The Big Question: Marvel or D.C.

Look, I can't pretend to be a big comic book nerd, I just can't. I read a lot of manga, but I've never really read comic books. But even I know that a big debate exists between who is superior when it comes to the big two comic publishers. I have no opinion on this, so I'm hoping you guys and girls can debate this in the comments!

Who wins? I mean I prefer Marvel, but only because I think they've done a better job with the movies! That's literally my only, ill-informed reason.

What are your thoughts?


    Marvel's main universe is better. DC's everything outside the main universe (basically, the Vertigo stuff) is top notch- Sandman, Transmetropolitan, Preacher, Hellblazer.

    Pity it's mostly been folded back in to New 52 stuff.

      Holy crap! I was gonna say Marvel until you told me that Vertigo is DC comics! Main-stream Marvel over main-stream DC anyday, but Vertigo stuff is the best! Definitely recommend Sandman to anybody that cares!

    I hate DC, so much self-loathing.


    I like Batman and that's really the only thing from the DC canon I like. Marvel has a lot more stuff that's appealing to me.

    Edit: What the hell!? This isn't what I typed, not even close?! Crazy comment errors taken to the next level! Somehow my comment ate DC's comment and posted it under my name. :O

    Last edited 07/05/14 11:28 am

      I hate Batman, I find that of all the heroes that have absolutely psychopathic enemies, Batman follows the least logical path of execution. Why capture a mad man that you know is going to escape when you can deal real justice and save countless lives by just killing people like the Joker. It is like Batman loves to do his job and would rather watch people die, than ever be out of work.

        Because Justice, not Vengeance.

          Because the pursuit of justice normally results in countless victims, while the pursuit of vengeance normally requires only one.

            Because Batman is already a dangerously unhinged man with great power. He acknowledges that once you decide it's okay to start killing people it's a very slippery slope until you're going all Judge Dread on people.

              And for me that makes judge dread a much more compelling character.

        The same reason Spider-Man just doesn't throw Kingpin off a building or kill every criminal he takes on. At the end of the day Heroes aren't supposed to kill.

        Why are we singling out Batman, most heroes have a villian who just kills people. Spider-Man has Carnage (Literally a Serial Killer with Symbiote Powers).

          I won't lie, its a little unfair to single him out. But my message was just in reply to the guy above me, the topic was Batman and therefore my answer was about Batman.

          To use the Spiderman/Batman analogy - Batman has the most tenuous reason to claim justice - he's an unhinged, dangerously lonely sociopath with an incredible number of issues. Spiderman's attempt to cling to responsibility has far more realistic emotional attachment.

          For reasons like that - Marvel wins for me.

          The DC characters are WAY too OP with little link to humanity. I know why - DC has always been more interested in godhood and immortality than Marvel's interest in the elevation of the human spirit. but DC just doesn't capture me in the same way.

        Just stick to the earlier comics where he carries a gun and shoves people into vats of acid.

        Most of it is simply the fact that murder precludes having returning super villains. Successive writers have then tried to explore the idea of an unwavering anti-killing philosophy, with varying levels of success.

        Frank Miller likes to have cake and eat it too, so he just has Batman kill people and then have a bit of an internal monologue about how he never kills anyone.

          The problem for me is that I probably won't be able to read anything older than 20 years ago as at some point the visual style of the comics would become too "simple" and I unfortunately struggle to read them if they aren't pleasing to the eye.

            Nothing older than 20 years ago? 20 years ago was 1994. I'll admit that I haven't read a ton of western comics, but the majority I have read come from the 70's and 80's, And I thought that they looked gorgeous. All the comics I read (admittedly, I mostly read Chris Claremont's run on X-men) had tons of detail and were far from "simple" looking.

            Regardless, if earlier comics don't look good to you I can't blame you for not wanting to read them. Comics are a visual medium and enjoying the art can be just as important as enjoying the story. Still, maybe give some older ones a shot and see if you get a taste for them.

              I am sure they are full of story content, but disappointingly while I rip on kids who only play the prettier video games, I kinda need eye candy while reading a comic.

        Why is it Batman's job to kill people? Why not Commissioner Gordon? Or the judge in any of the Joker's trials?

        The fact that the Joker keeps escaping is the fault of whomever is in charge of Arkham Asylum, or maybe of who makes the decision to keep sending him back there instead of to a federal supermax.

    I prefer the main DC superheroes over the Marvel ones. They just seem more superhero-y to me. Marvel probably has a better cast of supporting heroes though so at the end of the day whynothaveboth.jpg

    At a push, DC because of Batman and Batman alone.

      Why not have both indeed.

      The Amalgam Universe comics where characters from both franchise's were combined and the universe became one was pretty cool.
      Batman + Wolverine = Dark Claw? Yes pls

    I hate DC, so much self-loathing. :P

    Nah, I dig Batman but that's about the only DC thing I'm into. Marvel has more variety that appeals to me, though I'm not a fan of the interconnected universe stuff.

      Dude. My comment ate your comment.

        *cue montage revealing that we're aspects of the same multipersonality guy*

        My fragile mind was struggling to comprehend how similar they were.

          That's one of our combined superpowers.

          To be fair, my comment was on the lines of how Batman was the only thing I like about DC, but I went in to more detail about their other properties. I'm choosing to leave it as a monument to data screwing up.

    I read a lot of manga, but I’ve never really read comic books.

    I fail to see the difference.

    Anyways, the choice comes down between how they handle the overall impression of their characters.
    DC is about heroes who you look up to.
    Marvel is about heroes you can relate to.

    My vote is going towards Marvel because despite their problems over how they handle their characters (Spider-Man making a deal with the devil) they never really swayed away from their vision. While DC on the other have been trying for a long time to imitate Marvel and have relatable characters. Which is why they've been making them "dark", or making them "the Dark Knight". There's nothing really wrong with that, but all they're doing is imitating and not really trying. Marvel was always aware you had to take risks to make something work (killing off Gwen was good for the series, up until the movies anyways) while DC is trying to take risks by playing it way too safe.

      I fail to see the difference.While 'Manga' and 'Comic' are the same word in different languages, culturally they are different. There's a lot that separates Eastern manga and Western comics so the distinction is a valid one.

      "DC is about heroes who you look up to.
      Marvel is about heroes you can relate to."

      You stole my line!

      Here's a simple difference between Manga and Comics.
      Manga you can buy from $5-10 (Japan price converted) for 5-7 chapters in black and white. Chapters are created 1 per week/fortnight/month.
      Comic you can also buy from $US5-10 for 1 issue/chapter in colour, which are generally created monthly, at a generally (very general) higher quality art/colour.

      I prefer manga just because it's easier to follow a long story as content is created faster.

        Comics can get really confusing. It's, for me atleast, due to all the cross over stuff that is marked as canon.

      Killing off Gwen in the comics wasn't good for the series. It was done by pro-MJ writer Gerry Conway. It's famous, and "surprising" and a visual spectacle, but was not good writing and was detrimental. It's about as much of a risk and as smart as burning a house down. You can enjoy Spidey movies or games or shows without knowing who Gwen or MJ or Flash or Harry is.

    I prefer Marvel. Better heroes.
    Besides, I don't like Batman.

      Because you could technically become him, but lack the willpower to do so? (Forget about the whole limitless wealth thing :P)

      Last edited 07/05/14 11:35 am

        Nope, because I think he is a schmuck.
        Just as a comparison: Iron Man is cool, I like him - Batman, I don't like him. Both are rich guys, except one has class and the other one is Batman.

          Too true.

    If Disney buys both Spidey and X-Men, MAYYYBE I'll be tempted to vote Marvel, but that's only in a movie sense. For me, comics have to be gritty, and that's DC. However, I was just about to write that all the origin stories are whack in the Marvel universe, but then I remembered Green Lantern, and I would like to retract my statement please.

    My knowledge is very limited, I never read comics so I can only base my opinions on tv, movies and video games I've been exposed to. Batman has always been my favorite super hero, he was the first super hero I remember watching in the 80's with the old TV series, and then Burton's movie came along.

    That all said, my opinion over all is this.
    DC has better villains.
    Marvel has better super heroes.

    Last edited 07/05/14 11:37 am

    It's like Call of Duty vs Battlefield, two things that look the same from the outside but are totally different once you get to know them. You don't compare DC to Marvel you compare Marvel with Marvel and DC with DC. Spider-man or Batman is just which one you happen to like more, but Batman The Animated Series or Batman The Brave and the Bold is a legitimate analysis of each series.

    I actually only got into comics a few years ago and I jumped right into both Marvel and DC and what I found at the time and has seemed to hold true till today is that while DC has some amazing comics (personal favourite - Green Lanterns) they have absolutely no over-arching structure to their series. While with Marvel and even more so with Marvel NOW! their comics actually have structure and seem very focussed on fitting all their heroes into the same universe without creating stories that make absolutely no sense when crossed over.

    Yeah I'm like Mark. Would only be making a call based off the movies, which is really ill informed indeed. Have a feeling a lot of vocal people around this might be in the same position... have a long hard look at yourselves! *glares*

    Well I read every Marvel issue that comes out each week, so clearly I choose DC.

    Technically it's Marvel, my 3 Favourite Heroes are. Ironman, Spider-man & Batman. (Wolverine while an awesome character sort of falls out of the Hero role and more into the Protagonist role).

    At the moment I'm reading more DC, but I will say Marvel has really got their Movies sorted.

    Yay site errors, I'm posting too fast.

    Marvel, for sure.
    DC's characters have always felt old fashioned and dated to me - like they haven't quite moved past the old school caped/masked crusader thing. I found majority of Marvel's characters to feel more 'modern', I guess. More interesting/gritty - characters, powers/abilities and stories alike.

      I pretty much agree. To me DC is to Merlin as Marvel is to Lord Of The Rings.

    Marvel main line, DC vertigo line. Marvel also treats it's characters a lot better, DC seem to be happy to shit on them with every film.

    DC make heroes you can look up to, Marvel make heroes you can relate to.
    There are exceptions, of course (Captain America really feels like a DC character most of the time), but that is the general rule.

    Marvel win in terms of movies, atm.
    DC win for animated pieces (shows and films)

    That said, DC really seem to be wanting to piss off every single one of their readers with a lot of the changes they've been making since New 52 launched.

    Like, they JUST finished the darkest night / brightest day arc, their informal promise that resurrections were no more, and boom! Universe Reboot.

      That said, by far my favourite superhero setting/universe is Worm:

      Excellent balance of gritty/fantastic, with that George R R Martin-style 'Nobody is immune to death' spark. Well defined rules and limitations, and a wide cast of characters with believable personalities, motivations and flaws. Also, really cool powers.

      The best thing about it thought is that it favours versatility over raw power. Seeing what the protagonist can do with what seems like, from the outset, one of the worst power sets in the book, is half the fun.

    I'm a DC boy because the Marvel Universe bugs me. It feels like to really understand any given Marvel comic I have to be up to date with forty separate titles. With DC I can read, for instance, Snyder's Batman, Injustice, Swamp Thing and Green Arrow and never be confused by something happening. The only time I think I've been confused since the New 52 was Damian's death, but that was publicized enough that it was pretty easy to work out what was going on.

    Separately, I'd like to note that it's really irritating how often people dismiss heroes, especially Superman, for having a 'no-kill' rule, with the line 'it makes them a pussy/coward/weakling'.

    Supes doesn't kill because he understands that he is not judge, jury and executioner. He detains the threat, and leaves it to the people to decide the rest.

    Batman has a no kill rule because his mission is to change the behaviour of those that would prey on the weak/ rule by fear. You don't change behaviour by just killing the problem people. His devotion to the mission intrinsically ties him to the concept of rehabilitation.

    Both of them are well aware how much easier their lives would be if they just killed off Luther/Joker/Parasite/whoever.

      And we've seen what happens when they do cross that line. I can't remember if it was a comic, episode of a cartoon of animated film but one day Superman had enough of Luthor's bullshit and used his laser vision to lobotomise him, and then they lobotomised all the bad guys, and then they decided they needed to be in charge and then there were curfews and everything sucked.

    The only "super hero" comics I ever genuinely got into are "The Phantom", so I say neither.

    Of course, that has as much to do with The Phantom comics being $1.50 and the Marvel comics being about $5 as anything else, but I really did come to love them. His popularity in Europe and generation-spanning history meant that you experienced something very different to the pervasive American world view.

    I've tried to get into DC but
    a) I'm already spending too much on Marvel comics anyway, and
    b) DC does big huge universe reboots far too often. Just starting to like a character? Boom! The universe just got reset! The character is no more! Oh, sure, someone with the same name and costume may still be around, but the history is all different now and hey, here's an extra special issue you can buy that tells you that new history.

    Yes Marvel is capable of some really stupid retcons (for example the 4-year mess that was the Spider-Man Clone Saga) but DC is even worse.

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now