Whilst there are quite a few comics publishers, two lead the market by a considerable distance. These are of course DC Comics and Marvel. I get the impression most people are fans of one rather than the other, though I dabble in both. So which is better? Well I shall endeavour to find out by looking at a number of different areas. This post will focus on the companies right now as opposed to different points in their history.
DC: DC has the hugely popular Batman and Superman as well as Wonder Woman, Green Lantern and The Flash.
Marvel: Their most famous character is Spider-Man but of course they’ve got Iron Man, Captain America, Hulk, Thor, the Fantastic Four and the X-Men.
Which is better?: This is all a question of taste, as much of this feature will of course will be. I think that DC’s characters tend to have more original/cooler powers but Marvel have much better alter-egos to their characters. Most of DC’s alter-egos are pretty generic but Marvel manages a wide range of characters (think of Tony Stark, Steve Rogers, Peter Parker etc).
Same Character, Different Comics
It’s usually seen as a bit of a money-grabber to have different titles with the same characters as their focus, so which of these is worse for it.
DC: DC has multiple titles for several different Batman titles and two Superman ones but that’s about it.
Marvel: There are several Spider-Man titles and loads of X-Men and Avengers titles going on at the moment. Then there’s the Ultimates comics which see largely the same characters in a different universe.
Which is better?: DC, by miles. Marvel seem to sense a title is popular and keep reproducing it.
DC: The Dark Knight trilogy was of course pretty fantastic but there’s not been a lot else in recent years. Green Lantern was pretty average and no-one’s really that sure how good the upcoming Superman movie Man of Steel will be.
Marvel: There’s the Avengers movies, which with the exception of the Hulk one were all pretty good. There’s also the ones Fox owns the rights too, such as The Amazing Spider-Man and the various X-Men films.
Which is better?: Marvel win this by a long way at the moment. The Avengers films have been so good and show no time of stopping anytime soon. It might change in a few years if DC do manage to pull off a decent Justice League movies but I haven’t much hope for that.
DC: At the moment DC have been doing some great crossovers and last year’s Flashpoint event was pretty damn good. The next big one is Trinity War which looks like it could be pretty decent.
Marvel: Often Marvel’s events seem to consist of their characters having a big fight. We’ve had Schism and AvX recently.
Which is better?: Tie. DC tend to have more inventive events but then Marvel clearly know what their audience want: AvX sold incredibly well.
DC: DC are now a year into their rebooted universe where they rebooted literally every character. Whilst it’s always given as controversial to fans, the New 52 have sold pretty well. It was great for me as a new comics fan to start with a new universe but must have been very infuriating for long-term fans of a certain series.
Marvel: This Autumn sees the start of Marvel NOW, which is definitely not a reboot. At least that’s what Marvel say but considering they’re re-launching all the Avengers/X-Men titles as well as most of their other titles including Deadpool and Spider-Man (announced this morning) from issue #1. Sounds like a reboot to me.
Which is better?: Difficult to say. DC’s reboot was unpopular but it worked and boosted their sales. Marvel seem to be following suit but are denying that it is in fact a reboot. The difference is that DC erased their characters backstories in many titles and it seems Marvel aren’t going to do that. I would have said Marvel this time but when I heard this morning that they are ending Amazing Spider-Man on issue #700 I was furious so they are about equal I suppose.
What, you expected a define answer? Whilst both publishers have their areas of strength they have weakness in another so it’s too close to call. I happily follow titles from both and you should too if you are a comics fan!
Let me know your thoughts on the two publishers! Which do you think is better? Let me know with a comment!