In any successful industry there are typically multiple different companies vying to make their product the king of the hill. As suggested by the featured image above, an example of this is Marvel and DC in the comic book industry. Many fans out there love a specific brand and treat any rivals to that brand as the devil itself. What most of these fanboys and fangirls fail to realize is that in actuality, these brands get along quite well.
Yes, there’s a bit of a brand “rivalry” between Marvel and DC, but neither wants the other to fail. In a recent live Facebook chat, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige briefly touched on the subject. “The rivalry is much more amongst the press, I think. Geoff Johns is a very good friend of mine. We grew up together in the business and recently celebrated Richard Donner, who we both used to work for. So, I applaud all the success he’s had.” For those who don’t know, Geoff Johns is the President of DC Comics and Richard Donner is well-known for his Superman movies way back.
Feige is also one of many people involved with the Marvel brand who have applauded the recent success of Wonder Woman. Besides Feige, this includes Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Lupita Nyong’o, James Gunn, Karen Gillan, Rosario Dawson, and so on. Continuing with Feige’s quote on the Facebook live chat, he says about the movie “I really just look at it as a fan. When the movies perform well and are well received, it’s good for us which is why I’m always rooting for them.”
What he’s getting at here is the idea that superhero movies have become their own genre at this point. If a DC movie like Wonder Woman does well, then Marvel benefits since it reaffirms to both that superhero movies will do well. The same is true the other way around if the upcoming Spider-Man: Homecoming is successful. Of course, both want their movies to do better than each other since it is a mutualistic rivalry. However, neither wants the other to fail since it would be bad for the industry and they all respect one another.
Something similar was discussed in a recent GameSpot interview with Xbox Head Phil Spencer. The rivalry between Marvel and DC is very similar to the rivalry between PlayStation and Xbox in that regard. After praising Sony’s Spider-Man PS4 game and Nintendo’s Super Mario Odyssey, this is what Spencer had to say about the brand rivalry in the gaming industry. “It’s a great time to be in this industry and for people to try to make this industry about fighting with each other as opposed to growing the industry itself I just don’t think is a long-term view on an activity that I love, which is playing games.”
Ever since Spencer took over as Head of Xbox a few years ago, this has been his approach to the industry: industry first, brand second. The fact that he’s so enthusiastic about gaming and that he was the first one to bring into the mainstream the idea of cross-play between platforms highlights this. He goes on the sum up what I have been saying this entire time. “We don’t have to see another company fail in order for us to succeed. That’s just not part of the math of running the business.”
With that in mind, Marvel fans shouldn’t be distraught by Wonder Woman’s success nor should DC fans hold any kind of disdain for how well the Marvel Cinematic Universe is doing. By the same token, PlayStation fans shouldn’t hate on the affordable 4K gaming device that is the Xbox One X and Xbox fans shouldn’t hate PlayStation for taking the lead this generation.
In both cases, both brands are doing fine. One is clearly doing better than the other but that isn’t a bad thing. Both exist to keep the other in check. This means the “rivalry” between the two is more a respectful and friendly competition rather than a war of black and white opinions. Not to mention the fact that both sides respect one another and want nothing more than success all around.