Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Marvel and DC in the Media


For as long as comic books have been popular there has always been a bit of a rivalry between MarvelComics and DC Comics. It has gone from the popularity of certain characters to story-lines to even merchandising.

But with superhero-themed media gaining even more popularity as time goes on, Marvel and DC are now enjoying more success.

Thanks to the launch of Marvel Studios, which eventually kicked off the start of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, as well as being owned under Disney, Marvel’s now enjoying immense success and acclaim in theaters all across the world, winning at the box office at every chance it gets. However, while the movies are an almost guaranteed win for Marvel, their success on television leaves a lot to be desired as their success here has been considered average.

As far as DC goes, the exact opposite is true. Many of DC's latest films that have hit theaters have won significant gains at the box office but opened to average acclaim. At the same time, DC has enjoyed critically praised hit after hit on the small screen as well as in the department of various animated movies. DC's most major television show properties include ‘Arrow’, ‘The Flash’, ‘Gotham’ and most recently, ‘Supergirl’.


‘Arrow’ and ‘The Flash’, both of which are broadcast on the CW network, happen to be part of the same universe and have earned the praise of critics everywhere, with ‘Arrow’ now entering its fourth season and ‘The Flash’ entering its second. ‘Gotham’, which airs on FOX, is also entering its second season and ‘Supergirl’ has only started its premiere season on CBS. Other properties owned by DC include ‘iZombie’, which also airs on the CW, and the upcoming ‘Legends of Tomorrow’, which’s set to debut in 2016. All of the shows have enjoyed positive ratings and reviews, with many citing the loyalty to the comic book characters and pacing as reasons for it.

The acting has also been seen as a positive, a prime example including Grant Gustin, who plays the leading role of Barry Allen a.k.a. ‘The Flash’ in the titular series.

Back to Marvel, which has put out television series of its own, the most notable one coming in the form of Marvel's ‘Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.’, which proved to be a breakout hit when it premiered in 2013. However, despite holding generally positive reviews and being liked by the critics, ratings and viewership of the series has steadily declined since the first season. Regardless of this, the show’s still watched regularly by a significant amount of viewers.

Theaters, on the other hand, are where Marvel truly reigns supreme, as the release of twelve different films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe have proven. It was the release of ‘Iron Man’ in 2008, starring Robert Downey Jr. as the leading role that allowed everything Marvel Studios is doing to take place, stretching all the way to its most recent film, ‘Ant-Man’, in the summer of 2015. Between having acclaimed directors behind these films, casting that many other studios would be jealous of, loyalty to the comics and a huge budget, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has grossed over $9 billion dollars worldwide.

In short, both Marvel and DC do have their weaknesses in the media but more than make up for it in completely different venues.