Better Movies

I’m a member of the Quora community and was recently asked the question: “Why does Marvel make better movies than DC, despite the fact that DC has coller superheroes?” I thought you may want to read how I answered that.

Who makes a cooler superhero, and who is a cooler superhero is a philosophical question for another day. The question is about movies, and by DC I’ll assume you mean the DCEU films (Man of Steel, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Suicide Squad, Wonder Woman, and Justice League). By Marvel, I expect that you are limiting this to the films made by Marvel Studios and not the Sony Spiderman films or the X-Men films from 20th Century Fox Studios.

Marvel MCU

First, let’s remember that a lot of these films are pulling from stories in the comic themselves, and that through the 80s and 90s, when these stories were published in the comics, Marvel had been the dominant company since 1966. Marvel led the way with a lot of sales tactics, but also great stories that excited fans.

Avengers 26 cover

The main difference between Marvel and DC that I have always noted, is that Marvel characters are people, trying to act Godly, where DC characters are Gods, trying to act humanly, (even Batman is a God of Industry and Power). Marvel characters are based in the real world, New York and Chicago, versus DC’s fictitious Metropolis and Gotham Cities.

So why do Marvel movies succeed and DC fail? STORY!

Marvel made Iron Man (the first film) just to make the film and entertain an audience, and they’ve tried to keep true to that in every film since. DC made one film, Man of Steel, then tried to create a universe to cram it and the other films into, then tried to cram that universe into one film. The film was full of so many stories and story teasers that the audience fell out of the adventure cart. The only film that has worked for DC was Wonder Woman, because they kept the focus on one character, not three (Batman v Superman) or seven (Suicide Squad).

This is my big point: Marvel characters are grounded in reality and we can relate to them as people. Tony Stark is a Billionaire like Bruce Wayne, but his flaws are more human. What about a God (Superman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman) makes them relatable? In any film you have to identify with the character before you can root for them, if you don’t make that connection the film hasn’t won you over.

Tony Stark Demon In A Bottle issue

Film Title Year  Writers/Producers Box-Office (Millions)
Iron Man 2008 May 4/2 $ 318.6
Incredible Hulk 2008 June 1/3 $ 134.8
Iron Man 2 2010 May 1/1 $ 312.4
Thor 2011 May 3/1  $ 181.0
Captain America: The First Avenger 2011 July 2/1  $ 176.7
The Avengers 2012 May 1/1  $ 623.3
Iron Man 3 2013 May  2/1 $ 409.0
Man of Steel 2013 June  2/4 $ 291.0
Thor: The Dark World 2013 November 3/1  $ 206.4
Captain America: The Winter Soldier 2014 April 2/1  $ 249.7
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 1 2014 August 2/1  $ 332.5
Avengers: Age of Ultron 2015 May 1/1  $ 459.0
Ant-Man 2015 July 4/1  $ 180.2
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice 2015 March 2/2  $ 330.4
Captain America: Civil War 2016 May  2/1 $ 408.1
Suicide Squad 2016 August 1/2  $ 325.1
Doctor Strange 2016 November 2/1  $ 232.6
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 2017 May 1/1  $ 389.8
Wonder Woman 2017 June 3/4  $ 412.6
Spider-Man: Homecoming 2017 July 6/2  $ 334.2
Thor: Ragnarok 2017 November 3/1  $ 315.0
Justice League 2017 November 3/4  $ 229.0
Black Panther  2018 February  2/2 $ 561.7

Other Reading: Marvel and DC sales figures
19 Questions about Batman v Superman

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