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Who is king of the comics?

DC vs Marvel- Graphic by Izzy Peterson

DC vs Marvel- Graphic by Izzy Peterson

by Izzy Peterson, Editor

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The short URL of the present article is: http://lhslance.org/1FHSD

If you are a fan of superheroes you’ve probably sat down and thought: who would win in a battle – Batman or Iron Man? There are so many elements to consider! Batman is a perfectly human billionaire who has no actual superpowers besides a sweet suit and Batmobile. Tony Stark is, when compared to Batman, quite similar. He also is a billionaire and has no actual superpower besides a metal suit that can blow things up and fly. While Iron Man is snarky and comical, Batman is dark. Both have incredible combat skills. It all comes down to opinion. When a comic book fan is confronted with this sort of issue, oftentimes there is an age-old important question to consider: DC or Marvel?

The two companies have been competitors since the 1930s, fighting to win fans over with the coolest superheroes they can muster. While DC is responsible for the iconic superheroes Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman, Marvel is to be thanked for modern favorites like Iron Man, Thor, and Captain America.

The fan’s decision is based entirely on opinion. Marvel fans tend to enjoy the longwinded franchises of their favorite characters and the humorous movies the company produces. DC fans are attracted to the classic images of Superman and Batman as well as the dark, intense movies they have released.

According to polls on the Imagine Games Network website, Marvel wins the majority of votes in categories such as best heroes, best villains, video games, and movies. However, DC has a larger fanbase when it comes to TV shows like Wonder Woman, Young Justice, and Smallville.

Sources like Tor.com and the Daily Dot believe the remarkable number of fans choosing Marvel over DC nowadays is due to the bad decisions DC has been making with their franchises. While they once were king with popular shows like Batman as well as the franchise of one of the most popular superheroes of all time, Superman, they are now severely going downhill.

“DC has good animated shows that tend to be cut short. They’ve also ripped off their female characters,” said junior Abigail Graham, a superhero enthusiast. She’s right, too. Fans on sites i09.com and Comic Vine agree. DC has neglected to give popular female characters their own movies and, what some would say, their rights. They have gotten criticism from their fans for not allowing Batwoman to get married to her fiancée, Maggie Sawyer, due to the excuse that they would like to refrain from getting characters involved in relationships.

The problem fans have with how DC handled this is that they allowed the marriage to be depicted at convention panels featuring the artist and writer, yet wouldn’t allow them to end the current story arc with the event in print. Fans see this as a homophobic action, making many upset. DC’s co-publisher, Dan DiDio announced at the Baltimore Comic-Con that “They put on a cape and cowl for a reason. They’re committed to defending others — at the sacrifice of all their own personal instincts.” This would be an acceptable defense if DC superheroes never had personal lives. But they have. For instance, Superman was married to Lois Lane.

DC’s action to avoid this marriage has not only cost them fans but also one of their greatest creative teams on the job: J.H. Williams and W. Haden Blackman. Williams announced their resignation from the Batwoman series on September 4, telling fans how they “fought to get them engaged, but were told emphatically no marriage can result,” over twitter.

DC has also denied Wonder Woman her own set of movies, much to their fans’ dismay. Given that casting an amazon warrior up to par with the original, Linda Carter, would be difficult, people would at least like to see them try.  A series such as this might even help DC defeat Marvel in the realm of film.

The rise of Marvel can be attributed to movie franchises like Iron Man, The Avengers, Thor, Captain America, and Spiderman. Due to the outstanding success of The Avengers, Marvel created a television show featured on ABC called Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.. The show has proven itself to be quite good with only four episodes shown on television so far. They have brought back beloved characters such as Agent Coulson, a S.H.E.I.L.D. agent that was killed in The Avengers (2012). Marvel fans are impressed by the show but believe it could use a few improvements such as improving the vanilla characters and focusing on making the series more serious and believable while keeping the humor there.

Marvel was also recently purchased by Disney, and the company has been producing a flood of movies. With a flood of movies expected to be released in the next two years such as Thor: The Dark World, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, The Avengers: Age of Ultron, Guardians of the Galaxy, and Ant-man, Marvel is sure to bring a lot to the table for their loyal fans. Few of their movies disappoint their fans and they have done a remarkable job in winning over fans from all age groups.

Before DC and Marvel reached a point of professional maturity when it came to dealing with one another, they often dissed the other by inserting negative references into their comic books or creating a hero exactly the same as the other’s. In one book, the Avengers face the Squadron Sinister, a copy of DC’s Justice League. DC fought back by releasing a book in which the Justice League fought the Champions of Angor, a copy of the Avengers.

Heroes the two companies have created are also very similar, a sign of the two fighting back against the other. DC’s Atom and Marvel’s Ant-man have been compared for years, fans of one or the other claiming theirs was the original. Both superheroes have technology allowing them to shrink down to microscopic size. Who wouldn’t compare them?

Once DC and Marvel reached the point where they were tired of their childish games, they came together to create many crossovers. In a comic book series the two created together called Amalgam Age of Comics, the “Amalgam” universe was featured as a place where the characters of both could come together whether for good or evil. These crossovers offer fans of each to come together either in a competitive manner or a cooperative one.

“I think competition is good because it makes everybody do their best and it doesn’t give you a chance to just lay back and relax,” said Stan Lee, the comic book writer and former President and Chairman of Marvel Comics, in a May 2013 interview for the Denver Post.

Whether for good or bad, these two comic book companies are going to be going at it for years to come as the resurgence of superhero fans occurs due to rising popularity. According to InvestorPlace, Marvel has made 47% more revenue from their movies than DC.

 

 

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Who is king of the comics?