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  1. #76

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    Got to say I am surprised that Lex Luthor has such a passionate fanbase, who take me questioning his character depth and feasibility, and thematic potential, as a matter of personal offense.

    Quote Originally Posted by Agent Z View Post
    As opposed to the guy from the fictional country called Victor Von Doom?
    In that context, I was comparing Luthor to Norman Osborn, and their respective feasibiliy as a Trump analogue. Dr. Doom is a Romani revolutionary who took over an oppressive aristocratic dictatorship that persecuted minorities and became a dictator that while oppressive isn't bigoted or repressive to minorities, and indeed Doom often makes gestures to open borders and welcoming refugees and so on. There's nothing Trump-like about him and there's nothing to compare him to Luthor or anyone.

    Indeed, as Jim Shooter demonstrated in the second Inter-company crossover (Superman and Spider-Man, which is mostly Superman versus Dr. Doom and Spidey's there for the ride), Dr. Doom is a more interesting foil to Superman than Luthor because he presents a bigger moral challenge, since he's also a minority kid who created a homeland and is all about using his power for upliftment, and so on. And as Doom points out when Superman compares him to Hitler, "You misjudge me, Superman! I am no raging Fuehrer, wringing hatred from misfit followers! My Kingdom is a place of peace and contentment!" And that's true, Dr. Doom's ideology has not a whiff of race hatred anywhere, which isn't true of Luthor, who is genuinely a bigot towards aliens seeing them as livestock whose organs and parts can be harvested for human (i.e. Luthor) development. Now of course the latter part varies as per writers and so on, but it's certainly realistic and believable that there are people within Latveria who genuinely agree with and support Doom and who consider Doom an improvement over the trashcanistan that ran Latveria before him.


    So anyway...I am not convinced by the argument that Osborn is somehow inferior than Luthor simply because Luthor came first and him being a regular Superman villain means he's hot s--t. I think Norman Osborn and Green Goblin makes more sense as a villain, has better stories, and is more interesting for the stories and challenges he presents in the stories he's been in.

  2. #77
    Mighty Member pageturner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zeeguy91 View Post
    Reasons 2 through 5 really don't apply to Daredevil IMO.

    2 does hold to a point multiple What if stories have other DD in them 1602 the zombie stories as well. I forget if he ever popped up in the ultimate universe. He pales next to Spider man and Batman in that regard but there have been some.

    5 he had Karen Page and electra is on an off but he does not have a straight through lois type but then spider is most popular with mj but there have been many others. Same goes for batman.
    Last edited by pageturner; 07-16-2019 at 08:44 AM.

  3. #78

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    Quote Originally Posted by blackspidey2099 View Post
    But is that really true nowadays? I don't think so, and I don't think it has been for a long while. Honestly, I think that's a common but extremely outdated adage, and even as someone who couldn't really care less about the vast majority of DC characters, it's quite unfair to DC.

    I kinda agree with OP, Spider-Man fits in more with the popular DC heroes of today than the popular Marvel heroes of today. For me, the major thing about most Marvel heroes is that they're very grounded in a way Spider-Man isn't. A lot of them are either with the military, have corporations behind them, or are very tied to realism. And while Peter faces a lot of real life problems in his personal life, I don't think Spider-Man is a very realistic hero - he's a dude in red and blue spandex swinging through the city like it's a jungle gym, somehow has a secret identity, and overall a lot of his stories just have this tone/sense of whimsy that other Marvel heroes often forgo. It reminds me a lot more DC heroes like Superman and Flash than anyone else at Marvel.
    You got a fair point on Marvel VS DC nowadays.

    I'm looking at it more in the context of the overall history as well.

  4. #79

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    Quote Originally Posted by Revolutionary_Jack View Post
    It's rarely executed well for one thing. Either Luthor's plans are too Mary Sue-ish in its complexity for it to be believably undone by Superman punching him or other characters are made to look dumb to make Luthor look good.



    Being a racist, or a bigot to aliens, isn't a human motivation. It's a human flaw and human defect, but not a rational human motivation.



    When you said Luthor Potus as President was relevant, I assumed you were referring to Trump and not Bush/Cheney. And that's the context this thread discussed that beat with. In any case Luthor Potus has less to say about Bush/Cheney and the Iraq War then it does about Trump. Where is the DC version of 9/11 that leads to a controversial war that divides people and divides American public and society.

    Allegorically, Marvel did that with stuff like CIVIL WAR (albeit not too well since Millar's totally clueless about political allegories and America in general, typical Brit and all that). You had the Stamford Incident that led to overzealous reactions and fears, and paranoia that divided the superhuman community with emotions blinding reason...whether that's too forgiving or too charitable an interpretation of what America did in Iraq is of course another question altogether. The Bruce Timm cartoons at the DCAU, Justice League did that too with the Cadmus Story there, and of course the cartoon president there is implied to be Dubya.



    Well Osborn isn't to be underestimated either. He's self-destructive and unstable but he's capable of destroying and killing a whole bunch of people and stuff along the way and causing a lot of damage.

    I tend to think that it's hard for people to accept, offensive you might say, that people like Trump and Osborn are real dangerous threats and not really super-genius masterminds who are undefeatable. It would be flattering if some super-genius like Luthor was behind everything. But mostly you get a guy who's cunning, violent, and incredibly lucky. The thing is that all these guys need to do is get power and influence once. 99/100 times they would not get there, but the one time they do, tends to do a lot of harm and so on.



    Spider-Man as a comic, and this is rarely commented on, is fundamentally a humor comic and also a romance comic, with bits of social commentary there. It's got strong connections to Will Eisner's The Spirit and also Carl Barks' Donald Duck comics. It borrowed a lot of ideas from outside traditional superhero genres. So that gives it a bigger thematic density then Marvel's other heroes in general. Spider-Man being at heart a comedy also makes him similar to Superman. I mean Superman works best when it's in a lighter, comic vein, and isn't all some weird Nietzschean/Randian/Rockwellian view about being a god among people. There are serious stories with Superman, and also Spider-Man, just as there are comedy stories with Batman.

    Also it's true what you say that Marvel heroes are generally very much tied to society, institutions, and groups and so on, whereas Spider-Man is fundamentally a very individualistic story. I mean Daredevil and the Punisher are stories about the legal system, its flaws, its successes, and its weaknesses. You can argue that Jessica Jones and Luke Cage are in the same vein too. Whereas Spider-Man's story is fundamentally a personal story that touches on a bunch of issues. A Fantastic Four comic is about family and exploration, The Mighty Thor and Dr. Strange are fantasies (High Fantasy, and Occult and Urban Fantasy), Iron Man and Capain America are both about the military-industrial complex (from above and from below respectively) and so on.

    Whereas Spider-Man isn't tied to any one thing. So that makes it very much like Batman and Superman, because Batman sure is a detective and Superman is a reporter but that doesn't limit or define their stories a great deal. Batman fights ordinary punks but he also fights Clayface and Solomon Grundy. Same with Superman.
    I don't think we could really expect DC's President Lex story to touch on the controversies of the War in Iraq in great detail. The final arc kicked off with Superman/ Batman #1, which was published in August 2003, and presumably in the works for some time before that.

    At the time the story was conceived, the Iraq war was broadly popular.

    Do you think DC heroes have fundamentally personal stories, as opposed to Marvel comics?

  5. #80

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mister Mets View Post
    I don't think we could really expect DC's President Lex story to touch on the controversies of the War in Iraq in great detail. The final arc kicked off with Superman/ Batman #1, which was published in August 2003, and presumably in the works for some time before that.

    At the time the story was conceived, the Iraq war was broadly popular.
    True, people forget that, just as with Vietnam. The Iraq War protest movement didn't become mainstream until about the time the Abu Ghraib investigation came through. Since then, both the Presidential candidates from both parties (Obama, Trump) condemned the war as a mistake during their campaigns and got elected in against candidates who had supported it (McCain, Clinton) from both parties.

    Do you think DC heroes have fundamentally personal stories, as opposed to Marvel comics?
    Mostly yeah. DC characters don't really occupy a single genre the way Marvel heroes largely do. For instance, you can say Batman is the Detective who sticks to Gotham and that he doesn't do the global large-scale stories and so on. It's been said that Batman works best as a standalone character in his own corner...and certainly Chris Nolan's movies where Batman is the only superhero and takes a very realistic approach is proof of that. On the other hand, what's widely considered Batman's best story, The Dark Knight Returns fundamentally places Batman and Gotham city in a shared universe and frames him as a character with national level influence and impact. That somehow, what Batman does in Gotham matters to the world strangely enough. Then you have stories like Mark Waid's Tower of Babel which is an essential Batman story, and certainly painted a very critical view of his psychology and his self-destructive paranoia. And that too is a valid Batman story. Superman likewise, you have iconic stories with him in Metropolis, and being Clark Kent in the Daily Planet, dealing with street-level crime (as you see in Bendis' current run) and also dealing with Galactic level stuff. He's not someone you can easily say is 'galactic level only'. Kryptonite is the levelling thing. At any point, some random dude with the green rock is in range of killing the most powerful guy on Earth.

    DC is fundamentally the story of individual characters, and their supporting casts. But that's less of the case with Marvel. Spider-Man is the defining exception. Spider-Man is the story of an individual. Whereas other characters are tied to institutions...Iron Man for instance has to be the story of Stark Industries. You read Fraction/Larroca's early run and it's mostly told from the viewpoint of 616 Pepper whereas Tony's in the background and on a gurney for most of that. It's still an Iron Man story because it's about Stark Industries. A Captain America story is about the American Dream, and how Steve remains loyal to it.

    Whereas Spider-Man is about Peter Parker and his problems and so on. Look at Dan Slott's Renew Your Vows. America's a totalitarian government in the future but the story is still a Spider-Man story because it's about Peter and his family in that world.

  6. #81

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    Quote Originally Posted by Revolutionary_Jack View Post
    True, people forget that, just as with Vietnam. The Iraq War protest movement didn't become mainstream until about the time the Abu Ghraib investigation came through. Since then, both the Presidential candidates from both parties (Obama, Trump) condemned the war as a mistake during their campaigns and got elected in against candidates who had supported it (McCain, Clinton) from both parties.



    Mostly yeah. DC characters don't really occupy a single genre the way Marvel heroes largely do. For instance, you can say Batman is the Detective who sticks to Gotham and that he doesn't do the global large-scale stories and so on. It's been said that Batman works best as a standalone character in his own corner...and certainly Chris Nolan's movies where Batman is the only superhero and takes a very realistic approach is proof of that. On the other hand, what's widely considered Batman's best story, The Dark Knight Returns fundamentally places Batman and Gotham city in a shared universe and frames him as a character with national level influence and impact. That somehow, what Batman does in Gotham matters to the world strangely enough. Then you have stories like Mark Waid's Tower of Babel which is an essential Batman story, and certainly painted a very critical view of his psychology and his self-destructive paranoia. And that too is a valid Batman story. Superman likewise, you have iconic stories with him in Metropolis, and being Clark Kent in the Daily Planet, dealing with street-level crime (as you see in Bendis' current run) and also dealing with Galactic level stuff. He's not someone you can easily say is 'galactic level only'. Kryptonite is the levelling thing. At any point, some random dude with the green rock is in range of killing the most powerful guy on Earth.

    DC is fundamentally the story of individual characters, and their supporting casts. But that's less of the case with Marvel. Spider-Man is the defining exception. Spider-Man is the story of an individual. Whereas other characters are tied to institutions...Iron Man for instance has to be the story of Stark Industries. You read Fraction/Larroca's early run and it's mostly told from the viewpoint of 616 Pepper whereas Tony's in the background and on a gurney for most of that. It's still an Iron Man story because it's about Stark Industries. A Captain America story is about the American Dream, and how Steve remains loyal to it.

    Whereas Spider-Man is about Peter Parker and his problems and so on. Look at Dan Slott's Renew Your Vows. America's a totalitarian government in the future but the story is still a Spider-Man story because it's about Peter and his family in that world.
    I will note you're comparing Spider-Man to DC's top heroes, while suggesting Marvel is represented by heroes who support one monthly at best.

    It could be that you're looking at what makes A-list heroes unique rather than a Marvel VS DC thing, since DC should be represented by the Flash, Green Lantern, Green Arrow, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Catwoman, Shazam, Supergirl, Nightwing and company.

    Years ago, I considered what makes Marvel and DC unique.

    1. Marvel has a shared universe with characters largely cocreated by Stan Lee set in New York City, whereas DC is more of a patchwork universe of characters created by different teams and often different companies (Shazam came from Fawcett comics, Blue Beetle and the Question come from Charleston comics, Plastic Man came from Quality comics.)
    2. The biggest Marvel stories tend to be in a shared universe often as part of an ongoing title, whereas a high percentage of the top DC stories are standalones.
    3. Marvel villains tend to have real-world counterparts.
    4. The Marvel comics tend to have some kind of change (even the illusion of change) from story to story,ever since Fantastic Four #4 picked up immediately after where the third issue ended with Johnny Storm flying away in a hissy fit.
    5. Marvel tends to reference the first appearances of the superheroes.
    6. DC tended to group superhero families by similar power-sets, whereas Marvel's groups are more diverse (the Fantastic Four, the X-Men and Runaways have heroes who get wildly different power-sets from similar experiences.)

    Spider-Man fits most of these categories (the main exception might be the emergence of all the spinoffs, although we're also seeing that with the Hulk, Captain America and Iron Man.)

  7. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mister Mets View Post
    3. Marvel villains tend to have real-world counterparts.
    Do you think? How so? I mean, I don't see many real-world counterparts for someone like Victor Von Doom or Otto Octavius. I'd say Magneto is probably the strongest case for a villain that draws inspiration from real-world political figures, but even that might be stretching it.

    6. DC tended to group superhero families by similar power-sets, whereas Marvel's groups are more diverse (the Fantastic Four, the X-Men, and Runaways have heroes who get wildly different power-sets from similar experiences.)
    I mean, I don't know if "family" as it's defined in the DC context, as-in the Bat-family or the Flash-family, really applies to groups like the Fantastic Four or the X-Men. I'd say the latter two are more like teams. The Bat-family developed because its individual members were all, in one way or another, inspired by Batman and his legacy. In other words, DC's "families" are made up of legacy characters. The Fantastic Four, on the other hand, came together simultaneously and weren't really inspired by any one progenitor. The same thing applies I think for the X-Men. They're probably more comparable to teams like the Justice League or the Doom Patrol at DC.

    That's not to say that Marvel doesn't have legacy characters. I'd say there's now a legitimate Spider-family with the influx of new characters. And its definitely increased in recent years with the introduction of the likes of Miles, Riri, Kamala, Viv Vision, Silk, etc. It's even one of the ways that you could say Marvel is becoming more DC-like. However, you could also make the case that Marvel has been in that business at least since the 80s. She-Hulk, War Machine, Kaine, Ben Reilly, Red Hulk, Winter Soldier, Namorita, etc. are all technically legacy characters.
    Last edited by Zeeguy91; 07-16-2019 at 09:06 PM.

  8. #83

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mister Mets View Post
    I will note you're comparing Spider-Man to DC's top heroes, while suggesting Marvel is represented by heroes who support one monthly at best.
    Obviously I am choosing the most representative titles across decades in publishing history. So yeah, it's not a comprehensive thing. y
    Years ago, I considered what makes Marvel and DC unique.

    1. Marvel has a shared universe with characters largely cocreated by Stan Lee set in New York City, whereas DC is more of a patchwork universe of characters created by different teams and often different companies (Shazam came from Fawcett comics, Blue Beetle and the Question come from Charleston comics, Plastic Man came from Quality comics.)
    2. The biggest Marvel stories tend to be in a shared universe often as part of an ongoing title, whereas a high percentage of the top DC stories are standalones.
    3. Marvel villains tend to have real-world counterparts.
    4. The Marvel comics tend to have some kind of change (even the illusion of change) from story to story,ever since Fantastic Four #4 picked up immediately after where the third issue ended with Johnny Storm flying away in a hissy fit.
    5. Marvel tends to reference the first appearances of the superheroes.
    6. DC tended to group superhero families by similar power-sets, whereas Marvel's groups are more diverse (the Fantastic Four, the X-Men and Runaways have heroes who get wildly different power-sets from similar experiences.)
    Those are valid observations. My viewpoint was more in terms of overall themes of characters and stories. I think saying DC is more individualistic than Marvel is in line with these observations. DC characters being individualistic more than Marvel is borne out by them originating largely as standalone self-contained works that were never intended to fully exist in a shared universe, and inevitably when a long-running serial story builds a supporting cast of sidekicks and legacies they are going to be grouped together. Marvel Universe has a collective identity, and because of that you have multiple groups...the Marvel superhero community as a whole, then individual teams and families and so on. So Shared Universe stories works better in Marvel.

    Spider-Man on the other hand works better as a standalone and individual hero. And he's essentially an individualistic story and character.

  9. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zeeguy91 View Post
    Do you think? How so? I mean, I don't see many real-world counterparts for someone like Victor Von Doom or Otto Octavius. I'd say Magneto is probably the strongest case for a villain that draws inspiration from real-world political figures, but even that might be stretching it.



    I mean, I don't know if "family" as it's defined in the DC context, as-in the Bat-family or the Flash-family, really applies to groups like the Fantastic Four or the X-Men. I'd say the latter two are more like teams. The Bat-family developed because its individual members were all, in one way or another, inspired by Batman and his legacy. In other words, DC's "families" are made up of legacy characters. The Fantastic Four, on the other hand, came together simultaneously and weren't really inspired by any one progenitor. The same thing applies I think for the X-Men. They're probably more comparable to teams like the Justice League or the Doom Patrol at DC.

    That's not to say that Marvel doesn't have legacy characters. I'd say there's now a legitimate Spider-family with the influx of new characters. And its definitely increased in recent years with the introduction of the likes of Miles, Riri, Kamala, Viv Vision, Silk, etc. It's even one of the ways that you could say Marvel is becoming more DC-like. However, you could also make the case that Marvel has been in that business at least since the 80s. She-Hulk, War Machine, Kaine, Ben Reilly, Red Hulk, Winter Soldier, Namorita, etc. are all technically legacy characters.
    The real life counter part is a huge stretch other than Kinpin who could be compared to various mob bosses I suppose. It would be tough to compare even the more general bad guys.

  10. #85

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zeeguy91 View Post
    Do you think? How so? I mean, I don't see many real-world counterparts for someone like Victor Von Doom or Otto Octavius. I'd say Magneto is probably the strongest case for a villain that draws inspiration from real-world political figures, but even that might be stretching it.



    I mean, I don't know if "family" as it's defined in the DC context, as-in the Bat-family or the Flash-family, really applies to groups like the Fantastic Four or the X-Men. I'd say the latter two are more like teams. The Bat-family developed because its individual members were all, in one way or another, inspired by Batman and his legacy. In other words, DC's "families" are made up of legacy characters. The Fantastic Four, on the other hand, came together simultaneously and weren't really inspired by any one progenitor. The same thing applies I think for the X-Men. They're probably more comparable to teams like the Justice League or the Doom Patrol at DC.

    That's not to say that Marvel doesn't have legacy characters. I'd say there's now a legitimate Spider-family with the influx of new characters. And its definitely increased in recent years with the introduction of the likes of Miles, Riri, Kamala, Viv Vision, Silk, etc. It's even one of the ways that you could say Marvel is becoming more DC-like. However, you could also make the case that Marvel has been in that business at least since the 80s. She-Hulk, War Machine, Kaine, Ben Reilly, Red Hulk, Winter Soldier, Namorita, etc. are all technically legacy characters.
    There are bank robbers and dictators in the real world.

  11. #86

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    Quote Originally Posted by pageturner View Post
    The real life counter part is a huge stretch other than Kinpin who could be compared to various mob bosses I suppose. It would be tough to compare even the more general bad guys.
    Marvel villains on the whole come from the same place DC villains do - pulp fiction, literature, popular movies. Most DC villains come from popular villains in the movies of the 20s and 30s and even the 40s. So German Expressionism had movies about supervillain gangsters and mad scientists -- Dr. Mabuse, Rotwang and so on, and that led to Luthor. Conrad Veidt's portrayal of Gwynplaine in The man who Laughs inspired The Joker. The first Clayface, Basil Karlo who's a horror actor, is based on the great Boris Karloff. Other Batman villains are inspired by Dick Tracy villains and so on. Catwoman was inspired by Hedy Lamarr who played femme fatales in movies. When Frank Miller wrote Kingpin in Daredevil, his main reference was The Octopus from Will Eisner's The Spirit, and other pulp fiction, so Fisk doesn't really have reality to him. When Stan Lee wrote Fisk, he based him on Sydney Greenstreet who played fat gangsters in Bogart movies in the '40s (and who was often comic relief and not really a threat in those movies) while also adding in bits of Goldfinger and Blofeld from the James Bond movies.

    In the case of Norman Osborn, he's modeled on the actor Joseph Cotten.
    Osborn Cotten.jpg

    Joseph Cotten was a character actor in the '40s when Lee and Ditko were teenagers and he often played heroic figures, but possibly his biggest hit was Shadow of a Doubt by Alfred Hitchcock in which he played a serial killer. One scene in particular is quite reminiscent of Norman's behavior in many comics scenes, and also anticipates the Thanksgiving scene in Spider-Man 1 (directed by major Hitchcock fan, Sam Raimi) [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vdRQSu81OcI]. Let's not forget that Norman shares his first name with another serial killer from a Hitchcock movie that came out in 1960, in both cases you have bad guys who pose as harmless civilians but are actually really dangerous and violent. In the case of Dr. Doom, I think both Lee and Kirby had in mind European tyrannies and so on, but at the same time, even way back in the Lee-Kirby era, Dr. Doom was never a fascist or a communist. He's an independent authoritarian leader without any ties to the ideologies that America fought World War 2 and Cold War against, and as a Romani his community was often a victim of both regimes. So a story about Doom doesn't really say anything about real dictatorships or tyrannies except in the vaguest of senses. I mean Doom's mix of medieval and modern Europe, and the fact that he's seen as an acceptable alternative to a bunch of in-fighting guerrillas and so on at best resembles Franco's Spain and Salazar's Portugal, but both of those nations were NATO allies during the Cold War. On the whole Dr. Doom resembles no one quite like Captain Nemo from Jules Verne's 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, and The Mysterious Island. I am thinking especially the Nemo that James Mason played in the Disney version...someone who's both a tyrant and a revolutionary, capable of good and bad, and a mix of high minded ambitions and pettiness.

    Marvel villains do lend themselves to a fair bit of topical and political interpretations more easily than DC counterparts do, but none of its villains are really patterned or reflective of real-world figures. The only exception is Chris Claremont when he wrote the X-Men and there the X-Men and the Brotherhood really did become allegories for leftist groups struggling and fighting each other over tactics and so on.

  12. #87

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mister Mets View Post
    There are bank robbers and dictators in the real world.
    Also in the DC Universe.

  13. #88
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mister Mets View Post
    There are bank robbers and dictators in the real world.
    Okay. I'm just wondering how that is something that makes Marvel unique, then. After all, there are (unfortunately) also corrupt businessmen like Lex and serial killers like the Joker in the real world as well.

  14. #89
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zeeguy91 View Post
    Okay. I'm just wondering how that is something that makes Marvel unique, then. After all, there are (unfortunately) also corrupt businessmen like Lex and serial killers like the Joker in the real world as well.
    I suppose you can make stretches to connect. After all any kind of fiction has arch types and those have some basis in the real world. I don't think DC or Marvel and any house has and edge there. I would not claim wither has anything like a realistic version.

  15. #90
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mister Mets View Post
    There are bank robbers and dictators in the real world.
    and doctors and lawyers and scientists and butlers and nurses and photographers and graphic artists and private detectives ...

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