You could argue that there are no other recognizable comic book brands in the world than DC and Marvel. Eclipsing even the pop culture ubiquity of its parent company Disney, there isn’t a kid alive who doesn’t recognize the members of the Avengers.
They’re at the point where a CG raccoon is probably more famous to adults and children across the globe than the Secretary General of the UN (António Guterres).
DC is no slouch either; although they don’t have the monolithic power of The Mouse behind them, the Bat-symbol and Superman’s “S” are as recognizable to people across the world as the golden arches of McDonalds or Jesus on the cross, and for a large section of internet fandom they inspire just as much reverence.
Naturally, this means that, when DC decided to get into the shared universe game with Man of Steel, what was already a long-simmering rivalry blew up into full fan war, with shots being fired across the aisle at the perceived kid-friendly Marvel aesthetic and DC’s ill-conceived darkening of once-bright characters like Superman.
As memes are the internet’s preferred ammunition in any argument, here are the 20 Savage DC Vs Marvel Memes That Are Funny AF.
20 DC broods, while Marvel has a raccoon with a gun and a walking tree
Even though DC has made some efforts to lighten things up, the often-dour and serious tones of Man of Steel and Batman v Superman have given DC the stigma of being the depressing, emo twin of the DC/Marvel duumvirate.
Marvel, as this meme points out, took an insanely risky chance on adapting a comic full of weird C-list space heroes and one cyborg rodent directed by a guy from the Roger Corman school of filmmaking, who is most famous for weird cult movies. It should never have even been made in the risk-averse world of blockbuster filmmaking, and never should have broken even at the box office, never mind making a profit.
Yet, somehow, it worked. Despite (or maybe because of) the crazy premise, Guardians of the Galaxy was a smash hit and proved that Marvel, every once in a while, could take some crazy chances by keeping things funny and light.
A perfect example of accidental brand synergy, and a perfect example of meme savagery is Spider-Man, who can be seen hijacking one of the best memes to come out of Star Wars: The Force Awakens in order to rag on two former Marvel actors who’ve since defected to DC and Warner Bros. from Peter Parker's own series of films.
J.K. Simmons famously played the prickly, profanity-barking J. Jonah Jameson in the Sam Raimi Spider-Mans, while Willem Dafoe played Norman Osborne, aka. the Green Goblin. You have to admit, though, that J.K. Simmons is going to make an amazing Commissioner Gordon. This is not only because he’s gotten ridiculously jacked for the role, but also because his mustache game is on point.
Willem Dafoe, meanwhile, will be in the supporting cast of Aquaman, playing Nuidis Vulko, scientific advisor to Atlantis and friend and substitute regent for Aquaman.
18 "I'm sorry, I couldn't hear you over the sound of my Academy Award"
It’s a pretty established fact in the film industry that horror, sci-fi, and comedy movies just don’t get nominated for the big awards at the Oscars like Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Supporting, etc. Will Ferrell and Jack Black even sang a song about it.
Sometimes a sci-fi movie gets lucky because the genre at least tries to explore more mature and thought-provoking themes, but a movie in the superhero sub-genre stands basically zero chance of being nominated for anything outside of special effects and technical categories.
This is why DC will always have one up on Marvel for the simple fact that Heath Ledger was not only posthumously nominated for the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for his role as the Joker, but also won.
It was the first time any superhero movie took home an Oscar for acting, and for all we know, it may be the last. However, DC will forever have bragging rights due to it.
17 Marvel is kiddy, DC is weird
When Disney bought Marvel, they ensured that they had a forever-license to print money, but also that all things related to the newly-acquired property would carry the taint of being “kiddy.”
It makes sense that they’d be on the side of caution, especially with the big team-up movies. Low body counts, very little collateral damage, and generally prevalent one-liners and wisecracks are what take place in the Avengers movies.
While it’s true that some of the standalone movies have some truly weird and creepy scenes and deaths-- Ant-Man, for example-- Disney always seems to pull its punches in big team-up movies. This thus only gives tremendous fodder to DC fanboys eager to knock Marvel for not being as dark or complicated as the DCEU is trying to be.
Batman essentially wins at everything. Chess? Wins. Planning ahead? You bet, even though his schemes usually end up backfiring and putting all of his friends’ lives in danger. However, when it comes to saving said friends’ lives, he's right back to winning.
This meme is merely a mathematical expression of that pure streak of win. Through totally real equations, this demonstrates what most people already know deep down: take away Superman’s powers, he’s just an average joe Clark Kent-- a keen, daring investigator, but an average joe nonetheless.
On the other hand, Batman doesn't have any powers. However, if, for example, you take away his wealth, he’s still the world’s greatest detective, a martial artist without equal, and the most paranoid, well-prepared man on the planet-- even if it almost kills his friends.
15 Not everyone has rights
Copyright law is the bane of many a studio’s existence. When it comes to superheroes, though, it’s particularly troublesome because Marvel Studios and Disney don’t own the rights to some of their biggest, most popular characters.
It all comes down to the fact that superhero movies weren’t terribly popular until recently: aside from the Batman and Superman franchises, superhero movies were slightly looked down on as kiddy fare. Marvel’s weak attempts to adapt their own heroes for the screen-- like Howard the Duck and the direct-to-video Captain America movie-- did little to change that.
As a result, Marvel didn’t have a relationship with just one studio, and so the rights to the Fantastic Four and the X-Men ended up at 20th Century Fox. Sony ended up with the rights to Spider-Man, but in contrast all of DC’s heroes remain with Warner Bros.
Although Marvel managed to work out a deal with Sony to share Spider-Man after the disastrous critical and commercial reception of The Amazing Spider-Man 2, they still look with covetous eyes at the X-Men and Fantastic Four franchises.
14 Sad Affleck
This interview was made for memes. If you were a comic book fan then you probably followed the grudge match between Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Captain America: Civil War hungrily. However, only one side could be said to have won unequivocally, pulling in over $1 billion at the box office and arguably being a better Avengers sequel than Avengers: Age of Ultron.
While BvS made a mint in itself, the critical reaction was nowhere near as ecstatic, and the hurt of that lambasting is visible all over Ben Affleck’s face in what is now forever a part of internet lore. The only thing that would make it worse is this meme, which photoshops Chris Evans over Affleck’s original interview partner Henry Cavill, laughing all the way to the bank.
13 Barry Allen even screws up Marvel timelines
While The Flash started out relatively happy and light compared to its CW brother Arrow, it quickly became apparent that Barry is a nightmare for anyone wishing to live a happy, uncomplicated life. His propensity for screwing with time and the Speed Force seemingly knows no bounds, so much so that he actually rewrote his own reality by accident when he time-traveled to save his mother’s life.
Come the four-show crossover event where characters from Supergirl, Arrow, Flash, and Legends of Tomorrow came together, there were some terse words exchanged about how badly Barry had messed everything up.
To be fair, he never really had a teacher to tell him that time-screwing was bad, unlike Doctor Strange. As arrogant as Strange was, even he had the good sense to do his research on time manipulation and the Time Stone powering the talisman that his fellow monks keep hidden.
While Barry’s meddling literally unmakes the lives of his friends and family, Strange has the good sense to keep his time-meddling simple, trapping his movie’s big bad Dormammu in a clever time-loop gambit to force his surrender.
12 Secret identity? What's that?
The idea of secret identities and the lengths characters go or don’t go to disguise them has vexed comic fans since the medium was born. Heroes like Spider-Man at least make use of a full-face mask, but when it comes to characters like Superman, writers and actors have had to bend over backwards to justify why people in his life who interact with both his alter-egos don’t recognize him.
The Golden Age comics resorted to super-hypnotism. Christopher Reeves’ tremendous performance in the Superman movies fully convinced audiences that a skilled actor could keep his identities distinct enough in mannerisms and tone that a different haircut and glasses would be enough of a disguise.
The DCEU movies don’t make nearly as much effort, though. “Clark Kent” pretty much acts the same as Superman, just with glasses, although it helps that Lois Lane already knows his secret. The rest of the Daily Planet is just left to wonder suspiciously why a journalist from Kansas is ripped like an Olympic bodybuilder and always ducks into the broom closet during disasters.
11 Preparing for a DC film vs preparing for a Marvel film
Marvel respects its source material in a way that comic book movies rarely did before. It also really ramped up with the creation of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, with movies and character arcs being lifted almost untouched from comic storylines like “The Winter Soldier” or “Extremis.”
Marvel thus tends to hire actors who will do their homework when it comes to their characters, with some of the main players in the films having grown up with the comics, already being massive fans.
This differs a lot from DC. This isn't to say that the actors don’t respect the source material, but DC and Warner Bros. have made it clear that they aren’t afraid to deviate from the comics.
While Marvel and DC movies enjoy their share of gratuitous shirtless scenes featuring their male heroes, DC enjoys the dubious honor of featuring a long training sequence that is basically just Batman working out and getting as buff as possible.
10 Marvel's Superman
This is jab at the perceived kiddy-ness of Marvel, but this one’s undercut a bit by the fact that the brooding character made light and goofy is Superman. Superman is the DC’s beacon of hope-- a positive, optimistic hero who sees the best in humanity and pushes us to follow his own selfless, honorable example.
Batman’s the dark, brooding one, but the DCEU has seen fit to give Superman his own share of brooding, self-doubt, and angst, and this poster makes sure that you know it, with Superman looking more like Neo in the final battle of The Matrix Revolutions than the smiling, winking boy scout who comics fans are used to.
So, while the meme is meant to dig at Marvel's overly cheery, jokey heroes, it really does highlight how much DC needs to lighten up.
9 This is why fandoms can't have nice things
The greatest threat to any comic book superhero will never be an evil dictator, nor their sworn supervillain nemesis, but instead, their own fanbase-- the ones who make or break the sales of their books.
Comic book fans are notoriously unhappy, nitpicky, and judgmental. While DC and Marvel have been generally polite to one another, congratulating each other on their successes and even agreeing to let their characters meet and cross over a few times, comic fans will forever be comic fans.
With the critical failure of Batman v Superman, DC fans have become incredibly defensive. Meanwhile, Marvel fans have smugly assert their brand’s superiority. Those who love both properties equally have no choice but to hunker down behind their keyboards and duck to avoid the soaring flame bait flying back and forth across the internet.
8 The hypocrisy of "comic book fans"
The comics industry has gotten in serious trouble over the years due to how it objectifies and unrealistically represents women’s anatomy, and rightfully so. It was therefore sadly inevitable that, with the weight of all expectations for DC’s Wonder Woman movie, it would draw criticism for how well the Gal Gadot physically matched Diana Prince’s comic dimensions.
As this meme makes clear, this is especially troublesome because fanboys have let tons of other movies off the hook when an actress isn’t quite as tall or Amazonian as her comic book counterpart.
When a movie captures the heart and soul of who Diana of Themyscara is as strongly as the Wonder Woman did, ragging on Gadot for not being quite as massively tall as her character is some serious nitpicking.
7 Batman vs Spider-Man
It used to be said that the only characters in Marvel comics to stay dead were Uncle Ben and Bucky Barnes. Then The Winter Soldier happened. The storyline, which was written by Ed Brubaker, was critically acclaimed and quickly became a commercial smash, despite leaving the dead surrogate father of Peter Parker as the sole permanent resident of the Marvel afterlife.
If you look at all comics, though, deceased parents or parent figures are pretty much guaranteed to stay dead, which happens to be one unfortunate commonality between Spider-Man and Batman.
Considering the fact that Thomas and Martha Wayne are tied just as inexorably to Bruce Wayne’s birth as a hero as Uncle Ben is to Peter Parker’s, it just wouldn’t make narrative or thematic sense to bring them back, as it would undo the motivation of both heroes to put on those tights and comb the city for evildoers.
6 Superman v Captain America v Batman v Iron Man
It’s always fun in comic crossovers to imagine how the personal dynamics between heroes would mesh. There’s little doubt that two noble, pure-hearted heroes like Supes and Cap would have little trouble getting along and respecting one another. Both stand for truth, justice, and the American Way, even if Cap doesn’t always share Superman’s code against killing.
By contrast, it isn’t hard to imagine two forceful, stubborn personalities like Batman and Iron Man getting into a heated debate during their first encounter. However, while Iron Man’s a better inventor and his armor makes him physically more powerful than Batman, Batman’s wide skillset gives him the edge.
They are easily two of the proudest characters in comics; if you walked into any room they were in, you would probably hear them singing the strains of “Anything You Can Do, I Can Do Better”.
5 The Power of Martha
One of the most reviled moments in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice happens when Batman is about to stab Superman with a kryptonite lance and kill him, when the stricken hero begs for him to save his mother Martha.
Batman is taken aback, demanding to know why he used that name, since his own mother’s name is Martha. Luckily, Lois Lane is randomly there to clarify that Martha is Superman’s mom’s name too, and Batman is forced to have a good long think about just how bananas he’s been acting.
This meme seems to make the case, though, that as contrived as the resolution of the conflict was, the spark that ignites Captain America’s grudge match with Iron Man is equally contrived, which is hard to argue against. The sheer number of coincidences that happen in Civil War to get Iron Man on the side he ends up on and to keep the fight going boggles the mind.
4 DC vs Marvel Hype
It’s perhaps funny that the DCEU has taken such a scrambling, half-planned approach to catch up with Marvel considering how much prep time and experience with comic book movies they’ve had. Arguably, though, they shouldn’t have even tried, seeing as they weren’t only extremely late to the party, but also completely ill-prepared.
However, to paraphrase the original Red Dawn, DC and Marvel are the two biggest kids on the block, and they were going to go head to head no matter what. This meme does a hilarious job of lampooning the weight of expectations on DC, highlighting how unprepared they were when they finally hit the battlefield and how millions of fans were egging the whole thing on from the sidelines.
3 DC doesn't care about the kids
Say what you will about the problems with Suicide Squad and Batman v Superman, but you can’t argue that DC is willing to take chances with its properties. They’re much more willing than Marvel to make movies that strive to explore heavy adult themes, such as the religious and geopolitical impact of a being like Superman, as well as what the proper government responses to such a being would be.
Granted, not all of these themes land on sturdy legs, but you have to respect DC for at least attempting to ask those questions, even if they do break their ankles trying to stick the landing sometimes. DC’s not afraid to go dark and weird, and nowhere is this more apparent than in Suicide Squad, and particularly with the character of the Joker.
2 Hotline Batman
The superhero genre is filled with recurring themes and imagery, so naturally it gets repetitive. For example, half of all Marvel movies end with some large spaceship or vehicle crashing into a planet that the other heroes have to blow up.
What’s odd about this meme, which features the Vulture from Spider-Man: Homecoming doing his best Batman cape fall from Batman Begins, is that this particular image of Michael Keaton’s tragic anti-villain was never actually in the final cut of the movie.
This happens enough in big blockbuster trailers that some fans might not even notice. For instance, half of the scenes and lines in the trailers for Rogue One didn’t make it into the theatrical cut of the movie due to extensive reshoots. However, the Vulture’s scene seems to come from a deleted scene, rather than a an older version of the movie that had to be redone.
1 Jeff Goldblum doesn't have time for any of this
Leave it to Jeff Goldblum to cut to the chase. Sure, DC’s had some stumbles trying to keep up with Marvel, occasionally face-planting in the process. However, it managed to pick itself up and keep trying, going on to make Wonder Woman, which is arguably the best blockbuster of the summer. Sure, Marvel is the unquestioned supreme ruler of the box office-- for now and the foreseeable future-- but its movies regularly stray into “good, but forgettable” territory.
At the end of the day, though, DC vs Marvel is a fight that neither company asked for. It’s a completely false dichotomy, and one that they’ve only kept alive because it encourages audiences to pick sides, which creates brand loyalty.
You could argue that Marvel leans more towards stories that depict flawed but noble heroes and their struggle to operate within a real-world setting, whereas DC focuses more heavily on archetypes and figures who are larger than life, representing the best and worst of what we see in ourselves.
However, at the end of the day, they’re all just imaginary stories with the sole purpose of entertaining us. As long as they can do this, both DC and Marvel have technically "won."
Do you know of any other savage and hilarious Marvel and DC memes? Let us know in the comments!