Captain America Vs. Batman, Spider-Man vs Superman, The Avengers Vs The Justice League, who is the better hero/ team of heroes? Which company is enjoying the greater success now that we are in the cinematic age of superheroes? And which one will emerge from the inundation of films currently being released ahead of the game? In what was arguably the nerdiest panel I attended this year at Comikaze, panelists Brian Ward, Amy Hypnarowski, Tamara Brooks, and (belatedly) Sean Long welcomed us to the controversial debate of Marvel Vs DC, deciding (through admittedly arbitrary point garnering) which one reigned supreme in the Cinematic and Television World.
The various debates that arose, and through which the panelists awarded points, included who made the most with merchandizing their characters (Marvel won easily, as Spider-Man, according to the numbers shown, has a huge lead over any other character), which company’s creations more influenced their childhoods (DC won easily, with all the panelists citing Christopher Reeve’s ‘Superman’ as a benchmark of their youths), most offensive and egregious film released by the company (ending in a tie, with mentions of Marvel’s ‘Fantastic Four‘ and ‘Daredevil’ films , and DC’s awful ‘Batman and Robin’ and ‘Superman Returns‘), and most diversity in their films, especially with female heroes (which Marvel won mainly due to how much the panelists love ‘Agent Carter‘ and ‘Black Widow’ and all of the recent additions to the Avengers). Other categories were which company had the film with the greatest cultural impact (won by DC for ‘Batman: The Animated Series’ and the 1989 ‘Batman’ film, though honorable mention went to Marvel’s ‘Blade’), and which company has the greatest potential in the future (which after some debate went to Marvel because of their groundbreaking television shows on both Netflix and ABC). So in the end, it seemed that Marvel seemingly won the day.
Remember, the points were arbitrary, and decided in a not entirely credible panel of biased judges, but it was definitely a fun debate, and it was great to hear opinions of the highs and lows of the two companies over the years, and to discuss the influence these films have had on Hollywood, and the fans. Also of note was the growing worry, both among the panelists and the fans who participated, that with all the superhero’s flooding the market, it might soon be that people are tired of superheroes up on the big screen. The future in the eyes of those in attendance is mainly on television, where shows like ‘Arrow,’ ‘The Flash,’ ‘Daredevil,’ and ‘Agent Carter’ are experimenting with different takes on superheroes and their stories, and not sticking to tried and true formulas that the movies are clinging to these days.
What are your thoughts on the debate? Do you think DC has a brighter future than Marvel, whose glory days might have passed? Share your opinions in the comments below!