Marvel vs. DC: TV Edition

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?

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Marvel: Netflix

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.

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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.

Marvel: ABC

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.

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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.

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Preacher: The Possibilities – Review

The first two episodes of Preacher had us wandering around in unknown territory – nobody really knew what was going on but there were interesting characters and beautiful cinematography so it was fine. This week we actually got some answers and learned a little bit more about what’s going on. Don’t worry: the characters were still interesting and the cinematography as beautiful as ever.

After last week’s revelation with Jesse discovering his abilities, the big question was whether he would use his powers for good or evil. Sadly he decided to be a good person (which always makes for less fun television) but it was definitely a journey. As far as mentors go, Cassidy probably wasn’t the best person to reveal his ability to but now that Cassidy is Team Heaven who knows how their dynamic is going to shift.

Speaking of Cassidy, it turns out that he is relatively safe as his supposed hunters are actually after Jesse. Perhaps Cassidy is turning double agent – that could make for a fantastic season and honestly, the more Cassidy the better.

One character that could do with less screen time is Lucy Griffiths’ Emily who has done nothing for the story. It looks like she’s just there as a reminder that Jesse has a job and a device that other people’s stories can get told through but as far as a personality of her own… So far this show has been really strong so I have to hope that her role will develop but at the moment she really feels unnecessary.

The tone of this show is so bizarre and unique that the way they find music which fits perfectly in the scenes just has to be commended.

Jesse is now in full command of his powers; Cassidy is on the side of the angels; and Tulip really wants to kill Carlos. I’m very excited for next week.

What did you think of this week’s Preacher? Do you think that Cassidy will sell Jesse out? Will Tulip convince Jesse to help her? Let me know in the comments.

Preacher: See – Review

The pilot of Preacher already told us that we were in for something new and entirely weird and this latest episode just solidified that idea.

Tonally, the episode jumps all over the place: from lynching to baptism to paedophilia. On paper, it is entirely insane but it makes for something that is exhilarating to watch. The episode starts with a flashback that never quite lines up with the rest of the show and I’m not convinced ever will but everything that follows is amazing.

As far as superheroes go, Jesse Custer is probably the most unwilling that has crossed our screens in recent years which gives the show an unpredictability that is rare for the genre.

At the end of this episode Jesse discovers his ability to compel people to follow his orders and whilst there are certain things that have to happen in this ten-episode season – e.g he’ll probably help Tulip with whatever it is that she’s trying to do – Jesse doesn’t seem the type to don a spandex suit and foil dastardly plots. So we’re dealing with an anti-hero, but where does he fall on the scale?

We saw more of everybody’s favourite functioning-alcoholic, 119-year old, Irish vampire: Cassidy. Fortunately, it looks like he’s not trying to kill anybody (think Twilight vampires but less sparkly and more violent) so this is a character that we can look forward to sticking around for a while.

At the moment it doesn’t feel like the story has come together – although there a lot of great elements flying around – so the characters are the glue right now. Scenes with Cassidy or Tulip immediately raise the energy of the show but the more subdued performances from Jesse and Arseface are just as valuable. Everything about this show, from the setting to the plot, is weird so it’s important that they have good enough actors to make it believable and they do.

Overall, if you discount the first four minutes then this was a great episode and it looks like this is going to be a brilliant first season for the show.

What did you think of this week’s Preacher? How will Jesse use his powers? Do you have any theories about how this will play out? Let me know in the comments.