Marvel VS DC?
Whose better? I'm here to settle the score once and for a very short time after you read this.
Let me just say upfront though, I am a DC fanboy but for the first 10-12 years or so of my life (roughly half my life), Marvel was my one and only. Then I grew up a little.
Also, let me add I'm not a super,uber, comic book, know it all. Most of my knowledge comes TV and movies and their relation to the source material. So don't freak out if I forgot to mention something, just add a comment below.
So let's begin.
Q: Can you name the top DC and Marvel stories with acclaimed graphic novels attached their name?
"With DC, you have Watchmen and 50 million featuring Batman. I think Marvel has something called Civil War?"
For every Winter Soldier on Marvel side, there's 5 Under the Red Hood's with DC.
- Acclaimed Graphic Novels
- The X-men
Q: Quick! Think of the most popular superhero of all time!
“Uh, um... Superman! Wait, Batman? It's Batman right? No, wait. Superman's logo is known world wide. I don't know, Superman I guess?”
Does it really matter? In either case, #1 and #2 both are from DC. Now, name the most popular female superhero!
“Wonder Woman! Easy!”
Second most popular super heroine?
Third most popular?
Now, popularity does not equal truth but there has to be some reason why DC superheroes are so ingrained into our pop culture? Sure, you can maybe debate Spider-man is nearly as popular as Batman and Superman but, right off the bat, three of DC's Trinity of heavy hitters are number one in the male and female department. After Spider-man, you get into Iron Man, Wolverine, Captain America, Hulk, Thor, then maybe Flash and Green Lantern. So Marvel gets points in quantity.
- Superman – the first legit superhero
- Batman. Batman. BATMAN.
- Wonder Woman – most popular female superhero
- Marvel Cinematic Universe
- The X-men
Now if you were to count up all the great DC characters and all the Marvel ones, well, with X-men alone you would easily out number DC. So this is an easy pass. DC's got a great cast of characters but many of them are secondary to their most popular characters. Such as: Robin, Superboy, Wonder Girl, Kid Flash, etc. If you were to show a kid a bunch of superheroes and asked to name them though, chances are, he's going to be able to name a ton of more Marvel characters.
Side note: X-men is Marvels finest work but ironically its other characters undermine their struggle. Like the whole world's worried about mutants right? That's the social issue faced in the comic but at the same time you have Spider-man jumping around, Avengers flying everywhere and people cheer for them? Like what's the difference? X-men should really be in it's own universe like how they are in the Movies. Their struggle just doesn't make sense when you have people like the Fantastic Four cheered on as heroes.
- The Batman Family
- The X-men
Here's a little side rant. DC and Marvel both have their fair share of original ideas and timeless classic heroes. However, Marvel tends to rip off (at least in the early days) DC. Some on the the Marvel side have admitted to this but their rebuttal is “Marvel steals characters but then improves on them” Really?
- Suicide Squad and Thunderbolts?
- Green Lantern Corps and Nova Corps?
- Robin and Bucky Barnes?
- Flash and Quicksilver?
- Brainiac and Ultron?
- Catwoman and Black Cat?
- Clayface and Sandman?
- Superman and Sentry?!
Take for instance Hawkeye and Green Arrow.
Arrow per-dates Hawkeye by about 20 years. In his heyday, Green Arrow is known for:
- His Left ideals
- Social justice
- Dealing with drug related crimes
- Being a Modern day robin hood.
- Gritty Awesome TV show
Whether you agree with his views or not, it's still an interesting personal take on a superhero.
On the other hand, Hawkeye is known for:
- Being the most useless Avenger character.
Marvel ripoffs of DC:
- Catwoman -1940 Black Cat 1979
- Deadshot- 1950 Bullseye 1976
- Black Canary-1947 Banshee 1967
- Dr. Fate-1940 Dr Strange 1963
- Plastic Man-1941 Mr. Fantastic 1967
- Firefly-1952 Mysterio 1964
- Penguin-1941 Owl 1964
- Hawkman-1940 Arch Angel 1963
- Green Lantern Corps-1959 Nova Corps 1979
- Deathstroke-1980 Deadpool 1991 (A parody but still)
- Robin-1940 Bucky Barnes 1941
- The Flash-1940 Quicksilver 1964
- Darkseid-1970 Thanos 1973
- Clayface-1940 Sandman 1963
- Green Arrow-1941 Hawkeye 1964
- Justice League-1960 The Avengers 1963
- Superman-1938 The Sentry 2000
- Brianiac-1958 Ultron 1968
- Weather Wizard-1959 Storm 1975
DC ripoffs of Marvel:
- Namor 1939 - Aquaman 1941
- Deathlok 1974 - Cyborg 1980
- Captain America 1941 - Guardian(DC Comics) 1942
- Wasp 1963 - Bumblebee 1977
- Blazing skull 1941 - Atomic Skull 1978
- The Lizard 1963 - Killer Croc 1983
- Human Torch 1939 (golden version) - Sunboy 1961
- Electro 1964 - Black lighting 1977
- Spider-man 1962 - Black Spider 1976
- Galactus 1966 - Anti-Monitor 1985
- Phoenix 1963 - Raven 1980
- Red Skull 1941 - 1985 Black Mask
- Black Panther 1966 - Bronze Tiger 1974
- X23 2004 - Saiko 2011
- Crossbones 1981 - Bane 1993
- Namora 1947 - Aquagirl 1959
Many of Marvels most iconic characters have taken a page from DC and that's the point. Both companies have characters stolen from the other, but in Marvels case, many of these are their icons. DC has stolen a few too, no one's innocent here, but most of these aren't exactly A listers.
Here's a Watchmojo video on the top copycat characters:
How about their biggest teams?
Justice League and the Avengers
Guess which came first.
Justice League - 7 of the worlds most powerful superheroes.
- The Trinity - Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman (the most popular heroes of all time and need no introduction)
- The fastest man alive, the Flash (most popular and best speedster superhero of all time, sorry Quicksilver)
- Green Lantern of the galactic Green Lantern Corps, one of many with one of the most unique super powers in comics history.
- Aquaman, jokes aside, king of the 7 seas (Namor came first, I know)
- Martian Manhunter (I'm looking at you Vision)
Each is unique and bring something new to the table, but all with one goal in mind: JUSTICE.
Nothing is more intellectually and nerdly pleasing than seeing these seven sit around and debate ethics.
The Avengers – Earth's Mightiest Heroes.
- Spider-man, web head, timeless classic and marvels best.
- Captain America, an Ideal super solider who fights for America.
- Iron Man, billionaire, tech genius.
- Thor, God of Thunder.
- Hawkeye, he shoots arrows.
- The Hulk, he punches stuff.
Their goal? When places get destroyed and people die, don't worry we'll AVENGE them! Aw, that's adorable.
Is this really a contest? And I'm not arguing who would win, because the Justice League wouldn't. That would just be Superman killing half the Avengers with one arm tied behind his back and heat visioning everyone else. Who would win isn't an argument for whose a better read. This all really comes down to preference though.
Do you prefer watching superheroes kick ass but also have different views dealing with issues of morality, politics, government and debates that span other galaxy’s and universes inside of a Watchtower in space? Or do you prefer a rag-tag team that punches enemies until they die?
And people call Superman boring? That's the Hulk in a nutshell.
- Wonder Woman
- Green Lantern
- Iron Man
- Captain America
Marvel use to be known for its realism in it's characters though. Spider-man, for instance, was more about Peter Parker's life struggles than his actual superhero antics. Seems like both companies did a little switch, but in Marvels case, I believe they declined.
DC though, lets be honest here, is held up mostly by Batman. He gets them very far, but try to name the top DC media that doesn't feature him? The TV show Arrow takes half his villains for Christ sake.
At the end of the day, bitching aside, I gotta give points to Marvel. Sounds like a crazy random 180 but they started the down to earth Superheroes with Spider-man. DC's new found success with grittiness owe's a lot to that.
Q: Who has the best villain rouge gallery from each company?
“Batman and Spider-man, easy.”
Batman's villains are some of the greatest in comic book history and even have a lame TV show (Gotham) featuring their origins. Each one reflects him in some form or another and all suffer from an illness in the real world.
- The Joker for instance, a nihilistic sociopath, is his pure opposite and arguably one of the greatest villains of all time.
- Two-face, split personality disorder, is a reflection of Batman and Bruce Waynes duality.
- The Riddler, a narcissists who leave clues behind. Feels the intellectually inferior need to be cut off.
- Penguin reflects how he could turn out as a greedy cold business man.
- Mr. Freeze, cold as ice, trying to save his wife's life. To him, Batman has it easy as his parents are dead but Freeze is frozen, unable to save his wife but with still a glimmer of hope he can save her. He can't just move on and this reflects what grief could do to Batman if it goes to far.
The list goes on.
Spider-man villains. Oh, those are the best ones, right?
- The Sandman, he turns into sand and robs banks.
- Doctor Octopus, has four extra limbs and robs banks to pay for his energy experiment.
- The Rhino, hes a big rhino and he runs around robbing banks.
- Electro, he has electric powers and robs banks.
- The Shocker...he shocks you and robs banks.
- Jumping man, hes a man who jumps and robs banks. Why not?
Every other villain either robs banks or has a niche thing they do based on their generic name.
Sure, I left out the obvious – Venom and Carnage (awesome villains don't get me wrong). BUT OH I'm sorry, I forgot about the Green “ripoff Joker” Goblin!
I mean seriously? Do people actually debate who has the better villains from these two? http://www.ign.com/boards/threads/who-has-better-villains-spiderman-or-batman.452726451/
Really, you should be comparing the Flash's rouge gallery to Spider-mans, not the freaking Batman. Marvels in general has some good villains overall but if you're trying to compare their two biggest heroes rouges? It's no contest.
- Lex Luther
- Black Adam
- Magneto – by far Marvels best
- Dr. Doom
Side note: Here's an issue I think most people aren't aware of:
Thanos copied Darkseid.
Marvel Cinematic Universe Fans: Your big bad is a ripoff of a DC character.
Jim Starlin the creator of Thaos:
Kirby had done the New Gods, which I thought was terrific. He was over at DC at the time. I came up with some things that were inspired by that. You'd think that Thanos was inspired by Darkseid, but that was not the case when I showed up. In my first Thanos drawings, if he looked like anybody, it was Metron. I had all these different gods and things I wanted to do, which became Thanos and the Titans. Roy took one look at the guy in the Metron-like chair and said: "Beef him up! If you're going to steal one of the New Gods, at least rip off Darkseid, the really good one!"
How dare you Marvel.
Darkseid's main goal is to gain access to the anti-life equation. The Anti-Life Equation is a formula for total control over the minds of sentient beings, as Darkseid wants to destroy any concept of Free will in the universe and rule over it.
Okay, it's a lot cooler than that I'll admit. Orange and Purple control Time and Space itself. The Yellow stone is basically a wishing well, you can change reality anyway you like (screw equations, just find this gem). Each of the six little stones is 1000 times more powerful than DC's Macguffin, but really, this is like making God your super-villain. Also, Marvels Heroes are no where near as powerful as DC's top dogs so how the hell can they beat a guy who controls all time and space? Is Spider-man going to shoot some web at his face while Cap plays Frisbee with him???
Is Thanos more of a threat than Darkseid? Of course. Is Marvel playing the God-Mode cheat with their character? I think so. He's the main villain of the MCU so hopefully, the movies square that one out. I consider Thanos a legitimate character and not only just a rip off but personally I'll stick with my more intellectual cosmic villain.
Is there really any competition here? Marvel may own the movies but DC no doubt owns TV.
You may be thinking though “Who cares? It's just TV. Movies are what really matter.” Maybe ten years ago, but now in today's market with things like Breaking Bad and Game of Thrones having top notch quality story telling, movie production wise? TV's a whole new game.
DC and Marvel has a long history of Live action TV. Mostly a bad history.
- Some weird Spider-man show from the 70s.
- Bill Bixby in the Incredible Hulk
- Mutant X
- Blade the Series
Then in recent times we have:
- Marvel Agents of Shield, that amazing 7.5 rated show that even the fans don't like.
- Agent Carter, which I've never seen but I hear good things
With DC, we have classic shows like...
- 1950s The Adventures of Superman with George reeve's
- The campy 60s Batman.
- 70's we have Wonder Woman.
- Forgetful Superboy and Flash shows.
- Then the nearly Unwatchable Lois and Clark.
So, DC has its fair share misfires with TV, but what about in recent memory?
- Smallville (went on too long but still good),
- Gotham (terrible)
- The Flash
- Upcoming Supergirl show
- Another Arrow/Flash spin off show
- A possible show set on Krypton
- Teen Titans show in the works
- Maybe Static Shock
Lets throw back to the 70s. The Super friends? How many of your parents watched that? Versus what? Spider-man from the 60s? Made for some funny memes at best but so does Super friends.
Silly shows aside, what about the 90s?
- Batman the freaking animated series? Do I need to list the awards and groundbreaking this show did?
- Superman the animated series, still just as good
- X-men the cartoon show, loved that as a kid (Once again the only thing that can compare to Batman from Marvel is X-men).
- What about the Spider-man 90s animated show? Was my favorite at the time, watched it recently, it's unwatchable.
Then in the early 2000s,
- Batman Beyond
- Static Shock
- Teen Titans
- Justice League
- Justice League Unlimited
- X-men evolution?
- Lame Avengers DVD movies?
Green Lantern or the Super Hero Squad show? (This is what I mean by Marvel being a happy meal)
Gritty down to earth, adult, well animated, deep involved stories from Young Justice or Disney XD's the Avengers show for 10 year olds?
Also, Marvel lacks diversity in these shows. DC has strong female leads and different races, while Marvel's characters are all the same, as in, they're all boring. Then the decades long of DC animated films that come out each year. Adult, well animated and usually well told stories. As far as anyone is concerned, objectively, DC owns animation.
Like the TV category, is there really any competition here? I've been giving Marvel a lot of crap this whole time but now it's time to turn that around.
What Marvel has done with their Cinematic Universe, it's untouchable. Every other movie studio is now trying to replicate it, but they can't, and that goes 10 fold for Warner Brothers. Even non superhero franchises like Star Wars (Both owned by Disney) is trying to copy their spin-off success.
Now some DC fanboys are maybe thinking “What about the Nolan Trilogy?!”
Well, yeah sure, lets take a look at all of that. Box offices numbers in 2012 for The Avengers and The Dark Knight Rises
The Avengers made more, but really, you needed all 6 of the Avengers to match up one (admittedly not very great) Batman movie?
The Dark Knight made a billion too. Ah, but then again in 2013, Iron Man 3, itself alone makes a billion at the box office too. So, maybe this is really Iron Man and friends vs Batman? Heck, who am I kidding? Marvel made a talking Raccoon and a Tree the talk of the summer. Now with an addition of Spider-man in the mix? No contest. We really shouldn't be debating numbers here, popularity doesn't make one better of course (and it would be an easy loss).
Okay, but what about the fact that Superman and then Batman 89 kicked off the superhero franchise? Sure, but then again the 90s was mostly dead and full of terrible Batman movies. Early 2000s, we had X-men, Spider-man, along with other unmentionable flicks. Then 2005, Batman Begins rolled by and changed superhero movies for the better. However, 2008 is the real game changer. Sad to say this but Nolans Batman should not be compared with the MCU. Sure, any day of the week, the Dark Knight is the superior film over nearly every comic book movie but that isn't the Batman that going up against Marvel, that's the Snyder, Ben Affleck Batman.
Nolans films were a pocket film series for a new take on Batman. What DC is doing now with movies is what should to be compared to Marvel and when you do, it's really Man of Steel vs the MCU. That's harsh.
If we compare all movies with DC and Marvel, it's really a high quality on DC side vs quality plus quantity on Marvels. Marvel has 10 movies to boot, some in the last few years have been amazing, the worst of these are just forgettable. DC has just started, and it's a rocky start at best. Anything DC does right, from now on, Marvel has already done it first.
Marvel dominates this in every way. DC has yet to prove itself in the Cinematic Universe we've all wanted to see. Don't get me wrong though, I'm DC all the way. Watching the Avengers movie is like drinking Pepi instead of Coke, it's just a huge tease for the REAL superhero team. Every casting choice, every costume reveal, any snip-it of info for Batman vs Superman, my mind blows. I just see Marvel movies as a filler for the time being until DC blows up next year.
DC has the power to overthrow Marvel in this category, but can it? I don't know. Either way, even if Batman v Superman is the worst movie ever, just seeing them punch one another on screen would be enough for me to like it over any Marvel movie out there.
Biased or not though, it's not hard to see how Marvel takes this win. Audiences prefer well made, mainstream, colorful, family orientated, fun heroes I guess? Whatever, jerks.
Joking aside, DC fan or not, you gotta respect what they've done.
- Man Of Steel (for some people including myself)
- Iron Man
- Captain America 2: The Winter Soldier
- Guardians of the Galaxy
- DC. Both companies have awesome colorful heroes but only one manages to have acclaimed novels attached to their characters.
- DC. The Trinity alone nearly trumps Marvel's popularity and cultural status. Superman's logo is known everywhere.
- Marvel. X-men alone is full of great recognizable characters and arguably Marvels best creation. Then add the Avengers and you have 100+ fantastic superheroes to choose from. DC has a lot in their own right but most of them are extensions of their already popular characters (Supergirl, Superboy, Wondergirl, Kid Flash).
- Marvel. It started it with more down to earth characters. Marvel had gritty down in the 60s. In my view they've taken a turn from that to appeal as happy meal superheroes but still takes the point. Also, lets be fair, most of DC is held up by Batman and its current success with their heroes is taking a page from Marvel.
- DC. Do I need to say more? Batman's rouges blows Marvel out of the water. Magneto is the only thing that comes close to DC on an intellectually stimulating level. I don't think any Marvel villains portrayed in live-action films are going to get the best supporting actor award anytime soon. http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0005132/awards?ref_=nm_awd
- DC. Both have a horrible track record, but even DC's old shows have nice camp factors to them. In recent times, DC's is dominating both live action and undeniably animation. Never has Marvel touched DC in this category.
- Marvel. Easy win, everything from now on is just DC copying what Marvel has done with movies.
And so does being biased, muhaha! It was closer than I thought it would be though. This is really a quality vs quantity debate.
Do you want to watch/read about superheroes who are more gritty, adult, God like, intellectually driven, and the only one to feature a character with graphic novel acclaimed status (Batman)? Then DC is your choice.
Do you want the more recent mainstream, happy meal, cartoon, Disney channel, fun for the whole family, Saturday morning cartoon superhero who dresses up and saves the day (Which admittedly DC use to be)? Then Marvel's your choice.
Did I miss anything? Did I not give enough time and credit to Marvel? Which category is the other way around? Let everyone know below.