Jesse Schedeen, who writes at IGN, wrote an article a few weeks ago asking the question: “Is Marvel Losing Ground to DC?” I would like to write a counterpoint article. Take note of a few things before we proceed:
- I still have great respect for Mr. Schedeen as a writer and this article is just where me and him see differently on a few things.
- I’m not just a “Marvel Fanboy” I have great love for what DC has done, Rebirth has had some really solid comics and some really bad ones. That being said…
Is Marvel losing ground to DC? No. Absolutely not. Now, Mr. Schedeen wrote his article before Marvel released their Fall line-up so he is at a slight disadvantage but I don’t think his opinions would’ve changed that much. Many of his issues with the company were things that will most likely continue into this next season but whereas they are things that he might be upset with, most of them are things that I can’t wait for. Prime Example: I love the idea of two new people taking on the mantle of Iron Man but him and many others most likely hate the idea. WiseSage himself has said that he will miss Tony Stark as Iron Man but he, like me, is open to new storylines. I had originally planned on doing an entire article on the new line-up but just about everything I could say has already been given on any number of articles on other sites so instead I’ll be talking a bit about the ones I’m excited for while responding to Mr. Schedeen’s article. If you’re interested in seeing all of the solicitations then you can see them here: http://comicsalliance.com/marvel-now-previews-line-up/
So why do I think Marvel isn’t losing ground to DC? Simple: DC’s not willing to take a risk and when they do, it’s the wrong risk. Let Scott Lobdell, Dan Jurgens and Peter J. Tomasi have very little editorial backlash? Bad Risk. Make Pre-Flashpoint Superman an idiot? Bad Risk. Use Titans to forget about one of the most beloved Teen Titans runs? Really Bad Risk. Now, Don’t think that I’m just hating on DC all throughout this article because I’m not. In fact, Here’s some good risks they’ve taken.
- Keeping Robert Venditti on Green Lantern was a very good decision. He had the unenviable task of following Johns and yes, his earlier stuff was a little rough but he only got better the more I read. Godhead was a fantastic storyline and I loved Hal going rogue. It was a different take but it never stopped being fun.
- Letting Tom King take over on Batman was absolutely perfect. Both of these decisions were mainly risks due to the fact that their previous writers were Eisner award winners and anybody would be a risk in comparison but King was clearly the best choice. His Batman has already given us some amazing things to see and it’s only on the third issue.
- Bringing Simon Baz and Jessica Cruz back to the forefront of DC and making them Earth’s primary Lanterns was a perfect move. These two were not only great diverse characters in their own right they were also horribly underused and deserved their own story. Also, Sam Humphries was a great choice for writer here.
- Everything about Detective Comics, Nightwing and Green Arrow have been perfect. That is all.
See? I like DC and I want them to succeed but let’s face the fact that if we’re looking at DC You/Rebirth VS. Secret Wars/All-New, All-Different Marvel then Marvel has clearly won over the last year and a half. Secret Wars was easily one of my all time favorite event comics and every Marvel comic that I’ve read since then has been at least a 7 out of 10.(I haven’t read all of them but seriously most of them have been pretty solid.)
Something else that Marvel has done is perfected the idea of a reboot. Instead of restarting every 3 or 4 years, Marvel is now working on a seasonal schedule like a television series. Now every fall we get to see all of the wild changes, new comics and new characters for us to enjoy. I love this system because it gives people a perfect jumping on point once a year while also carrying on all the great stories that us comic readers already love.
Something else that I love that Marvel is doing is building up their characters. Ask someone who Marvel’s best character is and you could get a plethora of answers now ranging from household names like Iron Man and Spider-Man all the way to previously unknown heroes like Star-Lord and Jessica Jones. Marvel has built their roster up to where there are no more obscure heroes or villains. Everyone has the ability of being an A-Lister now. If you told me 10 years ago that Carol Danvers(Captain Marvel) would be headlining the summer event comic with Iron Man then I would’ve thought you were crazy, not because she wasn’t any good but because she wasn’t really a headlining fan-favorite yet.
Now contrast that with DC, they have great characters but they’re not willing to branch out too far from the main ones. Ask someone who the best DC character is and you’ll get some who say Superman, some who say Wonder Woman, a few would say Flash and most would say Batman. Nothing wrong with those answers because those guys are great but they’re everywhere for DC. Why doesn’t the Justice League Line-Up change? Why hasn’t anyone besides Scott Snyder, Robert Venditti and Geoff Johns created new characters?(That last one is a slight exaggeration but it still holds some weight)
A great example of what they should do came from WiseSage. His plan was that they should make the Justice League like it was in the 80’s with a few heavy hitters like Flash and Aquaman and then build up some lesser known characters like Black Canary and Blue Beetle. I think it’s a great idea and a perfect way to build up your roster.
What’s that? It would never work? well I have two words for you, random naysayer: Young. Justice. How many non comic readers do you think knew about Jaime Reyes, Kaldur’ahm or Artemis before that show? Probably not too many and yet they all became fan favorites. I don’t understand why DC animated and DC Comics both let this goldmine fall to the wayside. I would buy a Young Justice comic, I’d watch a Season 3 and I’d buy as many action figures and shirts as it took to keep it on the air. This was a show that started a movement that hasn’t been seen since Batman: The Animated Series(Yup, I said it.) and yet for some reason DC has allowed them to become “Forgotten.”
Meanwhile, Marvel has put some of it’s best talent on their fan favorite books. Soule on Daredevil, Bendis on Guardians Of The Galaxy and Coates on Black Panther have all given us some great comics and it will only continue after this fall. I love DC but they’ve got a long road ahead of them before they can catch up to Marvel.