Marvel > DC
Ok, I know that without DC, Marvel may not exist today. It’s not a chicken before the egg debate. DC came first, but first is not always best. In fact, without Marvel, DC may have gone under many years ago. It’s been a wonderful rivalry and relationship over the years.
I want to be clear: Even though I think Marvel is better than DC, I still like DC. I never understood why someone would love one and hate the other. Why can’t we like both? I do. I just like one more than the other, that’s all.
Why do I like Marvel best? Where do I start? In almost all comics, you have to be able to “buy into” certain ideas, like the fact that some people have supernatural abilities. It is not a fact, it’s fiction, but you have to go along with certain principles of the story. Otherwise you may find that the story is too farfetched. It’s like Agent Smith said in the Matrix “…the first Matrix was designed to be a perfect human world… No one would accept the program. …human beings define their reality through suffering and misery…” If you can relate to the subject matter, then you will enjoy the story more.
Superman… He is an alien from the planet Krypton. He lives in the great city of “Metropolis.” He is super strong, super fast, super smart, he has X-ray vision, super smell, super memory, heat rays shoot from his eyes, he breathes cold breath and strong winds, has invulnerability, super hearing, and he can fly… I remember as a child thinking “that’s a bit much” and not really buying it. Then, this all-powerful alien is stopped by a man with no powers that is holding a green rock. Really?! For many years DC ruled on the wide-eyed wonderment from fans that enjoyed the simple stories. Luckily, they evolved with the times and followed Marvel’s lead by writing more realistic and dirty story lines.
DC comics take place in a fictional world. Made up buildings in made up cities like Metropolis, Gotham, and Star City. Marvel comics take place here in New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles. You can flip through the pages and say “See where Spider-Man is standing? I’ve been there!” Even though he doesn’t exist, his city does. His troubles exist too. Peter Parker is a guy you could relate to. High school, feelings for girls, the everyday droll and mundane. Spider-Man was the character Peter dressed up as to protect people. That’s the biggest difference I guess. I always felt like Superman was trying to hide and put on his mask as Clark Kent, the phony. It’s not easy to relate to the Alien pretending to be a regular guy, or a billionaire playboy going out at night dressed as a bat. It’s a lot easier to relate to the high school kid that got bit by a spider, or a nerdy guy that got hit with gamma radiation and now when he gets angry he becomes the Hulk.
Stan Lee and Jack Kirby are legends. With the amazing Steve Ditko, they propelled Marvel to be the best selling comic brand in the world. They invented so many of the classic Marvel heroes: The Avengers (including The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man, and Thor) Daredevil, The Fantastic Four, Spider-Man, Dr. Strange, and most importantly to me, the mother-freaking Xmen!!
As editor-in-chief of Marvel, Stan Lee broke away from the normal way (DC’s way) of comic writing where the squeaky clean good guys win and the dirty bad guys lose, and brought real controversy to the genre. He allowed the heroes of his stories to be darker and the bad guys seemed justified sometimes in their crimes. The world was no longer Black and White, but now shades of Gray.
Stan Lee successfully took on the overbearing and outdated Comics Code Authority over a story-line in Spider-Man about overcoming drug addiction. He pioneered the new industry standard for what was acceptable material to put into comics.
Stan Lee also had a soft spot in his heart for putting smart, beautiful Redheads into his comics. Having a smart, beautiful Redheaded wife myself, I can’t complain.
I’m not trying to say that you should read Marvel and not DC, read them both, and the many other companies out there printing fantastic material. I’m saying that if I had to choose one over the other, it’s not even close.
Marvel = realistic people, in a real world, forced into extraordinary circumstances
DC = extraordinary people, in a fake world, forced into ordinary circumstances
Marvel > DC