Happy Thursday readers! Today I’m going to talk about something that has been on my mind for a while that will probably upset quite a few of you:
I think DC Comics is better than Marvel (drops the mic).
(Picks mic back up) And here’s why I believe that. First, historically DC has produced better works and storylines than Marvel. Second, DC has a better, more interesting cast of characters than Marvel. And third, looking foreword it seems like DC is going to be making better content than Marvel.
Now before I begin really making a lot of people mad by using reason and facts to defend my view, I need to give credit where credit is do. Yes, Marvel is on top right now. Yes, Marvel has, for the most part, transitioned their IPs to film better than DC. And yes, Marvel has basically singlehandedly changed the world of film and Hollywood by making superhero movies a viable genre, that can both tell an interesting story and make people money. I want to make it clear that I do actually LIKE Marvel and it’s works. I loved Guardians of the Galaxy, I think Deadpool is one of the most refreshing, original, and entertaining superheroes in existence right now, and I am super pumped to see Civil War when it comes out.
(Although, truthfully I think I’m more excited to watch elementary school kids get WAY to intense over the inevitable “Who’s Side Are You On” advertising campaign. Seriously, I totally see them going full West Side Story with this stuff. “No Mom! I can’t go to the North side of town with an Iron Man backpack! That’s Capt. America territory!”)
However, despite all of this, I like DC comics more for some very concrete and understandable reasons.
DC has been making some great content long before Marvel dominated the film industry. If you compare any of the “Best Of” lists between DC and Marvel, you are going to notice something a little strange. DC’s list contains almost entirely whole series of a particular comic’s run or one-shot graphic novels, while Marvel’s list contains a lot of specific issues of a particular series. To me this is demonstrative of DC’s ability to tell a complex and dynamic story, and not just surprise a reader by placing a heavily advertised “shocking development/twist”, which usually involves a character dying. (While I will admit that DC has done this in the past, those did not place very highly on the list and everyone in comics was killing characters in the 90s because………well the 90s kind of sucked for comics.)
Outside of comics, DC was also the first to do things like movies and TV shows well. DC comics proved in 1978 that Superheroes could be great in movies with the release of the first Superman. This was proved again in 1989 when Tim Burton released his first Batman movie. You know what Marvel films consisted of in the 70’s and 80’s? A Howard the Duck movie and a straight to video The Punisher film. Yeah, it’s safe to say that DC was the winner in this one. Also, yes, I do know that the sequels to both of the original DC comics’s movies got steadily worse, my point is that DC established that comic book characters could appear in and do well in film.
On television, DC comics has also established itself as the better of the two. Now I know Marvel fanboys are going to rage that Spiderman and the X-men have dominated superhero cartoons for years and that makes Marvel better, but they are wrong. Batman the Animated Series is far and away the best depiction of a superhero franchise on television. It was unique, beautifully used noir elements, and created an original story and new characters, rather than poorly ripping of the comics and counting on nostalgia and blind fandom to get viewers. Marvel interpreted their works for television, DC used the medium of television to tell new and compelling stories.
And in the video game industry……Batman’s Arkham games (redrops mic).
Now on to my second point, DC has better character’s than Marvel. To make this point I am going to utilize a point made by legendary Author George R. R. Martin. Martin has stated, “I am tired of this Marvel movie trope where the bad guy has the same powers as the hero”. This is a completely valid criticism of Marvel, and I think it’s fair to say that DC’s villains are much better than Marvel’s. All of Marvel’s villains are just the good guy but evil or a vague personification of something evil. Here’s a quick list of some Marvel heroes and their big nemeses.
Iron Man – Iron Monger
Hulk – Abomination andRed Hulk
Capt. America – The Winter Solider and Red Skull (who’s basically just Hitler)
Spiderman – Dr. Octopus (both are octopods)
Star Lord – Ronan (basically he’s just a terrorist. I don’t think we even really find out why he wanted to blow up Nova. Besides that he’s planet and Nova were at war.)
Fantastic Four – Dr. Doom (Okay, Doom is actually a REALLY good villain in the comics, he’s like a dictator who’s kind of a wizard and want’s to take over the world because he saw that the world gets really messed up and he thinks he’s the only one who can prevent mankind from killing itself by ruling over it. However, Marvel cancelled the comic out of spite and in all the movies he’s basically just the good guy but bad.
Ant Man – Yellow Jacket (Ant Man, but with lasers!)
So yeah, DC easily has better, more interesting villains and DC does a better job and helping the viewer see why the villain thinks that their justified. DC’s villain catalogue includes:
Superman – Lex Luthor and Brainiac
The Flash – Capt. Boomerang, Mirror Master, Capt. Cold, and Weather Wizard.
Green Lantern – Nekron (a personification of death that actually is a really clever retcon for why DC superheroes have been able to die and come back to life so many times.)
Batman – Mr. Freeze, Penguin, Scarecrow, Poison Ivy, Two Face, Bane, The Court of Owls, Harley Quinn, Ventriloquist, Clayface, Man-Bat, Hugo Strange, The Riddler Ra’s Al Ghul, Catwomen, and The Joker.
………..Actually, you know what, event the most mediocre Batman villain is better than Marvel’s best baddy.
Now for my final point, the future of each company. Marvel may be on top right now, but it’s inevitable that their rigid production schedule is going to cause them problems and their longstanding feuds witch Fox and Sony are already starting to catch up with them. DC is on the set to be on the upswing, however. The Nolan Batman movies had two good to great movies and one outstanding one (you know which are which) and while the new Superman movie did suck, the Batman v. Superman is at the very least going to make DC a crap ton of money. Suicide Squid looks like it is going to be a lot of dark fun (and is also a great use of DC’s superior villains), we’re getting a Shazam (his actual name is Capt. Marvel, long story there for another time, maybe) movie, a Wonder Woman movie, a Flash movie, a Justice League movie, an Aquaman movie, and 3 Batman movies directed by and staring Ben Affleck! If done right, I genuinely think that this lineup could over through Marvel’s cinematic universe. It seems like DC is already making some really good choices too, they successfully have me and a bunch of other people excited for an Aquaman movie. Never would have believed that a few years ago.
I can just imagine that conversation in DC/Warner Bros. executive office:
Exec. : Okay guys, we need to star competing with Marvel in the movie industry. Our best bet is to make some movies that feature some characters that are household names. Any ideas?
Writer 1: Um, let’s see. We have Batman, Superman, Wonder Women, Green Lantern, The Flash, and Aquaman.
Exec.: That sounds great. My only issue is that the public perception of Aquaman is not very good. He’s the butt of a lot of jokes right now because he’s way to aryan and campy. We need to find a way to fix that to make a decent movie starring him.
Writer 2: Well, we could make him more badass.
Exec.: Alright, how do we do that.
Writer 1: What if we cast an actor to play him who is known for being a badass and then change Aquaman so he more resembles what that actor is best known for?
Exec.: I like that idea. Now the only question is, who is the most badass character/actor in media right now?
Writer 2: …….Khal Drogo
Exec.: ……Oh my God. Go get me a phone. GO GET ME A PHONE!!!!
And the rest is history.
Alright, thanks for reading my rant. There’s no way this didn’t stir up some feelings so tell me why you agree or disagree with me in the comments down below. Also be sure to like the Facebook page and follow me on twitter, I’m @LucasDeRuyter. You can also expect a regularly scheduled blog post coming to you tomorrow. See you then, guys.