Marvel or DC?

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Marvel or DC?

Post by bomaye on Tue May 05, 2015 12:35 pm

So with all things being equal (right now Marvel has a better writing stable in comics and arguably a better movie division though much messier movie rights, DC has better TV, I think Marvel might have caught DC on cartoons but that one is probably neck-and-neck and there is some legendary DC cartoons), and discounting Star Wars or Disney or Bugs Bunny or anything associated outside, which universe set-up do you prefer and why? I use "set-up" to not exclude anybody, use whatever version of the universes you're familiar with.

It's okay to like both (I do), but this is a gun-to-the-head choice, you have to pick which on you like more.
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Re: Marvel or DC?

Post by The Wisp on Tue May 05, 2015 1:10 pm

I'm not at all a comic person. My knowledge of these universes comes purely from the theatrical movies, a couple of video games, and a couple made-for-tv cartoon movies. I have no knowledge of some of the less prominent heroes and villains and plotlines. So, I'm totally underqualified here Razz

That said, even though Batman is probably my favorite superhero, overall I much prefer the Marvel universe. For one, I think the heroes themselves are more creative in terms of aesthetics and personality. I feel like many more of the DC heroes are basically variations on the "patriotic boy/girl scout wearing tights saves the day!" and are much less likely to have deep personal flaws. Aesthetically, all the major male DC heroes look like recolors of each other, with the only other difference being whether or not they have a cape and their hair. I also feel like the Marvel universe is more comfortable not always taking itself too seriously and being more playful. Also Marvel doesn't seem as afraid to just be plain weird (e.g. Guardians of the Galaxy) in a good way.

Additionally, I feel like there are too many overpowered heroes in the DC universe: Superman, Shazam, the Flash, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern. With their powers, there's no suspense unless they're fighting a ridiculously overpowered villain or there's a convenient plot device that weakens them (coughkryptonitecough). There's something I find less interesting in that.

But really, the biggest reason to prefer Marvel over DC is Marvel doesn't have the Superman problem. The thing about the DC universe is, if Superman is so powerful, why doesn't *he* just save the world? Why isn't the crime rate practically zero? Why does Gotham even need Batman, when Superman could probably clean up the city in a matter of weeks, if that?

So, yeah, Batman notwithstanding, I'd have to take the Marvel universe overall. But, as I said, I'm not really familiar with the comics or anything, so maybe my perceptions aren't accurate.
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Re: Marvel or DC?

Post by Enail on Tue May 05, 2015 1:26 pm

My gut answer is Marvel, even though when I actually stop and think about it, there are probably more things I've enjoyed by DC overall. They've both done some awesome things and some things I've hated, but Marvel tends to be more human and personal in scale, which I prefer over DC's focus on iconic and god-tier and legacy. And recently at least, I associate Marvel more with fun and DC with dark both visually and in mood, and I do lean more towards entertainment that's okay with having some fun even in serious works. Marvel also feels a bit more organically diverse to me in all senses of the word.

And I've always had a bit of a soft spot for X-Men. (I love team things, but only when they were originally designed as a team, I'm not so crazy about teams bringing individual superheroes together).
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Re: Marvel or DC?

Post by bomaye on Tue May 05, 2015 1:44 pm

I choose DC for one overwhelming reason:

Let's take a look at Marvel:

- Peter Parker's life always goes wrong. Spider-Man always somehow finds a way to become a public menace again
- Anti-mutant hysteria is always at an all-time high
- This one is more recent, but the Avengers seem to cause more problems than they solve
- Tony Stark inevitably thinks he's smarter than everyone else and causes big problems in the process
- Reed Richards does too. The Fantastic Four are always having family drama, and half the time New York wants the Baxter Building to gtfo because it causes as many problems as it solves
- The public can't decide if Captain America is the all-american WWII hero or a tool of a fascist American government. Half the time Cap doesn't even know.
- It does not take much to cause a riot in the Marvel Universe.
- Hulk.
- Ant-Man's defining moments have been creating unstoppable villains and slapping his wife

Now let's check out DC

- Superman is a farm boy whose only concern is righting wrongs and upholding the law. Wonder Woman is the same, except replace farm boy with Amazon Warrior. Both universally loved.
- Batman, while an urban myth, has the assistance of the police force
- The Green Lantern Corps are a respected police force throughout the universe
- Same with The Legion of Super-Heroes in the 30th century
- "I'm the Flash. I'm the fastest man alive Wink"
- Shazam is a boy who uses magic words to turn into a superhero
- The Martian Manhunter is one of the few psychics in the DCU, shockingly doesn't use it to manipulate other people like every Marvel psychic ever
- Green Arrow is literally Robin Hood

In general, Marvel is built on negativity, DC is built on positivity. That's not to say that bad things don't happen in DC or good things don't happen to Marvel heroes (Batman has more than once had contingency plans turn against the DCU, Marvel has had moments where people loved mutants and Peter's life went swimmingly, the DC magic community is kinda dark, Marvel's She-Hulk is self-aware that she lives in a comic book and Squirrel Girl's mutant power is that she automatically wins any fight), but in general, it's against the status quo when that happens. And I find Marvel's status quo can be a bit draining and get old when you're seeing the same people unable to overcome their personal problems no matter what they try to do, whereas the heroes in the DCU are allowed to be heroes first and can always save the day
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Re: Marvel or DC?

Post by Gentleman Johnny on Tue May 05, 2015 2:15 pm

Movies - Marvel over DC two franhises (MCU and X) to zero
Animated - DC over Marvel by a knockout. Marvel's one-off animated features aren't bad. DCs are just better. In ongoing series, there's no competition.
TV - currently a tie with Agent Carter and Daredevil balancing out with Flash and Gotham
Comics - I don't really follow either closely. I love Marvel Frontline. The Court Of Owls was a great Batman arc and I keep wondering if its going to show up in Gotham. Green Lantern will always be my favorite "cape" character. Marvel is more human, DC is more mythic and both of those things can be good. If I had to pick, DC wins on the strength of the smaller Vertigo titles like DMZ, Invisibles and Transmet (all still being printed in trades) and Alan Moore's imprint with Top 10, Tom Strong, LxG and Nemo.
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Re: Marvel or DC?

Post by Enail on Tue May 05, 2015 2:36 pm

Bomaye, I think that's exactly why I'd pick Marvel over DC - I root much harder for a hero who finds it hard to be a hero, especially internally. Superman or Wonderwoman, they do the right thing over the one that'll make them look good, it doesn't feel like as much of a triumph because they're just wired that way and they don't have much need for anything else, of course they're going to do the right thing, which means the writers have to push harder on external factors to make it a hard choice Spiderman does the right thing instead of the one that'll make him look good, you know it was a tough choice because that paycheck, or that person thinking well of him, or whatever he sacrificed, really mattered to him, so it feels more heroic.

That said, I pick up comics when an arc sounds really good or was recommended, I'm not following every issue, so I'm not getting that repetitive, 'these people can't solve their personal problems again" quality. I might view it differently if I consumed it in a different way, though I think my bias towards human-scale problems is pretty strong.
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Re: Marvel or DC?

Post by bomaye on Tue May 05, 2015 3:03 pm

It's okay if it's a storyline that's moving forward. Ultimate Spider-Man was based on Peter overcoming his personal problems, dealing with being repeatedly outed as Spider-Man and growing as a human being right up until Miles took over.

Common example of lack of growth when it comes to human problems, there's only so many times that Sue can flirt with Namor because Reed is ignoring her before these people become unlikeable.

Cyclops is one of my favourite comic characters up until I fell behind on comics, principally because in the last 10 years, he went from a stick-in-the-mud in the same 50 year old fight to ask the homo sapiens "please just accept us already" to a military revolutionary actively telling anti-mutant hysterics "try something, I dare you." Instead of wallowing in the same problems, he tried something different and seemingly overcame a lot of mutant problems
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Re: Marvel or DC?

Post by Enail on Tue May 05, 2015 3:11 pm

I think part of the problem there is that they're scared to change and keep things moving beyond certain points, or don't know how to write them in an interesting or relateable way. They're certainly not the only ones who can't figure out what to do with married couples, and if you're going to keep letting characters have genuine personal growth, at some point they're going to have to grow old, too.
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Re: Marvel or DC?

Post by Gentleman Johnny on Tue May 05, 2015 3:22 pm

There's a constant tension between continuity and accessibility. In a perfect world, the characters would get a year older every year, learn from their mistakes and change. On the other hand, when someone goes to see a Spider Man movie or watches the cartoon, they expect to be able to pick up a comic with teenage freelance photographer Peter Parker having to balance his heroics with caring for Aunt May, his budding romance with MJ and selling his photos of Spider Man to JJJ, who hates Spider Man so Peter can afford to eat. I'd really love to see the two tensions split. Take one of those five titles all the major heroes seem to have and make it [Hero] Adventures, episodic, out of continuity one-shots with the default version of the character. It makes an easy in for the new reader and gives more space for them to evolve in their main title.

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Re: Marvel or DC?

Post by bomaye on Tue May 05, 2015 3:28 pm

There's also the general thing about how Marvel characters are defined by their personal problems because they first got popular based on those personal problems.

Superman is a boy-scout who always does good. He's defined by his actions as a superhero.

Hank Pym, Ant-Man, is defined by domestic abuse on his wife, and accidentally creating Ultron. He's his own worst enemy, so any enemy he defeats or anything he does as a super-hero falls by the wayside.
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Re: Marvel or DC?

Post by readertorider on Tue May 05, 2015 11:40 pm

I think I like DC best in my own rather limited view of both universes. Admittedly, I've had a crush on Dick Grayson and Babs forever and the DC comics I've read are pretty scattered (random origins, some Teen Titans, some Birds of Prey, some Nightwing, Dark Mirror), but to me they feel less slick and polished than the Marvel characters/comics I've read (mostly by Joss Whedon, but still).

Also I don't think I can forgive Marvel for killing off movie Scott or Gertrude in any universe.

I mostly read/watch the comics/cartoons/movies for the escapism/fanfic, however, and I do prefer the mythic elements and the heroes doing the right thing just because--the inner tension Enail mentioned doesn't necessarily appeal to me.

Gentleman Johnny wrote:Movies - Marvel over DC two franhises (MCU and X) to zero
Doesn't The Dark Knight deserve at least a fraction of a point on it's lonesome? Or maybe the ridiculous 60s Batman movies/TV show?
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Re: Marvel or DC?

Post by Gentleman Johnny on Wed May 06, 2015 12:50 am

Recent runs only, no Adam West. The Bale series loses for being George Bush Saves America.

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Re: Marvel or DC?

Post by Suika on Sat May 09, 2015 2:21 am

I'm much a DC person, since my father owned a whole bunch of them. I also watched some of the animated series when I was a kid. Of course, that makes me pretty biased, but I like how the DC heroes are more iconic and memorable. I've also felt that they have a leg up when it comes to the rogue galleries.



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Re: Marvel or DC?

Post by Hirundo Bos on Sun May 10, 2015 3:08 pm

I have little exposure to DC, and Marvel comics were a big obsession of mine in my youth. A Norwegian publisher put out a curated, numbered translation of the Marvel Universe, with various titles, mostly big ones, like Spider-Man, X-Men, Fantastic Four. As they were numbered, I set out to get hold of every issue (although not necessarily in very good shape) and have read around 250, I think, each containing 2 US issues. So, ehm, Marvel is what I have feelings for, though mostly due to personal history.

Then, when the numbered series stopped coming, and my life became chaotic, I kind of lost track of everything had to do with comics, and now I can't seem to get back into it, which is a little sad... It's possible I'll start a thread on that sometime.
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