Comic books have dated all way back in history, even before WWII started. Meaning there have probably been more than a billion comic books that were published. That makes comic books and superheroes a prominent part of pop culture, and, ever since the 2000's, the popularity of the genre has increased significantly.
There are plenty of comic book publishers out there, of course, Image, Dark Horse and Valiant comics. But the only companies that have made themselves known to everyone even the non-comic book readers are Marvel and DC comics. These two companies are giants compared to the others, and they have one of the most infamous corporate rivalries. In a way, they're like those living mountains from The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey who are always having boxing matches.
As of late, some people are saying that Marvel is winning this age old battle, with the release of their highly successful movies like The Avengers, Iron man 3, and [Captain America: The Winter Soldier](movie:254973). While they might be leading, I don't think DC will be an knock-out. The way I see it, each company has their strengths. Over the decades, Marvel has been giving us plenty of pulse-pounding, and exciting superhero flicks, while DC has given some good quality Saturday Morning cartoons and TV shows.
When it comes to the movies, I would say that Marvel has been more successful than DC. Judging from the numbers themselves, each year, marvel has three to four films, while DC only has one, and some of them are not even worth watching (Green Lantern, Jonah Hex). DC does still have some great movies (Dark Knight Trilogy) but Marvel knocks all the other DC movies right out of the park with their film's astounding special effects, great costume designs, and witty humor (thanks, Tony), plus everyone loves finding a few easter eggs, and Marvel films are full of them.
Though not as big on the movie front, DC is stronger in Television. No one can deny the presence of DC superheroes in television. DC has had more live-action television series, than Marvel has had live-action films. Shows like the 60's Batman, Lynda Carter's Wonder Woman, and The Adventures of Lois and Clark, had huge impacts on television. Meanwhile, the only well known live-action Marvel superhero appearance before 2013 was The Incredible Hulk starring Bill Bixby. Now let's look at the 2000's and beyond, DC had the award-winning Batman: The Animated Series by Bruce Timm, and one of my most favorite cartoons growing up, Justice League, and the follow up series Justice League Unlimited.
I'm a fan of both DC and Marvel, but the thing I'm disappointed about from the latter are it's latest cartoons: Ultimate Spider-man, Avengers Assemble, and Hulk and the agents of S.M.A.S.H. Disney might be doing movies well, but ever since the Marvel Universe block on Disney XD started, Marvel's cartoons have been dropping in quality. The main reason for this is probably because they're aiming so much at the 8-10 year old target audience, that they're making shows more childish and and less intelligent, by placing cheap laughs and overly simple story lines. That's why I prefer cartoons by DC comics. They are not just appealing for the younger audience but for the adults and teenagers. Even the seemingly childish cartoon Teen Titans Go! can make grown ups laugh.
Whatever both companies are good at, whether Movies or TV shows, we are going to see more of the The Avengers, Justice League, Spider-Man and many more superheroes in the big and small screens in the future. With DC's future projects like the [Batman vs. Superman](movie:711870) film and TV series like The Flash, Constantine, and Gotham, as well as Future Marvel Movies and TV series (Agent Carter, Luke Cage, Daredevil, Iron Fist etc.) we might just see Super heroes enjoy another Golden Age!