December 6, 2009

Marvel Snapshot: Marvel vs. DC

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Written by: Billy
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Greetings friends, and welcome to Marvel Snapshot! This week is going to be the most controversial column by far. I want to discuss why I think Marvel Downs DC. I’m sure there will be lots of debate and people who ride the fence, but I think we all know where I stand! Alright, so let’s get down to it. For me the argument starts and ends with the characters. There are great writers and artists in the employment of both companies, I’ll give you that, but the evenness ends there. You can have the best creative team on the planet on a book, but if the characters aren’t relatable to the readers then how can the story be any good? Let’s take a look at each companies big guns, shall we.

250px-BSWW_Trinity_HC_coverFirst you have Superman for DC. Now, don’t get me wrong, I loved the first two Reeves movies and the animated versions, but that’s where my admiration ends. I mean, a character that fights crime is what it’s all about, but by day he’s a reporter for a newspaper? How do Lois and Perry figure stuff out all the time about crimes and what’s going on, but they don’t know Superman is working for them? Honestly, I think Spider-Man all by himself whips DC’s big three. He’s a regular guy with everyday problems on top of being a superhero. What does Supes have to worry about? Oh yeah, he hopes his glasses don’t fall off, because then and only then will people know his secret identity. What a joke. His idea for everything is that he’ll punch it really hard. Wow, is that cool. You see what I’m talking about? An alien that landed on Earth who’s afraid of green rocks isn’t very super in my eyes. Does he still have a mullet too? He could challenge Billy Ray Cyrus at karaoke night at some bar in Metropolis. I can see it now, Bibbo is the MC, while Lois and Lana are throwing their bras at them on stage.

Next, let’s take Batman and pair him up with Wolverine or even Captain America. This is a good discussion, because in my opinion Bats is the only guy DC has that’s worth a crap, but he’s dead now right? Oh wait, I thought Marvel only brought back people from the dead. Apparently not. I know he hasn’t officially come back yet, but the writing’s on the wall. His consciousness that’s floating around in La-La Land will be back soon enough. When using Wolverine as a comparison, the situation is fairly even. Both are tough, gritty characters who sometimes cross that imaginary line of superhero goodness. To me, the Captain America comparison isn’t even a close one. Cap has been kicking butt and taking names since WWII. The dude punched Hitler for cripe’s sakes. Cap has done the team thing and the solo adventures as well, so although Bats has a good origin story, that alone isn’t putting him ahead of either Wolverine or Captain America. To me, Wolverine’s past being shrouded in mystery for what, nearly thirty years, was something that really put him over the top of Bats. Unlike how Batsy has had part of his origin changed two or three times after everybody thinks they know what happened to his parents.

250px-Siege_1So how about Wonder Woman? A giant Amazon who has had more power changes than ten other characters combined. A character that has a big nemesis that’s a chick who dresses up like a cat? Scary huh? She has a lasso that compels people to tell the truth when it’s wrapped around them. Hey, here’s an idea, wrap the lasso around yourself and ask the question, “Why am I always chasing a cat around, or why can’t I find where I landed my invisible jet?” How many times has DC retconned her origin anyway; I mean does she even know where she came from at this point? You could match her up with any of Marvel’s leading ladies: Jean Grey, Storm, The Invisible Woman, you can go on all day with this one. All of these ladies can hold their own against Diana. If you don’t want to go the female route and just stay with the big guns, then how about Iron Man or Thor?Both of these characters blow her out of the water. They have great origins, plus both have been through personal tragedies, lots of adversity, but have had great careers as superheroes.

So to wrap this up, I have shown you why I love Marvel’s characters better than DC’s. I know you have this group of DC guys who are always clamoring about Wolverine being in too many books. I totally agree. However, Superman and Batman are in just as many if not more, so honestly what’s your point? Wonder Woman hasn’t done anything worth a crap that I can remember hearing about, other than Lynda Carter portraying her on T.V. I will say this – DC has slightly piqued my interest with Blackest Night, so maybe, oh I don’t know, when I retire in 2037, I’ll pick up the trade. See you next week and let the fireworks commence.

Billy Dunleavy



  1. Kristin

    My hubbie dislikes DC for similar reasons. He has said that he prefers Marvel characters because they’re more like real people. DC’s big characters are aliens and gods.

    Also, I think there are better people to compare Batman to. Like, say, Iron Man, who is pretty similar. Rich playboys who are all brains and gadgets.

    And your comparison with Wolverine is a little unfair, because Wolvie’s back story gets changed and added to all the time.

    Wonder Woman is awesome, so you shush. Her adversary is a cat woman? More like Ares, God of freakin’ War. I only know one Wonder Woman origin story. She was crafted by the gods and given to the Queen of the Amazons, then when she was grown, was sent out into the world as an ambassador for peace. Are there others?
    And don’t even compare her to Jean Grey, the woman who has died and been reborn more times than all the other characters combined. 🙂

  2. “Does he still have a mullet too? He could challenge Billy Ray Cyrus at karaoke night at some bar in Metropolis.”

    “Hey, here’s an idea, wrap the lasso around yourself and ask the question, “Why am I always chasing a cat around, or why can’t I find where I landed my invisible jet?””

    BWAHAHAHAHA!! That’s hilarious stuff right there!

    Hey- how can you slam Wonder Woman for having her origin retconned so many times when Marvel has Wolverine?

    My personal feelings are that X-Men trumps all and Vertigo trumps everything else except Batman.

    HOWEVER, while I do like more characters in the Marvel U than in the DCU, currently, in 2009, DC blows Marvel away in terms of story (and in NOT posting lackluster one-shots and tie-ins). And until Marvel can match what’s going on in Blackest Night and in the Bat books, it’s going to stay that way for awhile.

    … although the X-books have never been better.

  3. Oh, I see Kristin also pointed out the Wolverine origin thing!

    : )

  4. billy

    @Kris & Andy-I don’t recall there ever being an official retcon on Wolvies past. I know people have speculated about a lot of it especially before it was printed in the “Origin” book. As far as I know that book is his origin and since it’s been printed I’ve never read any thing saying different. I will agree that as far as diamond sales #’s, that yes Black Night is doing well. Oh, and here’s a link to Diana’s wacky origin. Lol, I love lighting fires (metaphorically speaking).

  5. A few Wolvie Origin retconns I can think of off the top of my head:

    -James Howlett
    -Bone Claws
    -Prof X manipulating him when he joined the X-Men

  6. They way I always look at it is DC is about super heroes being super heroes, and Marvel is about people being super heroes.

  7. billy

    @AW-that is pretty much the way I look at it as well. Hence the reason I think Marvel’s characters are better and easier to connect with. Plus the fact they live in REAL PLACES (for the most part).

    @Andy-To me those aren’t retcons. A retcon is when a characters history is presented and the publisher goes back on written works and totally changes what they originally said. No one ever said Wolvies claws weren’t bone underneath did they? A brainwashed guy “thinking” his name is Logan isn’t a retcon either. The other 2 things are of the same nature to me as well. Saying Joe Blow killed Bruce and Martha Wayne then changing that is a retcon dude.

  8. billy

    And start cheering louder for the Falcons too! My ‘Boys need some breathing room. lol

  9. InfiniteSpeech

    I definitely think the appeal with Marvel characters does lie in the fact that most are a little more relateable to readers. Mutants represent anyone who has been an outcast, profiled, discriminated against etc..which basically covers 100% of the readers out there. And I think they try to humanize their god-like characters a little better than DC. Superman’s “disguise” has pissed me off since I was a kid…sorry I could except flying people, mutants, and cratures from space but to think these reporters that couldn’t figure out Clark and Supes are same person was just annoying.

    I actually compare Bats more with Daredevil than Wolverine or Cap. Just based on them both having lost the only family they knew to violent crime. I know DD has enhanced senses but without his physical training and fighting skill he’d just be a regular guy. He and Bruce have human limitations and bear the scars of that after each fight. No healing factor or anything which Cap and Logan both have.

    DC does have a plethora of great characters and I tend to like the ones that have real issues as well as the galactic saving the world kind as well. But I am in agreement that DC has been killin’ with their stories (except Final Crisis…damn that sucked) in the past couple of years especially with GL! The Sinestro War and Blackest Night are just fantastic.

  10. I’m a lifelong Marvel fan myself, so anything I say would be coming from that perspective. Both companies have their good points and….not so good points. Each company have characters I like.

    But, I have to say that as far as storylines go, from the 60’s onward, Marvel has had it all over DC. That’s just my two cents.

  11. billy

    @IS-that is a better comparison with DD.
    @Bill-you are my new best friend. 🙂

  12. Billy, I think your blinded by your Marvel love! Wolverine has been one of the most retconned characters of all time man!!

  13. billy

    @Andy-I guess I should add you to the list to people throwing their bra’s at Supes’. Lol

  14. InfiniteSpeech

    I agree with Billy (wow!) but I don’t count the brainwashing of Logan to believe one thing and then we find out the truth later to be a retcon. It’s just a series of reveals that took 20 yrs lol His story is basically the same but a LOT has been added since he’s over 100 yrs old. So far his history hasn’t changed since the release of Wolverine: Origin now until THAT changes then he’s just a guy with scrambled memories

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