A new video essay explains why Marvel fight sequences are better received by moviegoers than DC's. As part of age-old debate with regard to which comic book brand is better, this is a new angle that could add to the conversation. The two's supposed rivalry which started decades ago in the form of print has spilled over to the big screen with both companies launching their own respective cinematic universes.
Big action set pieces are one of the biggest crowd draws for superhero films, especially for casual audience members who are not exactly invested in the events and/or character trajectories in these blockbuster movies. And while they're not the only thing that matters in people's opinion of a flick - especially in this genre, they undoubtedly affect their holistic moviegoing experience.
From YouTube content maker Nerdwriter1 (via Comicbook) comes a video essay breaking down the differences between a Marvel and a DC fight scene. As the creator attempts to explain why MCU action set pieces seem to be better-received that DCEU's, he comes up with three points, the first of which highlights that "physics matters." Citing how Marvel uses physics to differentiate the power levels of their characters like how Captain America's skill set is different from Spider-Man's or Iron Man's, the critic points out how "too often in DC movies, the physics don't matter, or the camera is doing something that makes everything feel weightless, taking away the real force of a punch, for example. And there's not enough difference between the heroes for the audience to really feel the power levels."
In light of crafting action set pieces with the various powers of their heroes in mind, Nerdwriter1's second point compares and contrast how Marvel and DC creatively uses their characters' powers. "It's not always the case but there's a good number of times where powers interact off of one another in ways that you can't predict or they take something routine like someone bailing from a car and just go the extra step. In the DC films, every character is a blunt instrument, only doing the most obvious thing," he explains
Third and final point involves how the franchises make use of their characters. The general observation from Nerdwriter1 is that, Marvel "slip[s] character moments into the cracks of big set pieces," citing how interactive the heroes were during the huge airport fight scene in Captain America: Civil War. "Every action scene has its pauses when the action stops and the characters get to say a line or two," he adds. While DC also has snuck in some dialog during their action sequences, their lines have been mostly generic in a way that they're almost always a threat or a form of intimidation. That said, it's also important to note that most of the fights in the DCEU have been between a hero and a villain (unlike Civil War which featured a hero vs. hero battle) and it'll be more jarring to see the two of them in a pissing/snark contest especially if it's uncharacteristic for both characters.