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5 things we want to see in a DCEU/MCU movie crossover

DC Films co-head James Gunn recently stated to Empire that he has considered making a cinematic crossover between the DC and Marvel. “I would be lying to say that we haven’t discussed it,” said Gunn. “But all discussions have been very, very light and fun.”

However, despite said discussions, it seems unlikely that audiences will see a DC/Marvel crossover on the big screen anytime soon, especially considering that Gunn is currently working on introducing his new DC Universe to the world. But if such an ambitious crossover were to come to fruition, the creators would need to deliver on these five requirements to make it a success.

A Civil War-esque battle

Captain America: Civil War

Part of the dream of a DC/Marvel crossover is seeing the heroes from both universes engaging in a big, bombastic battle showcasing everyone’s full power. The airport battle from Captain America: Civil War should serve as a template for how to display such superpowered beings clashing with each other in a wave of explosions, quips, team-ups, and takedowns.

Considering that many of the heroes from each franchise have very similar powers and personas, it would be pure fanservice to see them face their others in combat and acknowledge their similarities (the Flash and Quicksilver would surely have a lot to say about that).

A clash of ideas

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
Image used with permission by copyright holder

The main reason superheroes sometimes battle each other is that they have differing ideas of how to protect people, which should be the cause of the Justice League and the Avengers trading blows. For instance, in the seminal 2003 comic book series JLA/Avengers, each team visits their opponents’ respective Earth and develops different opinions about each other, becoming a significant drive in their eventual fight.

The Justice League think the Avengers have failed to improve their world after seeing the violence and prejudice left flourishing in it. In contrast, the Avengers think the Justice League is a team of fascists who rule over everyone like gods and protect them in exchange for their worship. Understandable ideas like these should give the heroes all the more reason to fight instead of just being pitted against each other like cosmic chess pieces.

Joining forces

Captain America wielding Mjolnir in "Avengers: Endgame."
Disney / Disney

Though a DC/Marvel crossover should have both franchise’s heroes battle each other, they should eventually team up to defeat a formidable villain and save their worlds. Of course, such a foe would have to be so immensely powerful that it forces all these superheroes to put aside their differences and combine their strength to stand a chance.

Once these heroes work together to fight this overwhelming threat, they should all use their respective powers to support their new allies with creative plans of attack. For example, the Avengers displayed such teamwork when Captain America reflected a blast from Iron Man’s suit, or Spider-Man popped out of Doctor Strange’s portals to attack Thanos. Also, imagine how powerful the heroes would be if Superman used Thor’s Hammer, Batman had his own Iron Man armor, or Wonder Woman wielded Captain America’s shield. Such powerful team-ups would make for some spectacular fight scenes that would make every comic book fan scream in theaters.

Showing respect to both franchises

Bruce Wayne and Clark Kent in "Zack Snyder's Justice League."
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Marvel and DC have been longtime business rivals, with both companies creating heroes and villains heavily inspired by each other’s characters. DC has also spent the last decade trying to catch up to the Marvel Cinematic Universe with their “Extended Universe” with varying degrees of success. However, they should each put aside their competitive nature and show respect for their rival’s interconnected franchise for a crossover to work.

To do so, the Justice League and the Avengers should acknowledge their own flaws as heroes and their other’s positive impact on their respective worlds. This would metaphorically show Marvel and DC each conveying respect for their competitor’s brands without trying to come out on top, making for a kind-hearted collaboration that honors each other’s legacies.

Giving each character a spotlight

Marvel Studios / Marvel Studios

Though the purpose of a Marvel/DC team-up may be to make an enormous amount of money, the greatest priority for the creators is arguably to tell an engaging and well-rounded story. To do so, they have to make sure each hero gets the chance to shine on the screen and display their growth as individual characters.

The fact that both sides are facing heroes from different universes would surely make them take a good look at themselves, specifically at their own failures and limitations. But in the end, they should each learn how to triumph over their personal obstacles before battling their true enemy and showing their newfound strength. Such an ambitious crossover may be about a bunch of heroes teaming up, but every character should get to be the hero of their own story.

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Anthony Orlando
Anthony Orlando is a writer/director from Oradell, NJ. He spent four years at Lafayette College, graduating CUM LAUDE with a…
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