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Marvel vs DC

ART!

Hero
As a slight contrast, I have always assumed that both Gotham and Metropolis are just two different versions of New York, or maybe one is Boston and the other is New York (which is which is up for discussion), but this chiefly because I live in the southwest and have never visited New York, so the real New York is about as "real" for me in the comic fiction as Metropolis and Gotham.
As a kid I imagined Gotham as Chicago, to Metropolis' NYC, but I knew Chicago decently well even then, and it seemed more gothic than what I knew of NYC
 

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Justice and Rule

Adventurer
As a slight contrast, I have always assumed that both Gotham and Metropolis are just two different versions of New York, or maybe one is Boston and the other is New York (which is which is up for discussion), but this chiefly because I live in the southwest and have never visited New York, so the real New York is about as "real" for me in the comic fiction as Metropolis and Gotham.
As a kid I imagined Gotham as Chicago, to Metropolis' NYC, but I knew Chicago decently well even then, and it seemed more gothic than what I knew of NYC

I think Denny O'Neil had a great summation of Gotham and Metropolis:

"Batman's Gotham City is Manhattan below 14th Street at eleven minutes past midnight on the coldest night in November, and Metropolis is Manhattan between 14th and 100th Streets on the brightest, sunniest July day of the year."

Nolan's Gotham is very Chicago, which makes sense given that he literally used Chicago for his filming.
 

Ryujin

Hero
As a slight contrast, I have always assumed that both Gotham and Metropolis are just two different versions of New York, or maybe one is Boston and the other is New York (which is which is up for discussion), but this chiefly because I live in the southwest and have never visited New York, so the real New York is about as "real" for me in the comic fiction as Metropolis and Gotham.
My head canon was always that Metropolis was NYC and Gotham was Boston. Metropolis felt like a bustling and alive city ("The City That Never Sleeps" = NYC) and for Gotham the dark and foreboding nature, and the name "Arkham", always had a New England/Lovecraftian feel for me, so Boston. I've been told on this forum that I'm wrong, but I can't fight something I've felt since the mid-late 1960s ;)
 

embee

Lawyer by day. Rules lawyer by night.
My own take: I personally was very in to Marvel in the early eighties then jumped ship largely to DC in the mid to late eighties, and embraced the Image comics movement of the early nineties before getting out of comics until around 2012 when I jumped back in feet first and have been avidly collecting a mixture of DC, some Marvel and indies ever since. Most of the chararcters I like are the more "grounded" ones, the humans with skills over powers (Batman, Green Arrow, Nightwing) which ironically is a majority of DC's offering these days (they have plenty of iconic demigods, but the most popular DC comics seem to remain the Batman and his associates types). Marvel's got fewer "normal" characters but their superheroes tend to be balanced with flaws and troubles....they would work well in a GURPS Supers campaign because they are all pretty balanced on average, and as a result I tend to pursue Wolverine, Moon Knight (when he's got a book) and Daredevil. I used to love X-Men but the X-Men of today are barely recognizable from the X-Men of my youth as Claremont wrote them.

The biggest distinction I personally see between Marvel and DC, though, is the extent to which a character's identity is tied to the story or legacy of that character. Many Marvel characters change, sometimes dramatically, over time. As I mentioned, X-Men is hard to follow today if you're used to X-Men from twenty years ago; the current storylines and feel of the book is so off kilter from the X-Men I grew up with that I just find it oddly alienating. But Batman, in contrast, remains very much the same character for better or worse; changes they occasionally make to the character (and they are experimenting with such changes right now in Future State as an example) are rarely permanent as it is the iconic nature of Batman that is the draw....the consistency of the character's mythos, if you will. Change it too much and it no longer feels like Batman. X-Men, in contrast, are insanely mutable to the point where even though I don't recognize the X-Men of today as being even close to the majority of characters from when I followed them in the 80's and 90's, they are still stories of mutants.

A big component of why DC characters change infrequently and remain iconic with their mythology is because DC frequently reboots. Since Crisis on Infinite Earths it is common (and even canon in their own storyline it was recently revealed) that the DC universe periodically resets the clock for its characters to continue. Marvel however has long maintained that its own continuity is always crammed into the last ten years or so of "real time" and occasionally revisits older themes and attempts to clarify anachronistic elements.....this means that the characters of Marvel's books today are technically the same exact characters as Marvel 30 or even 50 years ago, just with "updates" to fix anomalies based on when the original stories appeared. In DC....Batman of 50 years ago is literally an alternate prior universe, one of the many alternate universes in the DC continuity, and the current Batman is not the same guy. Ironically that means DC tells a lot more "alt history" what-if stories that are technically considered canon "somewhere" in the DC multiverse.

TL:DR - to me, the more relatable "skilled crimefighters" are the most interesting on both sides of the DC/Marvel spectrum, and the key differences between the two are actually in how they handle continuity. But I'm a comic junkie and YMMV.
You know what I want to see?

An Amalgam Comics crossover event that ends with Superman punching Mephisto.
 

ShinHakkaider

Adventurer
I think Denny O'Neil had a great summation of Gotham and Metropolis:

"Batman's Gotham City is Manhattan below 14th Street at eleven minutes past midnight on the coldest night in November, and Metropolis is Manhattan between 14th and 100th Streets on the brightest, sunniest July day of the year."

Nolan's Gotham is very Chicago, which makes sense given that he literally used Chicago for his filming.
And I'm guessing that was in the 70's and 80's NYC as now it's a VERY different city as it was then. Nowhere as dangerous or exciting as it was in the 70's and 80's. It's ALL pretty bland now.
 

embee

Lawyer by day. Rules lawyer by night.
And I'm guessing that was in the 70's and 80's NYC as now it's a VERY different city as it was then. Nowhere as dangerous or exciting as it was in the 70's and 80's. It's ALL pretty bland now.
The Palladium is now an NYU dorm and CBGB's is a John Varvatos boutique.

Pretty much sums up the state of the city.
 


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