Are Marvel’s Superhero Movies Really a Kind of Big Screen TV Series?

You betcha! And, taken that way they’re one hell of a lot of fun. Although the writer below doesn’t say it in so many words, it’s clear that she gets it:

Emily S. Whitten: Marvel Movies: Are They Going Too Far?

I suppose we could call this a follow-up or at least sister piece to last week’s column, in which I interviewed the fantastic Cleolinda Jones, author of Movies in Fifteen Minutes, about her experiences with comic book movies. Cleo noted that she tends to be more interested in Marvel characters because “Marvel has been so much more pro-active about getting movies made and characters out there;” which is true. Let’s look at some numbers for live action comic book movies, just for kicks.

Marvel Movies: 37 (33 + 4 from other Marvel imprints)
DC Movies: 33 (23 + 10 from other DC imprints)
Marvel Movies since 1998: 31 (28 + 3 from other Marvel imprints)
DC Movies since 1998: 18 (8 + 10 from other DC imprints)

Forthcoming Marvel Movies: 16 (8 announced – Iron Man 3; The Wolverine; Thor: The Dark World; Captain America: The Winter Soldier; The Amazing Spider-Man 2; X-Men: Days of Future Past; Avengers 2: Guardians of the Galaxy; Ant-man. 8 speculative – The Amazing Spider-man 3; Deadpool; Doctor Strange; Nick Fury; Runaways; The Hands of Shang-Chi; The Inhumans; Fantastic Four)
Forthcoming DC Movies:   9 (1 announced – Man of Steel. 8 speculative – Constantine 2; The Flash; Green Lantern 2; Justice League; Batman reboot (again); Wonder Woman (maybe?); Suicide Squad; Lobo)

Sources: Wikipedia’s Marvel and DC movie pages; IMDB; tooling around the Internets for all the announcement mentions I could find.

As we can see from the numbers, Marvel consistently beats DC overall in live action movies and soundly whups DC’s behind in live action movies (released and upcoming) from 1998 forward, which I think of as the current/modern comic book movie era (it started with Blade and gained momentum thanks to X-Men and Spider-Man in 2000 and 2002). In the upcoming movies department, not only does Marvel have almost twice as many movies as DC, but at least eight of them are pretty definitely moving forward; as opposed to the one DC has in the can and ready to go. Although DC has announced or sort-of announced several more, they have been much less forceful in confirming their future line-up, and most are not yet locked in.

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As geeks who’ve dreamed about seeing all our favorite superheroes on TV since we were teeny geekettes (not as cute as it sounds), we’ve been thrilled by Marvel’s recent film output. For us, this era totally recaptures the joy we felt when we first discovered the Marvel Universe on the 4-color printed page. And although we love TV we think this is better than one or more weekly series because the budgets for this huge (the bigger the better!) tent pole films have made everything Marvel totally real and immersive to us.

If only THE GREEN LANTERN had been the father of a similar situation for D.C….