The Marvel vs. DC rivalry can be a heated affair between comic book fans, but when people officially connected with one company takes a stab at their competitor, it can get particularly ugly. Last week, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice director Zack Snyder made a comment about Marvel’s most recent release, Ant-Man, being the "flavor of the month." Understandably, this riled up many Marvel fans, including Bucky Barnes, a.k.a. the Winter Soldier, himself, Sebastian Stan, who decided to drop a burn of his own.
Stan commented how he had read Snyder’s comments and took issue with him unnecessarily targeting Marvel. The actor subsequently told Collider that his upcoming film, Captain America: Civil War, is simply trying to be a unique product rather than one-up a previous film. Stan said:
I would say we’re still making something very original in our own way. I mean, the Russos are coming in and taking something people are used to and they’re shaping it up and changing it in a very different way. They’re not trying to mimic a better Christopher Nolan movie or something like that.
Ouch, that’s gotta hurt. Stan just insinuated that Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is simply trying to copy Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight films. He does have a point. Captain America: Civil War is focused on building upon events from the previous Captain America films (and Avengers: Age of Ultron). Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, on the other hand, is being released only four years after The Dark Knight Rises was in theaters, and thus is still in the shadow of Nolan’s Batman films. Granted, Ben Affleck’s Batman seems like he’ll be much different than Christian Bale’s Batman (namely by being older and having fought crime longer), but at times it feel like the film will have the exact same tone as its predecessors. Still, it’s best not to fall down this particular rabbit before all-out chaos ensues in comment sections everywhere.
This is a quarrel where it’s best not to keep score, but in Marvel’s defense, Snyder’s comment isn’t the only time this year that someone associated with DC took a shot at Marvel. Back in March, Aquaman actor Jason Momoa signed a poster of himself as the King of Atlantis with the simple epitapth, "Fuck Marvel." It’s one thing to have friendly competition, but to many, when comments like this are made, there really isn’t any upside. All they’re going to do is piss a lot of people off. It’s what happened with Momoa, it’s what happened with Snyder, and it will probably happen with Stan.
Let’s just hope that Stan’s statement doesn’t accelerate an all-out war between Marvel and DC enthusiasts and creative talent. The last thing the comic book fandom needs is more in-fighting, though I fear that between the March release of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and the May release of Captain America: Civil War, we’ll hear more of these jabs back and forth.