ByMatthew Jarrett, writer at
Matthew Jarrett
...ers and storylines were FAR edgier and ahead of their time than anything coming from what they then referred to as the "Distinguished Competition". They lived and operated in real U.S. cities, they argued and squabbled and had real-life problems. This continued to be a largely Marvel-esque way of telling more grounded stories through the 70s and the first half of the 80s (notable and award-winning exceptions being DC's Green Lantern/Green Arrow title dealing head on with racism and drug addiction within the superhero community and at large, and the Paul Kirk: Manhunter run in Detective Comics, both incidentally written by the brilliant Denny O'Neil). It wasn't until Frank Miller revamped Batman in 1986 that DC's overall approach turned darker and "grittier", which has led to some brilliant stories and some just horrible over-the-top crap, from both companies. So yes, Marvel had the leg up on "edgy", publishing books grounded in a version of our real world while DC's stories still read like Little Golden Books. While this certainly didn't endure unchanged, it set the stage for everything we enjoy reading and watching today. Just omit pretty much everything from both companies (especially Marvel, sorry) from the 1990s, as over-commercialized garbage, and we have a wonderful history and a very, very bright future indeed for both books and (hopefully) films for many years to come.

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