[vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”20819″ img_size=”940×496″ alignment=”center”][vc_column_text]DISCLAIMER: To start off everything, this is not a bashing of the DCEU. More of an observation of both franchises. I am a DC fan. Read all the comics, old and new TV shows and movies. I am part of the minority of people that thoroughly enjoyed Man of Steel and Batman vs Superman, and will defend both movies forever. This article is not claiming which franchises are better or worse. This is an opinion piece based off observation from the effects the MCU has on the general audience and comicbook fans whether you disagree or agree. Also there won’t be spoilers about Endgame in this article.
Now, this weekend, Avengers: Endgame is already at a billion dollars worldwide and over $300 million domestic. This is the result of years of world building and storytelling that culminated to a final battle with Thanos. After watching the film and hearing/seeing responses from social media, and even people that are not known to be huge superhero fans has shown me there are three things that will make it difficult for DC to capture the same magic.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image=”20818″ img_size=”760×404″ alignment=”center”][vc_column_text]EMOTIONAL IMPACT
We can’t deny that we grew up with these characters and loved them for their personalities and their journeys, not their powers. Iron Man started off the Marvel Cinematic Universe with his playboy, billionaire, overconfident, and mostly cocky attitude, but it was his arc throughout his trilogy and the Avengers film that made him relatable in some ways and a funny character to watch. Same situation with Captain America and Thor as each of their solo films showed the audience who these characters are, and why we should even care about their struggles and redemption. Granted, these heroes were not well-known to the general audience so they could not simply go to a team up film and expect it to have great reception. Knowing this, they built off each solo film BECAUSE they had to if they wanted this universe to be successful. It wasn’t because of just solo films, the team-up films also produced more memories that are set up to pay off eventually gave audiences this idea of being part of the journey; it’s like discovering an artist that is not mainstream, and you watch them grow with each album release and their buzz grows, and you relish in those memories as if you were personally with the artist the whole time.
Yes, there were several films that came out before Iron Man, and cinematic franchises that came out before MCU. When I discuss with MCU fans or even regular moviegoers, or even when you hear critics reviews, what do they always mention? Lighthearted and fun. Usually these two words pop up on every review from everyone. I believe MCU came at the time where yes the Dark Knight Trilogy was appreciated for its realistic take on Batman, but people were slowly looking for more light-hearted takes on superheroes instead of the usual tragedy/dark take on characters. So, when the MCU arrived with Iron Man that was filled with humor and did not have dark cinematography or brutal story, it was seen as a fresh take. This created the momentum for the MCU as after every release, the audience grew and wanted more. MCU has been riding high with huge box office returns and developing a core fan base where they can introduce even more unknown characters. Because of this humor and light approach, people perceive MCU as having the same tone (I believe that the MCU does have a consistent tone they want, but I can say that Endgame felt tonally different from prior films), but if this tone works and is well-received then why not keep doing it? This is a business overall and if it isn’t broke then don’t fix it.
SECOND TO THE GAME
History shows that usually when you are second then you are always compared to the first. This is the curse that the DCEU has received. It doesn’t matter what they do, they will be compared to the MCU because that is the perceived first and successful superhero cinematic universe. Aquaman and Shazam are good quality solo films, and both have made a profit at the box office, but some people disregard DC films. Some is because they did not like how they handled Batman and Superman, some did not like the rush to a team-up film, and some are usually just MCU fans and aren’t interested in seeing DC films. So, not only has the DCEU received mixed receptions to its universe, but it’s also continuously compared to Marvel’s status; sometimes its an unfair comparison.
[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image=”20820″ img_size=”800×450″ alignment=”center”][vc_column_text]CONCLUSION
Finally, Warner Bros. has listened to the consumers and so far is showing a director-driven universe, and I know they will keep producing good quality movies and the next Justice League film will be great as long as they follow this standalone, loosely connected shared universe route, but the emotional impact that MCU created will not be felt. Even if they introduce Darkseid and have a character or two die, the negative news of the start of the DCEU, the internal shuffle, the misfire of rushing to a team-up will still be in everyone’s mind when they watch movies in the universe, also adding in being second to the game, DC will create great films, but the impact will not be as strong as the MCU. Enjoy Avengers: Endgame, enjoy DCEU, love both franchises because as comic book fans this is what we have wanted forever. To see these characters interact together on screen.