The Fantasies of DC and Marvel



In this blog, I will explain the main differences I see in both the DC and Marvel Universes. The main difference I see with the two universes is that the DC universes seems to have more of a “traditional” fantasy to it. While on the other hand, Marvel’s universe also has fantasy in it but is a lot more “real”.

In the DC universes, most heroes have extroardinary backgrounds and beginnings. For example, Superman is a Kryptonian, which is an alien race with powers. Or Wonder Woman, which is an Amazonian warrior, who stands for love, justice, and peace. And the Green Lantern, who gains his powers from a ring given to him by an Alien as well. Along with that, these heroes are usually seen as one-man armies in being compared to Marvel heroes. ¬†With the way they act and their personalities, most are seen as “goody-goody” which can be linked back to the “fantasy” of their universe. But the downside of this is that the readers cannot relate to them as well. With the powers, which can go back to the more “traditional” feel is that there powers are just “there” or without as a big explanation to how they work.

In the Marvel universe, most heroes have normal backgrounds. Like for example, Spiderman who started out as just a kid in school. Or the various mutants in X-Men, who were just normal people until they found out that they were different. But due to these normal starts, they seem to have more “real” human values. While they have these values they are not seen as “goody-goody”. A very good example is The Punisher, who had his start as just a man trying to avenge his slain family, but later turns into a vigilante that kills many of his enemies. The powers Marvel’s heroes seem to obtain are through a more “realistic” fantasy. Like for example with Spiderman, he obtained his powers through a radioactive spider. Or with Captain America who obtained his powers through a serum. Or even the various Mutants in the X-Men storylines, who obtained their powers through genetics.

I personally prefer the fantasy of the Marvel universe. This is because I like characters who have more real values, and realize their weaknesses, even though they have abilities and powers that normal humans do not.


  3 comments for “The Fantasies of DC and Marvel

  1. kbusch
    April 3, 2013 at 3:33 pm

    I’m not sure if I see Marvel heroes as more “normal” than DC heroes. I think either superhero universes require us to suspend are disbelief. I’ll give you that Marvel’s heroes tend to get their powers from science but I wouldn’t call the science they use “more realistic” A man gets bitten by a radioactive spider, I would expect cancer before I would assume he genetically mutates to have spider like qualities. And although Superman may be from an alien race, he grew up on earth in a small town adopted by an older couple (at least too old for having children). That sounds relatively normal. Also Batman doesn’t have powers that come from science or an alien race so how do you resolve him in this schema of differences between Marvel and DC?

  2. anthonyseippel
    April 4, 2013 at 11:19 pm

    I’m not sure I fully agree with everything you said, but I do see where you find your reasoning. I too, feel that Marvel bases its fantastic situations out of more realistic causes, evolution, radiation, science, whereas aliens and magic seem to be the norm for DC. I also see that Marvel characters seem to be created with the idea of them fitting into the overarching Marvel universe while DC characters seem to be created into their own individual universes that are slammed together half-hazardly when they want a inter company crossover to be done. I mean yeah I can kind of see Metropolis and Gotham existing on the same planet, but compare Gotham to the world of the Green Lanterns or Kryptonia and they seem completely different universes if not completely different publishing companies all together. Marvel will at least do things where a Spiderman villain is actually just a rouge mutant of the like that appear in Xmen or what not but at least you can see this was a piece of a puzzle that’s meant to be there where as sometimes DC seems more or less like trying to make a new image out of puzzle pieces from a bunch of different sets. It is true, Marvel seems less fantastic in that sense but more believable and obtainable. It’s much more realistic (well as realistic as these characters get) to see a young wiz kid who developed a web shooter out of a watch and the super web bought from a science corporation where he also got bit by one of the very spiders giving him wall climbing capabilities than it is to see a green clad man with a ring that can make some kind of protoplasm that can take any shape and have a physical effect on things that has to be charged by a lantern given to him by a dieing alien who started his initiation into an inter-galactic inter-species law enforcement agency. At least the web head’s basis is in science that, though still not real, make a whole lot more sense than Jolly Green.

  3. Ellie
    May 28, 2013 at 3:08 pm

    I have always seen Marvel’s heroes as just heroes, they aren’t superheroes because they don’t act the way a superhero should. They are too flawed, too human.

    In fact, that is why I love DC’s heroes more. They are exactly what a superhero should be. I love the fantasy, the grand epic stories told. I am not looking for stories that are realistic. I don’t care to see how the X-Men are despised by the public all the while Cap. America is loved by those same people. I don’t care for silly plot devices like a sorcerer who rules a country and can’t be disposed of due to diplomatic immunity. Plots like that are just silly.

    As for relatability, I don’t want to relate to superheroes. I don’t like the idea of a superhero with a drinking problem or who is abusive towards his wife.

    However, DC heroes are relatable in different ways. I love the solo nature of most of the heroes, they aren’t as reliant upon working in a group as Marvel is. As a person who hates group work, I love this.

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