Superhero match-ups. They’re the bread and butter of the comic book world; often the most thrilling element of a four-color story. Comics are full of cool, vibrant heroes, and as much as we like seeing them take down the bad guys… we like seeing them tear chunks out of each other too. This kind of in-fighting has often proved to be the perfect introduction between heroes; their meeting starts with a disagreement and a fistfight or two, until their differences can be put aside in order to combat a third party menace that requires teamwork to save the day. Far be it from comic book movie adaptations to stray from the formula, and not only have both Marvel Studios and the DCEU released superhero-v-superhero movies, but they dropped in the same year, with more than a few similarities to boot.
CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR is the thirteenth movie in Marvel’s Infinity Saga, which is a lengthy runway into a story that doesn’t just pit Cap against Avengers teammate Iron Man, but adds five heroes to each side. Civil War, based on the Marvel Comics event of the same name by Mark Millar and Steve McNiven, dropped on May 6th, 2016, to the delight and acclaim of fans and critics everywhere.
BATMAN V SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE, meanwhile, had debuted a couple of months earlier to tepid reviews and a less-than-enthusiastic fan response. The second movie in the DC Extended Universe as initiated by director Zack Snyder, BvS was a follow-up to the Henry Cavill-led Man of Steel which saw a darker, more messianic Superman for the 2010s. Warner Bros. was trying to turn up the heat on their slow-moving shared universe to rival Marvel Studios, and Batman V Superman was their opportunity to catch up by bringing Batman back to the big screen after the end of Christopher Nolan’s revered trilogy, and was also an attempt at planting a few seeds for their eventual Justice League team-up, which would drop a year later.
The movie saw Batman and Superman winding up in — you guessed it — fisticuffs as the title suggested, with Lex Luthor pulling the strings behind the scenes. Civil War had a similar mortal mastermind working in the shadows, with Helmut Zemo seeking revenge against the Avengers.
2016 proved to be the first — and perhaps only — same-year battleground for box office domination between extremely similar movies from Marvel and DC; considering their resemblance, why not pull up a chair, have Bruce Wayne pour us a cup of tea, and find out which film bleeds! You know what it’s time for… FACE OFF!
This episode of Face Off is written by Daniel Woburn, narrated by Shawn Knippelberg, and edited by Stephen White. Watch previous episodes below and let us know in the comments which film about superheroes fighting one another you prefer — Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice or Captain America: Civil War!