Top 10 Biggest Differences Between Marvel and DC

Written by Shane O'Gorman Both companies may have dozens of superheroes with high-flying abilities, but underneath all that flash and glamour; they have a bunch of differences as well. Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we will be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Differences between Marvel and DC Comics. For this list, we are looking at a variety of aspects and details unique to each companies’ management and productions styles, that mark significant details between them. Even though they both crank out superhero stories, there are some fascinating differences between how the two companies go about it. Special thanks to our user Laballs for suggesting this idea, check out the voting page at http://WatchMojo.comsuggest/Top+10+Differences+Between+Marvel+and+DC
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Top 10 Differences Between Marvel and DC

Both companies may have dozens of superheroes with high-flying abilities, but underneath all that flash and glamour; they have a bunch of differences as well. Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we will be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Differences between Marvel and DC Comics.

For this list, we are looking at a variety of aspects and details unique to each companies’ management and productions styles, that mark significant details between them. Even though they both crank out superhero stories, there are some fascinating differences between how the two companies go about it.

#10: Marvel Has More Superhero Teams


We can honestly just explain this by listing just a few of the many teams that Marvel comics has brought together of the years. First and foremost, there are of course The Avengers; possibly the most widely recognizable ensemble in the Marvel universe re still rivalled in popularity by the X-Men and Fantastic Four. Not only do these teams have tons of variations but Marvel also has the Secret Warriors, Inhumans, Alpha Flight, The Defenders… Sigh, the list goes on. While DC’s Justice League and Teen titans are more than a match for what Marvel has to offer, there really just aren’t enough established heroes for them to complete.

#9: Marvel’s Characters Die (and return) More Often


Over the years, Marvel has tried to replicate the massive success of the aforementioned “Death of Superman” storyline by killing off many of their own characters. One of the more famous examples of this was “The Death of Captain America” storyline, which revolved around the assassination of the star spangled avenger. The X-Men series also hasn’t been shy with offing their major players, including the death of Jean Grey, Wolverine and even Professor X himself. It makes for dramatic storytelling, we get it, but it breaks that dramatic tension if they all die so frequently, not to mention they come back to life only a few months later. We guess that it’s only a matter of time before even Uncle Ben comes back too.

#8: Marvel’s ‘Events’ are More Frequent


We’re not saying that DC doesn’t have their share of large scale comic book events, like the wildly entertaining “Flashpoint” or shocking “Death of Superman” storylines. However, these events are few and far between, and that’s really not a bad thing. Marvel on the other hand has been cranking out universe changing events every year. Heroes fought heroes in ‘Civil War’ and everything changed. Then in ‘Secret Invasion’ heroes fought Skrulls disguised as heroes and everything changed. Then during ‘Dark Reign’ heroes fought villains disguised as heroes and everything changed and… you get the picture. Marvel keeps things moving with huge crossover storylines but DC’s massive events definitely have more of an impact.

#7: The Dark Sides


Both companies are nearly equal in terms of representing the dark sides of their respective universes, however the interesting differences arise in how they handle this grimmer subject matter. Marvel has reserved this more edgy side of their properties for solo characters like Punisher and Daredevil, who you won’t often see fighting alongside any of Marvel’s more iconic names. DC on the other hand puts Batman, literally The DARK Knight front and centre and his popularity and influence is what gave superhero comic books a more serious tone in the first place. Often parodied and from time to time even taken a little too far, DC definitely puts the darkness front an centre.

#6: DC Has Animation Figured Out


Whether it’s a television series or animated feature, DC undoubtedly has the stranglehold on Marvel in this department. That’s not to say Marvel doesn’t release as many animated outings as its rival company, it’s just that DC’s hit a much higher level of quality much more often. Marvel had some brilliant stroke with the 90’s X-Men and Spider-Man animated series, and while a few other shows since then have done a great job, there are far more flops than success in Marvel’s animated portfolio. DC on the other hand really knows what they are doing in this department, and DC fans have a lot more to love when it comes to animation.

#5: DC Has a Longer History


Long before Peter Parker squeezed into his Spidey suit, the DC comics universe was already bursting at the seems with a laundry list of heroes and villains. Even though both companies kicked off at around the same time, it took a generation before Marvel created most of their big names. Superman had already soared through the sky, Batman was already prowling the rooftops and The Flash had picked up tons of speed before the Fantastic Four’s first issue ever hit the shelves. So much of Marvel’s success rests on characters who were created in the 1960’s and 70’s, where as many of the DC heroes we love today have been around since the very beginning.

#4: DC Has More Stand-Alone Stories


We already find it very impressive how both companies somehow manage to find writers and artists capable of delivering brand new storylines each and every month. On top of this already strenuous task, DC somehow manages to find the time and extra bursts of creativity to produce a lot of completely stand-alone narratives. Alan Moore’s ground-breaking graphic novel “Watchmen” made waves in the comic book community for challenging the conventions of the medium, delivering a truly thought provoking piece of work. Additionally, Grant Morrison wrote the chilling “Arkham Asylum”, a much more psychological look into the relationship the Dark Knight shares with his rogues’ gallery. We love traditional monthly issues with overarching plots, but sometimes its nice for something fresh and different; something that DC satisfies us with regularly.

#3: DC’s Universe is More Fictional, Marvel Uses Real Locations


From Gotham to Metropolis to Central City, DC’s locations are based on real world cities but they definitely aren’t places you’ll never find on a map. While these imaginative playgrounds that give DC a lot of creative freedom, we appreciate Marvel using real places to help add that extra element of reality and believability. Can you believe that was even considered a controversial decision back in the day? Both directions have pros and cons, indeed Marvel always has to struggle to keep it’s world ‘in tact’ and constant with the real world. It really comes down to relatability vs escapism and what you personally want from your superhero stories.

#2: Marvel Has More Stories and Characters that Deal With Real Issues


Speaking of reality and believability helping immerse a reader into a storyline, Marvel’s approach to tackle real world issues can truly register in the eyes of it’s audience; as they too have experienced very similar dilemmas and situations. After the devastating 9/11 attacks, Marvel wrote a story featuring Spider-man, Captain America and other characters helping out with the recovery and repairs necessary after such a traumatic experience. Everyone has felt anger and loneliness like Bruce Banner, mutant hatred in X-Men is just one big allegory for social prejudice and who hasn’t had a boss like Jonah Jameson give them hell at least once in their life? Superman has a real job too, but come on, he’s never had to worry about paying the bills.

#1: Marvel Has Their Movies Figured Out


Marvel has taken the movie industry by storm with big screen hits like Iron Man, Guardians of The Galaxy and Captain America. Furthermore, they paved the way for films to have a cohesive narrative across films starring different characters and creating a tangible link between them all. Even before this mega success, Marvel proved itself in the film business with Blade, X-Men and Spider-Man. DC has a lot of great movies under it’s belt, with the original 1978 Superman and the Dark Knight Trilogy being the standouts. However, recently with DC’s attempts to play catch-up to the Marvel Cinematic Universe have fallen short of expectations.

Do you agree with our list? What do you think are the most striking differences between Marvel and DC? For more informative Top 10’s published everyday, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.
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