Marvel vs. DC Comics
It’s possibly the greatest rivalry for our generation. The debate of the two comic giants, Marvel vs. DC, has been one that seems to be popping up almost every week. Fans of either company are passionate about their choice, but there are many comic book fans that simply enjoy the benefits of both companies putting out their best effort to topple the other in this ever growing market.
Today we are going to talk about what makes this such a fascinating story.
We’re going to begin by assessing the current situation of both companies. Let’s start off with discussing Marvel. Their comics and graphic novels are always in the top twenty-five sellers for every month, especially recently, with what seems like the never ending current story event ‘Secret Wars’. This is possibly one of the biggest events that Marvel has had in years and it definitely shows with its prices soaring past $80,000 dollars for each section they release of the story. A book that has over twenty different issues is quite impressive and most of all it has made a ton of cash from this epic story episode. This does not include all of their original main titles that were continuing during the release of these comics.
Next, let’s talk about how well their movies have been doing. ‘The Avengers’ alone made the most money at the box office for Marvel; an astounding $1.5 Billion dollars. That was their profit for that one movie, but that number doesn’t even include revenue from the merchandise or the digital copies people have bought afterwards. They also have made quite a bit from their games and other products from Disney.
Now we shall start talking about DC’s financial state. DC may not have had the best year during 2015, but the reasoning for that was because they were relocating their office. Their sales have steadied out just underneath Marvel’s for the past few years now. That is probably due to the resurgence of comic popularity and the interest for more comic book stories after the Marvel movies, an interest that may appear to be waning in regards to Marvel.
Speaking of movies, DC’s recent reboot for Superman, ‘Man of Steel’, made $668 million dollars in box office total. That is $150 million more than Marvel’s recent escapade called ‘Ant Man’. This is nothing compared to the amount that the sequel for this movie is planned to make or the simple epic sized proportions that ‘Batman v Superman’ entails, as far as, seeing the three most beloved superheroes (Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman) together on screen for the first time in history. Especially looking back on the previous Batman films, ‘The Dark Knight’ made one billion dollars and it was a critically acclaimed hit. Health Ledger’s portrayal of the iconic Joker character is one of legend within the comic book lover community. Other than movies and comic books DC has several TV shows that provide revenue weekly for this powerhouse company.
DC’s last source of profit mainly comes from their Batman games, the most recent video game being, ‘Batman Arkham Knight’. All of the Batman Arkham games are known for being highly successful and this one was possibly the fastest selling game from 2015.
The amount of money made every year is not the be all end all of a great comic book company, but the quality of the writing and character development within their comics. We can start dissecting Marvel’s greatest events and their recent story arcs. Going back to ‘Secret Wars’, it is Marvel’s newest story experience and a long awaited one at that.
Jonathan Hickman’s run for the ‘Avengers’ has led up to this one story. This particular comic narration has rebooted the entire Marvel universe. It has connected the Main Universe with all of their best graphic novels; including the Ultimate Universe. The story also has tie-ins which takes place at the same time in the habitation known as ‘Battle World’. The book is well-written and it includes some of our favorite stories finally getting endings or continuing on in the ‘All New All Different Marvel’. That is the name of Marvel’s reboot in which everything is a fresh start (except for Spiderman and a couple of others). ‘All New All Different Marvel’ has quite a few great stories that have literally just started. Their most popular books include the ‘Extraordinary X-Men’ and all of the new ‘Spiderman’ and ‘Spiderman’ related books.
All the novels have planned story arcs in which the writers have been preparing for a while now to start. This leads to a big problem with any comic book company. One of the biggest problems is that they can’t release the book in time as it was originally promised. For example, ‘Secret Wars’ got delayed it’s ending for two months in October. This drives any consistent reader mad and can make fans feel extremely frustrated.
Many of Marvel’s largest story events are famous novels such as ‘Age of Ultron’, ‘Civil War’, ‘Infinity Gauntlet’, ‘House of M’, and ‘Avengers Disassembled’. All of these were really great stories that the fans very much enjoyed and are the reason why so many people love Marvel.
Now, it’s time to talk about DC’s greatest events, and their more recent offerings. Let’s start by looking back at a few of DC’s great graphic novels. Stories like ‘The Dark Knight Returns’, ‘A Death in the Family’, ‘Superman Red Son’, and ‘Final Crisis’. All of these are great novels that were written by exceptional writers like Frank Miller and Grant Morrison. These books will forever be known for how timeless they are in quality and in content. The storytelling over at DC has always been polished and is remarkable. This does not mean that their work is perfect. Both companies have had some problems before, but that doesn’t stop them from writing what they like and giving the fans what they like as well.
Now, we have to discuss DC’s newest story event, ‘Darkseid Wars’. This story incorporates some of our favorite members of the Justice League and we see them travelling to space where they come across the dictator leader Darkseid. Darkseid is one of DC’s greatest villains because he is so powerful and because he is just plain evil. Darkseid has been compared to Hitler in his need for power and enslaving others, as well as, murdering anyone who does not bow to him. This makes the episode even more amazing to read. It has only just started recently, so we don’t know everything about what is going on, but we can assume it is only going to get better because of the small glimpses that we have been fortunate to see in the spin offs that relate to him.
It is nothing in comparison to DC’s newest and most amazing graphic novel, ‘The Dark Knight III Master Race’. This comic has skyrocketed to the top of the charts and it is a bestselling novel in a short amount of time since its release. Frank Miller has returned to one of his most notable works and fans can’t wait for this new tale in the Dark Knight Returns Universe. Suspiciously, or not so suspiciously, it will be coming out in its entirety during the time of the ‘Batman v Superman’ movie. This is purposefully placed during the movie’s release because the movie itself is loosely based off of Frank Miller’s previous award winning book, ‘The Dark Knight Returns’. So far the quality and writing is on par with his earlier works, but only time will tell if DC’s newest events will be as good as we suspect.
Next let’s talk about both company’s movies. Starting with Marvel, most modern families know about the Marvel movies by now. What many of those families do not know is that their properties are split out between three other movie studios. In a short explanation, all ‘Spiderman’ movie rights go to Sony. All ‘X-Men’ and ‘Fantastic Four’ movie rights go to 20th Century Fox and everything else goes to Disney. This is a downside for any Marvel fan who wants to see their favorite characters uniting in a movie like they may have read in the comics. Every film that has been created by Disney has made a profit. This includes the ‘Avenger’ movies and all of their spin off productions like Iron Man, Captain America, and Thor, but their profits have declined after the first Avengers film. Their most recent film was ‘Ant-Man’, a character who was supposed to be in the first ‘Avengers’ movie but wasn’t. ‘Ant Man’, although popular with hardcore fans, did not appeal with the mainstream audience.
Moving over to the X-Men franchise, we have a different story and unfortunately it has had some rough patches. Quite frankly, a few of their movies were just plain terrible. Movies like, ‘X3 Last Stand’ and ‘X-men Origins Wolverine’ are viewed as poor representations of the original comics, but lucky for us fans they have been able to get back on the right track ever since ‘X-men First Class’. The follow up film ‘X-men: Days of Future Past’ was really good in comparison to their other films. The movie may not have kept with the original story, but it changed just slightly so it would appeal to the mainstream audience. They are currently full steam ahead with many movies planned in their own universe and, of course, we can just forget about the previous ‘Spiderman’ movies because they aren’t worth watching. Tom Holland is confirmed to be the new Spiderman and will appear in the new Captain America movie where he will be setting up his own solo film.
Over on DC’s side of things, it is much different, and very much undeveloped. It is somewhat in the embryonic stage because they are just starting to build their cinematic universe. They started with ‘Man of Steel’ as their foundation. It may not be the most successful movie, and it definitely has some plot holes, but we must remember the first Iron Man film didn’t do that well either. It was also the biggest box office in total sales for any Superman movie ever.
Now looking forward we are going to get ‘Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice’ in March 2016. This movie is super exciting because it is the first time in a movie that we have seen Batman and Superman together. Not to mention we will also see Wonder Woman and possibly the entire Justice League by the end of the film. This movie has so much potential that it can’t fail and DC is very much aware that it needs to be successful. The sheer magnitude of putting all of these heroes together is epic and they are also leading up to ‘Justice League Part One’ movie, which has never been done. Then we are going to get Suicide Squad, which is a government supervised special ops team made up entirely of villains. We will also get to see a new version of the Joker, which will set up for a fresh new take on three new solo Batman movies and any Suicide Squad sequels.
Lastly, it’s time to discuss the type of fans that either company attracts. Marvel fans tend to be the hundreds of families that just go and see the movies and think they are the best thing in the world or they are the diehard fans that won’t even try to read DC and just bash ‘Batman v Superman’ on the internet. DC fans are those guys and girls that have been anxious for a long time now for their own reckoning and it is coming in like a strong tidal wave. DC fans have been waiting an eternity for their comics to make an appearance successfully on the big screen. DC fans are also more prevalent because their characters are way more well-known and have been around a long time. I’m sure if you asked anyone ten, fifteen years ago who Iron Man was they would have no idea, but if you showed them the Batman or Superman logo they would know exactly who you were talking about. This doesn’t mean every Marvel fan is either a fake or just rude, but they do have a track record of being really offensive against any proposed DC movie. It’s like they’re afraid that it would steal Marvel’s limelight. If any of them are true comic book fans then they should respect the fact that DC is making movies that are not going to bomb and are going to be spectacular to finally see on the big screen.
*Explicit Language Warning*
In conclusion, Marvel may be making more money than DC right now, but that is mostly because of their movie hype. In terms of storytelling, DC is far better than Marvel’s. Marvel obviously gets points in terms of movies and marketing because they are the only one of the two that has really built up their cinematic universe, but the loudest part of the Marvel fan base makes them lose in comparison to DC’s more cool headed fans. If we were to tally up these points both companies would win because they are totally different concepts. Marvel is written more as if the reader was put into a world with superheroes. These beings are portrayed as the everyday man or woman. Whereas DC is written as if these godly beings were in the world we live in today and they are rightfully so legends in our midst.
That is why this argument is irrelevant because it is a matter of opinion that is based on a person’s likes or dislikes.
Thanks for reading!
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