Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Captain America: Civil War…what an incredible couple of months for superhero movies! I know I cannot wait for it, and even if you fall DC way or Marvel side you must be honest and say that you can’t wait to check out both of these giant match-ups in cinemas. However, given the rivalry that these two comic book companies enjoy, fan driven hype or otherwise, there is an inevitable question…which movie will be more successful? Now, I have to admit, I do favour DC characters and comics over their Marvel counterparts but it really is not that easy to call. I want DC to succeed, I really do, but I have obsessed over the Marvel Cinematic Universe and it has left me in awe of what they have achieved and how they can have implemented such an incredible stratagem and make little to no mistakes along the way, whilst having an easily foreseeable future for their own movies and sequels. Right now…my money would be on Captain America: Civil War but that Batman v Superman has the potential to surpass it but for the fact there are just too many ifs, buts and maybes for me to be sure, so let me explain.
As I mentioned previously, Marvel have nailed their cinematic universe and created a solid, structured and developed world where their characters have been able to progress, develop and grow separately and come together to provide audiences with a steady and understandable story for each character; and this makes up my first point. This strong foundation that Marvel have built for their universe will help Civil War be more successful, because you can reference back how and when their heroes may come into conflict and identify with their specific ideals and motivations on a much deeper and understandable level. BvS have not had this opportunity, and although throwing some of the greatest superheroes in the world of comics together for a movie will undoubtedly be popular and successful, to rise above just a mere action flick DC would preferably want their characters to have that back story and the audience to relate with their characters before they came to their conflict. Instead they have to build it and tear it down all in the same movie, which will undoubtedly be difficult.
Going into these two movies Civil War also has the distinct advantage of reliability. This is somewhat related to the last point but also includes factors such as you know what kind of performances you will receive from the actors playing the lead roles. Marvel have not made a single poor casting choice in their cinematic universe and so they can better prepare and experiment in a movie as challenging as pitching two great heroes against each other. Again with Batman V Superman, the audience does not have that luxury. Some are worried about Ben Affleck’s performance as Batman, I myself am more worried about Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor and Jason Momoa as Aquaman, plus the actual character of Wonder Woman would be hard to put to screen for any actress and so I have many reservations about whether these actors will be able to portray their respective characters in a way I will like. This means to me that throwing them into a movie with each other is incredibly risky, with the failure of just one potentially hindering the whole movie.
My final major reservation about the success of BvS is the continuous marketing and advertising of the movie itself. I have a genuine fear that they have revealed too much of the plot in their trailer campaign; with an obvious storyline of Supes is scrutinised by government about who is, and how to deal with, threats; Batman wants to stop Superman; Superman wants to stop Batman; they fight; Doomsday is released and the World’s Finest Trinity fight and beat the beast but can’t stop Lex Luthor because he is in plain sight. The only way they could keep it exciting would be to add more, and it is already necessarily, as previous reasoned, a packed movie meaning that this movie could be just too big to swallow.
The difference with Civil War is that they have revealed a lot of Act 1 and 2 but there must be a separate plotline running alongside the Civil War story arc. This is because we know little of the role of Crossbones, although the rumour is he won’t be in it for long, but we also don’t know anything about Baron Zemo who we assume is the “big bad” for this movie, as well as asking…where are HYDRA in all this? Therefore they have revealed little of the bigger picture and left many things to be pondered whereas BvS cannot say the same without risking another potential movie flaw.
So in summary, I do think that Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice has the potential to be the bigger movie, and as a fan I desperately want it to be. I think Superman and Batman are two of the, if not THE, biggest comic book superhero characters in the world along with Wonder Woman who is, hands down, the greatest super heroine. However, for reasons of a more developed character and movie universe and platform to execute such an important storyline, a reliability in their characters and actor performances and the marketing campaigns of the two franchises I am going to have to put the safe money on Captain America: Civil War as the likely victor as these two come to a head at the box office.
So that’s my two cents on the matter, I hope it was valuable to you, but what do you think? Which movie will prove to be the greater success? How do you measure success? Are you Marvel or DC? What are your expectations for the two movies? Thanks for the read and let me know what you think because a hero could just be a matter of perspective.