Friday, 3 June 2011

DISTINGUISHED COMPETITION


Over at the land of Cerpts and honey http://landofcerptsandhoney.blogspot.com/ there was an interesting article regarding DC Comics and it's so called Reboot.
I have always been firmly in the Marvel camp when it comes to comparisons between these two mainstream giants. I always felt that DC characters were rather bland, banal and, well, silly. In the context of comic books of course 'silly' is sort of part of the mission statement. At DC the key character was Superman who is pretty much one dimensional and there is little of interest in his exploits to retain my attention. Being all powerful is somewhat limiting. And there's all the capes; DC has more characters wearing capes which I feel is rather impractical. Batman is the exception as far as I am concerned, his cape serves a purpose and his lack of special powers makes him interesting, he would fit into the Marvel Universe quite snuggly.
The thing with DC is the convoluted nature of it's universe, the elements of different world and mythologies that are more complex than the Times Crossword.
In Marvel's world it is by and large set in the real world and the characters have a depth that is sadly lacking in the majority of DC heroes and alter egos.
As a child I discovered Marvel, primarily through the Stan Lee & Jack Kirby Fantastic Four along with Stan Lee & Steve Ditko's Spider-Man. These comics had a touch of reality about them and had great action alongside moments of levity. while DC had Mr Mxyzptlk, Superdog, Superhorse and Bat Mite Marvel had Doctor Doom, The Sanddman, Loki, Puppet Master and other well formed villains. I would go over to The Legion of superheroes at DC for pure escapism but return time and again to Herb Trimpe's Hulk, Gene Colan's Daredevil and The Avengers.
Of course there were artists that worked both sides of the great divide; primarily Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko, but Gil Kane and Neal Adams work aside I was always drawn to Marvel. Conan in it's Barry Smith form transformed into Buscema's muscular version. MOKF by Moench and Gulacy,Warlock & Captain Marvel by Starlin, Miller's DD and Claremont & Byrne's relaunch of X-Men these where some of the titles that always made it Marvel for me. The reboots that were popular in the eighties and nineties were a bit tedious all round but in the Ultimates line Marvel came up trumps.
When all is said and done the comic book world trades on certain acceptances and understanding of the medium. DC has fallen behind Marvel both on the page and in the movies; The characters have been able to be assimilated to the big screen via the Ultimates blueprint, but like those that prefer the Stones to The Beatles or Pacino to DeNiro or McDonalds to Burger King; to each their own. As for me, Make mine Marvel
Iron Man 2
X-Men first class
Thor
Captain America: the first Avenger
Hulk

1 comment:

  1. Many thanks for the mention and I'm glad you found what I wrote interesting. I certainly agree with much of what you say in your article. I don't think I mentioned in mine that I initially grew up a "DC kid" and didn't encounter Marvel until quite a bit later. This was in the early to mid 1970's so I missed not only the Superman silliness of Mr. Mxyzptlk and Krypto as well as the first decade of the Marvel Age of Comics. My first entry into superhero comics was the 1970's JLA drawn by Dick Dillin. It wasn't actually until the early EARLY 80's (probably 1980 itself) that I first ventured into Marvel and of course fell in love with their characters as well. Only during the 80's did I get to read the classic Lee-Kirby-Ditko-Buscema etc. etc. classic Marvel stuff which I love to this day. Truthfully I love both DC and Marvel characters and, as you say, they are like comparing apples and oranges. The 1985 CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTH was supposed to eliminate the whole multiple earth problem for good. Sadly, creators at DC seemed to think this gave them license to reboot every title as soon as they began writing/drawing it. That was the exact opposite outcome and frankly made things worse. As I said in my post, I eventually quit reading all comics in 1996 forjust this reason and DC was far and away the worst offender in te reboot sweepstakes. To Marvel's credit, rather than rebooting characters and wiping out their entire history, they usually did "imaginary" stories which didn't affect the regular characters. The Marvel way is surely the best way to go.

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having said that;

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