May ,17 2015
DC vs. Marvel: Issue #1

captandflashFinally, finally, I have seen The Avengers: Age of Ultron! I know, slightly late to the superhero show but I have to admit it was a pretty fun ride. It got me thinking about the amount of superhero shows, movies, and memorabilia on our screens and on our shelves in recent days. For a long time Marvel and DC have been competing back and forth for dominance. Every Halloween season can show you that for sure when a bunch of Captain Americas or Spidermans end up at your front door. What better way to put the contest of companies head to head than a blatant comparison? DC vs. Marvel. Which can come out on top? I thought we would go through three posts, three issues if you will (come on, humour me), and battle beloved superheroes and their shows, films, and legacies. And hear me unleash my inner comic book nerd, of course : ) Here we go! Battle One!

Battle of the TV Series

In the past few years, there has been a spike in TV series revolving around superheroes. After a ten year run of domination on the superhero front, Smallville went off the air in 2011 and made way for a variety of new shows to take places in our hearts on both the Marvel and DC front. Arrow (no doubt spawned from the popularity of Smallville's very own rendition of Green Arrow), Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, Gotham, The Flash, Agent Carter, Daredevil, and even the up and coming Supergirl have all started to make their own dents in television. But who has nailed down the best TV series format? Marvel or DC? For this, I'm going to have to put my personal bias aside, as you all know I am a HUGE fan of The Flash. If you want to know more about the obsession, click here! So completely objective, let's see who can take this round. On the DC side we have: Gotham, The Flash, and Arrow Of all three, I have happily seen each of them. For a long time I've liked lead actor Ben Mackenzie who stars as Jim Gordon in Gotham and I honestly expected a lot from a TV series based on Batman. Heightening my expectation was that it takes a similar dark vibe to Christopher Nolan's Batman movie franchise. However, despite capturing the grittiness, and frankly a very similar mirror image of Nolan's Gotham City, this show did not deliver for me. With some fragmented character development too early on, I was disinterested rather quick to my utter disappointment. I feel if those bugs were crushed earlier, this show could have been saved. The Flash and Arrow, shows both sharing the same universe, hold their own quite well but could not be more different. Despite watching Smallville for years, the Green Arrow was never a favourite of mine. So my excitement for Arrow was minor at best. Yet, Stephen Amell's portrayal of the dark and brooding billionaire, Oliver Queen, brings the complications of being a superhero to light and shows the decision to be good or to be bad is more difficult than the superhero label makes it appear. Who doesn't like a good moral conflict? It seems to capture the same darkness Gotham was striving for, yet retains it better without trying so hard to be a city trapped in the gutter. Similarly, Grant Gustin as the scarlet speedster, The Flash, brings sensitivity and power to a role that was also previously seen on Smallville. Smallville really is the granddad to a ton of these shows, haha! The Flash links a pretty complex storyline with time travel and the consequences of changing the past which from episode one, has progressed in a logical and easy to follow manner. Nothing is worse than watching a show about time travel and being confused! With no missing plot holes and seemingly handling each new character and villain with the perfect amount of screen time and flushing out, the show model is promising. Representing for Marvel: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, Agent Carter, and Daredevil I will outright say that when I heard about Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D I was immediately unsure a series about the secondary characters from The Avengers franchise would work. In my opinion, I was right. Agent Coulson and his band of agents feel out of place as the main characters or downright too stereotypical. The lack of a well known superhero edge makes the show always seem one step away from grand. Despite guess stars from Cobbie Smulders and Samuel Jackson, the chances of Robert Downey Jr., or Chris Evans seem slim in the long run. And let's not mention how Coulson is alive after his fateful death in The Avengers! Technicalities or no technicalities, it did not have me convinced. Next would be Agent Carter. Related to Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D (most clearly by title), Hayley Atwell takes the scene as Peggy Carter, Captain America's cinematic love interest. The best feature of this show in my opinion, besides Atwell's awesome pro-female progressive character, is the time period set after the second World War. Surrounding herself with some great secondary characters, notable actor James D'Arcy as a living breathing Jarvis among them, the emotional attachment to the characters is still lax. Lacking that superhero touch and the real push towards turning the agents into main characters that can stand on their own, they all still seem like second bananas. Daredevil is the last and in all honesty, I have not seen it but heard amazing things! The disaster of the Daredevil movie featuring Ben Affleck made me seriously question if this show would ever be able to last, let alone get off the ground. Yet, currently ranked as the best superhero on television, it must be making an impact. So adding up those scores I think the counter will start off with... DC: +1 Marvel: 0 How do you think Marvel or DC is holding up so far? Do you agree or disagree with me? Stay turned tomorrow for the next exciting instalment of "DC vs. Marvel"! xo Novellette

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