Sunday, January 30, 2011

DC or Marvel?


Hello --

Welcome to my comics and science fiction blog! I'm glad you've been able to find it. For my first entry I've decided to start with something I wrote about six months ago for a comic fan site. I figure it would be a good way to start this blog. As they say, the first step is always the highest.

I have only recently returned to reading and collecting comics from a nearly 20 year hiatus. In the late 80s and early 90s my “superhero” continuum was Marvel’s. Basically, I followed the universe that best marketed to my angst-ridden interests. Wolverine and the X-Men were my favourites, but I also liked Spider-man, Hulk, Daredevil and Alpha Flight. Batman and the occasional Superman were my only DC exceptions, and that’s probably due to the Batman movies and the hype around the Death of Superman story-arch.

When I started reading and collecting last year it was, again, mostly Marvel. Not X-Men so much as Marvel Cosmic going right back to the Silver Age. However, when I chanced upon an inexpensive bin copy of Countdown to Infinite Crisis, I bought it and really, really enjoyed it. This took me the wider DC universe and I've since enjoyed (to varying degrees) back issues of Action Comics, Batman, Green Lantern and cross-over titles like Infinite Crisis, 52, Villains United, New Frontier, etc. I’m still a little behind with the larger DC meta-narrative (Identity Crisis and 52 would have been impossible without the DC wiki) but so far, so good.

So, all in all, I have to say that both companies are very good and have lots to offer the fan of sequential art. Some folks have mentioned how DC is prone to god-like characters while Marvel is better at producing flawed heroes. To an extent, I agree with this assessment and I’ve always appreciated the angst of a Marvel character like Silver Surfer or Wolverine. However, it is also sometimes just FUN to watch too immortals (Black Adam v. Superman) kick the proverbial crap out of each other!

Being primarily a Silver and Bronze Age collector, I'm still more inclined to go with Marvel. Superman, Batman or World’s Finest in the 60s can’t hold a candle to FF, Thor or the Avengers. But now-a-days, I'll also continue to pick up Trade paperbacks, graphic novels and back issues from both universes -- ans will never stop believing that healthy competition between the two companies will only make our medium stronger and more interesting.