Marvel vs. DC: The Rivalry Continues Through Streaming Media Backed by Mega-Corporations

Wayde Robson

Wayde Robson

Audioholics Anchorman
The rivalry between the two most popular comics companies has evolved into rivalries among some of the world's biggest, most powerful companies. No longer a niche corner of print publishing, superheroes have evolved into big business in film, merchandise, TV and soon Streaming Video on-Demand services will be the next expression of the decades-long popularity contest between Marvel and DC comics characters. Through Disney+, HBO Max and Netflix, the number crunchers at Disney, Sony and AT&T will keep close tabs on how their persons-in-tights perform on your screen.

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Marvel vs. DC Rivalry Continues in Digital Media as AT&T vs. Disney & Sony
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davidscott

davidscott

Audioholic General
Yep I remember way back in my youth pre movies when Marvel was coming on and referring to DC as Brand Echh. Make mine Marvel was the battlecry back then. Since then there have been multiple crossovers between brands and I think the competition has made them better both with comics and movies. I have to admit I was always more of a Marvel guy. RIP Mr Stan Lee...
Oh yeah once upon a time I won a coveted "No Prize" from a letter I sent to Marvel. Thanks Stan :)
 
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Wayde Robson

Wayde Robson

Audioholics Anchorman
Yep I remember way back in my youth pre movies when Marvel was coming on and referring to DC as Brand Echh. Make mine Marvel was the battlecry back then.

You and me both, and just about everyone I knew as a kid through the 70s and 80s. Meeting a DC person was an odd anomaly in my circles. But by the early 90s DC had built quite a bit of respectability when they started getting into the Vertigo stuff, Sandman, Watchmen and rethinking Batman as a darker anti-hero. DC seemed to embrace its #2 position and did the one thing Marvel couldn't do, it bucked Marvel's trend by letting creative individuals like Frank Miller and Alan Moore run with what they wanted to do without the kinds of strict continuity guidelines Marvel imposed.

And it seems be the same formula DC is bringing today in film. Its attempt at a DCEU didn't fare so well competing with Marvel, but I think it will find great success doing grittier, adult-oriented stuff like The Joker. I find the continuity of strategies between the two comics groups quite fascinating, the more things change, the more they stay the same.
 
davidscott

davidscott

Audioholic General
You and me both, and just about everyone I knew as a kid through the 70s and 80s. Meeting a DC person was an odd anomaly in my circles. But by the early 90s DC had built quite a bit of respectability when they started getting into the Vertigo stuff, Sandman, Watchmen and rethinking Batman as a darker anti-hero. DC seemed to embrace its #2 position and did the one thing Marvel couldn't do, it bucked Marvel's trend by letting creative individuals like Frank Miller and Alan Moore run with what they wanted to do without the kinds of strict continuity guidelines Marvel imposed.

And it seems be the same formula DC is bringing today in film. Its attempt at a DCEU didn't fare so well competing with Marvel, but I think it will find great success doing grittier, adult-oriented stuff like The Joker. I find the continuity of strategies between the two comics groups quite fascinating, the more things change, the more they stay the same.
Agreed. And the Joker might just be their best character at least in the DCU movies...
 
J

JengaHit

Audioholic Intern
Blockbuster movies have driven and exploded--really mainstreamed--the growth of these comics empires. The directing talent helming each empire's respective core properties really tells why Marvel has dominated. So far Marvel execs have hired superior directing talent, most of them not traditional action directors, but directors from comedy or drama, many with indie sensibilities who understand character: Kenneth Branagh (Thor),Taiki Waititi (Thor: Ragnorak),Joss Whedon (Avengers),the Russo Bros (Captain America WS & CW, Avengers IF & Endgame),Ryan Coogler (Black Panther),James Gunn (Guardians 1 & 2),
Jon Favreau (Iron Man),Bryan Singer (X-Men),James Mangold (Logan),Sam Raimi (Spider-Man ver 1).

DC at first had a leg up with the Nolan Bros director-writer team-up, virtually reinventing the comic-movie genre with the Dark Knight trilogy. But DC faltered by hiring Zack Snyder to shepherd the new DC universe and helm its star property Superman, and its successors BM v SM and Justice League. Snyder made his name with 300, a slick and visually arresting but ultimately shallow movie. It shows in most of the post-Nolan DC movies: style over substantive character development, and hackneyed, unimaginative storytelling. But there's hope. DC made a very smart choice hiring Patty Jenkins to direct Wonder Woman. Jenkins directed Monster, for which Charlize Theron won the Oscar for Best Actress. Again, an unconventional choice but one who knows character. James Wan, a horror director, for Aquaman had mixed results, though it performed decently at the box office. DC made another imaginative choice with Todd Phillips, a comedy director (Hangover),for Joker. If DC wants to elevate this darker, less family-friendly movie universe it really needs to make smarter directing choices going forward. Get people who have shown a unique voice in their earlier work, and who understand character.
 
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S

snakeeyes

Audioholic Samurai
Not every movie gets a director like Guillermo del Toro with Hellboy 2004 and Hellboy 2. (Dark Horse Comics).
 
S

snakeeyes

Audioholic Samurai
I have to say I still like the XMen movies the best (Marvel) even though Dark Knight Rises (DC) is one bad ass movie. :)
 
J

JengaHit

Audioholic Intern
I have to say I still like the XMen movies the best (Marvel) even though Dark Knight Rises (DC) is one bad ass movie. :)
Yeah, X-Men 1& 2, First Class, and Days of Future Past were really good. All those had former indie directors who helmed or produced smart crime/action thrillers. Bryan Singer (XM 1&2, Days OFP) had directed The Usual Suspects. And Matthew Vaughn (XM First Class) had produced Guy Ritchie films, then directed Layer Cake and Kick-Ass, then later Kingsmen.

And the Dark Knight trilogy stands apart as a landmark in comics movies. Writing/directing that had smart action, and drama geared to adults, not just an adolescent audience.
 
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davidscott

davidscott

Audioholic General
Yeah, X-Men 1& 2, First Class, and Days of Future Past were really good. All those had former indie directors who helmed or produced smart crime/action thrillers. Bryan Singer (XM 1&2, Days OFP) had directed The Usual Suspects. And Matthew Vaughn (XM First Class) had produced Guy Ritchie films, then directed Layer Cake and Kick-Ass, then later Kingsmen.

And the Dark Knight trilogy stands apart as a landmark in comics movies. Writing/directing that had smart action, and drama geared to adults, not just an adolescent audience.
The Dark Knight Trilogy was indeed great. Maybe the best portrayal ever of the Joker...
And Patrick Stewart and Hugh Jackman defined their respective characters...
 
Wayde Robson

Wayde Robson

Audioholics Anchorman
Not every movie gets a director like Guillermo del Toro with Hellboy 2004 and Hellboy 2. (Dark Horse Comics).
Del Toro was in the midst of a peak when he did Hellboy. He did some great movies. It wasn't a comic movie, as far as I know, but there's something about Pan's Labyrinth that really got to me. Just hearing the music from that film evokes my first viewing. Possibly partly due to becoming a parent around the time I saw it. But Del Toro is definitely one of the greats IMHO.
 
Wayde Robson

Wayde Robson

Audioholics Anchorman
I have to say I still like the XMen movies the best (Marvel) even though Dark Knight Rises (DC) is one bad ass movie. :)
The first X-Men came out at a time the "Superhero" movie was still risky. In 2000, I think our expectations may have been on the low side, mine were. We had little evidence that a Marvel comics movie could be given premium treatment.

Although Blade was a great superhero movie that took the source material seriously, it seemed to take place in it's own universe. Blade didn't hint at a wider Marvel universe the way X-Men did. I still think that first X-Men movie ushered in the renaissance of the superhero movies. I'll always remember being blown away by it and was primed for Raimi's Spider-Man movie that arrived soon after and IMHO was equally great as X-Men.
 
J

JengaHit

Audioholic Intern
Del Toro was in the midst of a peak when he did Hellboy. He did some great movies. It wasn't a comic movie, as far as I know, but there's something about Pan's Labyrinth that really got to me. Just hearing the music from that film evokes my first viewing. Possibly partly due to becoming a parent around the time I saw it. But Del Toro is definitely one of the greats IMHO.
Yeah, you can see the visual and stylistic lineage between PL and Hellboy. PL was fantasy as political allegory at its best. It didn't hit you over the head with political soapboxing but knitted its political allegory organically into its emotional core and characters. A movie that stays with you.
 
Wayde Robson

Wayde Robson

Audioholics Anchorman
Yeah, you can see the visual and stylistic lineage between PL and Hellboy. PL was fantasy as political allegory at its best. It didn't hit you over the head with political soapboxing but knitted its political allegory organically into its emotional core and characters. A movie that stays with you.
That ability to avoid hitting the audience over the head with political commentary, but still having a clear message without obvious conclusions that invites viewers to draw their own interpretations, is definitely a lost art today.
 
J

JengaHit

Audioholic Intern
The Dark Knight Trilogy was indeed great. Maybe the best portrayal ever of the Joker...
And Patrick Stewart and Hugh Jackman defined their respective characters...
And Ian McKellen and Michael Fassbender as older and younger Magneto were also compelling.
 
Wayde Robson

Wayde Robson

Audioholics Anchorman
And Ian McKellen and Michael Fassbender as older and younger Magneto were also compelling.
I forget which X-Men movie it was, but it was the first with Fassbender as young Magneto, I thought the X-Men series really got good again for awhile there. But there was a scene where Fassbender was traveling, looking for something I believe, and there was a scene of him in the tropics somehow in the past, perhaps the 60s or some other decade. I just have that scene in a bar or cantina or something emblazoned in my mind. I remember being so impressed with Fassbender playing younger Magneto that I was convinced they could make a series of movies or a show based on just that scene.

I'd love to see a Fassbender-Magneto series from the "lost years" between his childhood in a concentration camp and becoming full-Magneto. Those could be some compelling stories. I think of it as a variant of what they're doing with that show Better Call Saul, an episodic character study of how an idealistic person becomes corrupted by circumstance and power. I'd definitely watch it. We need to get Vince Gilligan on that pronto! But only after he finishes Better Call Saul.
 
J

JengaHit

Audioholic Intern
I forget which X-Men movie it was, but it was the first with Fassbender as young Magneto, I thought the X-Men series really got good again for awhile there. But there was a scene where Fassbender was traveling, looking for something I believe, and there was a scene of him in the tropics somehow in the past, perhaps the 60s or some other decade. I just have that scene in a bar or cantina or something emblazoned in my mind. I remember being so impressed with Fassbender playing younger Magneto that I was convinced they could make a series of movies or a show based on just that scene.

I'd love to see a Fassbender-Magneto series from the "lost years" between his childhood in a concentration camp and becoming full-Magneto. Those could be some compelling stories. I think of it as a variant of what they're doing with that show Better Call Saul, an episodic character study of how an idealistic person becomes corrupted by circumstance and power. I'd definitely watch it. We need to get Vince Gilligan on that pronto! But only after he finishes Better Call Saul.
Yes, that scene was XM First Class, in Argentina after he followed a lead from interrogating a Swiss Banker. He was tracking the Nazi Kevin Bacon character (who had killed Magneto's mother). Fassbender has been good in every XM he's been in, even XM Apocalypse, which is one of the weaker recent entries. Thinking of the scene where the police inadvertantly kill his daughter and wife and he loses it. He's one of the best actors working now, period. Such range: art films, contemporary drama, period drama, action thrillers, sci-fi. He was great as Danny Boyle and Aaron Sorkin's Steve Jobs, and as David Cronenberg's Carl Jung. He makes even bad or mediocre films he's in watchable. Good idea you have re Magneto lost years. Fassbender has already sketched out Magneto's progression from an angry man who's continually battling all the personal loss and bad sh*t that comes his way, to a man Xavier persuades to be his better angel, bridging to the older McKellen Magneto who's later the disillusioned cynic about humanity. Your idea would flesh out that development even more.
 
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S

snakeeyes

Audioholic Samurai
The first X-Men came out at a time the "Superhero" movie was still risky. In 2000, I think our expectations may have been on the low side, mine were. We had little evidence that a Marvel comics movie could be given premium treatment.

Although Blade was a great superhero movie that took the source material seriously, it seemed to take place in it's own universe. Blade didn't hint at a wider Marvel universe the way X-Men did. I still think that first X-Men movie ushered in the renaissance of the superhero movies. I'll always remember being blown away by it and was primed for Raimi's Spider-Man movie that arrived soon after and IMHO was equally great as X-Men.
I meant Dark Knight but the entire trilogy was top notch.

The new Joker movie is really different from what I expected. I definitely believed he was mentally ill. :)
 
J

JengaHit

Audioholic Intern
I meant Dark Knight but the entire trilogy was top notch.

The new Joker movie is really different from what I expected. I definitely believed he was mentally ill. :)
Haven't seen new Joker yet. Been resisting it because I got a little fatigued from all the dehumanized, sadistic, and debauched villainy in the Fox Gotham TV series (stopped watching it last year),and the trailer for Joker suggested more of the same. Heath Ledger (RIP) has been the best Joker I've yet seen, not having seen new Joker. Do you think Joaquin Phoenix surpasses Ledger?
 
S

snakeeyes

Audioholic Samurai
Haven't seen new Joker yet. Been resisting it because I got a little fatigued from all the dehumanized, sadistic, and debauched villainy in the Fox Gotham TV series (stopped watching it last year),and the trailer for Joker suggested more of the same. Heath Ledger (RIP) has been the best Joker I've yet seen, not having seen new Joker. Do you think Joaquin Phoenix surpasses Ledger?
It’s an origin story. He’s not really the Joker just yet. Not a fearless gangster or anything like that like in the Dark Knight. This is a completely different role. It would take a sequel to really measure it apples to apples.
 
davidscott

davidscott

Audioholic General
Haven't seen new Joker yet. Been resisting it because I got a little fatigued from all the dehumanized, sadistic, and debauched villainy in the Fox Gotham TV series (stopped watching it last year),and the trailer for Joker suggested more of the same. Heath Ledger (RIP) has been the best Joker I've yet seen, not having seen new Joker. Do you think Joaquin Phoenix surpasses Ledger?
Agreed. I Haven't seen the new Joker movie yet but it will be hard to beat Heath Ledger's Joker. Also my favorite portrayal ever.
 

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