deeper than tone or believability, and make up two extremely distinct approaches to not only adapting comic book characters, but laying the foundations of a shared movie universe.

Although some claim otherwise, we’re not entirely convinced that writers on each studio’s side approach the issue of adapting comic book heroes by first deciding whether their movie will be depressing, or hilarious. Even so, comic book films to date can be filed into two rough categories, and how ‘funny’ a story or character can be is just the tip of the iceberg.

Read on for our extensive breakdown, or jump to any one section via the links below. You can also VOTE IN OUR POLL found on the last page of the article:

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The Marvel Approach

The Avengers 2 Scarlet Witch Quicksilver 570x357 Marvel Movies vs. DC Movies   The Differences in Approach

Let’s start with Marvel: a world where fantasy is the norm, and fantastic things happen, albeit with serious implications. Iron Man actually had quite a serious plot to begin with – terrorist kidnapping, the death of a close friend, and a call to defend those who had been victimized. However, by the film’s finale (Tony facing off against his mechanized-suit-wearing friend and partner), it was clear that Jon Favreau had chosen to cast off drama in favor of adventure.

Iron Man 2 picked up right where its predecessor left off, skipping over the serious in favor of maintaining tone. Whether it was a drunken Tony fighting his best friend – set to some thumping club music and played for laughs – or the infection slowly killing Tony being cured by S.H.I.E.L.D. in a heartbeat, the overall message was clear: Tony doesn’t have to deal with issues the way real people do. And that, dear reader, is what’s known as ‘escapism.’

Sure, fans complained at the time that Favreau had once again ignored the landmark “Demon in a Bottle” comic story (following Stark’s descent into alcoholism) for a quicker, shallower take on the idea of chemical dependence and self-destruction. But with hindsight, it’s easy to see that the world of Iron Man 2 wasn’t one designed to accurately portray – or pay respect to – addiction.

Iron Man Demon in a Bottle Marvel Movies vs. DC Movies   The Differences in Approach

Sure, addiction was hinted at in the film, along with Tony’s father’s own dependence on alcohol, glimpsed in a brief home video. Since Tony’s world wasn’t meant to be seen as the real one in any meaningful way, dealing with such a heavy-hitting issue would have broken the escapism, and seemed out of place among the film’s more “comic booky” tone.

In many ways, consistency is more important for success than the specific story or degree of believability decided upon; it doesn’t matter how serious a comic book movie the director chooses to make, so long as they stick to the decision (*cough*Green Lantern*cough*).

That’s why adapting any comic book story into a film, let alone an annualized franchise is so difficult. Any comic fan knows that for the most part, comic books don’t offer an accurate reflection of reality – not superhero books, anyway. There are commonalities, but with parallel universes, magic in surplus, and invading armies bent on exterminating the human race a monthly occurrence, the superhero genre is fiction through and through.

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NEXT PAGE: Marvel: The Fantastical over The Serious…

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TAGS: aquaman, batman, captain america 2, green lantern, hawkman, iron man 3, justice league, man of steel, Suicide Squad, superman, the dark knight, the flash, thor 2, wonder woman

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  1. It’s not serious vs funny. It’s serious vs “fun.” Fun doesn’t have to have a negative connotation either. As an example of realistic motivations and natural character interaction, only the first Iron Man movie even comes close. By comparison, Nolan’s movies are philosophical debates where people represent ideas instead of people. They include quite a bit of the ridiculous, have very little intimate human interaction, and are completely lacking in self awareness. That is not a dig. They are impressive movies. However, IMHO, a superhero movie style that presents all of the responsibility of Super heroics but none of the elation and joy associated with possessing the abilities, is an unsatisfying vision.

  2. It’s not serious vs funny. It’s serious vs “fun.” Fun doesn’t have to have a negative connotation either. As an example of realistic motivations and natural character interaction, only the first Iron Man movie even comes close. By comparison, Nolan’s movies are philosophical debates where people represent ideas instead of people. They include quite a bit of the ridiculous, have very little intimate human interaction, and are completely lacking in self awareness. A thematic style that presents all of the responsibility, but none of the elation of having special abilities is unsatisfying.

  3. this site is very pro marvel

    • Actually they are pretty reasonably well balanced. Of course there a more Marvel news to deliver as whole while DC films not so much. Most news as of late is focused on Man of Steel.

      If anything really, the writers in general, such as Andrew, have shown much anticipation and hopes for news of DC films. They have offered articles how DC can successfully build a single cinematic universe or at least develop film ideas and directions for various characters including but not limited to Superman, Batman, Green Lantern, Wonder Woman, Flash, Aquaman, and others. They have given advice and plans, that DC if ever to have visited this site should use to create films that compete with Marvel rather than emulate it- see: Green Lantern film.

      I have actually sensed more love and hopes for DC adaptations from both the staff of Screenrant and the posters- evidence being the post and articles themselves along with polls- which is maybe due to the fact that people are ready to see something new and fresh either from DC in general or a direction differing from Marvel Studios.

      This site is pro-good film making, pro-good stories no matter the source material or the studio or whatever. No real bias or any favoritism.

      • You’re now our official press secretary, The Archer. Make us proud.

    • well ofc since marvel is way better than lame dc

  4. i think it depends on the character. each character will have an appropriate approach in film. like the punisher fits well with the chris nolan style for batman. marvel heroes such as ghost rider, blade, punisher, daredevil, shouldn’t cross over to the avengers cinemtaic universe. it would make them less of what they ought to be. not all marvel characters should appear within the universe they created.

  5. I always liked Superman, because he had a boyish purity to his heart, but he was always caught up in human affairs (politics, war, etc). In the Dark Knight series, he’s sent to confront Batman, but he knows Bruce Wayne. He understands his idea of justice. Yet, Superman knows that for the “greater good” he needed to do what the President asked. So, I always have seen Superman as the MOST serious character. He’s not the most traumatized, he’s not vengeful, he’s not weak at all. But he ALWAYS is stuck right in the middle of human conflict which causes him to face some serious moral and ethical questions.

    So, even though he wears tights, flies, has every power to dominate all other superheroes, he still has this split right down his heart because he has to deal with weak people who are led by weak leaders.

    • Well said.

    • “So, even though he wears tights, flies, has every power to dominate all other superheroes”

      lets see a fight him against the phoenix and tell that again if u have a single clue about suprheroes kkthxbb

      • Shut up, child.

  6. Obviously, barathrum, you’re entitled to your opinion. But, can you explain how you find it harder to suspend disbelief with Nolan’s Batman than you do with the mighty Asgardian god, Thor, and all of the things that happen in the eponymous movie??

    • Suspending disbelief isn’t about outright believing something is possible. It’s about suspending your disbelief long enough to stay immersed in the story and the world in which it is set. Being able to believe something is possible within the fictional world that is established within the confines of that specific story.

      While Nolan-Batman tried to be rooted in OUR reality, it include things that are clearly not possible. I would not go as far as saying it was outlandish (for the most part anyway), but as I said before, it fits in with the uncanny valley. The uncanny valley is something that looks/seems real, but there is something about it that isn’t real, and it puts people off. It is usually accosiated with artificial human characters (whether they be CG or robots or whatever) where they look real, but don’t act it. You can read more on the subject on wikipedia or somewhere. It’s pretty interesting.

      As for the Marvel movies: We go in expecting to see aliens, gods and otherworldly beings, short-tempered guys that transform into monsters when they’re angry, etc etc. Someone like Thor doesn’t really stand out when he’s put next to someone like the Hulk, or a guy in a spangley outfit that can single-handedly take on an army with nothing but an over-sized frisby.

      The same can be said for Superman. In a world where it’s possible for Superman to exist, it’s not so far-fetched for characters like Aquaman, Wonder Woman, and Martian Manhunter. But if you try to include those characters in Nolan’s Batman, a movie that’s trying it’s best to simulate the real world, you’d think it was ridiculous and it would kill your immersion – thus not being able to suspend your disbelief.

      • well said.

      • I agree. Suspension of disbelief means just what it says- you do not succumb into believing such events but neither are questioning every aspect of the film. Suspension of disbelief does not deal with throwing logic out of the window but understanding the context of ‘that’ world on screen. The world onscreen, whatever genre it may be, is not strictly the real world but rather creates a context that compliments are basic understanding of how the world works.

        I saw Iron Man the other day and I found myself thinking that even after having seen The Avengers I cannot quite fathom the idea that Thor exists in some manner in the film. I cannot imagine Thor just coming down to Earth a couple of films early and Tony watching it on the news. I saw them fight each other and then together in The Avengers, so why can I not “see” it happening in Iron Man? Its all due to the suspension of disbelief.

        Suspension of disbelief is not the same for every film, not in even films set in the same universe. Iron Man set an individual tone that heavily based in science and grounded to certain level of reality. Its not 100% reality but then again it is not a documentary. But the film had seriousness that matched the more comic-book moments. It was a perfect blend in my opinion. Over the course of the Marvel Cinematic Universe the tone lightened up a bit in places and more fantastical events occurred.

        While I have my share of problems of Thor I believe the film did a great job complimenting its source material to the more grounded, reality-based Iron Man series. Sure we failed to see some truly “godly” events but it established a character and mythology that is far greater than just the Iron Man- Hulk reality we have seen so far. In the Avengers we got to see Thor and Loki do more fantastical feats and surely in Thor: The Dark World (please don’t let it suck) their powers/abilities should increase.

        Its all about building little by little. If we started with Thor, not a huge issue to build a universe from that and a context to fit in other heroes but starting from Iron Man/Hulk things are little bit different. The Marvel Cinematic Universe as a whole, to varying degree of success, developed slowly a cohesive universe by introducing concepts that seem out there by building up to it and through small increments.

        In the Dark knight Trilogy, only the third film challenged my suspension of disbelief because of pure logic. The film series becomes increasingly improbable with each installment. The series is not meant to show Batman real in a real world but have him portrayed to feel real. The devices, the plots, the villains, the vents in the films become increasingly improbable as you go alone but all through the lenses that it feels it could happen. It establishes a realistic world but pulls back the curtains so to speak in numerous places. I could have believed Ra’s alive in the third if they properly executed it.

        I think both sides do a great job. Both have obvious successes and both have obvious failures. It’s all about carefully building up and placing the pieces in the right way.

      • I don’t know if using “The Uncanny Valley” is a good comparison. I understand what and how you are trying to draw comparisons but there are some fundamental differences I disagree with.

        I personally was able to suspend my disbelief while watching TDK (to an extent) but there were just so many problems/issues with the story that kept bringing me back to reality. It was highly annoying to say the least.

      • I still disagree with your conclusion, but the way you supported it was interesting.

        • That’s fair. Suspending disbelief is different for everyone. Some people can suspend it longer than others, and then it can also depend on a persons expectations.

          I only recently saw the Nolan movies (a few weeks ago actually), so there was already a lot of opinions and info flying around about the movie series that would have influenced my expectations of it. Thus why I found it overrated and not as immersive as the Marvel movies (with exceptions of course).

  7. @Blue Marvel
    IM3 is going to reach a billion in a few weeks, but it has an unseen version of the movie in China using famous Chinese actors just looked at the numbers and they made $660 foreign box office against 285 mil in the US. DC is the better draw but like I said Marvel has the upper hand.

    @Stark
    I totally forgot Dc released Catwoman and Grenn Lantern, that says how terrible those flicks are. as far as the batman fan base it was killed when joel shumacher made bats and robin. It wasn’t like everything was hunky dorey we all knew batman would be back. it was shocking to everyone that batman begins was great. the movie resurected the character. i hear what you’re saying about the marvel films building from scratch which is why Dc needs to possibly contine the tdk trilogy into mos. It’s the best way to add new element to batman while conitinuing an existing story. I love DC but they need to step it up, I don’t think the marvel characters are that great but I acknowledge that they’re doing something really cool on film

    • @ Bruce Wayne

      I hear you on the Bats & Robin disaster, but I do think it made fans hungrier for a good Batman movie, which worked out great for Nolan & Bale.

      Same thing with Superman. After the mess tha was Superman Returns, I’m so hungry for a good decent Superman movie I’m really hoping MOS is great.

      • I think people have been desperate for a decent movie since Superman 3. Let’s not even get into Superman 4 shall we.

        • Oh no those were truly terrible

  8. Can I enjoy the Batman TV series and also the Dark Knight trilogy? Why, yes I can! These characters have been through so many writers, editors, and artists over the years it’s hard to say which is the correct rendition of any of them. Is the Batman of 1938 the same as Batman 2013? Are you the same person now that you were in 1938? I think the comments about fun are the most important. Whether over the top 1960′s camp fun or 21st century dark psychology fun if you leave out the fun then you’ve missed the point of comic books.

  9. superman returns was a decent movie. it just lacked superman action

    • And forced Luthor down our throats in a failed attempt to make him relevant (just like Smallville). Oh, and the ridiculously disgraceful fact they gave Kal/Lois a kid.

      The only good thing about that movie was the plane scene.

      If this Man of Steal franchise takes off I really hope they stay away from Lex – at least until the 4th movie, and even then never as the main villain.

      • @Barathrum You are totally right.. Lex is not a guy you would like to go hand-to-hand combat with Supes… First build his character, make him do things behind the scene, give him a complex persona, have him do some lab experiments for his own defense against Superman [Not those silly ones with little models and kryptonite], and Then bring him on the frontier. That’s the only way I see Luthor as a serious villain.

        • Personally, I’d rather he be done away with altogether. Or at the very least transfered over to being a Bruce Wayne business rivel.

          The only way I can see Lex doing anything against Superman is to turn the people against him (like in Superman/Batman: Public enemies). He should be using his geniuos to trick people into doing this bidding, rather than building robots and using kryptonite (save those things for Brainiac and Metallo/K-Man).

          That’s another things that should be absent – kryptonite. I’m sick of it being used as an off-switch to his powers. It’s a dumb plot device that leads to dumb and lazy writing.

          We need to see enemies like Doomsday, Parasite, Mongul, Lobo, Helspont, and Darkseid – although Darkseid should be the first choice for the JL movie.

          I’ve seen enough of Lex to last a life-time. Every time I see him appear I have a knee-jerk reaction to roll my eyes and sigh. Rarely have I ever seen him written in a way that would have me believe he should a chance against Kal-El. And the only time he has were the times other people were doing the fighting for him.

          • Exactly.
            Have Lex Luthor work behind the scenes, maybe even with other notable villains like Vandal Savage and Ra’s Al Ghul.
            The other films did not properly do Lex Luthor, he was reduced to some mad real estate agent.
            He should not be up on the screen front and center against Superman but rather show off is intellect, manipulation, goal for power, behind the scenes until a few films (hopefully and great ones too) into the series. A name drop or cameo here and there is fine for now.
            But whenever they do decide to bring him in, make him a truly great foil villain.
            I like the idea of him battling Bruce Wayne in the corporate world.

            • That’s why way I see it, but I wouldn’t have him in every film, maybe build him up in the film before he makes his move – but I wouldn’t have him being built up across all 3 or more movies, it would be too much.

  10. Most debates these days lead to a Justice League Movie. I don’t know what good a Justice League Movie will do. When I compare Marvel vs DC movies, I see that only Iron Man(1) is somewhat memorable, Avengers not so much in the Marvelverse, OTOH, TDK and Batman Begins are most memorable which I would like to see again and again. I don’t know how many times I have seen TDK, everytime it feels fresh. BRING US ONE HECK OF A GOOD MOVIE, JL IS NOT NECESSARY FOR GETTING BIG SUCCESS.
    For me
    TDK > Marvelverse.. it’s that simple.
    People don’t talk about TDK vs. Iron Man, or TDK vs. Thor, they talk about TDK vs. Avengers ..

    • Not a single Marvel film comes even close to the quality of any Dark Knight film. It’s a damn shame, I personally wished Marvel films were better. But they’re all just big fat jokes, not a single heroic or memorable moment besides Iron Man 1-ONE, not 2 and especially not 3.

      • Really? Because I thought Batman Begins was highly overrated, full of bad acting, jumped about the timeline too much, and was trying too hard to be taken seriously, yet was just ridiculous.

  11. Interesting article Andrew Dyce.

    But all I have to say about this Marvel vs DC issue is in this song.

    • Lost all credibility for me.
      The song was kind of annoying and it does not have anything mature to say.
      Spider-Man 3 and X-Men Origins: Wolverine are awesome? No. Just no.

      • And it crossed out the Dark Knight trilogy…lol. Just tasteless Marvel fans praising their garbage, how typical.

    • +1 at least for being the first person I have ever seen to post an imbedded link in their post on this site.

  12. Lex should be in the mos series. The most powerful man in the world clashes with the most powerful yet corrupt mind in big business. Bruce Wayne should be in it too idk how though

    • I don’t think Superman is the person to be taking on capitolism – he’s got bigger things to worry about such as alien invasions and beings bent on destroying the world.

      Bruce Wayne would be better as he is a businessman himself, but it seems Bruce isn’t interested in fighting corporate corruption or poverty – he’s too busy running around Gotham in a home-made halloween costume pretending to fight crime.

      If Bruce Wayne or Lex Luther were even slightly competent, Gotham would be a shining beacon of the future, and Metropolis would be a rotten and corrupt city run by a greedy, bald madman.

      Seriously, how does nobody else see that Lex would be the PERFECT Bruce Wayne rival. Superman already has clever foes that test his intelligence way more often than Lex does with his dumb robots and his overused, yet pathetic attempts to use kryptonite.

      • Well that is why enjoyed the The Dark Knight Trilogy because it does talk about poverty and corrupt (or at least just selfish) corporates. It talks about a lot of stuff that go beyond economic status as well. Same with some of the books.

      • @Barathrum, I can totally see that, if they were to switch villains it could work. It was sort of done in the most recent game “JL God’s Among Us”. This WOULD make for a VERY interesting alternate universe though, Superman’s arch enemy The Joker and Batman’s arch enemy Lex Luthor. It just doesn’t sound good though. LOL!

        • They tried that in World’s Finest where Joker failed to use kryptonite (just like everyone else, because it’s not exactly super effective).

          Why swap a guy who uses robots and kryptonite for a guy who uses laughing gas (most likely ineffective on Superman) and kryptonite. Why not just give Lex to Bats and introduce someone worthy of the Man of Steal. Helspont has been introducted recently. Looking forward to seeing how that one plays out.

  13. Both sides have wins and failures but Marvel has also gotten it right more often with casting the RIGHT actors, especially with casting up-coming or unknown actors. D.C. should have used Halle Berry as “VIXEN”. Halle Berry seems waaay more suited for VIXEN and that could have been a 3rd tier character that D.C. could have brought to life(if done right). Ryan Reynolds did an “ok” job with GL but he still was the wrong casting choice(besides everything else wrong with the movie). The only actors that I can say that totally “made” some D.C. characters, that were NEW & FRESH is Christopher Reeves(Superman),all of the other characters had previous interpretations(including Superman) that we had already seen regardless of how great the newer interpretations or incarnations were.

    • The Richard Donnor Superman movies had some great casting. Jonathan Kent, Perry White, Zod and Non, were all well cast along with Christopher Reeve as Kal/Clark (I especially loved the way Clark was play in these movies).

      Also, Michael Gough as Alfred in Tim Burton’s Batman!

      Personally, I found the Nolan movies did a horrible job of casting. As good as some of those actors were, they just didn’t fit the roles.

      • Yeah, the original Superman had some GREAT casting BUT I guess when we think of ICONIC roles, the first that comes to mind is Christopher Reeve’s(SuperMan), Jack Nicholson’s(Joker) and Heath Leger’s(Joker). That’s pretty much it, there are other “good” ones but not “iconic”.

        • True, but while Christopher Reeve was the perfect Big-Blue-Boy-Scout, and I loved those movies growing up – I’m not a big fan of THAT particular version of Superman. I’m interested to see how Cavill’s Man of Steal will play out. A Superman that is an outcast to both human and kryptonian – that’s how I want my Supes.

  14. I want Lex Luthor ominous/mysterious/corrupt CEO/President of the US version. Always pulling strings and one upping Supes through gambits and plausible deniability.

    If JL film reintroduces Green Lantern… lose the mask. Go the John Stewart route or even go full on with the John Stewart version of Green Lantern.

  15. I disagree with the whole DC:dark Marvel:fun premise. Marvel and DC have been doing basically the same stuff the same way for decades.

    • @ blarv

      Have you even watched the Dark Knight or the Avengers?

  16. Right now Marvel has DC beat. With DC i am a fan of the Batman. With Marvel I am a fan of the Avengers. I like both equally but as far as planning the layout of the films and tying them together Marvel has outdone DC. That is not to say that DC won’t step up its game starting with the upcoming MAN OF STEEL movie. I hope they do. If there is some good competition between Marvel and DC then the real winners will be the fans. Id like to see Man of Steel do great and then a Justice League be made. Also i hope that Marvel/Disney doesn’t try to recast Tony Stark/Iron Man or any of the other Avengers. Now would not be a good time. It could really hurt the momentum that Marvel/Disney has going for it right now.

    • When you say Marvel has DC beat, in what terms? Box office or quality of films? Because if it’s box office, yea it’s Marvel since their films are targetted towards children. But obviously quality of films easily goes to DC.

  17. I wanted to interject that the implication that the cinematic tone somehow comes from a specific comic book publisher’s thematic playbook is incorrect. The thematic playbook started being dictated by the talent decades ago. Now both publisher’s have interconnected worlds and complex characters, and as always, the tone of an individual book is decided by the creative team of the book.

    Also, the only reason the Flash was comic relief in the JL DCAU series is to provide personality contrast and so that someone could be the comic relief. That is not the Flash as he is in most of his written incarnations.

  18. Time to cut the BS with this “cough Green Lantern cough” s***.Green Lantern was far better than many Marvel or other studio doing Marvel characters movie and if you want to go Box Office GL made far more also, it just didn’t make back it’s movie budget $.

    I stopped reading this article right there, I “may” come back later and read the DC parts.F this.

    • I actually enjoy Green Lantern more than Thor.

      But the film tried replicating the Marvel formula when it could have had a tone of it own. That is what is being discussed here.

    • Dude, I actually like the Green Lantern movie. But it didn’t even come close to making its production budget back. That means, for all intents and purposes, that it did not actually make any money at all. It lost money.

  19. the reasons dc characters hould be grounded in reality and using real world themes is because they’re essentially based on gods. the superman flick is called man of steel and not superman. a god among men i think the story will have a first cotact theme.dc should be serious, no forced humor and have a sense of posibility. think of tdk its about a dtective vigilante fighting organized crime, except he dresses like a bat. theres a sense of plausibility, even if it gets fantastical. what DC has been dealing with in their movies lately are things we see everyday. I know cinema is an escape from reality but I like seeing things that are relatable f*ck I bet if asnyone here won a billiob dollars theyd take a try at being batman lol

    Marvel imo is charicatures of “gods” their world is fantasy light hearted,no sense of reality, but still good. they have serious stories but since Disney owns I doubt they’ll make a dark srious marvel story.

  20. If MoS launches a cinematic universe RDJ will probably be payed 200 mil to stay on as Tony Stark forever, Disney can’t afford to lose him. The reason we’re having this Marvel discussion is because of IM1 not the Avengers. If Tony Stark was played by someone else it’s possible the Avengers might not have happened, ever.

    • What if he was played by Tom Cruise?

      • Then nobody would remember it and it would be considered worse than Steal and Elekra! Fortunately for everyone, they hired someone who can act.

  21. Warner Brothers has always proven they don’t care about charterers they care about MONEY proof is needed you say one word KEATON they want to do things on the cheap believe me you will not see Bale as Batman and more than likely you wont see Cavill as Superman because they will not want to pay the price to get them Batman was a happy accident for them mark my word even when it come down to the director don’t be surprised if you see THE JUSTICE LEAGUE by Joel Schumacher NIPPLES ANYONE LOL

    • Lol…you don’t know what you’re talking about at all.

  22. I thoroughly enjoyed this article. Very well written and insightful. It gave me an optimistic view of the futures of both comic book/movie franchises. I am a devout Batman fanatic, and believe that The Dark Knight was a brilliant example of writing and filmmaking. It is, hands-down, my favorite movie of all time. Not JUST for being a batman movie, however. It would have been amazing if it had been set in New York City, or Chicago with ordinary people instead of comic book fodder. The plot, characters, and epic scale of just the story itself were shear genius. I cannot begin to speculate on the future of what Marvel and DC have in store for their adaptations, I am just excited about the possibilities that are there and the caliber of writing that has become involved. It has been a long road from Joel Schoemaker (one day I might forgive him for what he did to my icon) to where we are now. I am just grateful for the talent and opportunities it has brought to my favorite pastime.

  23. @MOS
    The only other person i think would make a great Iron man if not RDJ, it would have to be the guy who played his father in Captain America. There is no one else who could be Tony Stark other than him and RDJ

    @JD5DAD
    Warner Bros did use to not give a damn about characters for their story.. Until Nolan came along who makes movies about characters. Not only did the critics love his movies but so did the whole world. If DC were to say ok Nolan, Snyder, Goyer, Dini and Loeb are taking over the dc universe and they actually accept then our heroes are in great hands. to have 3 comic book nerds writing movies with directors( Nolan who maybe a unanimous choice as best director in hollywood) who care about characers along with a film that has a certain scope.

  24. DC vs Marvel

    Superman – Rescues kittens from trees. Prevents aliens from destroying planets. Keeps you from having bad dreams.

    Thor – Prevents aliens from destroying planet… says your on your own for everything else.

    Thor is far more interesting to me.

    • Okay…

  25. Zack Snyder is supposedly directing Christian bale in a movie called ‘the last photograph’ due in 2014. I had no idea that was happening. It lends further credibility to everything I’ve ever posted on the subject of the Nolan/Snyder/goyer trinity for justice league. I bet this film is a phoney for JLA pre-production time.

  26. First off, as much as I say this many times before in your other articles I must say Andrew great job. Great job at analyzing both while remaining unbiased and playing devil’s advocate in two different trends that we are now seeing.

    Good writing with strong character development and story executed greatly through direction, production values, and acting is the type of films I await for. The tone must fit the story and enforce it, not detract from it.

    Marvel films only pertaining to the Marvel Cinematic Universe is as bit as limiting as the “realism” or “grounded” take as that demonstrated by The Dark Knight Trilogy. Their tone in my opinion brings a roadblock for some of the darker characters that Marvel Studios has the rights to such as Blade, Punisher, Moon Knight, Daredevil. Not to say the characters cannot fit in the Marvel Cinematic Universe at all, but it would be difficult to assimilate the characters without really sacrificing tone.

    I like the Marvel films and I enjoy the fun aspect of the characters but some of the films have focused more on delivering laughs and fun sequences than building a strong(er) character stories. Iron Man I enjoyed tremendously because it balanced perfectly. The Avengers did so too. I first really enjoyed the Avengers but after some viewings I became less interested in the film. However when I start to look for some strong character moments, I realized that while some of the jokes may fall flat after some viewings and some of the drama is sacrificed to “fix” things, that there is strong character moments- substance- that were cut off for style. Hence, I am excited to see Phase 2 films- beyond Iron Man 3 that failed in delivering what promised on some levels.

    I can definitely see the DC films tackling a more grounded approach just as their comics are doing now. They need to show a new version of these characters that are not walking jokes to pop culture- such as Aquaman. Some recent takes on characters that failed such as Wonder Woman tv series and the Green Lantern film seem to fail because the writers fail to take the mythology seriously. There can be self-humor in the film but tongue in cheek is too far.

    Marvel characters are naturally grounded in their stories that the film can take liberty in delivering tongue in cheek, sometimes successively. But DC heroes are in the process of being reimagined and shredding damaging, campy reputation that has plagued them in the public’s eye. Thus, the film do not need to be dramas, but summer blockbuster that does not treat their characters as jokes.

    So far I am partial to the grounded nature aspect that DC seem to be going towards because it seems that they may be aiming for stronger character stories with thematic elements thrown in for good measure. Not to say that Marvel is unable to do this as Iron Man, and to a lesser extent Captain America: The First Avenger and The Avengers, have done so as well.

    Its all about waiting and seeing, but if DC seems to be heading down that road, and if successful, Marvel will have major competition. That is great because competition would force both companies to try harder in their films. I want to see films that can be rewatched again numerous times, even years later. Iron Man and Batman Begins and The Dark Knight are those kind of films! The Avengers is close too but not there quite yet. Maybe another viewing would get it there

    • I don’t think there’s any place for humour in super hero movies, not when they’re dealing with mass murderers and planet-wide threats, that’s why there isn’t a great deal of humour in most comics and that’s the problem with Disney’s family movie approach. Yes it works at the box office but it’s not in keeping with the true spirit of the characters or comics in general. DC on the other hand take an approach that is true to comics it’s just a damn share outside of Batman nothing has caught the public’s imagination. I happen to like Green Lantern and Watchman should have been a major success not barely broken even.

      • “there isn’t a great deal of humour in most comics,” really?! I don’t know what you’ve been reading but Marvel comics have plenty of humor. Humor is even at the core of some characters, like Spider-Man’s banter during fights for example. Also, the Green Lantern movie contains many (failed) attempts at humor.

  27. @The Archer

    I agree with your comment fully. On the Avengers, when I saw the movie it was the bootleg copy a week before its release. I told everyone who asked for a review that the action is good,Lokis is good, RDJ is great as always (You can make the debate that the avengers should of been called iron man 3), but the best sequence by far is when all of the heroes are arguing.There was no sense of danger during all of the action scenes. There was weight to that scene when iron man is bickering at fury and getting at captain. The most entertaining 10 minutes out of the entire movie.

  28. A lot of …for lack of a better word “obvious” information in this article but nice to see it all in one place. You know what you’re going to get when you walk into a Marvel movie. There are no surprises. You know the formula and it will play out the same way in every Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Hulk, or Avengers movie.

    What people who realize that go into a Marvel movie for comes down to 2 simple points:
    1. A new cool way of doing the exact same thing they did in the previous movie fighting off an enemy. Ie. Tony Stark fighting the battle with all of those suits that control themselves or Hulk’s role in the final battle in The Avengers. We’re looking for little things in an action sequence that make you sit there and go “hey that was pretty cool!” and would make you want to watch an action sequence again and laugh with how fun that was to watch. Just another creative (and usually pointless/overly complex/risky) way of achieving the same goal as punching a guy in the face.

    2. Watching the characters banter to one another. Obvious example being Tony Stark throwing quips at whoever talks to him. I’ve seen Iron Man 3 and the most memorable part of it is the way Tony talks to the kid…and I can’t remember any of that dialogue so you see how I feel about Marvel movies on the whole now. A lot of regurgitation that is great fun to laugh with while you’re watching but immediately forgetful when you leave the theater. I usually follow anything out of Hollywood religiously but I cared so little about Iron Man 3 that I didn’t even know Guy Pearce was in it until I saw him on screen. I never fawned over the first Iron Man movie like everyone else and quite honestly the Iron Man movies are my least favorite part about Marvel’s “Cinematic Universe”.

    If you really want to simplify Marvel movies, just look at the business side of things. There is no risk for the characters, why would there be? When you can rake in a billion dollars having Tony Stark as Iron Man do the same thing and present him in 3 iterations of the same movie, why would you kill him off? Why incapacitate him in any way? Investors don’t want that.

    This all goes without mentioning Singer’s X-Men being the epitome of the light-hearted, kiddie Marvel formula.

    My preference is not in Marvel movies where unbelievable things magically happen (The virtual crime scene in Iron Man 3, seriously?) at the last second to save the day…I’ve seen enough of that with 90s sci-fi shows like Stargate. That’s actually not a bad comparison, Iron Man movies, or Marvel for that matter are like an episode of Stargate SG-1 or Atlantis. Formulaic, mostly self contained “adventure of the week” type stories.

    I’m not a DC fan bashing Marvel. I think The Punisher and Spiderman (Raimi’s version) are the best comic book movies out there and 2 of my favorites. Thor is up there as well, I think Thor is fantastic. I enjoy watching Marvel movies (Iron Man as a bit of an exception) but just for fun.

    But I do probably have more positive things to say about DC. First let me get it out there that I am NOT a fan of Nolan’s Batman. Batman was my favorite superhero until Nolan got hold of it. Green Lantern, well we all know what happened there. However if it was a Marvel movie I don’t think it would have gotten as much flak as it did.

    I’ll be the first to say I can suspend disbelief. I’ll even go so far as to sound a bit arrogant and say I can get into movies more than most. I can really get into a character and feel what they feel. Sometimes it’s a detriment to an opinion on a movie because even if it’s a really bad movie, if I can get into a character’s head and feel that, it changes my perspective on the film. I forget it’s a bad movie at that point. This also helps me to not jump ahead of the current point in the movie. I can put away the part of me that jumps to conclusions and puts together the end of the movie before it gets there.

    Touching on an earlier point about the business side of things. With that we know what we’re going to get from these movies and we know like another commenter states there is no sense of danger to any of the characters. For that reason, mixed with my not jumping to conclusions (even though I can recognize foreshadowing just the same) The Dark Knight Rises was…refreshing to watch. Even with my opinions on Nolan’s Batman and my absolute not caring about Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne, when the Bat went out there at the end I have to say that scene was quite an impact. For in that moment something was created to make you feel a little more than what was expected.

    Even with the ability to do that in both grounded and Marvel-esque stories I still prefer the grounded version you can relate to. Why? Just my preference. Something that’s more believable, something that makes you think “Could that happen? How would we react? What would the results be?” in a world we know already I think has more of an impact. I consider myself an intellectual and probably think about big questions more than the average person so something that touches on the human mind, struggles, influence, debate, decision making and possible consequences to those choices, risk, danger, fear, doubt, anything that plays on the mind will always trump “hey push this button and save the world!” for me.

    Man of Steel has me intrigued. I’m looking forward to that movie more than any other superhero flick. The talk of hope and just the overall feel we get…of a character probably not sure if he can handle what’s going on finding things out about himself right along side us as the audience just sounds fantastic.

    Of course we all know how that movie is going to end too, but the journey encompasses so much more than what Marvel puts out there.

    I’d love to continue talking about another portion of DC vs. Marvel and that being how little Marvel has the ability to put into their projects in terms of character development, character introduction, villain introduction, and the situations involving all of that but I think this is already the longest comment I’ve ever posted.

  29. Its not serious vs fun, its serious vs funny and thats bottom line, marvel makes films for the whole family and the grandma so they can make as more money they can making a ocmedy and DC tries to make great films that win at the box office by being great films, ofcourse there can be exceptions, but i loved Green Lantern and Iron Man 3. I think that Man of Steel will change the whole game.

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