DC League of Super-Pets trailer drops its own Marvel benchmark

DC Super-Pets followed in Eternals’ footsteps by referencing an MCU icon. Is this the start of an interuniverse benchmark trend?

Marvel Studios has made waves by naming the biggest icon of its distinguished competition, Superman, in its latest blockbuster. Director Chloe Zhao paid homage to the Man of Steel by comparing him to an Eternal with a similar set of powers, Ikaris.

It’s been almost 20 years since a Marvel blockbuster – Sam Raimi’s first Spider Man movie – refers to a character from DC Comics. Looks like this could be the start of a trend that spans both cinematic superhero stores if the DC League of Super-Pets the trailer is something to go on.

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The trailer offers a brief glimpse into Superman’s family life voiced by John Krasinski and Dwayne Johnson’s Krypto. After Krypto literally dragged his owner out of bed, Superman dresses up as his alter ego, Clark Kent. Kent notices a wrinkle in his shirt and quickly ironed it, bouncing his heat vision off a mirror. Impressed with his work, Superman jokes that he should be called Iron Man and briefly laughs at his Superdad joke before quickly dismissing the idea.

League of Super Pets isn’t what you might call a DC Extended Universe tentpole movie. It has more in common with The Secret Life of Pets than Dwayne Johnson’s other DCEU project. It’s surprising to see a reference to a Marvel character in any DC property, but it makes perfect sense that it’s in the lightest possible adaptation of DC Comics.

While some DC fans might find it overwhelming, the Marvel Cinematic Universe is a family place. In view of this, an Iron Man joke in Super Animals makes perfect sense for an audience that grew up with Tony Stark as a preeminent film hero. It’s also one of the less offensive ways to benchmark the MCU and one of its biggest icons.

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Deadpool seductively lying by the fireside from Deadpool's first film

It’s hard to call interuniverse references a trend after two films, especially two as disparate as Eternals and Super Animals. There isn’t much overlap in subject or tone between the projects. Still, it is possible that they could lead to more. Yes Super Animals Putting an ultimately innocuous Iron Man joke in a trailer might encourage other superhero movie makers to comment on the competition.

The biggest wildcard when it comes to references of any kind is Deadpool. Ryan Reynolds’ Merc with a Mouth was among the Marvel Comics characters to which Disney secured the film rights when it acquired 21st Century Fox in 2019. Like the X-Men and the Fantastic Four, Marvel Studios is sticking to its plans for Deadpool near the vest at the moment.

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As weird as it is irreverent, it’s harder to believe Marvel Studios would leave money on the table and not chase after the smash hit. dead Pool series in one form or another. Whenever Deadpool makes his return – in the MCU or not – it’s easy to assume that he’ll be referencing the DC movie like he did in Deadpool 2. One was a joke at Reynolds’ expense on The Green Lantern. The others were direct shots at the dark and gritty Snyderverse, including the infamous “Martha” scene.

While not essential for both sides, it would be fun to see more references to the “other guys” superheroes in both franchises. Friendly rivalry, including jokes at each other’s expense, was a fun part of the comics back then. It would be nice to see that reproduced, whether in a harmless fatherly joke or a meta-insult.

To see Iron Man’s joke in action, DC League of Super-Pets is slated for release on May 20, 2022.

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