Document Type

Honors Thesis


Superheroes have been around for decades, transitioning from the days of paper and pens to the big and little screens. There’s no doubt that Marvel and Detective Comics (DC) have become the two most popular companies that produce superhero content, especially with their cinematic universes. Despite their similarities, in recent years Marvel has had more success than DC. This analysis serves to determine specific storytelling strategies and differences that have allowed Marvel to become more successful. This thesis will offer an in-depth analysis of the specific storytelling strategies that have allowed Marvel to become the more successful franchise in recent years. It will cover the creation of Marvel and DC as early examples of transmedia storytelling, and analyze how these strategies have developed over time. Specifically, three pairings of movies with similar narrative structures from each franchise will be compared to look more closely at the transmedia storytelling strategies used. It will also offer an analysis of how each studio has responded to the demands and desires of their respective fan bases as an aspect of their transmedia strategies. Ultimately, this analysis will seek to provide a better insight into why Marvel has become more successful in recent years.



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