Marvel Vs DC Round 2
When I wrote the first installment of this series I placed Marvel in front largely from a sales stand point as they had clearly outsold DC. This second article won’t focus on the accountant’s viewpoint of the two companies but rather that of a fan’s.
As long as I can recall I’ve enjoyed Marvel more than DC. Their characters have always felt a bit more realistic and relatable. My favorite Marvel group was the X-Men, who I watched regularly on Saturday Mornings. As I grew up I soon got the excitement of seeing the X-Men become the subject of their own movies. Then I moved onto new comic heroes I liked. Iron Man became my new favorite and I was even luckier to see him translated onto the big screen. Then came the true age of Marvel Domination as their movies slowly became a brand all their own. Now I believe my time as a mostly Marvel fan may be ending.
I liked Batman longer than anything with a Marvel logo thanks to the early 90s Batman: The Animated Series. (As you can see the early 90s were a great time for cartoons. They didn’t speak down to kids and were fairly true to the comics they were based on). As I grew I went through a phase where Batman faded into the background. Maybe I just joined most Bat-Fans in the long hibernation after 1998’s Batman and Robin. Then in 2005 Batman Begins brought the cape back into my life. Nolan’s trilogy revitalized my ember of DC interest but I still couldn’t find a way to get into their comics.
Fast forward to this past Wednesday when I adjusted my comic book pull list. I now am following Justice League, Batman and Constantine to name a few. While my Marvel pull list is down to only Secret Wars. Why, you ask? Marvel has started to enact a sort of forced synergy between their movie brand and their comic’s brand. It’s largely apparent in their advertising and story arcs. It wasn’t very shocking when the Avengers beat the X-Men in AvX (Avengers Vs X-Men) but what did make me scratch my head was the decision to make the perennial X-Man: Cyclops (my favorite character) into a bad guy. Since then the X-Men books have continued down a dark path that seems to be leading to almost certain oblivion. The rumor mill seems to point to the fact that Marvel can’t make as much money off promoting the X-Men since 20th Century Fox owns their movie rights but as a result the Marvel Comics Brand has been tainted to the point of virtual unreadability. Couple that with the fact that my favorite Marvel creators have either jumped ship to DC or been largely marginalized by other writers I don’t enjoy as much and you begin to see why I’m changing allegiances.
DC is of course not just gaining my favor because I’m leaving Marvel. On the contrary they are starting to do a lot of things extremely right. Their bold move to reboot their comics line made it extremely easy to jump into the universe of the New 52. Many people complain that DC keeps their brand too compartmentalized, (Not having the show Flash or Green Arrow interact with the movie Justice League) but it really is a positive for them in their comic books when they aren’t bound by promoting their next movie or show as much as by telling good stories. As a result their best creators rise to the top. James Tyrion IV is a relatively new talent whose done some cool Batman stand ins but since he tells good stories DC has intelligently tasked him with Constantine, which had a fantastic first issue! They also continue to allow Scott Snyder to do amazing things with the previously mentioned Batman. Add their willingness to allow Geoff Johns to write huge stories, Darkseid War, and you have a recipe for deliciousness.
So this round definitely goes to DC. Although Marvel’s Secret Wars is fantastic so far, their bizarre policy to change everyone’s gender, age or ethnicity combined with their focus on building their movie brand over telling good stories is killing them. That said I’m not writing off Marvel by any means. This article series is ongoing for a reason. Who knows what they might do down the line that will pull me back in.
Although we’re not the only people discussing the Marvel Vs DC scenario.