DC Animated Universe vs. Marvel Cinematic Universe

Which is better?

DCAU’s got a fine and proud history, true; but I’ve got to say, it was always fundamentally hindered, content-wise, by it’s children’s TV roots. Look, I don’t want to be the kind of person to say that a superhero story is only good if it’s a violent, hardcore, grim-and-gritty, etc. setting; but there’s a difference between not going in those directions and never being allowed to.

And, if I may be frank, the DC universe has been kind unapproachable for me. Granted, a lot of that’s personal taste, and much of the rest can’t be helped—DC continuity’s been stitched together from, what, a dozen different comic companies? And who-knows-how-many parallel worlds within those worlds? Over 70+ years? It’s amazing that it’s as coherent as it is, and the DCAU did an admirable job of adapting it. But on a whole, DC’s always been a bit of a quagmire for me, once you scratch the surface of the more recognizable elements.

Didn’t see the distinction between DC Animated and Marvel cinematic, and voted Marvel since I thought it was cinematic v. cinematic.

The real answer here is “original comics” - but that’s unfair. Even terrible movies can have some redeeming qualities, and the idea that “it’s better than nothing” is true in my mind when it comes to creating an adaptation (see: LOTR). So taking “original comics” off the list, it’s a really tough call - Batman: The Animated Series is an amazing piece of work, even today, and loses nothing for “just being a cartoon”. The Superman companion piece was excellent, and “Justice Unlimited” was a hugely underrated series that should have gotten “Futurama”-like accolades. I really enjoyed the Marvel movies, and they did a great job spending time on fleshing them out on the screen - but they’re still not as deep or as rich as the DC animated world was.

I can fully agree with this. If anything ever does manage to top the second season of JLU, it will be an impressive feat.

Really? I thought it pushed pretty hard for what it was, particularly in Justice League and JLU. “Only a Dream” was more than a little dark, and the Cadmus arc was downright vicious, with a side order of paranoia. Granted, it wasn’t a blood-spattered, drug-addled 90s comic series, but it wasn’t exactly kiddie fare, either.

Young Justice for the win.

I’ll agree to this and add that Batman Beyond was a great series as well, underrated in its imagination and execution.

The best written animated series ever IMO

I went with DC, for Batman:TAS, Superman:TAS, Batman Beyond, and Justice League.

Iron Man and Avengers are the two best comic book superhero movies ever, but the DCAU has more to offer.

Can you define DC animated universe? Because the universe consisting of Batman: The Animated Series, Superman: TAS and Justice League is not the same as the Young Justice universe, nor in continuity with the various animated movies (none of which are in continuity with one another), and so forth.

Anyway, I won’t vote. They’re doing very different things; it’s apples and grapefruit. Live action movies can’t approach the depth of weekly televised animated series, but the tv shows can’t be as spectacular as big-budget movies, for instance.

It’s a shared continuity among a subset of DC animation projects. The shows that fit in the DCAU have a common animation style (though it has evolved somewhat), common voice actors for the same characters whenever possible, and were overseen to insure that they were consistent with each other. Shows within the DCAU often (but not always) included crossovers with other DCAU series.

Offhand, the series that exist in the DCAU are:

Batman: TAS
Superman: TAS
Justice League/JLU
Batman Beyond
Static Shock
Legion of Superheroes (I’m a little tentative on this one; it has a crossover with JLU, but I’m not completely sure that Legion was in the same continuity as the series. There’s nothing to outright contradict it, though, so I’m including it.)

The Legion shown in JLU is noticeably different than the one in the LSH cartoon - Brainiac 5 is biological, for instance, and there’s some issues with Superman’s history that are difficult to resolve. So, no, the LSH cartoon isn’t part of the DCAU.

A brief cameo by Speedy in the Cadmus arc of JLU could be taken as an indicator that the Teen Titans cartoon is in the DCAU, but Robin messes that up pretty significantly.

The Zeta Project, too, if only for completeness’ sake.

Fair point. That rules it out. (Probably–never say never about a superhero setting, and I believe the Legion appearance in JLU is from some years farther ahead in their time than the Legion series.) I was probably putting too much weight on the art style.

Robin’s a big part of it–though Batman did tell Static that he’s with the Titans at one point–but the stylistic differences alone would separate it from the DCAU, I’d say.

I think, but am not positive, that the JLU episode with the Legion was intended to be a ‘pilot’ for a LSH series that would have been done by Dini/Timm and fit, without a doubt, in the DCAU. In the end it went to another producer but how it fits in with the rest of the DCAU is unclear at best.

I don’t know that you can fairly compare the two. The Marvel universe (and I assume we’re just talking about the ones in-canon with Avengers) is only a few films, whereas there are many, many series to the DC animated lineup.

There are definitely cartoons I enjoy - the Batman Animated Series was great, Young Justice is great, and I loved a lot of the Batman Brave and the Bold episodes - but it has its share of clunkers, too.