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  1. #1
    Astonishing Member Electricmastro's Avatar
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    Default Which company has handled hero mantles better: DC or Marvel?

    A thread about hero mantles originally taken on by one character, but were later taken on by other characters, whether they be relatives, associates, alternate-universe counterparts, and so on, and whether you think DC or Marvel has handled and written them better, and why.

    Examples of the sorts of hero mantles I’m referring to can include:

    DC:

    Aqualad: Garth -> Jackson Hyde

    The Atom: Al Pratt -> Ryan Choi

    Batgirl: Barbara Gordon -> Cassandra Cain

    Batman: Bruce Wayne -> Terry McGinnis

    Crimson Avenger: Lee Travis -> Jill Carlyle

    Doctor Fate: Kent Nelson -> Khalid Nassour

    Doctor Mid-Nite: Charles McNider -> Beth Chapel

    The Flash: Jay Garrick -> Bart Allen

    Green Arrow: Oliver Queen -> Connor Hawke

    Green Lantern: Alan Scott -> Jessica Cruz

    Hawk and Dove: Hank Hall and Don Hall -> Holly Granger and Dawn Granger

    Hourman: Rex Tyler -> Rick Tyler

    Manhunter: Paul Kirk -> Kate Spencer

    Mister Terrific: Terry Sloane -> Michael Holt

    Robin: Dick Grayson -> Damian Wayne

    Speedy: Roy Harper -> Mia Dearden

    Starman: Ted Knight -> Jack Knight

    Superboy: Clark Kent -> Jonathan Kent

    Wildcat: Ted Grant -> Yolanda Montez

    Wonder Girl: Donna Troy -> Cassie Sandsmark

    Marvel:

    Ant-Man: Hank Pym -> Eric O’Grady

    Black Widow: Claire Voyant -> Natasha Romanoff

    Captain America: Steve Rogers -> Sam Wilson

    Captain Marvel: Walter Lawson -> Carol Danvers

    Falcon: Sam Wilson -> Joaquin Torres

    Ghost Rider: Carter Slade -> Robbie Reyes

    Hawkeye: Clint Barton -> Kate Bishop

    The Hulk: Bruce Banner -> Amadeus Cho

    The Human Torch: Jim Hammond -> Johnny Storm

    Iron Man: Tony Stark -> James Rhodes

    Miss America: Madeline Joyce -> America Chavez

    Ms. Marvel: Carol Danvers -> Kamala Khan

    Nova: Richard Rider -> Sam Alexander

    Power Man: Luke Cage -> Victor Alvarez

    Spider-Man: Peter Parker -> Miles Morales

    Spider-Woman: Jessica Drew -> Gwen Stacy

    Sun Girl: Mary Mitchell -> Selah Burke

    Thor: Thor Odinson -> Jane Foster

    Wasp: Janet van Dyne -> Nadia van Dyne

    Wolverine: James Howlett -> Laura Kinney
    Last edited by Electricmastro; 05-09-2020 at 12:47 PM.

  2. #2
    Ultimate Member Gray Lensman's Avatar
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    Pre-nu52 the answer was DC and it wasn't even close.

    Now, it's more up in the air. I still dislike Jane Foster becoming the new Thor, since that isn't a title, but the name of the character. When Sam Wilson was given a certain near indestructible shield he didn't become the new Steve Rogers, he became Captain America.
    "Theory: The Phoenix doesn't corrupt the characters, it corrupts the authors." Gambit, King of Thieves

  3. #3
    Incredible Member TriggerWarning's Avatar
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    They both have many examples of doing it right and they both have many examples of doing it completely wrong.

    For me doing it right is when someone who is close to the hero takes up the costume and mantle because they've earned it and are a logical successor.

    Examples of doing it right on both companies include: James Rhodes becoming Iron Man, Sam Wilson and Bucky Barnes both becoming Captain America at one point, Wally West becoming Flash. Many others. All cases where the new hero was long established as a sidekick, friend, or bodyguard of the original and its a natural legacy succession.

    Examples of doing it wrong in both companies: Kamala Khan as Ms Marvel, Sam Alexander as Nova, New 52 Wally West where he was Wally in name only, Azrael as Batman, etc. These are cases where a whole new character is invented out of nowhere to take over the hero mantle despite no connection or some made up connection via retcon to the old one.

    I know some are upset about Jane Foster as Thor but while I rarely read Thor (not at all in the last 20 years) that is one that if its being written well I think I'd support because Jane has obviously been there from the start so she isn't an out of nowhere replacement.

    I also like Laura becoming Wolverine as it felt natural and made sense given her origins and it had been many years since her introduction.

    Of the ones I have problems with. There is room for multiple Nova's so the idea of Sam is fine and could have easily worked but they killed off Rich at a time he was finally becoming a major player in order to make room for Sam so that he'd be the only Nova. They finally brought Rich back but it was years later.

    Azrael - everyone knows it should have been Dick Grayson instead and that would have been applauded and loved.

    Ms Marvel - Carol becoming Captain Marvel was fine since she actually debuted in the original Captain Marvel series and has connections. It just felt forced for a character out of nowhere to take up the mantle of Ms Marvel. Let her have her own identity instead of a made up legacy one.

  4. #4
    Astonishing Member Electricmastro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TriggerWarning View Post
    They both have many examples of doing it right and they both have many examples of doing it completely wrong.

    For me doing it right is when someone who is close to the hero takes up the costume and mantle because they've earned it and are a logical successor.

    Examples of doing it right on both companies include: James Rhodes becoming Iron Man, Sam Wilson and Bucky Barnes both becoming Captain America at one point, Wally West becoming Flash. Many others. All cases where the new hero was long established as a sidekick, friend, or bodyguard of the original and its a natural legacy succession.

    Examples of doing it wrong in both companies: Kamala Khan as Ms Marvel, Sam Alexander as Nova, New 52 Wally West where he was Wally in name only, Azrael as Batman, etc. These are cases where a whole new character is invented out of nowhere to take over the hero mantle despite no connection or some made up connection via retcon to the old one.

    I know some are upset about Jane Foster as Thor but while I rarely read Thor (not at all in the last 20 years) that is one that if its being written well I think I'd support because Jane has obviously been there from the start so she isn't an out of nowhere replacement.

    I also like Laura becoming Wolverine as it felt natural and made sense given her origins and it had been many years since her introduction.

    Of the ones I have problems with. There is room for multiple Nova's so the idea of Sam is fine and could have easily worked but they killed off Rich at a time he was finally becoming a major player in order to make room for Sam so that he'd be the only Nova. They finally brought Rich back but it was years later.

    Azrael - everyone knows it should have been Dick Grayson instead and that would have been applauded and loved.

    Ms Marvel - Carol becoming Captain Marvel was fine since she actually debuted in the original Captain Marvel series and has connections. It just felt forced for a character out of nowhere to take up the mantle of Ms Marvel. Let her have her own identity instead of a made up legacy one.
    In regards to the ones that you felt were initially done wrong, do you feel that the writing for their following appearances made up for them?

  5. #5
    Loony Scott Taylor's Avatar
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    DC wins by a country mile, for the simple fact of Dick Grayson.
    Every day is a gift, not a given right.

  6. #6
    Ultimate Member Gray Lensman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Taylor View Post
    DC wins by a country mile, for the simple fact of Dick Grayson.
    I'm not so sure, considering what Didio was always doing to him because his existence "made Batman look too old." When you are always trying to denigrate a character as a prelude to killing them to prevent the mentor from ageing, by default you aren't handling any legacy right.

    DC used to do that stuff much better, but that was before they let the inmates run the asylum and reset as much as possible back to the Silver Age. Before that point I would be in full agreement.
    "Theory: The Phoenix doesn't corrupt the characters, it corrupts the authors." Gambit, King of Thieves

  7. #7
    Incredible Member Anodyne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gray Lensman View Post
    Pre-nu52 the answer was DC and it wasn't even close.

    Now, it's more up in the air. I still dislike Jane Foster becoming the new Thor, since that isn't a title, but the name of the character. When Sam Wilson was given a certain near indestructible shield he didn't become the new Steve Rogers, he became Captain America.
    I agree. Jane Foster as the new god of thunder was okay, but having her call herself "Thor" is like having every US President since Washington taking the name "George."
    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Taylor View Post
    DC wins by a country mile, for the simple fact of Dick Grayson.
    Wally West was a successful heir to Barry's mantle until DC's PTB undid it.
    Last edited by Anodyne; 05-08-2020 at 01:48 PM.
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  8. #8
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    Yeah, I’d argue DC did this better before the New 52 as well.

    Heck, for a while, one of their key ways of identifying their product separately from Marvel was having numerous successful legacy characters, and even in the early days of Silver Age revanchism, not turning their back on the newer characters while trying to promote old ones. They even retroactively made ostensibly non-legacy characters legacy characters.

    New 52 tried to renounce the very concept as much as possible, and it still has some part of that in its current status quo, and there’s a stronger push towards eliminating threats towards the “true” bearers of the mantle.
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  9. #9
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    I think DC actually did a decent job of creating loose legacies for the multiple Sandman and Starman characters even though originally they weren't connected.

  10. #10
    Astonishing Member Electricmastro's Avatar
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    One of the most popularly received mantle transitions seems to be when Cassandra Cain received the mantle of Batgirl, leading to her headlining her own series which lasted for 73 issues from 2000-2006. Would you guys agree that it was handled well?


  11. #11
    Astonishing Member mathew101281's Avatar
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    I feel the nature of DC lends itself more to legacy characters then marvel does. Half of DC’s major characters are legacy characters in one way or another. Green Lantern, for example is a legacy character both in the story (got the ring from a dead Lantern) and in a historical sense (remake of a golden age hero).then you have DC’s historical reliance on sidekicks. I would argue that DC’s reluctance to realize that legacy is built into their DNA is why they have so many issues right now with characters.

    Marvel’s characters on the other hand, historically have been one offs. And even when you have a character taking up an old moniker, their connection to the old character tends to be tentative at best.

  12. #12
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    I would say DC. Hal Jordan, Barry Allen, and Wally West are arguably the most successful legacy characters of all time. They were the only ones to actually top their predecessor and become the "default" option. Or at least the first two were - Wally has fallen back into "secondary" status since DC brought Barry back. The Robins and Blue Beetles are up there too.

    Marvel's closest success by comparison is Kamala Khan, and it technically wasn't even a pass of the mantle. It was more of a name transfer.
    Last edited by Kaitou D. Kid; 05-13-2020 at 06:54 PM.

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