Marvel TV Boss Responds to 'Suicide Squad' Critical Reception

"I'm not sure that people that make medical shows look at other medical shows and go, 'Why is my medical show better than this?'" Jeph Loeb tells THR.
Warner Bros.
'Suicide Squad'

The Marvel vs. DC Comics rivalry is not as contentious as Suicide Squad director David Ayer made it seem.

Despite the helmer's heat-of-the-moment "F— Marvel" comment (which he immediately retracted on social media), the two comic book giants don't consider themselves to be in a rivalry at all. Or at least that's what Marvel TV head Jeph Loeb claims.

When The Hollywood Reporter asked the Marvel boss if he learned any lessons from the rival company's Suicide Squad's critical shortcomings and if his comic book powerhouse will change the way they roll out properties in the future as a result, he shook his head.

"No. It's funny, we actually get asked that a lot," Loeb tells THR. "The truth is, they do what they do and we do what we do. I tend to sort of think about it like I'm not sure that people that make medical shows look at other medical shows and go, 'Why is my medical show better than this?'"

Loeb doesn't think that Marvel's success in expanding its cinematic and television universe vs. DC Comics' struggle to do the same has anything to do with the properties that DC owns.

"The DC characters which I know and I love and have had a lot of fun writing and being a part of are really strong, wonderful characters," he says. "And I think it's a little early for us to determine the success of Suicide Squad. At the moment, I'm very happy that it's opened to $150 million, that is an accomplishment. We'll see what happens afterwards."

While Suicide Squad was initially predicted to open to $150 million in its first weekend, the numbers slowed dramatically on Saturday, resulting in a tally of $135.1 million. But according to Loeb, the priority is bringing comic book properties to life for the fans over money.

"We tell these stories so that people can enjoy them," Loeb says. "So let's see whether or not people enjoy them. I think that's really the key to it all."

Marvel's feature film universe has produced more than 40 features (compared with DC Comics' 30-plus). Marvel's big-screen features include The Avengers, Spider-Man, Iron Man, Captain America, X-Men, Ant-Man, Guardians of the Galaxy, Deadpool and more. DC's include The Dark Knight, Superman, Watchmen, V for Vendetta and Green Lantern. The critical response to Suicide Squad has prompted many to declare Marvel the superior in film when it comes to the dueling comic book powerhouses.

On the TV side, both Marvel and DC have numerous series in the works. Marvel has ABC's Agents of SHIELD as well as a rapidly growing roster at Netflix including The Punisher, Jessica Jones, Daredevil, Iron Fist and The Defenders. DC's TV credits include The CW's The Flash, Arrow, Supergirl and Legends of Tomorrow, as well as Fox's Gotham and Lucifer.

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