Marvel or D.C: Choose Your Alliegence


In the comics community there has always been the age old question: D.C. or marvel? If you don’t manage to pick a side in this war waged in online forums and Reddit threads you might be confused why this conflict exists in the first place. Everyone has their own favorite characters, storylines, series, etc. For various reasons comic book fans seem to see the need to choose a favorite publisher as well, and then pledge undying loyalty to that publisher. The two major ones are D.C. comics and Marvel comics. Both boast enough extensive character rosters and universe altering crossovers to make one’s head spin. D.C. has Batman, Marvel has Iron Man and the Avengers.

D.C. has been maintaining its relevance in pop culture by releasing Christopher Nolan’s acclaimed Dark Knight Trilogy and the not-so-well received Man of Steel. Marvel has dominated pop culture with its cinematic universe, something which D.C. is trying to emulate in its own series of connected comic book adaptations. In my opinion marvel currently has the upper hand because of the amount of time they have invested in one series of connected stories. But I wouldn’t discount D.c. either, they have an extensive library of cahracters and stories that have never been tapped into for adaptation. Both publishers have remained relevant in pop culture which reflects upon their respective fan bases. I have observed heated debates about marvel and D.C. and who is better, who has better characters, etc. currently Marvel fans are more descenting on D.C. due to Marvel’s success in the larger arena of cultural relevance. In my own experience I have found that D.c. fans love their characters, but they are generally more accepting of differing opinions. Marvel’s fans seem to be more radical: marvel or nothing. They see D.C. as the unsuccessful floundering publisher who “have no idea what they’re doing.” On the other hand D.C. fans enjoy what they have and credit marvel’s success with the rise of geek culture and why D.C. and Warner Bros. decided to start their own cinematic universe. Marvel fans assume that their publisher can do no wrong, and that they will never stumble in regard to their intellectual properties.

Over the years D.c. fans have expressed frustration at the lack of a connected cinematic universe similar to marvel’s, and that D.C. seemed to lack confidence in properties besides Batman and Superman. D.C. also rebooted their entire line of comics as the New 52 a new line up of titles based on classic characters starting over from issue one.The reboot was somewhat complicated by a few storylines with Batman and Green Lantern that continued from the old continuity to the new, but D.C. managed to attract a number of new readers by somewhat disregarding decades of backstories that new readers would not understand. I heard an interview with Jim Lee, co-publisher of D.C. comics, where he said that several comic book store owners told him that D.c. had saved the industry by rebooting their titles. The relaunch was the brain child of Lee and D.C. comics chief creative officer Jeff Johns, a noteable comic book writer. Overall the New 52 has been well received with acclaimed runs of Batman by Scott Snyder, Aquaman by Jeff Johns, and several other titles such as Wonder woman, Justice League, Action comics, and many more.

Overall both publishers are relevant in pop culture and in the comic book community as the two biggest publishers of comic books in the world. Both have their strengths and flaws, and they both realize that competition is the best innovator of new ideas in an industry that can become repetitive and stagnant.

  1 comment for “Marvel or D.C: Choose Your Alliegence

  1. Grant
    November 10, 2014 at 3:47 pm

    In my opinion, the DC vs. Marvel debate is something that really doesn’t make sense. I’ll admit, I was once someone who read exclusively DC comics and railed against Marvel for some time, but that was when I was a younger and didn’t read as much. I started out reading exclusively DC mostly because the person who got me to start reading comics, the internet personality Linkara of Atop the Fourth Wall, tended to lean more towards the company. However, with time my thoughts on both companies are split down the middle. As of now, I’m following five books from Marvel and six from DC and of course other companies like IDW and Boom. The real difference in the companies, at least as far as I have noticed, is their advertisement and public image. Marvel, most likely thanks to being part of the Disney Corporation, is much better public relations and does things like big news stories about say how Sam Wilson is Captain America or Thor is now a woman. DC often makes itself seen as apathetic, and even sometimes hostile, to its fans and doesn’t make a big deal out of certain characters or storylines that could be made into massive news stories, as seen with Shining Knight on this blog. I think a really good example of the way these two companies handle their fans is with letters columns. Letters columns are a sadly dying trend where comics companies would post letters sent in my fans about whatever series they were following. It’s a good way to show appreciation for your readers. DC, as of 2011, publishes no books with letter pages, not a one. When Marvel was printing the semi-controversial series Superior Spider-Man (Peter Parker had been killed off and replaced by Doctor Octopus as Spider-Man) they actually printed the lengthy letters about how furious the storyline made them. This is not really to say that I think one is superior to the other (they’re more just two massive media companies and “rooting” for them seems silly), there is a clear distinction in their management styles and public relations.

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