The Instigator
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2 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
0 Points

The Dark Knight Rises Was A Superior Movie To The Avengers (Assemble)

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/24/2013 Category: Entertainment
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,020 times Debate No: 32874
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (10)
Votes (1)




Now, before I begin, I'd like to first acknowledge that yes, The Avengers did in fact achieve superior box office numbers to the Dark Knight Rises, and that within certain reviewing circles including Rotten Tomatoes, AA did beat out DKR there as well. However, I believe a coherent argument can be made that, when subjected to real analysis of the elements of the respective movies, that The Dark Knight Rises was of higher quality than The Avengers.

Now, in order to determine this quality, we will use various different factors to judge the quality of the movies:

First, every movie needs a Lead Hero. Naturally, in my case this would be Bruce Wayne, and while I freely invite Con to choose any member of the Avenger Initiative, I would advise that he pick Tony Stark or Steve Rogers for this category, since a good bulk of the story does seem to revolve around them.

But of course, since these are both superhero movies we also have to consider the Lead Hero In Costume, referring to all the cool stuff they do when they get into the role of their iconic alter-egos. As per the above, I will be vouching for Batman, while I would again recommend that Con choose either Iron Man or Captain America for this role and obviously note that he should pick the same costumed hero persona as the hero out of costume.

Of course, every lead hero needs a damned good Lead Villain. For me, this of course will be Bane, while Con will be representing Loki. Naturally, these refer to the characters who play the lead bad guy for most of the movie, and doesn't refer to any villains revealed later in the movie.

But of course, you need more cast members on this, which is why we'll also judge the strength of The Supporting Cast Of Characters. Con will be free to talk about the other members of the Avengers Initiative as well as SHIELD agents Phil Coulson and Maria Hill plus Erik Selvig, as well as any cameos he liked in the movie. For me, I can extol the virtues of Selina Kyle, Jim Gordon, Alfred Pennyworth, Miranda Tate, John Blake, Lucius Fox, plus any cameos I liked.

Finally, we will compare the Quality Of The Plot in each movie, and judge which movie flows better and is overall more compelling for their similar time frames, as well as of course the events of the movie and the pluses and minuses of each movie.

Whichever movie manages to win all or most of these five categories, at least in the minds of the voters, should win on argument.

This will be fought out over 5 rounds. The first round will be for acceptance only. Round 2 will see us make our opening arguments and clash. Rounds 3 and 4 will be for Clash and further arguments in favour of our movies, and Round 5 will be for Clash and Conclusion.

I very much look forward to doing this debate.


First off I would just like to say I actually do love both of these movies so very much as a comic book fan, no matter what dissing your may hear me give on indivdual aspects of the films in the rest of the rounds, but from this point on you will only hear me speaking good of the side I am defending, the Avengers film, as being better.

I would also like to propose just one more catagory worth mentioning in a debate like this to judge these movies I did not see you mention. a catagory I call 'Comic Justice' in that the movies can be judged partially on there trueness to the spirit of the comics they are based on and contain plenty of cameos and inside nod's that comic fans get the significance of when they watch the film like for example the exact iconic way in wich Bane broke batmans spine the way he was drawn in the comics too have.

I'll understand though I'm my opponent fascistly refuses to allow this catagory some consideration, and intend to argue by his set rules.

That all said I accapt this debate and thank my opponent for starting it.
Debate Round No. 1


JonMilne forfeited this round.


As a just consequence of the forfeited round, I’m going to tyrannically demand my own suggested criteria “Comic Justice” be added to Pro’s list of areas to compare the 2 movies in as we debate which is better. Also while my opponent forfeited thus losing one round of this debate, I’m still not going to waist my round 2, and Pro will just have to deal with having one round less to debate with than I have.

Lead Character: I’m going to decline my opponent’s absurd suggestion to just pick just one of the Avengers who I argue for in the Lead Character and Lead Hero Categories. Agreeing to that would be like agreeing to not mention the Wizard of Oz was in color in a debate where I’m to argue why that movie was great. The fact that Avengers successfully does have multiple lead hero’s is part of what makes the movie not only great, but a Landmark film in all Superhero Movie History. Never before has this been done with any success that I am aware of. League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Alan Quartermain steals the show away even in TV series meant to have bizarre multiple unrelated hero’s like ‘Heroes’ writers find there plot has to give higher leading status in the plot to one of there characters like Peter Petrieli. Whether the writing has been good (Extraordinary Gentlemen) or bad (Heroes), it has never been done before in films and television where a story with a superhero team doesn’t have a lead character.

I will concede it is tempting to think Tony Stark is the main character when an Actor like Robert Downy Jr upstages just about anyone he plays with, even if he’s the Fake black sidekick method Actor to a big leading star like Ben Stiller. But when asked in an interview if he was the lead character in the Avengers movie, Downy said he did suggest that to the director, and they tried it and decided it did not work. He said none of the characters can be called the lead, as they are all different arms of the same Octopus.

Lead Hero: In Costume, there can be little doubt that Avengers excels against Dark Knight Rises. All of the Avengers are given there own moments to shine for the powers they have and in context with who they are even. When Captain America steps in to Germany to stop Loki, suddenly Loki becomes Hitler reincarnate in a much more iconic way than he was before and the Captains shield become Freedom itself as he comes to stop the tyrant. Meanwhile Iron Man arrives on scene to the AC:DC music that partly won the Iron Man films over into all our hearts. Thor drops on scene with the thunder itself like the out of this world God he is. Hulk tears everything up in wonderful Hulk fashion…..we couldn’t of asked for more.

There is even plenty of chances for the seemingly weaker powered hero’s to shine as equals in some way from the rest of the hero’s, You would think Thor outclasses Captain America and would intimidate him but he championed my Christian faith and just said ‘there’s only one God ma’am, and I’m pretty sure he doesn’t dress like that” then stops Thor’s hammer with his shield. Also between the Black Widow and Fury, we see the full advantage the professional spy world can have even in dealing with superpowered individuals like the Hulk or Loki, even Coleson shows some of the cool limits an average agent can reach working for shield.

Lead Villain: as I said before Loki quickly became as Iconic for every ant-American thing out there by the brilliant writing done for his scene in Germany. And as for the Actors part…He’s been compared to channeling Hannibal Ector in the prison scene by some, and for what it is worth my Coworker at work sais she thought he was sexy (as a guy though cant fathom how, I guess his attitude makes up for his complexion, then again if the twilight vampire can be casted for ’50 shades of Grey’ that means pale is sexy these days). As a Villain throughout the movie he brings out the best in pretty much all our heroes, with the Captain in Germany, with Iron Man in Stark Towers, with the Hulk when the hulk ‘smashes him’ (my 5 year old nieces loved that scene) and with his own Brother whose struggle with unconditional love for his brother and hatred of evil continue into this movie though-out it.

Supporting Cast: The Supporting cast is easy to defend and promote as they all do there job of bringing out the best and defining our main heroes. (examples have been cut short for character space here). My one example I will cite is Colson who play’s off of every character in the movie in one way or another, like reminding us Steve Rogers is a legend thus not needing any other characters to be a Fanboy of him, and his supposed death unites and even invigorates the avengers themselves.

And then of course in this unique movie with multiple leading Heroes, all the leads supported each other in there own unique ways.

Plot Quality: Michael Piller, a Star Trek producer, once told a story about how when he wrote an episode about Q pretending to lose his powers and the enterprise going on a wild goose chase he approached Gene Rodenberry with it. Gene Rodenberry asked him what it was about and as he described the premise of Q losing his powers causing the enterprise to go on this wild goose chase Rodenberry stopped him and reasked the question “is this a story about a God that has to learn to be Human, or is it a story about a wild goose chase?” after having to learn to answer that question he rewrote the whole script and it had a renewed focus on its ultimate theme, Q learning what its like to be human, and the goose chase is taken out. Ever since then when new writers come to Piller with there ideas he first asks them ‘what’s it about’ in the same way Gene Rodenberry did. Because if you drop all the entertaining gimmicks and cant answer ‘what’s it about’ it lacks plot quality.

I could go one by one in all the films that prequel the Avengers and tell you what they are about and how those themes continue with the character nicely in the Avengers movie, however any one of those themes are not the central plot of this film. The whole point of a Superhero team up while in the past has only been exploited to cause an epic battle in the film, part of what made this unique movie a success is the writer used the multiple heroes theme to stay true to Gene Rodenberry’s principal for story writing, he made it about something. Avengers isn’t just about a bunch of awesome heroes fighting together, its about diverse heroes from radically different backgrounds and personalities who are all damaged in there own unique way learning to work together in spite of there differences and even to need each other, and of course like all films with superhero’s its about heroism.

Comic Justice: Between all the Easter eggs within the film and how true the characters are to there comic versions as well as all the advance tech of Shield…there’s little to nothing I can find fault with in the Avengers movie in terms of being true to the comics. Well Hawkeye isn’t wearing his purple costume….though I think we can all guess why, it’s a circus outfit and makes no real since for Hawkeye in the first place, just makes him stand out from his fellow avengers some.

The Ultimate Comic Justice is though it literally brought together all the stars from the separate pre-established films like Iron Man and Thor and Captain America, thus creating the feeling of continuity that the Avengers comics gives between all the diverse title comics owned by Marvel.

This establishes the gist of my case in SUPPORT of the Avengers. I will specifically focus on my case AGAINST the Dark Knight Rises next round.

P.S. on sources, I realize a few of my comments deserve a linked source like Robert Downy Jr. 'octopus' statement or Michal Piller's conversation with Gene Rodenberry, however I learned those from reading an article in a magazine that has been thrown away since last year, and star trek tv special. I'll shall try to find a linkable source however before the debate is over for them.

Debate Round No. 2


Lead Hero

During the DK Trilogy, Bruce Wayne is a figure of great tragedy, and it culminates in DKR where we find him as a recluse, broke, damaged both physically and mentally, and living a lie in the wake of the Dent Act, not to mention that even his attempt to benefit Gotham as Bruce Wayne fails spectacularly when he realises the damage it can cause. It is only through the actions of the metaphorical White Rabbit (sorry) of this movie, Selina Kyle, that he feels motivated to get the hell out of his mansion. We see that even despite his longing to be Batman again, he still has some reluctance as he wants to protect the secret of Harvey Dent just as much as Gordon wants to. His initial reluctance turns into an unwise over-enthusiasm to be Batman again as the film develops, showing just how consumed he has become by his alter-ego about how he thinks only the Batman can save Gotham, not recognising the inner strengths he himself has that will lead him to launch the first actually effective strike against Bane of the movie.

As we all know, his first foray as Batman completely fails, and he ends up a cripple in Bane's prison, forced to watch for months on end while his home city goes to hell while his fellow inmates try in a futile fashion to escape. He is further taunted by the (partial) knowledge of Bane's origins, and must live with the pain of constantly failing to escape, all because he still thinks of himself as Batman first and Wayne second. It is only when he lets go of that notion, and realise what he can do when he thinks of himself as simply a man fearful of staying in prison for all of what remains of his life, that he's at last able to defeat his demons and, through persuading Selina Kyle to help him, start the chain of events that will lead to the saving of Gotham, and to his spiritual healing at the end of the movie where at last he is able to experience the first genuine happiness he has had in a very long while. The Dark Knight Rises is very much a more "Bruce Wayne" centric movie, and benefits for it, as Christian Bale excels when given even more to work with for the character out of costume than in Batman Begins, really convincingly portraying the sheer weight of his character pain and acting astoundingly alongside his peers. I genuinely believe that if not Oscar snobbery, Bale would have been an excellent nominee at least for Best Lead Actor.

Lead Hero In Costume

Where in the previous movies he had a more frequent presence, Batman's appearances in this movie are less frequent but more rewarding. Spurred on by a very emotional scene with the hospitalised Jim Gordon, Batman is able to orchestrate a spectacular tunnel rescue of Bane's hostages all while evading the police at the same time. He then has an excellent action scene with Kyle where the two work together to fend off the goons. As ever, the physicality of Batman up to this point is excellent. The real brilliance, though, comes in the fact that for the first time in the trilogy, Batman is made to look truly vulnerable and inferior when it comes to his sewer fight with Bane. The selling of the sheer beating Batman receives is absolutely spectacular, and the wham moment of Batman having his back broken by Bane delivers everything that was promised in the hype for that moment.

His return to Gotham, after managing to escape the perils of Bane's prison, is truly epic. He frees the trapped cops of Gotham City and rallies them and the ordinary citizens of Gotham against the criminals holding their city captive. He then proceeds to have a second more passionate and personal fight with Bane that far exceeds any fight scene in the Avengers. The Batman is then able to, with excessively limited time and suffering from a stab wound, take out three Batmobiles, crash the truck with the nuclear device, and then get the nuclear device the hell out of Gotham. Now THAT'S impressive. Christian Bale, as ever, is excellent in the physical side of Batman, and in line with the complaints against his previous movies, he tones down his "Bat-voice" considerably and sounds much more human and menacing.

Lead Villain

Tom Hardy had already earned critical acclaim for his roles in Warrior and in Inception and Bronson, and here the guy plays an absolute beast in Bane that more than makes up for the mediocre version in Batman and Robin. Bane is a guy who has no qualms about killing his own team members, whether because they merely "disappoint" him or as a noble sacrifice to the cause, and much has already been made of his sheer physical dominance throughout the movie. Bane's body language throughout this movie is astounding, and he becomes the first Nolan Batman villain to be a truly credible threat to Batman all by himself, cementing himself a truly awesome moment when he beats the Bat to a pulp. His voice acting is astounding too, providing some truly chilling lines such as describing himself as "Gotham's Reckoning" and telling Bruce Wayne that only after he destroys Gotham would he allow Wayne to die. His speeches to the people of Gotham channel every bit of the menace displayed by terrorists and dictators involved in real life coups. He is also a villain you can empathise with, as he performed a heroic sacrifice to get a child out of prison, only for his face to be mutilated and for him to be exiled from a group he wanted to be part of.

Supporting Cast

DKR brings back all of the reliable supporting extras in Lucius Fox, Jim Gordon and especially Alfred with the latter two providing really poignant moments within the movie, with Gordon being haunted by the lie he's promoting about Harvey Dent and the loss of his family, and Alfred being distraught at how far Bruce Wayne is sinking and how desperate he is for Bruce to move on and live a good life. Crane returns and is absolutely hilarious in his cameo, but special praise has to go to John Blake for being an especially well-played street smart cop who holds out hope for Gotham and knows things are clearly wrong with the city and plays a very good role in bringing Wayne out of hiding. And Selina Kyle of course plays a perfect blend of both sexy and very much threatening, as well as having a great deal of comedic moments that makes her the best version of the character since the Batman Returns one. And of course Miranda Tate deserves a mention, for going beyond being yet another love interest and actually demonstrating she can hold her own and of course has the well worked revelation about her that ties the story neatly together.

Plot Quality

The Dark Knight Rises follows on from two highly successful and critically acclaimed movies, and these movies have long since transcended being just comic book movies, actually tapping into many of the very real fears that we as the populace have of terrorists. The movie is very much a tragedy about people trying to protect a series of lies and addictive obsessions that have consumed them, and what happens when the truth comes out and the disastrous (and all round explosive) consequences that follow. We see a Gotham on a knife edge, and what happens when the knife cuts through the very thin fabric protecting it leading to a near destruction of Gotham that makes its other threats pale in comparison. In essence, the story is very much of the Shakespearean mould, providing highly complex characters and making every one of them matter, leading to a highly dramatic and thrilling conclusion.

Comic Justice

DKR is inspired by several comic book stories. Naturally, "Knightfall" plays a part, although a more fit Batman fights Bane in the movie. There is also "No Man's Land", where the villains cut Gotham off from the outside world. And the most of its inspiration comes from "Legacy", with an alliance between an Al Ghul and Bane, as well as the villains use of a big weapon and Batman's second fight with Bane. I feel the movie compliments the comics very well. Case rests for R2. In R3 I'll argue against Avengers.


Lead Character: My opponent is right, this movie had a lot more of Bruce Wayne out of costume, part of its crippling down grade in terms of action that fans had loved about the Dark Knight. I haven’t a lot particular problems with Bales acting, but my opponent has lost his mind if he thinks the same guy that went off on this tangent would ever deserve an Oscar. Christian Bale is a Jerk.

I would also like to not my opponent has made much more of a romantic notion out of some parts of the film than are actually present in it like in this statement here…

“…because he still thinks of himself as Batman first and Wayne second. It is only when he lets go of that notion, and realise what he can do when he thinks of himself as simply a man fearful of staying in prison for all of what remains of his life, that he's at last…”

I don’t recall any scene in the prison where ‘he thinks of himself as Batman’ or even a ‘letting go’ of any notion about his self-identity. His fear of remaining in prison was spoken of in a Batman type since in that he was afraid to remain in prison while he watches his city burn. And he had to try and escape without the ropes protection, so the fear of death from falling would propel him to jump. And this is sort of neat in itself but you cant make it out to have anything to do with the rest of the movie.

My biggest problem with Wayne’s character in this last film is he’s not the Wayne we all know and love and went to the movie to see, not during all of it anyway. He starts out a cripple for literally no reason as if a billionaire like him with his driven personality would have never recovered from the fall he took facing against two-face in the last film when we saw him survive worse falls. And then after its established he is a cripple retired from the Batman business he gets some metal braces on his legs as if that should be enough for us think he could be in fighting shape again. This did not pass as believable enough to make him not need a cane anymore to me.

Point is, Bruce Wayne is a character that is supposed to be Mcyver, Sherlock Holmes, and Goku all wrapped up into one, and the thing that defines him the most is his epic drive and will power. Bruce would never have left his body in such a state for so long, he would have kept in shape and recovered from his past leg injuries by then. And though Bruce would have had to stay away from the police in the wake of the last films events, he would have still been doing stuff as Batman. He is defined by his driviness and this movie had none of that drive for the bulk of it. Instead we find out lead character to be a broken apathetic reclusive man who once being teased into doing anything again, does so half-heartedly.

Lead Hero: As my opponent said there is very little of actual Batman in costume and in action time in this film. Its such a down-grade in action that some of my friends that are big fans of the previous films said they thought this movie was boring. And after 2 films that set the terms for really getting into the importance of how Batman uses fear to take out his enemies for him to just walk up and get into a fist fight with Bane after having a man-to-man chat with him……it’s a major let down.

My opponent makes WAY TOO much out of his final fist fight with Bane later in the film, its basically just the same stupid fist fight except in the daylight making it even less Batman worthy of a fight. Considering Batman is master martial artist and supposedly Bane got trained by the same people too one should expect a final fight scene that couldn’t be recreated by ‘rockem-sockem-boxers’. Even G. I. Joe has better ninja fights than Bane and Batman’s final battle and considering this was the final for a trilogy of movies, it should have met a bar raised higher than G.I. Joe.

In any case, even if all the Batman action had been done well, perfect even, the movie I defend had 6 heroes worth of amazing Avenger action. And there was lots of it, worthy of sequaling 3-5 films depending on how you look at it that had great action in there own rights… And my opponent has completely lost his mind if he thinks that rockem-sockem fight with Bane is ‘more intense’ than anything in the Avengers film, Iron Man makes us feel the stretching of his limits long before the big finally with the nuke when he dives into ‘the whale’. And Iron Man Vs Thor, and Thor Vs Hulk battle. These battles fulfilled the expectations we would want between these powerhouses in terms of power action, and range of destruction. Not to mention the 6 heroes dealing with an entire space pirate army in the city that made it look intense even for the hulk there for a few seconds as he’s being hit by a shower of bullets/lasers.

Lead Villain: Bane is given a Darth Vader rip-off voice in this rendition of Bane because of some damage that occurred to his throat, and the effect fails to live up to Darth Vader expectations for it because of his strange accent. While I will argue both Loki and Bane are mostly just stereotypical elements we expect to have our villains have with the exception that Loki has an interesting relationship with Thor, the Actor for Loki needed no Gay Darth Vader voice to sound more menicing. Loki also has actual powers, and dosent even need to use them to there absolute full extent to cause pretty interesting chaos though out the film. Meanwhile Bane who in almost every rendition of him has had a super steroid of some kind that makes him so strong and a match for Batman, in this movies version there is none of that. While I’m glad Bane in this film was way better than the Bane that was in the George Clooney ‘Batman and Robin’ film, I’m not glad the venom element was removed. Batman is incredibly trained and able to take on opponents that are bigger than himself. He is Ra’s greatest apprentice in this batman trilogy and Bane was supposedly rejected by Ra’s Al Ghul. With Bane having no formal explanation for his great strength that puts him on a superhuman level, it beg’s the question how could he ever beat Batman?

Supporting Cast: The job of supporting Cast is to help show and define the main character the movie is actually about. Another one of Michal Pillar’s words of wisdom about his career writing for Star Trek, if another writer ever came to him with a story for a new episode they wrote, and it was all about this new character they created, He wouldn’t take it without having it edited to tell a story about the actual main characters, so instead of having a story about android girl named Lol, he would have a story about Data learning to be a Father for his daughter. To my observation most of all the side characters bring more out of other side characters Like Bane, or Gordon, or Alfred, than we really see them pull out of Bruce in this film.

Plot Quality: My opponent answers Rodenberry’s question “whats it about” by saying the movie is about secrets and lies and the bad things that happen when the truth comes out. I suppose that would be an okay theme for a movie…if it were not a super hero movie. The whole point of a movie having a super hero as the main character is to in some way show a story about heroism or something in its relation to a hero. How does TDKR play the secrets and lies story on heroism? Well by the time the movie explains that the line comes ‘He’s the Hero Gotham Deserves, not the one it needs’ which is a weird, non-understandable statement that only sounds cool and deep but actually makes no sense. Meanwhile Teamwork, embracing differences fantastically compliments a movie about superheroes.

Comic Justice: the name of the detective that discovers who Batman is and later becomes Batman… not Dick Grayson, Tim Drake, Jason Todd, or even ‘Stephen’ Brown. They named him ‘Robin’ John Blake.

Debate Round No. 3


For this round, I will argue against the Avengers, and where I have space I will also rebut my opponent's criticisms of TDKR.

Lead Character/Hero in costume

My opponent chooses all of the Avengers and argues that the fact there was multiple lead heroes makes it a landmark movie (a claim I will not argue against) and that it had never been done before with so much success. If he means about the box office numbers, he's absolutely right, but the intro to this debate specifically acknowledges the box office success of the Avengers, and it also mentions that this debate is based on pure subjective quality, not quantity (the money made). In terms of quality, I can counter my opponent's claim by pointing to, among other things, the movie adaptations of Sin City ( and Watchmen (, both of which were fairly received critically and I'd say at least one of which was a better movie than AA, especially in terms of character depth, where while Wayne actually shows some complexity to the way he acts, the heroes in Avengers are largely pretty basic. It's also worth noting that it's highly noticeable throughout AA just how few the number of heroes are. Yes, FEW. The fact that Spiderman, or even the Fantastic Four, are not around while their city is getting essentially burnt to the ground is inexplicable. There's also the complete wasting of Hawkeye, who spends more than half of the movie amounting to nothing more than a zombie and only gets anything remotely good at the climax of the movie. I will also point out that far too much of this movie involves the heroes fighting with each other with hostile arguments and physical violence, which ends up detracting from the actual very real threat they have from Loki. Plus, they take him into custody when he appears all too willing to do so, and this was highly predictable and stupid considering what The Dark Knight had already shown us would happen in such a situation.

With the fight scenes in costume, again I refer to the fact that too many times they spend throughout the movie fighting each other, and also the fact that while I am not entirely against the use of CGI in movies for fight scenes, I believe a fight scene can generally deliver more when you ground it in reality, hence why Batman's physicality is considerably more impressive than all of the Avengers cast. Speaking of which, having Hulk pummel Loki in seconds has exactly the same problem behind it as the ending to Kill Bill vol 2. If you're going to build up a villain, have him put up an actual physical fight.


Loki is impressive, sure, but weak. Loki has an awful habit of getting owned in this movie far too much, even despite being a God. Whether it be his capture by Iron Man and Captain America, his getting outwitted by Black Widow, his getting shot by Coulson, or of course the ridiculously short fight scene with Hulk, Loki shows none of the actual skillsets in the major battles that you'd expect someone of his powers to be able to do. His best achievement ultimately amounts to storming a SHIELD base at the beginning of the movie, something which quite clearly pales to what Bane was able to do. Loki had control of the city he invaded for mere hours and never had his opponents truly defeated. Bane DID.

Supporting characters

I will sympathise with my opponent and agree that Coulson was a pretty great part of the Avengers. However, I can counter this by pointing out that Maria Hill really added nothing to the movie, and that the generic alien "bad guys" supporting Loki could have done with considerably better character development, and likewise for the character of Erik Selveg who just felt extremely forgettable. Not to mention of course that as someone who does not actually read comic books that often, I felt kind of alienated by the big reveal in the credits, and I needed a Wikipedia search to know just who the hell "Thanos" was and why I should care about any future role he has in an Avengers sequel. Personally, I'm still very much of the belief they could do with a considerably bigger name for the sequel (eg: Doom, Apocalypse, Galactus).

Plot Quality

There is a severe lack of a plot in the Avengers movie, or at the very least only an exceedingly thin one. It's basically just Loki wanting to use a powerful artifact in order to decimate Earth, something he could have done at pretty much any point in the movie. But the movie is stretched out to two and a half hours due to commitments to making the heroes fight each other and having other distractions like Loki pointlessly going over to Germany and a subplot about SHIELD wanting to build weapons with the Tessarect that never goes anywhere. Also, the ending is very abrupt. The consequences of thousands of people dying in New York are never explored. There's nothing remotely hinting about the preparations for what happens the next time a big alien portal. Thor and Loki just go away from Earth. Captain America heads off, with no further word on how the hell he as a guy from World War 2 is going to cope in a modern day society. And of course, the release of Iron Man 3 only amplified the question of where on earth Rhodes was.

Comic Justice

As someone who's not particularly well-versed on comics, I will take my opponent's word on how faithful the Avengers is to the comics.


1) While it's entirely possible and probable that DKR is not as good as Dark Knight, that is neither here or there. The issue is solely whether DKR is superior to Avengers. I will point out to my opponent that a big part of caring about the guy in the costume is knowing what makes the guy himself tick. Consequentially, this means that such a guy needs to have character depth. As for Bale, one known outburst in a quarter century of acting does not a jerk make, and it's more likely the case that as a very talented method actor Bale is very passionate about his craft, and there's a moving account about what he's like here:

2) Wayne becomes the way he was because he was never able to truly let go of Batman, a common theme about Wayne's identity that was passed on from the previous two movies. When he gets the chance to be Batman again, he blindly charges into it while massively underestimating the substantial threats he faces. When he is in the prison, he is deprived of his Bat-suit, but still initially operates under the philosophy of trying to suppress his fear, a trait that had been common in his role as Batman, and it's by admitting his fear, something that is much more of a Wayne trait, that he escapes the prison. As for his character, it is stated nowhere that he became a cripple because of Two Face, but simply because he let himself go and became a recluse as he gave up the life of Batman and grieved over Rachel Dawes for years and years. That last is important. It's all very well stating what he logically wouldn't allow to happen to himself physically, but this is a man torn apart by a loss that has really hit him hard, and who do we not know who hasn't been affected similarly?

3) I strongly disagree with the notion having fewer Batman scenes was "boring". Like I say, having character development and the "build" to his becoming Batman again actually made you anticipate the action scenes more, as I said you can't get behind the costume unless you really get why the man behind it acts the way he does. An excellent comparison movie would be Kickass, which operates very similarly. As for the fist fight with Bane, it felt more real (less CGI and more realistic) and passionate than the climax to the Avengers, as it felt considerably more personal and more like they actually wanted to hurt each other than the Avengers and their generic aliens in the climax. There's nothing wrong with a day fight since Bats has no advantage either way.


The Watchmen:

I don’t know anything about Sin City, But I am familiar with the Watchmen, so I am going to hope the one you actually ment to suggest was everything I said made the Avengers a landmark film and better was the Watchmen.

The Watchmen did not achieve what I said the avengers did. First off, while there was a team of heros in it, Rorshack was clearly the main hero of the film. He begins the investigations into the murder mystery that starts the plot and gets the last laugh even after he died.

And even if I were to concede Watchmen succeeded in having multiple Lead Heros, following along the plots of several characters equally….you still cant call it even remotely the same as the Avengers. In Avengers nearly every one of them is worthy as a title character of there own movie, in the case of three of them is a title character of there own movie, and thus holds the stage like a films main star. Downey, Hemsworth, Evens, there all tried and tested Big stars. I could not tell you a single one of the actors from Watchman from memory because that’s all they ever did that I paid much attention to.

In the Watchmen multiple character stories are set up because of a lack of lead heroes rather than all of them being leads, its really more like all of them are supporting characters. In Avengers they are all leads, they all have there epic heroic moment to shine…and Watchmen is a movie and a comic made to show heroes as anything but ‘shining’.

So that refutes your rebuttal to my claim Avengers is a Landmark film in movie history.

Avengers are ‘basic’?

The Avengers cannot fairly be called basic at all, maybe you are confusing ‘basic’ with ‘established’ in that Tony Starks character was established 2 films ago and thus did not need ‘re-set up’. And to head off the obvious rebuttal to that, the film could have shown character growth if they wanted to, but the point of the team up film is to show his established character in interaction with other established characters. If the characters were not complex, then you could not get such interesting interaction with two polar opposites like Stark and Rogers, a eccentric maverick futurist genius and a simple disciplined soldier from the past. If anything I should attack Bruce’s character as ‘basic’ compared to the avengers, It took 5 movies to set up all the characters for this film, where as Bruce’s was basic enough to be set up in only 2 pervious films.

Hawkeye was wasted

This is and incredibly wrong use of the word ‘waist’. To be wasted means his role had no use to the plot. His character had a lot of use, as shields best agent he showed what the best agent could do to there best base (the helicarrier) and he showed how powerful Loki was with the tesseract. He gave some personal emotional motive for the Widow.

Next, he’s not one of Marvels Big 3 or 4, not a returning title star from a previous film, so its better if for most of the film he stays out way from them.

The Hero’s fought too much

This is the most ridiculous charge I think you’ve made against the avengers. Remember when I said Rodenberry’s rule for story is its got to be about something, and the plot has to help show what its about? This team’s inter conflict is what the movie is goes deep into being about, not Loki. The villain is a tool for showing that story but he is not more important than that story. When a movie is all about the villain and not about the story you get abominations like ‘Batman & Robin’ with George Clooney.

The Hero’s fights with each other is part of the films best highlights, you get to see how they all might match against each other at some point in the film, at least the match ups you want to see.

And then of course there’s the reason’s behind all there fights, there clashing egos. This movie brilliantly showed them growing to work together in spite of all these strong personalities in conflict with each other.

Hulk beat Loki too easy

Again you foolishly make the mistake by judging the film by how well it makes everything about the villain. It is because Loki is inconsequential enough to be ‘hulk smashed’ in such a way that this film rises above the flaws of ‘Batman and Robin’. The film is about building up the team, not the villain, and the team is built up perfectly in that smack down.


As I argued before, the movie is about the team of heros, not the villain, so its perfect the number of times he gets owned, but this is not to say he doesn’t get enough to fairly ‘build him up’ as you demand he be. You did leave out his capture by and large was his own design, he brought an invading alien army into the city of New York. The Fact that it took Hulk and not Thor or Iron Man is actually saying a lot in favor of Loki.

Supporting cast

Who cares if they weren’t developed more? In fact that’s what makes them so great. Because the purpose of supporting characters is to support the main characters. Stealing silver screen away to show how ‘complicated’ there side character role is does not do that. Maria is just a shield agent ment to support and show us who Fury is and she does that fine. Erik is supposed to put more at stake in this for Thor than just bringing his baby half-brother back to asgard and he does that fine.

Commisioner Gordon fails in all respects if you think about toward the purpose of a supporting cast member. What did he personally bring out of Bruce? He basically steals the silver screen away to show you what the police are doing. And that’s not totally bad, it just mean he’s not a fantastic supporting cast member, he’s kind of a weak, but acceptable one that fulfills a weak purpose in terms of plot.

Plot Quality

Most of your criticism is of the form I have already dealt with, putting too much emphasis on the villain and of course why the hero fights are central to the deeper plot. So I will just address the newer points. Captain America the First Avenger did not explore the consequences of thousands of people dyeing in WW2, was that poor plot for that movies part? In fact I didn’t see one Holocaust reference in it. That’s not poor plot though, its plot strength. Movies and TV shows are harmed by spreading everything so thin over irrelevant stuff to the plot. What matters was they had to save the city, its not a movie about war affecting a city. Its about a team of heroes.

You could explore every little detail there is under the sun to ask, but it spreads the film thin and away from what its all about. I argue restraint from needless exploration of the irrelevant is plot strength.

Debate Round No. 4


Issues With The Avengers

I reject the claim that Rorschach is the main character of Watchmen, as among other people, Nite Owl, Silk Sceptre, and especially Dr Manhattan all play significant roles in terms of the plot. And I'm not attempting to claim it is the same movie as Avengers, only that it has that kind of structure. And yeah, the Avengers had movies centring on the individuals prior to the movie while Watchmen didn't, but that's hardly a surprise and it's an unfair comparison. The Avengers is part of an expansive Marvel universe, Watchmen is a 12 chapter graphic novel. Likewise, Avengers was made with a bigger budget, so again it's an unfair comparison to say it had bigger stars. Watchmen also had characters who had, as Con says for the Avengers, "epic heroic moments to shine". Note I'm not disputing that Avengers is a landmark movie by any means, I purely mean that in terms of the dynamic it's far from unique as Con would like to claim. Watchmen even had inter-protagonist squabbling, and there was still a deeper plot there than the Avengers.

Con complains about me calling The Avengers movie "basic" with the justification that prior movies set the characters up. However, I believe that any particularly effectively great sequel should be able to have you connect with characters who have very clear depth within the movie you're watching even if you haven't seen all or even any of the prior movies. I can watch DKR and get emotionally invested in Bruce et al because the movie makes strides to make me care about them, even if I hadn't seen any of the prior movies. Avengers, aside from a few little scenes, can't say the same for its characters. It's also disingenuous for Con to claim it took five movies to set up the characters for the Avengers. Aside from Nick Fury's cameos and brief appearances by Coulson, the most any main character in the Avengers could claim to have had before was 3, and Tony Stark's other appearance was a very small at the end of the credits of The Incredible Hulk. Otherwise, each of the other characters only have one, meaning that they all have less development than Bruce Wayne, QED.

Con claims Hawkeye wasn't wasted, and yet he really was. Yes, he gets to serve Loki and be dangerous, but he gets absolutely no dialogue during the time he's brainwashed. Contrast that to when he's fighting on the side of the heroes and is producing great one-liners and being incredibly witty. Not utilising the full talents of a multiple time Golden Globe and Academy Award nominee in Renner absolutely IS a waste.

Con makes the charge that stories have to be about something (I totally agree) and that having the villain be the centre of the story can only lead to bad results. To counter, I present "The Dark Knight" where the Joker played a highly central role in the story. Sure, it certainly isn't "all about the villain", but that was never something I advocated. I am fine with internal conflict in movies. But just as a villain should not dominate a movie, neither should a movie be dominated by internal conflicts that veer away from the villains, otherwise you get dross like almost the entire Twilight saga. I understand completely the egos involved in the fights, and I enjoyed them. But you CAN have too much of a good thing. You can enjoy chocolate cake each time you have it, but you don't want it for the majority of your meals otherwise you get sick of it. Avengers ought to have balanced the whole "internal conflict vs battling the villain" scales in their movie far better than they actually did.

Con claims that Loki getting constantly beat down makes it a better movie than DKR. Frankly, I'm not buying it. Perhaps I ought to have emphasised this: Loki is meant to be a God. As a God, we should expect considerably better in terms of what he achieves than what ends up actually happening. DKR builds up the hero and supporting players as well, and still manages to provide greater enhancement to its villain when the time comes for the villain to be put to the test. Again, what did Loki achieve? He brought a generic forgettable alien force to New York and conquered it for mere hours. Bane conquered Gotham, released the prisoners that had been quite clearly built up both in this movie AND in prior movies in the trilogy, cut some badass speeches, and ruled over Gotham for months and months, so that when the time came to overthrow him, it felt considerably more epic.

As for Loki, I think the theory about his capture is far-fetched, since if Loki wanted Thor to capture him, why engage in such a major scheme when all Loki would need to do is kill a bunch of random people, pretend to lose to Thor, and then get taken to Asgard via that way? Such an argument is counter-productive because even if Loki and Thanos do not see humans as a threat, there's absolutely no reason for them to involve SHIELD and others in their plans when it only increases the risk that other humans will find out about their scheme which would be completely unnecessary. With just Thor beating Loki, no-one else would know what would happen, and plus if Thanos knew his aliens would be defeated then he'd risk doing massive damage to himself with regards to how his allies would see him via sending the aliens to die en mass. There'd be no need to involve the aliens when the same ends could have been achieved without their presence.

The aliens were not built up at all. They didn't even have prior movies to give them build-up that other supporting characters did. All they amounted to was just a really forgettable force of evil that could have been easily replaced by something like Loki utilising Tony Stark's spare Iron Man outfits or stealing the serum used on the Hulk and infecting the populace with it to create an army for him in either of those ways. As for Maria and Erik, I'm not asking that they dominate screen time, just that they amounted to more than just non-descript henchpersons. Avengers managed to get this right for Coulson, and yet they didn't for their other supporting cast members.

Gordon in the hospital bed personally contributes to Bruce's decision to become Batman again in the wake of the horror Bruce feels about the state Bane put him in. He also serves as a really useful guide to the resistance against Bane in Gotham, since it would be unreasonable to demand that none of the events of what was occurring should have been shown. There's also the sheer sense of brotherly trust between Batman and Gordon, as well as Gordon's emotion when he finds out who Batman really is. As a defining figure of Gotham, he's absolutely integral to the plot.

Con doesn't address the parts in the Avengers that never really go anywhere (Loki in Germany, SHIELD's ambitions with the Tessarect). I would argue that the plot for Captain America was indeed poor, as it didn't really tap into the sentiment of the 1940s which is a shame because it wasn't just a comic movie, it was a war movie and great war movies do that.

Rebuttals continued against Con's R3:

4) Loki doesn't have an altered voice because funnily enough he doesn't wear a mask and he's not known for wearing one. Using the term "gay" as a slur does nothing for my opponent's argument and this should be considered irrelevant. Bane doesn't have the super-steroids because Nolan wanted the DK trilogy of movies to be more realistic, hence why fantastical elements got removed. Bane DID get training from the LoS, as mentioned by Talia, it's just that Ra's then exiled him because he got reminded too much of what happened to his daughter.

5) There is no rule saying a super hero movie should be restricted in terms of what it's about. Indeed, Con's own arguments praising the internal conflict in the Avengers proves this, hence my defence of DKR's plot stands. The line Con references means that he is regarded as the saviour of Gotham, and thanks to his efforts Gotham can now self-sustain.

Sorry for R2. But please vote Pro.


Watchmen: Its so funny how my opponent thinks there is any room to argue Rorschach is not the main Hero of the Watchmen. He was the only hero not in retirement, got the others back together somewhat for this films murder mystery, and was the sole one to maintain his integrity in the in while the others joined the bad guy. And though he died, he still got the last laugh when we see his journal was discovered.

But it does not matter my opponent conceded he agreed the Avengers is a Landmark film in history which was the whole point to arguing about the Watchmen at all. This debate is between Avengers and TDKR, not the Watchmen. So if its agreed Avengers is a Landmark film in history, than his attempts to downplay it with the Watchmen is irrelevant.

Avengers had 5 movies set its characters up:

My opponent says there was not 5 films that led up to the Avengers….I guess I have to count them for him. Iron Man 1 and 2, (2), Thor (that’s 3), Captain America the first avenger (that’s 4), and the Incredible Hulk (5). You don’t have all 5 of those and you don’t have the same Avengers movie.

TDKR can be watched without seeing prequels:

This statement is a false assertion on Pros part. You would not understand the depth of why it matters at all to Bruce to keep from being Batman if you didn’t see the film with Harvey Dent in it. You wouldn’t fully understand why Rachel was special to someone like Bruce, you would not understand why Batman is a recluse, You wouldn’t understand anything that had to do with the League of Shadows.

In any case my point that the Avengers characters cannot be called ‘basic’ stands regardless of this point on TDKR’s watch ability without the other films. All the complex aspects of there characters were already set up, and now the film makers can have a lot more fun with them interacting with each other.

Hawkeye and Loki:

It seems your argument for Hawkeye and Loki being a waist remains the summary of your principal for critiquing the movies, one that is the obviously false assertion that every character in the film has to talk and be important and be used in every possible way they can. This was you case with the Aliens and Maria Hill as well. Non-descript Henchmen is fine, you ask for things that are unwarranted for the plot.

Anyway here is my final summary:

1) 1) Movies have to be about something (Rodenberry’s Rule)

2) 2) The Side Characters should only be used to bring out a story about the main characters, not built up for there own sake (Pillars Rule)

3) 3) Movies are better if they are about the Hero’s, not the Villains.

4) 4) Avengers is a Landmark Film, being the first to bring together 5 movies into one epic crossover team-up.

5) 5) All the Avengers powers and talents got pushed to the Max in that film, Batman got in a Rockem-Sockem Fight with Bane even though they are both highly trained ninjas.

6) 6) All of our other arguments were kind of petty things to pick at, my first 5 summarized points are really all that should concern your vote, they boil down the debate to what is contented past pure asserted opinion.

Thanks for reading if you did Vote for me, because my arguments are better, or because my opponent forfeited, or if you just want to say Hey I liked watching the Avengers more than TDKR.

Debate Round No. 5
10 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by tvellalott 3 years ago
They're both amazing superhero movies, but at the opposite of the spectrum...

Shame about the forfeit, but I'll still be following.
Posted by Marauder 3 years ago
Please don't let the forfeit come in Red letters, please give an actual post that says 'I have to skip round one sorry'. if you literally let the time limit run out few will ever see our debate when it is done.
Posted by Ragnar 3 years ago
Never forfeit, even if the write-up is short or even "I have to skip this round."
Posted by JonMilne 3 years ago
Sorry guys, coursework at college has been really catching up on me, to the point where I still haven't managed to formulate a write-up of my argument and am too tired and unwell as well to do so. In a few days I should be good, but for now, I'm gonna have to forfeit Round 2 at least.
Posted by AlyHo11 3 years ago
All I have to say is THE AVENGERS WAS 100% BETTER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Posted by YYW 3 years ago
It will be very hard to argue this, imo. I would rank Dark Knight, and DK Rises as among the best comic-book movies ever made, and generally in the top 20 of best movies ever made.
Posted by StevenDixon 3 years ago
The Dark night rises wasn't nearly as impressive as the Dark knight. A movie doesn't "need" a lead hero... One of the best parts of the Avengers is that you have a bunch of lead heroes from now established movie franchises. The person you're debating should definitely pick Stark though, Christian bale is no Robert Downy Jr.
Posted by Maikuru 3 years ago
If this is still here when I get back to the US on Friday, I'll probably take it.
Posted by Ragnar 3 years ago
Another day I'd take this (and probably lose), but just not feeling it today. Props to pro for outlining a formula to actually determine such, thereby lowering the subjective variable.

Just to help con get started, two points of consideration are

1. Brilliant writing of The Avengers, caused most of the audience to not even realize that Loki won.

2. There's a lot of flaws in The Dark Knight Rises, such as him becoming batman again multiple times, and waiting for the last damned hour before a nuke goes off to do anything about it (when it's been counting down for months).
Posted by Eitan_Zohar 3 years ago
Easy win for Pro. Unless there is a scary geek out there really willing to argue this.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Ragnar 3 years ago
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Total points awarded:20 
Reasons for voting decision: I'm a comic fan, yet I don't care about the Comic Justice section; I used to know a fan boy that complained Hugh Jackman was not "good looking enough to play Wolverine." Conduct: Pro missed a round, however Con's round 3 had many unjustified attacks (on no Bane doesn't talk like an American, therefore he must be trying to sound like James Earl Jones). Conduct even. Spelling: I see errors here and there, but none distracted me from what they were saying. Argument: With all the talk of other movies, are we supposed to measure the two in question, the whole series they're involved in, or every movie from each comic company? I did like Con's informative talk of Gene Roddenberry, and early Pathos appeals... But neither side really left me convinced. Perhaps these two could argue individual smaller aspects of these very different movies? Sources: Clearly favor pro, as they were used effectively to further his arguments.