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Marvel vs DC

billd91

Hobbit on Quest
Wasn’t Northstar (Alpha Flight) also revealed to be gay? And I believe Marvel retconned one of their cowboy characters as gay as well. All back in the 1990s, as I recall.
Yes, Northstar was one of their earliest gay characters, I believe. The story of him coming out was back in 1992.
 
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ShinHakkaider

Adventurer
I assure you I'm not. I understand the point fully and exquisitely, and comprehend it in its entirely; it's not a difficult concept to grasp.

I just don't really agree with it. I accept that that is how you feel about it. I personally don't find that list of real locations more relatable than the fictional ones, other than NYC because it's just so recognisable. Maybe London would have a similar effect for me, but I can't think of anywhere else that might.

So yeah, for me, it's just NYC. That's the point -- I'm describing my personal relationship with the fiction, not yours.

I grew up in NYC. I've been here all my life.

This page is from THE PULSE #3 by Bendis and Bagley
The setup is a reporter is going to meet one of her contacts who works in the city morgue. She knows where he's going to be because she knows where he takes his breaks, in a alley behind the building where he works. At one point during the conversation she asks him why does he keep looking at his watch. He just says: "Wait for it..."

Then you get this page.

The Pulse 3.jpeg


I'm not daft. I've lived here all my life and NOPE no superheroes. But NY is a real place and when I was a kid as far as I knew I just wasn't in Manhattan enough to see THE AVENGERS or SPIDER-MAN. On the other hand, Metropolis and Gotham might as well have been Narnia. They werent real places and as silly as this sounds? It created a bit of a disconnect for me for a long while as a kid. (I got over it).

I used to work not too far from the building where the Quinjet crash landed in the first AVENGERS movie. Hell, one of those huge beasts from the movie nearly sideswipes the building I used to work in on Park Avenue.

My point is for some of us? This is where these heroes were created. Hell, I used to LIVE in Forest Hills where Peter Parker is from. They a part of NY as much as Grand Central or Yankee Stadium or Madison Square Garden. I get that it's not the same for everyone, especially if you don't live stateside or even in NY. Just needed to put this POV out there. A romanticized POV admittedly but a POV nonetheless.
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
I grew up in NYC. I've been here all my life.

This page is from THE PULSE #3 by Bendis and Bagley
The setup is a reporter is going to meet one of her contacts who works in the city morgue. She knows where he's going to be because she knows where he takes his breaks, in a alley behind the building where he works. At one point during the conversation she asks him why does he keep looking at his watch. He just says: "Wait for it..."

Then you get this page.

View attachment 134315

I'm not daft. I've lived here all my life and NOPE no superheroes. But NY is a real place and when I was a kid as far as I knew I just wasn't in Manhattan enough to see THE AVENGERS or SPIDER-MAN. On the other hand, Metropolis and Gotham might as well have been Narnia. They werent real places and as silly as this sounds? It created a bit of a disconnect for me for a long while as a kid. (I got over it).

I used to work not too far from the building where the Quinjet crash landed in the first AVENGERS movie. Hell, one of those huge beasts from the movie nearly sideswipes the building I used to work in on Park Avenue.

My point is for some of us? This is where these heroes were created. Hell, I used to LIVE in Forest Hills where Peter Parker is from. They a part of NY as much as Grand Central or Yankee Stadium or Madison Square Garden. I get that it's not the same for everyone, especially if you don't live stateside or even in NY. Just needed to put this POV out there. A romanticized POV admittedly but a POV nonetheless.
You literally just made my point for me. You have a personal resonance with the depicted locations, and 75% of the time they’re NYC. Thank you. It was getting tiresome being berated for saying exactly that. :)
 


Ryujin

Hero
I grew up in NYC. I've been here all my life.

This page is from THE PULSE #3 by Bendis and Bagley
The setup is a reporter is going to meet one of her contacts who works in the city morgue. She knows where he's going to be because she knows where he takes his breaks, in a alley behind the building where he works. At one point during the conversation she asks him why does he keep looking at his watch. He just says: "Wait for it..."

Then you get this page.

View attachment 134315

I'm not daft. I've lived here all my life and NOPE no superheroes. But NY is a real place and when I was a kid as far as I knew I just wasn't in Manhattan enough to see THE AVENGERS or SPIDER-MAN. On the other hand, Metropolis and Gotham might as well have been Narnia. They werent real places and as silly as this sounds? It created a bit of a disconnect for me for a long while as a kid. (I got over it).

I used to work not too far from the building where the Quinjet crash landed in the first AVENGERS movie. Hell, one of those huge beasts from the movie nearly sideswipes the building I used to work in on Park Avenue.

My point is for some of us? This is where these heroes were created. Hell, I used to LIVE in Forest Hills where Peter Parker is from. They a part of NY as much as Grand Central or Yankee Stadium or Madison Square Garden. I get that it's not the same for everyone, especially if you don't live stateside or even in NY. Just needed to put this POV out there. A romanticized POV admittedly but a POV nonetheless.
I work on the street that was thoroughly trashed by The Hulk and The Abomination, That Batman chased The (crappier version of) Joker on, and that The Suicide Squad fought pseudo zombies on.
 
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Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
Re: cities

I think how we interact with cities in fictional works depends on the individual. Personally, I have slightly different expectations between fictionalization of real cities- even those I’ve never been to- vs those made up from whole cloth. I think it’s because even the relatively unfamiliar ones are still going to be more familiar than those made of whole cloth.

I mean, while a lot of truly ginormous critters can be found in various sci-fi/fantasy/horror fiction settings (Dune, Star Wars), real kaiju stories are almost ALL set on Earth. And I think it’s because a majority of the audience relates more to a critter towering over Tokyo, NYC or the like as opposed to how they’d react to similar action occurring on Tatooine.

See also alien invasion stories. I can only think of a few good ones- like Avatar & that one episode of Twilight Zone- in which the invaders were terrans on alien soil.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
It depends on how much of the characters publication history you look at. A lot of characters- even (especially?) major ones, get rewritten. Multiple times.

The original Supeman literally leapt, and didn’t fly. Some versions of the character could literally fly through the hearts of stars and move planets by himself. Thor was NEVER like that., despite being the Asgardian god of strength, etc.

Flash? Breaks the time barrier in almost every incarnation. Quicksilver, not so much. There’s this panel:
View attachment 134282

Quicksiver never- nor any other super-speedster from another publisher- makes claims like that.

So, yeah, DC has a tendency to have more epic built into their characters at some point.
Thor actually can move planets by himself, IIRC. There was a video about whether Hulk or Thor is stronger that features it.

And of course in some comics Thor can open portals through reality, and is just...literally an actual god.
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
Thor actually can move planets by himself, IIRC. There was a video about whether Hulk or Thor is stronger that features it.

And of course in some comics Thor can open portals through reality, and is just...literally an actual god.
I never saw Thor exhibit that level of strength, It all depends on the writers. In the original Secret Wars, even Thor was amazed that the Hulk was holding up a billion ton mountain that had been dropped on them. And in their own cataloging of their characters, Marvel listed Thor as being able to lift 100+ tons.

Adam Warlock has stated that he considers Thor as one of the physically strongest beings in the universe.[221] He has been stated to be at the 95-ton level,[184] then at 100 tons.[11][177] However, his Power Grid also indicates a capacity to lift well over 100 tons.[156][157]

But leaves how much more than that unclear.

Of course, there a couple other characters like that in Marvel. Besides the aforementioned Hulk (with no known upper limit), there’s also Guardian of the Shi’ar Imperials, who can psionically augment his strength to levels as yet unknown.

His dimensional travel ability goes back a ways- at least to the 1970s, if not the earliest days of the character- but AFAIK, is always limited by the requirement that he use Mjolnir to open the portals.
 

Shadowedeyes

Explorer
Pretty much all the "Class 100" characters have gone way past 100 tons by a ton. Heck, The Thing is, what, Class 70? He has also gone past 100 tons at times. Probably in part by comic writers not going out of their way to find out how much stuff weighs for the cool story they are writing, but still.

Power wise nowadays I don't think DC characters outclasses Marvel's in any real appreciable way.
 

Campbell

Legend
The biggest difference in my eyes is who the characters see when they look in the mirror. Clark Kent, Bruce Wayne, Oliver Queen, Dick Grayson, Arthur Curry et. al. are all most themselves in their heroic personas. Their secret identities are their real masks. Peter Parker, Bruce Banner, Tony Stark, T'Challa, and even Steve Rogers are people before they are heroes. Their heroic identities are part of their lives, but not their whole lives.
 


doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
The biggest difference in my eyes is who the characters see when they look in the mirror. Clark Kent, Bruce Wayne, Oliver Queen, Dick Grayson, Arthur Curry et. al. are all most themselves in their heroic personas. Their secret identities are their real masks. Peter Parker, Bruce Banner, Tony Stark, T'Challa, and even Steve Rogers are people before they are heroes. Their heroic identities are part of their lives, but not their whole lives.
A lot of the best writers of those character speak of them by their first names, however. Especially Clark, but even Bruce. The whole thing in Batman Beyond where he thinks of himself as Batman, and similar moments in some comments, is a total failure to write the character, IMO. It robs Bruce of any growth over the entire course of his life, and is just there to poke at the reader and give them something to go “oooooo” at.
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
IDK- becoming Batman is growth of a sort. Not healthy, perhaps but there definitely is evolution from helpless (wealthy) orphan to the world’s greatest detective, one of DC’s most formidable martial artists, and all-around doomsday-prepped vigilante.

The fact that he’s kind of on the path to being a Nietzschean monster hunter makes him sort of an anti-hero in the making, but DC pretty much CANNOT do that story arc as canon is beside the point.
 

pming

Hero
Hiya!
So, let's not 'edition war' over our favourite billion dollar multinationals. But I wanted to zoom in on a particular difference I've seen repeated over and over for years.

"DC characters are more epic. Marvel characters are more relatable."

It's a comparison which is repeatedly used. Is that actually true though? What do you think?

Superman more epic than Thor?

Flash more epic than Quicksilver?

Hawkeye more relatable than Green Arrow?

Darkseid more epic than Thanos?

Scarlet Witch more relatable than Zatanna?

Generally, I feel like they have very similar characters (of course they do -- they spent decades copying each other).

I wonder if it's literally down to Marvel's biggest property is Spiderman (relatable) while DC's is Superman* (epic). Is that why the comparison keeps getting used?



*Well, Batman I guess. But he's not epic.

Yes.
Yes.
Yes.
Yes.
Maybe?

Why is the comparison used? Generally speaking, Marvel Heroes deal with "earth threats" or "planet sized threats". There are some exceptions...like the Infinity Gauntlet storyline (or Infinity War for the MCU), and various Silver Surfer or Fantastic Four stories, or the Dark Phoenix Saga. But usually, it's "Galactus is going to eat the earth!", or "Rhino is on a rampage in Manhattan!", or maybe "The Skrull have infiltrated most of the governments in the world!".

With DC...that's more of a "day in, day out" type of story line, from what I gather; full disclosure, I'm not a huge DC fan...I know only a bit here and there. After Batman and maybe Green Arrow, you kinda jump straight into Heroes/Villains that can manipulate time and space like you manipulate your toothbrush; without much effort or thought. I mean, Dr. Manhatten, Dr. Fate, Superman, Brainiac, Darkseid... they're not just saving/ threatening "earth". They are working on a solar system at the SMALLEST scale, and "all realities and time...everywhere...!" at the top.

^_^

Paul L. Ming
 

I used to work not too far from the building where the Quinjet crash landed in the first AVENGERS movie. Hell, one of those huge beasts from the movie nearly sideswipes the building I used to work in on Park Avenue.

I have similar feelings about the Dutch comic Franka, which often takes place in the Netherlands, and accurately portrays real locations. Many of the female sleuth's adventures take place in and around Amsterdam, and the artist drew real locations that I used to visit on a weekly basis during my student years.

kuijpers_franka18.jpg


While the events in the comic are of course entirely fictional, I like imagining the artist of the comic sitting in the very same location where I'm walking and drawing his comicbook panels. The artist especially had a passion for drawing these huge establishing shots of locations, full of detail.

Having a comic be set in a real location gives it an extra layer of realism and relatability. Especially if you're closely familiar with the location.
 

turnip_farmer

Adventurer
For me, not so much.

The thing with heroes the power of DC's main stable is... with power that high, their emotional lives are not terribly relatable. Their lives as people becomes alien to us.

Now, the world being plausible is an aspect of this - if the world just generally says, "Yay! You're the bestofthebest! We loves you always!" all the time, that will set us up for an emotional experience we can't really understand very well.
I've recently been reading the Neil Gaiman Miracleman comics. Miracleman, which was of course based on DC comics, really played up the unrelatability, such that by the end of the books (the Alan Moore ones, that is), he has completely shed his humanity and become this alien figure. Gaiman's continuation of the story deals with this by not actually featuring Miracleman very much. It's all about what it's like for ordinary people living in the shade of Olympus.

Shame this series was never finished.
 

billd91

Hobbit on Quest
I've recently been reading the Neil Gaiman Miracleman comics. Miracleman, which was of course based on DC comics, really played up the unrelatability, such that by the end of the books (the Alan Moore ones, that is), he has completely shed his humanity and become this alien figure. Gaiman's continuation of the story deals with this by not actually featuring Miracleman very much. It's all about what it's like for ordinary people living in the shade of Olympus.

Shame this series was never finished.
Yeah, unrelatability is kind of a thing for Moore.
But with respect to Gaiman's continuation, Marvel did something kind of similar with the limited series Marvels - focusing on the perspective of a normal guy on the superhero things going on around him in the Marvel universe.
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
I have similar feelings about the Dutch comic Franka, which often takes place in the Netherlands, and accurately portrays real locations. Many of the female sleuth's adventures take place in and around Amsterdam, and the artist drew real locations that I used to visit on a weekly basis during my student years.

kuijpers_franka18.jpg


While the events in the comic are of course entirely fictional, I like imagining the artist of the comic sitting in the very same location where I'm walking and drawing his comicbook panels. The artist especially had a passion for drawing these huge establishing shots of locations, full of detail.

Having a comic be set in a real location gives it an extra layer of realism and relatability. Especially if you're closely familiar with the location.
That is a gorgeous piece. I feel like I'm there!
 

ART!

Hero
Miracleman, which was of course based on DC comics
This is actually not true at all.

The creation of the "SHAZAM!" Captain Marvel character was definitely inspired by the popularity of Superman, a DC character.

The history of that Captain Marvel - and it's relation to Marvel Man, a name which was changed to Miracleman for the Alan Moore, etc. comics - is long and complicated, but per your comment: DC effectively had nothing to do with the character (except for filing suits against Fawcett Publications for 15 years or so, arguing that CM was too much like Superman - sour grapes, since for most of that time CM was more popular than Superman) until the '70s (maybe the very late '60s?).
 

billd91

Hobbit on Quest
This is actually not true at all.

The creation of the "SHAZAM!" Captain Marvel character was definitely inspired by the popularity of Superman, a DC character.

The history of that Captain Marvel - and it's relation to Marvel Man, a name which was changed to Miracleman for the Alan Moore, etc. comics - is long and complicated, but per your comment: DC effectively had nothing to do with the character (except for filing suits against Fawcett Publications for 15 years or so, arguing that CM was too much like Superman - sour grapes, since for most of that time CM was more popular than Superman) until the '70s (maybe the very late '60s?).
It wasn't just sour grapes - some of the court testimony indicated that at least some Fawcett personnel had been instructed to copy Superman strips in the Captain Marvel ones.
 

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