The Marvel versus DC battle, which began as an innocent childhood debate has now turned into a full-blown war. Endless bickering between the Marvel and DC fans on social media has becom a regular phenomenon. No matter which side you belong to, it is a fact that each one of them two have their own strength. Let’s check how this rivalry actually started.
Marvel vs. DC: A Quick Look at the History at How the Rivalry Developed
– Rivalry between these two comic-book powerhouses started with the petty arguments between two writers, blaming one another for copying characters.
– Historically speaking, the credit for inventing superheroes goes to DC Comics (a subsidiary of Warner Bros). They introduced the first ever superhero – the Superman, back in 1930s. Just after the launch of Superman, Marvel came up with their superhero – the Human Torch.
– This rivalry between Marvel and DC became a full-blown war when American comic book writer Stan Lee was assigned the task to create a team of comic characters that can compete with the increasing success of DC’s Justice League. That’s when Stan Lee in collaboration with Jack Kirby created Fantastic Four in response to DC Comics.
– The comic book rivalry between the two powerhouses expanded to the world of television and movies. It was DC who made headway on the silverscreen when they brought the superheroes out of the comic books. They released Richard Donner’s Superman series and Tim Burton’s Batman on the silverscreen. Marvel made their entry in 2000 with their box-office blockbuster Spider-Man.
– DC won the battle momentarily when Heath Ledger won Oscar for his role as Joker in the Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy. Marvel geared up their silverscreen presence. They began making movies on almost every comic book character they had in their kitty. They tasted real success with The Avengers.
The rivalry between these two powerhouses and their fans continue to rage on. The only difference is that the battlefield has now shifted from comic book stores to theaters.
Marvel vs. DC: Who is the Winner?
There is no clear winner among the two. Marvel does seem to take the lead now, but DC has its own strengths. Let’s have a cursory look at the parameters where Marvel and DC won.
Marvel is definitely the winner in the following parameters:
1. Better audience reviews – A recent study by ZappiStore found (by analyzing audience’s facial expressions) that the Marvel movies are more emotionally engaging and that’s why are bigger box-office successes.
2. Committed actors – Marvel casts actors more successfully to represent its characters, making audience relate specific actors with characters. Few such examples are Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark, Chris Hemsworth as Thor, and many more. You can’t think these characters on-screen without these actors.
3. Crossovers – Marvel has successfully expanded the cinematic universe by bringing different characters (heroes and villains) together to form new friendships and bitter rivalries.
4. More number of interesting characters – Marvel is telling more heroic tales by bringing more characters on silver screen. Some of the successful franchises of Marvel include Iron Man, Guardians of the Galaxy, Thor, Ant-Man, Captain America, and Doctor Strange. They have planned to release films on Black Widow, Black Panther sequel, and Blade reboot by 2022.
5. Humor – Marvel doesn’t shy away from including humor in their superhero flicks. While DC is often criticized for being too dark, Marvel offers audience with all kinds of emotions including laughter. It enhances overall joy of the audience. Marvel never shies away from showing the goofy antics, such as in Ant-Man and Deadpool.
Now, let’s have a look at the strengths of DC Comics:
1. Animated universe is extremely successful – Unlike cinematic blunders, the animated world of DC is extremely successful. Whether it is Batman, Justice League or JLU, the animated world of DC Comics is way ahead of Marvel.
2. Television universe is ever expanding – Just like the animated universe, DC Comics’ television presence is more robust than that of Marvel. DC understands that developing background of a character is important in narrating a story successfully. Some of the successful television series of DC are Gotham, Supergirl, The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow, Batwoman, and many more.
3. More progressive in embracing female characters – DC has been successful in launching films having female leads with superhero capabilities. Some of them are Birds of Prey, Batgirl, and Batwoman.
4. Better in handing over heroes’ legacies in the hands of other people – DC successfully hands over legacy of a hero to other people. Batman has handed over the legacy to Robin. In fact, they have created the Bat-Family and teamed them up with Justice League to ensure that the pursuit for justice is always upheld. Likewise, they have created Young Justice group to carry on the legacy of Justice League.
5. Villains are more ruthless and give heroes tough time – Most of the villains in the DC franchise are more ruthless and are overwhelmingly better than that of Marvel. The example of Joker is enough to say what I mean. It is the DC Comics that portrays the real world phenomenon where villains are as capable as the heroes, making it a tougher for the good guys to win.
Both Marvel and DC Comics have their own strengths and weaknesses. It is not possible to declare one of them to be the winner. The rivalry between the two will be always there. Though Stan Lee has passed away at the age of 95 years but the legacy will live on. If you think that Marvel will let DC win the battle, you are wrong. It is this rivalry that makes the comic world that more interesting. We, the fans of the comic world, believe this rivalry to last eternity.