Marvel vs. DC: Who really wins the war?
Arguing with someone over what to watch on Netflix? You’ll get over it. Bickering about ordering Thai or Greek on UberEats? You’ll forget about it once the food arrives. Support a different football team to your friend? Harmless banter will do. Overhear your colleagues discussing who they prefer out of Marvel or DC? THE GLOVES ARE OFF. YOU’RE EXTENDING YOUR LUNCH BREAK, AND YOU’RE GOING TO SETTLE THIS DEBATE ONCE AND FOR ALL.
We’re talking full blown, war. Infinity war even. End game… almost.
When it comes to superheroes, comics and all things Marvel and DC, even the most casual of fans have an opinion. An age-old debate with no right or wrong. A dividing point since the beginning of man-kind… or, since the comic publishing companies actually started.
Here at PopCase, we’re big fans of both legendary publishers. Whether you’ve got a firm favourite or you’re simply curious as to where it all began, we’re here to save the day, Batman style (or Iron Man, whichever team you bat for). Sometimes Marvel gets all bragging rights, then other times, DC rules the roost.
MARVEL vs. DC, it’s happening.
DC Comics first began in 1934 and Marvel started in 1939, although back then they were known as National Alliance Publications and Timely Comics. So the rivalry between our two favourite publishers began almost 80 years ago. That’s right 80 YEARS OF MARVEL AND DC. Please excuse us while we glance into the distance and play back moments from some of our favourite movie adaptations - and yes, we’re imagining that Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst upside down kiss… Anyway.
DC Comics began in 1936, founded by Malcolm Wheeler-Nicholson, with none other than the legendary Superman comic franchise coming out first in 1938. You’d think it couldn’t get much cooler than that… or could it? A tough act to follow (but of course, they did it) Batman came next in 1939 and the first female superhero Wonder Woman stormed the comic industry in 1941.
Unlike DC, Marvel has been through a few changes in it’s time. Originally known as Timely Comics, then Atlas Comics, and in 1961, ‘Marvel’ was founded by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko and more. Major characters such as 1941’s Captain America were picked up by Marvel, followed by Thor in 1962 and none other than Iron Man in 1963 (RIP, always).
From the beginning, each publisher offered a pretty unique way of telling the tale of the superhero.
DC is renowned for its otherworldly and incredible God-like superheroes, who let’s face it, are a littttle less relatable (Aquaman, we’re looking at you buddy). We’re talking extraordinary ‘natural’ powers such as the power of moving the ocean… and other gods that perform remarkable things for the greater good of humanity. DC comics are often set in imaginary cities such as Gotham and Metropolis, while Marvel comics are set in real cities all over the world.
Marvel, is known for its slightly more human approach to the superhero model. These characters either have something tragic happen to them or have to trade something they love or an aspect of their lifestyle, in order to truly use their superpowers to make a difference to the world. Often, these characters are granted superhuman abilities that they don’t want or can’t control after a scientific experiment has gone wrong- Peter Parker style.
In a nutshell, Marvel comics tend to follow a storyline of normal ‘mankind’ aiming for the higher power while DC focuses on magical characters, although there are certainly a few exceptions.
Well they do say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery…
Here are just some of the most famous superheroes from both DC and Marvel that are known for their striking similarities. Pass the popcorn.
DC: DEATHSTOKE 1980
MARVEL COUNTERPART: DEADPOOL 1991
Same powers, similar costume, almost-the-same superhero and human name. Yep, Deadpool is called Wade Wilson, which is basically a rip off of Slade Wilson, Deathstroke's real name. Cheeky.
DC: DOOM PATROL 1963
MARVEL COUNTERPART: X-MEN 1963
While Doom Patrol came out in June, X-Men made an appearance just 3 months later in September. Doom Patrol creator Arnold Drake accused X-Men creator Stan Lee of copying (which he denied). We must admit, the similarities between both groups of ‘mutant freaks’ are hard to ignore…
DC: BATMAN 1939
MARVEL COUNTERPART: IRON MAN 1963
Billions in the bank, playboy personas, and all the gadgets needed to fight crime. They might not have ‘real superpowers’ but they’ve got the heart of real superheroes that’s for sure. From best-selling comics to gaining critical acclaim in recent movie adaptations, Batman and Ironman battle it out in every way.
DC: GREEN LANTERN 1940
MARVEL COUNTERPART: NOVA 1966
Both of these superheroes belong to intergalactic Corps, and get their powers from specific power sources. A coincidence? You decide!
DC: AQUAMAN 1941
MARVEL COUNTERPART: NAMOR 1939
Both were born to Atlantean Queens (yes, the Atlantis) who somehow made it to earth, and fell in love with mortal men. The result? Undersea titans who have powers of the ocean and the earth and rule their very own kingdoms.
WHAT HAPPENED IN THE MOVIES?
As much as the PopCase team would love to spend the day discussing every single Marvel and DC movie adaptation or TV show known to man, we’re going to use our very own superpower (it’s called self-control) to keep it short and sweet. Let’s get down to the nitty gritty and analyse the evidence.
Marvel’s ‘Avengers: Endgame’ is the highest grossing superhero movie of all time and we can’t say we’re surprised. When it comes to cinematic adaptations, the last decade has been everything we could want and more from Marvel. Let’s not disregard DC though, who has a number of game-changing movie adaptations under its cape. The Dark Knight Trilogy says it all. May.We.Never.Forget.
Okay, so it’s time to settle this the only way we know how… Rotten Tomato reviews. Obviously.
Luckily, they did the hard work for us by analysing the data of every DC and Marvel movie, TV show, and DVD content out there to work out their own DC vs. Marvel Tomatometer Score.
Drum roll please…
DC Comics: 67.7%
Marvel Comics: 64.1%
Looks like DC are on top! For now…
Okay, so let’s take out the sneaky copycat similarities (yes that’s what we’re calling them), the creative differences, the playful banter and the movie adaptations. Let’s go back to where it all began and what it really boils down to.
Who sells more comics?
Just like it’s always been, whenever one universe leads the way, the other comes back fighting, and so the cycle continues. For example, Marvel Comics were the most successful comic publisher of 2018, but DC Comics published the highest-selling comic issue in the same year.
Now this is the part where we’re supposed to come to some sort of conclusion, right?
One wins, one loses. Not when it comes to Marvel vs. DC.
This saga has been going strong for almost a century with no reason to stop, and we don’t want it to either. The more they compete with each other, the more comics, movies, TV shows and Pop Vinyl’s come our way.
We say, long live the battle!
Whether your Funko Pop collection consists of Marvel, DC or both, your prized possessions deserve to be displayed in all their glory. Browse the selection of PopCase shelving today and take your collection to the next level.