Marvel is clearly kicking DC's ass when it come to their comic book movies, and I think they will continue to do so. DC is sure to make some great upcoming movies, but I don't think they will be as good as what Marvel is accomplishing. Marvel just has a better grasp on their stories and the universe they've created. This isn't the only thing Marvel is great at, though. They also show a respect for their fan base and they know how to treat them.
GeekTyrant.com was launched at the same time Jon Favreau's first Iron Man film was released, and my very first post was a review of that film. In a way, Marvel was the catalyst for what GeekTyrant would become. I think that’s all thanks to Favreau and his love for the fans. That guy knows what he’s doing when it comes fan interaction, and he set the standard for Marvel on how their fans should be treated. I remember sitting in Hall H at San Diego Comic-Con the year he introduced the world to Iron Man. That was such a cool experience, and it has only gotten bigger and better from there.
Over the last 6 years, we’ve seen Marvel grow and DC fumble around with what they've wanted to do with their comic book properties (outside of Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight Trilogy). One of the main things that I've noticed over the years is that Marvel embraces their fans, but Warner Bros. and DC don't seem share that attribute. At least they don't seem to show it.
I've been thinking about this since Marvel held that big event for fans and the press where they made their huge Phase 3 movie lineup announcement. They put on a show to get fans pumped up about what they were planning. DC on the other hand released their movie lineup in a little phone conference meeting, and a series of tweets were released by someone who was listening in. It was nice to get the news, but they could have put on a really cool exciting show for the fans just like Marvel did if they wanted. They had the chance to do something fun for the fans, but they didn't.
Now, I understand that both studios go all out at Comic-Con, but that's the only place that Warner Bros. caters to the fans. Outside of that, things are very different. Especially with how they treat leaked material from the films they are working on. As a geek site, we post everything that we can so that the fans can be up to date with all of the awesomeness that is coming their way. A lot of fans want to see that stuff, and Marvel and Warner Bros. treat leaked material very differently.
A big example of this is when the Avengers: Age of Ultron trailer leaked. Marvel rolled with it and released the official trailer shortly after the leaked version hit the Internet. The fans were loving what they were seeing, and instead of trying to pull it off the Internet, the studio delivered the fans an HD version, which ended up becoming the most watched trailer ever from the studio. Marvel even boasted about that. Marvel has never really asked us to take any leaked photos or footage off the site. They don't blame the geek sites for posting stuff and being excited about it.
Warner Bros. is a different story, though. I can't even count how many times we've received notices from their legal department to take stuff down on our site. Now they do have a right to do that, and we respect it. But why just not let the fans enjoy the cool leaked material like Marvel does? WB is also kind of mean about it. I've received a few condescending emails from them trying to make me feel stupid. I love a lot of the films that WB develops, and we are constantly helping them build buzz for their projects. When something cool leaks for an upcoming movie, it's free promotion for them! Who doesn't like a little free promotional love? They seem to blame the geek movie sites and the fans when stuff like this happens. FOX does the same thing. My personal Facebook account was suspended for almost a week when I posted an image of The Thing from the Fantastic Four reboot because the studio reported me. I didn't take the damn picture! It was floating around everywhere else!
We aren't the ones who leak the material, we are just delivering the information to the fans. Marvel has an understanding of this. They didn't blame any websites or fans when the Age of Ultron trailer leaked. Instead, they went after the actual source of the leak, who may have been someone within Marvel studios. I didn't get anything from their lawyers or a rude email. They just let the fans enjoy the trailer.
I love how Marvel appreciates the fans and embraces them. They don’t shut them out of what they are doing. They have always been very open with everything. Sometimes I'm surprised by how much they do talk about things, especially Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige. That guy loves to talk about their movies just enough to make the fans happy. Marvel even listens to what the fans are saying and want. Joss Whedon has even admitted in an interview how he is “enlightened” by the fans. He said,
“Every now and then, you definitely learn something from some random person on the Internet who sees your work in a way you didn't, who sees truth in it, that's worth it."
You don't see anyone from DC discussing their slate of films. Hell, after Marvel did their big announcement, Feige sat down with a group of reporters and let them ask questions.
On the DC side of things, even Arrow’s Stephen Amell wasn’t happy with how DC made their big line-up announcement because of how it undermined the new Flash series, explaining that the announcement was made the day after the second episode of the The Flash had aired. Amell thinks that by announcing Ezra Miller to play the speedster superhero on the big screen, it immediately undercut the public perception of Grant Gustin’s Flash in the TV role.
In the end, I’ve seen that Marvel utilizes the fans to their advantage to help build their success. While WB and DC tend to shut them out and push them away. This is all based on what I’ve seen and experienced over the years as I’ve been running a geek website. I think DC should lighten up a bit.
What are your thoughts on the matter?