Batman vs. Superman vs. Captain America


We all saw the date on our calendars, set roughly two years from now.  Two major superhero blockbusters set up to square off against each other on one weekend.  Once Warner Bros. announced that they would be moving Batman vs. Superman: The Dawn of Justice back a year to 2016 and that it would be May 6, many began to wonder if Marvel would move Cap 3 to a different date.  This week, Marvel confirmed that they would not be changing the date, but instead would set up what is bound to be one of the biggest movie showdowns in recent memory.  It leaves the rest of us wondering: Which do I see?  Or, do I decide to just see both in the same weekend.  Or, by that point, will either really be worth my time? Decisions, decisions.

It’s a bold move by Warner Bros. and DC.  Let’s be honest, Marvel has been building quite the hit machine.  The success they have had at the box office has been astounding, and their movies have all been pretty high quality.  There’s not a Green Lantern stinker in the bunch.  DC, on the other hand, has been left out in the cold.  They had success with Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy, and Snyder’s Man of Steel, but it seems like they are almost late to the game.   Marvel has been quietly (or not so quietly) building a strong group of characters on the big screen, while it looked like DC could only successfully develop the big two, Batman and Superman.  They had one effort in there with Green Lantern and it was so rotten, that it was probably a good idea to just walk away from it.  Marvel has even beaten DC to the punch with a team based movie that didn’t suck.  Avengers and its success started all the same questions about a Justice League movie and if it could be done.  Unfortunately, it took Marvel 4 years to get to Avengers, and DC is already so far behind that they can’t take 4 years to develop their team in the same way.  Just for fun, by the way, Marvel is now ready to have a second team movie success with a non-major team.  Seriously, other than pretty serious geeks, most people had never heard of Guardians of the Galaxy until now, and it is set up to be a huge success.  Why, because Marvel has been a machine lately.  Everything they have done has been so good and so crowd pleasing that they can now gamble on titles like Guardians and knowing they will be successful.  This is what Warner Bros. and DC is going up against.

But will it still be this way in 2016?  Right now is the golden age of Superhero movies.  I don’t think there has ever been a time when there have been so many big budget superhero flicks, and so many that have been taken so seriously.  Our culture is a culture of fads, however, and one has to wonder how long this particular fad will last.  Looking at it, there have always been superhero films, but this particular run probably started with Iron Man in 2008, so it’s been 6 years already.  How long will the frenzy continue?  All signs point to no time soon, but that’s what a lot of people thought about pogs, and we all know how that turned out.  It was over as quickly as it began.  Or how about alien summer blockbusters?  The 90s was full of those.  Will Smith made his living in the 90s off of big budget alien movies.  That trend is now over.  Trends in movies come and go, and realistically speaking, as much as I want this one to go on forever, it won’t. Will it last until 2016?  I don’t know.  Captain America 3 will take place after Avengers 2, so it will be the 5th movie appearance for Cap.  Will people still care?  I suppose a lot of that will have to do with what happens to the character in Avengers 2 and what else is happening in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.  For Warner Bros. and DC, this might be a good thing.  We have never had a Superman/Batman crossover before, and the fans want it.  At least they want it right now, in 2014.  We’ll see if anyone is wanting Superhero movies in 2016.  Chances are they will, but Batman v Superman may just be different enough from what we have seen in the past to draw more people to it instead of Cap 3.  We may be tired of Cap by round three, or we may be deeply invested in the character.

In any case, May 6, 2016 is shaping up to be quite the weekend.  I’m thinking we book the babysitter now for both Friday and Saturday night, and just plan on spending 5+ hours in the theater getting our geek on.

Jake Dietz
Jake Dietz is a humble bank employee by day, and super dad to 5 little monsters by night. He enjoys all things geeky. That's why he started this blog. He considers himself a member of many fandoms, and dreams of the day when all geeks, everywhere, can find a way to live together in harmony.