By Dave Elliott (original can be found here )

As if the battle lines weren’t already drawn, the joint communique from Marvel/Disney and Sony announcing Spider–Man being part of a shared universe, has to be the (Infinity) Gauntlet throwdown of the year.

Marvel versus DC Comics has been a decades long battle going back to the 1960’s when DC Comics restricted how many Marvel comics were allowed to go on the newsstands. Today Marvel is owned by Disney and DC is owned by Warner Brothers and these two studio giants are getting ready to rumble!

Marvel having access to Spider–Man opens up a ton of possibilities. They can introduce Peter Parker’s parents through Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. in time for Peter Parker to make his first appearance in “Captain America: Civil War,” a comic series he played a pivotal part in. Or does Marvel really push out the envelope…?

Does Marvel make the black/hispanic character Miles Morales Spider–Man, as he is in the Ultimate Comics line?

This would be a brave departure for the company. If Marvel used Miles Morales and Sony used Peter Parker, they could both have their cake and eat it.

Over at Warner Brothers, they are preparing to shoehorn in as many characters as possible into the Batman versus Superman movie. Wonder Woman and Aquaman have both been confirmed along with their token black character Cyborg making an appearance.

Unlike Marvel, DC is keeping its TV and Film worlds separate, so Stephen Amell (Arrow) and Grant Gustin (The Flash) will not be reprising their roles on the big screen.

While Marvel has taken the slow and steady approach to releasing their movies, which has won them the support of their fans, DC seems to be putting everything on the truck at once and driving it full force through a schedule of movies in production; regardless the mixed reaction to their first movie of their shared universe,“Man of Steel.” The original Batman trilogy by Christopher Nolan is not considered part of this new shared universe.

Marvel’s head of production, Kevin Feige, seems to understand the characters well.

These characters were created for a new, young audience in the 1960’s by Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko. Under Stan Lee’s masterful editorship and PR showmanship, they connected with a younger demographic than the DC comics library of heroes who had been published since the 1930’s. Marvel’s readership has always been younger than DC’s, even by today’s standards, with readers’ average ages in the 30 to 40–year–old range.

Both comic universes are building to conflicts with their main big bad guys. By coincidence, DC’s main villain is another Jack Kirby creation, Darkseid, a cold–hearted God looking for the “Anti–Life Equation” that would give him dominion over every living thing. Marvel’s major baddie is Thanos, created by Jim Starlin for Marvel to be their Darkseid. While Darkseid has faced Superman on his cartoon show, Thanos reached the big screen first, giving Marvel an edge over Warner Brothers planned franchise.

Marvel/Disney and DC/Warner Brothers have very different approaches to developing their cinematic franchises and are putting a huge amount of resources into them. This is cinematic gladiatorial combat for the 21st century. We get to watch on the sidelines as these huge corporations do battle. Whatever happens, we win.

Posted with permission by Dave Elliott 

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