- Mairead Levitt
DC vs. Marvel
If you are a superhero fan, or even just a casual watcher of the movies, you have heard of the debate. Which is better: DC or Marvel? People have very strong (and very opposing) opinions about this issue, so I am going to break down what I think are the key points and decide which I believe is the better company.
I have chosen five categories, and I will be giving each company a rating (incredible, great, good, fine or mediocre). Whichever company I deem better in the category will get the point. The company with the most points in the end wins.
Category One: Movies
Marvel: Let’s be real, Marvel has this one in the bag. The MCU is amazing on its own, but compared to the generally bad DC movies, there is no competition. The MCU is a work of genius, with almost every movie being a slam dunk. The movies are not only fantastic on their own (every movie is bursting with humor, well-developed stories and fantastic villains) but also tie together beautifully. Even the non-MCU films (“Deadpool” and “X-Men”) are amazing. There is no denying the skill that Marvel has when it comes to making movies. Rating: Incredible
DC: Yes, DC has been stepping up its game recently (check out my previous article), but there is no world where DC even comes close to beating Marvel in this category. DC started the movie game strong, with the Christopher Reeve “Superman” movies and other earlier work, but their movies went downhill just as Marvel movies started to get good, a stark contrast between DC and Marvel apparent to everyone. DC has started to take itself less seriously, which helps, but DC movies just cannot compare to Marvel. Rating: Mediocre
Is this even a debate? Marvel movies are clearly better than DC movies. There is no question about it. Not only is the MCU incredible but also the DCEU is pretty bad. There is no contest in this category.
DC: 0 and Marvel: 1
Category Two: TV Shows
Marvel: Marvel has some good TV shows, there is no denying it. I grew up on the animated X-Men TV show. In fact, I think that show (along with my brother’s obsession) got me into comics in the first place. But this category needs more than just emotional connection. Besides the X-Men show, Marvel has some solid content in “Agents of Shield” and the Netflix Marvel TV shows (“Jessica Jones,” “Luke Cage,” etc.). They have a solid TV presence. Rating: Fine
DC: DC has been strong in the TV show game forever. Starting in the 1960s with the Adam West “Batman” TV show to now, with the beloved CW Arrowverse shows, DC knows how to do television. They have always created original content and have a variety shows (from the serious “Arrow” to the hilarious “Flash” to the empowering “Supergirl”). There are even animated shows (“Teen Titans” and “Young Justice,” which also is a staple of my childhood). There are shows for everyone, and DC clearly knows what it is doing. Rating: Great
Marvel has good shows, but DC takes the win in this category. It hase history, quality and diversity in their types of shows. This may change with the new Marvel Disney+ shows, but until those are out, DC stays in the lead in this category.
DC: 1 and Marvel: 1
Category Three: Video Games
Marvel: Marvel has some good games, most notably the various Spider-Man games, but video games are not one of Marvel’s most popular areas. Rating: Fine
DC: DC has a lot of video games, but there is one standout: “Batman: Arkham Knight.” This game revolutionized superhero video games. It has incredible graphics, has a great storyline and has remained relevant for years. “Arkham Knight” is a great game and deserves all the recognition and praise it receives. Rating: Great
I have to admit that I do not play video games, so I am not as well-versed in this category, but after an extensive phone call with my brother and some research, it is pretty clear that the “Arkham Knight” games beat anything that Marvel has.
DC: 2 and Marvel: 1
Category Four: Societal Impact
Marvel: When someone says “superhero,” you think Marvel. It is impossible not to. With the popularity of their movies and the starpower involved, Marvel movies transitioned comics from something that was niche and nerdy to a worldwide phenomenon. Marvel has only gained popularity as time passes. Marvel went from a company on the verge of bankruptcy to one of the biggest movie franchises in the world. There is no denying the impact that Marvel has on society. Rating: Incredible
DC: DC Comics started comics as we know them today. It was the first comic company created, with its first comic published in 1934, a full five years before Marvel Comics was created. DC Comics has major societal impact, and it has stayed consistently popular and relevant. But with consistency comes an issue. They haven’t gotten too much more popular over the years. Yes, there have been moments where their popularity has spiked or dipped, but they’ve relatively stayed the same. Rating: Great
Both of these companies have majorly impacted the world, and pop culture would be a different place without them, but Marvel takes the win in this category. While DC has the history, Marvel is the future. They have proved themselves to be a powerhouse and only get more and more popular. Everyone knows what Marvel movies are, and they have had a huge impact on the world.
DC: 2 and Marvel: 2
Category Five: Comics
Marvel: Marvel comics are great. Solid and dependable, they are what started the Marvel empire. The Avengers began in the comics, along with all the iconic heroes. Marvel had super memorable comics, such as “Infinity War” and “Civil War.” There is one drawback that I see with Marvel Comics; if I say the words “Infinity War” or “Civil War,” people automatically think about the movies. Even though those were amazing, unique stories in their own right, all of Marvel Comics are overshadowed by the MCU. Most people do not know what their favorite movies are based on, a knock on Marvel Comics. They are no longer known for their comics, the reason their company was created. I am not saying it is bad that they are marketing off of their movies, because obviously the movies are incredible, but I feel their comics are being pushed to the side, so the movies can take center stage. However, the comics, if you read them, are great. Rating: Great
DC: Starting off with a bang, with characters like Batman and Superman, DC was a hit from the start. Not only have their oldest characters remained some of their most iconic but they have been consistently publishing comics and creating new arcs and storylines. They have so much variety in their works, from humorous comics to horrifying ones (specifically “The Killing Joke”). There is something for everyone in DC comics, and they are still iconic. There is a reason some of the first superheroes and villains you think of are DC heroes and villains. Rating: Incredible
This is the most important category by far. There is a reason why it is Marvel Comics and DC Comics. At the core of both of these companies, they are comic companies. They both have unique, engaging material that has led to great universes and fans across generations, but I think that DC takes this point. DC came first, they have the most iconic characters, and their comics have remained interesting and popular.
DC: 3 and Marvel: 2
So, yes. I do think DC is better than Marvel. While the MCU is clearly superior to the DCEU, both these companies are more than just their cinematic universes, and I believe that DC is better overall.