Ever since DC and Marvel made it big, the fans of the rival comic book companies have been at loggerheads. The fight spilled out into cinema when the two started producing their comic book adaptations. James Gunn, who has the relatively rare distinction of working on movies for both companies, recently weighed in on the supposed rivalry that exists between them:
Honest to God, I can't remember anyone at either Marvel or DC ever condemning the other company. I think there's probably slightly less competition between Marvel & DC than between Marvel or DC & all other movies. After all, we are in very similar boats, relatively speaking. https://t.co/dlmoSfDfsT— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) January 26, 2020
Gunn's response is a thoughtful summation of the paradigm that exists today concerning comic book movies. According to Gunn, there is less of a competition between DC Comics and Marvel over their movies, and more of a competition between the superhero movie genre that both companies primarily make movies in, and every other genre of film.
This means that, according to Gunn, far from being hostile to each other's success, both DC and Marvel Studios recognize that they are both in the same boat when it comes to challenges faced by their brand of cinema. One of the biggest challenges at the moment, is the perception that superhero movies are unworthy of being considered true cinema, with both DC and Marvel trying to change that perception with films like Joker and Logan.
As such, it seems the rivalry between the two companies is very much something conjured up by fan's imaginations. After all, both DC and Marvel comics have a history of working with each other during crossovers and referencing the other's respective universes in their stories. The most recent example occurred in a recent issue of Thor, where Superman and Wonder Woman were mentioned as prior wielders of the enchanted hammer Mjölnir
DC and Marvel comics also have a history of using common artists to tell stories about their characters. James Gunn is following in that same tradition as he continues his work on Suicide Squad 2 for DC and Guardians of the Galaxy for Marvel.
Even the actors who work in the MCU and DCeU have famously been supportive of each other, by and large, aside from the occasional incidents like Jason Mamoa signing a poster that said 'F- Marvel', although he claimed it was just a joke that was blown out of proportion.
What is interesting to consider is that for the first time, there does appear to be serious competition between the MCU and DCeU, at least in terms of the box office. Initially, Marvel movies were far more successful than DC films, which were struggling to find their niche instead of becoming clones of the Avengers movie universe.
But with recent successes like Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Shazam and Joker under their belt, DC films are finally shaping up to challenge the MCU's box office dominance. And because of this, fans will continue to imagine all kinds of bad blood scenarios between the two companies, no matter how wrong or right that perception might be. This comes direct from James Gunn's Twitter.