DC is making its big push to compete with Marvel by finally pursuing its own connected cinematic universe. Despite the success of Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy, DC has had a difficult time with its attempts at creating a connected world that can match the scope of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. So far it’s off to a rocky start with decidedly mixed reviews for the two Superman movies and Suicide Squad, but the publisher is looking to right the ship with this year’s Wonder Woman and Justice League. Exploring the possibilities of these other heroes will be key to the future success of DC, and another place they need to take advantage of this is in video games.
Despite their robust stable of characters to draw from, the only hero that DC seems to be focusing on when it comes to video games is Batman. In fact, since 2010 there have been a total of 26 DC Comics games for consoles, PCs, and mobile devices and of those, only nine have not been specifically Batman-branded titles. And of those, most were mobile apps with only a scant five non-Batman games being released for consoles. This is a company with some of the most well-known heroes in comics and yet they seem to be stuck in Gotham City. Thankfully, the publisher will be bringing more heroes into the fold with Injustice 2, but the fighting game is a drop in the bucket compared to what Marvel is producing, particularly with the impending release of Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite.
By comparison, look at the line-up from Marvel over the same time period and you’ll see a wide assortment of superheroes appealing to a vast array of fans. Through casting a wider net, Marvel appeals to a much bigger audience. This helps to translate to its movies as well. This can be seen most prominently in the licensed slot reels for online casinos, where there are games available for Iron Man, Spider-Man, the Hulk, the X-Men, Daredevil, the Punisher, and even Elektra. These colorful takes on classic games can be enjoyed by both hardcore fans and casual gamers alike through simple gameplay and familiar faces on the reels. In turn, these help to further increase the recognition of the characters with the general population. Meanwhile, DC is still largely recognized only for Batman and Superman, though they’re hoping to change that image. Injustice 2 will spotlight DC’s ensemble cast and has done a good job of adding more variety by including Black Canary and, of course, Wonder Woman.
Bringing out Wonder Woman is a big step in the right direction for DC. It introduces a new demographic, diversifies their roster of heroes, and opens the movie universe to exciting new stories with fresh characters for audiences to connect with. The latest trailer looks incredible and the movie could be just the thing to turn around the critical opinion of the DC Universe. Even better, DC will beat Marvel to the punch by having the first movie of the new superhero era to star a female hero when Wonder Woman comes out this summer. Marvel’s first movie in the MCU headlined by a woman won’t be until Captain Marvel is released in 2019.
Marvel has been the dominant comic book publisher for the last decade when it comes to movies and digital media, but DC is finally catching up. If it can succeed with its next two movies and attract fans through its efforts in both games and big-screen productions, we could see the tide begin to turn in the latest comic book wars.