Rivalry is a powerfully motivating force, as can be seen with Nike vs. Adidas and Coke vs. Pepsi.
One of the fiercest battles currently being played out is between DC Extended Universe (DC EU) and Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) whose various superheroes are fighting for supremacy on the screen.
What Is DC EU? DC Extended Universe features superheroes that originated under U.S. comic book publishers DC Comics. DC has the likes Superman, Batman, Flash, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern and Cyborg, to name a few.
What is Marvel Universe? A cinematic universe with superheroes who originated from another American comic book publisher, Marvel. Marvel has Iron Man, Spider-Man, Hulk, Thor and X-Men, among others.
With DC Comics releasing "Justice League" in mid-November, there was immense hype that DC could finally give Marvel a run for its money.
Here's five reasons why DC Extended Universe is still playing catch-up to Marvel, in my view anyway.
1. 'Justice League' is light years behind 'The Avengers'
When Marvel decided to go big in the cinemas, they came up with the brilliant idea of starting a Marvel "Movie Universe". This meant that there would be a possibility for comic fans to see all their favourite Marvel characters in a single movie. That dream would ultimately come true in 2012 when Marvel released "The Avengers".
DC Comics, not wanting to be left behind, started its own DC "Extended Universe" where they hoped to bring the "Justice League" characters into reality at the box office.
DC EU had finally come up with an idea that had the potential to really challenge Marvel. But it didn't. "Justice League" was not spectacular or disappointing; it was just okay, a mediocre movie.
The movie was supposed to be the magnum opus of what DC EU had to offer, following the disappointment of "Superman Vs Batman: Dawn of Justice". But the movie arguably missed a gripping plot, with poor character development and too much CGI.
2. It seemed rushed
When the Marvel cinematic universe started planning "The Avengers" in 2008, they started to slowly phase in the idea of a Marvel superhero team. It was a process that was four years in the making.
"Justice League" also took four years to make, but the way the team was assembled seemed rushed.
Cyborg, The Flash and Aquaman appeared out of nowhere without having had their own standalone movies. These standalone movies are normally used to introduce the character to movie audiences and to get a feel for what he/she may contribute in the bigger team.
Superheroes need to be slowly phased into a team so that there can be chemistry between the characters.
3. Box office appeal
If you want to talk numbers, no one does it better than Marvel. "The Avengers" is the third-highest-grossing film of all time with a total of R20-billion in the cinemas.
Here are the highest grossing superhero movies of all time:
- The Avengers (Marvel) -- $1.519,479,547
- Avengers: Age Of Ultron (Marvel) -- $1,408,218,722
- Iron Man 3 (Marvel) -- $1,215,392,272
- Captain America: Civil War (Marvel) -- $1,153,304,495
- The Dark Knight Rises (DC) -- $1,084,439,099
- The Dark Knight (DC) -- $1,001,620,618
- Spider-Man 3 (Marvel) -- $894,860,230
- Spider-Man: Homecoming -- $879,627,453
- Batman Vs Superman: Dawn of Justice (DC) -- $868,160,194
- Guardians of The Galaxy Vol 2 (Marvel) -- $860,477,263
DC EU has extraordinary superheroes that we love. But when putting comic characters into a film, you need a quality storyline that has substance and can carry over into future movies. Character development is one of the essential components that "Justice League" did not build upon and, as such, seeing the team assembling together was as underwhelming as the movie's villain.
Instead, the movie opted for special effects such as CGI, which at times can make the movie slightly unbelievable.
While "Justice League" is at times funny and heroic, it does not come close to "The Avengers".
5. The villian
Perhaps the biggest disappointment in "Justice League" was not the heroes, but rather the villain, Steppenwolf. He simply did not come to life and he did not terrorise the viewer compared to the likes of Joker and Bane or even General Zod.
The winning formula for any superhero movie is having a kick-as bad guy that you hate to love. "Justice League" would have been an even better movie if the villain was more brazen and evil or more charismatic.
"Justice League" is not the worst movie of all time -- it just does not compare to Marvel's "The Avengers".