C/D: DC = Better Stories, Marvel = Better Characters

Discussion in 'DC Comics' started by Arach Knight, Oct 14, 2012.

  1. Arach Knight Abstraction of Logic

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    My long time comic book philosophy has always been that Marvel features the better characters, while DC features superior stories.

    Marvel is renowned for their relatable heroes that often struggle with real world difficulties. This arguably more humane take on super powered beings makes the characters not only (relatively) believable, but likable in the sense that their struggles, despite their gifts, make them just like the rest of us

    Despite the likability of Marvel's stable of personalities, Marvel is constantly the source of reader consternation that is unique to the House of Ideas. From the Clone Saga, to Civil War to One More Day/Brand New Day, Marvel manages to force frequent retcons, plot holes, events and editorial mandates that have angered fans and seen Marvel lose readership at a steady pace for the last five years.

    On the other side is DC Comics. Without a doubt, DC's super heroes are more than American pop culture. DC superheroes are American (and even international) icons. Born from the Great Depression and World War II, DC heroes have stood the test of time by embodying a sense of morals that we all strive for. Whether it is the farm-boy mid-west values of Superman, the sexual equality espoused by Wonder Woman, or Batman's devotion to protecting everyone from the suffering the kind of pain he experienced when he lost his parents, DC heroes represent a much higher standard than your average person.

    Because of the nature of DC's characters, the stories they are involved in tend to revolve around far more complex themes and ideologies. From a demon that loves Jesus Christ, to the handling of the rape of your good-friend's wife, to the extent to which one is allowed to use their powers for what they perceive to be good. DC has the most memorable, best selling, ethically challenging, morally challenging, socio-political pondering stories ever to grace the medium. Still, the god-like nature of DC heroes makes them an ideal to strive for rather than characters that you relate to, which creates a certain kind of distance between the reader and the characters.

    If only the two worlds were one. What do you all think about the matter?
     
  2. sandwraith The Trailblazer Awakens

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    In recent years, with Bendis at the helm Marvel has been putting out more Blockbuster-ish storylines highlighting Superhero fights we've always wanted to see. House of M, Civil War, Secret Invasion, Siege...They're pretty decent art and action wise. AvX is their most recent outing and from some of the feedback I've heard...falls a little flat.

    DC has been putting out some...Interesting stories in recent years, big publicity but weak delivery and effect. Final Crisis in so many ways made me doubt if DC could ever pull off as big an event as they wanted to. Blackest Night was pretty decent story-wise and beautifully illustrated but the fallout from it was rather...meh. Flashpoint was very good in my opinion but maybe its because I do have a soft spot for Barry Allen and a Flash-related Comic event where the Flash saves the day is a breathe of fresh air from the usual Superman-finale.

    All in all, I think both have their merits. DC has always tried to fancy themselves "The Original Comic Universe" and have tried to maintain their Silver Age outlook on things while Marvel has no qualms about morphing their characters and their stories to fit the times.
     
  3. RoughNTumble i m not desperate

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    dc has better stories and better characters tbqh

    call me when marvel has a

    watchmen
    dkr
    all-star superman
    sandman
    etc.

    they are the original and still the best

    now if we get can just get out of the f**ing nineties (90's)
     
  4. Arach Knight Abstraction of Logic

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    While I agree that Brian Bendis is the Geoff Johns of Marvel, I can't say that he has had the same impact on the entire line that Johns has had. Johns made the Green Lantern an A-List character once again, as well as the Flash. Most of his event work has been a huge success. Bendis has an amazing run on Daredevil, but it is more of something that is critically acclaimed rather than something that brought a B-List character up the ranks. Also, Marvel's events pretty much involve the same theme; superheroes fighting other superheroes. What's worse is that Marvel rarely allows their own events to have a lasting impact. They retcon everything too quickly. And then retcon their retcons.

    I'm a huge Marvel fan. Spidey will always be my favorite hero, but I can't say I agree when it comes to the thought that Marvel has amazing stories. The last good event I read from Marvel was Age of Apocalypse...and before that, it was the Dark Phoenix Saga. Phalanx Wars, Clone Saga, Fatal Attractions, Onslaught, Heroes Reborn...so much meh.
     
  5. KevanG Pragmatic Villain

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    I find DC has more epic (Grander not so much better) stories than Marvel has. Personally I like Marvel characters better as they have normal flaws and can be total jackasses to everybody but in the end try to be better.

    I like the Marvel stories better than DC. I just find that DC does too much and crams everybody they can think of all the time in the books. I still don't find Death of Superman or Blackest night to be very good but I love Secret war and the Infinity gauntlet.

    They've both had terrible storylines and massive retcons out the wazoo, Whatever they've done to bring Barry Allen back and destroy Wally not to mention that trial they had for him before the COIE, One More Day, final crisis, Clone saga among many others.

    All in all I find Marvel is more down to earth, even the villains are more likeable. Thanos is just ****ing awesome. Even as a Darkseid clone he's come into his own and is amazing in everything he does now. As opposed to Sinestro or Lex Luthor who I find to be rather flat characters.

    I loved 52 though. It was flatout great. All the interconnecting storylines, the question and Black adam storylines were my favorite.
     
  6. The Question Objectivism doesn't work.

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    It seems like a really silly false dichotomy to me. Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Lex Luthor, The Joker, all of the Robins, Deathstroke, Wally West, Kyle Rayner, Alan Scott, Jay Garrick, Ted Grant, Jack Knight, Morpheus, Wesley Dodds, all fantastic characters and just to name a few. The Dark Phoenix saga, Infinity Gauntlet, The Death of Captain Marvel, Days of Future Past, Daredevil: Born Again, The Death of Gwen Stacy, Demon in a Bottle, Marvels, all great stories just to name a few.

    I've found that DC has just as much retcon-y ******** that fans have problems with as Marvel does. Hell, the whole new 52 is basically that. So saying Marvel has more of that, I just don't see it.

    The idea that "DC has the most memorable, best selling, ethically challenging, morally challenging, socio-political pondering stories ever to grace the medium," again, don't see it. I mean, DC does have all of those qualities, it absolutely does, but Marvel has them just as much. The best of the X-Men alone covers an enormous amount of "ethically challenging, morally challenging, socio-political pondering" material, as well as the best of most of the mainstay Marvel characters.

    And finally the idea that DC characters are more god like and less relatable, that just rings completely untrue to me. I mean, maybe it was the case at one point, way back in the 50s, but these days DC has just as much pathos and humanity, and conversely Marvel has amped up the spectacle and mythology and symbolism, because both work hand in hand to make super hero stories great, and contrary to popular belief they are not mutually exclusive. Really, you need both to tell big stories about simple ideas of what it means to be a good person.

    Or, to be more brief, I counter the idea that DC heroes are more god like and less relatable with this:

    [​IMG]

    God like and unrelatable. Sure.



    The differences between DC and Marvel are, at this point, superficial. Setting choices and repeating motifs, mostly visual ones. They've both got a lot of heart, they've both got real, human, engaging characters, and they're both chock full of big ideas and mean a whole lot more than what they literally mean.

    I find this desire some people have to define differences between the two to be very silly. They've got more in common than not, and they have the most important thing in common of all.

    They're both great.
     
  7. The Question Objectivism doesn't work.

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    Now the differences between the business decisions of the two companies, those are significant and pretty interesting.

    Like, someone above mentioned that Marvel has nothing on DC because it doesn't have books like Watchmen, The Dark Knight Returns, All-Star Superman, or Sandman. Well, as far as the middle two go I think Marvel has plenty of stories that match up in terms of quality. But with Watchmen and Sandman, there's a solid point there. DC has, since the 80s, been much more willing to try out and very seriously promote out-of-continuity and/or non-superhero stories done by serious talent in the industry. Marvel, on the other hand, is very gun shy about anything not taking place in some version of the Marvel Universe and has only very rarely put much time or energy into such endeavors, and I do think that is a shame.
     
  8. Anubis Sup?

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    That's pretty much what I was gonna say, though I woulda went with something a little less eloquent like "this whole line of thinking is a buncha boos**t and you mofo's don't know wtf you're talking about with your this or that mentality." Or whatevs. :o
     
  9. Mee 2 E's are better than 1

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    I think recently Marvel has had the better stories actually. At least in terms of iconic runs on a book.

    Bendis/Maleev Daredevil
    Mark Waid Daredevil
    Whedon/Cassaday Astonishing X-Men
    Brubaker Captain America


    The only thing DC has had close to that quality has been Morrison's Batman/B&R/Inc stuff, and even that isn't as consistently good.


    Marvel blows DC away in the art department as well.
     
  10. Anubis Sup?

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    No they don't. They got the same GD artists that go back and forth between the two.
     
  11. WompuM Esquire

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    Saying either company has better characters or better stories is entirely subjective. They're the same damn product. For every Superman, there's a Captain America. For every Kingdom Come, there's a Marvels.
     
  12. Cain Gentlebane

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    I agree with most of this except that I don't think they're both great. Not anymore. Truth be told I've always been more of a DC guy but I also bought about as much Marvel titles once upon a time. Leading up to and since Civil War though I only buy a handful of Marvel titles at most.

    A lot of their current "architects" have approaches that just don't appeal to me in anyway. A lot of those books feel like a chore to read and I can't force myself to bear with it just because I like the characters. I feel the same way about Marvel's movies. So I'm pretty much not even close to being as big a fan of that company as I was say 10 years ago. Matter of fact I could go the rest of my life without reading a new Marvel book or seeing a new movie from their film division and it won't bother me none.

    With DC I do still read quite a few but I honestly find the animated Young Justice universe more appealing than The New 52 since it's an interesting remix of the DCU that I grew up with. But you're right at this point they're both pretty interchangeable in terms of tropes unlike the silver age. People who try to claim otherwise kind of show their ignorance in trying to prove it because it's a dichotomy that isn't even present anymore.
     
  13. The Question Objectivism doesn't work.

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    I was talking about the universes and the catalogue of stories as a whole. The current business practices of both companies, which with a few exception are ass, is another matter.
     
  14. webhead921 Registered

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    I like DC's event books a lot more than I like Marvel's events. Most of Marvel's events are sort of crap. I really enjoyed Blackest Night and Final Crisis. However, outside of events, I find myself enjoying more books from Marvel. My favorite titles of the past decade Ultimate Spider-man, Captain America, the Immortal Iron Fist, Daredevil, Invincible Iron Man, New X-men, Astonishing X-men, Fantastic Four, and Secret Avengers. The only DC stuff that has held my interest long term is Green Lantern and Morrison's Batman books. I really love Superman as a character, but I have had no interest in any Superman book in the past decade or so other than All-Star Superman.
     
  15. Arach Knight Abstraction of Logic

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    An Alex Ross painting doesn't really demonstrate the humble nature of these characters. I am far from alone in the belief that DC's heroes border on being gods. Joss Whedon himself noted the difficulty of translating characters aside from Batman to film, simply because DC heroes are too powerful and beyond the average person.

    Asked by Maxim why DC Comics was having a hard time turning its superheroes into movies, he said: "Because, with that one big exception (Batman), DC's heroes are from a different era. They're from the era when they were creating gods.

    "And the thing that made [rival publisher] Marvel Comics extraordinary was that they created people. Their characters didn't living in mythical cities, they lived in New York. They absolutely were a part of the world. Peter Parker's character (Spider-Man) was a tortured adolescent.

    "DC's characters, like Wonder Woman and Superman and Green Lantern, were all very much removed from humanity. Batman was the only character they had who was so rooted in pain, that had that same gift that the Marvel characters had, which was that gift of humanity that we can relate to."


    http://blogs.coventrytelegraph.net/thegeekfiles/2009/02/joss-whedon-why-its-so-hard-ge.html

    Over at Comicvine, a similar debate errupted over the same issue.

    http://www.comicvine.com/dc-comics/...like-for-their-own-good-super-gods/92-548251/

    Even Grant Morrison himself has compared the Justice League to a pantheon of gods. The argument has existed long before I brought it up.
     
  16. The Question Objectivism doesn't work.

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    I didn't say that you were alone in making this argument or that this argument was a new thing. I said that this argument was wrong.

    Yeah, way back when, DC characters were god like and unrelatable. But a lot has changed since the 50s. That's really not the case anymore.
     
  17. Arach Knight Abstraction of Logic

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    The fact that Superman was nerfed by Byrne in the 80s and repowered to near pre-Crisis levels by 2011 makes you think that the character is no longer god-like? The Flash's "infinite mass punch", ability to vobrate through matter and time travel/dimension hop doesn't make you think that Flash may just be a wee bit too powerful for a guy whose lone power is supposed to be speed? Martian Manhunter is essentially Superman woth an aversion to fire rather than kryptonite, and Green Lantern can create anything and do anything he puts his mind to. Or how about the fact that Aquaman, even without the magic hand, is as powerful as post-COIE Supes (which os still very powerful).

    I do agree woth ypu however that Marvel has been crossing over into the fantastic. Omega level mutants and waaaaaaaaay too many reality warpers are popping up in the 616. So it is becoming a problem in Arvel, but has been and continues to be a problem for DC.
     
  18. Spider-Nerd Bring on the pressure

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    Marvel has spider-man and peter parker could beat superman in a fight. He'd just make a deal with the devil to win. :o
     
  19. Mee 2 E's are better than 1

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    Nah, Marvel consistently has better and more original artists than DC. And not all of them go back and forth. :huh: But obviously art is super subjective, depending on what style(s) appeal to you.


    I'd take the Marvel lineup of people like Maleev, Rivera, McNiven, Samnee, Romita Jr, Aja, Cassaday etc

    over DC'S

    Jim Lee, Ed Benes, Ivan Reis, Van Sciver, Tony Daniel, Rags


    every time.



    And I'm not saying that all of Marvel's artists are good, or that all of DC's are bad. DC does have some greats like Manupal and JHIII, but overall Marvel has more good/great ones.
     
  20. Arach Knight Abstraction of Logic

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    Ed Benes (and his sister) and Jim Lee are legends. Romita Jr. is as well...but he isn't enough to compare to Benes and Lee. I'd take them over the entire stable of Marvel artists, both ones that are primarily Marvel and ones that swap back and forth. While on the subject, there are artists that do work for both publishers; Terry Dodson, Ed McGuiness, Humberto Ramos, Tim Sale, Alex Ross etc.

    Though, to be honest, I prefer when certain creators and creative teams work with certain companies. Jeph Loeb, wrote way better stories while at DC. Ed McGuiness, much better drawing Marvel characters like Hulk, than he is at drawing characters like Superman.
     
  21. The_Shadow Registered

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    They have a Sandman

    I agree with the OP
     
  22. Arach Knight Abstraction of Logic

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    I believe he means the actual Neil Gaiman series and not just the character, unless you have a story in mind that parallels Sandman.
     
  23. sandwraith The Trailblazer Awakens

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    From what I've been told, DC doesn't take many chances with new artists, preferring more streamlined pencil work from artists like Neal Adams, Jim Aparo, Phil Jimenez, George Perez, Nicola Scott (who is a great personality in person) and so on. You might see a trend there. This has however changed with the dawning of the New 52 where DC has superseded the classic house look with a fusion of their old style and the Wildstorm-Jim Lee style.

    Marvel on the other hand actually does take give newer artists chances at core titles. The touted Young Guns of Marvel being a pretty good example.
     
  24. Mee 2 E's are better than 1

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    Ed Benes is no legend. :huh:


    He's just another Jim Lee knock-off. He can draw some nice pin-ups sure, but his storytelling is waaaaaaay short of legendary.


    And I realize there are plenty of artists that cross over, that's why I tried to list artists who have pretty much stuck with one company in recent years. Though Cassaday did Planetary and Superman covers for DC.
     
  25. Arach Knight Abstraction of Logic

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    I am speaking merely in terms of the quality of the line work. If we are talking artists that are excellent when it comes to decompressing sequences and truly mastering sequential art...I'd have to give that nod to John Byrne and Jack Kirby. Especially Kirby, because Stan Lee only ever gave him plots. That would be hard as hell to deal with when it comes to sequential storytelling.
     

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