The DC & Marvel Fandom Disparity

dc-marvel-logosA lot is always made of the difference between DC and Marvel. Not only with respect to the comics, but more recently, with their cinematic endeavors. You will find your purists who will align on one side of the fence or the other.  You will find your cine-philes who just like the movies and don’t know much of the history. You will even find those who love all the things – though they are a rare breed.

I myself, was a cine-phile, drawn in by Iron Man in 2008, and haven’t stopped since. I morphed over the years into going back through history and reading the comics from which these stories, loosely or otherwise are based. But, now, I have turned into one of the rare that loves all the things. I have stated several times, and if you look back through some of my history on this site (here, here, here, and here), I most definitely have a bias toward Marvel, specifically those from Marvel Studios. However, I still eagerly anticipate DC movies. The Wonder Woman footage screened at SDCC looked incredible. The trailer of Justice League has me SO excited for that movie. On the Fox side of the house, I absolutely loved Deadpool, though I wish they would get their ish together like Sony did and realize that playing along with Marvel Studios might not be such a bad idea (my thoughts another time).

The thing is folks, we are living in the “Golden Age of Superhero Cinema”, can we please not mess it up for each other? If you are a DC purist, that’s fine! Marvel purist, go ahead! Like both? Enjoy yourself! Because we are living in the best time for these stories. 

Which leads me to wonder, why the divide? Why are the “two camps” so different? Why do we have the director of Suicide Squad proclaiming “F**k Marvel” at the premiere, soliciting a response from Stan Lee himself? 

Sure some of that might be playful banter between two rivals on the playing field, but why egg on the fans of the divided camps? Why are the fandoms so different?


Wes Harden

Wes Harden

An avid fan of all things Disney/Marvel, Wes hails from Virginia, and is an analyst and veteran. IG @weshardeniv

  • gradybridges

    There is a divide because there are no good DCU movies yet. DC has the most recognizable characters but hasn’t capitalized on it yet. Marvel has had a plan for over a decade and it shows. The Civil War fight is a culmination of all the previous films.

    The DCU wanted the success without the set up and work. They wanted to copy Marvel stating at The Avengers instead of Iron Man 1. The DCU has no plan.

    It’s a shame because they could have great movies. Imagine Suicide Sqad after 3 Batman movies. You can introduce them in the There. But they wanted the short cut and it shows.

    • Lupin

      I dont think you read the article at all.
      Just enjoy the films and If u don’t, just keep it moving.
      The problem with Marvel vs DC atm is that MCU fans (including critics and bloggers) are obsessed with bullying DC over the things they don’t like about it.
      Just move on and let DC fans enjoy their material. The films have made lots of money and they have fans who like their products.

      • xxjinzaxx

        Too many miss the point, man. Rabies is the sh***.

        • Steve Steve

          Is the point to blind ourselves to flaws and pretend that everything is awesome?

      • Steve Steve

        Buck up buttercup. DC fans (like you apparently) seem to have incredibly thin skin. All I read from DC fans for the last 2 years was “just wait for BvS/Suicide Squad, it’s gonna be a game changer,” “BvS/Suicide Squad will take CBMs to a whole new level” “DC will make serious movies for adults” etc. Now that we’ve seen them and all of their warts DC fans are demanding that we all pretend the warts don’t exist. Well, bite me.

        Maybe fans like yourself should move past ignoring the faults of CBMs (like we all did in the early 2000s) and join MCU fans who point out the flaws and demand better.

        Sorry, not sorry.

        P.S. Even though I consider BvS and SS to be bad/terrible movies, I respect that you like them. I shamelessly enjoy many bad/terrible movies myself, but that does not prevent me from observing and proclaiming just how bad/terrible they are. (I enjoy the heII out of batman and Robin, Troy, Bloodsport, Expendables 3,Dinner for Schmucks, and many more)

        • xxjinzaxx

          buddy. sweety. princess. darling. however you designate yourself. that is in your opinion. obsessing over your need to share your opinion to denounce someone else’s will not work in a million years. you will not change minds, you will not change anything. simply, you do not have that kind of power. let others enjoy what they do, and be in peace hating what you do.

          • Steve Steve

            Even if I wanted to, I have no way of preventing someone else’s enjoyment of a film. My criticisms are my own, offered to this small community as they are. Your likes are your own, also offered to this small community as they are. We are not actually opposing each other. We’re merely expressing our fandom and opinions.

            I do not object to your opinion or your tastes. The only thing I object to is being told to silence my criticism because it conflicts with someone else’s viewpoint. As I said above, I don’t care that you like it (in fact I honestly think it’s awesome when fans get something they never had before). Liking a film and objectively evaluating a film are mutually exclusive concepts.

          • TylerPCR

            You’re clearly not reading @SteveSteve comments. Look at Fantastic 4 for example. People wanted a new FF movie because lets face it (like Steve is saying, Marvel fans do face it), the early 2000s were trash CBM that were just using the characters names to bring people into theaters. Fox ends up making the reboot and Marvel fans demand the rights be given back to Marvel. Instead of saying “It’s ok you tried, we’re just happy to see them on screen again.”

            Social media is a powerful tool. If you want something from a studio, just hound them enough and they’ll give it to you because at the end of the day they want your money. Look at Deadpool for example, it was held off for 9 years because of an executive that didn’t know the fan base (which killed me cause I followed every rumor from day 1), but because the fans stated their demands persistently, we all got to enjoy the end result.

            Basically, stop saying your standards are high and then accepting a product of a lower standard than you set. Cause if you just accept it, they’ll keep giving you subpar products cause you’re still giving them your money anyways

          • SAMURAI36

            I agree, social media is powerful. And that is where DC is thriving.

        • Marquis de Sade


        • Lupin

          Lmfao BvS and SS are great movies. I don’t need your opinion on the matter, save it Bro. I enjoy what I enjoy.
          The problem is that you MCU fans follow the crowd and don’t know how to forge individual opinions. Just bcoz someone else tells you something is good or not, that’s enough to control your perspective.
          Well you’re free to be sheep.

          • Steve Steve

            I am a film fan. I am a CBM fan. I was there opening night to see MoS, BvS, and Suicide Squad and each time I was excited. I don’t need anyone else to tell me what I thought about them. However, after I’ve seen a movie I like to take my perspective and compare it to others’ perspectives. Therein I am able to catch things that I missed and to see where others derive their appreciation or contempt.

            BvS has been talked about enough so I’ll focus on Suicide Squad. There are several fundamental flaws regarding story structure, character development, dialogue, and editing. There was an obvious indifference to the message of the film. The characters are supposed to be bad-guys but their stories are redemptive. I loved the concept they sold us on. I loved the casting, the director, and the gall that it took for a Hollywood studio to do something different. Except they didn’t do anything different. It was a poor rehash of Guardians with a sprinkling of Deadpool sensibilities. All the promise that this film had produced a mess whose worst crime is unoriginality. I do not believe that this was the film Ayers set out to make. Suicide Squad deserves a lot of criticism, and the fandom around it (while not a problem in and of itself) is damaging the future prospects of event filmmaking. Will the sequel be better? Apparently it doesn’t have to be. That is an incredibly sad state of affairs.

            I don’t think my opinion is infallible or that others must value it. I do think my opinion comes from a wider perspective than most, and therefore is inherently more valuable than most.

            Like I said before, I have no objections to you liking what you like, nor would I ever seek to change your palate. I do, however, strongly object to calls for the silencing of my criticisms of flaws that I see. I take no joy in tearing down Suicide Squad or any film. I do think valid criticism is essential for any enterprise to succeed.

            Stop crossing your tastes with any kind of objectivity. Get over your inferiority complex regarding the MCU. Marvel is not hurting DC, conversely, they are probably helping drive interest in other CBM properties. Apparently you want to be an outraged DC fan, so by all means proceed. But I hope you’ll grow up a bit. Be better Lupin.

            Also, regarding my opinion, and because he’s not a pu$$y:

      • Axxell

        The problem with Marvel vs DC atm is that MCU fans including critics and bloggers are obsessed with bullying DC over the things they don’t like about it.

        Maybe if DC fans weren’t so arrogant and dismissive of the MCU, people wouldn’t care.

    • Steve Steve

      I’d say MoS was a good film, it is just not what many want from a Superman film. BvS and SS were both bad films with some redeeming qualities that made DC fans happy.

      Agreed that WB wanted to manufacture a universe to enter the MCU’s marketplace. I also agree that their rush prevented any plan from being settled upon. The thing that makes me most angry is that WB had none of the adversity of Marvel Studios, yet is being completely out-done.

      Disagree that SS was early. Suicide Squad could have easily been the third DCEU film (like it was). It just needed some more development time to iron out the script. It could have been something special.

    • SAMURAI36

      There is a divide because there are no good DCU movies yet. DC has the most recognizable characters but hasn’t capitalized on it yet.

      Ahh, yes… The age-old Marvel revisionist narrative, that says movies didn’t happen until Marvel started making them. You are aware that DC was making movies (good, bad, or indifferent) when Marvel could barely keep cartoons on TV, let alone make a single movie.

      Marvel has had a plan for over a decade and it shows. The Civil War fight is a culmination of all the previous films.

      Wow, so from 2008 to 2016 equals “over a decade”? See, this is why there’s such a disparity between the franchises…. Marvel fans can’t seem to be honest about any of this.

      The DCU wanted the success without the set up and work. They wanted to copy Marvel stating at The Avengers instead of Iron Man 1. The DCU has no plan.

      Right, because MOS is somehow Avengers. Do you hear how ridiculous you sound? Never mind the fact that DC just started their Extended universe 3 years ago. Whereas Marvel is into their 8th year (which according to YOUR math, equals a decade; stay in school, kids. This is what nein a Marvel fan gets you).

      3 years in, Marvel had no plan either. Their second film was a complete failure, that they jade to share studios with.

      It’s a shame because they could have great movies. Imagine Suicide Sqad after 3 Batman movies. You can introduce them in the There. But they wanted the short cut and it shows.

      Why do we need 3 Batman movies, in order to get Suicide Squad? That makes zero sense. Besides, we have 3 Batman movies already. We actually have 9 Batman films (9.5, if we count BVS).

      This whole “DC has no plan” shpeel is getting tedious in its falsehood. Just because DC is not following the Marvel way, doesn’t mean they have no plan. Besides, if they followed Marvel to the letter, then you Marvel Zombies would then accuse DC of being copycats. Either way, DC is d&mned if they do/don’t. Which is why DC should do precisely what they are doing, which is follow their own path. Which, despite what you think, is actually working for them.

      BVS alone has already grossed more than 90% of all Marvel films (both Disney & non-Disney) to date. MOS did about the same for about 80%. SS has already broken records. And they are only 3 movies into their shared universe. Marvel didn’t have that level of success until their 5th movie.

      And, you act like Marvel didn’t have their own growing pains at the start of their venture. Or that Marvel doesn’t have nearly a dozen STINKERS attached to their name as well. Unless you think the Ghost Rider, DD, Punisher or FF franchises were some sort of mega hits?

      In the meantime, there has been a divide long before there were any movies. Well, at least any Marvel ones. These two franchises have been warring, almost since their respective inceptions, almost a century ago.

      Meanwhile, for every fail that you try to drum up from DC, I can cote twice as many for Marvel. Where is Marvel in the video game world? Oh, that’s right, “they have no plan”. What’s the last piece of GOOD animation Marvel has put out? No plan there either. In case you haven’t noticed, Marvel’s comic book output is on the decline. All these billion dollar films, & none the corresponding books with those characters can make the top 20, let alone top 10 on the comics sales charts.

      And let’s not talk about live TV. DC has dominated in that realm since the 60’s, & continues to do so in the present. Meanwhile, Marvel’s TV content is getting cancelled, or is on the chopping block to be cancelled. 3 Marvel TV shows in pre-production have been cancelled within the last 3 months. AoShit is on its way out. Netflix is all Marvel has going for it on the TV front.

      DC is in a great place, regardless of what you think about it.

      • Axxell

        This right here is why people fight…the perennially in denial DC fan who won’t give up trying to convince himself that everything they do is better, even against reality saying otherwise.

      • Math

        Iron Man may have came out in 2008, but it takes at least a couple years to make a movie like this. So technically, he’s not wrong by saying they had a plan for over a decade. You don’t start your plan after your first movie in a series is released. You start it before you write your first draft. Though I doubt Civil War specifically was part of that plan 10 years ago, I’m sure they had a wild fantasy that one day, that type of story could be told on the big screen.

        That being said, it’s clear that DC also has a plan. They wouldn’t announce movies all the way to 2020 if they had no plan. Maybe they are still somewhat worried about their plan, and why wouldn’t you be?They have so much time, people and budget invested in that plan.

        • SAMURAI36

          Iron Man may have came out in 2008, but it takes at least a couple years to make a movie like this. So technically, he’s not wrong by saying they had a plan for over a decade.

          The problem that I have with this, is that there’s this constant narrative regarding Marvel and their “plan”. People have romanticized it to the Nth degree.

          For instance, a decade prior to 2008, was 1998. It’s completely ridiculous to insinuate any sort of “plan”, when Marvel as a whole was engulfed in bankruptcy just 2 years before that.

          The only “plan” Marvel had at that time, was to sell off the movie rights to their characters, to no less than SEVEN studios to boot, and hope to recoup financially by way of licensing agreements.

          In the meantime, while their films flounder about as much (if not worse) as DC’s early films, they were engulfed in corporate squabbling of the highest order.

          Their TV end was non-existent. Their animation wing was floundering. They caused the biggest comic book implosion of all comic book history (which the industry is STILL suffering from, even though Marvel continues those same 1990’s tactics, which is leading to their own eventual demise). They had a promising video game catalog, but that eventually petered out.

          X-Men and Spidey were their hottest franchises, but aside from the movies (most of which did moderately), Marvel failed to turn them into the multimedia giants everybody thought they were destined to be.

          Mind you, all of this is during that “planning” decade that you were talking about. All of which is easily referenced.

          It wasn’t till 2009 that the ship was righted–or at least, had begun to be righted. But that was a full year after IM1 had hit the theaters, so there was no indication of any real “plan”, especially since that first film was still in the remnant phase of their restructuring. So was the second film (Hulk), for that matter.

          Granted, IM1 went into development around 2005, but any realization of a “Cinematic Universe” was still a ways away.

          For that matter, Feige himself didn’t help form the “MCC” until 2007. And he’s the guy that Marvel folks like to tout as the “man with the plan” (even though he was directly involved with Marvel Ent. prior to that, as the 2nd in command to Ari Avad), so again I say, where is this vaunted “10-year plan”?

          Here’s the reality: Disney bought Marvel, and they were able to equip them with the mega-budget, and the consistent, kid-friendly formula to pump out pop hit after pop hit.

          That’s it. That’s all. There’s no mystique behind it.

          • Math

            Yeah I can’t disagree with you there. People have a short memory span and usually only focus on what happened in the last few years. There’s no denying DC have made some great movies, and some of them could be argued as being the best movies ever made based on comic book characters.

            The difference is people are usually referring to the MCU vs the DCEU. They are not factoring movies like The Dark Knight or X-men or Spider-man, etc. They are talking about movies fitting in this shared movie universe of Disney/Marvel vs the shared movie universe that WB/DC just started. And I agree with you, it’s too easy to bash DC while they are 3 movies in after Marvel has done a dozen movies and most of them were big hits with both fans and critics. Like you said, Incredible Hulk and Iron Man 2 weren’t the best received movies either and the MCU technically only really became a huge success starting with the Avengers. I even remember how a lot of people were very skeptical about the Avengers working as a movie until it got released. I’m not convinced we would even have a DCEU had the Avengers failed miserably.

            I mean we both know all this and I think we both also know that the people who love to bash DC have the perfect context to do it now, but all WB needs is to release a few good movies and people won’t be able to use these excuses anymore.

            What most people are mad about is that right now, all the problems these people have with these DCEU movies looks very much like it is coming from the WB executives who are interfering with the creative process. It might be true, it might be completely fictional. It doesn’t matter. Marvel has the luxury of a long list of box-office success which bought them faith from the fans, the critics and the studio executives. They have more freedom to do what they want and less executives sweating over the choices made by their crew. WB on the other hand is trying to get to that place where they can fully and blindly trust the people running the productions. And you know what, it’s normal for them to be nervous. They have a lot invested in that shared universe. Even though these.movies might not be all that well critically received, they are still making a ton of money. In the end, that’s what really matters to them.

            I personally still think the best has yet to come from this DCEU and these type of arguments will be a lot less intense once this DCEU has a few more movies to it’s resume. Sooner or later they have to release a few movies that every one absolutely falls in love with.

          • SAMURAI36

            I don’t disagree with you either. At least, not entirely.

            It bugs me to no end, how disingenuous the sentiment against DC is.
            When the MCU first started, it wasn’t just Hulk & IM that was mediocre, but EVERYTHING prior to Avengers, was considered mediocre. The only REAL value those films had, was that they were connected, & even then, it was only loosely so.

            However, as stand-alone films, they were NOT groundbreaking plot-wise. And they certainly weren’t breaking any records in the box office. If the first Cap film had come out, all by its lonesome, with no supporting stories or films before or after, does anyone really think it would have fared well? I say no; in fact, it would be in the same place of obscurity, that the Punisher & Ghost Rider films now occupy.

            The MCU’s saving grace is the fact that it’s a shared universe. My bias aside, none of those films have been Oscar-worthy. However, when it comes to DC, people aren’t allowing them to develop their shared universe, in order to see the fullness of it, the way that they allowed Marvel to do. The bias is intrinsic to the industry now.

            For instance, GOTG came out, with its simplistic plot, mediocre villain, etc. “IT’S THE GREATEST THING EVER!!”

            SS comes out, with similar strengths & weaknesses, & not only do people vilify it for the exact same reasons that they ignored about with GOTG, but then they label SS a failure.

            There’s a gross level of cognitive dissonance that is happening with the fans. And you have only to look at these discussion boards for examples.

            Here’s my conclusion: there’s nothing wrong with the DCEU, as it stands this far. At least, nothing that’s any more/less so with Marvel, in its entirety. For better or worse, the DCEU has been an amazing ride so far, & if, for some reason, it were to ne over after SS, I’d be very happy with what we’d gotten. I don’t need to have it be unanimously praised, in order to validate my enjoyment of it.

            My only concern is the bias that I see leveled against it.

  • Jake Bucsko

    “You will even find those who love all the things – though they are a rare breed”

    Nooooooooooooooooooope. That’s most of us. The people who respond to comments like “Yeah, BvS wasn’t very good” with “LOL OK MARVEL FANBOY HATERS GONNA HATE” are merely an extremely vocal vast minority.

    I love the MCU movies, the X-Men movies (well…most of them), Spider-Man, Donner Superman, Burton Batman, and especially the Nolan Batmans. I like Man of Steel, though didn’t love it, but because I thought Batman v Superman was bad all of a sudden I’m an MCU fanboy who hates movies for grown ups, whatever the **** that means.

    • Joseph Chaisson

      Most of the X-Men movies suck. The best CBM movies are movies done by fans of the source.

      • Jake Bucsko

        That’s why Ghost Rider and The Spirit are classics and nobody likes The Dark Knight or Superman, huh?

        • Joseph Chaisson

          What? Singer wasn’t a fan of X-Men. He jumped ship because he wanted to direct Superman (his Superman holds some of the best reviews out of any DC movie) and Nolan loved Frank Millers Batman and that’s why they were so good.
          What ever you;re smoking put it down.

          • Jake Bucsko

            “Nolan says he did not refer to the Batman comics, and never found the origin story of the characters all in one place in any case. He focused on just telling the best story he could. If he was influenced, it was by earlier Batman movies, some of which he found fanciful. He wanted his movies to be much more grounded in a kind of reality.

            “The source material is irrelevant,” says Nolan. “The challenge with Batman is to find what is a believable character. You put your stamp on it.”

            Still, he was always keenly aware that Batman is an iconic figure and a “classic brand.”

            That’s from a THR article around the time Rises was coming out. The point is that being a huge fan of the source, as Mark Steven Johnson and Frank Miller was, is no guarantee of success. Richard Donner hadn’t read a comic since he was a kid.

          • Joseph Chaisson

            That’s why you see a lot of Frank Miller’s stories inspiring the Dark Knight Trilogy.
            Here is a nice article the wraps up his inspiration from Frank Miller.

          • Joseph Chaisson

            FYI dislike the original source is different then disliking the character. Nolan found Frank Miller’s batman to be more interesting then the early days of Batman. Just like the Russo Brothers not liking the original Captain America but was able to find stories that made the character complex and interesting.

          • Steve Steve

            Indeed, except the Russo’s read all the comics while growing up and Nolan had a tertiary awareness of them while he was growing up.

          • SAMURAI36

            And yet, Snyder was such a huge fan of Miller, that he dedicated his entire last film to it.

          • xxjinzaxx

            Singer’s Superman is the most un-comic book like movie out of all Superman films. Critics like it…yeah. That should tell you plenty of where critics are coming from.

          • Steve Steve

            So what about Nolan’s trilogy? You’re saying the critics are out to lunch on those too?

    • SAMURAI36

      Can you prove this anecdotal assertion?

  • Steve Steve

    There are many examples throughout history of people not appreciating the present, and looking back to see a “Golden Age” that they had lived through without realizing or appreciating it.

    Norm MacDonald was asked by a fan: “What was it like to be on SNL when it was good, considering how bad it is now?” Norm responded: “I remember everyone hating us at the time.” {paraphrasing based on memory}

    I don’t think WB/DC is doing their material or movie fans justice. I think they have so much more to offer than they’re delivering. I remain hopeful for their 2017 films. I am really excited for Flash and Aquaman because they have some supremely talented filmmakers working on those projects and they seem to be taking the necessary time to produce them. I anticipate heralding the arrival of the DCEU into the cinematic elite in 11 months time.

  • xxjinzaxx

    Some of these movies appear to be like trying to feed a child Spinach. While it’s good for the child; the child prefers Fruity Pebbles.

    My metaphor is not meant to alienate or put the blame on one group over the other. It’s more about missing the big picture which may affects the comic book film industry as a whole. The child is the collective conscious, btw. You, me, us, studios, them, etc.

    • Steve Steve

      Wow, inane babble in the guise of a profound statement. You must be a DC fan…

      • louace

        He said he’s opinion in the very polite way
        You on the other hand just tryin’ to make others feel bad
        Not cool

  • Peter James

    Are you new to the internet?

  • louace

    May I ask how is it that anytime that i try to write something that is not
    flattering to Marvel my posts are not approved?

    • Axxell

      Probably because they sück…

      • louace

        Have you read them? No. Then shut your mouth.

  • Angelo Petrino

    I’ve seen ’em all: Marvel, DC, Fox, Sony, Netflix, you name it. And i have enjoyed ’em all. Some less, some more, but for me it’s always been about the movie, not the universe. Maybe it’s my age, but i really don’t have the time and patience for fandom stupidity.