It’s the infinity question: Marvel or DC? Obviously the answer is normally Marvel but that’s just in print and on the big screen. It is now the golden age of television and the two comic giants have not slacked in getting their content out on TV. As of right now, there are more than ten Marvel/DC shows airing and even more in development. The question is: who’s better?
With the recent release of Luke Cage (full review here), the Marvel Netflix series are in the spotlight at the moment. This group contains: Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and in five months, Iron Fist.
Of all the comic book shows, these are the most unique in terms of format. Thanks to Netflix, these 13 episode seasons are all released at once which has the awesome effect of being able to watch them in one sitting – almost like a 13 hour movie.
They are praised for their grittier, darker tone in comparison to the wider MCU but what I love most about these is the characters. TV allows character development on a much larger scale than film but even by that standard, it feels like these dive into the stories of everybody: heroes and villains alike. Also, Rosario Dawson as Claire Temple is my favourite thing.
My only gripe is something that Netflix proudly claims: this is “event television”. It only comes around twice a year and if you watch them immediately (like myself) you’re left with nothing for 6 months.
DC: The CW
The CW is home to the Arrowverse – The Flash, Arrow, Legends of Tomorrow and Supergirl – but many people don’t know that the show, iZombie, is also based on a DC comic.
Network television is a far departure from Netflix which means that these shows aren’t allowed to be as violent or deal with heavy issues. The general tone of them is much lighter but they all have their own unique stamps which make them really good at being what they are.
My personal favourites are Supergirl and iZombie – Supergirl is unabashedly feminist and maintains this unbelievably bright, cheerful aesthetic. It could come off as cheesy but the character dynamics are fantastic and the actors (particularly Melissa Benoist) really sell the story.
Unfortunately, without the space to explore any more substantial themes, some of the plots can become needlessly convoluted and no amount of good acting can make you believe the stakes that are being presented to you.
Whilst Agents of Shield is technically the only Marvel series currently on ABC, I live in constant denial that Agent Carter got cancelled so I’m just going to include it in this category.
When Agents of Shield began it seemed like it was just fan service: “don’t worry guys, Coulson’s okay!”, but it has evolved since then and I think that it’s finally finding its own feet in it’s third season. That is largely helped by the fact that they now have a later air time which means that they can get a bit more violent.
Agent Carter never had that issue: it is a show that has known exactly what it’s about since the beginning . These shows are a nice reminder that whilst we watch the superheroes, there are ordinary folks that do just as much, probably more.
DC: Fox & AMC
Finally DC have Gotham and Lucifer on Fox, and Preacher on AMC.
I’m not going to lie: I think that Gotham is the definition of trash-television but for some reason I continue to watch it.
Preacher is much more interesting. I fell in love with the concept but my interest dwindled as the first season played out. I think that these are the riskier, more experimental ideas and whilst they aren’t perfect, I love the fact that these networks are taking a chance on something different.
So, those are our shows. Which is better?
Marvel! I mean, come on, I’ll be loyal until the day that I die but I genuinely believe that the quality of their shows is miles ahead of their DC counter-parts. DC might have more breadth but that isn’t always a good thing.
What do you think? Marvel or DC? I am completely biased? Let me know in the comments.