Before this year, DC stormed through with their shows. It feels like since I can remember, DC has always had a good show on the board, and this was further fuelled in 2012 when Arrow first aired on The CW.
The CW has then since gone on to create a cascade of shows which all line to the same universe, similar to what Marvel was doing with the MCU, but in TV form.
Marvel, whilst dominating the Box Office, really struggled to put out anything that could be deemed a masterpiece when it came to TV. After all, they signed off their heroes to Netflix in Luke Cage, Iron Fist, The Punisher, and Daredevil.
Whilst those shows were good, they weren’t exceptional, at least in my opinion anyway. When those shows were airing, I still preferred DC by a million miles because it all linked up better.
Despite The CW dominating the game for a while, they have one major lingering issue with all of their shows. They get absolute trash after 3 seasons or so. They always begin so strong, they end up catering to a small audience which turns the show into more of a soap opera, instead of a superhero show.
Arrow went down this route, The Flash has done it multiple times, Legends has become one of the worst shows on the planet, and Supergirl tried its hand down the political route but miserably failed.
This is why I’m worried for Superman & Lois because it’s been one of my favorite shows and I just hope it sticks on the right path. However, this is where Marvel has come in.
Let’s begin with the obvious – Marvel has made their shows more accessible to the world, compared to DC. So, ultimately the Marvel shows will be more popular, because of Disney+. DC continues to let down the rest of the world when it comes to airing their shows, which does result in a high level of piracy.
In the UK, we have to resort to piracy, a VPN, or we have to wait until the shows air on Sky which is usually weeks behind. There’s no easy way to watch the shows. HBO Max and The CW (which is where the DC shows now live) both have apps, but are unavailable to large portions of the world, which is ridiculous.
When a Marvel show drops, it drops for everybody at the exact same time on one single platform, so naturally, the popularity and ease of access are already there.
Let’s focus on another point. Besides the latest shows such as Doom Patrol and Titans, The CW always feels the need to usually have 23 episode seasons. Which, in turn, looks fantastic on paper but it’s always awfully executed.
Marvel so far has stuck to 6, and 9 with WandaVision (although WandaVision’s episode times were much less in the opening episodes).
How is this better, you may ask? Well, when the Marvel shows are airing, they don’t beat around the bush. They pick a story, and they tell that story from beginning to end with no runarounds. DC’s shows tend to have these over-the-top filler episodes just to fill the season, which is pointless.
I’m not saying all filler episodes are bad. Those that focus on a character’s backstory and development are okay, it’s these episodes that are midway through fighting a nasty villain just to do something completely different the next episode.
It happens all too often. Look at Falcon and the Winter Soldier, it gave us the Pilot of what to expect and the story ran through. We didn’t beat around the bush, and yes there were only 6 episodes but I felt satisfied at the end of it. Simply because the story they set out to tell was told, in an amazing way.
One of the exceptions so far this year is Superman & Lois. This show hasn’t swayed too much or created too many filler episodes, and it’s why it has been one of the strongest shows of the year across all franchises.
And this is exactly why as a viewer I get frustrated. I know the potential is there. They do it every single time. They can create a fantastic show, but it seems as though it’s swayed to point in a different direction.
So yes, Marvel has beat DC this year already. We’ve had 3 incredible shows for Marvel, and still have What If…?, Hawkeye, and Ms. Marvel to come. The only other DC show I’m really super excited for is Titans, and I am interested in Stargirl.
This isn’t to say that I think The CW or HBO Max are doing BAD with their shows because they’re not. I just believe Marvel has the formula to make a perfect show a lot more than most of the DC shows studios at this point in time which can obviously change.
I think the fact that Marvel can take side characters from the MCU movies with very little development or backstory and make an exceptional show out of them. Sam Wilson is one of them, we first saw him in Captain America and The Winter Soldier, and now he’s Captain America! About to get a movie because of how well he has done in the show.
Before the show aired, we didn’t know an awful lot about Sam or where he came from. I believe that only Marvel can pull off something like that in such a monumental way.
As a superhero fan though, I want both franchises to blow me away week in and week out. It’s why I tune in. It’s entertainment, and I truly hope by this point next year The CW does wonders with their shows, and HBO Max ups their game and gives us some damn news on the Green Lantern Corps show.
Which franchise do you prefer at the moment? Let me know down in the comments below.