Jizelle Mercado

SPOTLIGHT: Marvel vs. DC

October 29, 2021


The Marvel Cinematic Universe and Marvel Comics are some of the most recognizable entertainment franchises in American media today. With a fan base ranging in all ages, genders and races, Marvel characters are loved by many.

A multitude of Marvel fans, freshmen Nicole Tracy included, actually prefer the franchise over DC not because of the comics but because of the motion pictures.

Their opinion is not uncommon among the Marvel fandom. For many fanatics, the MCU films attracted them, not the comic books. Like Tracy, junior Brian Sawaya loves how Marvel has made the entire MCU a consecutive, interwoven reality.

“It’s really cool that Marvel has a grand timeline and the plots from all the movies tie into each other,” Sawaya said.

On top of harmonious storylines, Marvel is further praised for their casting and cinematic signatures, in regards to soundtracks and characters’ backgrounds.

“I feel like Marvel always strikes it good with casting, like with Chris Evans as Captain America and Chris Pratt as Starlord,” junior Vincent Elloso said,

Elloso’s observation is in stark contrast to DC Films, who had conflict circling around the announcement that Robert Pattinson would be the new Batman.

More issues stirred in DC territory as watchers of the 2016 “Suicide Squad” or the 2020 “Birds of Prey” argued that Harley Quinn was inconsistent in her written character.

“In ‘Suicide Squad,’ her character was written by a man, so she was overtly sexual to appease male audiences. But in ‘Birds of Prey,’ she feels completely different,” Elloso said. “The whole cinematic universe of DC is just inconsistent and messy.”

Tracy also pointed out that they love the Marvel fandom specifically for the welcoming community of fellow enthusiasts.

“I love the fandom of Marvel… I follow fan accounts and meme accounts, and they’re so friendly to talk about movies, comics, shows and rumors for future Marvel projects with,” Tracy said.

According to Tracy, Spotify playlists based on MCU characters or specific MCU films are becoming popular among fans.

“The fandom who makes them are just amazing. They really know how to pick songs that remind you of the movie or character,” Tracy said.

Because of their relatable and diverse characters in both the films and comics, Marvel is able to charm an entire range of audiences.

“I like Thor the best. He’s the most relatable because he got lazy after ‘Infinity War’ and played video games all day,” Sawaya said.

Similar to Sawaya, Elloso’s favorite superhero is Spiderman. Much of the Marvel fandom note their comfort characters to be their favorite because they found common ground in their similarities, despite them being fictional.

“He is a teenager like me, just trying to figure out life too,” Elloso said.

Many believe Marvel always keeps their audience lured in by promising new content consistently. Through platforms like Disney Plus, Marvel promoted their releases, such as “Loki” and “Falcon & the Winter Soldier” and “The Eternals,” which is coming to theaters this November. This is in comparison to DC, whose film premieres usually have gaps of several years.

Sophomore Bella Acuna said she admired Marvel because of how their franchise extended beyond just films. Marvel owns multiple comics, toys, video games and merchandise that the fans can further obsess over.

Many fans love to grow their merchandise collection. Tracy for example, has already stacked her shelves to the brim with rows of Marvel Funko Pops. Acuna is growing her assemblage of Marvel graphic shirts and a Spiderman comics backpack.

What makes Marvel special to many is not only the products of their franchise, but the impact they have on their fans.

“It’s how the crowd would thrill over something on the screen,” Elloso said. “It’s just a spectacular feeling, to feel all the love for the characters and movie.”

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Founded in 1934, DC is one of the largest comic book publishers in America that also makes movies with Warner Bros. Heroes like Superman and Batman have all taken great action in DC and are a part of why it is so big today.

Mathematics teacher Marlene Spector watched superhero cartoons as a kid. At the time, she watched both Marvel and DC cartoons but was not aware of the two universes.

“There was the Justice League on Saturday morning cartoons, and my brother and I would watch Saturday morning cartoons. I grew up with Superman, Batman and Wonder women. That’s what I grew up with, so that’s what I’ve known the longest,” Spector said. “I was never a fan of Spiderman. I just never really took to Spiderman, The Hulk was a TV series when I was a kid and I used to watch that, and I did like that. I didn’t know at the time that there was a Marvel and a DC.”

Similar to Spector, senior Grayson Romero became interested in DC because of Superman.

“I think it was Superman, one of their oldest shows and cartoons,” Romero said. “Especially since Superman is one of the oldest heroes ever, and they still have it going.”

Although Spector originally started out watching other DC cartoons, her favorite DC superhero is Batman.

“My absolute favorite DC character is Batman. Batman really has no superpowers,” Spector said. “Batman has overcome fear, his fear of bats and his situation and made something from nothing”

Senior Marcos Santos also likes Batman due to his origin story and his incentives to fight. The reason why he prefers DC over Marvel is due to what the DC superheroes fight for. Santos likes how they fight for a cause rather than just against a villian.

“I feel like DC is unlike Marvel because it’s surrounded by darkness. Heroes fight for rights, justice and for the society to be safe,” Santos said.

Similar to Santos, Romero finds Marvel to be more juvenile than DC.

“I feel like with Marvel, they tried so hard to be funny and all this,” Romero said. “I like how DC is just serious.”

Although Spector favors DC more, after watching many of the Marvel movies over summer, she has found a new appreciation for the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

“I like the way that they interact with each other,” Spector said. “I think that in DC, it’s a little less of that. They try a few times to put them together, but it’s more a Batman movie, a Superman movie and Wonder Woman movie – they’re separate, which is opposed to Marvel. They’re all together, so it’s just different”

Furthermore, she also criticized how women are portrayed in the DC universe, as many female characters are dressed in more provocative clothing.

“It wasn’t until I got older that maybe then I started noticing it,” Spector said. “I don’t know if it was a thing as I was growing up, and it was also a different time”

For Spector, DC superheros can be seen as a reminder that anyone can make something of themselves.

“Anybody can be a superhero because it’s just all within us,” Spector said.

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