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  1. #1
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    Default Marvel Comics advantages over DC

    No, this isn't a I hate DC thread, but it's interesting that Superman was introduced in 1938 and Timely Comics later Marvel was founded in 1939. So, these two companies have been neck and neck competitors from the beginning. IMO what I like about Marvel and what I feel gives them an advantage over DC is presenting their characters as real people dealing with their issues. From watching Tony Stark battle alcoholism depression and loneliness, to Peter Parker taking care of his loved ones and living up to thinking of being responsible for others to Bruce Banner dealing with turning into Hulk and Steve Rogers dealing with being a man out of his time makes for compelling reading along with their fighting of crime. I think another advantage is the character relationships i.e. romance. Marvel tends to develop those relationships more at a leisurely pace sort of soap opera-ish but it works. To each their own, though. You'll have your DC fanboys and girls and Marvel fanboys and girls. But for my money, Marvel is great.

  2. #2
    Mighty Member LifeIsILL's Avatar
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    Better written team books for the most part.

    Avengers are almost always better written than Justice League for some reason.

    More characters with mid-tier powers (Luke Cage, Black Panther, Iron Fist etc...). This almost doesn't exist for DC.

  3. #3
    Astonishing Member Revolutionary_Jack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CTTT View Post
    No, this isn't a I hate DC thread, but it's interesting that Superman was introduced in 1938 and Timely Comics later Marvel was founded in 1939. So, these two companies have been neck and neck competitors from the beginning.
    "Neck-and-Neck" from the start is a huge stretch. In the late 30s and early 40s, National Comics (aka Proto-DC) would see Fawcett Comics or Quality Comics (which had Plastic Man) as its main competitors, in fact that's why they bought them out and in the case of Fawcett launched a ridiculous lawsuit to kneecap Fawcett's Captain Marvel (who in the '40s was the biggest superhero comic and sold way more than Superman did, and appeared in serials moreover). The reason Timely Comics escaped being bought out by DC in that time is, well, they probably didn't have much to tempt or attract DC, and were otherwise not seen as stepping on its toes. The Golden Age Marvel stuff -- Human Torch, Namor, Captain America -- weren't directly competing against Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman since in terms of genre they didn't correlate entirely to that. DC remember helped Timely/Marvel in the '50s and '60s when it claimed monopoly on distribution of superhero comics and Marvel had to cut a deal to get its comics printed (which they got out once they hit big and realized they needed to get out of the cap placed on number of monthly comics put on it by DC). The reason DC did that was, they didn't think Timely/Marvel was all that big a deal to worry about.

    IMO what I like about Marvel and what I feel gives them an advantage over DC is presenting their characters as real people dealing with their issues.
    This might be true once. But it's not really true anymore. In the '60s to '80s or so that might be the case but these days I don't think that's true anymore.

    From watching Tony Stark battle alcoholism depression and loneliness
    Tony Stark's comics don't sell in numbers anywhere near enough to give DC any worries. He's never been a top mainline character owing to the fact that his supporting cast and rogues gallery is very poor and weak. The movies did well and worked yes, but that's not been reflected in the comics, or cartoons and games. Tony Stark also hasn't battled alcoholism and loneliness for a while or on a big consistent basis for any stretch.

    to Peter Parker taking care of his loved ones and living up to thinking of being responsible for others
    Which is also a theme for Superman, Batman (with all those robin suits he puts in glass cases), many Flashes, and many DC characters and stories. In fact Spider-Man has always been a character who is far more kin to Superman and Batman than any other Marvel character. 00

    I think another advantage is the character relationships i.e. romance. Marvel tends to develop those relationships more at a leisurely pace sort of soap opera-ish but it works.
    DC has a lot more iconic romances than Marvel does -- Clark/Lois, Bruce/Selina or Bruce/Talia, Barry/Iris, Wally/Linda, Grayson/Starfire, Grayson/Barbara, Ollie/Dinah, Aquaman/Mera and many others. The only Marvel Romances that's about as iconic are Peter/MJ, and maybe Cyclops/Jean or these days it's Cyclops/Jean/Logan (with Emma as Scott's +1).

    Marvel is the company that tends to make male heroes into playboys and so on so you have a revolving door of love interests and so on to "add drama".

    Marvel also tends to have far fewer female heroes than DC had historically speaking. That situation is changing recently to some extent but historically DC had this over the "House of (lack of) Ideas".

    But for my money, Marvel is great.
    Marvel has its virtues and interest, in that I think on the whole Marvel writer/artist runs are more interesting than DC's. And Marvel tends to get a lot out of all its characters and stories than DC does (where Batman sucks too much of the oxygen). Despite my disagreements, I'd also say Marvel Editorials especially recently have been better than DC. I happen to think Dan DiDio is a terrible editor and for all that people have issues with Bendis being given the keys to the kingdom, it's nothing compared to the damage that Geoff Johns inflicted on DC (I dropped DC the minute that guy was allowed to stick and except for some things here and there I don't read DC anymore).

    But I don't think that means that Marvel has any intrinsic advantages over DC. Sure Marvel had characters that were more complex and shaded than DC's back in the day, but DC's writing met the challenge and closed the gap by the '70s and '80s. In the 80s, DC via Vertigo basically created an entirely new comics market for creator-owned stuff that brought new readers into comics and was the most committed expansion of the market away from superheroes by any major publisher since the '50s. Marvel has never done that.
    Last edited by Revolutionary_Jack; 12-05-2019 at 08:48 AM.

  4. #4
    Astonishing Member Vordan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Revolutionary_Jack View Post
    "Neck-and-Neck" from the start is a huge stretch. In the late 30s and early 40s, National Comics (aka Proto-DC) would see Fawcett Comics or Quality Comics (which had Plastic Man) as its main competitors, in fact that's why they bought them out and in the case of Fawcett launched a ridiculous lawsuit to kneecap Fawcett's Captain Marvel (who in the '40s was the biggest superhero comic and sold way more than Superman did, and appeared in serials moreover). The reason Timely Comics escaped being bought out by DC in that time is, well, they probably didn't have much to tempt or attract DC, and were otherwise not seen as stepping on its toes. The Golden Age Marvel stuff -- Human Torch, Namor, Captain America -- weren't directly competing against Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman since in terms of genre they didn't correlate entirely to that. DC remember helped Timely/Marvel in the '50s and '60s when it claimed monopoly on distribution of superhero comics and Marvel had to cut a deal to get its comics printed (which they got out once they hit big and realized they needed to get out of the cap placed on number of monthly comics put on it by DC). The reason DC did that was, they didn't think Timely/Marvel was all that big a deal to worry about.



    This might be true once. But it's not really true anymore. In the '60s to '80s or so that might be the case but these days I don't think that's true anymore.



    Tony Stark's comics don't sell in numbers anywhere near enough to give DC any worries. He's never been a top mainline character owing to the fact that his supporting cast and rogues gallery is very poor and weak. The movies did well and worked yes, but that's not been reflected in the comics, or cartoons and games. Tony Stark also hasn't battled alcoholism and loneliness for a while or on a big consistent basis for any stretch.



    Which is also a theme for Superman, Batman (with all those robin suits he puts in glass cases), many Flashes, and many DC characters and stories. In fact Spider-Man has always been a character who is far more kin to Superman and Batman than any other Marvel character. 00



    DC has a lot more iconic romances than Marvel does -- Clark/Lois, Bruce/Selina or Bruce/Talia, Barry/Iris, Wally/Linda, Grayson/Starfire, Grayson/Barbara, Ollie/Dinah, Aquaman/Mera and many others. The only Marvel Romances that's about as iconic are Peter/MJ, and maybe Cyclops/Jean or these days it's Cyclops/Jean/Logan (with Emma as Scott's +1).

    Marvel is the company that tends to make male heroes into playboys and so on so you have a revolving door of love interests and so on to "add drama".

    Marvel also tends to have far fewer female heroes than DC had historically speaking. That situation is changing recently to some extent but historically DC had this over the "House of (lack of) Ideas".



    Marvel has its virtues and interest, in that I think on the whole Marvel writer/artist runs are more interesting than DC's. And Marvel tends to get a lot out of all its characters and stories than DC does (where Batman sucks too much of the oxygen). Despite my disagreements, I'd also say Marvel Editorials especially recently have been better than DC. I happen to think Dan DiDio is a terrible editor and for all that people have issues with Bendis being given the keys to the kingdom, it's nothing compared to the damage that Geoff Johns inflicted on DC (I dropped DC the minute that guy was allowed to stick and except for some things here and there I don't read DC anymore).

    But I don't think that means that Marvel has any intrinsic advantages over DC. Sure Marvel had characters that were more complex and shaded than DC's back in the day, but DC's writing met the challenge and closed the gap by the '70s and '80s. In the 80s, DC via Vertigo basically created an entirely new comics market for creator-owned stuff that brought new readers into comics and was the most committed expansion of the market away from superheroes by any major publisher since the '50s. Marvel has never done that.
    Basically this. Marvel had their big breakout by introducing flawed superheroes and soap opera style storytelling to the comic book industry, but DC basically copied their storytelling process with the Post-Crisis reboot so there’s little to no actual storytelling difference nowadays.

  5. #5
    Astonishing Member Killerbee911's Avatar
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    There is no difference in stories they can tell anymore but DC is more top heavy in structure to Marvel meaning that's DC big strengths is their heroes feel bigger and more legendary that is because the top guys get put under a different lens.

    Marvel on other hand doesn't have as much emphasis on hero being the greatest ever or best at something in storytelling. If I asked who was the number guy at Marvel for last 15 years it would be probably Spiderman but if I ask who has Marvel been pushing as number 1 guy. It would be some years Captain America, some years Iron Man and currently Black Panther. That's the difference between Marvel and DC today. Marvel can push different heroes at elite niche but DC can't but trade off is Marvel heroes don't feel as iconic at as DC at times.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Revolutionary_Jack View Post
    DC has a lot more iconic romances than Marvel does -- Clark/Lois, Bruce/Selina or Bruce/Talia, Barry/Iris, Wally/Linda, Grayson/Starfire, Grayson/Barbara, Ollie/Dinah, Aquaman/Mera and many others. The only Marvel Romances that's about as iconic are Peter/MJ, and maybe Cyclops/Jean or these days it's Cyclops/Jean/Logan (with Emma as Scott's +1).
    How could we forget about Reed/Sue?

  7. #7
    Condescending Member manymade1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LifeIsILL View Post
    Better written team books for the most part.
    I'd imagine that this is their greatest advantage. Besides Spider-Man, Marvel doesn't really have any characters that can match the iconography of DC's Trinity, but they've had more success in regards to teams. The FF basically started Marvel, the X-Men were their most popular title in the 80s and one of their only popular titles in the 90s, and the Avenger's are more famous than the Justice League, at this point. It's like many users said in another recent thread, DC has a trinity of characters, wheras Marvel has a trinity of teams.

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    Astonishing Member Revolutionary_Jack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by davew128 View Post
    How could we forget about Reed/Sue?
    Both of them have historically been the least liked members of the Fantastic Four, as opposed to Thing and Johnny Storm.

    They are also a major example of a poorly written marriage in superhero stories, with a lot of people pointing out that the classic era showed what seems a fairly dysfunctional marriage/relationship held together largely because of editorial rather than actual character development and growth.

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    Mighty Member Electricmastro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CTTT View Post
    No, this isn't a I hate DC thread, but it's interesting that Superman was introduced in 1938 and Timely Comics later Marvel was founded in 1939. So, these two companies have been neck and neck competitors from the beginning.
    I'm not sure about that. From what I've researched, Marvel was pretty small fish compared to DC back in the 1940s. Their biggest competitor they were neck and neck with at the time was probably Fawcett Comics, who had Captain Marvel and the Marvel Family, which I heard outsold Superman at one point, and was the comic book company DC focused on the most at least in terms of lawsuits. Their second biggest competitor was probably Quality Comics, who had Blackhawk, Plastic Man, Doll Man, etc.
    Last edited by Electricmastro; 12-05-2019 at 04:59 PM.

  10. #10
    Mighty Member LifeIsILL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Revolutionary_Jack View Post

    Marvel has its virtues and interest, in that I think on the whole Marvel writer/artist runs are more interesting than DC's. And Marvel tends to get a lot out of all its characters and stories than DC does (where Batman sucks too much of the oxygen).
    Almost every DC character has had a good comic run. Even guys like Firestorm and Blue Beetle. But the problem is that a lot of people has never heard of it. Whereas in Marvel the entire comic world seems to be much more informed when a Marvel character gets a good comic.

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    This might be true once. But it's not really true anymore. In the '60s to '80s or so that might be the case but these days I don't think that's true anymore.

    So, why wouldn't it be true anymore? Pick up a Spider-Man book today and he's still dealing with his issues living a regular life while protecting his loved ones. The X-Men are still fighting their cause. Odinson had to reclaim his hammer. What has changed? If you're saying because of EVENTS, ok whatever. Just follow your favorite character and what he's doing during said solo event, and then jump back into his team or solo title.

    Basically this. Marvel had their big breakout by introducing flawed superheroes and soap opera style storytelling to the comic book industry, but DC basically copied their storytelling process with the Post-Crisis reboot so there’s little to no actual storytelling difference nowadays.

    And how was this copied exactly? Superman is basically still a god pretending to be a man who is so OP all he has to do is blink and defeat Lex Luthor. Even Doomsday, because, plot armor, you can't kill Superman, just put him in some kind of regeneration chamber. Batman is still the loner in a cave fighting bad guys. Don't worry, Waynetech will find a way to revive Alfred. The only thing I can see of this possibly being true is Wally West. Basically copying implies there is still some difference

  12. #12
    Astonishing Member Revolutionary_Jack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CTTT View Post
    So, why wouldn't it be true anymore?
    Because Batman and Superman deal with similar issues about "protecting their loved ones". Superman is protecting his parents, his friends, his wife, and these days his son from external threats and because he has so much power he has fewer excuses for failure so that puts a lot of pressure on him.

    Pick up a Spider-Man book today and he's still dealing with his issues living a regular life while protecting his loved ones.
    And Batman is protecting his Bat-Family, his friends and others who he cares about and is constantly depressed because he can't get too close or be happy or he'd lose his edge...which is some of the themes tackled in Grant Morrison's, Scott Snyder's and Tom King's works.

    And how was this copied exactly? Superman is basically still a god pretending to be a man who is so OP all he has to do is blink and defeat Lex Luthor.
    All Spider-Man has to do is blink and he can neck-snap Goblin, Octopus, Kingpin and others too. The Fantastic Four and the Avengers if they put their heads together can also probably kill their rogues galleries as well. The Punisher is all for them doing that.

    In the case of Superman post-crisis, Lex Luthor is a big businessman tycoon who Clark can't bring to justice which challenges him because he's defending and saving an America that allows a crook like Lex to get rich, to exploit the innocent, whose laws support him, and who also elect him POTUS. So that adds an ethical challenge to Superman in that any attempt to truly bring Lex to heel would involve Superman breaking the law or potentially becoming dictator to make sure Lex and others don't come to power and so on.

    Batman is still the loner in a cave fighting bad guys.
    Captain America is still not promoted to Sergeant/Major/General/Field Marshal.

    Don't worry, Waynetech will find a way to revive Alfred.
    Yes because we all know that Marvel is the comics company where "Dead means Dead" and so on. Jean Grey has been dead since 1987, Captain America really did get shot after CIVIL WAR and is still dead. Spider-Man's been dead since The Other. Wolverine is still in that adamantium cocoon. Iron Man also died and got replaced by his teenage doppelganger.

    Quote Originally Posted by LifeIsILL View Post
    Almost every DC character has had a good comic run. Even guys like Firestorm and Blue Beetle. But the problem is that a lot of people has never heard of it. Whereas in Marvel the entire comic world seems to be much more informed when a Marvel character gets a good comic.
    I guess so. I think it's down to DC not promoting their stuff as well, because again Batman takes too much oxygen.

    I think the last DC series I enjoyed reading was Tom King's Mister Miracle.
    Last edited by Revolutionary_Jack; 12-05-2019 at 09:30 PM.

  13. #13
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    Screen Shot 2019-12-06 at 11.25.23 AM.jpg.

    Here is an scene with Rhodey and Tony in a recent issue discussing his drinking in the escape

    Screen Shot 2019-12-06 at 11.32.50 AM.jpg

    So, you're telling me the method of storytelling that Stan Lee introduced to be different from DC doesn't exist today? I'm sure I can find similar scenes in Thor Cap Spider-Man even Avengers. Look, I like DC also and some of their characters. They both have their plusses and minuses. I'm just saying when it comes to story and character, Marvel does it better. IMO
    Last edited by CTTT; 12-05-2019 at 09:35 PM.

  14. #14
    Astonishing Member Revolutionary_Jack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CTTT View Post
    Here is an scene with Rhodey and Tony in a recent issue discussing his drinking in the escape
    Yeah and he attended AA meetings in Bendis' run as well. But he wasn't anywhere near to what he was in Michelinie's run.

    So, you're telling me the method of storytelling that Stan Lee introduced to be different from DC doesn't exist today?
    If by method you mean "Marvel Method", i.e. Jack Kirby and Ditko do the bulk of the work while Lee takes most of the credit?...Happily no. (Though strangely enough it seems DC actually practice this, under DiDio).

    In terms of overall edginess, Marvel might still have that to some extent but it no longer means today what it did then. A lot of that was zeitgeist driven and unrepeatable stuff. Stan Lee wrote comics for teenagers rather than children, that was a new thing in the early Post-War Baby Boomer era when the concept of the teenager was first invented.

    Today, most comics are read by adults and rarely target young readers anymore. The comics that young kids read are definitely not superhero comics. And even then comics aren't really where it's at for those kids. I mean Marvel might want Spider-Man and X-Men to still target teenage angst in the way they did once-upon-a-time, but neither title will ever mean as much to teens of the 21st Century as Harry Potter and Hogwarts did. All the edginess of Marvel can't compete with Game of Thrones (i.e. Seasons 1-4, the rest don't exist).

    I'm just saying when it comes to story and character, Marvel does it better.
    -- In the 60s, Marvel > DC. 'Nuff said.
    -- In the 70s, DC > Marvel. This was when Ditko and Kirby left Marvel (driven away by Stan Lee). In that decade, you had Neal Adams and Denny O'Neil on Batman, Kirby on Jimmy Olsen and New Gods, Steve Gerber's Strange Apparitions, and towards the end of the decade, Len Wein's Swamp Thing.
    -- In the 80s, DC = Marvel in terms of ongoing superhero comics (DC's really great stuff was of course Swamp Thing, Watchmen, TDKR which wasn't really in continuity).
    -- In the 90s, DC>Marvel.
    -- In the 2000s, Marvel > DC.
    -- This decade, well I haven't read a fair bit of DC stuff this one so I can't judge. I stopped reading DC because of DiDio and Johns and not because I dislike the characters or anything. Anytime those two leave DC, I'll be back.

    But on the whole quality wise, it's been back and forth between them. Some story ideas and beats DC has done better than Marvel and vice-versa. For instance, as far as hero-versus-hero stories go, DC's Justice League Tower of Babel is far far better and greater than Mark Millar's Civil War and other stories that followed from that.

  15. #15
    Mighty Member Hybrid's Avatar
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    I feel like Marvel taking place in a "real world" setting is an advantage. I don't mean it's realistic, but rather it sets itself as being our world if it were a superhero world. The locations are real, with the prime example being New York City, and people being born in real places. DC primarily relies on fictional places like Gotham, Metropolis, Star City, Central City, Bludhaven etc. even when not as fantastical as something like Themyscira or Atlantis. Marvel does have fictional locations, yes, that isn't being denied, but those are treated as the exception, and when present are more fantastical like Wakanda, Latveria, Attilan, Atlantis, Madripoor etc.

    Those are the exception, and not the rule.

    I think just having the Marvel characters come from actual real-world places with defined locations helps to better sell them as real people instead of a fictional city of a vaguely-defined location.

    That brings us to the next point, the fact that Marvel heroes have stood apart from DC heroes as being more like real people with real struggles, and just as much focus on what's behind the mask as there is the costumed hero.

    Many heroes have a defined struggle which the audience can relate to in some way, yet prove to be good people through it all.
    Take for example:
    • Spider-Man has a sense of realism in that the dead stay that way and status quo changes have consequences from one arc to the next (Clone Saga and OMD notwithstanding), and Peter struggles with many of the mundane problems we do.
    • X-Men and the mutants go through prejudice that is like that of real life minorities, racial or sexual or any other (albeit in a more fantastical way). Hence, they related to so many people and why they became so popular.
    • The Fantastic Four are a family that bicker and fight, yet still love each other, just like any real world family.
    • Hulk with his psychology issues and dealing with inner demons.
    • Iron Man struggles with alcoholism, and it's played realistically.
    • Daredevil being blind and having a troubled past while being a devout Catholic.
    • Jessica Jones having PTSD from a very bad experience.
    • Quicksilver's powers are a hindrance as much as a help.
    • Hawkeye having an abusive dad and finding a better path.

    and so on.

    There's also the fact that Marvel, from the beginning, set itself as being part of a living breathing world. That's why it's so common for heroes to meet each other outside of special crossovers while also going about their own lives, they fight villains normally associated with someone else while having their own rogues, they have supporting casts migrate between different characters (such as Iron Man getting key Spider-Man character Mary Jane Watson as a PA for Stark Industries), and that many worldbuilding elements are present throughout all the books. Events that happened somewhere else can be relevant to a different story, and it's common for books to reference each other (often with captions to tell you where to look).

    This began because Marvel was centered primarily around two creators: Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. Yes, there were others like Bill Everett, Larry Lieber, Don Heck, and of course, Steve Ditko, but they were the core. It was both for reasons of differentiation (DC not having a connected universe then and Marvel selling itself as the hot alternative), and practicality (because it's just easier to swap around concepts with two guys are in charge versus a whole company). That said, they wanted their world to feel alive, where anything can happen, and where there's one connected continuity that affects everything. DC actually had to catch up because Marvel's formula was so successful, but I still prefer how Marvel does it overall.

    In DC, you have the Trinity of Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman. However, you can't really do that with Marvel. Fans have recently tried that before with Iron Man, Captain America and Thor, but that is an extremely spotty way to do it. Marvel is just too widespread for it, and making them the Trinity leaves a bunch of massive elephants in the room. They can be the Avengers Trinity, but not the Marvel Trinity, in my book. It'd be best described as four pillars: Fantastic Four, Spider-Man, X-Men, Avengers.

    That's my take as to the advantages Marvel has over DC.

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