It may be broken, but the DCEU is still beating the MCU in 2022


Although the franchise is well known for its problems, the DCEU still manages to beat its direct competitor, the MCU, in one important aspect. The two titans of the comic book world, DC and Marvel, have waged a unique rivalry for decades. One, DC, boasts perhaps the most iconic heroes, and the other, Marvel, boasts the most successful movie franchise of all time. The nature of their rivalry stems simply from their common place in the superhero genre and the many ways in which each of them has influenced and defined pop culture in the modern era.

Although the battle between the DCEU and the MCU, in fact, began several decades ago, now the most fierce struggle is being waged in the environment of live cinema. Marvel’s own shared cinematic universe is gaining momentum, creating a number of the highest-grossing films of all time and consistently dominating the box office for many years. The DCEU has been decidedly less successful, facing a number of behind-the-scenes challenges and struggling to compete with the popularity of its rival’s interconnected narratives.

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While the huge scope of the MCU is quickly becoming a daunting prospect, the DCEU is much better at telling standalone narratives. Almost every new entry in the MCU requires at least some mandatory viewing, but DCEU movies and shows have so far largely been able to stand alone. This is true even for direct sequels and spin-offs of the franchise, and this is what makes the DCEU better compared to them.

Individual DCEU Stories are starting to overshadow the MCU

The success of the MCU shared universe has become a factor in its box office. However, as the novelty wears off, the franchise’s connected narratives have begun to hold back the MCU, whereas the DCEU has been meticulously consistent in this regard. Developing at a reasonable rate, the DCEU is not as congested as the MCU, and therefore does not require such a staggering amount of time to keep up with the times. However, even if we judge his films and films by their individual merits, the DCEU is now beginning to be treated more favorably.

In the DCEU, even direct sequels do not necessarily require knowledge of previous films: take, for example, the controversial Batman v Superman, which summarizes the most important plot points of Man of Steel from an alternative point of view. By providing sequels that can also serve as independent stories or even franchise entry points, the DCEU seems much more accessible to a wider audience, especially those who are more interested in regular viewing. The same rule applies to almost all DCEU properties — although their stories are related, this is achieved loosely enough to help those who are not aware of the finer details of the franchise’s history.

While there are those who prefer the vast intertwined stories of the MCU, the Marvel franchise is becoming bloated with content so dependent on previous stories that it alienates a more casual audience. Taking “Thor: Love and Thunder” as an example, even for a relatively autonomous narrative, there are still a few MCU films that need to be reviewed before “Love and Thunder” in order for it to fully make sense. Such intense re—views—or any re-views-are not really necessary for the DCEU, and this approach is only now starting to give the franchise an edge over its Marvel competitor.