Who has the better superhero universe? Marvel or DC? This instalment of “Debate Fuse” at Popfusi takes a look at one of the most hotly debated geek topics out there. Marvel Comics vs. DC Comics … you’re stuck on a desert island and can only have access to one set of characters for the rest of your life. Which do you choose? Let the nerd rage flow! We’ll lay out some main points for you to consider in the article below with our opinion on the matter. Who’s got the better characters? Villains? Movies? And more. To vote click the poll below and share with friends:
Heroes: Marvel has Spider-Man, The Hulk, Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, and of course a huge plethora of X-Men mutant characters like Wolverine and Deadpool. DC has Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Green Lantern and more.
Our Verdict: Marvel gets the nod here. While DC’s characters are arguably more classic and Superman and Batman are practically like modern Greek myths, Marvel’s overall roster, including the X-Men/mutant side that could basically be its own company, is too much for DC to overcome.
Villains: Marvel has some really good ones like Magneto, Doctor Octopus, and Thanos, but DC has Lex Luthor for Superman, and of course Batman’s rogue gallery of villains including the Joker, Two-Face, Catwoman, The Riddler, The Penguin, etc. Who has the baddest bad guys?
Our Verdict: Tough, but DC edges this out largely on the strength of Batman’s villains, specifically the Joker. I mean it’s the Joker, he’s really hard to top for comic book villainy. Lex Luthor is pretty high up on that list too. Batman and Superman have some killer villains.
Who Has The Better Movies: DC has been pushing their characters on the big screen for a long time, Batman and Superman serials were a thing in the 1940s, and of course there was the 1966 Batman movie with Adam West’s Batman. Marvel got into the game a lot later before some hilariously poor efforts in the 90s like Captain America.
But since Blade and X-Men kick-started things in 1998 and 2000 respectively, Marvel has been on a roll the likes of which Hollywood has never seen. Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man in 2002 was big, and then Marvel took greater control of their own properties, creating their own Marvel cinematic universe. That turned Iron Man, Captain America, Thor into big hits and then Marvel hit the motherload with The Avengers. Thank you Robert Downey Jr., right? Marvel’s still had some hiccups with the recent Fantastic 4 reboot crashing and burning (which is done by 20th Century Fox), but generally almost every movie is of good quality.
DC is no push over here either. Richard Donner’s Superman is a genre classic that laid the groundwork for pretty much everything that came after, Tim Burton’s 1989 Batman was a Star Wars sized craze that helped usher in a new golden age of comic book sales, and Chris Nolan’s Batman trilogy, specifically 2008’s The Dark Knight, is quite possibly the critical high water mark for superhero filmmaking. Still DC has probably had more screw-ups here with the likes of Batman & Robin (1997) and even last year’s Batman Vs. Superman had a very mixed reaction.
Our Verdict: It’s too hard to vote against Marvel, so we gotta choose Marvel. They’ve really taken what some would say were B-tier characters like Iron Man, and turned them into top level global icons thanks to movie magic and continue to pump out solid movie after solid movie. The X-Men cinematic universe continues to chip along and Deadpool was a huge surprise. Still DC has nothing to hang their heads about here, especially with Wonder Woman recently giving a badly needed boost to the DC cinematic universe, and there’s always Batman to fall back on.
Better TV: Marvel’s been on TV for a while actually, a whole generation will always remember the old animated Spider-Man TV series. There were also animated X-Men and Spidey series’ popular in the 90s. And Lou Ferrigno’s 1970s/80s Incredible Hulk. There’s new Marvel series’ like Agents of Shield and Inhumans and Netflix series’ like Daredevil going too.
DC has the iconic 1960s Batman TV series, which was a huge sensation when it was released and will be forever remembered. Smallville was a long running hit for DC in the 2000s, and today we still have The Flash, Green Arrow, Supergirl, and Gotham.
Verdict: DC gets this one. Adam West’s Batman, while campy is still airing around the world today. And Smallville and the new crop of DC TV shows like Supergirl are all fairly solid, Marvel just doesn’t have the same track record here, though Marvel may be closing the gap here quick thanks to Netflix.
FINAL THOUGHTS: This one is hard. Partly because Batman is our favorite character, but Marvel’s universe is simply much larger with a broader range of popular characters. We side with Marvel Comics on this one, but it’s very, very close. Ultimately it’s too much for Batman to overcome, Superman and Wonder Woman are great characters and DC has some great graphic novel work as well, but Marvel just has such a greater volume of popular characters that can’t be denied. What’s your take? Leave a comment below, take the poll, and share with your friends!