DC vs. Marvel: which is better?
- In 1938, cartoonists Jerome Siegel and Joe Shuster sold the rights to Superman for $130 to Detective Comics (which later became known as DC Comics).
- The Microsoft font Comic Sans is based on the lettering found in DC Comics’ The Dark Knight Returns and Watchmen.
- Initially founded in 1939 under the name Timely Comics and reinventing itself in the 1950s as Atlas Magazines, Marvel Comics eventually settled on its current name in the 1960s.
- A recent GAME study revealed that the most popular comic-book superhero in the world is Spider-Man, while the most globally liked villain is Thanos.
DC is better than Marvel because of its darker setting, human-centric characters, and pioneering role in the comic book industry. DC came before Marvel, and in many ways, it deserves more praise for creating the comic book industry that we know today, which has now spawned films, video games, television shows, and much more.
DC's dark, grim setting is more enticing and attention-grabbing than the much cleaner, polished world that Marvel tends to present. Because of these attributes, the settings also feel more real. When you're reading a Batman comic, you sometimes forget that Gotham is a fictional city. It seems like so many other major urban areas we're familiar with--namely New York City and Chicago--which creates a sense of immersion that is hard to replicate with the otherworldly, 'perfect' settings often seen in Marvel comics.
The characters are also more human and accessible, further adding to the sense of immersion. DC's most important character is arguably Batman, who has no superpowers. This not only makes his story more relatable, but it also makes his achievements more impressive. Similar examples include Catwoman and Green Arrow. Even many of DC's most powerful supervillains--like Lex Luthor--are normal humans.
While Marvel is currently creating very popular films, DC also has an amazing track record of excellent projects outside of comic books. These include the original Batman television show, which was groundbreaking at the time. Additionally, the Arkham Asylum video game franchise has received some of the best reviews of any superhero video game.
With its iconic characters, such as Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman, and its pioneering innovations--such as creating the 'blueprint' for the superhero team--DC stands heads and caped shoulders above Marvel.
It may seem difficult for watchers of superhero films or longtime comic book fans to determine a clear winner in the feud between Marvel and DC. However, a study by Game.co.uk analyzed Google search results worldwide to determine people's favorite superheroes, villains, and their preferred universe and found that Marvel was the most searched universe in fifty-one out of sixty countries.
Marvel also consistently produces better films than DC, which results in higher revenue, and it also has produced more films than DC in the same amount of time—36 to DC's 20.
The root of the argument between DC and Marvel always comes down to their respective characters. While many argue that DC has better superheroes than Marvel overall, Marvel has stronger, more powerful characters, including Dr. Strange, Tony Stark, and Thor. Marvel's characters are also more relatable than DC's, as they tend to be ordinary people who overcome extraordinary circumstances, whereas DC's characters can be too extravagant to connect with. For example, Spiderman is just a young man trying to do well in school when he's bitten by a spider and takes on superpowers.
A final point that proves Marvel's superiority to DC comes not from the comics themselves but rather from their creator, Stan Lee, who was a prominent face in the comic industry. Fans were able to connect with him and loved watching him make cameos in their favorite films. With Lee's passing in 2018, he became immortalized in his comics and the movies that he helped create, which no doubt have the upper hand over anything DC could create.
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