Marvel vs DC – Is there a clear winner?
Hello folks, first of all apologies for not having posted any content for two weeks, I have been a busy individual but today I have a controversial topic to discuss which many of you I imagine will already have an opinion on, Marvel or DC? For many people there is one clear answer and you consistently get people arguing their preference on the forums etc, so today I thought I would give my honest opinion on the matter and see what reaction I get.
So first and foremost, it is time to discuss the video games available relating to both the Marvel and DC series. Now personally, I have never been that much into the video game side of superheroes, majoritively because either the graphics haven’t been up to scratch or because I haven’t wanted to invest the time but those I have played and can remember I will go over.
Let’s start with Marvel Puzzle Quest, for me this is the only superhero/comicbook related game I currently play, it is an alternative version of Bejeweled in which by making matches you deal damage to the oppositions team and you use the matches to gain points to then use powers. This game is available on Android,IOS,Steam and the PS Store and is my go to iPad game which I have been playing for about the past 5-6 years, having been introduced to it during my days at Uni. For me, this game is perfect because you can pick up and play it and can either invest your time to get the best characters or just play it casually if you want, you can also buy additional boosts but they are not necessary and for a free game I would recommend you all go out and download it now to at least try it.
Though Marvel Puzzle Quest is the stand out Marvel game to me, I have played others in the past including 2008’s Iron Man on PS3,which looking back wasn’t graphically that bad but was tedious and was the same old, fire a rocket and blow up the tank, use this weapon to beat this bad guy and was just another generic superhero game. Arguably Marvel characters can be used in some really good games but also some that really just exist for the sake of existing and are released purely because the film is out. Don’t get me wrong there are other games out there, such as the new(ish) Spiderman game for PS4, which I have seen clips of and it looks amazing but again, I don’t want to run the risk of buying it and going through the same tasks over and over again.
Now I have discussed the Marvel side of the games, it is time to discuss what DC’s games have to offer. First and foremost we will discuss the bad games that they have had to offer, I mean Green Lantern on PS3 is a good starting point. Green Lantern was released on PS3/Xbox 360 back in 2011 and the only reason I played it was because I was informed that there was easy trophies to be had, plus it was my first and only ever game rental at Blockbusters (RIP). Much like Iron Man to Marvel, the Green Lantern game was absolute shambles, basically consistent button smashing with upgrades along the way, nothing to really shout about and not a game I will be wanting to pick up again anytime soon.
However, there is good news folks. DC’s beloved Batman character had his own game series, the Arkham games to be precise and thank goodness, these games have some substance. I have only briefly played the games yet they produce a fond memory and having looked, the remaster is coming to PS4 in September so I know what I will be getting from Game that month. On a serious note, Arkham contains action but also lets players delve into the detective side of Batman, exploring for clues and also provides great backstory for our favourite villains from the series. This is a series in which I actually want to invest time into because it provides an actual challenge, rather than just having to button smash for a prolounged period of time and then having to upgrade everything to beat the final boss with ease.
I believe it is safe to say overall with both Marvel and DC they have stand out games, whilst Marvel Puzzle Quest is more for the casual player and provides a great mobile game, I would arguably take the Batman games over any Marvel based game when it comes to console gaming. Though some of you reading this might disagree with me, I would argue I do not have a preferred side when it comes to the gaming side of Marvel vs DC.
The TV Shows
So where to start with this one, the TV shows I will be discussing are readily available to watch on Netflix for the majority of the part, some of the others might be available on Amazon Prime and if not they should be available if you to need to rent them/buy them but here we go.
I would like to start out by saying the first time I was really introduced to the TV show aspect of superheroes was when I discovered Arrow Season 1 on Amazon Prime back whilst I was at uni. From the get go I was hooked on the series based around a vigilante who escapes hell after being trapped on an island for 5 years after his fathers boat goes down in a freak storm. This was the show that set my expectations for superhero TV shows going forward and admittedly though I thoroughly enjoyed seasons 1-3 and 5, I felt a bit lost with season 4 and have yet to catch up with season 6.
Not only does DC have Arrow going for it but it also has Gotham,a show which I have just finished and though it is now over, it rounded up what a Batman TV series should be, it had the backstory to the villains, it showed Bruce developing in his teenage years after the murder of his parents and it showed how do you not need to rely on a well known cast. Gotham is my favourite superhero TV show to date for a few reasons, one being that it has some sense of realism, in that Bruce is a billionaires son but trains and hasn’t got some magical super power to use against the villains of Gotham. Another one being that it shows you can fit the character development of several big characters into a TV series whilst not ruining each of the individuals potentials, it balanced the introduction of some of the bigger villains such as the Penguin and the Riddler really well without relying on giving them all an excessive amount of screen time.
I will say however, though I love Gotham, there is also some DC shows that I have been unable to get into for one reason or another, examples being The Flash and Supergirl. Though I know there is people who argue The Flash is great, personally I didn’t enjoy it after a while, I managed to get into season 2 but I felt it got very repetitive. It seems to be very much a case of Barry just needing to progressively get faster and unlike Arrow/Gotham, I wasn’t on the edge of my seat so to speak, waiting for the next episode to come out, it was more of a watch a couple episodes here and there.
So now I have given my opinion on the DC tv shows, I think it’s only fitting to discuss what Marvel has to offer. As it stands, Marvel’s main TV show offerings are on Netflix in the form of Jessica Jones,Luke Cage,Iron Fist and Daredevil, well these being the main four. I have watched the first season of Jessica Jones and the first two of Daredevil and therefore my opinion on what Marvel has to offer is solely based around these.
I will start with Daredevil, Daredevil to me is the Batman of the Marvel universe to an extent, by which I mean he is an ordinary guy, who though blinded at a young age is just a man and has heightened senses with even better reflexes. Daredevil is a relatable character because he doesn’t have super powers and fits into the more ‘realistic’ superheroes as it were because of this, which is what makes the show more interesting to me. I will go ahead and say it, yes I enjoyed Daredevil and will at some point delve into season 3 but I felt like I just watched it to see what happened in the end during season 1, during which I was eagerly anticipating him donning the suit for the time but it took the entire first season to build up to that point which was a bit of a let down for me.
Though I feel like the build up was lengthy, the introduction of Wilson Fisk throughout the first season was great and it was nice to finally see a darker side to the Marvel universe, especially in comparison to the washed down PG-13 villains we see in the big films, with the exception of Deadpool of course. The series had enough to keep it going though arguably it is the same as Jessica Jones, I watched the first season but found myself wanting it to come to some form of conclusion rather than going on and on.
Now that I have mentioned her, I feel like it is the perfect time to discuss Jessica Jones and where she fits into my opinions as it were. Jessica Jones is a series in which you feel like you want to again, arguably get to the end of it to get some form on conclusion, or at least it was my opinion, David Tennant did arguably play a great villain though I felt like the series was drawn out and could have been cut down to fewer episodes.
I could go on and on, but at this point I will go ahead and say that for me DC clearly are my favourite when it comes to the TV show side of things, they provide a more realistic aspect to the superhero characters and have storylines that remain engaging even throughout later seasons, whilst I feel like Netflix attempted to match these and failed, having to draw stories from arguably weaker characters.
So now for the part that arguably causes the most controversy between comic fans, and that is the films, the big picture on the big screen and the one’s that bring in the most money.
The Marvel has 3 phases which now consists of a total 22 films over the span of an 11 year period, starting with the first Iron Man film which was released in 2008 and introduced us to playboy billionaire Tony Stark, a man with a biggish heart but a bigger wallet and an even greater mind. This film was into our first look into the wide universe that Marvel has to offer, showing us what a real superhero movie should be, a bad ass villain and a superhero who is a rookie but is willing to fight for what is right.
The Marvel films offer a wide range of characters, those with and without powers, those fighting for themselves and those fighting for the greater good, it has a film to cover everybody’s interests and though they have a PG-13 rating, they manage to provide enough action to make you forget about the bloody action in the TV series. There are bad films within the 22 but they are far and few between and I will even admit, I still haven’t watched Thor:Dark World given I didn’t enjoy Thor, however I have seen Thor:Ragnarok which showed what the Thor trilogy should have been from the offset.
My personal favourites throughout the series have included the first Iron Man film, Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2, Captain America:Civil War and Ant-Man, though there is also films within the series which I did not like, including Thor, Black Panther and The Incredible Hulk. The franchise like any other is not exempt to criticism and though I do not like the above films, there will be others that do and this is just my opinion.
The films to me just shine and the way they all intertwine with such success, especially within Infinity War and Endgame just shows how you can have such a wide variety of characters but you can bring them all together with a single objective, and it will flow without any flaws. I feel like it even gives a second chance to those characters who’s individuals films I did not enjoy, for example though I did not particularly enjoy Black Panther’s full introduction into the series via his solo film, I felt like he was well presented within Infinity War and Endgame and I look forward to his character going forward.
So how do DC films stand against their Marvel counterparts? It is with heavy heart that I have to say for the majority that the answer is not very well. DC do have some great characters such as Batman, whom I feel like is the stand out character in the DC franchise though he is unfortunately not alone enough to carry the series.
Before I say why the DC franchise is one thats films I have never been particularly fond of, I will first of all discuss the positive that have come out of it. That being Christian Bale’s Batman trilogy including Batman Begins, The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises, arguably one of the best, if not the best trilogy within superhero film history. The films showcased how you can start out with a great film but then continue to improve, whilst providing dark villains who challenge the main hero not just physically but mentally as well. Having finished Gotham, Bane’s introduction in the TV franchise was great but Tom Hardy’s performance of him in The Dark Knight Rises was even better, showing how a villain can take a hero to the depths of hell and doesn’t necessarily need a super power to pose a massive threat (even though he is super strong to an extent).
Unfortunately, even though the Batman franchise carries the DC films, along with a couple of standalone films such as Shazam and Wonder Woman, it is not enough to provide it’s worthiness over Marvel when there are films such as The Justice League and Suicide Squad, which quite frankly are appalling and deserve no place in superhero film history. The Justice League show’s how if a movies vision isn’t there, then even bringing 4 characters together that should be awesome, just doesn’t work, I mean the cgi villains was enough to put me off.
It is also worth noting, even though I loved Batman’s appearance in the original trilogy, Batman vs Superman has to be the worst superhero film I have seen in a long time. It showed how you can take 2 hours and 45 minutes, give or take of somebody’s lifespan away and provide nothing worthwhile back. I could honestly say I would rather watch paint dry for that length of time than rewatch that abomination of a film.
So there we have it, without a doubt Marvel wins this round for me, it has it’s mistakes but they are not as frequent as DC’s and those films which are bad are not diabolically bad to the point I would never rewatch them.
So now that I have had effectively a massive brain dump, I sit on the fence, yes I prefer DC’s TV shows and yes I prefer Marvel’s films but both have their place on the big and small screen, both produce their stars and both equally have characters that frankly aren’t worth investing time into but as a comic fan, I am balanced. Not balanced like how Thanos wanted it to be, I mean that guy was a bit of a maniac but I will never take sides because I appreciate the work of both sides.
I feel like we all need to be more accepting of one another and yes, everybody is entitled to their opinions but at the end of the day we are all enjoying seeing our favourite heroes, whether they be from DC or Marvel and comics are a shared interest, so how about instead of consistently arguing which is best, why don’t we accept we all have our own preferences?
As always, if you have gotten this far then thank you for reading and be sure to check out my other content. P.s. I am currently running a competition on facebook and instagram at the time of writing this article, so go check it out.