By Edwin Arocho
DC comics and Marvel comics. Since the uprising of the comic book industry into mainstream media, these two companies have been the powerhouses of the comic book world and longtime competitors. In more recent years DC and Marvel have expanded outside their medium and have progressed into other visual media. The most popular and currently profitable of these mediums being their television and movie branches.
When it comes to television DC and Marvel are a bit even. Their animated and live action television series have always been entertaining to watch and have been successful, being praised by both comic fans and people in general. DC has recently become more dominant when it comes to their live action series such as Arrow, Gotham, The Flash and many more to come.
Because of the growing popularity of the Marvel Studios films, thanks to power marketing, funds that they receive from their parent company, “The Walt Disney Company”, and Marvel’s cohesive universe connect their movies together, keeping the audience more involved with the story progression. Some say Marvel is the king of everything comics right now, but that is not necessarily true. In the past when comic book movies were still experimental, DC was on a forerunner in the success of comic book movies into the mainstream with its classic live action Superman and Batman movie franchises. As time went on DC slowly began to become over shadowed by its rival Marvel due to the quality of DC’s live action movies, which were not as up to par with its competitor for the general movie goer. Some examples of less successful films would be “Superman Returns” and “Catwoman”. Sure it has had its successful films such as the Christopher Nolan Batman series of films, but it is easy to see that with the success of Marvel’s cohesive cinematic universe concept DC wants to take a lesson from the competition. DC previously attempted to do this with their Green Lantern film, but that was a box office bomb for many reasons. It was attempted again with their Superman reboot “Man of Steel”. This was a much more successful venture and with “Easter eggs” found throughout the film, it laid the ground work for their cohesive cinematic universe.
Recently, in October of last year, Marvel Studios/Disney and DC/Warner brothers announced the upcoming comic book movie titles for the next couple of years. DC was the first to make their announcements. At the “Time Warner Investor day,” along with other scheduled Warner Brothers’ films and sequels was the list of DC movie starting with “Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice” all the way until 2020.Marvel caught wind of the announcements and had an event of their own. About a week and a half later a special event happened at the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood. Marvel announced their upcoming plans for “Phase 3” in their cinematic universe going up till 2019,“Phase 2”, will end with this summer’s “Avengers: Age of Ultron”.
Little by little comic book media has become the mainstream norm since its conception, but its become more apparent recently because we are on the rapid peak of change. But is it really a good thing that these companies are pursuing this change so ambitiously by planning years in advance even before knowing if these films will be successful? Only time will tell.