As we prepare for a mammoth year in comic superhero movies with both superpowers going head to head in the next several months, we prepare by launching a new section saluting the heroes of both DC and Marvel Comics.
Let’s take a closer look at the rival combatants:
Marvel’s Cinematic Universe (MCU)
Marvel’s MCU has been chugging along for ten years and is now in its in Phase three of telling stories of their various characters. The MCU has expanded to include comic books, short films, and television series.
Beginning with Iron Man, which launched the first phase of films, culminating in Marvel’s The Avengers. Phase Two began with Iron Man 3, and concluded with Ant-Man. Marvel is also preparing Phase Three, beginning with the release of Captain America: Civil War . The universe began to expand with the release of the first official tie-in comics in 2010, and saw further expansion with the Marvel One-Shots direct-to-video short films in 2011 and the television series Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., as well as several Neflix series, including Daredevil, Jennifer Jones and the upcoming Luke Cage from Marvel Television. Marvel has multiple films and television projects in various stages of development.
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DC Extended Universe (DCEU)
Despite getting a late start to organizing their catalog of iconic signature superhero characters, DC Comics appears to have developed a plan and are the early stages of unleashing their vision for comic dominance to a eager-global film audience. The shared universe, much like the original DC Universe in comic books, will be established by crossing over common plot elements, settings, cast, and characters.
Earlier attempts to develop the DCEU were fractious in the early stages. Despite the tremendous success of Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy, the failure to expand the stories to incorporate other potential DCEU superheroes and the unsuccessful effort to revive “America’s Cultural Icon,” Superman fell flat with Bryan Singer’s disappointing Superman Returns.
These initial failed attempts helped refocus the plan and the DCEU rebranded in 2013 with the release of Man of Steel, a reboot of the Superman film series. That set the stage for one of the year’s most anticipated films, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, followed by Suicide Squad. Also, on the way are Wonder Woman, The Flash, Aquaman, Shazam, Cyborg, Green Lantern Corps, as well as a two-part Justice League film, with Part One releasing in 2017, and Part Two in 2019.
Warner Bros. has also announced a sequel to Man of Steel and a stand-alone Batman film, with the intent for both to be released before 2020. All films will be distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures.
These developments from both companies continue to fuel the “Golden Age of Comic Films.” The only thing that can stunt the growth of this genre would be the massive oversaturation of too many characters. As technology and creativity to inspire and drive these companies, there should be plenty of stories to explore in the years to come.