It’s looking like Marvel will be going ahead with plans for a Dr. Strange movie.  There seems there is no stopping their run of success at the box office.  Not only is Marvel churning out more movies than DC, they are also producing better ones.  Even their lesser known characters are getting more screen time and higher ticket sales than their DC counterparts.  Is Marvel doing it better than DC or have they just been luckier?

Given that the early years of Marvel’s box office reign were shaky to say the least.  With a few exceptions, Marvel has been producing great adaptations of their comic book heroes.  DC hasn’t had a really successful movie since The Dark Knight and with that franchise coming to an end, it seems that might signal the end of DC’s presence on the big screen.  With the poor showing of Green Lantern this summer things are not looking good for DC at all.  They could be pinning all their hopes on a successful reboot of Superman in 2013 with no back up should it fail.  There has been talk back and forth of a Green Lantern sequel, but nothing firm yet.  Rumors are also going around about a Wonder Woman movie but if it couldn’t make it to television it isn’t likely that a movie could be any more successful.  Warner Bros says it has a solid script in hand for Flash, but nothing about if or when it might go into production.

Some are saying it’s superhero fatigue that’s hurting these films.  That’s great if you buy into that, but I don’t.  Some movies do very well while others struggle to find an audience.  Maybe it’s the climate we’re living in these days, maybe it’s ticket prices, I could go on and on listing possible causes.  Maybe it could be and bare with me here, maybe Marvel is just making better movies.  They obviously saw the writing on the wall when they decided to gear up for the Avengers.  Going ahead and contracting their leads for an ensemble film was the way to go.  DC’s plans for their resident team up movie Justice League never made it into production.

DC has had other problems with getting their heroes in the theaters.  Several projects they were working on including Justice League were either scrapped or never made it off the drawing board.  Green Lantern took a while to get going and other titles like Flash and Wonder Woman were either dropped or re-imagined or developed into other projects.  Even their flagship hero Superman has had problems making it to film.  Perhaps it’s a fine line between keeping fans happy and appealing to a wide audience that Marvel has had more success with than DC.

Marvel is not only kicking butt in the theaters, they are also slapping DC around in comic book shops.  Last month they were offering free comics to readers who turned in books from DC’s Flashpoint series.  Some are saying that’s dirty pool but there really hasn’t been that much backlash from DC about it.  Many in the comic industry are wondering if the people over at DC are suffering from heat stroke or something.  It’s a well known fact that the comic book industry as a whole is suffering and publishers are pulling out all the stops to bolster readership.  This isn’t just hurting the publishers themselves, but local comic shops are also feeling the heat as sales continue to drop.

DC is trying the put up for shut up approach this fall with a reboot of their entire line.  Many titles were cancelled while the remaining 52 will be rebooted and started over at issue number one.  This has some fans very upset due to either losing their title altogether or being started over.  Many fans are unhappy with the changes being made.  A planned protest was organized at the San Diego Comic Con last month, but less than two dozen fans showed up.  DC also put all their cards on the table by announcing that new issues will also be available digitally the same day they are released in print.  That is a bold move for them because if successful, could put a dent in print sales that comic retailers depend on.  It will be interesting to see if other publishers like Marvel and IDW follow suit.

Where it will all end is for anyone to guess.  Who’s to say who will come out on top or if the industry itself will just fall apart.  I for one certainly hope the comic industry recovers and adapts to the ever changing culture we live in today.  I am one of the few who remain somewhat optimistic about DC’s changes coming up.  It goes to show you that if you sit back and do nothing, nothing will happen.  But in this case DC at least has people talking, good or bad.  Personally I think it will all balance out in the end and the big two publishers will each find their niche again.

So is Marvel in the frame of mind to take out its closest rival?  Probably not in this case.  To be the only one left standing would spell certain doom for the industry.  It’s probably in Marvel’s best interest to take advantage and make DC look bad though.  Just like DC would take any opportunity it could to pull readers from Marvel.  In times like these it would be in both their best interest to try and work together to save the comic book industry as a whole.  Such a move wouldn’t have both of them holding hands and skipping in the rain together; but working together to make sure another generation starts reading comic books wouldn’t hurt.

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