Marvel vs. DC : Comic Universe Battle

marvel cinematic universe facebook cover by andrewmjbaker d7zjept 560x207In 2008, Marvel began Phase One of the now widely popular, Marvel Cinematic Universe, when they released Iron Man and The Incredible Hulk. Although The Incredible Hulk earned $134 million with Edward Norton as the big green monster, it was a relative failure in the MCU and remains the lowest grossing film in any phase thus far. (Iron Man earned $318 million for comparison) Those two movies laid the foundation for the planned phasing of what has become one of the biggest film series of all-time. That is how Marvel Studios turned a couple of movies into a monster at the box office.

jla 560x174DC Comics, however, did not get around to starting its own extended universe until 2013 with Man of Steel. Since then, they have added two more films that just so happen to be two of the biggest films of 2016 with Suicide Squad and Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice. They have plans for several more films, all set to release between June of next summer and July of 2020.

Marvel vs DC 560x315Let’s take a look at the two competing universes as they battle for comic book film supremacy, even though the MCU is about 5 years and 10 films ahead of the DC Extended Universe.

At the Movies (Box Office)

  1. Marvel’s The Avengers – $623 million (MCU)
  2. Avengers: Age of Ultron – $459 million (MCU)
  3. Iron Man 3 – $409 million (MCU)
  4. Captain America: Civil War – $408 million (MCU)
  5. Guardians of the Galaxy – $333 million (MCU)
  6. Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice – $330 million (DC)
  7. Iron Man – $318 million (MCU)
  8. Iron Man 2 – $312 million (MCU)
  9. Man of Steel: $291 million (DC)
  10. Suicide Squad – $264 million (DC)
  11. Captain America: The Winter Soldier – $260 million (MCU)
  12. Thor: The Dark World – $206 million (MCU)
  13. Thor – $181 million (MCU)
  14. Ant-Man – $180 million (MCU)
  15. Captain America: The First Avenger – $177 million (MCU)
  16. The Incredible Hulk – $135 million (MCU)

*DC Films in BOLD

This one might look like a no-brainer but it isn’t as simple as the box office numbers show since the MCU has 10 extra films than the DC universe because you have to break it down by per film gross. After you take a look at the numbers between Marvel movies and DC films, you get a better understanding of the performance difference.

Winner: Marvel Cinematic Universe

Box Office Gross per Film (Avg)

  • Marvel Cinematic Universe – $308 million
  • DC Extended Universe –  $295 million

Only time will tell if the DC films will ever be able to surpass the gross amount earned by Marvel, but for now, the per film average is something they could reach after the next two films.

Winner: Marvel Cinematic Universe

The Future (Officially Announced)

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Marvel Cinematic Universe

  • Doctor Strange (November 4, 2016)
  • Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (May 5, 2017)
  • Spider-Man: Homecoming (July 7, 2017)
  • Thor: Ragnarok (November 3, 2017)
  • Black Panther (February 16, 2018)
  • Avengers: Infinity War (May 4, 2018)
  • Ant-Man & Wasp (July 6, 2018)
  • Captain Marvel (March 8, 2019)
  • Untitled Avengers Sequel (May 3, 2019)

DC Extended Universe

  • Wonder Woman (June 2, 2017)
  • Justice League: Part One (November 17, 2017)
  • The Flash (March 16, 2018)
  • Aquaman (July 27, 2018)
  • Untitled DC Film (October 5, 2018)
  • Shazam (April 5, 2019)
  • Untitled Justice League Sequel (June 14, 2019)
  • Untitled Film (November 1, 2019)
  • Cyborg (April 3, 2020)
  • Green Lantern Corps (July 24, 2020)

After 2016 ends, the MCU will have only eight more films slated for future release compared to the DC Extended Universe which has 10 scheduled. And let’s not forget those additional films that tend to get tossed into the mix after they end up making loads of cash at the box office like Suicide Squad. Suicide Squad has been such a huge hit, a sequel is almost more than likely.

But since we are only judging them based on officially announced films, we have to give the edge to DC Comics due to its’ stockpile of origin stories from Wonder Woman, Aquaman, The Flash, Shazam, and Cyborg. The ceiling is much higher for DC Comics which is why critics are so tough on them right now.

Winner: DC Extended Universe

Level of Talent

Marvel Cinematic Universe

  • Robert Downey Jr. – Iron Man/Tony Stark
  • Chris Evans – Captain America/Steve Rogers
  • Brie Larson – Captain Marvel/Carol Danvers
  • Chris Pratt – Star-Lord/Peter Quill
  • Benedict Cumberbatch – Doctor Strange/Stephen Strange
  • Chadwick Boseman – Black Panther/T’Challa
  • Scarlett Johansson – Black Widow/Natasha Romanoff
  • Chris Hemsworth – Thor
  • Mark Ruffalo – Hulk/Bruce Banner
  • Jeremy Renner – Hawkeye/Clint Barton
  • Paul Bettany – Vision
  • Cate Blanchett – Hela
  • Tilda Swinton – Ancient One
  • Paul Rudd – Ant-Man/Scott Lang
  • Zoe Saldana – Gamora
  • Michael Douglas – Ant-Man/Hank Pym
  • Glen Close – Nova Prime/Irani Rael
  • Anthony Mackie – Falcon/Sam Wilson
  • Bradley Cooper – Rocket
  • Vin Diesel – Groot
  • Don Cheadle – War Machine/James Rhodes

DC Extended Universe

  • Henry Cavill – Superman/Clark Kent
  • Ben Affleck – Batman/Bruce Wayne
  • Margot Robbie – Harley Quinn/Harleen Quinzel
  • Will Smith – Deadshot/Floyd Lawton
  • Jason Momoa – Aquaman/Arthur Curry
  • Gal Gadot – Wonder Woman/Diana Prince
  • Jared Leto – The Joker
  • Dwayne Johnson – Black Adam
  • Ezra Miller – The Flash/Barry Allen
  • Jai Courtney – Captain Boomerang/George Harknes
  • Jor-El – Russell Crowe
  • Jesse Eisenberg – Lex Luthor
  • Jeremy Irons – Alfred Pennyworth
  • Robin Wright – Antiope
  • Cara Delevingne – Enchantress/June Moone
  • Ray Fisher – Cyborg
  • Jonathan Kent – Kevin Costner
  • Jay Hernandez – El Diablo/Chato Santana
  • Amy Adams – Lois Lane
  • Laurence Fishburne – Perry White
  • Holly Hunter – June Finch
  • Chris Pine – Steve Trevor
  • Amber Heard – Mera
  • J.K. Simmons – James Gordon
  • Williem Dafoe – Nuidis Vulko

It appears that both Marvel and DC Comics spared no expense when chasing after Hollywood’s biggest names to star in their blockbuster films. On one hand, Marvel has some of the most marketable faces on the planet (Robert Downey Jr., Chris Pratt, Brie Larson, Benedict Cumberbatch, Chadwick Boseman, Bradley Cooper). But on the other hand, Will Smith, Margot Robbie, Dwayne Johnson, Ben Affleck, Gal Gadot, and Jason Momoa are a good mix of huge stars and future stars to round out a solid lineup of stars for DC on their way to another shocking win.

Winner: DC Extended Universe

Rumored Future Films

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Marvel Cinematic Universe

  • Alien Legion
  • Iron Man 4
  • Prime
  • Black Widow
  • Ka-Zar
  • Runaways
  • Longshot
  • Vision
  • Gargoyle
  • Nighthawk
  • Power Pack
  • Taskmaster
  • War Machine
  • Hawkeye
  • Morbius
  • Blade
  • The Incredible Hulk 2
  • Werewolf by Night
  • Namor the Sub-Mariner
  • Nick Fury

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DC Extended Universe

  • Lobo
  • Dark Universe
  • Suicide Squad Sequel
  • Green Arrow: Escape from Super Max
  • Swamp Thing
  • Hawkman
  • Booster Gold
  • Harley Quinn
  • Joker

If you compared all the Marvel comic book characters to the DC Comics characters, it would not take too long before you reached a grand champion. However, the strength of DC Comics isn’t the depth of its lineup rather it is the quality of the top-tier icons such as Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman. So although the MCU has so many more characters and the ability to make more interesting future films, the DCEU owns the two most popular comic book heroes of all-time.

Winner: DC Extended Universe

Overall Champion

It is too soon to understand just who will become the more dominant studio, Marvel or DC Comics. And although the MCU has made more films and a ton of money, the DC Extended Universe has the chance to tell the stories of the most popular comic book characters, once again. Quality is always going to beat quantity helping us to name the early champion of the Marvel vs. DC Comics battle to…

Champion: DC Extended Universe