Marvel v DC Comics is a battle dating back to 1940s, but the rivalry appears to have intensified over the last decade as the cinematic universes of both companies continue to expand in film and TV series.
Since the turn of the century, Marvel Comics has released 36 films whereas DC Comics has released just 13 films. Between the year 1944 and the year 2000, Marvel released seven films while DC Comics had 15 live-action films released.
Right now, it looks as if every DC Comics and Marvel Comics character will get their own standalone film series at some point in the next few years. In the earlier years, Superman and Batman dominated DC Comics films whereas Captain America featured twice in Marvel Comics’ seven films.
However, over the last few years, all animated comic characters have been coming to life on the big screens and on television sets via TV shows/series. The producers of these shows are becoming creative by the day and are now taking advantage of the cinematic universe characters to introduce others that very few people have been aware of.
While in most animated series characters are normally lumped up together in a single show, Marvel and DC Comics are now producing standalone shows for each character alongside the single shows for multiple characters.
A good example of a single show with multiple characters is Marvel’s Agents of Shield for Marvel Comics, while DC Comics recently released Legends of Tomorrow.
— Legends of Tomorrow (@TheCW_Legends) February 11, 2016
There has been a huge debate regarding crossover of characters in both Marvel Comics and DC Comics films and TV shows. Just by producing standalone films and series for various characters in Marvel Comics and DC Comics, the two rivals already appear to be overstretching things a little bit, especially given the level of quality expected from them.
To add to this, they are also rebooting films very frequently as compared to the past, albeit with no major improvements from previous releases. For instance, Marvel Comics has already rebooted Fantastic 4 and Spiderman in less than a decade after producing the last installment in the film series. Both reboots underperformed when compared to their predecessors, and this tells the story of just what the fans expect from the producers in every new superhero film.
Currently, DC Comics has four major TV shows running including Supergirl, Arrow, The Flash, and Legends of Tomorrow. The Flash’s lead character Barry Allen/The Flash was initially introduced via Arrow. Though he never got to showcase his speed then, the two shows have since had a handful of crossovers. On the other hand, Marvel Comics appears to prefer having just one superhero show running at a time.
— ENSTARS (@EnStars) February 3, 2016
Right now, Marvel’s Agent Carter is the only major superhero TV show from Marvel Comics on Air, while Marvel’s Agents of Shield returns after Agent Carter’s conclusion on March 8, 2016. Marvel also produced Jessica Jones, one of the least famous characters in the Marvel cinematic universe, via Netflix along with Daredevil, and the same network is also expected to air Marvel’s Iron Fist and Marvel’s Luke Cage in the near future.
While DC Comics has been leading in terms of the number of superhero TV shows, Marvel Comics has been on top in terms of the number of superhero films released over the last few years. However, judging by the current trend, it appears as though both are working hard to catch up with each other in areas where they seem to trail.
For instance, DC Comics is scheduled to release 10 films between now and the year 2020, including the widely anticipated Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, whose final trailer was released today, and Suicide Squad, which is expected to grace our screens on August 5, 2016.
— Henry Cavill (@HenryCavillOrg) February 11, 2016
Now, while quality has remained high for the superhero films, the TV shows produced based on DC Comics and Marvel Comics have sometimes been wanting. For instance, Supergirl has only managed an average rating of 6.4/10 according to IMDB ratings. This compares to Arrow 8.1/10 and The Flash 8.2/10 while Legends of Tomorrow, which has aired only five episodes, has averaged 8.1/10.
On the other hand, Marvel’s Agents of Shield has an IMDB average rating of 7.5/10 while Agent Carter, which is in its second season, has an average rating of 8.1/10. Illustratively, it appears as though the more episodes/series produced, the lower the average ratings. It is also clear that shows with fewer episodes per season tend to perform better in terms of ratings when compared to those with several episodes. The same applies to the number of seasons per series.
Therefore, it appears as though, while the fans want quality, DC Comics and Marvel Comics are hell-bent on providing quantity. DC Comics and Marvel Comics appear to be determined to give each character in their cinematic universes a standalone TV show and film series in the next few years. This will no doubt get the attention of character-specific viewers, thereby increasing their revenues.
The fans appear to prefer just a few superhero TV shows and films at a time rather than several of them as is the current case. While competition is meant to improve product quality, this appears to be ruining it and it’s increasingly becoming unhealthy.
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