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DC/Marvel Character Tourney Golden Age Region, Round 1

The first round of voting begins now!

Simply choose your favorite (whether it be that you think they’re more interesting, more appealing, whatever criteria you want to use) in the following match-up. The voting concludes 48 hours from right now!

The seeding was mostly based on the results of our 2007 DC/Marvel Character Poll and then split into brackets based on when each character was introduced!


Check back Saturday to see who advanced to the next round!


Captain Americs?

That was actually my trickiest of these. Much as I love Brubaker’s series and I love Ultimate Captain America, the character as he originally appeared holds no interest for me whereas I quite like Alan Scott so I went for Green Lantern.


The poll may be organized by the period in which the character was introduced, but I don’t think it refers only to that specific iteration of the character, since it specifies that Dick Grayson is Robin AND Nightwing AND Batman

I feel somewhat guilty for picking Aquaman over Dick Grayson, but I am simply bemused by Aquaman, whereas Dick tends to outright annoy me.

Oh I know Guido, but at heart I find Cap to be a pretty crappy character in most hands.

I think the only example where I went for the higher seed was Luthor versus Black Canary.

This is tough because of different versions.

Gail Simone Black Canary beats Silver Age Lex and Current Lex


Roger Stern Lex beats all versions of Black Canary.

So I have no idea what to do there.

Here are my votes, based on the following criteria: character potential (how interesting is the character? ) and story engine potential (how many stories can the character generate?). Also, for each character I tried to stay within the bounds of the Golden Age. For example, Green Arrow’s potential as a character is strictly based on his Golden Age characterization and not on post Golden Age developments:

1.Batman: The easiest vote.A well conceived character with a nearly limitless potential as a story engine. Black Adam is interesting, but more limited.

2. Black Canary: Tough call, as her G.A. potential was somewhat limited. Luthor, however, was even more limited: a stock mad scientist chracter with no real potential.

3.Dick Grayson: Everything that applies to Batman applies equally to Grayson. The Golden Age Aquaman was a joke, a pallid Namor rip-off.

4. Joker. This was really tough. The Joker wins on the basis of being one of the best villains of all time. The strength of the GA version is evidenced by the fact that subsequent treatments of the character (DEnny O’Neill and Steve Englehart in the 70s, the DARK KNIGHT in the oughts) have all gone back to this version. SElina Kyle, with her antihero/villain with a heart of gold persona is not quite as potent a character, although she would have crushed Luthor.

5. Hawkman: Carter Hall wins on the strength of the character’s story engine potential: re-incarnation (ripped off from Haggard’s SHE, but still), great visual appeal (ripped off from Alex Raymond, but still), cool use of ancient weaponry, etc.WW, in contrast, is much harder to get a grip on. The bondage meets mythology meets superhero meets WW2 patriotism elements simply do not cohere.

6. Namor: Namor wins based on the complexity of his personality. Here is a character who can function with wqual conviction as either a hero or as a villain. Superman, in contrast, is pure cardboard.

7. Captain Marvel: CM wins hands down. He was probably the best super powered hero of the GA. Just compare his GA Rogue’s Gallery (Black Adam, Captain Nazi, Oggar, Mr. Mind, Sivana, KUll the beast man, etc) to to Supes’ (Luthor, the Imp from the 5th dimension, and then what….the prankster?).Note how Superman ruthlessly stole concepts from CM (Captain Marvel, Junior/Superboy, Mary Marvel/Supergirl). The GA Green Arrow was a second string Batman clone.

8. Captain America: Tough call, but I feel that the archetypal qualities of CA (nation’s symbol, embodiment of America’s fighting spirit, etc) slightly edge out the Golden Age GL

I’m guessing there will be a Silver Age bracket. What will be the fourth bracket… Bronze Age?

I’ve been pretty much a Marvel Zuvembie for the last couple of decades, which is definitely going to prejudice me when we get to the later years. But since the Golden Age is nearly all DC characters (including the ones that used to be Fawcett), I now find myself having to choose between characters I haven’t read in years.
Surprisingly, though, I ended up choosing DC over Marvel half the time in this round. Namor is a complex character, but he’s never excited me, and let’s face it– there’s no way he could beat Superman. Superman invented the genre.
I’m shocked to see from the comments that I was not the only one to choose Black Canary over Luthor. (70s-80s Luthor was pretty boring to me, and what I’ve heard of the modern version doesn’t sound that much better. I’ve sometimes wondered if he’s only a major villain because everybody just assumes he is, because of history.)
Black Adam just doesn’t stand a chance here, does he?
Where is Plastic Man?

Black Adam, Lex Luthor, Aquaman, Joker, Wonder Women, Sub Mariner, Captain Marvel, and Captain America.

These were much harder picks for me than the Modern Era bracket. Wonder why that is?

Reasons for voting:

1) Black Adam over Batman – I’m in the camp that believes Batman is over-rated as a character. He is sorta one-note, and became even more one-note in recent years, and the modern interpretations that paint him as the supreme bad-ass that knows everything and never loses make him slightly irksome to me. His world is wonderful, though. Black Adam is equally one-note at times, but he displays more moral ambiguity, and the DC universe needs someone who is a “hero-villain”.

2) Lex Luthor over Black Canary – I despise the Silver Age Lex, but I love the businessman version. He challenges Superman in the only arena that Supes can’t easily win. Black Canary is cool and all, but she always seemed sorta the “standard take-no-shit-from-anyone superheroine.”

3) Dick Grayson over Aquaman – Dick is one of the few mainstream characters that really evolved and grew up. I also appreciate how he has a wider range of emotions than his mentor. Aquaman is a character that I liked when Peter David wrote him. Normally I have zero interest in him.

4) Catwoman over the Joker – Mostly because the way the Joker keeps killing or crippling lots and lots of supporting characters and zillions of innocent bystanders while laughing and crackling jokes and never ever having to pay for it makes me ill. I am usually not one to require my fiction to be morally upstanding, but even I have some limits.

5) Wonder Woman over Hawkman – I love Wonder Woman and everything she represents. Hawkman is like Aquaman. I usually have zero interest in. Strangely enough, the only version of him I really loved is the usually despised Hawkworld version.

6) Sub-Mariner over Superman – Superherodom first hero vs. the first anti-hero? I like them both, but I think I’ll choose Namor as the more unpredictable and complex of the two.

7) Green Arrow over Captain Marvel – A hard choice. I have moderate interest in both of them. Green Arrow, only because I’m not the kind of comic book fan that has a nostalgic fascination with kids.

8) Captain America over Alan Scott – Cap is a highly complex character with a lot of story that always reflected the times, plus he is a national symbol. Alan is a good character to have in the JSA, but he can’t compare.

yeah the hardest for me was actually the 2/15 seeds. I love Captain Americs but Alan Scott may be my favorite of the JSA. Still haven’t even decided. Maybe after I finish this drink my head will be clearer.

oh and the rest goes – Adam over Batman (cause of the eyebrows and ears), Luthor over Canary (cause Luthor is DC’s DOOM), Grayson over Aquaman (he’s just a better character), Joker over Catwoman (because that’s the way anybody should vote), Hawkman over WW (Hawkman in any version is more interesting that WW), Subby over Supes (same reasons as Adam + there’s just more to him), Cap over Green Arrow (my favorite and I feel best written Golden Age hero is the red cheese)

Okay, here are my votes and if applicable the reasons why. My criteria was the simplest of all — which character I like better. No bells or whistles.

16 defeats 1. Black Adam — I haven’t actually read that much with Black Adam, but I find him interesting. This whole “Batman Is God” approach to the character over the last decade or so has really turned me off to Batman.

9 defeats 8. Black Canary — One of my favorite characters. Lex is cool enough I guess, but I can take him or leave him.

5 defeats 12. Dick Grayson — Gets cooler as time has passes. Aquaman, however, is never cool.

4 defeats 13. Joker — This was a close one, and could have gone either way. Dartboard pick.

6 defeats 11. Wonder Woman — Iconic and occasionally interesting. Hawkman, while visually fantastic, has such a confusing backstory that I’ve never been able to get into the character, as he’s always changing versions — even more than most DC heroes.

14 defeats 3. Namor — The most complex golden age character up against the most one dimensional. No contest.

7 defeats 10. Green Arrow — My favorite DC hero. No contest.

2 defeats 15. Captain America — And my favorite Marvel hero, so again, no contest even though I do like Alan Scott a lot.

cap vs green lantern was the toughest. i went cap because if its a matter of wills caps just gonna tough it out. lex vs canary was easy. it was mad scientest lex during these times so hed just throw test tubes at the girl.

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