As companies grow, it is only natural that they seek to expand their product line. Marvel and DC have long been extending tendrils into other markets, from animated TV shows to action figures. Now, as both publishers expand boldly into live-action, it would seem each is carving a particular niche.
Marvel is clearly poised to come out on top when it comes to the big screen. While the Dark Knight Trilogy and Man of Steel both had excellent box office numbers, Marvel's commitment to a continuous universe between films has made the film franchise into an unstoppable juggernaut. This doesn't even take into account the efforts of Fox and Sony's studios who are working on licensed Marvel properties with Fantastic-Four and The Amazing Spider-Man respectively. On the other hand, DC seems to be struggling to build a film franchise as powerful as Marvel. Given that we're getting a different actor for Batman in the upcoming Batman vs. Superman, it would seem the two flagship franchises will have trouble merging into a shared universe. However, as Justice League will continue the same cast, maybe there is hope after all. It just seems such a waste to toss the Dark Knight Trilogy aside, given the strength of the films.
As if movies weren't enough, we'll soon be seeing both publishers all over the small screen as well. We already have Marvel's Agents of SHIELD and Arrow, and now we can look forward to more shows that promise to integrate with existing shows to build on the idea of shared universes. The CW announced yesterday a new Flash series that will tie in with Arrow. Previously, Marvel announced Netflix exclusive shows and a mini-series. While the specific characters have yet to be fully revealed, popular speculation suggests it will revolve around the characters of the Defenders. Late last night, Marvel announced Agents of SHIELD will be renewed for a second season and we can look forward to an Agent Carter series focused on SHIELD founder Peggy Carter in the Fall. As Agents of SHIELD builds on the Marvel Cinematic Universe, I fully expect Agent Carter to continue that trend. It's hard to say whether Arrow and Flash will join up with DC's Justice League universe, but DC fans can cross their fingers and hope.
Marvel and DC already dominate the print comics market and its clear they plan to dominate big and small screens as well. But what about smaller publishers? Image has a number of titles that would make fantastic series or films. They've already had success with The Walking Dead on AMC and personally I think Saga would make an epic movie.
What comics would you most like to see represented on screen?
E. Ross Ura is a writer, letterer, artist, composer, and blogger active in the Metro Detroit Area.