Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Merry Marvelite or Citizen of the DC Nation?

When I first entered the world of comic books, I never thought that I would have an alleigance for one company more than another. As time progressed though, I noticed a shift in my pull list. My affiliation became quite clear. I'm a DC guy. Don't get me wrong I read Marvel. I love Luke Cage, Iron Fist, and Gambit. However when it comes to overall universe DC wins. Why DC? 
  1. Escapism. DC recently is more escapist. In the Marvel Universe, I have to worry about politics. The moral and ethical implications of the superhuman registration act. Over at the Distiguished Competition my biggest worry is whether an alien invasion of power ring toting facists is going to conquer the universe and kill Hal Jordan.  
  2. No more 90's. I was not buying comics in the 90's, but I feel I've read enough about it to realize thats prabably a great thing.  Marvel to me feels like it's still bogged down in the montony of 90's comics. There are dark character turns for wholesome characters(Speedball to Penance), shock value comics with no real weight or consequences(Spider-man unmasking and resetting his history thus negating his unmasking), and prime time character's dieing(death of Captain America).  
  3. Hope and optimism. DC is a more optimistic place it's heroes aren't making deals with the devil(Spider-man), or encroaching on civil liberties(Iron-man). They are trying to write past wrongs(Hal Jordan, Green Arrow, and Batman), inspire(Superman), and they are all usually trying to save the world or worlds from regular pure evil bad guys.  
  4. Locales. Marvel takes place in New York and other real locales (Latveria, and the Negative Zone not with standing.) DC is mostly set in fictional locations. Due to the fictionality of Star City, Gotham, and Metropolis, each of these fictitious cities can be what ever the creator wants them to be. Gotham's architecture can be art deco, or gothic. What ever best serves the stories tone and mood. 
  5.  New reader friendly. DC is more new reader friendly at least at this moment. Due to recent crisis and approaching final crisis things are in a state of reboot. Character's and teams are becoming established and forming(JSA, JLA, Infinity Inc, Booster Gold, and Blue Beetle), they are producing plenty of one and done books(Jonah Hex, JLU, and JSA Classified), and they are producing several specials that have reprints of classic character defining stories that tie into and explain some of the characters and cancepts prominently featured in there crossovers(Countdown Special Jimmy Olsen, Countdown Special Flash, etc.). 
  6. Continuity. DC is less bogged down in their own continuity due to there willingness to shed it when it gets too complicated (Crisis on Infintite Earths).  Also, a big plus to DC's shedding of continuity is that it is done formally, as oppose to Marvel which simply forgets a story takes place due to fan response.
  7. Better Management. I like Didio more than Quesada. Didio has really made me feel like a part of the DC nation, with his columns at the end of DC books making announcements and touring his offices. While Quesada simply imposes his will and Tony Stark's over Marvel. Making what ever changes he wants no matter how out of character they are.
  8. I just like DC more. It's really hard to explain an inclination why is my favorite color blue or my favorite number two. It's just the way I'm wired.
DC is not without faults. I wish that DC and Marvel would settle down with the crossovers and let their Universe's breath and develop a status quo for a while. I don't need to read a world shattering, character changing crossover every summer(just a JLA/JSA one). 

Where do you stand Merry Marvelite or citizen of the DC Nation?


Ryan said...

I find myself on the opposite side of the fence from you. I'm mainly a Marvel kind of guy. I definitely agree that DC us more escapist from what is real-world issues with most people.

I think for me, Marvel does the same thing. I stay out of politics for the most part in the real world. I don't watch the news. So seeing these characters going through those motions fills the void where that stuff would normally be, and keeps it interesting to me by adding explosions and laser beams.

Dr. Retro said...

I'm definately a member of the DC Nation for much the same reasons. But once in a while DC gets a little too political or pessimistic for me. I hate it when they do that, but I'm glad it's not overdone. I also like the fictional locales and escapism.

Like you, I don't need an earth shattering crisis every summer either, but an annual JLA/JSA one is good.

I guess my love for DC goes back to my lifelong love for Batman which led to a love for the JLA which introduced me to all his friends.

You like blue?!?! I never would have guessed.

Nick said...

For me the simple breakdown is

DC: 65%
Dark Horse/Image/IDW/etc):25%
Marvel: 10%

Every month my Marvel list keeps getting shorter and shorter. Marvel cancels a series I like or replace it with writers not familiar with past issues. Lack of understand what fans want combined with other issues such as ENORMOUS delays make me pick up Marvel titles less and less.

DCU, they listen. It may not always work out for the best (Nightwing is still alive), but DC listens to fans.

The best way to really get a sense of this difference between the two. Go to a DC Nation Panel and then go to a Marvel Panel.

DC Nation Panel = Energized room, honest/open communication between Creators & Fans, oh...and flying moon pies sometimes

Marvel Panel = Slide show.....here's what we're doing...oh you guys have questions...eh...you can ask but..we aren't really gonna give you answers. Now everybody clap and Woo-Hoo over something we already announced last month.

Mike Haseloff said...

I guess if I'm anything, it's a fence jumper.
After inadvertently finding myself well and truly on the Marvel side of the fence, the DC Nation won me over with an overall superior output this decade in a time of weakness from Marvel.

As we enter the second half of the 00's, I think things are starting to even out again, but I find myself sentimentally rooting for DC. Maybe it's goodwill for DC, or maybe, like Apollo in the rematch, Marvel are just content to play the bad guy.