Week of Geek: VFC Fandom Countdown Part 5, Marvel and DC Throwdown

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Hi again Geeklings!  We’re up to Part 5 of our Fandom Countdown, gearing up for our first Fan Con just a week from Saturday!  Are you getting excited?  I’m getting excited!

This week I thought I’d talk about 2 franchises which are currently battling it out for domination in film theatres across the globe, but before that they’ve been going head to head in comic book stores for decades.  One was the undeniable ground breaker, first publishing their most iconic character all the way back in 1938.  The other, though they only had their first publication the following year, is considered the cooler counterpart, really taking off in the 1960s and 1970s and allowing the political and social upheavals of the day to influence their work.  And now, one has been a clear groundbreaker in creating the practice of a ‘Cinematic Universe’ and the other is working really hard to play catch up… not always succeeding.

Yup, Marvel and DC Comics, and unlike the self-imposed animosity between Star Wars and Star Trek fans, these two guys actually have a legit rivalry going on, and have ever since they’ve existed.

Both companies have gone through name changes, different management and ups and downs as far as sales, but each one has managed to stay relevant through the years, though it’s often been a struggle to adapt to changing times.  But the one thing about these two that I really want to highlight (’cause let’s face it, we’d be here all day if I tried to summarize the full history of both of these franchises) is their Cinematic Universes.

Starting in 2008 (almost 10 years ago, which just dawned on me) with the release of Iron Man, the still new Marvel Studios kicked off a new trend.  They decided to create what we now call a Cinematic Universe, or Shared Universe, where all of their subsequent movies share characters and plot points and all of them culminate into bigger stories.  And they’ve been so successful at this (both with fans and critics) that other movie studios want in on it too, and are rushing to create their own cinematic universes, DC included (Warner Bros is the studio that holds the rights to their characters).  After a couple of false starts, DC and Warner Bros kicked off the DCEU, or DC Extended Universe, with Man of SteelThey’ve still done well financially, but critics and fans alike have responded anywhere from ‘Meh’ to ‘SO ANGRY!’… at least until Wonder Woman came along, and hope was renewed once more with fans.  Ironic considering how long it took to get Wonder Woman on the big screen, with all the ‘Can a woman headline a superhero film?’ nonsense.  So proven now!

This November the two companies go head-to-head once again with Thor: Ragnarok and Justice League.

Has the trend in cinematic universes changed movies for the better or worse?  Will DC be able to pull themselves up dazzling heights?  Time will tell… but for someone like me, it’s plenty captivating to watch.

So I’ve got lists for the MCU, both their movies and their TV shows (which are connected too).

And here’s the DCEU…

And though it’s not tied into their film series, I’m going to include DC’s current crop of interconnected TV shows, commonly known as the Arrowverse, because they’re really good…

Final note; If I can get a little personal here (yup, Aunty Ali’s gettin’ nostalgic!), there was one time when Marvel and DC actually threw down in the comics.  It’s happened, but this time in particular was a moment that stood out for me.  In the spring of 1996, when I was 14 years old, Marvel and DC released a four-part crossover event that I bought religiously from the tiny convenience store a couple blocks from my high school.  The comic series is kind of obscure nowadays, but it’s always stuck with me.  Basically you’ve got two gods of two universes who want to pit their champions against each other, so you end up with a bunch of battles.  We’ve got Batman vs Captain America, Superman vs the Hulk, Wonder Woman vs Storm, Lobo vs Wolverine, Aquaman vs The Sub-Mariner, Flash vs Quicksilver, etc.  It blew my fragile, teenaged, burgeoning fangirl mind!

So where do you stand Geeklings?  Marvel?  DC?  Both?  Post away in the comments section.  To the surprise of probably no one, I like both.  Just like with Star Wars and Star Trek YOU CAN’T MAKE ME CHOOSE!  MY LOVE KNOWS NO BOUNDS!

Stay tuned for more Fan Con news, don’t forget about Unleash Your Story this Saturday, and until next time, End of Line.

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