Here at The A.V. Club, we’ve gotten a lot of mileage out of the rumored declaration that Warner Bros.’ superhero movies would have “no jokes.” It’s a patently silly idea, because it’s like saying that these stories based on comic books cannot be fun, but it’s also hilarious for how believable it is. After the success of Christopher Nolan’s very serious Batman movies and the relative success of the very serious Man Of Steel, it’s not hard to see Warner Bros. frowning on anything that’s not similarly serious. Even the trailer for Batman V. Superman: Dawn Of No Jokes upholds this apparent rule, since it definitely doesn’t look like the kind of movie with room for anything but scowls in cowls. Of course, Suicide Squad seems to be going against this a little bit, since we’re still not sure everything about that movie isn’t a joke.
Meanwhile, over at Marvel Studios, the Avengers movies and their myriad tie-ins seem to be almost defined by their humor. Surely everyone has fond memories of Captain America admonishing Tony Stark for his bad language, or the weird dance-off at the end of Guardians Of The Galaxy, or Thor repeatedly getting hit by Jane Foster’s car. But as the stakes get higher and higher in these Marvel movies, will there ever come a time when things are too grim to have fun? In other words, will the Marvel Cinematic Universe ever get as serious as DC’s? According to MCU mastermind Kevin Feige, no, it will not.
That comes from a guy on Reddit who attended an Age Of Ultron screening that featured a Q&A with Feige—which means this is all coming secondhand, but if you can’t trust a guy on Reddit, who can you trust? Anyway, we don’t have video or an exact quote (thanks anyway, Reddit!), but Feige reportedly said that the MCU will never “go dark” or take a “dark turn.” The Redditor later clarified it some more, adding that Feige means the movies will never drop the humor entirely, no matter how serious or dramatic things may get.
This whole situation practically casts Marvel and DC/Warner Bros. as political opponents who are taking opposite sides on an issue just for the sake of disagreeing on everything. On one end, there’s “Those guys make jokes? Well, no jokes for us,” and on the other, you have “They’re super serious? Well, here are some jokes.” Is one path better than the other? Not necessarily, but movies with jokes are more fun, and a movie studio that says superheroes can’t make jokes is pretty funny, so it sounds like we win either way.