What’s the difference: DC vs. Marvel Comics?

What’s the difference: DC vs. Marvel Comics?

The Difference Ain’t What It Used to Be

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The Answer-Man is feeling nostalgic

So we are going to dust off a perennial chestnut.

  • Taking an old one out of the archive which gets asked regularly enough I will dub this one the “2014 Edition of DC vs Marvel” version of this question.
  • We won’t go into the recent Secret Wars, Civil War II and Rebirth shenanigans. I will just do MY overall opinion of the companies.
  • We are also going to avoid naming names or talking about people engaged in questionable circumstances — See DC Comics. Let’s consider this a “within-the-universe specific analysis”.

The discussion of the difference between the philosophy of DC ’ s comic creations and Marvel ’ s international relations and security network ’ t about a wide-eyed as it once was. The main difference was in the early approaches to the characters and their perspectives. unfortunately, both mythologies have become a sting tarnish and it is more about a profit motif than maintaining their previous ideologies. Since most of the previous creators of those mythologies have died or choose to remain silent, the two groups appear more and more alike as new talents and leaderships take over how the characters, look, behavior and think.

I will be looking at them more historically ( as a long-time subscriber ) than as a mod amusing consumer who may not see any appreciable dispute between the two groups. ( And they wouldn ’ thyroxine be wrong… )0*Aq3iiJkVk9gqQShp

The DC Way

1*6s0hRVLM6TUwDgM4b98 8w N ational Allied Publications, the original company which would finally become DC Comics started its hero-making defining its heroes as mythic beings who worked as paragons of Humanity, literally the best of what a man could be. Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman were all paragons of virtue ; intensity, will-power or personal fortitude .

  • Looking at DC, their heroic templates seemed both brighter and more idealistic than Marvel’s, possibly because of their origins in times (World War II) that were in desperate need for humor and light.
  • DC would go so far as to tell outright silly stories during the 50s and 60s, with no need or apparent desire for continuity. It allowed them to create stories not connected to each other, keeping them lighter in tone (and in some cases, really bizarre.)
  • The companies DC would purchase during Golden and Silver Ages would have similar thematic characteristics. In some cases, they were little more than copies of the core characters of the DC Universe. Characters such as Captain Marvel/Shazam, Captain Atom, were almost direct copies of DC’s core character Superman. (Insert lawsuits here…there were many of them.)

1*c0rZ ZvEeGGFC8oWBNyo wI loved the Freedom Fighters growing up. There just weren’t enough good stories about them to be found when I was a kid.

  • Some of the more notable additions included the eclectic Charleston characters of Blue Beetle, The Question, and Shade the Changing Man. My favorites include the Quality Comics, Freedom Fighters who though I saw them too infrequently, I loved them. DC was an excellent judge of characters which fit their overall motif, even if they were less than excellent in the successful deployment of those characters.
  • DC’s Batman shows the indomitable spirit of Man, Wonder Woman shows that peace is desirable but may often have to be fought for. Superman shows the innate goodness of hard work, moderation in all things, restraint and humility even when blessed with phenomenal power. He is a god aspiring for humanity.


  • Their heroes covered every elemental region and often replicated gods of myth. Aquaman (Posidon), the Flash (Hermes), the Martian Manhunter (Proteus), each of these heroes had mythic counterparts though you may not recognize them immediately.
  • Even their non-powered heroes were legendary in their abilities, e.g. Green Arrow or Batman both physical specimens whose skills allowed them to hang with the gods as legendary heroes like Hercules and Perseus.


  • Many of DC’s heroes can be likened unto gods who have come to Earth (in some cases literally e.g. Superman, who doubles as the Christ or Moses metaphors).
  • DC’s heroes exist to be the exemplars of how great humanity can be when we work together toward common goals and their heroes promote the future of Humanity.
  • This same mythic nature works against DC when they try to create new heroes who are not as mythic and this may explain why most of their new creations simply never gain the ground their iconic originals did.

I have mentioned this in a number of articles already sol I won ’ metric ton beat this horse any more here. When you have the time, check them out here :0*zD9D7UP5pTNNAPtt

The Marvel Way

1*fFlEBlKsgYL2hL0TOcs73A T imely Publications, the company that would one day become Marvel Comics, set about to hero-making was reasonably different. Where DC showed gods in men ’ sulfur invest, Marvel wanted to elevate Men ( and Women ) to a god-like stature. Frail mortals such as Peter Parker and Dr. Banner were suddenly endowed with god-like capacities but with all-too human frailties. Anger, rage, nonchalance, contempt, deadly weaknesses which gave Marvel ’ mho heroes a more human, more apprehensible every-man quality .

  • Marvel tried to create very mortal beings who often acquired superheroic capacities, the Fantastic Four being the perfect example. Astronauts, scientists, pilots, stuntmen the F.F. were already some of the best at what they did, so when they were bathed in the cosmic storm which gives them their powers, they simply experienced an apotheosis, an extending of their heroic status into a god-like state.
  • Marvel further expounds on that god-like state when they have the Mighty Thor (who is believed to be a god) come to Earth to battle the Fantastic Four early in their career.


  • Though the Fantastic Four are defeated, Thor admits they were far more than mere mortals. This is the evolution of most of Marvel’s early character designs, including Daredevil (enhanced senses liked to extraordinary fighting capacity), Luke Cage (superhuman strength and steel hard skin) and Doctor Strange (accomplished surgeon turned Sorcerer Supreme).
  • Marvel’s later heroes were often victims of tragedy or exploitation and were attempting to retake control of their lives. Hawkeye, The Black Widow, The Punisher and Moon Knight are four such human heroes whose lives were filled with both violence and loss.


  • Each tries to cope with their loss in different ways. Hawkeye hides his emotional trauma under a brash bravado, Natasha Romanov, spy, trained from childhood, was detached from humanity only found herself again as part of the Avengers.
  • The Punisher launches a crusade against the criminal underworld bring him against heroes and the villains he engages. And Moon Knight? He started his career as a schizophrenic soldier for hire who was later possessed by a sliver of a divine avatar. Marvel experimented with the darker parts of Humanity long before DC considered it a worthy avenue of storytelling.
  • Marvel also played with the other half of the human equation, the desire for normality. For those beings who were born with capacities that made them more than Human, Humanity is cruel and unforgiving. Two examples of groups seeking acceptance and never finding it are the Inhumans and the mutant (also known as Homo Superior).

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  • The Inhumans, subjects of experimentation from millennia ago, each member was different on the outside than any other member, but they were a warm and loving people (for the most part) extraordinary beings simply wanting what ordinary people wanted, acceptance and respect.


  • The X-men and other mutants blessed with superhuman abilities were not revered but reviled, by humanity who feared this embedded potential for change right within their very DNA. Marvel also paid homage to the self-made men such as Hank Pym and Tony Stark whose genius allowed them to supersede their humanity using technology.

0* hJ7rUa Bt3H0RA Marvel ’ s most iconic heroes have been systematically able to be related to by a across-the-board audience because their primary issues are very human, seasoned with a superhuman sauce .

  • Tony Stark has translated well to the silver screen as a wise-cracking, know-it-all, ever so technically smart and yet in some ways so socially inept.
  • Spider-Man for all of his ability still is a young man trying to find himself and adjust to the idea of great power and its inherent responsibility.
  • The Hulk: a brilliant and mentally tortured scientist, one of the greatest minds of his age, houses within a monster, triggered by that all to common emotion, anger. Unstoppable, uncontrollable, Dr. Banner was the lynchpin of pathos, of men made gods and burned by the fire of their apotheosis.

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Despite their differences, both companies have successfully managed to tread the ground where most humans find themselves need guidance and looking to mythology to find the answers .

  • What do I do when I find myself in a position of power and authority?
  • How do I conduct myself?
  • How do I lead effectively?
  • How do I set a good example?
  • Is this the best I can be?

Comics are a modern mythology who, despite its humiliate beginnings on low-quality newspaper with icky registration, has evolved into a cultural force so economically brawny, it is hard to see what will happen to the industry when the inevitable backlash comes .0*IUobl2tk8srPBGcM1*JhVyX7ht8rvUXQ DlqhJ5A

Reflection on the Industry as a Whole

recently, it feels as if comics are little more than a loss leader for early forms of media from their parent companies. With the challenges to keeping comics low-cost, the inevitable and adamant marching music towards a digital format, creating animated cartoons and producing viable selling, it feels to me as if the twilight of this particular genre is written on the wind, primarily ascribable to saturating every potential medium until there is no stand-in from its ceaseless superheroic memes and messages. I think the saddest sarcasm of the mythology of comics is their messages have become less ideal and more reflective of our club ’ randomness fears, xenophobia and excessive fear in the boldness of transfer. once upon a meter comics tried to bring to us ideas of the future of a better, bright place . now like most of our media and possibly like our real number world they are filled with the likely for a world where only dark and destruction seem profitable. What else can explain the orgy of superhero on superhero violence so common in comics today ? Superheroes are more incline to fight each other than they are to fight villains. How else to do explain amusing events such as Marvel ’ s Civil War ?

Nowadays, net income rules the spirit of both DC and Marvel and if we are looking for light, it will have to come from minds who remember the wonder they felt for the medium, all those years ago .

Another Way to Go

“Alternative Comics” Companies

dear thing, there are enough of newcomers tidal bore to take up the slack left by the Big Two. I wish there was a better manner to describe comic companies who are not DC or Marvel. Alternative makes them sound like they are not a dear as the Big Two and that is plainly NOT true. Some started humbly and evolved, but nowadays they are barely arsenic good in terms of artwork, design, and floor quality .1*wVt1LVT6ELBUKPV1RhJROADark Horse Comics latest lineup of superheroic characters. Three of the alternative giants valiant Entertainment ( 1989 ), Image Comics ( 1992 ) and Dark Horse Comics ( 1986 ) are three of the companies who have managed to hold space at the fringes of the comicsphere for 30+ years, a virtual eternity by comic company standards .1*yVaP1tGVHtRc0XJCeNcpLAValiant Entertainment has recently launched a future line of their comics called 4001 AD. My initial sampling was very favorable. These days, they appear to be picking up steam, launching new lines of comics, new heroes and taking advantage of the first step in the renewed sake in amusing characters thanks to DC and Marvel ’ s movie mania .1*WhvseVng0NszRK56j Y7iQImage Comics’ incredibly diverse universe of which Spawn and the Savage Dragon are two of its most well-beloved properties. image Comics and Dark Horse Comics battle for military position as the third-biggest comedian book publisher. image is known best for Marvel and DC-style heroes such as Todd McFarlane ’ s Spawn, while Dark Horse mixes alternate comics, like Frank Miller ’ south Sin City, with license comics, such as Star Wars. These three companies and many others such as Vertigo Comics ( an imprint of DC Comics ) and crazy Storm ( bought and finally absorbed into the DC Universe ), Boom ! Studios, and IDW Publishing may be smaller but have have been steadily laying out great stories, amazing artwork and in some cases fabled study, outside of the strictly superhero genre, producing ideas which challenge the literary depth comics can achieve .1*eoMvl Q5mN dM7a 3 IaewIDW Publishing and Hasbro extend their relationship and their superheroes into a new Universe where Micronauts, GI Joe, MASKS, Transformers and ROM exist. honestly, there are even more comedian companies, amusing sources, such as web comics, the feisty independents who are trying to make a diagnose for themselves as Timely and National Allied Publications did all those decades ago than you can shake a cling at. If Marvel and DC who make up approximately 45 % and 33 % of the diligence respectively aren ’ thyroxine doing it for you, possibly its meter to give other writers, artists and editors a gamble to earn your money. If we do this and help improve those smaller companies who are fighting to create bang-up newfangled stuff, we can remind the Big Two they have to earn our money besides and not barely recycle their histories for a new generation. When I get caught up I will talk about a total of web comics I have read and enjoyed and if you know of any, feel complimentary to send me your favorites at answerman [ dot ] archive [ at ] gmail [ dot ] com.

Other References

1*r7se7MMODIOia 1F3zh24wDC’s Comics New 52 Superman has passed away. 2011–2016

Comics and Quora

Parts of this try appeared first on Quora as “ How do DC superheroes compare to Marvel superheroes ? ” © Thaddeus Howze 2016. All Rights Reserved1*V LIX9jJoP3tQ7dUhSV9 Q The Answer-Man ’ s Archives are a collection of my articles discussing superheroes and their powers in kinship to their respective universes. We deconstruct characters, memes, profiles and how superheroes relate to veridical world culture. You can find other Archives on Quora and the Science Fiction and Fantasy Stack Exchange or at The World According to Superheroes .1*v8Xfhv WSAIgiR B82FCGQ Thaddeus Howze is a writer, essayist, generator and professional narrator for mysterious beings who exist in non-Euclidean realms beyond our understand .One of the Answer Archives in a visual representations

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