I don't think there's any contradiction between being a successful company, or even artist, and still watching what your competitors are doing and being influenced by a successful product or fashion. It shouldn't be viewed as insulting to WB to suggest that they're aware of what Marvel or doing and are factoring it into their own strategy. Be it other phone companies making their own smartphones after the launch of the iPhone, be it the Stones making Their Satanic Majesties Request as their own version of Sgt Pepper, be it Paramount relaunching Star Trek in response to the success of Star Wars or be it car manufacturers all creating their own model of whatever is successful this year, it's what helps makes the creative and business worlds go round. I'm sure that WB have their own particular way of doing things (e.g. the supposed 'no jokes' dicta certainly would differentiate their superhero movies from those of Marvel) but they'd be foolish if they didn't take on board how their closest rival in this field is approaching the market.