comic book movies

Civil War vs Dawn of Justice: What’s the point?

civil war vs dawn of justice

By now I’m sure everyone has seen the brilliant Captain America: Civil War trailer, and with its release comes the pointless discussion of Civil War vs Dawn of Justice.

Of course as to be expected with the release of the Captain America: Civil War trailer comes the classic Marvel vs DC discussions. But more specifically the ‘Captain America: Civil War’ vs ‘Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice’ discussions.

So with the release of the Civil War trailer there were plenty of fans, journalists Marvel fanboys and even comic book writers insisting on the need to proclaim why one trailer was so good and the other was not so good.

Now I’m up for a good discussion. It’s fair to compare Civil War and Dawn of Justice. They’re both two huge movies, dealing with superhero conflict. But why feel the need to think movie quality is relative?

civil war vs dawn of justice

For Civil War to be a good movie, it doesn’t have to be better than Dawn of Justice and vice versa. They should be good movies in their own right regardless of how the other is. People shouldn’t feel like a film’s success hinges on the competition sucking.

Because here’s the thing: if a big superhero movie like Batman v Superman ends up being bad, that affects all the superhero movies that come out after it. So why pit the two against each other?

Also why would you want a film to be bad? Wouldn’t you rather watch two great films? It’s so great when the internet is collectively excited about something, so why ruin that fun by attacking someone’s excitement?

civil war vs dawn of justice

Now of course you may genuinely think that one trailer is great and the other sucks, that’s not a problem. The problem is when the only basis for reasoning is that one is Marvel and the other is DC.

But now that we have seen the trailers for Civil War and Dawn of Justice, we can take an objective look at Civil War vs Dawn of Justice, looking at the similarities and differences of the two films, based off what we’ve seen:

Captain America: Civil War Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
Heroes fighting: The tension between Tony and Steve has been growing for several films now. Their conflicting ideologies became clear in Age of Ultron. Former friends, now fighting. Heroes fighting: Superman and Batman’s tension is new. They don’t know each other, and they will realise that their ideologies don’t conflict as much as they think. They will go from enemies to allies.
Accountability of heroes: A big theme of the film is what is a superhero? The government is concerned with the amount of unchecked power these heroes have, and feel like they should work under the government, instead of enforcing their own form of law.

This helps set up the conflict between Iron Man and Captain America, as Iron Man is for this idea whereas Captain America is against this idea.

Accountability of heroes: After the events of Man of Steel, part of the government strongly distrusts Superman and believes he should be held responsible for the collateral damage.

This sets up the conflict between Batman and Superman, as Batman was personally affected by the events of Man of Steel and also believes Superman should be held responsible.


Setting up the bigger universe: This film will help set up the next phases of films for Marvel by introducing characters like Black Panther and Spider-Man

However the film more relies on the history of the Marvel universe.

Setting up the bigger universe: This film will have a major role in setting up the next lot of DC films by introducing characters like Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman and Cyborg.

The film sets up the idea that there is a lot of history in the universe, with Batman and Wonder Woman introduced as having operated in this world for a long time.

Tone: The first trailer set up a darker, more serious tone. Building off the tone from Winter Soldier, not only does the film look more serious compared to other Marvel films, it has more of an emotional pull.

However the D23 teaser trailer for Civil War was more light-hearted and indicated that the more serious moments would be balanced with the classic Marvel humour.

Tone: The teaser and trailer all set up a darker, more serious tone. Building off the tone set up in Man of Steel, we’ve yet to see any light-hearted moments from the footage.

The emotional weight comes from Batman, as you get a sense that his past has torn him down. And also from Superman, who is finding it difficult dealing with the public backlash against him.

 Villains: The main focus in the trailer was on the Captain America/Iron Man conflict, however we do know that Crossbones and Zemo are involved in the film. Right now their motives and purpose aren’t completely clear, but should be revealed through further marketing materials.  Villains: The main villain we know of is Lex Luthor. He will have a hand in pitting Batman and Superman against each other, pulling strings in the background. We also know there will be a bigger threat who comes in the third act who will unite the DC Trinity, rumours are that it’s Doomsday but there’s no confirmation yet.
 Where the film will lead to: Civil War will set up the new Avengers team that will be featured in Part 1 of Infinity War.  Where the film will lead to: Dawn of Justice will set up the Justice League team that will be featured in Part 1 of Justice League.


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14 replies »

  1. Honestly…I don’t get it. I mean, I would get it to compare the actual movies, but so far we haven’t seen them. We have only seen the trailers. And it doesn’t matter at all which trailer is “better”, what matters is that they are both do a good job to represent the movie in question. I also feel that it is odd to compare those movies because, well, in a lot of ways Dawn of Justice is thematically more in the ballpark of The Avengers. This is about two heroes with different ideologies clashing with each other and eventually they will overcome their differences so that Justice League will happen. Civil war is way later in the story, since Marvel has a head start, so it will be about friends going up against each other. I am not sure how they will solve this conflict (and if they will solve it at all in this movie).
    In any case, both studios have a good marketing campaign, both will make a ton of money and with a little bit of luck we will get two great movies.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Competition begets improvement. It’s the drive to produce the “best” (not merely “better”) quality product which improves the quality said products over time. Since we have two hero vs. hero movies, and coming out right next to each other to boot, it’s perfectly natural to pit them against each other. I am sincerely hoping that DC has learned (and will continue to learn) from all of its competitors, especially Marvel, as Marvel is currently the reigning champion of superhero movies. To contrast the trailers, well, contrast audience reactions. Dawn of Justice reactions were lukewarm, willing, even interested, but not necessarily “excited,” ya know? Civil War reactions? I’ve yet to come across one that wasn’t absolutely stoked. So while DC is still in the race, and could still do very well, Marvel is definitely in the lead.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I admit I prefer DC a little over Marvel, but I don’t hope Civil War will suck or do worse than Batman V Superman. I hope both films do really well in the box office.

    While both films are pretty similar I just find the main difference is how the conflict will result. In Civil War the conflict is going to tear friends apart while Batman V Superman will likely form new friendships. Although I do find it funny how these films reflect their comics. A lot of times Marvel heroes tend to deal with the distrust of civilians much more than DC heroes. Sure DC heroes do from time to time but in the end they often end up working with the government and being allies of the citizens.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m looking forward to both but I particularly want DoJ to firstly be GOOD and to be well received critically and financially. The DC screen universe deserves as much success as Marvel (that’s no diss against Marvel, I love both universes).


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