Yes, I am either preaching to the choir or about to get crucified by the DC Darkness fandom, but oh well, fight me.
Spoilers ahead, so if you haven’t watched any of Justice League or Infinity War, it’s best you read this afterwards.
Avengers: Infinity Wars’ first three days in the box office already blew DC’s similar ensemble movie Justice League out of the water just in terms of ticket sales.
Pre-selling was a wet dream for Marvel Studios, but was also an equal nightmare for moviegoers who forgot to secure early seats. I’ve never seen a movie that dominated the theatres but was sold to the rafters in a long while.
So why has Infinity War prospered, with the weight of its cast possibly dragging it down to a complete mess, while DC’s 5-hero all-star lineup been a disappointment? Let’s take a look:
Marvel rewards its fans (if they pay attention)
This I think is what Marvel Studios does best. If you’re loyal and you pay attention, you get scenes, lines, and even images that hearken to previous movies. In the first Avengers movie, Loki received the Hulk’s tender attentions after Tony Stark said, “We have a Hulk.” Infinity War’s first scene shows Loki uttering the exact same line, but to his benefit. It was satisfying and endearing. If you paid attention to both movies, you would have gotten the feeling of looking at bookends.
Marvel’s supplementary content is unbeatable
Another thing that Marvel does well is make content that amuses (and hypes) audiences and reinforces their characters. T’Challa’s Black Jeopardy is a great example of this technique, as well as the years-old but still hilarious SHIELD Dubsmash Battle. Thor’s stint as a roomie on Earth while Civil War raged on was pure genius, showing that Asgardians are just like us–but with godlike powers.
Marvel makes mistakes but the mistakes still serve a purpose
Even Thor: the Dark World, which could arguably be the worst movie in the lineup, still served a purpose. It showcased the power of the Reality Stone, and contributed to Thor’s losses. If you took it out, it would have glossed over important parts of the universe. It was essential. For all I cared, the first three-fourths of Batman V. Superman was unnecessary.
The DC Universe should never have been dark
It did a disservice to such great symbols such as Superman, Wonder Woman, and even Batman. The only thing that was supposed to be dark in DC was the Nolanverse, and that stood apart from the rest of the movies. Superman is literally all that is good about humanity packaged in a solar-energy powered hunk. Instead, we got a zombie Kryptonian. So far, only Wonder Woman shines brightly.
DC still doesn’t know how to do a villain
With such a plethora to choose from, such as Darkseid (who was actually mentioned in Justice League) or Vandal Savage (a Cro-Magnon man with incredible mental powers), I don’t quite understand why Steppenwolf was the choice.
Was it to match the “herald” persona that Loki had during the first Avengers movie?
If so, then they missed the part where the first Thor movie established Loki’s character and began his fall from grace. In the end, all Steppenwolf was was a really strong bad guy who decided Earth was next in his search for Mother Boxes. At least to the people who didn’t watch the movies.
But Marvel still has its weak points
Even Marvel fans can note that the individual movies are starting to get repetitive. Mostly Caucasian males who overcome weaknesses or tragedies and are thrust reluctantly into the position of heroism (or at least something that can challenge even the gods). Will they address it?
DC has at least given us Wonder Woman, who is thirsty (and indeed, Fated) to save the world so much that she chases it. The first Marvel headliner who is female is Captain Marvel, which comes out at the end of this year.
Another critique is that while the humour keeps the characters entertaining, it feels too forced. Marvel has relied on humour to connect characters to each other and to audiences, and some may feel that they rely on it too much.
Nonetheless, numbers, story writing, and a strong fanbase have cemented Marvel Studios as the superhero outfit to beat–if anyone can.
This article does not necessarily reflect the views of Alvinology.