Discussion in 'Community' started by NYCitygurl, Mar 13, 2013.
Make mine Mega Man.
DC has five or six of the greatest, most iconic super-heroes ever conceived.
Marvel has about 30 of the greatest super-heroes ever conceived, thanks largely to one man: Jack Kirby. (Thought I was gonna say Stan Lee? A little research may disabuse you of belief in that fraud.)
However! Almost all the Marvel heroes are permutations of the core DC six. Spider-Man is something of an amalgamation of Superman and Batman, for example. Thor is Superman viewed through the prism of pagan myth. Iron Man is Batman without the murdered parents. And so forth.
So while Marvel overall has a larger stable of globally recognizable heroes, in the main those heroes derive their powers and origins from characters and milieux conceived decades prior, over at DC.
Food for thought.
Stan Lee's relationship to the creation of the various Marvel properties is vastly more complicated than the relatively easy stereotype of "Well it was all the King" that tends to be in vogue these days, though. This is, perhaps, immediately obvious from Steve Ditko's insistence on the phrase "co-creator" during the debacle over Spider-Man, or from the very obvious differences between Lee/Kirby collaborations as compared to Kirby solo efforts; but is elaborated on a lot more fully in Marvel Comics: The Untold Story, which I can assure you still manages to paint a rather unflattering portrait of the man. To simply label him a "fraud," however, is misguided at best.
Okay, I appreciate an informed dialogue on the subject. I haven't read The Untold Story but I'm willing to accept that the Marvel character creation credits may be more complex than the singular "I did it all!" that Jack and Ros Kirby claimed. I've heard from others in-the-know that "somewhere in the middle (between Kirby's and Lee's claims)" lies the truth.
But I need to dispute (at least in my experience) that the "Kirby created Marvel" claim is "in vogue these days", as most comics readers I encounter have no familiarity with it and don't much seem to care. But I take it your experience is different, and that makes me happy! The more widely the truth is disseminated, the better, IMO.
I was first introduced to the idea in the early 90s, in an in-depth interview with Jack and Ros in which they spelled out exactly how Jack had created each and every major character in the Marvel milieu -- with only passing, editorial influence from Stan, the publisher's nephew. Jack signed away his rights when he deposited his paycheck; he had to, that's the way it was back then and he had a family to feed.
I didn't mean to say that Stan is himself a "fraud", rather that he has perpetuated a fraud for 50+ years. Clearly he can churn out goofy, alliterating prose and salesy, eye-catching ad copy. But he didn't create (as he claims he did) any of the Avengers, the X-Men, Spidey or the FF. Jack did.
At least, those are the facts as Kirby claimed them late in life. I'm certainly interested in knowing more, and I'll check out the book you've cited on the subject.
It's a fantastic read, although weirdly devoid of pictures and consequently dwells a tic too long on describing the panels it talks about when it cites specific works. But I definitely got that "somewhere in the middle" vibe from its portrayal of events.
And nearly every circle I run in cites the Kirby version of events, so I think we must frequent very different segments of the fandom.
I've really hated DC since the New 52 took effect. Even books I loved like Green Lantern and Batman have gone downhill compared to where they were before the New 52. So Marvel wins for now. But that's strictly in comics. I will declare them tied in Film because 2 of Marvel's movies are pretty much equal to One of Nolan's Batman films in my eyes. And Green Lantern, as terrible, absolutely TERRIBLE as it was, is still better than Ghost Rider.
BUT, DC wins in two big areas: Direct to TV and TV animation. Or at least it did. The Timmverse has yet to be topped, Young Justice was awesome. Green Lantern redeemed the horrible, terrible movie.
But those are all gone now. Now we have Beware the Batman and Teen Titans Go!
On the Marvel side, they lose extra points for cancelling Avengers EMH and Spectacular Spidey and replacing them with the extremely subpar Ultimate Spider-Man. And based solely on the first two episodes of Avengers Assemble, it looks like the same pattern has continued.
Which means, BOTH are now losing in the area of animated television.
But, on live action, DC has Arrow and Marvel will have Agents of SHIELD. So another possible tie in that area.
Movies: Tie (leaning Marvel)
Direct to TV: DC
Animated TV: Both fail at the moment.
Live Action: DC (For now)
Pretty much every character from both companies is derivative of something that came before it. Superman is just a "modern" Hercules, Hulk is Jekyll & Hyde, etc. There's no question that DC and Marvel have looked to each other for influence though. Namor debuted in 1939. Two years later, DC had Aquaman. Doom Patrol hit shelves just 3 months before the first issue of X-Men.
Batman beats all.
@Yodaminch - really? I thought Snyder's work on the Owls storyline, plus Death of the Family, was really good.
I was more impressed by the Nightwing, Batgirl and Teen Titans arc than the main Batman Owls storyline.
There are aspects of both that I really like, and really dislike.
I love Marvel Cosmic, good stuff always happens there and less huge cross over events that annoy me. DC has been interesting over the past year or so, some good some bad, but there are a few issues that have kept me coming back.
DC still has better animated TV series for now.
So Christian Bale will not don the costume for a Justice League flick. I understand but at the same time I'm dissapointed.
"I love you too."
2. I liked "DC Vs Marvel" and it's sequels and tie-ins.
What's not to like? It was fun, silly stuff that was in contrast to the grim n' gritty 90's.
They cancelled "Young Justice" because they weren't moving enough toys and thus hitting the target demographic, and the GL movie did poorly merchandise wise, that there wasn't any made for the show and thus it was cancelled as a result. But "Teen Titans Go!" has been entertaining and "Beware The Batman" has potential.
Sure, I understand nothing exists in a vacuum, and comics are an especially derivative medium. But let's not oversimplify. Superman is much more than "just a 'modern' Hercules", there are elements of Judaism in the Kal-El character that share nothing with Green myth, and American pulp author ER Burroughs essentially created the super-strong, super-fast planetary protector with black hair and "steel-gray eyes" in the persona of John Carter (though the planets of origin are switched). And none of these beings were capable of flight, or heat-ray vision, or any of a number of utterly unique features which make Superman... well, unique.
I'll have to concede that there is no DC progenitor to Hulk. But I think reducing the Hulk to "Jekyll and Hyde" misses the key distinction, which is that Hulk himself is sympathetic with identifiable goals, whereas Hyde was a murderous psychopath with zero redeeming qualities. As Marvel Age characters go he's pretty damn unique.
I further have to concede that Namor inspired Aquaman, but that's a singular exception to the trend that the earlier, DC heroes influenced the later Marvel characters. Also I was mainly referring to the characters of the Marvel Age, the fertile early 60s period in which Jack Kirby created so many of the House of M's enduring heroes. Namor and the original Human Torch (who later became the Vision) get a free pass because they pre-date the Marvel Age.
Though I think Captain America (who also pre-dates the Marvel Age) is essentially Superman with lesser power and a homegrown origin for pro-war purposes.
JL is the best superhero cartoon series I've seen, too bad JLU didn't follow its quality.
Same here, IMO he is the best Batman for the Big Screen
Namor and OG Human Torch both flew before Superman did. Remember that Supes could originally only "leap tall buildings with a single bound". He was strong and he was fast. Everything else like flight, heat vision, and his Christlike persona came later.
Agreed, he is more than Jekyll and Hyde, he's got a nice dose of Frankenstein's Monster in there too. Hulk just wants to be left alone. Just like The Monster. I've seen Stan Lee state on numerous occasions that those were his biggest influences in creating the Hulk. Solomon Grundy would probably be the closest thing DC has to a Hulk, but he doesn't have the Bruce Banner persona.
Fair enough. Marvel does have quite a number of characters who share similarities with their DC counterparts. There's more to a superhero character though than his or her powers. The Flash and Quicksilver may have identical powers but they are vastly different characters with different personalities.
For me, the big difference is how the companies present the characters. Take Superman. Superman is who he is. He wears his Clark Kent disguise to blend in with the general public. He's not Clark Kent who becomes Superman, he's Superman who becomes Clark Kent. Batman has become the same way. He's Batman first, Bruce Wayne second. That's who he is at his core. Marvel is the opposite. Underneath that red and blue costume he's Peter Parker. Spider-Man is his disguise. He wears the costume to protect those he loves. Batman on the other hand, wears his costume to intimidate his enemies. DC is all about the costume. Marvel is all about the person underneath the costume. I'm not saying one is objectively better than the other, just that they have different approaches to similar subject matter.
Keaton is as good as him.
Tarantino buts it better than I can. Mild NSFW language.
No, I'm acquainted with Bill's complete misreading of the character, I just continue to consider it a complete misreading of the character. Accurate to some extent pre-Crisis, I suppose.
*shrug* Fair enough. I've never been much of a Superman fan so I could be totally wrong. But from what I have read and seen in movies/TV it seems to fit.
Bale was better
He also had a dense body and impenetrable skin from the beginning, but yes I'm aware that flight came in the early 40s (introduced by the Fleischers in their animated films), and other powers later. These data points don't contradict my position that Superman is a major progenitor of later heroes, including several in at Marvel.
Power and origin are mainly what I'm drawing connections between, yeah. I'll readily agree that personality is what makes any character unique.
You've got Superman backwards! Superman is Clark Kent; he refers to himself as "Clark" in thought balloons, even while dressed and acting as Superman. He is the man the Kents raised on a farm, and in a way the Superman suit and persona are the disguise. Batman is the opposite, as you rightly observe,and I generally agree with the rest of your thoughtful post.