Marvel, DC, and More: A Guide to Which Superhero Belongs to Which Universe

Marvel, DC, and More: A Guide to Which Superhero Belongs to Which Universe

“You think you’re the only superhero out there?” Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury asked Marvel legend Tony Stark back in 2008’s Iron Man. At the time, it seemed unimaginable a film studio could maintain the kind of consistency and intricacy required to jam four separate superheroes from their own movies into one big event tentpole film, but Disney and Marvel pulled it off, and 2012’s Avengers kicked off a whole new wave of crossover comic-book mania—for better and for worse.

Avengers wasn’t the first time a band of bickering heroes teamed up to fight a caped metrosexual villain in an onscreen blockbuster. In fact, Fox’s X-Men franchise predated Earth’s mightiest heroes by a good decade, spinning off into new franchises and timelines that confusingly continue today, too.

But now it’s 2020, and, quite frankly, things have gotten intricately complicated. You might have heard of Sony’s upcoming Morbius movie starring Jared Leto, not to be confused with Birds of Prey, a sequel to a comic book movie that also starred Jared Leto. Then there’s the likes of New Mutants, which has seen multiple reshoots and a change in ownership result in delay after delay (this thing was filmed in early 2017!). With all that in mind, let’s dive into all these overlapping superhero universes (univ…i?) and try to make a little more sense of things.


The Marvel Cinematic Universe, the box office granddaddy of them all, started in 2008 with Iron Man, and most recently released Spider-Man: Far From Home. The next film on the slate is Black Widow, set for May 1; it’s a prequel to most of the events in the MCU since Scarlett Johansson’s Natasha Romanoff bit the dust in Avengers: Endgame. Disney+ will also soon start streaming shows that directly tie into the MCU, a feat first attempted in 2013 with ABC’s Agents of Shield, an experiment that was ultimately abandoned. But the MCU is where most of Marvel’s “core” gang operates on the big screen: Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, The Incredible Hulk, Captain Marvel. It’s also a home-away-from-home for Tom Holland’s Spider-Man—for now. Let’s talk about that.

Sony’s Spider-Verse

Sony is in the fledgling stages of developing its own comic book cinematic universe based around Spider-Man and his roster of pals and enemies. While this iteration shows up in the MCU, he is still property of Sony, essentially loaned out thanks to a unique deal. Venom, starring Tom Hardy, is under the Sony umbrella, as is the upcoming Morbius. Expect Holland to start pulling double duty in both these franchises sooner rather than later. Right now it’s currently unclear just how much Sony and Marvel are going to allow their visions to interact, but the appearance of Michael Keaton’s Adrian Toomes from Spider-Man: Homecoming in the trailer for Morbius suggests things are going to get murkier before they get more clear. My advice? Try not to think about it too hard, and don’t expect, like, Ant-Man to show up to help fight the Green Goblin any time soon!

Also, none of those should be confused with the excellent, animated Sony movie Into The Spider-Verse which, as far as I can tell, is entirely standalone right now. Given the gleeful reality-hopping madness that was the first movie, that may soon change, though.


This whole section would have been a lot easier if Disney hadn’t just bought 20th Century Fox’s (now just 20th Century Studios) assets. Thanks, guys. Basically, the X-Men universe you know and love (Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, those newer horny ones with Michael Fassbender) is almost certainly dead. A lot of the increasingly convoluted narrative came to a natural conclusion in the awful Dark Phoenix, and 2017’s spectacular Logan already helped us say goodbye to easily the franchise’s most valuable asset: Wolverine. There are three main points to address with the X-Men, as I see it.

Source : Tom Philip Link

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