That first trailer for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice made one thing very clear: Zack Snyder’s upcoming superhero throwdown is not a Marvel movie. Not in character and especially not in tone. It was the latest punch thrown in the not-so-secret war between Marvel and DC, as Warner Bros. gears up to challenge Marvel Studios at the “shared universe” game. Whether intentional or not (and we’re betting on intentional), recent statements from MCU mastermind Kevin Feige feel like a direct jab at that Batman v Superman trailer and its dark, dreary tone.

Feige recently participated in a public Q&A and his answers were put on record thanks to this Reddit thread (via The Playlist). While discussing the tone of the MCU, which has been generally bubbly and pulpy across nearly a dozen films, the Marvel Studios President revealed that the Marvel movieverse will never go dark:

There is no dark turn in the MCU. He says every year fans come up to him and ask him if this movie is when the MCU goes "dark" or takes a "dark" turn. He said while the trailers may seem ominous or have a sense of impending doom, the movies do not have that feel, and will not. He said he ‘Hoped people would catch on by now’ - there will be no giant dark turns in the MCU where it then continues to head in that direction. The humor is in the DNA of the movies, there are no plans to change that.

Considering that Warner Bros. is going full-dark with their DC universe, this feels like a fairly direct jab. Feige bringing up the importance of humor in the MCU is another jab, as Warner Bros. purportedly wants their comic book movies to be more serious affairs with less jokes. Heck, even the climax of Avengers: Age of Ultron was two big middle fingers raised in the general direction of Man of Steel. After so many people were rightfully unnerved by the vast amount of uncontrolled destruction in Superman’s final battle with Zod, writer/director Joss Whedon constructed a climax that centered entirely around the heroes saving civilians.

Hollywood rivalries are nothing new, but to watch two major comic universes go at it like this is both petty and amusing. We hope that Warner Bros.’ big DC gambit pays off and we hope their unique flavor of superhero film works for our palate ... but man, Marvel has them on the ropes and just can’t resist rubbing it in.

It’ll be interesting to watch how Marvel manages to avoid going too dark. Sure, Ant-Man looks like a amusing romp, but Captain America: Civil War is going to see beloved superheroes turning on each other and Avengers: Infinity War will feature destruction on a universal scale. If Marvel can maintain its unique voice and humor through these patches, it will be quite an accomplishment.

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