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I’m a Marvel … and I’m a DC

Yeah, I know that joke’s been done. I don’t care!

So there I was, following Bill Reed’s links to David Brothers’ post on “detoxing” from comics. I actually skipped Brothers’ post the first time I came across it, but I’m not sure why – I may have been pressed for time, and it’s a good hefty post. But then I read it, and the comments. One of the commenters writes, specifically, that he’s a “Marvel guy.” He points out that if he had been a bit younger, he would have watched Batman: The Animated Series instead of Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends and probably have been a DC guy, but based on DC’s current output, he probably wouldn’t enjoy being a DC guy.

This gave me pause, as it always does when it comes up. The habits of superhero fans rarely make sense to me, even though I’m a superhero fan. This commenter made it sound as if it is impossible for him not to be a “Marvel guy.” He claims that if he was younger and was a “DC guy,” he wouldn’t like it based on the end of Cry for Justice and Blackest Night. I wonder if he even considered something … DC and Marvel are not forcing anyone to buy any of their comics. He says he’s a “Spider-Man guy.” I mentioned this before, that at my comic book store, some people buy every single Spider-Man comic even if they don’t like the creative team. Recently, a guy who hangs out at my store mentioned that he was pissed that David Lapham’s arc on Detective Comics, “City of Crime,” sucked so hard. Now, ignoring the fact that he’s so very, very wrong about that, it wasn’t that he bought the trade and was stuck with a twelve-issue arc that he thought sucked. No, it was that he had something like 300 straight issues of Detective and Lapham’s run was so bad he had to break up his run. He said he wouldn’t have minded if it was a three-issue story that sucked, because then it would have been over quickly. No, because it was twelve issues (twelve issues interrupted by the two-issue “War Crimes” crossover, I might add), he actually had to stop buying it and break up his collection. Now, I can deal with this a bit if it’s every issue of a long-running Marvel book that is supposed to be one story, even though the “continuity” of these books gets ignored or highlighted based on whim, but for a comic like Detective, which has for years been simply stories of Batman, with very little continuation of stories and characters when a different creative team comes on board, makes no sense to me whatsoever. I mean, this guy bought every single “No Man’s Land” issue? Really? I can sort of see where he’s coming from – for the most part, issues #550-800 on Detective are, stunningly, quite good (“stunningly” because that’s a long time, and with many different creative teams) – but to get angry because your run is broken up? That’s just odd.

I just wonder about this idea of being a “Marvel reader” or a “DC reader.” I know people still have that mindset, but it just makes no sense to me. Can anyone explain it to me? I get liking a character when you’re young and falling in love with that character. I loved the old Spider-Man cartoons when I was but a lad (even though I could never figure out what he was swinging from – the clouds? a passing blimp?) and I also loved Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends. I also loved Batman, because, well, HE’S GODDAMNED BATMAN!!!!! So when I started buying comics when I was 17, I bought Batman and Spider-Man comics. That’s cool if you love a character and want to read about him or her. When does it become a burden, though? If you’re reading a Spider-Man comic, don’t you notice who’s writing it and who’s drawing it? If you read Detective and Writer X is doing a great job and then Writer Y comes on board and stinks, don’t you give up on it? And if Writer X starts writing the adventures of another character – one you’ve never had an interest in – wouldn’t you at least check that out? If the much-loved Artist Q ditches Amazing Spider-Man and goes to another book, wouldn’t you at least give it a look? Especially if Artist J, who takes over for Artist Q, is lousy?

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This is especially vexing today, when creators are flexing their muscles much more with regard to character creation. I read some of the Essentials volumes from Marvel, and it’s fairly obvious that back in the 1960s and ’70s Marvel wanted to keep things as close to a “template” as possible, especially with regard to their flagship characters. So I can understand someone reading Amazing Spider-Man in the 1970s not thinking about who was writing it or who was drawing it, because Marvel obviously didn’t allow them to deviate too far from “who Spidey is.” But that kind of attitude hasn’t been prevalent in comics for 30 years. Are people really still carrying that baggage from three decades ago, and that “forces” them to read only Marvel or DC because the characters are so dear to them? I understand that childhood obscures your critical faculties occasionally (did you say something against Manimal, asshole? I didn’t think so!), but that much? Man, that’s a tough way to read comics.

I just wanted to point this out, because it’s such a strange phenomenon. It also seems like it’s confined to comics, mainly because the characters never age. Beloved television series can get rebooted, but they need to find new actors and it’s definitely a “new” product – you might watch The Rockford Files this fall, but no one can convince you that Dermot Mulroney is Jim Garner. We might watch James Bond movies for 50 years, but as the people playing him are completely different actors, the conceit that it’s the same man is lost. (As an aside, I read somewhere that in Die Another Day, the 2002 “40th Anniversary” Bond movie, they were going to reveal that the name “James Bond” is handed down through different agents, which is why he looks so different. I thought that was a fantastic idea. I have no idea if it was just a wild rumor or not, but it would have been awesome. The CrossGen series Kiss Kiss Bang Bang did something similar to this, and it’s well worth a read. Too bad it came out just as CrossGen was imploding.) Comics readers can convince themselves that 2010’s “Peter Parker” is the “same” as the one from the 1970s, and thanks to certain people in the industry, they’re right. This is also a phenomenon not seen too often in books – it takes a bit longer to produce prose, after all, so there can never be as many Anita Blake books as Captain America comics. And, of course, authors tend to own their stuff, so no one else can work on the character without permission. So in comics, we get characters who never age and therefore, people who read them today can believe they’ve never changed over 30 or 40 or 50 years. Is this why we get people claiming they’re “Marvel” or “DC” people?

I’d really like to know what our readers think. Are any of you “Marvel” or “DC” people? If so, why? The only reason I care is when people say they can’t afford smaller, less commercially viable books because they really need to buy every single Marvel book that came out that week. I mean, some of them have to suck, right? So why not take a chance on something smaller? If you’re just a Marvel person or just a DC person, you’re really missing out. I can understand people not liking DC because they slaughtered Lian Harper or Ryan Choi, but that ignores the stellar work Gail Simone is doing on Secret Six. I can understand people not liking Marvel because they took a major event in Rogue’s life and made it a stupid little part of Sentry’s Christological goodness, but that ignores the rousing adventure that Greg Pak and Fred van Lente are writing over in the Hercules/Amadeus Cho corner of the universe. Marvel and DC aren’t monolithic entities. There’s plenty of shit coming out from both companies. It’s so bizarre to me that someone would claim they don’t buy DC comics because they didn’t grow up with them. I can see being pre-disposed toward certain characters, but not to the point of ignoring an entire company because they don’t publish that character. That’s just weird.

So chime in. You can spend your money however you like, of course, and I’m not bashing anyone. I’m the last person who should be bashing how people spend their money. I own three (3) Kelly Clarkson CDs, after all. I just wonder how you spend your money. If you’re a Marvel or DC person, can you tell me why? I find things like this fascinating. Thanks!

[Yes, I started this a few weeks ago, which is why the links at the top are so old. My wife was in the hospital for a few days and then my mom came to town, so it got put on the back burner. My point still stands, though. I hope you can forgive me for being slow!]


I don’t consider myself a Marvel or a DC guy. I buy books from both publishers (and Image, Dark Horse, etc).

I buy more Marvel books simply because at this point they have more comics that I like. But if that changed, I would have no problem in dropping them. I can understand the completist impulse, but I don’t have it.

I would never restrict myself to just one publisher, though. I have a few writers and artists that I refuse to read, but you can always find good stuff, no matter how bad you think Marvel and DC are.

Hope everything is okay with your wife , Greg. (oh, and Manimal for life)

I used to be a Marvel guy, and I think it comes down to a lot of what you said, applied outward to the idea of a shared universe. Continuity gets dumped on a lot, as a grown-up, I’ve come to understand that a lot of it’s justified. But as a bookish, shy little kid, I really bought in to the whole notion that it was all connected, it all mattered, and the Marvel universe was a place filled characters I loved (the X-men, initially) and all their friends, who I’d come to love by association. I never dug Spider-man all that much, but he knew the X-men so he was one of the gang, and so I felt a lot more connected to him than, say, Superman.

So even if a story wasn’t so good (I still hadn’t really linked that to artist/writer yet), well, Wolverine was still there, and he was still cool. And to this day, I’d still usually rather spend a bad day with a friend than a good day with someone I have no real emotional attachment to.

Of course, once I hit about age 12 or so, that illusion began to fracture. I continued to collect out of habit and a mild form of OCD (I honestly believe part of the attraction is just a Rain Man fascination with making sure the numbers are consistent), but it became less and less fun, and I noticed more and more when arcs or whole runs went bad. I tried some DCU books, but since it was the mid-nineties, they were pretty bad, too. Marvel still won, because, while often bad, it was a familiar bad.

This is a miserable way to spend your time and money. I read less and less, and didn’t really come back until I found some creators like Ellis, Ennis, and Morrison, guys that made me feel excited to go out again and less like those old high school friends who I get a drink with every Thanksgiving out of nostalgia and semi-obligation. Upon reflection, I’m much happier this way, but it does represent a loss of that childlike credulity and wonder that I first felt and that got me into comics.

I miss that sometimes, but I think the intellectual trade-off was ultimately worth it.

Technically I’m a DC gut but really only because I like the characters far better and they’ve published more of my favorite stories. There is also something about certain popular Marvel writers and the tone in big event stories that turn me off.

However I love me some X-Men and Giant Sized X-Men to Uncanny #175 still ranks as my all time favorite run of issues. I like the Runaways and do pick up certain essential and various trades. I’d even go to see the current X-Factor series might be the most dependable series of the last few years.

So yeah, I’m a DC but Marvel does cool stuff.

Well, by your definition of ‘Marvel guy’, I’m not one. I do buy much more Marvel books than I do DC, but that’s only because the stories being told at Marvel interest me more. I have nothing against DC, the volume of their product just holds no interest to me.
And yes, I certainly hold no qaums about ‘runs’. As soon I’m not enjoying a series, I stop picking it up. Why abuse myself? Why spend money on something I don’t enjoy?
But, this article is just another chapter in the long, never ending question of why some fans continue to buy comics they don’t even like, thus supporting the writer and/or artist that is ruining the title they so love.
A question I’ve always wondered though is why comic book writing seems to hold such an importance over the art. It feels like I hear way more people complaining about what a hack Writer X is, or how their favourite characters aren’t written the right way any more, than I do people complaining about art in comic books. Which is interesting, because I think the art is much more important, and I also think comic book art has taken a decline in recent years. Much of this has to do with the glossy colouring process, which makes every character appear to be made of plastic, and some of this has to do with, what I view as, the comic book publics love for ‘realistic art’ over strong storytelling. I’d say comic art is more about figure and layout than it is about photo-realistic faces, but Marvel seems to disagree. Anyone else agree?

I manage a comic shop, and the question I got immediately and repeatedly after I took over was, “Are you a Marvel or DC guy?” I still get it occasionally and it still irks me. I’ve never understood this division of “sides” and, as a lover of comics as a form, find it grating that not only do I have to pick one, but that a series of assumptions will be made about my tastes and values based on my response (I similarly hate political discussions for that reason). I usually say, “I read a little bit of everything,” which is true, especially since the job calls for me to know about stuff I wouldn’t normally read. “Marvel or DC” makes more sense when you’re 14 years old and you’re just wondering which superhero could beat up the other, but as you read more comics and your tastes get a bit more inclusive, it’s an increasingly silly thing to have to consider. There’s a lot of really great stories out there, and to dismiss the possibility of finding them based on the perception of the publisher is doing yourself a serious disservice. I’m a Marvel guy, and a DC guy, and a Dark Horse guy, and a Top Shelf guy, and.. you get the picture. I’m a comics guy.

I was a Marvel Guy, and like your example, I got into comics through the Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends cartoon as a kid. I didn’t properly start reading DC Comics for a good 10 years of Marvel only buying, picking up Peter David’s Supergirl and then Young Justice because I loved his run on Hulk. Nowadays I’d still say I’m a Marvel Guy, but I still pick up a number of DC titles too. I do find it much easier to drop DC titles than Marvel though, after following the JSA since the James Robinson relaunch of JSA #1 I’ve now dropped all Justice Society & JSA All Stars titles because they have become awful. Same with all Titans titles. Conversley with Marvel even though I disliked the latest New Warriors and Young X-Men book I suffered through them to ‘complete’ my X-Men/New Warriors collections.

When I was growing up you were either one or the other, Marvel or DC, and whichever one you weren’t sucked. Even though I could admit I liked Batman I still KNEW DC sucked, haha. That’s how it worked, just like sports fans hate the opposition, this was war, and the line was drawn in the sand.

As an adult, I still say I’m a Marvel guy, but that’s because I don’t buy any DCU books, at all. I get plenty of Vertigo, and Image, and Oni, but I don’t dig on the DCU. I don’t hate it, no that would be petty, but it doesn’t resonate with me. Marvel still does and I pull down a fair degree of Marvel comics, not an insane amount, probably weighs half against all my other publishers, but I still know lots about the Marvel U, and it makes sense to me, and that’s where I go.

I can understand how some people read both, but in the end I also find it fascinating to know which side of the fence you fall, and in some way or another you generally have a preference, which universe do you like more. If it’s honestly even then that’s interesting to note too. I think, snap shot, gun to your head decision, you should be able to pick one. That doesn’t then mean you buy every title from that company and gripe about it, you should only buy what you like to read, I think.

Growing up, I was always in the “Marvel” camp because, well, Marvel was awesome. I didn’t care so much in the 90s, because I was equally reading from both. I’m now mostly a Marvel guy, but primarily due to changing interests rather than brand loyalty.

If I HAD to guess…I’d say that the fan attachment from one or the other stems from the two companies’ approaches to their characters. Marvel’s characters tend to be flawed and therefore relateable to the reader: Spider-Man is a loser, the Hulk has anger management issues, the X-Men are outcasts. DC’s characters are ideals: Morrison’s take on the JLA in the 90s was that they were a modern Olympian pantheon. I think the Avengers/JLA crossover pretty well exemplified this notion: the DC heroes were worshipped in their universe, while the Marvel heroes were ones you tended to be a little afraid of, but they were also kind of like you.

Or it could just be whichever company is awesome at the time. Guy with claws? Awesome. Wait, guy who dresses like a bat? Awesome.


May 16, 2010 at 1:30 pm

I was a close to exclusive fan of Marvel in the first half of the Seventies when I came back to comics after giving them up. The weird thing is that I read both Marvel and DC comics as a kid, before giving them up when I was ten on the grounds I was “too old” to read comics. But I came back (snob that I was) because I saw a New York Times Magazine article (1st half of 1971, I think) saying comics were “relevant” now and not “just for kids” anymore. That cover article featured Sgt. Rock on the cover and featured GL/GA quite heavily; so why not DC too?

Hard to diagnose my motives at this distance, but I think part of it was buying into Stan’s hype that Marvel was for the more sophisticated reader (like the “thinking man’s X”). And there may have been a time when Marvel appealed (or tried to appeal) more to teenagers and DC more to kids. But once I got back in, I think it was the appeal to the Gruenwald in me. At the time of Roy Thomas & Steve Englehart, and their heightened sensitivity to continuity, the more-coherent universe won my limited time (and money). I saw Marvel comics more as an historical tapestry that I wanted to see all of, even the crummy parts, and I bought things like 100 issues of Ghost Rider, even though I disliked the book (except for a dozen Roger Stern (and one Starlin) issue).

What broke the spell was exactly what you suggested: a favorite creator’s move. I loved Steve Englehart (as should be obvious from my recent comments on The Best Englehart Stories thread), and when he moved, I had to at least read his JLA & Batman stories. But even then, habit and poverty kept me from buying them, until I read the issue in which Hugo Strange learned and took over Batman’s identity. It was just too good not to buy, and I finally snarled, “Screw Ghost Rider,” dropped it like the bad habit it was., and never looked back.
I bought on the basis of creators, not companies, from then on, and a good thing, too, or I’d have missed American Flag, Miracleman & Nexus.

(Though when I stopped buying comics again for lack of money during most of the Nineties, the ones I kept reading (Ostrander Spectre, Starman, Waid Flash, Morrison JLA) were all DC, ironically enough, except for Quasar. ( I think DC really was better overall than Marvel in the Nineties; all I missed, apparently was Busiek on Untold Tales of Spider-Man and Avengers. Was I wrong?) But when I had the funds to collect again around the turn of the millennium, Marvel had gotten good again, and I bought whatever I liked from them and everybody else.)

Too long a answer, perhaps, but the question really made me think hard about myself and my motives. Thanks for asking it.

I read both companies, but I don’t think the question is as absurd as many seem to think.

There ARE stylistic and philosophical differences between the two universes. Granted, in the last 20 years, the DC Universe has become a much grittier place, but DC still tends to present larger-than-life icons, while Marvel deals with a more down-to-earth, human scale. Naturally some fans would prefer one approach to the other. These differences were a lot more pronounced from the 1960s to the 1980s than they are right now, but prejudices die hard. I have friends that are casual Marvel fans that still view the DC Universe as too cartoony and cheerful. I don’t think they ever heard about Dr. Light’s encounter with Sue Dibny, and if they had, they would probably discount it as a fluke.

I am very partial to DC, but to qualify: that’s out of only the Big Two; I do buy more than just DC titles. It helps that I am named Lex (And yes it was for Lex Luthor) and my Dad is mostly a DC guy; so I have many of the skewed views that come in the same way as being in a liberal or conservative household politically. But for me I think the biggest difference is, Marvel deals in characters, while DC deals in Icons. Spiderman, the X-Men, and Iron Man are all mirrors of some form of the everyman. While Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman (to some degree), Captain Marvel, and the Flash are more mirrors of ideas; be it the most powerful man in the world, the most powerful benevolent god, and/or peace and war, and how the two are forever intertwined.

That isn’t to say that there isn’t crap coming out of DC, nor good things coming out of Marvel. I’m enjoying Spiderman Fever immensely, while Batgirl, and Red Robin titles are awful, and Justice League is just in editorial mandate hell (At this point the title should be canceled and they just replace it with whatever event happens). When it comes to imprints DC has it all over marvel, between just Vertigo and Wildstorm.

But I have gotten into many of the smaller companies. Avatar is putting out nothing but great things (Except Fevre Dream), I’ve ventured into Image some, and when Dynamite starts publishing that Morrison title you can bet I’ll be there.

That being said I am mostly a superhero fan, I’ve given Stumptown a chance because I love Greg Rucka and Portland Oregon, unfortunately the art style broke the deal for me. Air on the other hand is a great non superhero story that is just a joy to read (Though I trade wait that one). So I think in the end I have preference when it comes to the big two publishers (Mostly brought up through brainwashing) but I’m not closed to all other publishers, nor types of comics (Kabuki looks really cool).

i am not exclusive to either company, and i’ve never understood anyone who is. Granted, i own more marvel books than DC or indie, but i will venture out and buy something that isn’t from Marvel, if it looks good and interesting.

I’ve always kinda thought that if someone held a gun to my head and told me I HAD to chose, I would chose Marvel. My favorite book right now is Green Lantern, but I buy mostly Marvel. I used to worry about breaking runs and such, but I have had times when I had to drop comics all together for financial reasons so I obviously ended up missing months of books. Now my concern, for the most part, is having complete stories. I’ll keep the stories I like and sell/trade/whatever the ones I don’t.

I suspect that breaking into either universe takes a decent amount of work (or seems like it takes a decent amount of work) in terms of understanding tone, symbolism, and characters. And both companies put out enough stuff that given the choice of trying to do that work or reading another title in the universe of your choice, it’s easier to stay in your own universe.

Note that there’s nothing specific about DC or Marvel; similar comments can be made about any fictional universe, or following a specific writer, or understanding how a given religion works, etc.

Definitely Marvel back in the 60s and 70s, DC were fairly hard to find in my town in the UK. Since then dipped into DC, Harvey, Charlton, St John, Ace, Atlas, Warren, Dark Horse, BlueWater, Boom etc as well. Also, there are just so many comics to check out here in the UK (not that you would find many now in our local newsagents, ones I ignored back in the 60s and 70s because of my love for Marvel.

Been recently also re-discovering a lot of French, German, Dutch etc books.. so a lot more than just DC and Marvel. Just a pity it is so hard to purchase European books in the UK, most are either Manga or DC or Marvel.

Marvel or DC – certainly no preference. Good stories, good art, characters etc perfectly happy (or not) with either.

I grew up as a total Marvel fan. I loved every character from every book I could get my hands on. DC’s history to me felt confusing and muddled. At the time I remember being pretty bored with a vast amount of what DC was putting out. From about 95′ until ’03 I stop reading comics. When I started reading them again I had a hard time getting into Marvel. Everything felt depressing and heavy. When I looked to DC however the books seemed fun again. I’m not going to say I’ve only read DC over the course of the last 7 years but Marvel, to me, still isn’t as fun as it was when I was a kid. DC on the other hand seems to become more and more interesting. I’ve been looking at a lot of old DC from when I was younger and finding it much more interesting. As far as picking up fun book to lose myself in week-to-week I can’t hep but look towards DC. It’s almost a bit disappointing because I’ll hear people at the comic store talking about some great Marvel book. Usually I’ll pick up an issue or a trade and it just pales so much compared to the stuff I remember. There have been a few shining moments but overall I’m a converted DC man.

Lord Paradise

May 16, 2010 at 1:57 pm

I am a Marvel guy because I have the marvel.com subscription, and if I want to read a DC comic I actually have to BUY it.

Aside from that, no. I’m a Good Comics guy.

Interesting stuff, everyone. Thanks for answering.

Dude: She’s fine, thanks. But they took her gall bladder right out! NOOOOOO!!!!! How will she live without gall?!?!?!?

I am a Spider-Man fan. I read Spider-man for many years before trying out other comics two years ago. In general, I like Marvel more than DCU, but I buy DC. In fact, I love Vertigo, my favorite comics are from Vertigo.

I agree that it is silly to keep buying things you don’t enjoy. I have enjoyed Spidey for the last 7 years, so fortunately I don’t have the dilemma of having to drop the book. I do notice when I like a writer more than others, such as Van Lente. Now I am starting the Hercules series because I love his stories in Spider-Man.

I don’t understand people who only buy Marvel, or only DC. It’s like only watching CBS, or only going to see Paramount movies, or only reading books published by HarperCollins or whatever, or only rooting for the Packers. This is why I will never understand sports fans. Clearly, they’re not choosing quality, they’re choosing an arbitrary side, for a nonsensical reason. They’re fools.

I never grew up as a “DC” guy or a “Marvel” guy or, heaven forbid, some other company. The comics I read were the comics I was given; it’s not like I was buying my own. Therefore, I was exposed to everything, not just one thing. Sometimes I’m in the mood for a Pepsi, and sometimes I want Cherry Coke. I’m a comics guy, and that’s good enough for me.

I would have to consider myself a Marvel guy, because most of the comics I buy are from Marvel and I am more familiar with their universe. That said, I will not hesitate to pick up a DC, indie, or art comic if it looks interesting to me. Avatar, for example, puts out a lot of comics that I like as much as, if not more than, the Marvel stuff I buy.

For one thing, I think people just like to belong to a “team”. PC vs. Mac, Cubs vs. Sox, Edward vs. Jacob, whatever. There’s probably some kind of biological imperative that makes people want to pick sides out of a primal instinct for mutual survival or something.

These days, with the cost of comics being what it is, and the perception (sometimes accurate, sometimes not) that you have to follow a whole ton of books to understand what’s going on in the “universe”, it probably just makes sense to some people to pick a side and stick with it, arbitrary as it may be. Sure, you may miss some good stuff that way, but you’re going to miss some stuff anyway if your time and money are limited.

This is probably not a revelation, but the behavior of comics fans is often irrational. I’m sure at lease some of the people who are complaining about, say, the four Avengers ongoing series would probably be fine if they were sold as one weekly book, or four more distinct titles with the exact same stories.

When I was about 13 or 14, I was an astute Marvel guy. This was largely due to Spider-Man, growing up on Marvel, and being so young, not having too much of a critical eye. One of the problems I had though, was that I just didn’t know DC’s continuity, so I always felt like I was unable to just jump in to a good DC comic (the fact that all the Infinite Crisis tie-ins – which often lacked plot synopses at the beginning of the issue – were going on around this point certainly didn’t help).

Of course, once I started heavily getting into comics around 17, I stopped being prejudiced. Quality is quality, no matter the company.

Willie Everstop

May 16, 2010 at 2:53 pm

I’m a Marvel guy. The Golden Age is five. I read Marvel comics when I was a kid so that makes them the best ever. Shared universes in fiction are rare and here we have two of the biggest competing with each other.

I’ve never really been a sports fan but there is nothing wrong with rooting for the home team. I sort of see the appeal of following televised sports. They have colorful costumes, continuity with past games, and super soldier serums.

See, I reckon part of the problem is almost everyone on this board is looking at the issue of which comics they buy and why, with a fair bit of knowledge about comics. Now, if you think back to when you first jumped on board the comic bandwagon, I think most people will agree it’s pretty daunting. You don’t know your Green Lanterns from your Dr. Stranges, and the conventions in comics that we accept as the norm (like blocks of text being the equivalent in prose of first person narration) take a while to get your head around. Not to mention that whatever comic you pick up first is going to have “x” number of issues of both immediate and long-term back-story.
So assuming for arguments sake you pick up Amazing Spider-Man because you like the cartoon, there’s a better chance of you understanding enough about Spidey’s universe (who Aunt May is, what JJJ’s relationship to both Peter and Spidey is, what Peter’s great tragedy is etc.) to enjoy the comic enough to want to see what happens next, than if you pick up the latest issue of Superman without any real knowledge of who Connor, Christopher Kent and Jimmy Olsen are.
So, assuming you keep picking up whatever comic whose small universe you have become exposed to through some other media, there is a far greater chance of your becoming exposed to other characters in that shared universe (Marvel to keep my Spidey analogy going) than in their competitions universe. So, if you decide to pick up a second comic it’s more likely to be in whichever universe you first dipped you toe into. Now while anyone on this board probably has a pretty good idea of not only who Marvel and DC are, not to mention what characters they own and who generally writes/draws for them, none of this information is necessarily known to our hypothetical nascent comic buyer. If I had a euro for every time one of my buddies suggested “Marvel should do a Spider-man/Superman movie,” I’d have…well…about €5…but the point still stands.
Now just like a certain percentage of people will enjoy a book by a given author, become comfortable with their writing style and go out and buy every new book from that author regardless of good/bad reviews or whether or not they really enjoyed their last book, I figure a certain percentage of new comic buyers become comfortable in and knowledgeable about whichever comic universe they first dip their toe into, and are not overly anxious to go through the whole noobie experience with another universe again even after they start to realize where to find out who writes/draws what book.

The reasons the universes in question tend to be Marvel and DC are threefold. Firstly, people outside the comic-buying universes have the greatest exposure to characters from the big two. Secondly, if you venture into a comic store (not always the friendliest of environments for new comic buyers!) Marvel and DC will take up more rack space than any other company, and the same applies in bookstores. Thirdly, the really are the only two “LARGE” shared universes in comics. Other companies may have a handful of characters inhabiting the same universe, but no one comes even close to Marvel and DC.

So really what I’m saying is initial and subsequent exposure tends to lead new readers towards one of the big two universes, and while most readers are happy to try out easily accessible (in terms of actual stories told to date) indie and smaller companies at some stage, some are unwilling to invest the same time they originally spent “learning” about one of the big two universes “learning” about a second universe.

Or maybe I’m way off bat!

In the last few years, I’ve been striving to stop being a “Marvel” guy and more of a “good comics no matter where they come from” guy. I tried to get into DC when 52 started. “A new part of the story every week?” I thought to myself. “If the comic is good, how awesome will this be?” And it was awesome. It certainly had the creative pedigree. I ended up having to do a lot of the “work” (aka forum thread reading) that Thok mentioned above to keep up with the obscure bits, but it was rewarding throughout. I felt like I was getting “in the know” about the DCU the way I am with the Marvel U. Then I read Countdown, and my interest died. There were too many tie-ins that didn’t matter, and the Countdown/DOtNG/FC mess didn’t help either. I felt like I had wasted a lot of money. I decided that if FC couldn’t hold up on its own as a story, without tie-ins, I would be done with DC. There were some enjoyable moments, but I was totally lost, so I gave up on DC’s books, not counting Vertigo. Until Wednesday Comics, anyway. That was too awesome (mostly) to pass up.

Now, I’m still reading mostly Marvel because the characters are my old friends, and their universe just seems more fun to me (mostly.) I follow both characters and creative teams. I’m still stuck on the X-Men, though. Fraction’s writing and Land’s “art” on Uncanny, along with my favorite character dying (no spoilers here, see?) and overwrought storylines like Necrosha and Second Coming, are making me question more and more why I buy that instead of Hellboy or The Goon or any number of smaller books I hear great things about. Why keep buying a book I know is terrible?

Maybe it’s just force of habit, but it’s a habit I’m trying to change. It isn’t as easy as it seems like it should be. Just don’t buy comics I don’t like, right? Let my money talk, then maybe commercial and creative Darwinism will result in better comics all around. They won’t bother to make those better comics if we (me included) keep buying the lousy ones, though. That’s my theory, anyway, although me putting it completely into action is a little rocky.

I’m not a “Marvel” or “DC” guy. I’m a Good Comics Guy. Its just that(besides Grant Morrison and Secret Six) those good comics tend to be Marvel ones in terms of the Big Two.

beta ray steve

May 16, 2010 at 3:11 pm

Both companies are doing a good job of driving me away. If it weren’t for Vertigo books and Grant Morrison, I might be done with both companies.
DC is pissing me off with their relentless drive to return the DCU to the status quo of 1950. They are basically bent on taking a dump on the last 20 years of continuity.
Marvel doesn’t seem to understand they publish comic books, not novels or screenplays. The choices they make, particularly regarding Spider-Man, suggest contempt for their readers.

I buy more marvel than dc….but with prices how they are now I can’t buy out of loyalty anymore so I fall in with Jeremy…I’m a good comics guy….

The comments here really helped solidify my stance. I’m a DC guy. I love the iconic stories of the strongest, the fastest, the smartest heroes to have ever existed. I grew up reading comics in the 70s, and DC represented that the best. I loved Marvel as well, loved their jokesyness…their admittedly more sophisticated story-telling techniques, and I loved the whole concept of mutants. I bought everything from both companies. And then the price of comics became prohibitive, and I had to choose. One Universe or the other. And there was no angst. Marvel went bye bye. I wasn’t liking where the mutant storylines were going…I wasn’t enjoying the histories of alternate futures impacting the “real” universe, I didn’t like the way the Avengers were disintegrating, so that’s the Universe that went. I have since stopped buying comics almost all together, again, because they are just to damn expensive….and I miss them. That’s why I hang around here…someday I’ll be able to resume, and I’ll want to know kinda what’s been going on. But it’ll be DC. That’s the characters I miss…that’s the Universe I miss…that’s the sense of nostaliga I miss. Will I ever get rid of my thousands of Spiderman, Avengers, Xmen and Thor comics….not while I keep my roof over my head. But to start buying them again? Only if I win the lottery.

I’ll preface this by saying that I read books from all over the place – DC, Marvel, Image, Dark Horse, etc. However, I do kind of consider myself a DC guy, although Spider-Man is my favorite character. I would argue it is easier to be a DC guy, because the of the breadth of diversity they offer. Yes, Marvel does different kinds of books, but aside for the few ICON books, thy are all still very Marvel style. Even Punisher MAX is still just a “superhero” book. DC, through Vertigo, puts out all kinds of things, from The Unwritten to Sweet Tooth, and so on, to say nothing of the various WildStorm things. Marvel really has nothing to compare to that stuff, but if you look at the shipping lists, they put out a ton more books every week.

“It’s like only watching CBS, or only going to see Paramount movies, or only reading books published by HarperCollins or whatever,”

Nah, it would be the same only if all CBS TV shows or Paramount movies occurred in the same universe, and with many of the same themes. Granted, these days the differences between Marvel and DC are more vestigial than anything else, since the whole superhero genre embraced both realism and a nostalgic reaction to said realism, but some small differences remain.

I read both of them (and other publishers), but I do think there is a certain feel to Marvel and a certain feel to DC that are unique.


May 16, 2010 at 3:28 pm

Bill Reed: I agree with part of what you say, the absurdity of someone “only going to see Paramount movies, or only reading books published by HarperCollins ” (though it might have been less absurd when Warner Bros. had a grittier feel in the 30s than the more star-powered MGM, say).

But though I’m not into sports much myself, clearly there’s nothing absurd for most sports fans about rooting only for the Packers. Here I have to go with Steve. We’re tribal animals, sliding readily into in-groups and out-groups. The social psychologist Henri Tajfel once did an experiment in which he divided people into two groups by whether they liked Klee or Kandinsky better. As Steven Pinker says in “How The Mind Works”, “the people in each group instantly dislike and think worse of the people in the other group, and act to withhold rewards from them even if doing so is costly to their own group.” This does indeed sound an awful lot like what Ryan said above: “When I was growing up you were either one or the other, Marvel or DC, and whichever one you weren’t sucked. Even though I could admit I liked Batman I still KNEW DC sucked, haha. That’s how it worked, just like sports fans hate the opposition, this was war, and the line was drawn in the sand.”

I also suspect this was stronger on the Marvel side because Marvel sold less than DC in the Sixties, and Stan worked hard to build a sense of Marvel as the cool underdog, creating the Mighty Marvel Marching Society and referring to DC as “Brand Ecch.” What did DC offer in return? Go-go checks, and an occasional mention of Brand I, for Imitators (iirc). Stan brought a touch of Madison Avenue to the game (Funky Flashman!), branded Marvel as New! And Improved! for the Pepsi Generation, while DC stood pat as Coke Classic…and the rest was basic human ethnocentrism at work, with attitudes formed which still linger today.

I’m gonna have to say I’m a DC guy but mainly for a couple reasons.

I grew up fascinated by Batman: The Animated Series and that led me to appreciate all superheroes in general. I later, for example, became a BIG fan of the ’90s Spider-Man cartoon.

Perhaps that’s why the first comic I ever subscribed to was Ultimate Spider-Man. I mean, I got the first issue for free when I saw the Spider-Man movie the night of its premiere, and I was 9 years old, so I was pretty invested. I later dropped subscribing to that in favor of DC”s Looney Tunes comic, although now I realize how wrong I was in dropping USM and am now trying to hunt out as many of the trades as I can.

I then dumped comics as a whole, except for buying the occasional issue here and there, until 2 things happened.
1.) The Dark Knight came out. I know it’s cliched by now to talk about this movie, but it was so well-done that it got me thinking about comics again and I slowly started buying the occasional graphic novel.
2.) Around this time last year, a friend lent me his copy of the first Daredevil Marvel Knights story arc, “Guardian Devil”. I read it in a day, completely captivated. “If this is what comics were like in 1999,” I said, noting the arc’s publication date, “I want to see where they’re at in 2009!”

Now here’s the thing: I chose to start buying DC over Marvel. I mean, I took a look at the chronology of both universes and it seemed, that DC, on the heels of Infinite Crisis restoring everything that the first Crisis erased, was the place to go. A whole lot less baggage to know before jumping in.

So I bought Batman #688 last August and I’ve been buying it ever since. I added the new Azrael when that came out because I really liked the Batman and Detective Comics Annuals. Then I started buying Jonah Hex with issue #50 (props for Darwyn Cooke art!) and that has become probably my biggest reason for liking comics yet!

But I also keep my hand in everything else. I enjoyed Civil War and Planet/WW Hulk, and I’m REALLY digging Spider-Man: Fever. But I also buy a lot of things from the back issue bins, and I’ve found Disney, Simpsons, and other non-Big Two comics to be enjoyable.

Really, I think when it comes down to it, you should buy the comics you like. That’s it.

I’m a DC guy, It’s where I started in the early 80’s reading the mini-comics that came with the Super Powers action figures.

Then I really started collecting in 1993 with Death of Superman and cheap back issues of Giffen/Dematteis Justice League from the 2nd hand book store.

DC just appeals to me more with their rich history and interesting well-developed characters.

I became a Marvel guy because they had a lot of tie-ins that were really amazing to an 8 y.o. boy (Shogun Warriors, Godzilla, Micronauts, etcetc), DC just never seemed interesting (I read my uncle’s silver age Superman stuff, and liked it fine, but when push came to shove late era pre-crisis DC just couldn’t compete for limited allowance money). (of course, vast swathes of Marvel couldn’t either, I don’t think I bought a single Daredevil or Fantastic Four or Ironman or … ) When I came back to comics a few years ago I read stuff from both companies, Marvel’s quality was about the same level as DC’s (“low”) but I ended up buying a lot more Marvel just because I had fond memories of the characters. Now I hardly read any superhero stuff at all (and you can’t really be a Top Shelf guy or a Fanta guy or …)

It’s always amazing to me though how so many comic book fans just WILL NOT pick up something that’s not from one of the Big Two (or, for the slightly more daring, the very most famous lines from Dark Horse/Image)

The Crazed Spruce

May 16, 2010 at 3:54 pm

Am I the only one who was half-expecting a review of it’sjustsomerandomguy’s youtube channel? :)

As a kid (way back in the late 70’s-early 80’s), I was a diehard DC junkie. It wasn’t until the mid 80’s that I began to appreciate Marvel’s tighter continuity and more realistic characterizations. I still loved a lot of my favourite DC characters, though.

I have a friend who reads almost exclusively Marvel, except for perhaps Batman. I will describe to him a ton of stuff that he might find cool, like Secret Six and All-Star Superman, and he will agree that it sounds like his cup of tea, but then will blow his money on Spider-Man issues that make him angry enough to swear off comics for a year. He does this every year or so.

I have another friend who likes the idea of some of Marvel’s characters, but buys only DC or Vertigo and other alternative stuff, and whenever he borrows my Marvel books, he is basically disinterested.

And then I have a friend who will read stuff he thinks is good, no matter where it comes from, but generally avoids most superhero books.

I don’t quite understand any of them, although the third one is the closest in terms of matching my approach. I remember spending a good 20 years of my life thinking that comics meant superhero comics, and now I can’t imagine being stuck with one shared universe as my only form of reading experience through the medium. If I had to choose only one company to go with, I’d probably end up reading only Image or Dark Horse or something.

Being a “Marvel” guy, a “DC” guy, a “Spider-Man” guy, a “Batman” guy, or whatever, is simply brand whoring.

I have no qualms with saying that I am definitely a Marvel guy. The work they are doing over there is much more interesting to me than most all of the stuff that DC is producing. That said, I do buy some DC books, such as Green Lantern and Batman and Robin, because they are good comics and I like those characters. But if I had to choose between either company, I would definitely go with Marvel.

“simply brand whoring”

are you reading what people are saying? It’s what people feel….ehhhh, never mind.

Kisskissbangbang—what you said about Stan Lee’s product placement promotion is genius. Thanks for pointing it out.

I follow around writers more than anything else but I also follow around certain characters. What can I say, i’m a sucker for a good Green Arrow story (tis a bad time to be a Green Arrow fan, haven’t seen a good story in quite some time) but that’s about the only character I really follow.

It seems really weird to me that people are a ” Marvel” or a “DC” now that buying in trades has become increasingly popular. With trades you get a better idea whether or not you will enjoy the comics you are about to buy as opposed to buying the comics issue by issue as they are published. If I’m a Spider-man fan and fellow Spider-man fans or a friend who knows your taste in comics recommend not buying a particular trade, why do it? For the sake of having a complete collection? Unless that trade is written or drawn or heck, even inked or lettered by someone who’s work i’ve really enjoyed in the past I would not have a good reason to buy that trade. It just seems weird to me.

Also, it seems there are so, so many other publishers out there nowadays that exploring comics not published by DC or Marvel can reveal some pretty neat comic book gems. It’s immensely fun to discover a new talent working for other publishers before they, almost inevitably, get swooped up by one of the Big Two.

I started reading DC Comics a couple of years before I discovered Marvels, mainly because I had heard of Superman & Batman and others, 1974 was even before Super Friends wasn’t it? I know I was reading comics before I watched the cartoon. I eventually picked up Avengers (#150) and loved discovering a new universe of characters.

From there I was about equally open to trying new books from either publisher, but was resistant to trying other publishers, so I missed out on a lot of good stuff.

These days, I suppose I would be more of a DC reader than a Marvel. It’s hard to pick a reason for it, but it’s much easier for me to drop a Marvel book than a DC book. I dropped the Ultimate line with Ultimatum, Avengers and all, and have not looked back. Still, Marvel has some of my favorite reads in their cosmic corner of titles, and even the Avengers books have gotten more readable lately.

I guess it all comes down to this– what would a reader need with the X-Men when he favors the Legion?

I just like comics. I got into comics with Spider-Man, that lead to me buying a Wizard with Venom on the cover, then buying stuff I saw in there. Marvel, DC, whatever.

I can understand that some people might prefer the ‘tones’ of the two universes over one. Marvel tends to be more modern while DC tends to be more spectacular and fantastic in their stories.

I am a Marvel guy, primarily because I watched Spider-Man tv shows as a kid. Spider-Man the Animated series was the best thing that ever happened to my childhood, and pretty much everything I that was awesome and good in that show translates into what I love in comics today. The Spider Wars episodes were great, so I love the Clone Saga comics. The Venom episodes were by far the best of the series, so I love Venom today, and so on. When I started reading comics, I hated the idea of not knowing what stories they were referencing, so I read Spider-Man from issue #1. When Spider-Man joined the New Avengers, I had to expand my reading to New Avengers, which led to me reading Invincible Iron Man and Captain America. I finished reading Amazing Spider-Man from issue #1, and I am currently on a project to do the same with the Avengers franchise. I became so ingrained in the Marvel universe that I feared any interest in the DC world would draw me in too far, and I’ll feel like I have to buy a million DC books which I don’t have enough money for. Great article. I would contend that comics buyers defy all typical business consumer models. There seems to be a heavy amount of loyalty to brands and characters, yet a bad enough story can cause many people to quit something they have been loyal to for so long.

I am at heart a DC guy. My first comic, Batman 272, was DC. The first titles I tried to collect (note tried-I was limited to what Eckerd and Chi Chester’s drug stores and Piggly Wiggly grocery store carried on any given day) were Teen Titans and Superman Family. The first title I really collected was New Teen Titans. I love the titles I grew up with: All-Star Comics, Brave and the Bold, Adventure, Legion of Super Heroes.

Although DC has always been my favorite, I have also always collected Marvel. For some time now, I have found Marvel’s output to be superior to that of DC. If I could afford to buy everything I wanted, I would be buying more Marvel titles these days. Not to say Marvel is perfect, but for every anti-marriage deal with the devil or shameful treatment of the memory of Gwen Stacy, there is an evil Superboy punching out continuity, and a Deathstroke or Libra or Prometheus slaughtering or maiming good characters to show that they are bad (yes-I think DC has successfully established that fact)

These days I am a good story guy. I collect Captain America, Secret Six, Jonah Hex, Tiny Titans, Pet Avengers, and some vertigo trades (Scalped, Fables, and Unwritten), and honestly whatever looks good to me any given week: sometimes it is Hank Pym and the Mighty Avengers, sometimes its Magneto rescuing Kitty Pryde.

If it was appropriate to invoke, Are you a Fish or a Hogarth?, I would. Alas, it ain’t. A similar debate, but not quite simarillion enough…

I grew up Marvel, and went DC circa 13 (basically when Frank Miller did RONIN). Love ‘em both today, expect I always will; still, while some co’s have better years than others, I do feel that the overall Marvel product of the nought decade has been much better organized for both current cohesiveness and future storytelling than DC’s.


May 16, 2010 at 5:50 pm

To say you don’t “understand” the whole “marvel/dc” thing is either intellectually dishonest or ignorant. Of course, as an Adult one’s taste generally matures beyond the childish rivalry but here are some reasons that the Marvel/DC distinction still “makes sense.”

1. Shared Universe. As you say, they are competing shared universes. If you’re comfortable with a particular shared universe you will gravitate towards stories told there. This is so particularly when budgets are limited and the overall quality of most good-mediocre books is not that great.

2. Collecting. You address this issue as well but to pretend like collecting isn’t or shouldn’t be part of comics is outlandish. People get enjoyment out collecting all works of a certain writer, artist, or all works featuring a single character, or all works within a single series. It is one of my goals to one day own every issue of Amazing Spider-Man. Certainly I’ll have to live with some stinkers to achieve such a goal but that downside is outweighed by the pride and joy I’ll experience if I ever make it there.

3. Rooting. I’m a Chicago Bears fan. Though it kills me to admit it, the New Orleans Saints played better football last season. Does that mean I would or should go to more Saints games than Bears games? No, that’s ridiculous. Part of sports and superhero comics is self-identifying with a protagonist that you root for. If you are a “superman” guy then you’re going to read more of those stories even if Doom Patrol is a much better work.

4. House style. Greg, I know you’re not really an “art guy” so maybe that’s why you missed this one. Both Marvel and DC have and have had house styles at least since the silver age. Right now DC has a Jim Lee inspired house style where most creators are asked to look somewhat like him. Marvel doesn’t have as pervasive a house style at the moment but the Sean Chen/Oliver Coipel stuff is pretty standard.

5. Events. For the past 5 or 6 years we’ve seen a renaissance of *shudder* event comics from both of the big two. These events are essentially about *SOMETHING WILL NEVER BE THE SAME AGAIN FOR x UNIVERSE!!!” As such, one who is familiar with such a universe is more likely to gravitate towards that event. Afterall, when a book is about something changing you can’t really enjoy it unless you knew what it was like before. Had I never read a DC book (but was still familiar with the characters from JLU and other outside media) Blackest Night would be terrible to me. All the brightest day folk coming back to life doesn’t matter if you didn’t know they were dead. Likewise for Siege, if you had no idea what was going on you would not enjoy the book. For sure, even event comics can move past this hurdle, (not even died in the wool “DC guys” understood Final Crisis the first time through but it was still awesome!) but in general this is going to factor into how one spends their money. Due to the unfortunate way in which both companies allow these dumb events to fuel their stories in a majority of their books for the remainder of the year, it should not be surprising that consumers of those events stay with those books to the detriment of others.

Now Greg, your point is well taken. Any “superhero guy” interested enough to read this blog should not let the top left corner of a book scare them away. On the other hand though, it is incorrect to slavishly follow writers because even the best drop some stinkers now and again. Again, reading good superhero comics is possible to do on either side of the store, but I think you’re too quickly disregarding the real motivations behind the marvel/dc dichotomy.

SILmarillion. SIL!!

(Apologies for double posting: had to address the typo before Burgas got to the keys…)


May 16, 2010 at 5:57 pm

I’m a DC guy these days, but just in the sense that more books and characters I like are coming from DC.
I still get Marvel books that I like, but I avoid their events.
With DC, people may not like the excessive violence at times, but they feel more like heroes to me.
Reading World War Hulk, for instance, I really ended up hating all the heroes – they seemed really unheroic, and almost reckless, more interested in their internal squabbles than the big picture.

As an aside, I read somewhere that in Die Another Day, the 2002 “40th Anniversary” Bond movie, they were going to reveal that the name “James Bond” is handed down through different agents, which is why he looks so different. I thought that was a fantastic idea. I have no idea if it was just a wild rumor or not, but it would have been awesome.

They did this in the 60’s Bond spoof Casino Royale, where David Niven, Peter Sellars and Woody Allen were all James Bond.

Also, getting my geek on here, Bond being different people wouldn’t work within the films – there isn’t much continuity, but they do occasionally reference different events happening from other films – for instance, George Lazenby’s Bond got married, yet both the Roger Moore and Tomothy Dalton Bonds have made reference to the marriage, three of the Bonds have had personal grudges with Blofeld etc, Felix Leighter, M and Money Penny have all changed actors as well etc.

If I had to choose I suppose I am a Marvel guy. The Marvel characters and universe at large are just more interesting to me. I feel that on average the Marvel characters are more relatable than their DC counterparts.

If I’m being completely honest I tend to follow creators (usually writers) rather than characters and companies. Robert Kirkman can do no wrong in my eyes and has me reading far more Image books than I ever would have thought, as I loathe the flashy/ substanceless Image as it was originally founded (imho).

I also follow Millar and Hitch as well as Vaughn. Bendis has caught my attention from time to time. I just can’t recall a DC story arc that really pulled me in and kept me enthralled.

I agree with @ArrestThisMan. The last 25ish years have been quite event focused in both universes, especially in the last 5 years, and that makes people think that to get the full story they need to get it all or at least all the “important” books. This helps lead to people picking one universe or the other.

Similar pushes exist when comic buyers are children too. Both companies have liberal use of guest stars and cross overs which reinforce the shared universe and make those characters seem more important than the other companies. If you love Spider-man and he is friends with the X-men, how can the JLA compete at all?

If you don’t go with a purely author/illustrator strategy you tend to have a default universe you buy books in. Good enough books get you to buy from the other, but people tend to stay in one universe.

Marvel was certainly my default as a kid. I had time away from comics for awhile and came back for the “good” books and authors (Moore, Morrison etc) so I have no real allegiance now.

To me, Marvel and DC are like two restaurants that are across the street from each other. DC was a popular Steak House. They served a great steak, amazing lyonaise potatoes and even had a solid wine list. Marvel was a Chinese place that opened across the street. They did a totally different thing.

Well, everyone in the neighborhood raved and raved about the Chow Mein at Marvel. DC started losing enough business that they scaled back on the wine list and that cost them the people who weren’t eating at both places. So, DC foolishly decided to become a Chinese place as well.

They were a TERRIBLE Chinese place. They kept hiring and firing cooks, until they accidently brought in a Thai chef. He added Pad Thai and made things much spicier. Now, everyone was raving about DC. More people were still eating at Marvel, but they were in a panic. So, they started hiring all the helpers the new DC chef brought over.

The Marvel food suddenly tasted just like the DC food. Then, DC had their chef retire. They were still working from the old recipes, but the quality really fell off. Still, both places were serving essentially the same food. Marvel’s version might be a little better this year, but the recipes are the same.

Needless to say, any loyalty a customer might have to either place is a little silly at this point. Back in the old days, they were super different, but not anymore.

I do not really fit teh DC/Marvel description… I guess you could say I’ve bought mroe DC than Marvel but I usually try to buy stories from authors/artists I like be it Frank Miller, J.M. DeMatteis, Todd McFarlane, Keith Giffen and many others… Same goes for things I wouldn’t buy. I got pretty disappointed when reading Superman for all seasons and Spiderman: Blue which doesn’t mean I won’t be buying Spiderman/Superman comics anymore but I’ll think twice when seeing “Jeph Loeb” written on the front cover.

I am a Marvel guy, but I do read a lot of DC and I try out a lot of indie titles. I have just found that I enjoy Marvel 1000 times more than most DC stuff(except for anything Batman or stuff by Geoff Johns, Grant Morisson and a couple of other writers). I absolutely hated Gail Simones Wonder Woman even though I find the character interesting in every appearance outside of her own comic and am looking forward to Simone leaving after issue 600.(I also disliked her writing in Gen13 but I am giving her Birds of Prey a shot due to a few characters I like, please don’t be awful). It also makes a huge difference that it is a hell of a lot easier to get into Marvel than DC, I mean they keep creating new earths(Earth 1, New Earth) to update there history and they have so many new updated characters as well as referencing the old versions now and then that it gets confusing. Also for the most part Marvels characters had cooler costumes than the DC ones(with a couple of exceptions) and Marvel characters for the most part do not do to much bitching and complaining when another “hero” kills a “villain”(Wolverine kills literally hundreds perhaps thousands and no one really cares Green Arrow kills Prometheus and everyone acts like he is the lowest of scum).

Captain Doctor Master

May 16, 2010 at 6:37 pm

I hold DC in less regard than Marvel, because DC has 4217 Green Lanterns (and now other colors), 23 Bat-people, 12 Superman/girl/dogs, 309 Flashes, and other instances of superhero diarrhea.

Marvel has been much better at keeping their heroes unique. Until recently. But I must admit, I no longer recognize the characters calling themselves Captain America, Thor, and Iron Man. Did the skrulls actually win?

GarBut: Man, that’s a tough one. I tend to like Fish more, even though Hogarth has done some very good work. Ironically, I like Fish solo less than I like Hogarth’s Marillion. With the band, he tended to be a bit darker. Since he went solo, he’s tried to be a pop star, with varying degrees of success.

ArrestThisMan: Well, I might be ignorant or dishonest, but I’m not talking about preferring one universe over another. The reasons people have been giving have been very interesting, and I’d probably say that right at this moment, I’m probably more of a Marvel guy, just because they seem to have better books. I understand preferring one universe over another. What I don’t get is refusing to buy a DC or Marvel book because it’s published by DC or Marvel. I understand that you might not want to buy Secret Invasion or Civil War or Blackest Night because you’ve never followed that particular universe and so you might not understand it. That’s fine. But if you liked Morrison on X-Men and heard he was writing All Star Superman, which isn’t tied into continuity, would you skip it just because it’s not published by Marvel? That makes no sense to me. As many people have pointed out, it’s hard to get into the respective universes. It’s even harder these days due to prices of comics. I could do it 20 years ago because comics were 75 cents to a dollar. So I understand the idea of not getting heavily into DC if you’ve always bought Marvel or vice versa. What I don’t get it buying every Avengers book because you’ve always bought Avengers, bitching about the quality, and refusing to try something from DC because it’s not Avengers.

FGJ: Yeah, I know they make nods to previous Bonds, which is why it wouldn’t work. Those few nods always seemed forced to me, and it would have been keen if they ignored them!

I suppose I consider myself a “DC Woman,” simply because I just gravitated towards them in the beginning. Once I bought myself a couple of DC trades and started liking the characters, and therefore went in search of more, I just stayed with that publisher. I guess I just buy them because I know a lot of the character origins and backstories, so I usually know what’s going on in the newer issues. But Burgas is right here. If an issue/story arc doesn’t meet up to par with what I want to read, I usually drop it after an issue or two; no point in wasting money on a title that leaves a bland taste in my mouth. I mean, I’ve lost all interest in Blackest Night/Brightest Day: too much going on and too many damn color corps. Same goes for Teen Titans: I love the team, but the stories just make me go “Whaaa?”

True, I do own more DC than Marvel, but if I could get into a Marvel title without having to go and buy too many back issues to understand the characters/story, then I’ll pick up the title each month. So far though, nothing really grabs me. Then again, maybe I haven’t been looking hard enough.


May 16, 2010 at 8:06 pm

I was a “Marvel Guy” when I first started getting into comics in the early 80’s. Marvel published G.I. Joe so that’s what I was exposed to more. It seemed at the time that DC was just kind of lame and kiddie oriented.

That prejudice stuck with me for about a year. Who’s Who, Crisis on Infinite Earths and most importantly Byrne jumping ship did a lot to change my mind and I started buying a DC comic here or there. As I aged I started buying comics based on what I wanted to read, not who published them. First comics was a great introduction to good comics not published by the “Big Two”

I haven’t bought new comics on a regular basis in years so I don’t have much of a dog in the fight these days.

I love both Marvel and DC, and think having a diehard allegiance to one or the other is silly.
But I will say that Marvel always feels more like home. DC feels more like visitng my relatives, relatives I love, but still relatives.

Right. Let’s all pledge on our Green Lantern rings/… err … whatever the Marvel equivalent is … to buy and read only the good stuff, regardless of publisher, and shun the crap. You know in your hearts that all of us readers — and the industry as a whole — will be much better off for it.

Now who’s with me?

Err … anyone?

Willie Everstop

May 16, 2010 at 8:33 pm

@fit2print: that would either be our Avenger’s cards or X-communicators.

I will buy good stories from any publisher and will not buy bad. I started collecting in 67 and, in those days, my buy pile was Avengers, JLA, Green Lantern, Captain America, Batman, Fantastic Four, Iron Man, Sub-Mariner, X-Men, Metal Men, Teen Titans, Doctor Strange, Captain Marvel, Superman, Flash, Hawkman, Flash Gordon, and anything by Neal Adams whether it was Deadman or House of Mystery. Lots of done in one, occasional cross-overs and multi-issue stories, no events. When Kirby got there Jimmy Olson became a must have and the New Gods books were instant favorites that should never have been cancelled. The arguments were over who had the best writing or artists, there was no question of buying from just one company.

Today’s buy list? Fables, Mark Millar’s Ultimates, Ultimate Fantastic Four, the next good Hal Jordan story, and liked that Babylon 5 guy’s take on Thor. Going to try the Brave and the Bold Graphic Novel some day soon. No Civil War, House of M, Hulk Wars, Siege, Final Crisis, Rainbow Lanterns, Battle for the Cape, Sinestro War, Red Hulks, or Avengers Porn. Read previews for all of it, no thanks. (Why would Tony Stark kill himself to escape Norman Osborn? At this point in his career Tony would simply leave the planet and hunt down Galactus or the Collector until things blew over on Earth. A stupid Tony is a poorly written Tony.)

BTW, Bucky died in 45 and Steve Rogers hasn’t yet, and has never been anything but the one and only Captain America. Just waiting for the next retcon to put it right again.

Maybe we could fix up Kent Nelson, too.

Willie Everstop

May 16, 2010 at 9:11 pm

or our unstable molecules, web fluid, Infinity Gems, Quantum Bands, Hellfire, Eyes of Agammato, Power Cosmic, and the focused totality of our telepathy in the form of a psychic knife.

Well, when I started buying comic books I read more Harvey than anything else. I was seven, and that’s the sort of stuff you like at that age. I also bought Archie and Gold Key Disney books. But I bought super-hero stuff, too, and it was mostly DC at first, because those were the characters I’d heard of. The only Marvel character I ever heard of before I started reading the comics was Spider-Man. But gradually, I started reading more and more Marvel, and by the time I was ten or eleven I had reached the point where I greatly preferred Marvel over DC. Marvel stories were more realistic, more creative, the characters had real personalities, and the good guys didn’t always win. I liked that. And by that time, I really liked the sense of history that you only found in Marvel, and the connections between all the books. When I first began reading, I liked the fact that DC stories almost always ended in one issue, because I missed a lot of issues, and it got annoying when I would read a Marvel and would get stuck not knowing how it all turned out. But over time, I began to like the longer stories. Single issue stories had a tendency to be too simplistic. Not that this mattered too much, because DC started doing more continued stories as time went by anyway.
But still, Marvel had a much more connected feel than DC back then, and I really liked that.
By the time the eighties began, I was pretty much a confirmed Marvel reader, although I still bought DCs occasionally, and I also had spells where I bought several Archies.
I’m not sure when I stopped buying DC. I never intended to stop; my purchases just gradually petered out. The same thing happened with the Archies. I guess it was because I was getting into more Marvel series by the mid-eighties and had less money to spend on anything else.
But then DC went and had that original Crisis-thing. And when I heard they’d started all their heroes over, without all the history they had before, I lost what little interest remained.
And I’ve never gone back. I know that DC, and other companies, still publish some good stories. After all, many of the writers I’ve liked at Marvel have worked for DC as well. But my cash is limited, and I’ve never worked up enough desire to try to jump back in and relearn who these DC characters are and what they’re like. And to make it worse, every few years they seem to have another Crisis, so I don’t know if stuff I’ve heard about is still accurate or not.
And all the complaints I’ve seen on here in the past year about the excessive violence at DC hasn’t helped to get me interested, either.

So I’m pretty much a Marvel person and have been for a couple of decades now. I don’t read everything from Marvel. (I couldn’t afford to anyway.) I only read the stuff I like, or the stuff I think I probably would like, and I avoid the big events as best I can.
I still hold out the possiblity of reading DC again, as well as other companies. I’m sure there must be a lot of it that I would like, even if I’m not sure what it is.
However, the non-Marvel book I’ve thought the most about buying lately is Archie.

I was Marvel but then switched to DC and now regard both about equally. Looking back for me, it was always about what was interesting. Here’s what happened:

When I first collected, it was an issue of classic X-men (first murderworld arc; Colossus as Proletariat) that got me into Marvel. For a period of 3 and a half years (from 88-91) all I did was collect back issues and read as much Marvel as I could. DC was the other company, and I paid little attention to them at all.

Then the 90’s started, and it became gigantic Marvel crap crossover after gigantic Marvel crap crossover (Maximum Carnage, X-Tinction Agenda, Galactic Storm, Infinity War, etc.). By the time Round Robin: The Side Kick’s Revenge hit me in the Spiderman comics, I was down to a few Marvel books.

At the same time, the early 90’s also got me interested in DC, a company I hadn’t cared much for before, and it was reading the Armageddon 2001 Annuals that did it (intriguing hook that got me to pick it up at the time, and actually some decent annual work even by today’s standard; the Supes as President story, the Flash story, and the two Batman tie-ins were fairly strong overall). Two things that came out of it: 1) I really was intrigued by the Flash, and it was the start of Waid’s run, so I got in on the ground floor and 2) The JLA/JLE annuals and the humor therein made me pick up Justice League just as Breakdowns was part way done; I quickly picked up everything else JLA/JLE I could find by Giffen and then stayed on the book even through a lot of crap in the Jurgens/Jones run (exception: Destiny’s Hand was a solid 4 issue arc).

And for the next several years, I expanded to DC/Vertigo and steadily dropped Marvel until I was priced out of collecting in 2004, occasionally drifting into Marvel when interested or some other book that was worth it (like Quantum and Woody).

As I look back, I think most of this has to do with the rush of decent writers that went to DC at the time versus Marvel’s apparent rush to put out mega crossovers that did nothing at all for the books. While I realize that both company’s did this, DC did it a little better at the time (things sort of stuck), and I guess I didn’t feel like I was simply tossing money at go nowhere stories.

That said, you couldn’t get me to buy into either today. So it goes…


May 16, 2010 at 9:59 pm

Yeah, I know they make nods to previous Bonds, which is why it wouldn’t work. Those few nods always seemed forced to me, and it would have been keen if they ignored them!

Bond was my childhood, so though I know some of the films are utter tack, some of those moments still seem super cool to me – there’s one at the start of License To Kill where his marriage is mentioned that I love, references the past yet adds a lot to the character in one go, which really, is all continuity should be.

That said, with the new Casino Royale, they do flat out contradict scenes we’ve seen before – such as Bond and Felix meeting – so I guess they can do whatever they want.

Shurron Farmer

May 16, 2010 at 10:31 pm

I consider myself an avid comic reader of comics from both companies. I began reading comics with the New Teen Titans and Legion of Super-Heroes. I then discovered Avengers and the X-Men. My preference between Marvel and DC has always shifted between the companies since I began reading comics 31 years ago. Nevertheless, like many who’ve posted before me, in spite of my preferences, I continue to read from both companies. I have more Marvel comics than DC comics in my collection, but right now I love and am concerned with what’s happening at both companies.

I’ve thoroughly and equally enjoyed the events at both Marvel and DC over the past few years (although they took a chunk out of my wallet, as long I’m interested in the story, I’m OK with it), except for Final Crisis. House of M, Infinite Crisis, Secret Invasion, Blackest Night, Civil War, War of Kings…I’ve enjoyed them all. I will say that over the last five years, DC has been a larger source of comics excitement between the big Two.

My Marvel pull list: Avengers, New Avengers, Secret Avengers, Avengers Academy, Fantastic Four, Uncanny X-Men, X-Men Legacy, Ultimate Comics (Spider-Man, Avengers, X), Thor, Secret Warriors

My DC pull list: Action Comics, Adventures Comics, Booster Gold, Brave and the Bold, Green Lantern, Green Lantern Corps, JLA, JSA, JSA All-Stars, Outsiders, R.E.B.E.L.S., Secret Six, Superman, Superman/Batman, Teen Titans, Titans, Wonder Woman

I’m not a specific guy, I”m a good comics guy….wait, I guess that means I’m a DC fan. LOLZ

Seriously though, I grew up with Marvel. But lately it feels like DC has gotten a handle on their company and characters a lot more. I got tired of reading Norman Osborne as the villain in every damn book w/ contradicting plot elements. I mean Bucky and Black widow were being held hostages by Norman in two different stories in the same month! How does that happen? Were as in DC, I have several different franchises with their own directions. Batman and Robin is dealing with Return of Bruce Wayne so batman fans can read that. Green Lantern is dealing with Brightest Day and you don’t have to read both if you don’t want to. Flash is his doing his own thing, and Wonder Woman and so fourth.

I love that you mentioned “corners” of the universes in this article. I’ve always considered myself mostly a corners guy. I got into comics through Marvel, and they (and Vertigo) still provide the majority of what I read today, but I always like reading the stuff that seems apart from the main continuity. Right now, I’m getting X-Factor and Hercules (okay, Prince of Power) as my favorite Marvel books. I’m still saddened by the cancellation of Captain Britain and MI:13. I bought Deadpool Team-up this week just because he was in it! I’m actually finally learning the rudiments of the DCU through Secret Six, and I guess that’s what I like about the “corners” comics: they’re connected to the main universe, but their self-contained (and author-controlled) enough to still feel small and almost intimate. Y’know?

Stephen Hunnewell

May 16, 2010 at 11:19 pm

I would consider myself a DC guy. I read a little Marvel, but at this point, Marvel isn’t even number two.
When I initially started collecting I went with the Defenders and Justice League. Loved the Defenders, but overall I just found the tone of Marvel books to be too soap opera-ish. The DC books seemed to be more focused on the cool ideas and, although I hesitate to say it because it’s such a loaded word, the plots. Although a lot has changed, and individual books will vary, there is still a noticeable difference in the tone of the universes. Overall, if I had to choose, I’d still side with the DC icons over Marvel’s squabbling everymen.

One thing I do find kind of interesting is the amount of people that seem to imply that slavishly following an author is somehow better then following a character or a company. I can’t think of one author who’s name on a comic would make it an automatic buy for me. If it’s an idea or character that interests me, I’ll generally give a comic a look regardless of the author. If it’s an idea I don’t find that interesting but it is written by someone who’s work I’ve generally liked in the past, I’ll try to look for reviews on the material, but I certainly won’t immediately buy something just because a certain author’s name is on it. An author I generally like gets the same leeway a character or title I generally like gets; I’ll give them a little bit longer before dumping the title if I’m not enjoying the current run.

I will profess to being a “Marvel girl” rather than a DC girl in conversation, if someone asks, but only in the sense that I think the X-Men are cool and the Justice League is dorky. I buy mostly Dark Horse these days. I don’t follow many lines, and feel no obligation to catch ‘em all. I despise comics that require you to be fully versed in the entire history of the medium. When Ultimate Spidey got too crossover-y, I quit. I put down Books of Magic on page five because it began with four extant characters. I’ve been meaning to read Fables 13 for months but can’t force my way through because I get so mad that they assume I read Jack.

/not an answer, more of a rant

I can tell you why! It’s a direct result of American-type Capitalism. Coke or Pepsi, Ginger or Maryann, Beatles or Rolling Stones, etc, etc. Branding, Image, and it’s completely understandable for adolescents to fall prey to the marketing, and that that type of intellect has fallen in to nearly all areas of society. However the continuation of that juvenile good guys vs. bad guys should wane when ‘we’ hit our 30’s (remember 30 is the new 18), but we’re so enamored with maintaining our youth, those juvenile attitudes persist. For me, personally, I prefer Coke, sport Ef Ginger and take Maryann home to the parents, and I still pick Led Zeppelin just because I don’t like the question.

I’m basically a DC guy, for a few reasons:

– I’m quite attached to the Legion of Super-Heroes, the one comic I will never drop
– collecting comics from one company is a lot cheaper than collecting comics from two companies
– I have more of a history with DC

Nothing against Marvel. I’m actually following Guardians of the Galaxy in TPB, and enjoying it. And I get stuff from other companies too. But I’m probably more likely to check out something that seems worthwhile from DC than I am from anyplace else. I’m just more au courant with their universe.

I was a DC guy when I started reading comics at age 9 or 10. Then I grew up and started reading good comics from whoever published them.

While they don’t state it about Bond, Quantum of Solace has Bond asking the dying Rene Mathis if Mathis was a cover name. He confirmed that it was. This actually opens the door to do this in the rebooted series.

I think it comes down to a number of things. People like to have “tribal” affiliations. (It used to be in the car world you were “Ford” or “Chevy.) And I think people get excited about certain companies and characters from when they first discovered comics in a big way. I also feel there are some stylistic differences in how Marvel and DC look at their characters philosophically. Not that either company never changes, or that other companies aren’t cool. But certain characters just resonate with you.

By rights I suppose I should have been a Marvel girl. I started with Tomb Of Dracula and Wolverine. But, while I enjoyed the X Men in their Chris Claremont period, I became disenchanted with the way Marvel handled their titles over time. And I stopped enjoying the writing. Writing is important to me. But I now firmly consider myself a DC girl. It started when I discovered Batman and the Justice League and Sandman and the whole launch of the Vertigo line.

I just like the characters more. And the writing seems to be more consistent. That being said, as I have aged I’ve grown into a more exclusive tribe. Those of us who buy mostly graphic novels.

I can’t imagine buying a whole year of individual issues that you think suck. Who has that kind of money to waste anymore? There are always more titles to get than I have time or money to follow. (Hence, graphic novels. And they have them at the library!)

I’m a DC guy because the Death of Superman was what got me into comics. It didn’t matter who was writting what, who was drawing what, all that mattered to me was the characters. I never strayed to far from Superman because my budget was tight and I was having a good time. I rarely even read Batman books.

I began to read a bit of Marvel last year, based on recommendations from friends.

Then Marvel did something i found to be rude and stupid: http://robot6.comicbookresources.com/2010/01/ring-ring-photos-of-the-blackest-night-tie-ins-for-siege-variant-trade-in-in-action/

I vowed never to buy another Marvel comic again.

Marvel guy.

Just don’t find anything about the DC comics or universe appealing. Thier poster children are Superman, who gets/got a new power whenever needed, and batman, who’s not even a superhero.

I’m a Marvel guy, mostly because that’s what I read growing up. I can crack open a Marvel book and have at least a rough idea who characters are, while I open a DC comic and (aside from the obvious big names, like Batman and Superman) I don’t know what the hell is going on. I’m not saying Marvel’s continuity is any less complex, or even necessarily better, just that I know more about it. To be honest, I don’t think I’d put up with a lot of Marvel’s storylines if it weren’t for the childhood nostalgia factor =). I <3 Pak and Van Lente tho'.

Also, getting my geek on here, Bond being different people wouldn’t work within the films – there isn’t much continuity, but they do occasionally reference different events happening from other films – for instance, George Lazenby’s Bond got married, yet both the Roger Moore and Tomothy Dalton Bonds have made reference to the marriage, three of the Bonds have had personal grudges with Blofeld etc, Felix Leighter, M and Money Penny have all changed actors as well etc.

I occasionally toy with the idea of a Wold Newton-type column speculating about which of the Bond films are ‘real,’ which are ‘fictional,’ and which are actually the adventures of James Bond Jr — not the cartoon character, but the illegitimate child Bond fathered with Kissy Suzuki at the end of Fleming’s novel You Only Live Twice. (My feeling is that from The Living Daylights on up through Die Another Day, it’s actually James Suzuki.) There really isn’t a comics hook to hang it on, though, other than the sheer unbearable nerdiness of it.

Willie Everstop

May 17, 2010 at 12:53 pm

I remember reading somewhere that the later Bonds could be visiting the grave for 2 reasons:
1. Its a reminder about what happens when you get too close to someone in this line of work.
2. Lazenby’s Bond went rouge and had to be taken out by a later Bond who came to the grave to reflect.

To get back on topic, I don’t think the Marvel vs DC thing is like Coke vs Pepsi. It is more like Star Trek vs Star Wars.

I still say they should do a Bond movie with all the Bonds in it. But which one’s the evil one? Hmm.

Willie Everstop

May 17, 2010 at 1:36 pm

I think Ms. Moneypenny might have grounds for a harassment suit after that office party. Sean Connery should be the evil Bond with Woody Allen as his evil nephew.

I was a Marvel guy (the biggest aberration was Legion of SuperHeroes, which I picked up for a friend and then got into for the Great Darkness Saga, also I got a few Vigilatnes…)

When Byrne switched to Superman, I followed him. After picking up Man of Steel and Dark Knight Returns and Legends I started trying more and more titles (post-crisis was a very good jumping on point). I had heard raves about Swamp Thing and got the issue where he fights Batman, and that was it. Stuff like Swamp Thing, Hellblazer and Shadow was winning me over just as the Marvel comics were seeming more and more dull and continuity-encumbered (with stuff like Inferno and the Evolutionary Wars just making collecting a chore).

Now I get more DC stuff than Marvel, although I still love getting Marvel back issues from the 80’s and 70’s, my personal “golden age”.

Make mine Marvel.

I try to read DC every once in a while, but can’t get into it. I even tried reading Chris Yost’s (one of my fave authors) run on Red Robin, but it still didn’t do it for me. I tried an All-Star Superman trade, but Morrison introduces SOOO many things i’ve never heard of, that I didn’t buy the next one. And Final Crisis made me want to cry.

Marvel’s books just make more sense to me.

Tommy O

can tell you why! It’s a direct result of American-type Capitalism. Coke or Pepsi, Ginger or Maryann, Beatles or Rolling Stones.

Pretty much my take. It’s an adolescent-y thing where people latch onto certain brands to define their identity..

Or else simple convenience, ’cause it’s easier to follow one “universe.”

I am a Marvel reader. The first book I bought was Avengers #329 and from there I was hooked. At this time I could only buy my comics from the local newsagencies, and it was mostly the Marvel titles that had more prominence (or could it have been the DC books sold out first?).

I mostly think of the Avengers as my ‘sports team’. It’s the book I collect no-matter what. Only the die-hard sports fan goes to every home game and every away game, no matter how good or bad the season is, what decisions the coach or owners are making, or how foul the weather is. So no matter who is writing the book, or what artist is pencilling, whether I agree or disagree with the story direction, I keep collecting, because I know eventually, things will change. They always do. I now have a complete run of Avengers from issue #156 to current date. I have all the West Coast, Spotlight, Mighty, Dark, Young and countless other spin-offs. I have even branched out into solo titles and from there non-Avenger titles.

These days I am trying to add more variety to my collection, but the list of collective trades I wish to buy keeps getting longer and longer. I already have Kingdom Come, Justice, New Frontier, Long Halloween, and the two volumes of Kevins Smith’s Green Arrow. But for me to expand into DC titles on a montly basis is just too cost prohibitive.

I will say this though, DC have leant their characters to better animation works. I have every episode of Justice League, but none of the short lived Avengers. Even what is being put out under the Marvel animation banner these days fails to reach the standard set by the DC adaptations. The only stand out one from Marvel is the Hulk vs Thor/Hulk vs Wolverine.

[…] of weeks ago I wrote about collecting and following characters vs. following creators. Over at CBR’s Comics Should Be Good, there’s a good essay on people blindly supporting one company over an other for no other […]

[…] CBR: I’m a Marvel … and I’m a DC […]


May 17, 2010 at 5:16 pm

My feeling is that from The Living Daylights on up through Die Another Day, it’s actually James Suzuki.

So the son was a hard ass professional as opposed to a sleazy playboy?

The only problem with that is, Dalton and Brosnan actually play it closer to the Bond of the books than Connery or Moore.
Also, as mentioned, in License To Kill, his marriage is mentioned in passing – after he won’t take the garter.

I’d say after that film, and the five year or so gap, you could pretend it was someone else – Brosnan never has the wedding mentioned, a female M, has two separate recurring characters other than Felix to help him out.

License To Kill also ends with Bond having exercised his blood lust, choosing love over lust, and a statue of a fish winking, followed by a shot of the city, safe once again… if that’s not a good spot for a send off, I don’t know what is.

Kid Chameleon

May 17, 2010 at 5:44 pm

Originally, when I started picking up North American comics, I was primarily Marvel. I found DC’s characters were too focussed on their non-super lives and not enough on beating the crap out of each other (I was young, it was a phase). About the only DC title I was picking up was Flash, and that was because I love superspeed as a power.

Then things changed. I started to pick up some more DC titles and I was about even for titles from each of the big two for a while. I started to care more about the writing (as I progressed as a writer) and less about the artist (though I still have my favourites). I started to notice issues with plot. Especially plot holes in group titles (I’m looking at you, X-Men). Flash was my one mainstay title.

Nowadays, I’m down to a single title from each of the big two, both of which are almost entirely self-contained (Wonder Woman and Ultimate Spider-Man), and some Image stuff (Invincible and the Astounding Wolf-Man) both of which are entirely written by the same person (like Ultimate Spider-Man) and have good artists. I won’t drop a title for a bad artist (though I’ll consider it, really) but I will drop a title for bad writing. Continuity is there for a reason. DC are especially bad for that (I’m looking at Flash)

Hey there! I am an unabashed DC guy myself, with the exception of pre-80s Spiderman which was the only Marvel title I ever really followed. Well, and Miller’s Daredevil, but only years after the fact.

My parents gave me copies of Batman and Superman from the 30s to the 80s when I was about 5 years old and I’ve been a DC guy ever since. Now, do I buy every title DC puts out? Of course not…and I was deeply embarrassed when reading Kingdom Come and 52 over just how little I knew about the B stable of characters.

Marvel frankly annoyed me, partially because the characters were almost too realistic – like the rest of us, they got pulled into petty squabbles on an almost constant basis. And every time two of them met, they had to destroy half the city.

My top 3 favorite superheroes are Batman, Wonder Woman, and Superman–DC’s big 3 if you will. And too me Batman is the greatest ever, I have all blu-ray’s and dvd’s of Batman and that’s primarily all I buy comic’s wise, if I could afford all titles believe me I’d buy them all, TDK is usually worth my money sometimes you’ll get a bad plot line but for the most part story wise brilliant. I mean there would be no Marvel if it weren’t for DC, most of there character’s seem to be a take on some DC character or another, don’t get me wrong Marvel has some great character’s my favorite out of Marvel is the X-Men titles, and I own all the Marvel films as well, but as comic guy when it comes down to it I’m a bigger fan of The DCU!!! What they should make is JLA vs. The Avenger’s live action flick, probably would never happen but a fan boy can dream can’t he?!?!?

I think my experiece sort of fits in with Mary Warner’s in some ways. I came into comics consciousness in the mid-70s, and really I liked just about everything. I was both a Marvel and a DC fan. I have to say, though, that I felt more “at home” in the Marvel Universe- it really did seem more cohesive (it helped that most stories were set either in NYC or the West Coast, rather than one of over a dozen “made-up” cities.) Characterization was not so much an issue by then -in the 60s Marvel was definitely more character driven than DC, but by the late 70s there was plenty of depth to most DC characters as well. I remember in the early eighties I was getting an allowance of five dollars a week… and that translated to 40 titles a month I could follow, so I had my feet firmly planted in both universes. Like the aforementioned Ms. Warner, though, Crisis on Infinite Earths put the kibosh on DC so far as I was concerned. Sure, it was a much better written story than Secret Wars…truly epic. But when the dust cleared, the DC Universe I had come to know and love didn’t exist anymore. What!? No more Earth 1 and Earth 2 crossovers? No more Aging Earth 2 Bruce Wayne married to Selina Kyle… and how were you now supposed to explain my favorite DC title, All-Star Squadron? Shared-universe-cohesion was and is very important to me … not just with superheroes but in the other fantasy worlds I liked to knock around in (Middle Earth, Hyboria, the United Federation of Planets, the Star Wars galaxy, etc…) The fact that I grew up to become a historian helps explain why I put such emphasis on that continuity.

From that moment on, the DCU was a place I visited every now and then, but no longer a place I “lived” and felt at home in. I’d still follow certain titles when I liked the storylines… Sandman (and Sandman Mystery Theatre), DeMatteis and Geffen’s JLA run, anything with Oliver Queen in it… but I was sampling, and had no desire to know what was going on elsewhere in the DCU. Marvel was a different story. It was still, to me, one big mosaic… an over-arching story which I wanted to see from every angle and keep up with. I confess that even Marvel couldn’t hang onto me from about ’95-2000, the multiplicity of X-titles and downright travesties going on in the pages of Amazing Spider-man were more than I could handle. I was pulled back in the early 2000’s, though.

Things were changing in the Marvel Universe, too, however… the sort of retconning that would have been unimaginable in the 70s became de rigeur. Other wild things happened and were just tucked away in embarrassment like they had never happened, until they somehow faded out of continuity. As an adult, I understand why this has happened- much of it is due to the fact that comics, much as I love ‘em, are more of a business than an art (with the big companies, anyway.) Once your characters become iconic, in order to be merchandisable, they have to remain pretty much the same, to be practically frozen in amber (similar to the the way the Simpsons never age.) What I had loved about superhero stories in the 70s was that they DID change (as characters in literature are supposed to do.) Peter Parker finished high school, graduated college, floundered in grad school for a while and then dropped out, got married. Reed and Sue had a kid…and said kid aged over time (very slowly, but aging and growing nonetheless.) Even over at DC, Robin grew up and went to college, and eventually forged his own identity. DC, of course, had more decades of history than Marvel (in a way-more on that)… that problem was resolved by the alternate earth conceit. Batman was in the JSA in WWII and in the JLA in 1982…because there were two separate Batmen, from different realities, who sometimes interacted with one another and their friends. It worked for me. In both cases, the reader was presented with continuity…which meant that any given story, rather than being a self-contained flashpoint, was actually one part of an overarching narrative. And I liked that. I felt betrayed when DC told me, in effect, that all the stories I’d read (and loved) before 1985 kinda sorta happened but not really. I felt the same betrayal with the whole “Brand New Day” thing, and stopped buying ASM, I love the new STAR TREK film, but at the same time I am saddened by it, because its existence means that film and TV will probably never revisit the Star Trek I’ve loved for decades… what I am going to be shown is someone else’s Star Trek.

Boy, did I wander off topic. My real point is, in the Marvel vs DC question, I tend to go (fanwise) with whichever gives me a coherent shared universe. As a kid it was both of them; at this point it is neither, so I am a “sampler” and occasional guest of both, with little real connection. I say all this, by the way, with the full knowledge that the “coherent continuity” Marvel universe I long for (and which has been slowly slipping away the last few years) is in itself to some extent merely Stan Lee’s 1960s revamping, retconning, and re-imagining of the old Timely characters he had written 20 years earlier.

Perhaps someone can clear something up for me – is the marvel in marvel comics pronounced marvel or mar-vel?
I’ve heard it pronounced both ways and always wondered


monarch: The acccent is on the first syllable.

When it comes to superheroes: make mine Marvel. I was a staunch DC kid until the mutant bug bit me. Never liked the Avengers until I was an adult. Either way, I just want great comics, I don’t care who makes them.

I dig more comics from DC than any other publisher, but I like good books. Brubaker’s Cap was awesome until The Return. Dark Reign was where I dropped everything but Black Panther and Doomwar. Trying Avengers and Secret Avengers.

Buck Rogers and The Boys are some of my favorites from Dynamite. Haunt and Image United are great.

DC’s creative teams are absolutely amazing. Only Grant Morrison could make me love Dick Grayson as Batman and Ras al Ghul’s grandson as Robin.

Of the Big Two I am a DC guy. However, I believe I am close to getting more comics from other publishers. Avatar Press is one of my favorites. They have awesome writers. Mainly Warren Ellis.

I follow writers.

Even within DC I find myself more of a Batman person over the entire DC universe. And more recently, thanks to Geoff Johns a Green Lantern guy.

As far as good stories go, the non-Big Two publishers tell the best stories as the writers have more freedom.

I buy from 3 main publishers Marvel, DC and Image. But I do buy more books from Marvel simply because they tend to have better stories.

I’m a DC guy. Yes, there are times that I hate some of the things DC puts out but for some reason I love being on one side of the legendary rivalry. I own the entire Bruce Timm universe on DVD, and probably 85% of my comic collection is DC-published. I even feel bad about purchasing a Marvel title from time to time… is that cheating?

If anyone says they like Marvel over DC, I always have to argue the point with them. I have to say things like “Sandman is DC” or “Grant Morrison’s JLA” or “DC has Animal Man, Booster Gold, Kyle Rayner, Flash, etc.” Yeah, so I’m a nerd.

I’m a DC guy at least in terms of volume, and indie (Dark Horse, Boom, Avatar on trades). I do like some Marvel titles but I really can’t get into their books for the amount of events and crossovers running on them – I usually get a rare trade here and then. I still think DC is more cohesive and still has some of my favorite writers (Giffen, DeMatteis, Dini and Robinson).

As a child, let’s say from the age of 5 to 11, I was a “Marvel guy”. Then, as I got older, and started reading more comicbooks, I realized that I am a fan of the medium, and it’s creative teams.

I like Batman, but, will only read the best storylines, from the best creative teams. The last time I read a Batman book, was Brian Azzerello and Eduardo Risso’s “Broken City” run (fantastic story).

The same goes with Superman. I loved John Byrne’s run on the series. Grant Morrison, and Frank Quitely did an awesome job on “All Star Superman”.

To limit oneself to Marvel, DC, or whatever, is really strange. Truth is, there are excellent comicbooks, from many companies, for people to enjoy.

I’m not a Marvel or DC guy. I’m a comicbook guy.

I agree with those who say to take a look at the Universes. The truth is, there are thousands upon thousands of issues, characters, arcs, artists, writers…and unfortunately, unless one were an actual Wayne or Stark…limited funds. I am a DC guy because the DC universe has years of interactions, relationships, and realities that crossover and interact in a way that I recognize. To read – let alone buy – comics from both major publishers and indies that come up is as daunting as it is financially prohibitive.

Why, then did I start with DC? I liked the consistency of characters, and the general focus on individuals rather than teams. I found Marvel to “switch things up” far too often – If I missed an issue or even a few months of DC, I could pick it all back up again – in Marvel, I had never been certain which universe I was reading, or what arc or what title made sense to me. That being said – I enjoy a few specific Marvel titles with great loyalty – and don’t buy DC just for the publisher. And if artists and writers stayed in one place like they did years ago – MAYBE I could follow them — but my comic addiction precludes I drop a title because a particular contributer has once again moved on.

I find that comics are similar to other media… DC is like Google, Twitter, and CBS or ABC — Marvel is like Bing, Facebook, and NBC. Does anyone else think that makes sense?

Growing up, I had superheroes everywhere. There was the Batman short cartoons on The Bozo Show, the live-action Spiderman segments on The Electric Company, reruns of the ’60’s Batman, the Superfriends cartoon, reruns of the Amazing Spiderman cartoon, The Incredible Hulk TV series, The first Superman movie, then Spiderman and his Amazing Friends… and then there’s all of the toys! I had a slew of action figures- both Marvel and DC. Heck, I remember getting an Aquaman set that had the Aquaman figure and a giant shark (the shark floated and its jaws would open).

Long story short, I enjoy all comics and not just DC or Marvel. Over the years, I’ve leaned one direction or another as far as who was getting more of my money. Right now though, it’s pretty equal.

I love comic books not brands (though mostly I’m DC)

I consider myself a DC Guy. I’m in my 30’s and grew up watching the Superfriends cartoons, especially Challenge of the Superfriends. To this day those are still my fave heros and villains.

I tend to lean more towards DC purely because I prefer the stories.
I have no current knowledge of Marvel goings on and it’s too difficult to even try. You pick up a Marvel and you can’t enjoy that one book. Or at least I can’t. Maybe if I had watched the movies Marvel have been pumping out I would be a Marvel.. But I am a comic fan and base my buying on the stories being told in the books.

I am a DC Man. They are just putting out better books now, in general. I look at the ending of Siege #4, the Hulk series and of course the status quo changes for Avengers and Spider-Man as to why I simply don’t believe in Marvel’s product anymore. it just isn’t made for the critically thinking adult fan. I’ve been left totally unimpressed by the majority of the writers at Marvel right now, except Yost and Brubaker. Coincidentally, Captain America and X-Force were the last two good books that left me looking forward to them month after month. Secret Avengers is the only thing I’ll be reading soon. Marvel’s books lack consistency longterm. They lack continuity. And characters die all the time with no real meaning behind the deaths (Nightcrawler, Loki, Ares, Carnage, Black Goliath, etc.) At the drop of a dime continuity could just change. Marvel is for kids that want big fights and great explosions, and that’s fine. It just doesn’t hold my attention anymore. DC has really upped it’s game, and it’s level of artists in the last few years.

Psycho Pirate

May 22, 2010 at 8:57 am

I agree with most everyone who says they go with whoever makes the comics they enjoy. Regardless of
Sure, you may like more Marvel than DC or vice versa… but as long as it’s not blind allegiance to someone whose product you buy, it’s okay.

I myself find it silly when people refuse to give any DC or Marvel book a look because they think they are betraying their loyalties.

Marvel Zombies who think all Marvel is Good and DC is all Bad and Inferior. And vice versa for some hardcore DC fanboys.

I can consider myself a “DC Guy” not because I think they’re better but I just happen to like more of the characters and stories. But that doesn’t stop me from enjoying Marvel books as well. I am glad that I read books like New Avengers, X-Factor, Thunderbolts, Mighty Avengers, Dark Avengers, Deadpool but I like Flash, Green Lantern, Booster Gold (among others) as characters more. In the end, I’m only a DC Guy because of the number of DC characters I like outnumbering the number of Marvel characters I like.

I also read Image. Dynamite. Top Cow. IDW. My favorite character is the Flash. I collect mostly DC merchandise. But that won’t stop me from saying I enjoyed, say Irredeemable Ant-Man (BRILLIANT COMIC BTW) over The previous Flash series which SUCKED.

Also, as an advertising vet, I snicker whenever I see these Marvel Zombies and DC Fanboys who profess their undying and uncompromising devotion to one brand over the other–little realizing that they are, in the end, suckers for what we in our business try to actually develop: Brand Loyalty, the hidden premise being the dream of every marketer is for the consumer to be blindly loyal to the brand and become brand advocates/mavens (or whatever buzzword is in) for it. Look it up if you want.

How silly is it? Being a Die-hard Marvel Zombie is not too different from saying you will watch ALL MOVIES FROM PARAMOUNT regardless of what the movie is. And claiming it’s good. Being a DC Hardcore Fan means watching all shows on a channel no matter what’s on.

Same goes for being a diehard of some creative teams. I like Geoff Johns work on Flash, Hawkman (Holy cow, this was a gem), JSA, Green Lantern but I won’t hesitate to say I found Infinite Crisis’ second half messy or Flash rebirth underwhelming. AT most, it makes me give his books a chance but when it falls short, I drop it.

Every one who’s ever said “Make Mine Marvel” or “Nothing but DC” is an example of this. Don’t believe me? Think Coke VS Pepsi. Mac VS PC. Nike VS Adidas. We do it all the time guys and every single Marvel Zombie and DC Hardcore Fanatic is just falling prey to our machinations.

Sorry, but somebody had to say it. You can disagree with this all you want to justify your “loyalty for the brand” but that only means my industry is right and you’re doing everything we want you to.

How powerful is this? My posting and revealing it won’t change your loyalties. You may question it now but if you are a Marvel Zombie, or a PC Guy or whatever… come tomorrow. You still will be.

When I first started reading and collecting comics, I was fairly diverse in what I bought. Marvel, DC, Valiant – it didn’t really matter. I was a kid and all that really mattered was I was reading the comics and being inspired by them. As I grew older (teens), I gravitated more towards Marvel’s comics than DC’s for two reasons – the basic concept of Marvel’s Heroes (more relateable and flawed than DC’s big heroes) and the art (Marvel’s comics at the time were more artistically appealing to me). And for the most part since then, I have mostly been a Marvel follower.

However, I am now less inclined to follow artists as I did as a child and teen and more interested in following writers I enjoy. And while many of the writers I enjoy are with Marvel, this way of thinking has led me to dip into DC and Image more.

I will say that – I will be almost any DC animated project. Ever since Batman: The Animated Series, I have been hooked on their animated presentation. I don’t really care for Marvel’s offerings, in large part because I don’t feel they are as quality as what DC does. This preference for DC video media didn’t have any impact on my preferences in comics growing up. In fact, DC’s animated projects have done a better job of getting me interested in DC’s comics than DC’s own advertising has.

I absolutely agree with Psychopirate

There aren’t that many comic readers around…. stop being a “”-guy and enjoy comics from all across the medium

Minhquan Nguyen

May 22, 2010 at 9:05 am

I tend to enjoy DC books more, but I like a lot of Marvel books too. However, since my budget for comic books is limited, I mostly buy DC stuff. Marvel books has significantly greater amounts of fans and income, so I tend to spend my money on the mid-performers of DC’s titles: Secret Six, Brave and the Bold, Batgirl, Red Robin, Power Girl, R.E.B.E.L.S. These are really solid titles that don’t get as much support as, say, Batman and Robin or Green Lantern. I want to do my part to make sure they’re around for a good, long while.

I’ve read comics off and on since I was in college, so for about 24 years. I didn’t read a lot in the last decade but kept up on the general story lines and now that I find myself with free time again I am back. When I started I was a big into Marvel and Batman then I slowly got into more DC and Veritgo.
I slowly grew disillusioned with Marvel who had far too many books for me to buy to follow any story arc, I never read Thor but there were times that part of an arc for a book I loved crossed into Thor and I had to buy it to keep up, and aside from Batman read little in the DC universe. I focused more on Vertigo titles and eventually they were all I was reading.
I started back into comics with Batman Reborn and planned on sticking to just a few Bat titles but have spread to Zatanna, Wonder Woman (because of Gail Simone and will stick with it for JMS). I’ve glanced through a few Marvel titles and really none of the characters interest me, I used to love Daredevil and Punisher and the X titles but I don’t care for Wolverine or Deadpool which seems to be all any of the X titles deal with anymore and I have outgrown Punisher and don’t recall seeing a Daredevil comic in the LCS, but maybe I’m just not looking.
Anyway while I read DC only I don’t consider myself a DC person although I do prefer their universe and the fact that actions seem to have long term effects in DC where that rarely seemed to be the case in Marvel where a new writer would just blatantly ignore previous writers’ works.

I’m a “Marvel Guy” (which is not quite accurate because I frequently pick up books from Vertigo, Image, etc. and sometimes even the DCU) but I frequently try to cross over. It just never works out for me. The article’s confusion is understandable. In a perfect world we’d buy or not buy books based on quality and creator. For the most part that’s what I’m doing, but almost every time I try to get into the DCU I’m totally lost in an unfamiliar continuity that might as well be a foreign language. Even when a creative team is identical to one that I enjoyed on a book at marvel, I struggle to get into the story for this reason. I even have an easier time getting into parts of the Marvel U that are unknown to me. Why? The recap page! God I wish DC would do this. I’m positive I would buy LOTS of their books if they did!

I’m a Marvel guy. I grew up with multiple Batman shows, along with Spider-Man, and X-Men TASs. I just gravitated towards the mutants, and to some degree was put off by some of DC’s characters. I felt they were corny rip offs from Marvel (which is obviously kinda incorrect.)

I don’t read DC books, because it’s too much to take on another (infinite amount of) universe of continuity.
I kinda feel like I’d be cheating. Sometimes I tell my friends it’s like Coke or Pepsi. I personally like Coke, when other’s like Pepsi. Some are die hard enthusiasts, while others don’t mind fence hopping. I’m too lazy to hop the fence, and I’m really not willing to pay the price of admission.
Although, I am very interested in the Bat-Woman run on Detective Comics. Hesitant, but open minded. I’ll wait for the HC.

However, I do read some other series. More self contained sorts like: Umbrella Academy, Y: the Last Man, the Unwritten, Chew, Watchmen, the Last Days of American Crime.

That’s just how I do, without any real rhyme or reason.

Also, I’ve learned to pay more attention to creators than characters.

Exhibit A: Ultimate X-Men. I didn’t care for Kirkman’s run, but stuck with the title until almost the end. Didn’t pick up the Apocalypse arc, but did get the following Banshee arc by Coilete (sp?) and then skipped the Ultimatum ending. I learned my lesson.

Also, I followed Kyle/Yost from New X-Men to X-Force and LOVED it.

With its multiverse, crises, and looooong history, DC has always felt less accessible to me. But yes, I started with Spider_man’s early 90s series, moved on to Marvel UK reprints (there was no DC equivalent at the time) and then found an American comic shop. I only got onto DC (and not really — I still don’t understand 80% of it) due to going from Image to Vertigo to following creators to following them to DC! I’m a fan of Gail Simone and Grant Morrison and like some Geoff Johns stuff, but yeah I’m a marvel guy and have got to the point now where I’m an adult and so will only buy adult books (more or less) but keep downloading Spider-Man because I HAVE to know what’s happening with the character.

It is indeed about characters and creators and the intermingling or separation of both.
Batman is my favorite character, but I won’t read anymore Grant Morrison batbooks.
Captain America never did it for me, but Ed Brubaker has produced remarkable work on that book.
Like many have said- it’s about good comics. For a “fan” to not want to buy a “competitors” books is ridiculous. They are losing out , same as fans who buy crap from their favorite company.
I can’t imagine a DC fan not enjoying “Second Coming,” or a Marvel fan not enjoying “War Of the Superman.”

Always been a DC guy, ever since I bought Sgt Rock, Batman and Brave and Bold at the end of the 70’s. I’m not paticularly against Marvel but when you have invested so much in one universe and you know the history, backstory and characters it’s hard to start afresh elsewhere.
I think the last thing I read from Marvel was Secret Wars II which was OK, but a lot of the characters were unfamiliar.

I’m just a comic book fan in General. I buy about 6 Ongoing each from both Marvel, and DC as well as other books when I’m interested. I used to be A Marvel, but that stopped after my first year or so of reading comics. I have no idea why people limit what they buy on nothing more than a company logo. Both companies have great books, and Crappy books.

I’m a Marvel guy. My first comic were Avengers and Fantastic Four. I liked that they took place in New York City. I knew where that was. I knew Metropolis and Gotham City were made up places and that somehow it took me out of my willing suspension of disbelief. If Lois Lane got on a plane and went from Metropolis to Gotham I have no idea how long that flight is (Is there a meal on that flight?). If Thor flies from NYC to Chicago I know exactly how far it is! I can google it. It made a big difference to me as a kid. As a fan of Astro City I can clearly state that doesn’t matter to me anymore, but I’m hooked on Marvel. I know all of the characters. I see some cool costumes in D.C. books but I don’t know who those people are! But I know Eric Simon Payne is the DevilSlayer without looking at Wikipedia (D.C. people are going WTF?).
Also when I was a kid Superman Family bothered me. There was a dog, a cat, a horse…a whole menagerie of animals with superpowers. It seemed babyish to me (Way before the Pet Avengers). The Inhumans had a super dog, but he didn’t do the exact same thing his owners did. I was bugged that only one man made it off Krypton, but apparently it was a Noah’s Arc spaceship (I don’t actually know the origins of the super pets).

Eventually, I kept going back to Marvel. I crossed over on a couple of titles. I thought certain characters were cool and I followed some artists (George Perez to Wonder Woman back in the day). Going to D.C. is like going to a foreign country, the names of everything is different, the people are different, Sure I’ll visit, but I felt at home in my own neighborhood.

I’m a MArvel fan! :D I tried to read DC but it never really manags to capture me completely. Marvel onm the other hand… I just love it :D

I’m a comic book guy (not THE comic book guy)….I grew up on as much DC as Marvel, and enjoy both pretty much equally…It also irks me when people say one sucks over the other, yet they both produce equal amounts of suck and not suck…

I follow Marvel more closely, and always have, but have recently started reading some DC stuff. I guess that the Marvel characters just resonated more for me from the start. My first ever comic books were Spider-Man Unlimited #15 and the Legacy of Evil one shot.
I was a kid when Spider-Man: TAS and Batman were both on TV. I just liked Spider-Man more I guess. The X-Men were on TV then too, but I never really got into them. I’m still not really into the X books.
The thing that used to irk me about DC was their fanboys, especially the Batman fan boys. If you even mentioned you thought someone would beat Batman, they went absolutely apeshit, and you couldn’t get a word in edgewise. In a similar vein, I always thought Superman was way too powerful.
But Blackest Night really interested me, and now I read some DC stuff and find that it’s pretty good. I still like Marvel more, but I guess that’s because of the love of the characters, no matter what creative team is on a book.

I started with DC, for the first five years I read more DC than Marvel, then something change and I began to read more and more Marvel, and also indies (Image, Dark Horse, IDW, etc), at the moment I’m basically a Marvel guy, but I enjoy any comic, not matter its publisher, a good comic its a good comic, period.


I’m a DC only guy. I think their characters have more of a legendary kind of aura. I stay away from Marvel in large part because I spend enough as it is on DC! I do like Marvel movies, though I prefer the DC ones, which have more of an epic feel.

I did a blog about this here


I started out as a DC (Batman fan, I wonder if there’s a correlation between tastes expanding over time and starting out a Batman fan? It seems to happen a lot.)

I have to agree with Greg, I’m a Marvel guy because my favorite writers are working at Marvel, Bendis, Brubaker, Fraction, Hickman, Loeb, Millar, so I read their books. It’s lucky for me though that these guys write my favorite characters, Cap, Spider-man, Fantastic Four, Hulk. But it also gives me the opportunity to read new or differen stuff these guys are putting out. I do read some DC, though not that much in comparison. At DC I read Johns and now Straczynski. And through these guys I’ve come to like characters I’ve never cared about before, Green Lantern, Flash and soon Superman and Wonder Woman for the first time.

Make Mine Marvel, with a side of DC!

When I began I guess you would call me a DC fan, but now since I switched from buying single issues to just waiting for the trades, I don’t find myself limiting myself to a single company, but rather start to follow favorite artists/writers.

Though I have to admit I can understand if some guy who has been following Detective Comics for 300+ issues, because that kind of dedication is something else (however, I would not understand some one who tries to buy all the X-titles released in a given month, that would drive someone crazy and broke!)

I’m a Marvel guy because that’s what i bought first. With little money i focus on series that are. hopefully, consistently good. Of course sometimes Spider-Man sucks and sometimes you couldn’t give a shit about the latest x-person but you stick with it because you don’t want to miss out when the gods of comics arrive and produce a twist you would have kicked yourself for missing.

That’s not to say i don’t like DC, i’m just not as acquainted (and all that continuity confusion makes it even less appealing.) I love Batman from just about every source but have never read any of the ongoing series. The Killing Joke or The Dark Knight Returns are brief glimpses of the world i would love to enter but i just can’t brave entering another continuity confusing, back story reliant world. And i do think that’s a shame. But then again, thank God i don’t have to touch any Super-Man-Boy-Woman-Girl-Dog-Toaster-Sandwich comic the way I am. I love smallville but man those comics are crap…

I’ve been a DC guy forever, but the article was right, I’m not really enjoying it very much lately, and it’s been a real challenge to let go. I have every Teen Titans comic since 1964, but the current Titans titles are toilet paper. I always told myself I’d always buy the Titans no matter what, but I never foresaw this.

I’m telling myself I will now only buy GREAT comics, and I’ve bought more Vertigo and some BOOM, but there’s a borderline with books like Doom Patrol and Secret Six that I’m still buying… and for some reason I’m still buying the Titans books.

Like I said, it’s hard to let go.

As for Marvel, the current event-event-event mentality there makes it hard to jump in, even if I would love to read some Brubaker stuff.

I’m a Marvel guy. BUT I buy a lot of DC’s and independents. I grew up in the 70’s and 80’s and there was certainly brand loyalty being ingrained. Diversity is even more present in comics today BUT there are still house/ brand styles (although it is less in the artwork and more editorial influenced.)Brand Loyalty, one poster said it was unique to comics, which may be true in pop entertainment, BUT I think it is actually universal. Unlike most book publishers which created niche markets, Comic Publisher’s have created niche markets as well as DEVELOPING brand loyalty. The closest thing I can compare to is SPORTS. Regardless of pro or college. There is a passion for certain colleges, college conferences, and pro teams. The same exists in comics. I enjoy a broad range of books and publishers, but my loyalty still resides with Marvel (altough I may purcahse more DC’s in any given month.)

I am definitely a Marvel guy. I read just about any comic around when I was a kid so my love for Marvel doesn’t come just from then. I lost interest in my teen years but when the first X-Men movie came out I wanted to check them out again. I picked up the first couple of TPB’s of Ultimate X-Men eventually and I was hooked. (To this day the first few arcs of Ult. X-Men are the best comics I’ve ever read). I do enjoy Superman and Batman but getting back into the continuity of those series seems like a big under taking. In the end though Marvel will always have one thing DC never will that will make me pre-disposed to buy their comics and that is the man who is the best at what what he does, WOLVERINE!!

If I’m any kind of guy, I’m a “Marvel/DC” kinda guy, and I only identify myself as such because I’ve never been able to make enough of a leap to indie publishers to label myself otherwise. I do get a different feel from the Marvel U and the DC U, but I appreciate both for what they are, and I think there’s enough of an overlap that it isn’t at all jarring for me to read an issue of Secret Six and Amazing Spider-Man in one sitting. It’s comics. It’s muscley people in costumes. It’s word balloons and lasers shooting from people’s hands and eyes. It’s all pretty much the same genre, and I enjoy it for what it is.

My last pre-order had:

7 DC
8 Marvel

This is pretty even, but about a year ago I had 12 Marvel and 3 DC.

Marvel Fan Forever

May 22, 2010 at 10:50 am

I’m a Marvel fan. I tried. I really really tried to like DC, but somehow I just couldn’t get into their books. And I never will now that Jeff Johns has been promoted at DC. I find his story ideas incredibly stupid and juvenile. And the kicker is he thinks they’re so clever and deep.

Why be a DC Guy or A Marvel Guy? It all comes down to MONEY! Doesn’t everything? I would be a Marvel guy except that I don’t have another $100 a month to throw their way. I choose to be a one house guy because it makes more economic sense. Someone would say, “Why don’t you just be a Good Comics’ Guy?” I think that is a dishonest label. You can’t tell what is a good comic from solicits. How do I know that the next Wolverine is going to be better than the next Batman, or Spider-man for that matter. So I stick with what drew me in… DC.

Here are a few more reasons why I am sticking with DC:

1. The Iconic Universe. DC/Marvel are competing shared universes. DC seems to be about how icons act in the world, while Marvel is about how outsiders act. I like my heroes to be morally better than the average man.

2. The Secondary Characters. I think that DC tries to give new and exciting characters a chance more so than Marvel. Maybe I am blind to what Marvel puts out, but this is my opinion. I loved Blue Beetle & Manhunter, and I am currently loving REBELS & Booster Gold. I doubt Marvel would give these guys a chance.

3. Collecting. I fight it, but I want my collection to be complete. It bugs men when I have #576, 577, and 579. Where is #578? I don’t care if this is the one where they had Batman shoot someone with a gun and Power Girl’s breasts shrunk! It just urks me that #578 is missing from my collection.

4. Rooting. I’m a Baltimore Orioles fan. That means I hate the Yankees. I have to hate the Yankees because it is in my Baltimore blood. Does that mean the Yankees suck (my inner voice shouts, “YES!”)? No. It means that I root for Baltimore.

Don’t tell anyone, but ever since Brand New Day, I have every Amazing Spider-Man that has come out, even though I am a DC. I would get more from Marvel, but all of this comes down to money.

I am a DC guy because as a kid my favorite comic was “Adventure comics featuring Superboy and the Legion of Super Heroes “.If you read these books ,especially those written by Jim Shooter and drawn by Curt Swan ,you would be a DC guy too.

I used to be a Marvel guy. Then also read every and all Wildstorm books also until I quit reading in 98. I cam e back after hearing about Captain America’s new book and Jim Lee doing Batman. Istarted reading a little from both. I then slowly migrated to DC because all the marvel books I read earlier, all the X-Books, just didn’t feel the same. I also started reading Daredevil and all the Ultimate titles on a suggestion from my comic shop. I loved the Ultimate titles and Daredevil. I also started reading a lot of DC (Batman, Superman, JLA, Green lantern, etc.,). Then I also jumped back in with Wildstorm when they were relaunched and was sorely disappointed. I stuck with them for a year and dropped them. I used to be a casual reader of Top cow back in the day. Now today I read only one title from Marvel, Ultimate Spiderman. Read a lot of DC, Batman, JLA, Green lantern, Flash, Legion, etc, But also read Top cow, mostly Darkness. But I also pick up titles from other companies occasionally, too.

Davey Boy Smith

May 22, 2010 at 11:03 am

The first comics I bought were german reprints of DC vs Marvel, and I was thrilled when Marvel beat DC (esp. when Wolverine beat Lobo). I prefered Marvel and its characters because I had religiously followed the X-Men and Spider-Man animated series in the early 90s. The X-Men captured my imagination, and the first US title I bought was an issue of What If? titled “What if Stryfe had killed the X-Men?” I was devastated to see my beloved X-Men die, as I didn’t immediately grasp the concept of the title at the tender age of 11 years and believed the events to be in continuity. From there I started buying the X-Men titles whenever I could get my hands on them.

After a few years, I lost interest in the X-Men as I recognised them to be static characters. I do regularly return for story arcs by creators whose work I have an interest in, e.g. Grant Morrison and Joss Whedon’s runs. A good issue of X-Men fills me with a sense of satisfaction that I don’t get from (many) other superhero titles.

My favourite comics of the last years though have been from Vertigo and Wildstorm. I wholeheartedly recommend Sleeper, Joe Casey’s Wildcats, Planetary, Top Ten, Winter Men, Mysterius The Unfathomable and all things Vertigo by Peter Milligan to those comic book readers looking to venture outside their respective comfort zones.

I will always prefer the Marvel superheroes to their DC counterparts, while recognizing the excellent superhero titles that has been produced by DC since its inception. Obvious works such as Watchmen, Batman Year One etc., but also less acknowledged titles such as Chase, Steven Grant’s Challengers of the Unknown, Dan Slott’s Arkham Asylum etc.

DC all the way man! I like some concepts/characters from the Marvel side, but on the whole, ‘…make mine DC!’

What a great question!
35 years ago, I was a Marvel guy. I really got into Fantastic Four, Spidey, Iron Fist, Hawkeye, Capt. A, Avengers, and Iron Man. Now, I’m a DC guy.
Why? I’m positive it’s because of where I place myself emotionally and my place in society. When I was growing up, Marvel presented more realistic characters and stories that were grittier and more intune with the world. It was a nice place for a kid to hide in while dealing with life. They offered characters that we could connect with, and see how they dealt with life.
Flash forward 35 years.
I rediscovered comic books a few years ago, and while trying to reconnect with my childhood superhero pals, it just wasn’t the same. I found myself getting pulled into the DC universe. I firmly believe that it’s the same type of connection I used to have with Marvel, but in a new light. Now, I enjoy escaping that gritty reality and like the more wholesome characters of the DC universe. I believe they represent a better world, and provide a new hope and outlook.
I do occasionally pick up a few Mavel titles, but mostly I enjoy Supes, Batman, JLA, JSA, and anything Green Lantern.

long story short, right now: neither

Dark Horse and probably Dynamite (but they’re slipping)

I grew up on the 90s Spider-Man and X-Men cartoons AND the Batman and Superman cartoons. But Spider-Man was my favorite since I was a toddler, so I was told. When I got into comic books, my first two books? J. Michael Straczynski’s Amazing Spider-Man and Chris Claremont’s X-Treme X-Men. I have every issue of X-Treme X-Men.

But while growing up and then starting off in comic books, my only conception of DC was Superman and Batman. Then around Infinite Crisis, I started started reading Superman and Batman comics…and then Green Lantern.

Now my DC pull rivals my Marvel pull. I can say that I grew up a “Marvel” guy, but I think you really limit yourself if you carry that mentality. Each company is offering something different under the super hero umbrella and it’s worth it to check it out.

I like the toys in the DC room. I was introduced to the DC room when I was young and impressionable. I can rely on the toys in the DC room. They’re familiar and comfy.

I can see through the window into the Marvel room and can see some cool toys. I have a friend who tells me the Marvel room and it’s toys are “Awsome”. But there’s a man at the door of the Marvel room that says it’ll cost me all of my allowance to come in and play with the toys.

I already spend my allowance in the DC room, but if I shared out my allowance between the DC room and the Marvel room, I won’t be able to play with as many toys in the DC room. That would make me sad :-(

Maybe I would like the Marvel toys in the Marvel room. Maybe I’d like them as much as or better than the toys in the DC room, but maybe I’ll think the smell of poo. I would have wasted my allowance on something I didn’t like and missed out on some toys in the DC room.


May 22, 2010 at 12:00 pm

I am definitely a DC guy, but not so much by choice, but due to the fact that there are more comics than i have the money for and there came a time where I had to choose o company so i wouldn’t always jump in at the middle of story arcs and what not. Since I have always been a huge batman fan and at the time there were several 1st issues dc had coming out it seemed like the right choice.

Before then I was just a comic book guy, I would watch the x-men, spiderman , batman, and justice league cartoons and loved them all and i had a mix of marvel and dc graphic novels. In fact it was definitely the point when i decided to keep up with traded that my company loyalty started, and as I continued to read I began to prefer dc less grounded (for lack of a better word) stories to marvels more real world based ones.

The thing is I really do want to read things like the secret avengers coming out and siege that just ended but like I said due to money Im stuck with playing catch up because i have to wait for the graphic novels to come out, and because of that whenever I do read them I dont feel as attached to the story because its a universe im not as attached to as I am DC because I read every book I can.

Marvel all day.

When I was a kid I loved DC, but Marvel is just leagues better

ya know, I WAS a DC guy that mainly picked up Geoff Johns and Gail Simone stuff – and the occasional Marvel title (USM is excellent)..

But shoving the silver age into my mouth with the return of Barry Allen, and making Hal jordan and Ray Palmer forerunners really put me off. To top it off, Blackest Night started off awesome then crumbled (I mean really – who was scared of Nekron at any point in the entire series?)

But the final FINAL straw was Ryan Choi. I could almost ALMOST be ok with the general white-washing of the DC universe if they left Ryan alone. But after an admirable attempt to diversify DCU, then redacting said act — killing him is just an insult.

No more picking up DC issues for me. But USM will always be on my pull lise.. oh and anything with Amadeus Cho <– because Marvel seems to be able to put asian americans in the forefront successfully.

I’m an Image guy.

No pointless editorial driven changes, see Marvels’ next generation of artists, buy comics a whole dollar cheaper than the competition, money goes to creators in a direct way, fresh stories, etc etc…

Seeing how marvel and dc are doing so many dumb things to sink their own boat I am on Indy side and not Marvel or DC side. I am enjoying Dynamite and IDW more then Marvel or DC right now but I don’t have guts to give up on them. There is still good books from both but muddle under the muck of the bad stuff. Look how many great books been canceled while garbage still went on. I mean stuff like She-Hulk, Spider-Girl, Iron Fist, Captain Britian: MI:13, Exiles disappear while crap like New Avengers, Dark Avengers, Bucky America, Blackest Night, Brightest Day go on. DC brought back heroes but didn’t bring everybody that should have come back and then seemingly has screwed that up. Death is a joke now. No one doesn’t think Nightcrawler or Hercules is back in a year or two or less.

Ybrik Metaknight

May 22, 2010 at 12:19 pm

Wow, could this writer be more condescending? Glad nobody was “forcing” me to read it all, because I definitely only skimmed the back half of it like a comic I dropped halfway through a story arc but still followed by flipping through it on the store shelves.

Here’s the deal: People are different. Shocking, but true. Some comics fans have a strong attachment to certain characters. Some don’t. I, myself, have a very strong attachment to the X-Men. Except for a couple issues of Valiant’s Super Mario Bros. series and maybe a few random issues of this or that here or there, my first comic book, the one that started the obsession, was Uncanny X-Men #300, which I got for my ninth birthday. Since then, I’ve bought every issue (either in singles or trades) of Uncanny, adjectiveless X-Men/New/Legacy, Astonishing, X-Treme, New X-Men (second series) and Generation X, and parts of pretty much every other X-book. There have been a few times when I almost dropped some of those books (the late ’90s were rough for X-Men fans), but for the most part I’ve enjoyed reading all those X-titles. Over the years, I started branching out, first with Thunderbolts, then eventually with Spider-Man (just ASM and Ultimate), Avengers and the rest of the Ultimate line. On a few occasions, I tried to get into DC but just couldn’t because I had little interest in most of the characters (Batman’s still a badass and one of my all-time favorite characters, and has a very strong family of characters and my all-time favorite villain in any medium of fiction, Joker; most other DC characters? Couldn’t care less).

For me, what I’m seeking in my fantasy escapism (which I think is what all comic fans are looking for in one form or another) is the stories of characters I’ve come to love. But that doesn’t mean I’m unwilling to drop books. I had, in one form or another, every issue of Thunderbolts (except for the bizarre Fight Club-inspired arc that featured none of the same characters) and related minis and one-shots. But I dropped it two issues into Dark Reign because I didn’t care for the story or most of the characters it focused on. A few appearances (with no real payoff, as I understand it) by Songbird and then eventually Mach-V and Fixer weren’t enough. I simply didn’t care about Norman Osborn’s black ops strike force made up of a bunch of obscure villains (plus the new Ant-Man, whom I do really like). And several series launching this year (the New Avengers relaunch, new adjectiveless X-Men, New X-Force and even Secret Avengers, though I bet I’m pretty unlikely to drop that one) I’m getting on a trial basis, and if they don’t pull me in pretty quickly they’re gone.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that some of us simply care more about characters than the creative teams because we love those characters. It’d be nice if a writer for a site or blog devoted to comic book fandom wouldn’t talk down to readers with attachments for characters. It’s cool that you care more about creative teams and good, self-contained stories from indie publishers. It should also be cool that someone else is a huge Spider-Man or JLA fan. Something for everyone these days, right?

I am since 1973 and alway shall be MARVEL!

Ybrik: Well, if you want to call me condescending, go right ahead. You completely missed the point of the article, though. Good job! I have no problem loving a character, as I point out in the post. If you love a character and want to follow that character, feel free. I have hundreds of comics with Spider-Man and the X-Men that simply aren’t very good but I bought them because I loved the characters. What I’m talking about are people buying a Spider-Man comic and then bitching about how much the comics suck. And continuing to buy them even though they never get better. And spending 3-4 dollars on each comic even though they suck. And bitching about the prices of those Spider-Man comics because they feel like they’re getting ripped off. Don’t pretend those readers don’t exist, because they do. In today’s world, buying something just because of the characters even if the stories suck and continue to suck is stupid, because comics are so expensive. And yes, if you do that, I will call you an idiot and talk down to you. Most of the people here lean toward one company or another, but they have reasons for them and they don’t seem to think the books they read suck. If you like Spider-Man and buy only Spider-Man books because you don’t have a lot of money and really, really like the Spider-Man books, more power to you. But what makes me angry is the people who buy only Spider-Man books because they love the character but hate the actual comics. That’s stupid, and I’ll point it out. If that makes me condescending, so be it.

i’m a Marvel guy. more specifically, I’m an Ultimate Marvel guy. Most of DC’s character don’t interest me. I only really like Batman and his coterie of fellow vigilante nuts. Marvel-wise, I watched Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends as a wee nipper. as a teen, I got into reaidn X-Men and X-Force. i watched the X-Men and Spidey ’90s toons. i’ve loved every one of Marvel’s movies since Blade (well, except Punisher: War Zone since i haven’t seen it, but yes, i even liked Ghost Rider and Elektra).

But as far as the comics go, yeah, I own the trades to the death and life of Superman (curiousity and watching Lois and Clark – c’mon Teri Hatcher was hot) and i have the trades for Knightfall and Knightsend. but other wise, i stick with Ultimate because i like the characters and it doesn’t have 40 years of back-story i don’t know. i’ve stuck with them all along, even Kirkman’s weak-ass run on UXM, Loeb’s Thor-awful Ultimates 3 and the biggest challenge to my loyalty: Ultimatum.

Why? OCD anal-retentive completist-ness. (is that a word?) i just have to have all the Ultimate stuff because it’s all connected and i need to know what’s happening. i can’t just keep reading USM and expect to understand what’s been happening if Bendis starts referencing something that Millar just bunged into Ultimate Avengers or something in Loeb’s Ultimate X.

i just wish to Asgard they’d get rid of Loeb. Ultimatum would never have sucked so much if Ellis, Bendis or Millar wrote it i’m sure….

I don’t think it’s that strange to prefer one over the other. I’m mostly a Marvel reader but I buy DC stuff from time to time. These days I only buy DC titles based on the artst. It’s hard for me to enjoy a DC book for an extended amount of time because they seem to always do something that chases me off their books. To me it takes more effort to be a DC fan. There’s so much constantly changing continuity to keep up with. I also have some opinons and theories about the subject…..

I tend to think DC has a lot of fans who are mainly fans because at some point they became anti-Marvel for whatever reason. I think those people switched over to the DC camp because Marvel did something they didn’t like. It’s not that they like DC so much as it’s they just don’t like Marvel. But I don’t think it happens nearly as much where a DC fans gets fed up with DC and defects to Marvel.

I think most writers tend to do better work at Marvel but there are some who thrive at DC and couldn’t be as succesful at Marvel. For example…If Geoff Johns were working at Marvel I don’t think his career would be nearly as successful.

I think Marvel works far better as a single universe. DC has managed to make it work a bit better over the years but I’ve never thought their characters and concepts really jelled together that well. To me DC has always had the feel of a bunch of characters and concepts that have been forced together to try and create a single universe. Actually, that’s what it pretty much is in reality.

Ybrik Metaknight

May 22, 2010 at 12:49 pm

Greg: I think I get what you’re saying, but this bit is where you lost me: “Are people really still carrying that baggage from three decades ago, and that “forces” them to read only Marvel or DC because the characters are so dear to them? I understand that childhood obscures your critical faculties occasionally (did you say something against Manimal, asshole? I didn’t think so!), but that much? Man, that’s a tough way to read comics.” Just doesn’t seem a very friendly or inclusive way to try to get your point across. That’s the part that I really found condescending, because yes, some of us do have “baggage” that “obscures [our] critical faculties” and makes us loyal to some characters. That’s just how we are.

I do know what you mean, though, about people who take it to the extreme, bitching about this or that change of direction. As I said before, I myself have started dropping some titles that I’m not enjoying very much, but I still really enjoy what’s going on. I almost dropped Ultimate Spider-Man when I dropped the rest of the line after Ultimatum (thanks for the jumping off-point, Marvel! I needed to cut some books), but gave it a chance and realized how much I still love Bendis’ voice on that book — particularly since it seems to be even more self-contained now. I picked up the current New Mutants book on a whim and immediately fell in love with it, realizing that, despite having started on comics well after NM became X-Force and not following X-Force consistently over the years or having read much of the old New Mutants runs, I somehow developed an attachment to those characters as well.

Greg, sorry if I took away the wrong meaning from this column, but your choice of words in that one segment (among others) made me feel like you were sweeping everyone who follows certain characters over other reading interests into the category of people with too much “baggage” to read comics the right way. I do so hate sweeping, generalizing statements. And word choice means something.

Aight, I’ve said my bit. Peace.

Truth be told, I tend to follow characters more than publishers. A particular artist may catch my eye and have me [pick up a stray title here and there, but more important to me is the feeling of familiarity one gets when one has found a favorite character to read. I lean towards the more mid-ranged or even powerless heroes with heavy skills. One might instantly think me a Batman fan. That would be wrong.

I also like a universe that has grit and doesn’t put their characters on lofty pedestal, but lets them deal with real life issues as well as their adventures in spandex and leather. I find some companies/publishers, do this better than others. But with writers getting more slack in the reigns, its nice to see some of the great characters get brought to life.

Having said that, the real question in my mind is where is the line drawn? When is a change to your favorite character gone to far? At what point to you stop buying a book you have enjoyed collecting for a long time?

For me its when the character I enjoyed reading, is taken away and replaced with the “modernized” version. Its why I can’t read anything in the Batman books any more. They took the character of Dick Grayson ‘Nightwing ‘ and dumped years of work in the garbage in favor of a publicity stunt. Thats my line. When a publisher, writer, artist, etc crosses it, they lose me as a reader. Its my belief that we the consumer have the final say so, not the publishers or the writers or the artists. If they do something I don’t want, I just stop buying their comic until they fix it. While Grayson is wearing the Batman persona, they have not sold one comic based on that character to me. When and if he returns to Nightwing, I’ll come back.

While Bucky Barnes is Captain America, I don’t buy that book. If Rogers gets back into the stars and stripes to sling shield again, I will come back. I thought the Ultimate series was a good way to modernize the characters and still keep the attention of those characters core audiences without resulting to marketing ploys and tricks to get readership.

Here’s a tip for the publishers, you want higher readership, better sales? Listen to your characters fan base and stop trying to re-invent the wheel.

I’m a dc guy, because Joe Q and Tom B are running Marvel.

I’m more of a Marvel guy because I don’t really enjoy the way DC runs its comics. It seems like every few years Superman or Batman or The Flash or Wonderwoman are getting a completely new origin. And I always did find it hard to jump onto the Green Lantern comic book series because I had no idea what was going on and I really didn’t see why I should buy the previous dozen of issues to find out, when they could stick something at the beginning like some Marvel comics do.

It also has to do with me being raised in a Marvel household where you rarely saw a DC comic. Also, the DC superheroes seem more willing to beat the shit out of villains or kill them, even if they haven’t done anything or if someboyd insults them. And I may be wrong, please correct me if I am, but it seems as if many female DC superheroes look like hookers and sluts–I mean, look at Canary, Wonderwoman, Poison Ivy, Vixen, and Powergirl for example.

Not that I’m completely against DC. I have just recently decided to give them a chance by subscribing to Powergirl and Birds of Prey.

i consider myself both a dc and Marvel fan for i buy from both . and if i do not care what is going on with one company like what went down with Rogue and Sentry i just pick up one of the other books . same with Dc for like cry for justice i did not bother to even read .to me it does not matter marvel and dc both do characters who fans keep going back to their adventures. for saying your either in one camp or another is just the old coke or pepsi argument.

Marvel guy.

I read a lot of titles from both companies (and from most of the indie publishers), a good book is a good book and a bad book is a bad book. The difference comes in on the average books. Because of my long term affinity for the universe and the characters at Marvel, I get a sense of enjoyment out of average stories that I might not have enjoyed otherwise. I get a certain, visceral thrill just knowing that Spider-man is in the book I’m about to read. I’ve been getting that same thrill for over 35 years. It’s addictive.

I’ve been a DC guy since the day i first sat down and watched Challenge Of The Super-Friends as a child. Although i’ve also been a die-hard Marvel fan for many years but i’ve continued to consistently lose interest in their comics since the early 90’s. The only current titles i thoroughly enjoy reading from them now are X-Factor, Atlas, and Daredevil. I also have to state that the Abnett and Lanning cosmic stuff has been loads better than any event i’ve read from either of the big 4.

That doesn’t mean i don’t find some of DC’s titles to be incredibly dissatisfying. But i’ve been enjoying titles like Secret Six, Jonah Hex, Green Lantern, Flash, Batman & Robin, Red Robin, Great Ten, Booster Gold, Green Lantern Corp, and Tiny Titans on a grand scale. Their DCU minis and Vertigo output have been pretty stellar as far as i’m concerned. Hell, i just recently read the “Bad Seed” arc of JSA and i even found that to be incredibly enjoyable despite alot of naysayers.

So count me in as a DC guy. For life.

Ybrik: Oh, I see. I wasn’t trying to be condescending, because as I pointed out, I have that baggage too. I mean, I know Manimal sucks, but I have a soft spot for it in my heart. I don’t have that with comics because I didn’t read them when I was a young kid, but I understand the mindset. I just don’t get the mindset when it begins to cost so very much, especially if you’re not enjoying the product and hope at some point the company reverts it to what it was like when you were a kid. That’s probably not going to happen.

Sorry if I came off as condescending – I really wasn’t trying to.

When I was young my small neighborhood saw a division of DC and Marvel. As kids you weren’t allowed to like both, so I went with Marvel. Mainly because I thought the X-men and Spider-man were really cool. Now twenty years later I’m still that way. I don’t read exclusively marvel, but I love marvel than DC. I remember watching Batman: TAS and thinking it was awesome, but then Marvel put out X-men and Spider-man animated series at the same time. I watched all three, but loved that X-men cartoon the most. So every week I pick up spider-man, and I love the fact that if the stories not great it changes usually within three issues. You don’t have to wait months for it. I also read Paul Dini and Grant Morrison’s Batmans. So I guess saying I’m a Marvel guy is a lie, but that’s what I say, even though I read DC too. I’ve been reading DC in secret for years too. I’m a huge JLI fan and reading anything by Griffen I can.

I’m currently not so much a “Marvel” guy as a “no longer DC guy”. I’ve been reading titles from both companies as far back as the 70’s. I never cared for the brand names, and while the companies did indeed have different focus at times (Marvel’s Silver Age was less silly than DC’s, for example) I’ve seen pretty much the same material from both, and most of it was good.

But DC is right now under an editorship that feels stuff like rape or gore is OK in your average superhero comic, where before it was rare. Every time a series needs a sales boost, BAM! some character gets killed in a gruesome way. It’s like they’ve given up on those of us who don’t care for such material. It’s gotten so ridiculous they needed a WHOLE crossover to bring back all the killed-off characters believably. Which is not to say they don’t have good books- they do. But when you can’t read even Teen Titans without encountering scenes of grisly death, what’s the point?

Not that Marvel has been free of darkness- the post-Civil war setting was grim enough, but never to the degree DC has, and you just KNEW that sooner or later, things would go back to normal. And while books like Marvel Zombies or Punisher were pretty gross, you could just not buy those books and thus save yourself the disgust. In the current DC, you can’t (except in their kids line, thank goodness.)

As I said, these trends come and go, and I’m pretty certain that some future administration will remember that they’re host to some the noblest, greatest fictional heroes ever invented, and will give them the setting they deserve. However, it looks like it’s going to be a long wait… :(

maxwell ferris

May 22, 2010 at 3:47 pm

I don’t understand people saying they are a Marvel or DC guy either – like he said there is good and bad form both. I have a ton of subscriptions from both DC (including Vertigo) and Marvel (including Icon) not to mention Image and anything else that catches my eye. I say just enjoy the medium while it lasts and is reasonably affordable. And for the guys that are complain that a bad creative team made them screw up a good run they were collecting maybe you should ask yourself why you are collecting – for yourself or some other foolish reason because if you’re not doing because you enjoy it you’re being stupid. Now go out and buy these books or else they’ll cancel them.

I’m a Marvel/DC guy. I’m a DC/Marvel guy. And I’m not.

I love reading comics in general. The only reason I buy mostly Marvel and DC is money and the need to use it intelligently and spend it on the comics that can give me the most satisfaction. That said, I still re-read my old stuff from Eclipse, Dark Horse, Malibu, Image, Dynamite, Crossgen, etc. and buy something else, occasionally. Going back to what I said previously, the reason DC and Marvel give me the most satisfaction is my emotional investment in their characters and their histories. Continuity is a bad word for a lot of people but not for me. I thoroughly enjoy getting to see the development and evolution of these characters I met decades ago. And their universes. I love the universes as a whole, not just a few individual characters. That’s why I sample almost everything. When I leave a series I go back after some time and get a taste of how it’s going then.
I love many different creators but I don’t follow any of them in a particular way beyond recognizing the name of a talented creator as one more reason to buy a comic. The main one would still be the character and its universe, considering I don’t have enough money to buy all I’d like (I like waaaaaaay too many things :p ) and I have to prioritize.

It’s not too hard to understand. For some people, it’s like football – you choose a team. Simple as that. You can sometimes appreciate players of the other team, you can appreciate how they game and whatever, but you realize that there’s a strong link between you and your team. I’m a Marvel guy, anyway!


May 22, 2010 at 4:16 pm

I’ve been a Marvel fan since the early 80’s – when i was 8 or so a schoolmate recommended X-Men and i managed to get a few UK reprints of both the original team and Uncanny.

Including the end of the Dark Phoenix arc.

I also picked up Daredevils which contained Frank Miller reprints of DD plus Alan Moore’s Captain Britain run.
I quickly started to collect New Mutants (first issue – Demon Bear arc), X-Men and Spidey, picking up the odd second hand title here and there (Micronauts, Rom, Moon Knight all come to mind).

Meanwhile if i was picking up an issue of Superman, Flash, even Titans, they just seemed so old fashioned. It wasn’t until JLI, Dark Knight Returns, Killing Joke that DC seemed worth reading at all.

In the 90s after Claremont left X-Men it would only be things like Sandman, Doom Patrol and Hellblazer that really appealed. I had thought i had grown out of superhero comics.

When Grant Morrison was writing X-Men i had to give it a go. As flawed as that particular story ended it made me realize how strong an attachment i had to those characters and how much of a reaction these day-glo heroes could cause.

Now i mainly read Marvel again. The continuity, the “universe”, those guys have gone through so much that i have shared in. Some have died and some returned, titles dwindled only to be reborn in a blaze of glory. The emotional bonds strengthen with each story that hits the mark. We share in these heroes trials and like a glutton beg for more. I reckon i could follow X-Men on and off til the day i die. This has it’s own rewards – a constant soap-opera for the fantasist’s and the sci-fi freaks.

So call me Marvel. I will still enjoy reading Booster Gold or JSA or Birds of Prey – but really couldn’t care less about the DCU, whereas often despite my own good sense i will follow most Marvel stories that sound interesting in the “modern age”.

All Marvel, all 616.. I’ve got some Batman stuff, wich is really the only part of DC where I have ventured.

Marvel Comics was my first love. I was a teen when I first got seriously into superheroes, and it was during the Jim Shooter years in the early 1980s. It was not a coincidence that I prefered Marvel. There was something in Marvel that just appealed more to a moody, hormonal teenager. Call it angst, or character drama if you’re kinder. But it was also the sheer physicality of the Marvel Universe. Marvel heroes had those long, sprawling, desperate fights against powerful enemies. DC heroes seemed to be more untouchable.

Yes, it was that distinctive style that drew me in. Not something like “brand loyalty.” Proof of that was that I loved a few DC comics that were done in the Marvel “style.” I was dedicated to the Teen Titans and the Legion of Super-Heroes with the same fanaticism I reserved for the Marvel heroes. And I liked also some oddball DC titles like Camelot 3000 and Atari Force and Amethyst.

But the DC icons just didn’t appeal to me. Superman, Wonder Woman, Justice League, Flash, Green Lantern, in the late 1970s and early 1980s they seemed so monotonous and flabby and middle-aged to me. Batman was more interesting, but his comic was never a success here in Brazil, and kept getting cancelled. So at the time I understood why Crisis was necessary.

After 1986, something started to change. I loved Byrne’s Superman, Perez’s Wonder Woman, Giffen’s League, the new Flash, the Suicide Squad, Animal Man, Hawkworld, Kesel’s Hawk & Dove, Stern’s Starman, Captain Atom… Suddenly I was reading all those DC Comics. A couple of years later, and Marvel started to go bad after Shooter left, and kept getting worse into the 1990s. I was more of a DC guy for a few years, but never left Marvel completely, because I still liked a few Marvel titles (Excalibur, Hulk, New Warriors, Guardians of the Galaxy).

I went from a Marvel guy that liked a few DC, to a DC guy that liked a few Marvel.

Then Image happened, and I hated the early Image style, and Marvel hit bottom, and even DC was not so good anymore, and I just left for a few years, and when I came back again, I was neither a Marvel guy or a DC guy. I read Vertigo, Dark Horse, the later Image stuff, DC, Marvel. The collapse of the industry in the 1990s was a good thing because it cured me of my delusion that any comic company could be universally good and worthy following.

Just a long-winded way to say that I am neither a Marvel guy nor a DC guy. And that I don’t think there is any happy ending for those guys that just love a certain character and will follow him/her anywhere. Sooner or later someone will screw up your character, and life is too short for us to spend our time buying stuff we hate and complain about it.

DC guy

Probably has something to do with the comics I was exposed to early in life.

Mum bought me Superman and Batman with some Justice League tossed in for good measure. When I started buying my own I bought DC, but I also couldn’t ignore Frank Miller’s Daredevil, Walt Simonson’s Thor or Claremont/Byrne’s X-Men of Byrne’s FF and Alpha Flight.

I was overjoyed when Byrne made Superman and DC his home in 86 and disappointed when he left, and over the years I have been exposed to other titles and enjoyed them thoroughly. First Comics Jon Sable and American Flagg showed me the wonders of independents. (Read a couple of Image Comics back in the day and swore off them forever)

I still consider myself a DC guy and pick up more titles from them than Marvel. For some strange reason I never ever got into Spiderman, although my best friend bought it exclusively. I only follow 2 titles from Marvel – Daredevil and Captain America.

The innovations at DC appeal to me more – Simone’s Secret Six, Vertigo, etc. Punisher Max hooked me, Fraction’s Punisher and Franken_Punisher drove me away.

I dont buy as much as I use to but I love Secret Six, Green Lantern and Daredevil and will probably keep buying only those titles.

I stopped buying Marvel in the 90’s I think when they were dumping a boatload of crappy titles on the market just to put other publishers out of business. I thought it was a rotten thing to do and it worked. The Marvel Zombies had to buy every Marvel book that came out, so they kept dumping more and more to make sure none of them had extra money to buy other books. A lot of good publishers ended up closing down shop because of it and I’ve hated them ever since. I also think Joe Quesada is a jerk-off and his attitude sucks. The recent uproar over what Marvel was doing with the Blackest Night books was a reminder of what they had done in the past. Douchebags. I do buy a Marvel book here and there if it has Captain America or Dr. Strange, or if there is a writer or artist that I really like working on a book, but for the most part I prefer DC. Marvel lost me when they became super villains themselves. Some of you might argue that it was a smart business plan and every other business does the same thing. That’s true, but it doesn’t make it right.

I’m more of a DC guy.

But when I say this, I don’t mean I pledge some unwavering loyalty to one company. I’m primarily a trade-waiter and collect at my own pace; I try to give a shot to a variety of things that just sound good to me. I’m more of a DC guy in the way that the characters resonate with me more; which is not to say that I don’t completely love Iron Man or Spider-Man (at least now that the marriage is gone, at any rate), it’s just that Marvel in general doesn’t really click with me like DC does.

But if something sounds great from Marvel – like Johnathan Hickmans Fantastic Four is something I’m really looking forward to in trade, I liked what I read of Bru’s Cap run and will pick it up in trade and Matt Fractions Iron Man run is something in my crosshairs – I’m going to buy it. For me, the “DC Guy” moniker is just a preference thing. Not so much like “I will buy only DC” or the “Marvel Zombies” type of fan. You get somebody like Grant Morrison or Jason Aaron or Matt Fraction on one of the Marvel books and I’m going to take notice regardless of my preference.

As far as the indies go, I buy less. But It’s not due to lack of interest. I have to admit it’s sometimes harder to remember to pick up a trade of a non Big Two series. Like, the name of a series I thought looked good will just slip my mind for a couple months, which puts off me getting around to it. It’s easier for me to, say, go to buy some trades and remember “oh hey, there was a Batman trade that came out maybe two months ago I wanted to read” than it is to go “everyone raves about Queen and Country, time to pick up a trade.”

For the latter it’s often more like “Now what was that series everyone was raving about again? Can’t remember. Was it Rucka? A Brubaker series?”

Over the last 20 years I got to know a lot of Marvel stuff, (cartoons and comics) and I had access to some from DC (mostly cartoons). And the DC material never really hooked me in a way Marvel did.
Ans a lot of DC costumes don’t work for me because of the designs and the color schemes.
Long story short: when it comes to super hero comics I mostly enjoy Marvel & Image (Wildstorm included).
I tried a lot of other stuff but that never lasted very long.

Avid DC fan here. I wouldn’t wipe my hind parts with anything Marvel puts out.

That said, I was an X-Men fan for virtually all of the 90’s. Not a “Marvel” fan, just an X-Men fan. I hated all that Avengers, FF, Spider-Man, and other crap that Marvel put out, and still do to this very day. But when I say that I was a hardcore X-Fan, I bought any and everything that Marvel put out with an “X” on it, and believe me, back in the 90’s, there was plenty of it.

Then, when 2K rolled around, I just woke up for some reason, and stopped buying the stuff. I quit cold turkey. I believe the first X-Men movie came out, and when I saw that they were trying their hardest to make the comics look and feel like the movie, with everyone wearing those stupid leather jackets and whatnot.

Put during the mid to late 90’s, a friend had turned me onto Morrison’s JLA, and that got me back into DC.

I say “back into”, because I was always a fan of DC from the Super Friends, all the Bat Man and Super Man movies, the Wonder Woman TV show, the Shazam cartoon and TV shows as a kid. Batman was the first comic I ever read as a kid, and Captain Marvel was and still is my fave character hands down.

But when I started collecting comics hardcore in the 90’s, I was swept up into the “X” craze. Now, even though I can’t bring myself to re-read any of that crap, and kick myself for ever liking it, I still own it.

So when I let Marvel (the X-Men specificallY) go, DC was the natural choice for me, and I never looked back, not even once. I use sites like CBR, Newsarama, IGN, etc to keep up with the malarky that Marvel puts out, just to get a good laugh, but I wouldn’t use a Marvel comic to line my bird’s cage with.

It’s funny, because I was in my LCS a few weeks back, picking up my reserved titles, and it was a phone book-thick stack of DC titles. The girl behind the desk was like “so you’re a hardcore DC fan too, huh?” I was like “yeah”…. She says that she was too, and she said that she used to be a hardcore Marvel fan at one point, so I shared an abridged version of the above. Then she made a very astute observation:

She said: “Marvel might get you into comics, but it’s DC that keeps you into comics”. Amen to that.

Hmm, according to numbers of boxes for DC and Marvel;

15 boxes of Marvel comic books, magazines and comic/art related items.
25 boxes of DC comic books, magazines and comic/art related items.

The winner is DC and that made me a DC guy.

Democrat or republican? There’s a general overall tone and direction to the books. Yes we have different candidates and changes, but there is a sense of direction there. Personally, I have been a DC guy, mainly cause I just hate how Marvel’s citizens treat the x-men. I know DC has some of that, but not in the same prominent exposure, Marvel utilizes, that i know of. Lately, DC has been treating their heroes so poorly, I’ve decided to quit for a while.

Also, having a large consecutive collection like that, I can understand the completest attitude.

Oh, and for people (including the writer of the article) who say that the can’t understand how someone can be either one or the other, Marvel or DC….

Try asking someone who’s Republican why he’s not a Democratic (or vice versa), or a Pro-Lifer why he’s not Pro-Choice (or vice versa), or a Yankees fan why they are not Mets fans (or vice versa), or an Atheist why he’s not a Christian (or vice versa).

Nothing wrong with drawing your line in the sand, and choosing a “team”.

Brian from Canada

May 22, 2010 at 5:15 pm

Psychopirate is wrong: the connection is nothing to do with brand.

Go back to Willie’s analogy: the battle between DC and Marvel is easily reflected in Star Wars vs Star Trek. Both have their casual fans and both have their “rabid” fans. But lying within each choice — be it for Han Solo, Captain Kirk, Spider-Man or Bruce Wayne — is a connection to the character, perhaps a reflection of our values or desire to escape, but a connection nevertheless that wants… that needs… to go beyond this particular episode and explore the world around the character, even possibly to create further stories using that character. Thus, those characters become part of our lives, and we make the conscientious choice to continue to seek out new products with those characters.

Movies have it too, as does TV. It’s why fans of one show tend to follow the spin-off. But science fiction and comicbook fans are unique in that they not only continue to follow the characters into other media as well as the original, but they also feel a direct connection to the source material itself through direct interaction. We CAN write the comicbook companies and get our voices heard; we can write stories that may lead to a job with those companies; and we can vote with our wallets to keep that character’s adventures coming.

And that, Greg, is the real answer to your question.

The fans of the character will buy a book no matter how much they complain about its suckiness because of three key factors: one, they are — in this day and age — acutely aware that not purchasing the book may lead to its cancellation and no longer a regular visit into that world; two, more importantly, however bad it may be, there is still the core character that they connect to having new adventures that they want to participate in so that they can understand fully what happens when it changes; and three, most importantly, they know DAMN WELL that it will improve in the future. Because that is the nature of comics: changing the writer or the artist for someone else can massively improve or weaken a book, but the character will come out strong in those good times more often than be weakened by the bad.

Would you miss episode 12 of a program because episode 11 was weak or went a way you didn’t like? And what happens when you accidentally come across episode 13 flipping channels and find out it was much better than you expected — could 12 have been that good? Fans don’t do this; non-fans do. It takes a LOT to get fans to walk away and, using the television analogy, it always comes down to eroding the excitement of the audience more than anything else. I choose not to watch a show because I’m bored with where it’s going and don’t foresee a change in the near OR far future after a long run, but I’ll stick with ones that are extended a bit too long in the middle because I know good stuff is coming up at the end.

And because the character is part of a shared UNIVERSE of characters, it tends to lead one audience into another because we have a greater chance of excitement with the character (because we’ve already experienced it) than one without. On that point, every contributor is right. We start with the character we enjoy already out of comics more often than not, or the first character we come across, and that informs all our later choices.

The fact that we get to a point where we begin to explore OTHER universes is moot by the fact that we all know we can’t live in that universe forever. It’s a parallel to our own we can only visit. And in this reality, we come across a hell of a lot more universes to visit on a regular basis as well. Comicbook readers are movie watchers and television watchers and book readers, etc., so perhaps other companies can be enjoyed too.

Yet in our hearts, we will always have that fondness — that connection — to the universe, and it continues to draw us back if we leave.

But if you’re keeping score: I started picking up DC books on the shelf like Legion and Superman, but it was the Marvel books that made me want to keep getting the next issue because I felt there was something still unfinished with those stories. My first collection was Transformers (because, hey, it was the 80s) and when I outgrew it I continued to seek out Marvel books. I still do today, but never was exclusive to that one company. After all, Marvel doesn’t print stories about our city’s greatest hero, The Tick. ;-)

Screw this argument, seriously. I learned to read what I like and drop it when I don’t like it anymore. Marvel, DC, Independents. I love some of the fan boy comments on how they’ll still buy a title even though they hate the story or the art etc. Makes me quite sad because some truly great titles have bitten the dust because a lot of people won’t ever try something new.

I am a Marvel. Plain and simple. However I do enjoy some series from DC and the indies. I loved the watchmen series, and Black Adam is by far my favorite DC Character.As posted before, DC does a better job of having animated series. I also think DC has a big advantage in that they have the better artist overall.

But I find the DC universe to perfect. I like my charcters flawed. DC has the strongest, fastest, smartest heroes. I just cant relate to them. Everyone loves the heroes in the DC universe. Just to perfect.

That being said, I started reading marvel when I was 8 years old. Someone at school had an archie comic and I read it and found it intriging. I went home and told my mom I wanted a comic, and she picked up one at random from the store (Amazing Spiderman). OVer the years I bought all the comics I could find, both DC and Marvel. I am not sure when or how it happened, but i starting buying less and less DC and more and more Marvel. By the time I was 12 my friends and I where only buying Marvel.

DC just lost it for us, I found it boring and unrealistic. I stopped buyng comics around 18 and got into college, parties etc. When I got older and started to work, I got back into them big time. Read all I could online, bought back issues, trades etc. My tasted changed, I bought a few DC, then looked at the independents,

I am still a marvel. but I am also a comic guy. I am now 34 and look for good comics no matter where they are from. I love the Boys, thought darkest night was ok, loved dark reign until the horrible ending in seige 4.

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“The Marvel Zombies had to buy every Marvel book that came out, so they kept dumping more and more to make sure none of them had extra money to buy other books.”

I don’t think this makes any logical sense. Marvel never forced anyone to buy. In fact, many of the “Marvel Zombies” woke up and quit when the 1990s glut of crap happened.

People will buy other books from other publishers if they’re interested in them. Same thing in all other entertainment. I never understood the mindset of people who say , for instance, that the evil studios keep releasing so many summer blockbusters and so people don’t watch the cool independent movies they otherwise would.

Why is it so hard to accept that people may read or watch the big corporate stuff because they enjoy it, not because they were somehow conned into it?

I don’t follow just DC or Marvel I follow artist and Creators, I would consider myself more of an Indie guy if anything they put out better material. Marvel and DC likes to cater to the fanboys and fangirls and that is bad when you are trying to appeal to more people. That being said I lean more towards DC cause I find Marvel boring and waay to realistic at times which is why Civil War was such a bad idea in my opinion, I read comics to escape reality not to be told about the real world and how boring it is. DC is not afraid to let everyone know that there world is a fictional world and they can do really cool stories in it and I like that, People say Marvel characters are more relatable cause they have flaws but honestly I don’t find them relatable at all I just find them boring.

I see these people every week at the local comics shop, and they are the very same people that give superhero comics the reputation of being for either kids or adults who can’t grow up.

The single reason to buy every single issue of Amazing Spider-man (despite the quality) is because of the immature refusal to detach from your childhood.

Now, this does not mean that we cannot enjoy the same movies, comics or books that we read as a child. There is always room for a little nostalgia. But, devoting time and money to something you ADMIT is of poor quality, but are unable to stop doing because of some strange compulsion, is a sign of a personality disorder (imo).

I once brought this up in a panel discussion and was smugly dismissed because I insisted on buying “all” the issues of a comic by a specific writer. Let me explain the difference: If Larry Hama writes 88 issues of G.I.JOE and 3 of them are of poor quality, I think its logical to keep the 3 bad issues in your collection for the sake of the complete story, and for the sake of keeping your collection intact.

But when Larry Hama goes on to writer about 67 further issues of inferior quality, I think its logical somewhere along the way to either drop the book, or once you come to your sense, sell off the poorly written ones you’ve purchased.

The same applies to a character. Since I was a kid, I viewed the arrival of a new writer as the perfect time to drop a comic and move on to something else, if the new writer turned in poor work. Sure, I was more loyal to some characters than others, like Superman, Batman and Spider-man, but I have long since sold, recycled or incinerated the comics done for these characters by inferior creators (in order: Dan Jurgens, Alan Grant/Norm Breyfogle, Mark Bagley).

Why would I keep them? I’m never going to read them again. They’re just taking up space.

Okay, so you want to keep your old comics out of nostalgia. But why the HECK are you continuing to buy the new ones done by equally inferior writers and artists?

“When I was a child, I used to talk as a child, think as a child, reason as a child; when I became a man, I put aside childish things.”
1 Corinthians 13:1

Its fine to read about superheroes (the myths and fairy tales of our day); its childish to hold on to old habits, even when you know they’re bad for you.

I’ve been mostly a Marvel fan all of my life so I suppose I’m a Marvel.

It’s funny because Marvel of today does a lot of things that piss me off nowadays while DC almost never does. Pound for pound I still buy more Marvel comics than DC ones.

It may be because I’ve been a Marvel fan for a long time but aside from Batman related characters it’s really hard for me to care about a lot of DC characters.

It isn’t due to lack of trying. I dig Blackest Night and Brightest Day though, way more than Siege. I think the new Batman and Robin comic is the best comic on the racks right now.

Maybe JMS writing Superman and Wonder Woman along with Cornell on Action Comics are some things that may get me to like more DC comics. We’ll see.

It’s strange to see some of the comments on here that say DC is better because they pay more attention to continuity. Someone even said that in DC actions have consequences that continue for years.
That just sounds so strange to me because when I was a kid it was the opposite. Marvel was the company where a story would continue having consequences. DC stories mostly seemed to be forgotten within an issue or two.
But that was a long time ago. Since I started buying comic books again a few years ago, it’s really bothered me that continuity seems kind of loose at Marvel these days. So many books keep contradicting each other. I haven’t seen enough DC to know how much things have changed there, but I do know they keep having additional Crises and rewriting history, so things haven’t made a complete switch.

You can say I’m a “DC guy”, i buy the majority of Batman comics that come out monthly, which occasionally leads to me buying other DC books. I actually grew up on Marvel but in my mind they have sold out. They also just seem to have waaay too much going on at one time and it all gets rather confusing. Batman however has always been Batman. He is such a versatile character that he can bounce back from pretty much anything. He’s had some over the top storylines, but when its all over he’s still Bruce Wayne: The Batman. I spend about 60-80 dollars a month on DC comics but many people spend way more than that on cigarettes a month, i believe my habit is healthier, and thats my how i rationalize it.

@ Mary Warner:

That was partly the reason for my metaphor way, way up this very long thread. DC really seems to have learned the continuity game. That does not fill my heart with glee, since the DC that I cared about as a kid did not play that game. You could pick up any issue of, say, BRAVE & THE BOLD without having read a single comic and still enjoy it. It was impossible for them to compete in the direct market telling those stories, so they switched to LONG form story-telling. It is one of a dozen things that makes the modern DC and Marvel more alike than I’d prefer. I miss having a real choice.

Growing up getting the first 10 years of my comics off the newsstand, I bought and loved both Marvel and DC.

I still love both sets of characters, but definitely prefer DC over Marvel for many reasons.

When professionals talk about yearning to work on certain characters, Batman always comes up and Superman usually does too. They’re classics.

Not only DC’s superheroes, but the very wide depth of genres they touch within the DCU itself : Enemy Ace, Sgt Rock, Haunted Tank, Unknown Soldier (war); House of Mystery, House of Secrets, (suspense); Adam Strange, L.E.G.I.O.N., Omega Men (sci-fi); Sandman, Books of Magic, Dr. Fate (fantasy); Jonah Hex, Bat Lash, Tomahawk (westerns).

DC’s vast tapestry of acquired characters over the years that has given the DCU an immense richness :

All-American Comics (Wonder Woman, Flash, Hawkman, Green Lantern);
Quality Comics (Plastic Man, Uncle Sam, Phantom Lady);
Fawcett Comics (Captain Marvel, Mary Marvel, Captain Marvel Jr);
Charlton Comics (Captain Atom, Blue Beetle, the Question);
Wildstorm (WildCATS, Stormwatch, Gen 13);
Milestone Media (Hardware, Static, Icon);
Red Circle (the Shield, the Crusaders, the Web);
and soon, the T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents

DC’s different imprints and their wide diversification : Vertigo, Wildstorm

DC’s willingness to try different things :

Wednesday Comics,
Past imprints : Helix, CMX, Minx, and Johnny DC,
The upcoming Earth-One line of Original Graphic Novels

Paul Levitz always conducted himself with grace and professionalism.

What things have driven me away from Marvel ?

Quesada and Marvel saying they found a previously unknown character of Stan’s called The Sentry. Oh weren’t we all laughing so hard later !

90’s Marvel trying to set themselves up as their own distributor with Heroes World

The complete over-saturation of the mutant titles. How many are there now ? For a while it felt like the whole Marvel universe was X-Men. Mutants overran the entire Marvel U.

Harras and DeFalco really soured me on Marvel at the time. Hot characters like Ghost Rider, the Punisher and Wolverine were highly overused and the quality of work being put out at that time was probably at the lowest standard overall that Marvel has ever seen.

I’m not completely Marvel or DC. Both have good and not so good points, but between the two, I’m definitely more DC.

There’s tons of great stuff out there from the indies too. Dark Horse’s Hellboy, The Goon, the Gold Key characters, Invincible, Savage Dragon, Madman, Frank, Love and Rockets, etc.

This is the Golden Age of great reprints with lots of stuff being collected, repackaged and reformatted and recolored. Creepy, Eerie, Conan, King Kull, Little Lulu, Dick Tracy, Prince Valiant, Popeye, Golden Age Kirby, Simon, and Ditko, EC’s, Peanuts, Krazy Kat, etc.

DC fan. I’ve tried Marvel a few times over the years and found the titles boring and the characters uninteresting. DC, while not every book or concept is a hit, is much more epic in its stories, much more majestic in its heroes, and much more dastardly in its villains. The earliest comics I got into were Flash, Superman and Firestorm, and I suppose I became more interested in exploring their shared universe than the one the X-Men or Spider-Man came from. I like some of the Marvel characters and concepts, but they’ve never been used or explored in ways that satisfied me as a reader.

More of a Marvel guy – growing up in Australia back in the 70s – you could rarely get DC, so I bought Marvel.
Now I’m much more familiar with their universe & their characters. I have dabbled with DC – I really love Batman – but financially I can’t afford everything & both companies do massive crossovers, so I had to make a decision & Marvel won. I do think Marvel has better creators AT THE MOMENT, but that could change next week.
I do buy Dark Horse stuff & IDW & Boom & Broadsword & any indies that take my eye.

Mary –

Yep, DC still sucks at continuity more than Marvel.

It seems like every new writer that begins working on Superman or Wonder Woman has a completely different take on the character. Marvel really can’t compete with that, even though OMD was a good start. But they still need to re-marry and de-marry Spider-Man a dozen times over so he can get to this level.

And DC has defined the continuity nightmare character: Donna Troy, Hawkman, Power Girl, the entire LSH.

At Marvel they have lots of mistakes ’cause Bendis is so lazy, but those are on a smaller scale of certain scenes not lining up properly between different comics, while the overall story still is (more or less) consistent. At DC they had one entire year-long series removed from continuity right after publication.

I started off as a Marvel guy because that is hat my Dad as grwoing up, a Marvel fan. The first 5 years of my comics reading life I as exclusively Marvel. As I got into High School I started venturing out more, reading stuff like Watchmen and the Dark Knight (in trade) and into the Image boom (to my regret now). By the mid 90’s I had sworn off mainstream comics all together and just read a fe Image books and a lot of Indy stuff. By 2000, I had come back around to Marvel, specifically Ultimate Spider Man, hic reminded me of why I loved Marvel 15 years earlier.

Now I still don’t read to much mainstream DC, I just on’t find thier creative teams as good as Marvels, though they have some excellent talent, and I don’t find thier books as accessible as Marvels. To be truthful, I’m probably a Vertigo guy at this point, I think I’m reading like 6 Vertigo books, while my Marvel titles are around the same (Daredevil, Avengers and New Avengers, Captain America, X- Men).

I guess I look at it like this, I still collect some of the books that I enjoyed as I as younger, though I have skipped around on creative teams) I now just read books that make me happy. Maybe it’s all the years of indoctrination, but I just don’t like DC heroes as much as Marvel’s. Marvel’s always felt more real world accessible and despite the years of ret-conning, I never felt the need to know the immense back history of anyone.

I don’t think this is really that unique to comics. Any episodic story will attrack a number of fans who will stick out a poorly written season because of the good will they’ve built up with the character’s stories.

So, if you watch a soap opera everyday for a dozen years, that at some point you didn’t like the direction of show doesn’t mean you stop watching, primarily because you know (or you hope) that eventually the story will right itself. Since the story because about what happens to character X, that some writer is telling poor stories about that character doesn’t mean you discontinue it, because when that poor writer leaves or changes the character back, you will want to know how the character got to where they eventually wind up being. Because it is the Journy so much as the destination, you put up with some stuff that bothers you because you know, you’ll eventually get to something good.

As to being specifically Marvel or DC, I do think that it can be argued (and would be argued by the companies themselves) that each company has it’s own style, and this comes through in the books. I had a friend describe it as D.C. being about the ultimate potential of any Hero of Villain (how heroic or villainous they can be) where as Marvel tends to focus on the lack of potential of any Hero of Villain (how often will a Hero fail to be Heroic and fall prey to various human frailties, how often will a Villain be justified or noble in their cause).

Finnally, I think that when one starts to read in a single universe, one tends to build up an understanding of that Universe it’s history, and where everyone fits into it. When you cross over to the other universe of books, everythign is strange and new, and you don’t quite know who anyone is or how they fit into the dynamic of the Universe.

If you are a Marvel fan you what it means when Galactus or the Watcher shows up, you know about the Hulk, and you know about Mutants. If you are a D.C. fan then you know who Darkside is, you know what the house of Secrets is as well as the House of Mystery, and you know what weaknesses various characters have, which are invariably crucial to the plot.

If you are reading an Alan Scott Green Lanter book, if you don’t know that his powers can’t effect plant matter, so when that comes up it’s not shocking to you. But if you weren’t already a fan of the book, you would probably be confused by such an odd thing.

I’m a fan of Marvel stuff from the 80’s and 90’s and loved their great stories and artwork ….unfortunately Marvel as much as i loved them as a kid don’t seem to have either anymore outside of the Avengers titles. The art is so bad on a regular basis on the Spider-man titles over the past year i can’t bring myself to read it anymore. Whereas the writing on the X-titles seems a little hit and miss, trying to get back to being the number one comic around but just missing the mark with trying to jam pack too many characters into the team.
I love marvel but i wish they’d look back into the past to see what the fans liked to help them create great stories and art for the future.

I think its been pretty well established for quite a long time that DC and Marvel have different asthetics. Each speaks more to some people than others. Personally, the way Marvel books are presented work for me, while DC books do not. That does not mean they both can’t have great stories (I enjoyed Sinestro Corp War a great deal) but the attachment that I have for the characters just isn’t the same.

That said, when it comes to books that are not of the Super-Hero genre I will buy anything I enjoy. They are self-contained and disconnected of the on-going narratives of the DCU and the Marvel U.

This is an utterly fascinating subject, simply because I really have never got it. When I first got in to comics (at six or so) it was through G.I. Joe and then X-Men (because they were awesome on Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends), so I did buy mostly Marvels then. But I also owned some Super Powers at the time. But I didn’t really start buying DC’s until Impact and (of all things) Hawk & Dove, followed by Gerard Jones’ Green Lantern and the Death of Superman. I collected both for quite some time, but I also bought books from the Ultraverse and Valiant as a teen. As I got older, I realized that corporate comics aren’t really something I wanted to invest all my money in. So in the early 2000s I really fell in to the black and white boom of Valentino’s Image reign and have read a lot of Image and indy books ever since.

I have only regularly bought one DC book over the last year or so (Warlord) and no Marvel titles outside of their black & white one shots and Agents of Atlas. Both companies seem to be out to remedy this by giving me some new fan service with the return of Hawk & Dove in Birds of Prey and Levitz’s Legion of Super Heroes at DC and Marvel’s Black Widow, Atlas, and Hawkeye & Mockingbird. And I’m pretty much buying all of them simply because of the fan service they provide for a person like me that loves these characters. If any of them suck, I will drop them quick as can be.

Because I’m sure I can find better stuff to spend my money at in the back half of Previews.

I used to follow characters I liked when I was younger -didn’t really care if they were DC/Marvel or other…

These days I tend to follow writers and artists I like rather than any one title or character…

Speaking of the differences between the Marvel and DC universes, I regret deeply that Kurt Busiek decided to cut the portion of JLA/Avengers where the “style” of the universes was switched. We’d get to see the Marvel heroes as noble, admired demigods and the DC heroes as socially distrusted, personally dysfunctional mavericks. I believe he cut it for space, but it would have been a lot more interesting than other stuff that remained on the mini.

I’m more of a newsarama guy…haha

Sure, you can like titles of both company… but, like in posrt, they are competing… and they are doing it over your a)money and b)time. Both are scarce, so you can’t read eveything you’d like to. It’s true that you could still read some titles of Marvel and DC, but you are making an investment with these scarce resources, and for the investment to payoff, you have to choose just one.

When I was young, my first exposure to comics was through The X-Men and Spider-Man animated series of the 90’s.

I loved ‘em both (The X-Men slightly more, which is why I started with them when I eventually dipped my toes into buying actual comics). Batman TAS was on at the same time but for some reason I didn’t really like it (I now know better).

When I started reading The X-Men it wasn’t long before I branched on to a few other “X” titles and, because of character cross-pollination, Avengers, Thor etc.

Basically I’m a Marvel guy for 3 reasons.

1) The characters were marketed better to me through other media.
2) They produce enough comics that I like and want to read that I’m just not that fussed about checking out DC comics.
3) I’m “afraid” that if I DID start buying some DC comics, I’d get sucked in to a whole other comics universe and that buying Batman or whatever would lead me to reading Crossover X and the Spinoff Y and Z. My wallet just could not take it and I don’t have the storage space. If I don’t know what I’m missing then I can’t miss it can I?

I’m a Marvel guy, but not a Marvel Zombie. DC has produced books such as The Mighty, Hitman, Preacher and Y the Last Man that I’ve enjoyed. But these days it’s as much economics as it is personal preference. At today’s prices it takes two incomes to affrod the monthly onslaught of comics from the Big Two, My brother has a preference for DC and I make mine Marvel, so I buy The Avengers while he buys JLA. This gives us the chance to have a knowledge of what is going on in both universes. My opinion is DC looks a lot more like Marvel than the other way around. I sitll have a deep abiding disdain for the made-up cities in the DC Universe (Star City or Coast City gets creamed? So what? It’s not like we’re talking about New York or even Detroit. But as far as quality goes, there’s not a dime’s worth of difference between the two.

100% Marvel guy here, I don’t necessarily read everything Marvel puts out, but I do try to read everything related to the characters I enjoy.
I grew up with Marvel as much as with DC, I was a huge Batman/Superman fan when I was a kid, but that didn’t really make me like DC comics better, in fact it was the total opposite.

I can still read and enjoy the ocassional DC story. But I think the DCU is a mess, a complete disaster, people somtimes complain about Marvel’s continuity, but what’s wrong with DC?? It’s so bad that they have to have events that focus only on trying to fix continuity? Batman dies in his own comic, but then he also dies in an event, in a completly unrelated manner? And now he’s traveling through time? Seriously, those things, and the fact that if you pick up (almost) any DC book you’re expected to know about 30-40 years worth of continuity to enjoy a single story, those things make me not care at all about their comics.

By no means do I think Marvel is perfect, but in the end i just think it’s much more enjoyable stories, better characters, and a better handling of their properties.

I used to be mostly a DC guy. But since DC seems to be in the business of pandering, almost exclusively, to its white, male, heterosexual audience, I have severed my relationship with them accordingly.

I love both companies

But I buy all my DC books in floppies and trade wait for all my Marvel. I just can’t afford to pay $3.99 for 22 page comics. I’ll even buy second hand Marvel trades where I can because I hate giving them money, because their ethics are so messed up.

There’s are some great $2.99 Marvel titles – like F4, Daredevil, Black Widow and Invincible Iron Man – that I would happily buy in floppies if not for the fact that you never know when they (Marvel) are going to launch said title into an overpriced mini/event or crossover. I just can’t trust them anymore.

DC aren’t without fault – with their editorial mandates etc etc yada yada – but at least I never feel like I’m being milked for my worth when I buy those titles. Every title works on it’s own, I never feel like have to read other comics by writers I can stand just to get what’s going on in every single book at the moment. I can literally pick 5 decent DC books and enjoy them monthly without being stung by overpriced one-shots and spin-off minis every other week. I just get to enjoy my comics, affordably. I wish Marvel would take a cue from DC in that respect.

Son of Baldwin… DC panders to it’s white, male heterosexual audience? Would you care to elaborate on that? DC puts out books that appeal to women such as Birds of Prey and Fables and have many books featuring women such as Wonder Woman, Detective, Batgirl, and Birds of Prey, etc. Manhunter had her own series and is now a co-feature as is the Question. The Question and Batwoman are lesbian characters, and DC has gay characters such as Obsidian and other supporting characters in the past. DC tried to put out an ethnic line of books with Milestone and has had diverse characters like Steel, Static, the new Blue Beetle and Atom, as well as Dr. Light and the Global Guardians. Now, I don’t follow Marvel very much, but I’d like to know how Marvel is doing so much more to cater to the non white heterosexual male audience than DC is. Does Marvel have more titles aimed at women, gays, and non-whites? I honestly don’t agree with you, but I’d be interested in hearing your reasoning behind that statement.

i am a marvel guy; Why ?

– I am french and when I was young I read the marvel series translated. Not sure if there was many DC comics translated at the time, But I believe it was mainly marvel. So nostalgia and knowledge of the characters.
– I find the concept of a shared universe fascinating, that’s why I like to buy all the stories taking place in this universe. I don’t have the money, time and “mind space” to try to get in another big shared universe.
– I do buy other author-based series, from vertigo, wildstorm, Image, etc (my favorites right now : mouseguard is pure genius, elephantmen, is great fun).
– I am a collected editions buyer, so Marvel is better at it right now. I consider myself a “Marvel main universe collected editions archvist”. I can buy alternate versions of DC characters, and not buy alternate versions of Marvel characters (does that make sense ?).
– Since I started “collecting” US comics, I starded buyin french comics, becaus, well, artistically they’re often better (the economical model being different, I believe the quality is usually better. The artists don’t have to produce 20 pages per month…).

My conclusion is :

– if you are a “whole universe buyer”, you can buy only one.
– if you are a “whole universe buyer”, you can buy other “independent” series.
– you don’t have to be a “whole universe buyer”.

I’m a Marvel Fan. Diehard Marvel fan. My pull list @ the local comic shop is nothing but marvel, i refuse to pick up a dc or any other company’s books. I know the MU. My first books were Marvel, tho there were a few dc/vertigo back in the day i’ve picked up (mostly from those bulk packs of comics at dollar stores or obscure markets) but when it comes down to it, i prefer Marvel. Dc can be convoluted, final crisis, other crisis, Next tuesday Crisis, and the characters are revamped or “from a new earth” and it’s confusing. Yes marvel’s done that as well, but in a way where you can follow it and now feel like you’ve lost out. Batman and superman are all well and good, and i’ll pay to see their movies, but wouldnt pick up a book. The writing seems hackneyed, even when it’s a writer im’ fond of @ marvel. I hear “did you see the new dc comic” and i say UGHHH in my head. Cant help it. Marvel for life. Movies, books, any other content, i support and purchase 100%. I’ll even go to the theater and see their movies multiple times, without even downloading them. I wold gladly give my money to them.

Dave Robinson

May 23, 2010 at 11:08 am

I’m a DC guy. No doubt about it, I’ve been a DC fan for over 35 years and by this time I don’t think I’m going to change. To put it another way, while I like both DC comics and Marvel comics, I like “DC Comics” more than I like “Marvel Comics.”

What I really don’t understand are the exclusive fans of one or the other. Both sides produce excellent comics (as well as more than a few stinkers).

I’ve been doing more than a little thinking about why I’m more a DC fan than a Marvel one, too.

The first reason is simple, Marvel puts out a whole shedload of books I can’t stand. I don’t like the X-books (haven’t been readable for years), Hulk, Wolverine, or much of Spider-Man. The books I do like, they tend to cancel or put on hiatus. (Agents of Atlas – thankfully back – Captain Britain, Guardians of the Galaxy, Nova).

My second reason has to do with something that’s harder to explain: Marvel’s corporate tone. I find it’s cocky, arrogant and disrespectful. They take a lot of cheap shots, and give the impression that not only do they think Marvel’s the best (which they’re supposed to) but that everyone else is garbage. I find it petty, and it turns me off the company.

It’s not enough to make me not buy Marvel. There are some really good Marvel comics that I’d be punishing myself by avoiding. It is enough to make me rank them well behind DC.

As for DC, I like their universe better, I like their editorial tone better. I like most of their characters, and they spend far less effort pushing the characters I don’t like.

I feel at home in the DCU, not the MU.

Everyone’s talking about the current politics at both companies. I think the issue is: why is anyone loyal to one company or the other, overall?

Like, when you’re searching through ‘Showcase’ and ‘Essentials’ reprints, do you really care what Dan DiDio or Joe Quesada has to say? They had nothing to do with these comics.

Dave Robinson

May 23, 2010 at 11:55 am

Actually, when I’m searching Showcase and Essentials, I look for value for money – and I feel I get more for Showcases (more pages, lower price, better production quality).

As to my own thoughts on corporate cultures, in my experience they’ve been pretty consistent for as long as I’ve been reading comics.

Well, what about the content? What I mean is: shouldn’t we only be searching for the best stories and art, regardless of the little logo on cover?

Dave Robinson

May 23, 2010 at 1:05 pm

When it comes to the Showcase/Essential argument – I know I can find stories I like as much from either publisher. I may like more DC, but the sheer volume of material makes it easy for me to find good stories from either DC or Marvel.

So with that basically equal, I’m down to production values – and based on my own experience – Showcases have higher production values at lower prices than Essentials.

When I took over my store in february, I saw that most of my customers were DC guys. The bad thing about it was that It wasso badly disporportionate to Marvel readers that I had to wonder why. Now,m keep in mind that the shop that I bought is over twenty years old. The saes were dying, the building was trashed, and there was aloty of “fixing” to do. After we moved it two doorss down into a nicer building, I started looking more seriosly at what we were running out of. I noticed it was mostly some Marvel titles. I scratched my head and started thinking. Then I started lookingt at the orders my one employee(He had been there for 12 yearsbefore I bought the place!) was ordering. He was definitely ordering DC, but shorting Marvel. So i started asking customers questions. They weren’t jumping on top Marvel, because they didn’t want to start something in the middle of a run… And we never order enough of those first issues, etc. to jump on.

To compond matters, My employee was telling everybody that he was dropping all of his marvel books.
He is obviously a DC guy. I had a talk with him about his overall attitude towards Marvel. He doesn’t have to like Marvel, but he shouldn’t trash everything they’ve done because it’s his job to sell comics!

Now, I’m more in charge of the orders than he is. Don’t get me wrong. He’s a good employee, and his experience is invaluable… But I’m more “hands on” than the old owner, and I’m up at my shop all the time.
It’s made a difference. We are doing double the business that we were before. We’re also selling more marvel than we did before. The gap between the two companies is closing.

My point is that sometimes the peop0le who work in comic shops have an affect on the audience. If the guy is a DC guy, he’ll sell alot more DC, esprcially if he doesn’t order any Marvel.

A second quick point is about independents. You can get people to read independents if you know how to encourage them. Right now the highest selling independent we ahve is probably Invincible, followed closely by Walking dead and Haunt. All three titles have robert kirkman on them. They’re easier to suggest to DC people for some reason, so I do! I start with invincible, then later if my customer likes it, I tell them about the other stuff Kirman works on.

I use this technique with Marvel/DC creators to sell they’re independent stuff. Like Grant morrison on Batman and Robin? I’ll suggest an independent that he’s worked on. etc.

Spider-Man is my favorite character because I identify with Peter Parker and I love his wise-cracking. Deadpool is hilarious, and I love the stuff Mark Millar is doing at Marvel…but I’m a DC guy. DC’s characters are just so iconic that when you say “superhero” the first name that comes to mind oughtta be Superman, no question.

I know I just said I’m a DC guy, but that’s if you’re asking me to choose sides. With that said, I just like a great story with good art. I used to be an art-only guy with piles of Madureira, Campbell, McFarlane, and Jim Lee stuff, but now I need the story to be something that I can take to work and tell people “you have to read this!”, no matter which publisher puts it out. I don’t know anything about the company politics and I know even less about anyone’s continuity. I really really don’t care if the current story makes sense when taking into account the past 25 years of history. Each arc should stand on its own and if you get too caught up in history, you’re just ruining the experience for yourself.

So what if Spider-Man had a clone debacle? So what if Superman died and came back as four different guys? So what if there are 29 different Lanterns, etc etc? Enjoy what’s out there and pick and choose from all of the storylines so that your collection and reading experience is the best one it can be.

To Mike-El… the question was “Why do you prefer DC or Marvel” or something to that affect. Maybe the intent behind the question was to determine if the art was better or the characters or something to that affect. But as I said, I used to buy books from both companies. Because of the crap that Marvel was pulling at that time, I decided to NOT buy their books anymore. I’m sure the books were still enjoyable to read, and I still liked the creators that were working on those books, but i also saw some indie companies that were also publishing books that I really liked go out of business, in part because of what Marvel was doing. That reason to me is just as valid as someone saying they prefer the universe, or the characters, or the storyline, etc. I can choose to support a company that provides me with great books to read, but I can also choose NOT to buy books from a company that purposely put other companies out of business and deprived us of books that were really good and different. They directly stole something from all of us (you included) due to their greed and arrogance. When you take away your competitors, you take away choice. All that’s left is whatever crap you feel like dishing out. I’m just doing my part to make sure that doesn’t happen.

i will always be with marvel. they just rock

Well, here’s the funny thing, i grew up reading both Marvel and DC (Marvel far more, though). After some years hiatus, i came back into comics and i was specifically just “A Marvel Guy”. However, it wasn’t for any lack of desire to read DC or any strong motivation to purely be a Marvel reader; it was because i was pretty broke and i could really only afford to get the big picture of one universe or another, and finally my love for several Marvel characters led me to make the choice that i did. I didn’t not read DC because i lacked any desire, i just didn’t have the sort of money to invest on getting the bigger picture of both universes.

Lately however, i have been pretty displeased with some of the choices that Marvel has made, some of the stories they’ve told, and the overall price hike they’ve got going. So, i downsized some of my Marvel pull, by either choice or title cancellation, and chose to take some of my money and invest it in characters from DC that i rather enjoy. I started reading everything Green Lantern and Booster Gold related. Green Lantern because i have a fond affection for Hal Jordan (thanks to the Super Friends and childhood/previously reading Green Lantern as a child. Seriously, my favorite action figure growing up, despite being more of a Marvel kid, was this Hal Jordan with green light armor), and Booster Gold for the writer Keith Giffen and his work on Annihilation , Justice League International, and other things.

Honestly, so far, i haven’t regretted the choice to expand back into DC some. In fact, i’m rather happy with all of the titles i’m pulling from them. Still though, i do have a fondness for Marvel that DC doesn’t quite have for me, mostly because i have more connection to more of their characters. In time though, i think that may change. Hawkman, Atom, Booster Gold, Kyle Rayner, and Hal Jordan are pretty fricking sweet.

Seriously, I’m asking again because I don’t understand and I haven’t really been into DC for many years, so I don’t know if this is how it works but, how can Batman die in his own book and at (around) the same time in an event, in 2 completly different unrelated ways?
Are those books not part of the same universe?
Then there’s some stuff about a Batman clone in Blackest Night? Huh?
This is the problem I’ve always had with DC. And I’m not trying to attack it.
I’ve always felt that I can’t jump on and understand what’s going on unless I do a ton of research, and even then it’s still unclear.
All that, and I really don’t like their stories. There’s obviously been some great stuff that I’ve enjoyed, but for the most part I just can’t get into it.
Maybe it has to do with me having read Marvel since I was young and being more familiar with the universe.

But seriously. How can Batman die in 2 different titles?

I’m now a fully-fledged, card-carrying DC fanatic. I would have loved to continue buying and reading dozens of BOTH companies’ books, but Quesada and co didn’t seem to be interested in that and appeared determined to do whatever they could to turn me off their books.

I’m sure that’ll change in a number of years if they start putting out different (better) product and start cutting the readers a break, but, until then…

Simple for me: I have been reading comics for over 30 years, and though I do enjoy a few books from other publishers. It’s always been DC for me.

Not a Marvel or DC guy. I love me characters on both sides and I pick up the occasional Marvel book every once in a while, but truth be told, I only regularly buy DC books. I just love the characters more. Superman and Green Lantern do for me so much more than Spiderman or the Hulk or Iron Man could ever do. Not that I don’t love me some Wolverine and Hulk, but meh… I’m just not that interested in the storylines.

I honestly collect and love both as a producers. That being said I tend to prefer DC over Marvel. Marvel tends to take a very narrow view in setting. Almost all of their stories take place in New York, Supposedly giving a greater sense of realism to a super hero book. The Characters while gritty and more “realistic” tend to be more over the top and subject to fan boy rhetoric. The lack of continuity in Marvel drives me berserk, large gaping loop holes and changes are made to characters that destroys the core being of a character, then is restored because another writer likes it.
DC tends to be a more bright and shiny world full of the Idealism of most of its heroes, its mos popular characters have killed if only rarely compared to marvels most popular cross over magnet who kills regularly with little care of the repercussions.
To give DC their due they also have their characters who have many issues, IE Batman’s parents, Clark always feeling the part of the outsider, while these psychological hang ups tend to be lighter than many of marvels characters they are there and continue to be there.
For Me the one thing that i can say is DC has more Game changing titles than marvel. Watchmen, Hellblazer, Swamp Thing, Dark Knight Returns, they have all changed the way comics were written, the most revolutionary comic that marvel has done is Xmen.
With all that being said, there are times that Marvel is why comics should be read, from the current run on Captain America which might be one of the most solid undertakings of my comic reading life. And Seige for its small run far exceeded the enjoyment that Blackest Night brought me

All in all, if you like what one comic company does, it will eventually turn up in the other company and imitation is the most sincere form of flattery. Both are great, but if i have to choose one for my kids to read. Make Mine DC

I am a DC reader because I feel at home with DC. It’s like I belong to that universe. It’s nice to look at other universes but you’ll always choose to stay where you belong.

The DC multiverse is big enough to cause a headache so I chose not to read and buy Marvel books. I know i’m missing a lot, but it saves me money. And instead of exploring a whole new universe, I explore the far depths of lesser known DC books and characters.

I am a Marvel through and through.

DC has got some very well known icons like Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Flash, Green Lantern, Green Arrow, etc. but whereas Superman, Wonder Woman, Flash, Green Lantern are all over the top with maximalist powersets, which makes it for me difficult to identify with their very cartoony characterization, there is Batman, a very intelligent human being with a good knowledge of martial arts, with whom I would like to identify, but the villains with whom he has to deal with are such caricatures, that even Batman becomes ridiculous. Moreover I just don’t like capes on my superheroes. In DC continuity is a big mess. There is also a lack of credible explanation of superpowers.

In Marvel, the stories may or may not be good, but at least the stories take place within a continuity, using superpowers logic, pseudo-scientific explanations, and realistic characters.

I’ve been reading comic for about 50 years now. I’ve read a lot of Marvel in the past, and just as many Indies, but what I read when I was 5 was DC. As I’ve gotten older, my reading has contracted back to what I enjoyed as a child — Green Lantern, Legion of Superheroes, Justice League.

Reading science fiction satisfies the Sense of Wonder need comics filled when I was very young. Comics (DC, Marvel, Indie) have gotten very dark in the recent past; if I wanted to depress myself, I’d restrict myself to the newspapers. When I want to totally relax, I return to my childhood. It’s as simple as that.

I guess technically I’m a DC guy because if you made me chose only one company to buy from it would be DC. However, there are many Marvel characters I really enjoy and read every month as well. I also enjoy books from Dark Horse, Dynamite, Heroic, AC and Image. I admit that I’m significantly more loyal to DC and tend to favor the characters they produce, but I’d hate to go each month without Daredevil, Avengers, Iron Man, Invincible, Green Hornet, FemForce or the many other characters I am fond of from the other companies.
While a much bigger fan of DC, I also tend to like the lesser known characters from the company more than the popular ones. So while I am a fan of Superman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Flash and sometimes Batman, I would much rather read Blue Beetle, Firestorm, Booster Gold, Legion of Superheroes or Powergirl.

i am a marvel guy- thought i like some of dc characters – they on pedestals removed from where i am and what i can identify with – my favorite character is the hulk- though as a child i also grew up watching spider man– i often find myself talking to my kids about these characters having to explain the difference between cartoons and comics – cartoons are part of the cannon -so they are not real in terms of the characters mythology-which is what these character have become the mythos of the 20th century westerner – so asking why you follow one rather than another is as simple as asking an ancient greek why they worship Athena instead of Freya -the answer is because it is a part of their culture- i like smallville- i know the super man myth but it doesn’t seem to be as much a part of me as the life of Bruce Banner who i have been following for thirty years -the Hulk book sucks now but it’s a thirty year relationship, my mom has sucked for years at a time but we have maintained the relationship despite our differences – is the Hulk real to me -go read the Velveteen Rabbit and it should anser this question

I’ve been mostly a DC fan all of my life,so I’m a DC. I just have more of a love for their characters, and they have more of my favorite stories. I do read a little Marvel, but not a lot.

when i was younger (im 33 now) i always saw myself as a marvel guy, ya know i loved spidey, read the x titles, loved the infinity gauntlet and the silver surfer and the avengers. i still do but i got into the whole green lantern and blackest night story lines and got into the various dc storylines too even the back ones. its almost like having to choose which you like best the mets or yankees. (im a mets fan by the way) but i read both marvel and dc equally now

I’m a “marvel guy” who watched Batman TAS and the original X-Men series as a kid. I’m a mavel guy because I just don’t get DC comics most of the time. I’ve tried to jump on a couple of times, but the legacy characters, and epic stuff throw me off. Marvel’s characters just seem more human to me. DC characters seem like heroes that just so happen to be somewhat human. And Marvel’s characters are like humans that just so happen to be somekind of heroes.

I think Marvel is putting out some great books right now. Between Bendis’s Avengers, Brubaker’s Cap, Fraction’s Iron Man, and Hickman’s FF, I really can’t find anything to complain about.

I love the X-Men. Something about that cartoon and the terrible comics from the 90s anchored them into my heart forever. However, I will drop an X-Title if it sucks. But I’m really enjoying Fraction, Carey, and David’s runs on their books.

I do read Batman books. He’s probably the best character either company has created. When they “killed” Bruce (or whatever the heck happened during whatever Crisis they were having) and started up like 12 Batman related books, I checked out probably 6 or 7 of them, and actually read a couple for a few months. Now it’s just “Batman and Robin” and “Batman” for me. However, I’m not really digging Grant Morrison’s run. I think he’s a bit overrated. I kind of dug his X-Men stuff. But I realize I enjoy his work ten times more when Quitely’s drawing it.

If there is a book I wish I didn’t buy every issue of, it’s Amazing SpiderMan. The current almost-weekly-shipping-schedule and monthly-talent-changes makes for some really bad issues and really huge waste of my money and time. Although there are some really good ones. I’m really enjoying the current Shed storyline.

The great thing about hobbies are that they are what each individual makes them and within constraints (time, money, imagination, intelligence, stupidity, whatever) each person can make of their hobby whatever they want.

It can be as big and inclusive or as unique and eclectic as one so chooses. It can be defined or not defined by however one chooses.

If someone only collects comics that include Santa Claus and lingerie, well, that’s their choice. Not mine, but who am I to question what someone else does with their free time and spending money?

Are there other choices our there? Sure. Does someone who only buys Wolverine or Green Lantern or Vertigo titles miss out on a lot of entertaining comics? Sure. But, realistically, no one has the time to read every comic that is “good” or money to “buy” them.

If you have the time to read them all, then you probably don’t have the money to buy them and vice-versa.

So everyone plays gatekeeper and everyone makes choices based on what want. Everyone’s experience in reading comics or collecting comics or whatever you want to call it is different.

That’s what makes it fun.

I would have to say that at times both produce great work, and produce great crap as well. I usually go for which ever has the best product. I only buy in trades, so whichever i hear gets the better ratings in reviews, and sounds appealing to me, gives me an indication of which is worth buying, if not i sell back as soon as im done reading it.

I like marvel for it at times tries to be more real, and Dc is fun at times for more fantasy. But i do love that marvel has been more aggressive on omnibus reprints, more so than DC taking forever to do Absolutes or omnibuses for their series :(. So unless DC gets more aggressive on that, marvel may get more of my money. (but admit to selling back a few omnibuses and keeping all my DC absolutes !)

Hope your wife is well :)

I would say I am a DC guy. I grew up a hardcore Spider-Man and Batman fan, but I always read Spider-Man because I thought the art and stories were better, which lead to gravitating to other Marvel titles. I got out of comics, and what brought me back in were the old issues of Morrison’s JLA I had picked up as a kid. So I started collecting all of the trades for that. I had asked a friend for some reccommendations as well and most of the stuff he gave me happened to be DC. I realized how much good Batman stuff I had missed out on and coupled with the Batman Begins movie being so good. It just soldified the reasoning as to why I liked Batman. In fact even more recently I stopped trade waiting and started picking up floppies. All the floppies I have bought are Batman related.

X-Men is and was just something I couldn’t get into. To me, I feel like their backstories are so convulted, and so many characters are off-shoots of other characters (i.e. Cyclops w/ Cable and X-Man). I tried the first two trades of Whedon’s run on Astonishing but I just could not get into. But, I have a buddy who has had a subscription to X-Men for at least 12 years and that’s all he reads.
I do give Marvel titles a chance, I have been into Iron Man for the past two years. I recently have been checking out Iron Fist and Moon Knight as well.

When i first started reading comics as a kid, I was strictly a Marvel girl. I refused to read anything but Marvel (except Hellboy but I always just claimed ‘that was different’) until I got to collage and I began to go oh ‘i like this writer’ or ‘i like this artist’. After that, I spread myself out to DC comics and indie companies and began to realize that I didn’t really need to be a ‘Marvel girl’ or DC girl’. If it’s good, I’ll read it. If it’s bad, I don’t. Of course, I do lean towards characters on both sides of the fence and I will irrationally buy anything with Doctor Strange on it (lately, that lead me to buy ‘Strange’ and I don’t even want to get started on that series)…but other that that, I try to just stick with good writing and art.

I’m a DC guy

Make mine Marvel.

Anime/Manga is better than Both Marvel and DC so there.

I’ve liked stuff from both companies for years, generally follow creators, and presently think that overall DC is much better than current mainstream present-day Marvel — but also that Marvel has an array of excellent alternate-universe books (Spider-Girl, the new Marvel Adventures titles, X-Men Forever, etc.) as well as great stories set in a happier, less Bendis/Millar-centric past (Iron Man Legacy, Avengers Origin, the X-Men First Class series), plus a few books set in present-day 616 I can recommend (Jason Aaron’s Wolverine: Weapon X, the Hercules and Atlas books, etc.).

Im DC first and foremost,the rest Ill buy when I feel the need for variety

I’m not a Dc guy or a Marvel guy………………………………Ima Comic Book Guy I read whats good. Now I shall return to my basement to brush the Doritos out of my beard.

I’m an Abstract Boom guy. I’m not trying to be poetic. I mean I’m an Abstract Studios and Boom Studios guy. There’s more out there than just Marvel and DC. The very nature in which the question is asked demonstrates what’s wrong with this thread, CBR at large, and American comics as a whole. We wonder why comics are lagging so badly when we’ve lashed ourselves to a paradigm that involves only two options.

To put it another way, re-word the question. “You’re a baseball fan? Cool. So, are you a Red Sox guy or a Yankees guy?” Now go ask that to the folks in Cleveland.

Seven times out of ten, you’d get your ass kicked. But three of those times someone would lean and whisper “Red Sox” or “Yankees.” Despite all the scandals it’s had over the years, Baseball is still a healthy business. The teams realize that they benefit by playing in each others’ yards.

But comics is increasingly becoming inbred. Despite the dispersion of awards across layers of talent, publishers, and genres, the sales numbers don’t lie– people read mostly Marvel and DC, and they read mostly superheroes.

I got started on Spider-Man. I still like superhero titles. Don’t get me wrong, I think they’re a great draw for kids (if we’d write and market them to kids), but we’ve elevated these titles to a level where we now must ask the question– are people reading these books because they looked for them, or because someone shoved them in their hands before they could make up their own minds?

If Marvel and DC are such paragons of creativity, why don’t they diversify their offering more instead of betting all their chips on a limited range of core properties? The same is true of Hollywood– look at the number of remakes being filmed these days. Cash-strapped studios and publishers would rather dust off old titles and re-boot “reliable” properties than take a chance on something really creative. I don’t blame them, the fans are tight on money and only spend on something they know will be a “sure-fire” means of entertainment. As often as not consumers pass on a new title because it doesn’t bear that Marvel or DC logo on it, or have Batman swooping across the page. We know this is true because sales numbers remain the same for these books regardless of how many complaints are made.

Look at the Previews catalog. At the end of the day, Marvel and DC are just two publishers out of hundreds. Are we really to believe that they’re the only two that have a quality book? If we do, then we’ve bought into the hype. I like CBR. I keep visiting CBR because they give some good news from time to time. But on the whole, it’s kind of the Marvel and DC cheering section. It’d be nice if things like that could change.

Hey Greg, I don’t even know if you’re reading these posts anymore, or if this comment will even reach you, but I’ve been wanting to talk to you about this for a long time, and I hope you have the time to read this:

I’m 24, and I’ve been reading comics for as long as I can remember. Growing up in the 90’s, my dad had a closet full of comics from his childhood: silver age Marvel stuff, some Casper and other Harvey mags, and oddly enough, Grant Morrison’s Doom Patrol (which used to scare the shit out of me). and of course, I started going to the comic book store with my dad to pick stuff up for myself.

The thing is, I’ve never got into this whole Marvel and DC thing. Sure, I watched the Batman and X-Men cartoons on television all the time, but for reasons I’m still trying to understand, whenever we made the pilgrimage to Queen City Comics here in Cincinnati, I’d always walk out with titles like Scud: The Disposable Assassin, Bone, or even Milk and Cheese (which, uh, my parents later forbade). You get the idea. The point is: Aside from Vertigo titles and a few Epic series, I’ve never really cared about either of the “big two” or their “mainstream” universes.

I found this blog in the Summer of 2008, and it was through you, Greg, that I found out about all the cool stuff I’ve been missing all these years. Your columns convinced me to run out and buy up back issues of stuff like The Spectre, Captain Britain, and Hitman. And I fucking love those comics. But, since I started following the blog, I see a ton of bickering over continuity, references to nostalgic events and characters, and other vocabulary thrown around that just seems too bloated and complicated.

I guess to boil it all down and get to the point: I like superheroes as much as the next person, but every time I try getting picking a title from Marvel or DC, there seems to be this larger picture I’m missing, and I get tired of reading a story that’s tied down to some overgrown mythos. Am I just missing out on this whole Nostalgia thing?

Alex: Yeah, I’m egotistical enough that I check the comments on my posts pretty frequently, at least for a few weeks afterward, so of course I saw this one!

Thanks for the nice words. I’ve often said the only thing I can ever do instead of convincing people to buy comics I like is to show them things they might not have heard of, so I’m glad you found some cool comics that way. As for the nostalgia … I’m not sure, because I started reading later in life, so I didn’t have the childhood attachment to certain comic book characters that we usually associate with nostalgia. As you’re fairly young, I wonder if when you started reading comics (the 1990s), the obvious love of the Silver Age that seems to be going on right now wasn’t as obnoxious (I certainly didn’t think it was back then), so you weren’t exposed so much to the characters who are coming back now. That’s just a theory, though.

There are certainly superhero books out there that aren’t tied (as much) to decades of continuity, even from Marvel and DC. A few of the best superhero books come from Image – Invincible, Dynamo 5 (soon to be back from hiatus), and Noble Causes (sadly defunct, but the trades are available) – but the Big Two have their moments. Unfortunately, the big books from those two are more and more tied into bigger stories, which makes it harder and harder to follow them. Which is why I generally don’t.

Thanks for reading, and don’t let the arguments about continuity get you down. It’s just good clean Internet fun!

If what Marvel’s been doing the last six years has been a love of the Silver Age, it’s only on the most surface level, and wholly misses the point of the heroism of the Silver Age, or even of heroism in general. Quesada said he wanted to bring some things back to the way they were in the 1960s — mutants being a very small minority, heroes trusting each other less, and a single can’t-ever-win-but-keeps-trying Peter Parker. Unfortunately, the ways these were accomplished were, in my view, the worst ways possible (Civil War in particular), and completely violate the spirit not only of the Silver Age but of all of Marvel up till now. Heroes with feet of clay are great — heroes who act like out-and-out villains are not. (Tony Stark was practically Dick Cheney in armor, but he’s by no means the only example.)

It’s not just nostalgia for me — yes, the characters have been acting wildly out of character for the last six years (including retcons that make them into unlikable jerks, or worse, “behind the scenes” going back most of their histories) — but if these were all-new characters I’d never seen before, I’d simply find them so loathsome that I wouldn’t want to read them in the first place.

I’m glad Marvel is trying to move 616 into a more heroic direction, but since it’s by the same people who messed everything up in the first place, I don’t plan on picking up much of present-day 616 till a fresh crop of better creators come in. While they may be quite decent people in real life (and not to impugn their personal moral characters), given their track record for the last six years, I’m not sure those writers have a real grasp on writing heroic characters.

@ Greg Burgas, David:

It might sound like a nit-picky point, but the current nostalgia boom really is not for the Silver Age.

The Silver Age ran from 1956 to 1973 at the very latest. A creator like Geoff Johns cannot properly be described as being motivated by childhood nostalgia for an era that had already run its course by the time he was born. Those were not the comics he was reading as kid, nor were they the comics that the vast majority of the current creative community was reading either. Also, bear in mind that Johns and his peers grew up before re-prints were nearly as common as they are today. Few of them probably even saw the contents of a proper Silver Age comic until they were adults.

While the current moment is clearly regressive, it is nothing like the elegiac, neo-Silver Age stuff that Alan Moore, Grant Morrison, Mark Waid and others were pumping out in the mid-to-late ’90s. Conflating the two totally misses the point of what is going on.

The Bronze Age was defined in large measure by the revival of horror comics, the attempt to inject (often inappropriate) street level realism into superhero stories and more densely interwoven universes for each of the Big Two. What was BLACKEST NIGHT if it not a mash-up of superhero and horror? What was NEW AVENGERS if not an attempt to bring that team closer to street level? What has the relentless event-ism of both publishers been other than an on-going effort to knit their universes more tightly together?

I think I lean toward DC a bit more. Not to say that I refuse to buy anything that Marvel publishes, because I still do, but I’ve been excited about the direction that iconic heroes in DC have been getting taken by Johns, Tomasi, and Morrison. But I have also enjoyed what’s been done by Simone on Birds of Prey. By the way if you haven’t read Stars and Stripes by Johns, check it out, it’s a fun read, I wish I would have jumped on it when it was first being published so it could have stuck around longer. Really though, I’m just a comic guy, whether DC, Marvel, Image, Dark Horse, Avatar, or independents.

Hi. I have been a collector of Marvel and DC comics all my life but now I got over four thousand comics dating back to the early 1950.s I am keeping a few favourites but I want to sell the rest. Can anybody give me advise on how or where to sell. I do not really want to spend time categorizing them all because I don’t have the time (or just plain lazy).

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