The battle between the MCU and the DCEU seems to never end. While the box office numbers show who the clear winner is, there are always those who feel that the DCEU films are underappreciated. That said, we’re not here to give our two cents one way or the other. We’re here on a much more interesting matter. With the increasing success of the MCU and the slow decline of the DCEU (as of the time of this writing), some fans have taken to the Internet to state that some serious conspiracies are going on to make it so. Disney and Marvel are in on some sort of collaborative effort to ensure that their movies are always liked and that Warner Bros and DC’s are always disliked.
While DC fans have some arguments that are worth making, the conspiracy theories have strayed into the realm of ridiculousness. Whether it be on the issue of Rotten Tomatoes, film history, or the underestimating of consumer tastes, there seems to be several insane explanations as to why the MCU is doing well and the DCEU is doing poorly. Are you a DCEU fan? If you are, do you agree with these 15 insane conspiracy theories about the MCU?
15. DISNEY PAID OFF ROTTEN TOMATOES
This is the obvious one. Ever since the reviews for Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice came out on Rotten Tomatoes, DCEU fans have been quick to call shenanigans on the review site. This accusation became even more heated when the reviews for Suicide Squad and Justice League came out.
Multiple petitions have been run by the DCEU fans to shut down Rotten Tomatoes, but there are a few problems with this belief. The first is that Rotten Tomatoes is a review aggregate, meaning that they pull reviews from all sorts of critics to come up with their score. The second is that a sizable share of Rotten Tomatoes is owned by Warner Bros so, if anything, they would pay off the company to give DCEU movies higher ratings.
14. MARVEL FANBOYS EVERYWHERE
Heaven forbid that someone like the most recent MCU movie that came out and hate the most recent DCEU movie. This was, once again, the case when Thor: Ragnarok and Justice League came out within weeks of each other. Many critics praised the direction Taika Waititi took for the third entry in the Thor franchise, while slamming the many problems Zack Snyder and Joss Whedon’s team-up film had.
Many DCEU fans say that the reason behind this is because critics and filmgoers are unabashed Marvel fanboys.
While the term “fanboy” is used so frequently that it has begun to lose its meaning, it’s a serious accusation against the thoughts and feelings of practically everyone in the world who likes Marvel movies and dislikes DC movies. Instead of seeing this perspective as a rational belief, DCEU fans are ready to criticize.
13. DC DID IT FIRST
When people start talking about the quality of Marvel’s films, one argument that’s often quoted is that Marvel shouldn’t get the credit for pulling off the cinematic universe because DC did it first. You might be wondering to yourself where in the world they managed to fit in a series of films that all coexisted in the same universe, and the answer is that there isn’t one.
Back in the day, you might remember a show called Green Hornet. Believe it or not, there was a small crossover between this show and the Batman series back in ’66. There are a few other examples of crossovers like this decades ago, and that’s what the DCEU fans cite as DC having done the shared universe first. Technically, they would be correct, but does that mean Marvel shouldn’t be praised for their scale on the concept?
12. THEY’RE HATED BECAUSE THEY’RE NOT LIKE MARVEL
Most of the DCEU movies have been given mixed to negative scores by critics. While points of quality are brought up in many of these reviews, fans of DC’s movie universe have gone the extra mile to state that they’re simply hated because they’re not formatted like Marvel.
Due to the success of the MCU, some DCEU fans believe that audiences want all superhero movies to be done the way Marvel is doing them.
It’s often said that DCEU movies are just misunderstood — especially when talking about Man of Steel and Batman V Superman. The problem with this outlook is that it only works so long before people are going to have to admit that there’s something that Warner Bros is consistently doing with these movies to make them constantly poorly received.
11. MARVEL MOVIES ARE BAD, BUT NO ONE KNOWS IT
Anytime a big budget movie comes out, the Internet nearly explodes. There are several comments and reviews that state that the film was excellent and a fun time. For every positive comment, though, there are several others that state that the movie is a hot pile of garbage and is worse than when George Lucas put Jar Jar Binks in The Phantom Menace.
Many DCEU fans, when a new Marvel movie comes out, are quick to say “Marvel movies are bad, but no one knows it.” The issue with this sort of thinking is that it assumes that you come from this enlightened perspective. While that may be appropriate in certain situations, movies are a largely subjective medium. It’s not hard to tell what separates a good movie from a bad one, but coming from such an objective standpoint hurts your own argument when dealing with consistently successful films.
10. THERE IS A “MARVEL FORMULA”
The supposed “Marvel formula” has been a serious topic of discussion among fans of superhero movies. When a new MCU movie comes out, you bet that there will be people online stating that it was nothing more than just another example of the formula and is nothing new. To be fair, Iron Man, Ant-Man, and Doctor Strange all feel fundamentally similar.
However, the idea of a “Marvel formula” breaks down when you start to consider all of the other films they have under their belt.
The latter two Captain America movies stand out drastically, Thor: Ragnarok is vastly different, and Guardians of the Galaxy is about as off-the-wall as a superhero movie can get. Recently, Marvel has been trying more heavily to make each film feel more distinct. The recent Black Panther is proof of this.
9. BLACK PANTHER IS A RESULT OF RACISM
Here is one issue that we’re going to handle delicately. Marvel’s Black Panther is the most recent solo superhero film to join the MCU. It’s also the first one that stars a predominantly black cast with a black lead. In the year 2018, that’s certainly going to stir up some dissension among the public and the Internet.
Some have gone as far to argue that the only reason Marvel moved forward with Black Panther is because of racism — specifically, that they wanted to give an answer to the current state in the country. The issue here is that it asserts that the film was created solely with this in mind. A counter argument, then, would be that Black Panther was included in Captain America: Civil War. The logical next step would then be to show the audience the realm of Wakanda and the story of its king. Nothing more. Nothing less.
8. THE POST-CREDIT SCENES ARE RUINING FILM
When Marvel released Iron Man, they decided that the perfect way to communicate their plans to the world was by having a stinger after the credits rolled that introduced Nick Fury and the “Avenger Initiative” to the world and the birth of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Since then, the MCU has been known for putting post-credits scenes into their films — sometimes one, sometimes multiple.
As this trend has continued, many DCEU fans have stated how pointless and dumb they are. The issue that pops up is that the argument becomes a little hypocritical after that point. Warner Bros has been using post-credit scenes as well. Justice League had two of them and Suicide Squad had one. While they’re much less frequent, they were similarly structured to the ones that Marvel uses.
7. ALL THEIR VILLAINS ARE THE SAME
There’s no denying that Marvel has had a villain problem for quite some time. For a while, Loki was the only one worth writing home about. However, they’ve made a lot of steps in the right direction and have created some movie villains that have depth. Characters like the Vulture, Ego the Living Planet, and Hela to an extent are all much more interesting to watch on screen.
That said, there are always going to be those DCEU fans who state that Marvel’s villains are still garbage and will continue to be garbage. One of the most shocking statements made was when the trailer for Infinity War dropped. Many DC fans said that Thanos looked like crap and was no better than Steppenwolf in Justice League. The point here is that painting the MCU with a broad brush argument doesn’t make you correct.
6. THEY NEVER DO ANYTHING ORIGINAL
It’s often said that you know what you’re getting when seeing an MCU movie. For the most part, that’s intentional. There’s a sort of brand identity that goes along with a franchise. However, some have equated this with believing that the MCU is incapable of doing anything original in their movies.
First of all, let it never be said that James Gunn didn’t create something original with Guardians of the Galaxy: a concept that shouldn’t have worked on any level. Secondly, the entire concept of having all of these different superheroes pop in and out of other movies at a time is their entire point of originality. Within each film, there’s usually some kind of hook that separates them from other movies. The conflict with Dormammu in Doctor Strange was completely inventive. The same can be said for how the Hela problem was solved in Thor: Ragnarok.
5. THEY’RE MORE CONCERNED WITH MAKING A PRODUCT
The longer the MCU has continued, the more criticism has pointed to it feeling more like a series of products rather than actual films. This argument gained more traction after Disney bought Marvel and has a say in what they do for the future.
In that vein, Disney is likely more concerned with a product and making cash.
When it comes to Marvel, though, they created their cinematic universe with a vision of what they wanted to achieve: they wanted to have the movies replicate the source material. They wanted to have the creative freedom to represent their characters on-screen the best way they feel possible. Sometimes, their movies can get lost along the way, but let it never be said that Marvel doesn’t care about the integrity of their stories and characters.
4. EACH MOVIE HAS THE SAME PROBLEMS
This argument stems from the idea that there is a “Marvel formula.” Once you believe that every Marvel movie is fundamentally similar to the other, then you can start to think that they all suffer from the same problems. While most of them have the issue of musical inconsistency and lackluster villains, there are things that some Marvel movies do better than others.
Thor did the redemption arc and the villain very well. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 had a fantastic color palette and some thematic consistency, but laid on the jokes a little too much. Captain America: Winter Soldier balanced its humor and action with a focused story. The list goes on. At a base level, each Marvel movie is unique in its own way and has their strengths and weaknesses.
3. ALL OF THEIR CHARACTERS ARE RIPPED FROM DC
A lot of DCEU fans love to point out that Marvel wouldn’t exist if it hadn’t been for DC. When it comes to their characters, several accusations have pointed to the comic publisher ripping off heroes and villains already created by DC. While this is the case with individuals like Thanos, Hawkeye, Quicksilver, and Black Cat, that’s not true across the board.
What many people fail to remember is that Namor was created before Aquaman, and Wolverine was an entirely original character along with Spider-Man (who boasted one of the best costume designs of the era). Iron Man is often compared to Batman in terms of their wallets, but their appearances and fighting styles are so different that the comparison is difficult to make. Marvel has plenty of original characters under their belts.
2. CAPTAIN AMERICA IS A MURDERER
One of the unsung conspiracy theories surrounding the MCU is that Captain America, Marvel’s most valiant boy scout, is actually a dirty murderer. What is their proof? Travel back to Avengers: Age of Ultron where the Avengers were trying to find Loki’s scepter. Cap came face to face with Baron Von Strucker and kicked his shield straight into the man.
As it stands, the math has already been done and Von Strucker would be dead with that kind of force. This has led DCEU fans to point that the writers for a film screwed up or Captain America is a dirty murderer, ignoring the fact that Strucker was later actually killed in the film by Ultron. That said, the writers definitely made an error there with the numbers, but it was a pretty cool shot nonetheless.
1. BVS WAS MISUNDERSTOOD AND CIVIL WAR OVERRATED
Some of the biggest battles of DCEU fans came from the defense of Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice. After the negative reviews for the movie came out, many were left jaded. On top of that, when Captain America: Civil War came out and reviews were largely positive, the DCEU fans got even more upset.
They’ve taken to the Internet to state that BvS was misunderstood while Civil War was overrated because it’s Marvel. Countless videos and comment sections are filled with explanations to the philosophical implications of the “Martha” scene and how BvS is actually a cinematic masterpiece. Where this argument falls flat is that it assumes that many people that didn’t like the movie didn’t understand what the film was trying to communicate. Many people got the message, but didn’t like the execution.
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