10 Reasons Captain America: Civil War Beat Batman v Superman

Marvel showed DC how it's done

Captain America Civil War Batman V Superman.jpg
Marvel/Warner Bros. Pictures

This is the summer of versus movies, what with Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Captain America: Civil War being released just a month apart. Both films had a similar premise - their two biggest characters would meet on the field of battle, there's ideological conflict driving them both, and a mastermind villain pulling strings in the background. 

Despite how similar these movies are, there are massive differences in execution. Marvel built up to Civil War over the course of eight films. The foundation for this structure was carefully laid, brick by brick. DC only had the very weak foundation of Man of Steel, a film with a mixed reaction. 

And on that foundation, they didn't carefully lay down another part of the structure, but instead tried to dump everything on it at once. The result is the conflict in Civil War feels organic and makes sense, whereas the conflict in BvS comes off as forced.

And the results are very telling. A large amount of early reactions to BvS were extremely negative, with only a few positives and despite a strong opening, experienced a steep audience drop-off. On the flipside, Civil War has been met with near-universal acclaim by critics and fans alike.

So what happened? How did Marvel succeed where DC failed? Read on and find out.

10. It's Fun

Captain America Civil War Batman V Superman.jpg
Marvel Studios

If you had to choose one word to describe the DCEU, it would probably be dark. But play that same game with the MCU, and the word you choose would most-likely be fun.

BvS is ultimately a very dour and depressing film. It casts two of the world's greatest superheroes as morose sadists who take themselves far too seriously. You have a Superman who has apparently forgotten to smile and a Batman who has to grunt and come up with "badass" lines like "Do you bleed?"

Civil War doesn't go down that route. Even though you've got superheroes fighting each other and a conflicted rooted in real-world concerns about power and how to monitor that power, there's still a lot of fun in these movies.

No matter how grim things get, there are still moments of levity to balance out the bleak. The interactions between the characters portray them as intelligent people with real concerns, but they also aren't afraid to diffuse the tension every now and then.

BvS makes the mistake of painting every single character with the same murky colors. There's almost no variance in the depictions of the characters. Even visually, the film is extremely dark and difficult to watch at times.

There needs to be a balance struck between the light and dark elements, and that's a lesson DC has yet to learn.


Percival Constantine is the author of several novels and short stories, including the Vanguard superhero series, and regularly writes and comments on movies, comics, and other pop culture. More information can be found at his website, PercivalConstantine.com