Sunday, 24 June 2012

It's make-your-mind-up time! Marvel or DC?

Marvel Comics #1, the original Human Torch melts his way through a wall to confront a man who is firing a gun at him
Action Comics #1, in his debut origin tale Superman holds a car above his head and destroys itMany have been the great rivalries in human history - Britain vs France, Coe vs Ovett, Earth vs the Flying Saucers - but, for Bronze and Silver Age comic lovers, one rivalry stands out above all others.

That rivalry is Marvel vs DC.

DC came along first but, once the 1960s were under-way, Marvel rapidly caught up with and then overtook their former superiors to become America's biggest-selling comics producer. Since then the pair have merrily slugged it out for the title of that nation's most iconic comics company.

I can't hide it. Although, thanks to Batman and Superman, my very earliest exposure to the world of US super-herodom was dominated by DC, once the Marvel UK reprints came along, it was a no-contest. Each week I could thrill, as people with strange powers smashed up the forces of evil and still had time to fall out with each other at every possible opportunity. With its brawling, confused and not always socially responsible protagonists, Marvel seemed so much livelier, more with-it and surprising than DC ever did.

That's not to say I didn't enjoy DC's output but Marvel gave me warm, fuzzy feelings in a way DC simply never did.

I am aware however that not everyone feels this way. So, Steve Does Comics needs to know, on which side of the Marvel/DC divide do you land?

19 comments:

HannibalCat said...

Always been a Marvelite. At first because DC comics didn't exist in my bit of Sheffield, but then, after I had discovered some on holiday in Cornwall, by choice. Marvel were always producing - to my taste - better comics. Apart from Kirby's time at DC which is astoundingly wonderful.

Dougie said...

Make Mine Marvel too- apart from the Legion, The Fourth World, 50s Batman and some JLA/JSA stories.

Marvel UK from 1972-1976 was a truly wonderful thing.

Kid said...

Mainly a Marvel fan, but with a fondness for some DC stuff also. If not for Superman, there may not have been a comics industry for Marvel to lead.

Simayl said...

For super-heroes Marvel wins for the Silver Age and into the Bronze. Since the Bronze Age DC has been the best.

DC wins for War Comics, Mystery, Sci-Fi and Horror anthologies.(Warren actually had the best - but they aren't in this vote)

Marvel wins for swords and sorcery - nothing beats Conan, but I loved Grell's Warlord!

Bottom line, they are both great, on the other hand, Make Mine Marvel...I think!

Tony said...

For me, it's always been DC. It seems when I was growing up in the '70s, DC books were more readily available around the Toronto area. Although I do remember picking up the oversize Marvel Treasury comics, such as Conan and Spiderman, DC has always remained my favorite, even to this day.

Anonymous said...

In the Silver Age, DC. Marvel always had too much soap opera and melodrama for my taste. But, in the late 1960's, DC began imitating Marvel (if you can't beat 'em, join 'em), so there is no real difference between them since then.

CalvinPitt said...

Marvel. I've gotten fonder of DC over the years - I've bought several complete runs of various series of theirs from the '90s recently - but Marvel's always been #1. I like their A-list heroes more, their second-stringers, their villains. I don't dislike most DC characters, I just don't care about them one way or the other.

bliss_infinte said...

Mar-Vel!

Whalehead King said...

It is a tie at the finish line. At the time, I liked DC more, but I would always read Marvel just as readily. Each is good as what it does, at what is has done, and, presumably, what it will do. Worlds without end.

pete doree said...

A mate of mine will only buy Marvel, even after all these years. I'm not that bad but, for me, it's gotta be Marvel.
Maybe if there'd been a ' Mighty World Of DC ' they'd've stood a chance, and I'm also now catching up on all the great war / mystery DC stuff via Showcases, but as far as superhero's, Marvel are just better at it. ( at least in the Bronze Age they were )

James and Jacob said...

Marvel, no contest. The stories are very relateable and the characters have so much more depth.
Also Marvel's movies are superior, all DC has are the Chris Nolan Batman films and the old Superman movies. Marvel has The Avengers, Spider-Man, Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, X-Men, and more.

-James

Anonymous said...

Push comes to shove I'll go with 1970s Marvel though I've a real taste for DCs mystery anthologies and Swamp Thing!

A

Boston Bill said...

Marvel. This is because I love Marvel at its best - 60's & 70's. This shows my bias (the comics I read in my teenage years), but bias is allowed when it comes to favourites! By the 80's, DC finally figured out that to match Marvel they had to push the envelope further, not just play catch up. Alas, by then I was moving onto independent comics and (gasp), proper books!

Anonymous said...

Oh the big question - have to say DC hold a very big place in my heart , those whacky gorilla covers of the 60'and great art by Adams, Wrightson, Kaluta, Kubert, Grell etc But despite that for the late 60s early - mid 70s creative period (and comics like Conan, Hulk and Spidey etc) just swing it (just) toward Marvel (did I say "just"?)Of my top 30 odd comics of the late 60s - till 1977ish (my maindcomic reading time) my top 3 comics (JLA, Brave & Bold and Superboy/LSH) were probably DC books the rest (with Swamp Thing and Shadow and Charltons E-man) were mostly Marvels though - McScotty

R. W. Watkins said...

Marvel is the hands-down winner in the superhero genre; however, DC easily comes out on top in the horror/mystery, war and western categories--especially in the 1970s. (In fact, I would go so far as to suggest that Charlton and Gold Key were often ahead of Marvel in these categories.) The artists and writers DC had during this period were definitely geared toward these genres. I mean, someone like E R Cruz might have been able to pull off a fairly decent Batman comic if he had been offered the chance, but can you imagine him drawing Superman or Wonder Woman? In many of these genres, Marvel was still reprinting old issues of Spellbound, Strange Tales and Sgt Fury's Howling Commandos from the '50s and early '60s while DC was churning out quality new stories that suited the times. Issues of Rawhide Kid, Two-Gun Kid and Kid Colt, Outlaw were the westerns on which one learned to read. Jonah Hex and Scalphunter were for the bigger boys who were also moving from the Bay City Rollers to Black Sabbath. Overall, I'd have to say that, just like Marvel aimed to be 'relevant' in the superhero category, DC strived to be relevant in the other aforementioned categories.

Boston Bill said...

Speaking of DC/Marvel, Steve, have you checked out JLA/Avengers? This is the best crossover between the two I've ever read. Much is made of the houses' treatments of their respective heroes: DC's are revered, Mavel's mistrusted. There really isn't that much of a difference, but this approach summed up the difference between Marvel and DC in the Golden Era.

Steve W. said...

Bill, I've seen bits of the JLA/Avengers cross-over but I must admit I've always viewed Marvel/DC cross-overs with suspicion and - the first Superman/Spider-Man tale apart - I've therefore avoided them.

Steve said...

Marvel comics got the most attention by far when I was a kid.

Anonymous said...

MAKE MINE MARVEL !!!!!

Seriously, though, Marvel was always better than DC - look at the groundbreaking heroes they had. The FF were always bickering amongst themselves, Spidey was an insecure teenager, Daredevil was blind, Bruce Banner was abused (retconned) as a child so he had anger management issues which manifested into the Hulk. Iron Man had a bum ticker. I can go on and on but you get the point.

DC? They have Superman. Yawn. Green Lantern's got a cool power ring. To me, the best character they ever had is Batman. Gotta love someone who avenges his parents by dressing up as a six foot bat and kicking the crap out of criminals.

Marvel pawns DC anyday. Go see the Avengers movie if you think I'm kidding.

- Mike from Trinidad.

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