Marvel Co-President On Key To ‘Avengers’ Success: ‘Our Characters Are Flawed’

Whether you’re a Marvel fan or a DC guy, it’s hard to argue that when it comes to the big-screen, the House of Ideas is the one on top. Marvel rolled out five films before the mega-successful “Avengers” hit this past summer, with four — maybe even five — more movies on the way before an “Avengers” sequel hits, presumably in 2015.

DC, meanwhile, just wrapped its enormously revered “Dark Knight” trilogy, leaving “Man of Steel” as their only comic book flick officially on the calendar. Movement on “The Flash,” “Wonder Woman” and a “Green Lantern” sequel has been slow to nonexistent, with whispers of a Ben Affleck-directed “Justice League” floating around the web this week — but still, nothing concrete past Zack Snyder’s Superman reboot.

Both companies have decades upon decades of characters and material to draw from. Why is it, then, that Marvel is the only one consistently churning out superhero movies? We put the question to Marvel Studios co-president Louis D’Esposito when we caught up with him at Comic-Con, asking him to weigh in on why the Marvel movies seem to be flourishing while DC plays catch up.

“Somebody once told me, ’[Marvel has] epic storytelling with a human spirit.’ I think that’s very true,” said D’Esposito, who not only presides over Marvel Studios but also directed “Item 47,” the studio’s latest short film. “Our characters are flawed. They’re not perfect characters. They’re very relatable. They’re interesting without their superpowers. People, when they walk into the movie theater, they come from all walks of life. They can have that relatability. You put yourself in their shoes. You live vicariously through them.”

Flawed characters aren’t the only reason Marvel enjoyed so much success with “Avengers.” But even D’Esposito isn’t sure what made Earth’s mightiest heroes so damn mighty at the box office.

“That’s the thing that’s so elusive that you’re always chasing,” he said. “What’s going to resonate with the audience? It had a lot of heart and soul. It had a lot of humor. It was about a group of disparate people coming together and creating a team. I think all of that. Also, too, it was for all ages, from young to old. Put all of those great assets together and you have one hell of a film.”

Why do you think the Marvel movies are succeeding while the DC movies have been slower to arrive? Lay out your theories in the comments below or on Twitter!