DC vs. Marvel (First of 4): The Characters
It’s like Burger King vs McDonalds, like Cats vs. Dogs, like Kanye West vs. Award Shows. I’m typing about DC vs. Marvel. The two biggest comic book companies in the world have been in competition for as long as I can remember. The competition is friendly for the most part, but how fun is a "friendly" rivalry In this series of blog posts, I plan to write about and (hopefully) intelligently figure out who is actually the better company. We'll laugh, we'll cry, we'll have a good time.
Well comic book companies are mostly know for their characters so it only makes sense that I start by analyzing both of the companies respective superheroes and villains(NOTE: I’ll be analyzing characters from each companies main continuities such as Superman/Batman and Captain America/Iron Man. So don’t expect something about Watchmen, Vertigo, Wildstorm characters.)
Superheroes on both side have their advantages, but for this round I have to give it to DC and let me explain why.
Number 1: DC heroes are more mature. I’m not saying that Marvel characters don’t have their mature moments like Tony Stark’s alcoholism, Hank Pym’s domestic violence, or Bruce Banner’s life. But most Marvel characters can’t compare to the fact that Black Canary was kidnapped a brutally tortured, or the fact that Wally West was homeless, or the fact that Batman almost caused his whole team to be killed because of his paranoia. Those DC stories really made me think about just humanity in general and the pitfalls of being a hero and that those pitfalls don’t always have to coincide with your civilian identity.
Number 2: There just more bad ass. Yeah, having a super powered suit is cool, but I think it’s much more bad ass to be able to mimic the abilities of any animal that has ever lived on Earth, for example. I mean while they are still cool, most Marvel characters got a lot of their powers from technology (Iron Man) or science (Captain America, Spider-man), while DC characters mostly got their from birth (Superman) or through rigorous training (Batman, Green Arrow). And yes, there is a huge bad ass mutant population with Gambit, Wolverine, Storm, etc. but I still think that they come short over all. Not many of them can stand on their own in a solo comic book or film. Could you imagine a film with just Rogue? Or a film with just Cyclops?
Favorite DC Heroes: Batman, The Flash (Wally West), Superman
Favorite Marvel Heroes: Wolverine, Hulk, Daredevil/Spiderman (I like them equally)
Deciding heroes was an easy call for me, but choosing who has better villains was very very tough to decide.
I mean you have villains that actually make you think of the human condition, you have villains so evil that it makes your skin crawl, and then you have villains that do both. In the end, I decided that Marvel takes this.
The 2 best DC villains are Joker (not just because of TDK) and Lex Luthor (not just because of…wait there hasn’t been a bad ass film Luthor yet) and on the Marvel side my favorites are Magneto and Loki. Joker is just unpredictably crazy; he shot Barbra Gordon just for the sake of it and Luthor is like Bernard Madoff/Gordon Gekko to an extreme. Magneto hates humans so much that he will even kill mutants who get in the way, and Loki is the god of mischief mostly because it’s what he’s best at.
I mean all of those villains are so creepy. What if some guy became a child rapist/murderer because it was what he was good at? What if somebody stole money from millions and became president just because he wants everything. Thoughts like this run through my mind anytime I read about any of the villains I mentioned above and that’s why its so hard for me to call it. So I had to think of other villains from both companies universes.
Immediately, all these other Marvel names popped into my mind like Norman Osborn, Dr. Doom, Galactus, & Kingpin. On the DC side I thought of Brainiac, Ra’s Al Ghul, Darkseid, & others. What I realized, was that on the DC side most of their villains were mostly scary because of their physical strength and I found out that most of DC best villains belong to only Superman/Batman. Yes, Green Lantern has Sinestro, Flash has the Rogues; but Marvel has widespread villains that would be recognized even by someone who barely reads comics.
Marvel villains are also more of a global threat. You hear about Dr. Doom fighting Iron Man all the time. Look at Kingpin, he’s so versatile that he could be a main villain in a Spiderman and/or Daredevil film. DC villains, yes they do interact with other heroes besides their main adversary, but not as much. And usually they clash with them because their trying to take over that certain city that the hero is living in.
It’s hard to say who the clear winner in all of this is. Yes, I usually buy a comic, see a film, or watch a show depending on the hero. But without the villains the hero wouldn’t need to exist. As DCAU Lex Luthor said to Superman “You need me.” and nothing can be closer to the truth.
I know people are going to hate me for this, but I have to call it a tie. Call it a cop-out, but there is no way for me to decide who has the better overall characters between DC and Marvel. Don’t worry a tie will never happen again.
NEXT: DC vs Marvel Films