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DC > Marvel

author: ethan butterfield | staff writer

Credit: Warner Brothers

I’m genuinely more excited about what the DC Extended Universe has to bring more than I am about whatever Marvel’s doing.

I swear I’ll stop writing about comic book movies after this article; I just couldn’t let the opportunity pass once it had presented itself. A couple of weeks ago, I had written a piece about whether Marvel was starting to run its course, or if it would keep making money for years to come. Now, any sane person would probably say the latter, but with the recent release of Justice League, I feel I’m forced to call that into question.

I speak no sarcasm when I say that Justice League was the most interesting comic-book-based film I’ve seen in awhile. Full disclosure, when I eventually saw Thor: Ragnarok, it was charming and fun, but it ultimately ended up being the same brand of Marvel movie with a different cast of secondary characters. Justice League, on the other hand, felt more real to me, which is weird. In a film where an alien villain named Steppenwolf comes to earth to seek revenge, “real” isn’t the first term that comes to mind. There I was, though, caring more about the characters and their struggles than if I was in an Avengers film.

It honestly feels like DC puts a little more feeling into its source material relationship-wise. Throughout the movie’s eternity, I liked the dynamic between Clark and Lois, the bantering between Bruce and Diana, and the investment between Barry Allen and his father. It made all the characters feel more human and gave them a more vulnerable touch. I hate to keep making comparisons to Marvel, but I was invested in the final bout of the film. Did I think any of the characters were in danger? Not really, but I knew they all had something on the line that made them worth giving a damn about. Rather than… Are they charming and witty?

Speaking of characters, out of the bunch I’d say Wonder Woman and the Flash are the main standouts from the group. Wonder Woman is the most strong-willed of the team, while the Flash has the funniest moment throughout its run. Cyborg is just there, unfortunately, and is pretty much only a connecting element. If Cyborg’s backstory was flushed out a bit more, that probably would have been better for the character overall. Aquaman was fun and provided an excellent body tone to fall in love with… anyway ….

Overall, the film falls on the spectrum of underrated for me. It has a lot of fun moments that are intertwined with some more emotional ones to make for an excellent starting point to a broader array of possibilities. Where will the universe go after this? Who knows, maybe Darkseid, maybe Lex Luthor, only time will tell. All I know is that I’ll be interested to check it out once it comes around.

So here’s the thing: in regard to all my comments about Marvel, people are going to have their preferences despite what I say about a product. And what I’m saying about the DC product is that, regardless of some Rotten Tomatoes scores, I’m genuinely more excited about what the DC Extended Universe has to bring more than I am about whatever Marvel’s doing. This is because Marvel doesn’t take risks. Sure, they’re lucky and all that, but there’s no attempt to be different from what they initially were. We’re never going to see a solo Black Widow movie; it’s just not going to happen from Marvel. So, say what you will, but DC is the way to go if you want a little risk here and there. Until next time.

 

About Ethan Butterfield