Tell Us Dammit Special: Marvel vs DC?

I'm more of a manga man myself, but plenty of people in our office are crazy comic book fans. An age old argument has been brewing in the office, and I've been asked to put it to you Kotaku audience: so who do you prefer? Marvel or DC?

The office argument has spread way beyond the comic books, it's gone to all forms of media - the movies, the games, everything.

So vote in our poll and let us know in the comments below!

Which Comic Book Giant is your Favourite?survey software


    I've always been more of a Marvel man. Xmen, Spiderman and the villains from both. Never cared too much for Superman or Wonderwoman, even Green Lantern. Batman is of course up there among my favourites, but he'd probably be the only one from DC.

    DC has Batman, arguably the best of the best, however he's about the only thing DC has going for it over Marvel.

    Marvel has everything Stan Lee ever did.

      With more than a little help from Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko.

        Trollolololol ;)

        But so true....

    I can't give you a account of marvel but i love dc from what i've read. Specifically nananananananana batman.

    In comic book form, Marvel. The characters are more down to earth and there's less of the "zomg world destroying event" every five issues. Admittedly, it's more "zomg New York destroying event" but it's still an improvement in my eyes. Not everything has to have the fate of the world in the balance.

    That being said, my favourite comic, by a very wide margin, is Kingdom Come. A non-canon DC story with absolutely beautiful artwork.

    Also, the DC characters are much more iconic. Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and the Flash are all major iconic characters to the point where many of their villains are more well known than the big name Marvel heroes. On the other hand, the only Marvel characters that stand out happen to be the ones in the most recent movies, Wolverine and Spiderman.

    When it comes to animation though, that's a completely different ballpark. The DCAU is fantastic and nothing Marvel has done comes close to anything like Justice League Unlimited or Batman: Under the Red Hood.

      To add to that, the DC characters are generally significantly more powerful than the Marvel characters.

      The best comic books are ones that focus on the "man" and not the "super", which is a lot harder to do when you're dealing with beings that can casually crush planets.

      Look at Superman, his greatest foe, Luthor, shares a startling amount of similarities with his greatest ally, Batman. You know why those two go so well with Superman? Because they force him to act in a way where he isn't overtly reliant on his powers to brute force his way through his problems.

      Take a look at some of the Superman stories that are considered to be "the best". You have Kingdom Come, which is about Superman as a role model, then there's Red Son where Superman is the bad guy and it is Luthor who is overcoming him, and then there's For The Man Who Has Everything, which pretty much all takes place inside Superman's head and he doesn't have any powers. They all focus on the "man".

      Compare that to the Marvel comics, Iron Man's defining trait isn't his armour but his intellect and alcoholism. Captain America's bravery and leadership, not his Super Soldier Serum. Spiderman's wit and dealing with his personal life, with just a little bit of web-slinging.

      There's a reason why the most popular DC character is the one without powers, and the two best known villains from DC are also powerless.

      Jeph Leob just got the head job at Marvel Animation after the Disney merger. Expect good things!

        I'm not going to deny Loeb's considerable writing talent, but when it comes to this sort of thing Bruce Timm is the man.

          Dini has gone to Marvel too....
          Whilst Bruce Timm is and shall forever be THE MAN. He did the art and Dini did the writing....So things are looking up at Marvel.

          He already got Bendis, MAN OF ACTION and Paul Dini involved in USM!

            Colour me intrigued. Very intrigued indeed.

        Frankly, Jeph Loeb has been an effervescently steaming pile of turds since Long Dark Halloween (his only good work I've read) to me. I have learned not to open the cover of anything with his name on it because of the inevitable Deus ex Machina and various other scene pulling tricks which add up to half-baked characterisations and pointless plot twists with some truly abhorrent dialogue.

          Loeb seems to write to the artists strengths, so if he does something with Tim Sale it will be a nice thoughtful emotional piece. If he works with Ed McGuiness its a balls out action tale.

          Doesn't matter anyway since being the top dog of animation doesn't mean he'll be doin the writing, just picking the guys who do.

          And are you really trying to tell me the movie Commando was badly written???

      I would point you to the 90s spiderman and xmen cartoons, but then you'd point me to Batman: The animated series, the first cartoon to introduce a character so popular she was later adopted into the comics (Harley Quinn for the unaware).
      At the moment, DC definitely holds the cartoon crown.


        I'm not saying all Marvel animation is bad (although don't watch Ultimate Avengers, that one really is terrible), just that the DC stuff blows it out of the water on a consistent basis.

        Speaking of which, Young Justice has had about 9 episodes air so far and it is looking like it will turn into another winner.

      What do you think of the new Avengers cartoon? Currently on at 7:15 each morning ABC3. I think it is pretty good. It has only just started but it really captures the feel of the early avengers comics while updating the heros to their current styles. (Plus Thor is AWESOME!)

      I hope they do good things with it.

        I didn't even know that was on. I'll have to check it out on iView.

          I tried that the other day. I don't think it is on there. They only have the kiddie super hero squad.

          I really want to see the episodes I missed.

    Well Batman is my favourite superhero so by default I guess it's DC, but I do enjoy the craziness of the Marvel universe.

    As the others have said, about the only thing DC has going for it, in my eyes, is Batman... everything else is pretty sub-par... especially Superman.. i can't stand superman.

    No, Marvel has is all over DC in absolutely every way.
    The characters are cool, edgier and have more personality.

    I just can't go past Marvel for sheer unadulterated awesome

      I could show you Superman comics that would blow your MIND!!


    Iron Man!

    Generally, Marvel has better character development and drama, DC has better plots and more iconic characters.

    Marvel have more good movies, DC have the friggin Dark Knight Saga.

    Marvel gives writers more freedom, DC has a much more cohesive canon.

    If it weren't for batman I'd say 50/50, but with the batman-factor taken into account, DC wins.

      No sorry, both companies have shocking continuity problems.

      Was Superman Superboy in Smallville or not?

      Is Spider-Man the clone or the original?

        Shared universes, they always end up with a continuity cluster ... "hug".

        What are you? Some sort of Continuity Nazi? ;)

      Better continuity? They had the multiverse to explain all the random stuff that didn't fit. Then they collapsed it and then they brought it back again.

      They just made up something to cover up the holes.

      I agree both companies have big problems.

      And what is going on with Nick Fury?
      -Original = Old White guy
      -Ultimates = Looks like Samuel L Jackson
      -Movies = IS Samuel L Jackson
      -Avengers cartoon = Old black guy that looks like the orginal old white guy!!

        You forgot (or maybe deliberately left out) 1998 made for TV movie where Nick Fury = the Hoff

        All comics labelled "ultimate" are another universe. A universe where Spidey is still 16 and Nick Fury is black.

          I understood the ultimates switch and i thought that was awesome, but if you see the new avengers cartoon he looks like the original nick fury. i.e. White reeds richards style side hair, eye patch, smoking cigars, in a shield jumpsuit. but he is black. Just dosen't make sense to me. Either he is ultimates nick fury or he is original nick fury but he shouldn't be both.

    To be honest, I've never read a DC comic book before. The only character they have that really interests me is Batman. I don't really read comics that much in general, but I do have a handful of graphic novels/compilations of various Marvel character stories (Captain America, The Punisher etc). I grew up loving the X-men and love the variety of characters in the Marvel universe.

    Though really, my favourite comics are Dark Horse- mainly Star Wars and the old Aliens/Predator comics.

    Definitely Marvel for me.
    Mostly because the first comics I read were Marvel and got me in to the whole scene.

    Make mine Marvel.
    The biggest difference between Marvel and DC, in my opinion, is gods and men.
    In DC, the majority of the heroes are gods who take up humanity, (wonder woman, martian manhunter, superman, green lantern, from the perspective of the rings) while Marvel superheroes are mostly everyday people who have had godlike powers thrust upon them (spiderman, wolverine, deadpool, fantastic four).
    This makes Marvel heroes much more relatable and complex, because they often struggle with their powers.
    There are exceptions, such as Thor and Sentry in Marvel and Batman and Green Arrow in DC, but even then Marvel gods are never simply gods. Sentry is (was?) mentally unstable and Thor has family issues.

    This is what someone once told me about the difference between Marvel and DC

    Marvel heroes are heroes trying to be people.

    DC heroes are people trying to be heroes.

    I prefer Marvel myself because I grew up with cartoons like X-men and Spider-Man, and they hit a chord with me. Hence why I'm a big fan of MvC3!

      You sure you didn't mean the other way round?

        Yeah, I'm a little confused.

        Marvel heroes are (typically) ordinary people with extraordinary abilities.

        DC heroes are (typically) the physical embodiments of gods.

    I'ma Marvel kid, there is no better Superhero than Spidey!
    Batman rules and so does Black Canary and Harley Quinn, but Marvel wins over all.

    Marvel seem to focus on a a more "everyday" hero rather than the epic dimension crossing Crises that DC deal with.

    I think, for me, it is easier to understand someone who goes home to their shitty apartment at the end of the day rather than their giant mansion!


      Is that an argument for or against Marvel???

        lol, that would be a vote FOR Marvel... but I already understand only too well how more hardcore comic fans might despise Wade as a character :P

          It's not Wade himself, it's Marvels shocking overuse of him. He has 3 or 4 of his own titles is a member of X-Force and just pops up way too much than need be.


    I read more Marvel titles then DC, but I still probably enjoy what I read from DC more if you can make any sense of that.

    DC! DC! DC!
    Comics - Batman!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    TV - Smallville
    Animation - DCAU HANDS DOWN!!!!!!!
    Movies - is the only spot where Marvel has the upperhand pending Thor and Cap.... Marvel wins on volume only
    Collectors items - Harley Quinn Statues FTW!!! but seriously DC seems to be on top here to


        I'll take that over heathen! ;)

    I've said DC for two reasons. The first is Batman, for too many reasons to mention.

    The second is DC's courage and innovation by supporting the Vertigo line and all the things which led up to its creation. Almost all my favourite series are from this or have been pulled into it.

    Grant Morrison's Animal Man, Doom Patrol and Invisibles
    Neil Gaiman's Sandman
    Alan Moore's Swamp Thing, Watchmen, V for Vendetta, League of Extraordinary Gentleman, Top 10 and other works
    Bill Willingham's Fables
    Jamie Delano's Hellblazer starring the infamous John Constantine (originally a Swamp Thing character)
    Warren Ellis' Transmetropolitan
    Garth Ennis' Preacher
    and numerous other series I'm sure I've missed.

    DC's commitment to making genuinely mature stories from the days of the EC comics onwards is what will always make them stand above Marvel to me, no matter how much I might admire Marvel for first pushing the boundaries of real characterisation into mainstream comics, DC, particularly through Vertigo has done far more.

      Vertigo cannot count unless they are included in the mainstream DC continuity!

      If it does then you must count from ICON:


        I left Kabuki out because it's an image comic on my copies, not a current Marvel imprint. That makes it an independent and therefore not part of this conversation, even if its heritage is related to Marvel. Marvel created the environment where image artists wanted to leave and they have reaped the rewards.

        Kabuki is the single most artistically amazing graphic novel series I've read, but it's no more relevant here than the emotionally profound Strangers in Paradise.

        The others on your list I haven't read, so can't really comment.

        If we're going to take standard Universes and continuities, it's all a bit meh. Both are stupidly incoherent and tangled up in incomprehensible games within games which I refuse to try and penetrate.

        As I said earlier, aside from Batman, Marvel has done more to bring realistic characterisation to their mainstream and deserve credit for having some more morally ambiguous heroes and antiheroes.

        However Batman has all of these in spades, so it really doesn't change anything. Green Lantern's Blackest Night is an example of the sort of challenging Storyline DC needs to have the courage to pursue more if they're going to catch Marvel in the standard continuum.

        However, when it comes down to it, I don't own any Marvel titles, but I do own Batman ones, so clearly I've voted with my wallet. Much as I like Iron Man or the Silver Surfer, I've yet to see a compelling story I've had to purchase. Batman has at least ten of these because he's a superhero with human frailties which are able to be exposed.

          Icon is half of Marvel's answer to Vertigo(the other half being MAX).

          Kabuki's last and arguably best book "The Alchemy" was through Icon.

          Icon let's guys who work exclusively at Marvel (Brubaker, Bendis) still do Creator owned work.

          You should check it out.

          My argument being it isn't the 90s anymore, Marvel have stepped up and do a lot more than just Superheoes.

          I wouldn't count a Vertigo title anymore than I would count an Icon title in this argument, simply because the majority of people are blissfully unaware of gems like Kabuki or Ex Machina.

            What about Wildstorm? Planetary is one of the best comics I ever read and it is owned by Warner Bros just like all the rest of Vertigo/DC...

            That might be fair, but then I still come back to two comics from DC, Batman and Hellblazer being able to take on the entirety of Marvel. Batman alone seems to be capable of doing it for many people here, despite the handicap of being saddled with Superman's image which is perpetuated by many of his storylines until a decent writer who understands characterisation gets control as you've pointed out in some sterling examples.

            Personally, I tend to ignore labelling and go with writers these days because that's what I read comics for. A good story well told is worth money to whoever can produce it.

            Recommendations are much appreciated though, I'll have to see what I can track down from what you've listed as I haven't read enough of those two.

    Marvel all the way

    I chose Marvel because I can pick up most books and find something interesting fairly quickly.

    My top 5 are

    1. Thor
    2. Batman
    3. Captain America
    4. Dare Devil
    5. Iron man (But he sucks a bit recently)

    I only really pay attention to X Men and Batman, so I dunno. :/

    Are we including Vertigo as part of DC? Because I love the Vertigo series: Sandman, The Books of Magic, Hellblazer.

      Jimu doesn't seem to be aware of it, but Hellblazer IS an official DC title, the rest are Vertigo. So if Constantine's enough reason....

      If there was a third option just for Vertigo I absolutely would have voted that.

        Theres a blurred line with titles like Swamp Thing and Hellblazer.

        Recently Death was seen in an issue of Superman.

        Just cos they can cross over doesn't make em DCU in my mind...

    Aw man..!
    Too hard for me to choose!

    Might remind peeps that DC has Watchmen on their side...

      Yeah but... that's a separate universe. Watchmen is friggin awesome, but I don't think it counts.

        Anymore than Stephen King's Dark Tower or the Halo comic do...

          @malcolmcoles – the ettsae agent sign idea is excellent, and an example of how QR codes coud work “Like this house? Scan this code to see a walk through video on your phone. get your free QR reader from X” (which in itself offers up potential to partner up with one of the many 3rd party apps)@malcolmcoles and @andrewgill – absolutely, putting codes on the underground is just idiotic as it goes against several common sense factors. It’s against human nature to have someone scan an ad over someone else’s seat in a tube carriage (especially in London), it ignores the fact that most people just want to come and go, and its pointless given the lack of Internet on the majority of the network.I’d love to see the adoption rates agencies are getting from this. And yes, the education (how do you scan?) point is important. It might look cool to have a random QR code on the corner of your ad, but unless you are targeting it at the digerati who frequent events like SXSW or Le Web, its wasted if there is no context.I do think QR codes have potential. Unfortunately right now they are just slapped on randomly, without much thought being given to them. The memeburn article I mention above gives even more ridiculous examples of QR code placement, like on the side of roads.

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