In a world of fantasy and superheroes, one question burning a hole in our minds is which universe reigns supreme? Is it Marvel or DC? The comic universe rivalry dates back to more than 80 years ago when they were known as National Alliance Publications and Timely Comics. Fans across the globe have different opinions about which universe is superior. But is there really a correct answer? Whether you are a fan, or just curious as to how this age-old debate came about, here are the major differences that set each universe apart.
Mankind vs. mythical beings
Both Marvel and DC have distinct differences when it comes to their storylines and characters. Many of DC’s characters are based on mythical beings who have been given superpowers from higher beings and used to protect all of humanity and the greater good. For example, Wonder Woman, who is the daughter of Zeus, has superpowers that stem from her divine origins. Aquaman, who is the representation of Poseidon, also naturally possesses his powers and later goes on to become the king of Atlantis. Marvel’s characters, on the other hand, have a more realistic approach. Many of the characters are normal people who have developed superhuman abilities because of a certain event or object they possess. Take Peter Parker, for example, a regular teenage boy who gets bitten by an irradiated spider and suddenly develops spider-like superpowers.
It may have something to do with the talent being swapped around by both publishing houses, but Marvel and DC have been poking fun at each other for years. Some of the characters created by both publishing houses are blatant ripoffs of characters that already exist. They are both guilty of borrowing ideas from each other. Taking a closer look, you will notice that Marvel’s Deadpool is a parody of DC’s Deathstroke and DC’s Bumblebee is a blatant ripoff of Marvel’s Wasp. As for who is more at fault, both publishing houses are equally to blame for borrowing each other’s ideas.
The winning plot
Ultimately, the question is, who wrote and illustrated the best stories? This age-old debate only really started to surface when the comics were brought to life by film producers. Many comic book enthusiasts say that Marvel is the winner because of its enormous box office success. While this may hold some truth, DC also has the Dark Knight trilogy, Wonder Woman, and the classic Superman films under its belt.
The top seller
Apart from the characters and creative differences, the comic book rivalry really boils down to one important question. Who is the top seller? Marvel Legacy #1 sold over 300,000 copies in 2017, which is an astronomical figure but hardly enough to have made it into the top ten in 1969 when DC’s Superman hit the shelves. That year, Superman averaged over 500,000 in sales. In 1966, Batman dominated the shelves with over 800,000 sales per issue. Today, comic book sales have taken a dip in sales due to many factors, but by 2017 DC comics was sixth on the top seller list, and Marvel managed to rank fourth.
It’s safe to say that there is no right or wrong answer to this debate. Both universes have different creative elements and are equally amazing in their own way.