I’ve been rather reticent to discuss superhero items since the release of The Legend of Buddy Hero. I mean, right after it’s release, I spoke about them quite often, attempting to make myself something of a common element on the topic of supers. But I didn’t want to make myself into this one trick pony, only seeming to know about things with capes and heat vision.
But here’s the thing. I love superheroes. I truly do. And I could honestly talk about them for forever (it’s true, just ask my wife). I mean, just with the things coming up in filmed entertainment alone (or already out there), Agent Carter, the new Daredevil series, BATMAN v SUPERMAN!!!…yeah…I could talk about it a lot.
But throughout all discussions about comic books and the characters contained within, there seems to always be an important starting point that occurs between any group of superfans. DC or Marvel?
Sure, you could try and pretend that you’re much more of an Image guy, or a Dark Horse enthusiast, or perhaps you’re really just about the old WHAM! books (for the record…if anyone claims this last one, punch them for just trying to be an annoyance), but when it really comes down to it, you’ll have a favorite between the two.
Now, I think when it comes to filmed entertainment, very few people pick DC over Marvel. The Marvel Cinematic Universe alone has done so much toward placing amazing stories on the screen. When you include their smaller forays, such as their animated series, Agents of SHIELD and Agent Carter, or the upcoming Netflix series…well…yeah, they’re a power house. Man of Steel and the Chris Nolan Batman films may be awesome, but I think very few people really want to fight that battle…especially when things like Superman Returns and Green Lantern are out there.
But when you’re talking strictly comics, the question of DC vs Marvel is an important starting point. It tells the other person a whole lot about what you like about comics books, about what story lines you’re more familiar with, about whether Captain Marvel should be referred to as a male or a female…the list can go on and on.
But even more importantly…it gives the possibility for an opening discussion. Because, if you have differing preferences, you will, undoubtedly, begin the never-ending battle of which is better.
The conversation is generally pretty dumb. I mean…if you’re a comic book nerd, you’ve probably crossed companies on more than a few occasions. Each group has their fair share of amazing storylines, and more often than not, their characters began as carbon copies of each other. Sure, Marvel may spend a ton of their time trying to get on with the emo readers…those who want their characters to spend all their time being moody and sad and like every high schooler in the 90s. And DC might have a few too many characters in tights that all seem as though they would be best portrayed by Patrick Warburton. But in the end…there’s a lot between the two that is exactly the same…
I have always been a DC fan…possibly because I spent a lot of time watching the old Superman TV show on Nick at Nite as a kid, only to be brought into comic books through The Death and Return of Superman…an amazing example of how awesome comics really can be. From there, I wanted to learn more about these characters that I had never heard of before. These Superboys, Green Lanterns, in fact, the whole Justice League…which lead to finding out about the Legion of Superheroes, the Justice Society of America, and then, finally, learning about DC’s first real crossover event…Crisis on Infinite Earths. In other words, although I didn’t REALLY get into comic books until I was almost in high school (I had a few before then, but thought that the DC was because I had bought them in Washington), I believe I came into them the same way that many folks today do…by reading through larger story arcs.
I wasn’t introduced to comic book Superman as this can’t-be-defeated boy scout. No, he was killed off in the first act, brought back in the final with this rock-star hair cut who was ready to tear things apart with a vengeance.
Now, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve gained a larger appreciation of comic book Superman and what he really is, but I can understand where folks have this limitation on their view of him…mostly brought about by things like the animated series.
I have the same view of Spiderman, to be honest. If I had been introduced to him through things like the Clone Saga, I might have had a much greater immediate interest, as opposed to most of my original thoughts on him being crafted through his animated series…which spent way too much time with him thinking about quitting.
When people ask me DC vs. Marvel, I still stick with DC as my answer…but that’s really purely because my knowledge is much more on the DC side. There’s a ton of stuff about the Marvel side of things that I really really love…I just haven’t spent the time (money) to learn enough about it…perhaps it really is time to get that Marvel Unlimited subscription…which means I’ll have to get that Kindle Fire I’ve been thinking about…
Have fun out there!