Marvel vs. DC

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Let’s start with an intelligent area of controversy. No, I’m not talking about the presidential debates. They forgot to bring the intelligence to the table. I’m talking about Marvel and DC comics. There has been an eternally raging competition between the two companies, that is not restricted to the organizations, but the very fan base that supports them.

I do not think one is “better” than another. Comparing the two is like comparing Fili and Kili from the Hobbit. Some girls like blonde dwarfs with beards, others like brunettes with scruff. I like actual dwarfs that follow the book’s storyline. The only reason one is better in your opinion, is because you have an opinion and personal taste.

Now that you understand that, DC is better. Because of my taste (my high quality and expensive taste). Hear me out Marvel fans before you throw your phone against a wall. And remember, you can fight your point after reading this. First, we will view the cinema aspect of the two groups where Marvel appears to be defeating DC yearly, and then we will delve into the comics, history, and the actual storyline that is the true division between the two groups, and causes the two different styles of cinematography.

Disney has a recipe and it tastes wonderful. As many of you know Marvel’s character ownership is split over a few different companies, but Disney owns a large amount at this point. Disney has formulated a movie plot that makes you relate to the character’s struggle, and then be filled with triumph when he or she overcomes the struggle to defeat the enemy. This recipe is perfect for marvel characters because they are one dimensional characters. Every Marvel character can be explained in one sentence, and sometimes one word.

  • Spiderman- “With great power comes great responsibility”
  • Iron Man- Pride
  • Hulk- Anger
  • Thor- The ones he loves
  • Hawkeye- Family
  • Captain America- His past (he is an exception in my opinion because he is constantly developing unlike his teammates)

They have a driving force and a vital flaw, which are sometimes intertwined like two arteries of the heart. Stan Lee designed Marvel characters this way because he felt it important they have a flaw. I don’t think he intended the flaw to consume the characters as it has in present media. The characters a simply always struggling with this flaw in life and never develop past it or learn from their mistakes (besides Captain America). Side note: Mutants seem to be slightly more developed as characters but that is because they are not owned by Disney, but they all have the same driving factor of being accepted in the world.

Because of these characters and their story lines becoming one dimensional it is easier for kids to understand the Marvel universe, which makes it understandable that Marvel would sell to Disney who targets children. I can’t help but feel Stan Lee would not approve having said, “Comics are not for kids and shouldn’t be written that way.”

Since Disney has been producing the exact same Marvel movie over and over, what do they do to make it entertaining? Slapstick humor, and “wow” moments. These are great parts to a movie, and makes a great film. In the end it does not matter if it is cookies and ice cream, eat the same thing day in and day out, you get sick of it.

DC has multidimensional story lines with multifaceted characters. They don’t have space for slapstick humor, “wow” moments, or sensual scenes. The direct objective of DC films is to bring into question philosophical ideas. To do this thoroughly developed characters are needed.

Batman is not defined by a sentence, he is defined by his entire life. Yes, at his beginning he was simply defined by fear and vengeance, but then he developed out of fear with Alfred’s help. Working to acquire power and get vengeance he trained under Ra’s Al Ghul, which made him realized vengeance was not the answer. Now he wanted justice to fulfill his thirst for vengeance which made him develop into the role of being the scale keeper. Next came Dick Grayson (my favorite hero) and he taught Bruce that he needed to still possess some level of internal humanity, he needed to be human. Jason Todd teaches Batman that he himself will fail. Damian, his son, reaffirms all the things he has learned when he dies. Every action of Batman is because of the different things he has learned, and has yet to learn.

All of the characters are this way. This is why DC was hesitant on bringing in Wonder Woman. They stated that her storyline would be difficult to develop, which Marvel fans sneered at posting Rocket Racoon all over Facebook. I loved Guardians of the Galaxy but they are all defined as “losers” right in the movie.

Wonder Woman is difficult to develop because she is a princess, that comes from a society of mythological women that have removed men from their world, and develop as warriors to protect the world from demons of the underworld. This is because they follow Hera the wife of Zeus who in greek mythology has been known for being vengeful (a key attribute of Wonder Woman). Yet everything changes when a man washes up on their shore. After about two movies a slight understanding of Wonder Woman’s character as an amazon warrior would be understood, but throwing this developed Amazon Warrior into our society would require three movies to expose the culture shock and development.

Now I have mainly compared the cinematic universes, not the comics completely. Think of the movies as products of the source material. Yes, Marvel has more character development in their comics, but not to the extent that DC has. If Marvel had further developed stories and characters it would show in the films. If I were to start talking about the comics, I would simply start explaining DC’s widely developed multiverse in comparison to Marvel’s thoroughly developed single world. As many Marvel fans know DC is also destroying the competition on television shows, so that doesn’t even need to be explained.

So what is the point of all this? To aid my fellow DC fans, and let them know they are not alone. It all comes down to taste, good or bad tastes. Keep fighting the good fight. Nightwing out.

(The image used is not mine, and according to creativecommons.org is available for fair use)

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3 thoughts on “Marvel vs. DC

  1. Greetings fellow nerd and cormrade at arms! while I agree with your analysis of DC, that it is, in fact a deep multifaceted multiverse, even the characters you mention on the Marvel side go through evolution. For Spiderman it was first not to be bullied, and to find a way to be with his ideal girlfriend, Mary Jane Watson. Regardless of what origin story you pick, he is a bit more freewheeling when it comes to his powers initially, because they are not tempered by morals. Whether this is spidey powers or his natural intellect he gets shocked into the difference between a hero and the not so everyday psychopaths that he fights. and he, like your hero Dick Grayson also struggles with humanity, albeit in a very different sense. He desires to live a normal life, but realizes as long as there are villains, there must be a Spiderman. So yes, with great power comes great responsibility, but in that there is a message of duty and sacrifice that doesn’t have to be approached by heroes like superman, who have all the powers to live however they want, darn the consequences. Spiderman can be relatable simply because his powers do not elevate him to a god-like status. Because for heroes like Superman, they are not relatable. They inspire awe, and they are to be admired, but they cannot engender sympathy from humanity’s perspective.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree that Marvel develops their characters in the comics, but that is not really their cornerstone or strong point. This can then be seen in their movies. By using stereotypes they can gloss over character design and relate to a broader audience, yet that strength leads to a weakness in character development. By making their characters symbols it makes younger kids more likely to become fans of Marvel. This is because they don’t have to understand the psychological, and social responsibilities of the hero, they understand Spiderman is in the same predicament as them by being bullied in school. And that all goes back to the idea of tastes.

      I disagree with your opinion that Superman can not be relatable for the same reasons you suggested in Spiderman. (I honestly cannot believe I’m saying this now because eight years ago I had the strict mindset that Superman should never have been created) Superman although he is an alien gets bullied verbally as a kid, and retains extreme power that he must act responsibly on (not unlike a certain spider). This is his defining starting point that makes him relatable to the audience. Just as Batman’s starts with anger and vengeance, then develops past it. Superman develops past the relatable bullied kid who has extraordinary power to an idolized hero. DC rather than staying on the same subject develops Superman through personal experiences that question his meaning and social responsibility. In the end he achieves more by giving up his power for the Justice League(Batman) to control. But all of this goes through long periods of character development and social dilemmas. Spiderman although he is relatable and develops through each dilemma, he does not change because he is a symbol. The most possibility for developing I saw was the death of Gwen Stacy. In the end he just reverts back to his normal self with occasional pings of heartbreak comments. Even when he goes through the angry Venom phase he doesn’t develop, he returns to being your friendly neighborhood Spiderman. This all returns to the subject of taste.

      I have to say to you, personally I enjoy Marvel also but DC is my long term choice because of my taste. Also, you are awesome because you are the first person to comment on my blog! I have been waiting to have some good conversation on this topic. But yes, please follow me because I need a Marvel fan to keep me in check so I get my facts straight.

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