When it comes to comics and epic cinematic universes there are only two names which strike the mind. Be it superman or the suicidal suicide squad which took a limb out of the DCMU or be it the sacrifice of Tony Stark to save the only world we know. They have got us hooked, made us feel loved, associated and made us cry. They have given us strength and made us realize that even the best of us can fall. In the end, we all are humans and humans are not perfect. It is ok to be that. It is ok to accept your blemishes because that’s what makes you the person you are.
From crime-riddled streets of Gotham to the seemingly impregnable fortress of the Avengers. They have been a part of our upbringing because it not what you are inside that defines you but it is what you do which does. Their rivalry has been running from generations. People have staunch opinions and associations which opens the room up for some heated argumentation thrown around. But we are not here to tell you which one is better or which one is worse.
We are here today to celebrate the differences in these worlds. We would take you through the minutest details which define these universes. We would discuss things from all the way from the comics, Nolan’s vision of DC to Snyder’s version of it. So without wasting more words and more of your time let just dive into what makes these universes a literal universe. To keep things simple and neutral we have divided this comprehensive article into four different subparts. So let’s get started.
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Marvel vs DC: The different underlying theme
Ever since the very beginning, these two publishers have been known to display their own colors. You might not believe that after seeing Snyder’s version of DC but actually DC began showcasing what they are by introducing God-like characters in a very colorful way. The very first character to stand or more like a fly was obviously the Superman and he was all around by the characters like Aquaman, The Flash and Wonder Woman, the only human which always accompanied them was The Bat of Gotham. The only reason he was ever considered among the likes of these God-like heroes was that he was able to push his body to limits which are beyond any human could ever do.
While on the other hand, Marvel was always on the human side of things. An average Tom, dick and harry according to them could be a superhero. Characters like Peter Parker were suddenly bestowed with superpower just because of a radioactive spider but him. They had to overcome the normal day to day struggles with the struggles they had to endure when they took on the cape as the superhero they were meant to be. Also, tony stark was a jerk through and through. When he faced some adversities that’s what turned him towards the superhero business. While Bruce Banner had to deal with his alter ego aka The Hulk and he had to keep his anger in check just because of this fact. Even Thor who was actually a God, he also was banished to Earth with absolutely none of his abilities which made him a God, just to learn the lesson in humanity.
Well just like any other thing which involves the passage of time in the context, here also the lines started to become blurry. Some say that this was the only way left in which this industry could actually survive. Some feel that these two had a crossover of personnel which made these two feel similar. Either way, you still can see that they still hold their old self that is only if you look closely. On a broad inspection, you will not see them but that doesn’t mean that it still is not there. Just like this you still are bound to see the similarities between the two. This makes this entire genre so industry-defining.
DC vs Marvel: Copycat effect coming into the play
It is said that imitation is the most sincere form of flattery. If that holds true then this has to be applied in this context because believe it or not they both have too much in common. It doesn’t matter if you see them as originals, something which only the brightest and the most creative minds of today can cook but the characters which we see today are actually ripoffs of the characters which were already there in this industry. You just cannot say that either Marvel or DC copied because the truth is that they both copied from one and other and stealing ideas is something which isn’t uncommon in this industry.
There is no particular reason which could be accounted for why this amount of plagiarism exists within this industry. Some copies were just a to take a jibe at the other publisher which in any industry is not unheard of. While on the other hand some of them were just honest attempts to make money from the work which someone has already done. Some of these instances were so straightforward that readers were in awe of exactly what has happened and there were some instances which were actually more subtle and this, of course, could only be determined by someone who was reading with a fine-tooth comb. There were countless examples of this happening in the industry. elongated Man vs. Mr. Fantastic, Kingpin vs. Tobias Whale, and even Darkseid and Apokolips vs. Thanos. Are just a few to name.
Their Comic Adaptation:
This is perhaps one of the trickiest parts of them all. It really depends on who wrote the best and the most illustrated storyline. Some of them came life on the big screen which made a huge difference in a way which someone could never have thought could happen. To this day the debate continues as to which was the best and the most vibrant adaptation of them all. Well it becomes a no brainer for some people as to which one of them is actually better because hands down MCU has gained the most traction between the two but one facts which is worth noting that the MCU was only created about 10 years ago and before that to whom the victory goes is highly in the grey. We could spend days merely listing all of DC and Marvel movies, TV shows, animated series before we get down to the business of who did it better. Instead, let’s turn to the numbers.
According to Rotten Tomatoes, both publishers have their fair share of massive hits and major duds. At the end of the day, they’re in good company with each other. The average Tomatometer score for DC Comics products comes out to 67.7 percent while Marvel’s average out to 64.1 percent. (Rotten Tomatoes calculated the scores based on 130 media properties in November 2017.) The last decade may heavily favor Marvel’s MCU—especially with recent hits like Black Panther and Thor: Ragnarok. By comparison, Justice League received lackluster reviews. But let’s not forget the pedestal the Dark Knight trilogy still sits on, alongside decades of beloved screen adaptations featuring Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman. Marvel may be having its day in the cinematic sun right now, but DC has many years of great film adaptations under its utility belt.
Top comics sellers:
When you take away the creative differences, friendly jabs, and film adaptations, the DC vs. Marvel rivalry comes down to one very important question: Who sells the most comics? While comic book heroes are more popular than ever, that hasn’t translated to a boom in the number of issues moving off of comic shop shelves or even through digital retailers. In 2017, the top-selling single issue was Marvel Legacy #1, which sold just over 300,000 copies. In 1969, that would have just barely cracked into the top 10. Back then, Superman led the group by averaging over half a million in sales, and just three years prior, Batman dominated with an average of 898,000 sales per issue.
This sharp decline in sales is the result of many, many factors—enough to be worthy of a dissertation. But, to cut to the chase, they include advancements in technology, the mishandling of representation in comics (both on the page an in the office), and just a general shift in public consumption of entertainment. But it’s still interesting to watch the numbers and see what they show. For example, just four years ago, DC Comics didn’t have a single title crack the top 10, while Marvel claimed seven of the top spots. (The remainder went to smaller comics publishers.) But by 2017, DC held six of the top spots, while Marvel Comics took four.
Here’s the ranking for single-issue comics (excluding graphic novels) as of the end of 2017 according to Comichron.
- Marvel Legacy #1 (Marvel)
- Dark Nights: Metal #1 (DC)
- Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man #1 (Marvel)
- Secret Empire #0 (Marvel)
- Secret Empire #1 (Marvel)
- Dark Nights: Metal #3 (DC)
- Dark Nights: Metal #2 (DC)
- Doomsday Clock #2 (DC)
- Dark Nights: Metal #4 (DC)
- Phoenix Resurrection: The Return of Jean Grey #1 (Marvel)
After careful examination, you may be frustrated to find that there still isn’t a clear winner in this age-old rivalry between two publishing giants. When one gains the upper hand, it’s usually temporary. This is how it’s always been—and how it’ll likely be for a while.