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Matt Hawes
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Joined: 16 April 2004
Location: United States
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Posted: 27 June 2020 at 1:13pm | IP Logged | 1 post reply

What I find interesting is how there still remains a brand loyalty in this day and age, considering the product really isn't all that dissimilar anymore.

Back when Marvel began, and lasting pretty much up until the mid-1980s, when DC "Marvelized" its universe in most ways, there was a clear distinction between the publishers in how the stories were approached, particularly with the super hero comics.

Marvel brought "realism," and the illusion of a world right outside your window, only populated also with super beings. And the heroes were more human in the way they acted. They bickered, had money problems, and such. Over at DC, the heroes all got along pretty well, and frankly silly stories were more common, and the stories seemed more formulaic, particularly with the Superman line. I'm not stating this to bash DC, it was simply a different approach, and aimed at a somewhat different and younger audience than Marvel at that time.

There was no mistaking Marvel for DC in the 1960s, and really not for a couple of decades after.

Since "Crisis on Infinite Earths," and certainly moreso in the past 30 years, or so, DC became dark and grittier, and evil Superboy ripped arms off of people, Joker shot and paralyzed Barbara Gordon, and let's not even think about the horror of "Identity Crisis." Marvel also darkened, and both think "realism" is being gritty and even nihilistic.

Frankly, other than a few details, DC characters could easily be at home at Marvel, or vice-versa these days, there's so little difference in the approach to writing the characters. I'm amazed that the brand loyalty is so strong, as a result, but I think it's just natural for humans to seek out one group to root for over another for whatever reason.
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Rodrigo castellanos
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Joined: 03 July 2012
Location: Uruguay
Posts: 549
Posted: 27 June 2020 at 2:00pm | IP Logged | 2 post reply

My reading era was post-CRISIS DC and I thought of it as a mini Golden Age (your Golden Age is when you were a kid, I know). DC books felt much better and creative than Marvel's those years, so DC all the way for me (plus: Batman!).

Nowadays they seem mostly interchangeable but Marvel appears to be doing slightly better.

Edited by Rodrigo castellanos on 27 June 2020 at 2:00pm
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Jason Czeskleba
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Joined: 30 April 2004
Posts: 4187
Posted: 27 June 2020 at 2:52pm | IP Logged | 3 post reply

 Matt Hawes wrote:
Back when Marvel began, and lasting pretty much up until the mid-1980s, when DC "Marvelized" its universe in most ways, there was a clear distinction between the publishers in how the stories were approached, particularly with the super hero comics.
Yes indeed.  When I started reading comics in the late 60s, DC's stories were plot-driven, and the plots were often clever, complicated, and gimmicky. Marvel's stories were action-driven and often not overly complex, and it was not unusual to have several pages of characters simply slugging it out in a typical issue.  DC's characters had more self confidence and were less plagued by neuroses, and their private lives tended to be uncomplicated.  Marvel characters were neurotic and their personal lives were like a soap opera.  And DC's were clearly pitched at younger readers.  Clear differences.

This started to change in the early 70s with the influx of new writers at DC who were Marvel fans.  It changed even moreso in the mid-70s as established Marvel writers like Conway and Englehart began emigrating to DC, along with the ascendancy of fan-turned-pro Paul Levitz to editorial power.  And you're right... by the time of Crisis, any meaningful distinction in storytelling approach between Marvel and DC was completely gone, as DC wholly embraced the Marvel style.

It also does puzzle me that there is any kind of brand loyalty post-1985.  I guess in the post-Crisis world, brand loyalty is determined simply by a preference for one set of characters over the other, rather than a preference for a certain type of storytelling approach. 

Edited by Jason Czeskleba on 27 June 2020 at 2:52pm
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Eric Jansen
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Joined: 27 October 2013
Location: United States
Posts: 1734
Posted: 27 June 2020 at 3:49pm | IP Logged | 4 post reply

I never understand when people say that DC and Marvel are the same or interchangeable.  They ALWAYS seem different to me!

Even when DC seemed to "Marvelize" in the early 90's, Marvel itself was turning into Image!  (All those muscles!  Muscles upon muscles!  And women with broken backs!)  Don't forget--for about five years before Image formed, all those artists were doing their thing at Marvel.

Right now, DC is totally pursuing that "classic" Image look--the artwork (especially the inking), the coloring, the paper, the sort of "overblown-ness" of it all--reminds me of late 90's/early 00's Image.  Meanwhile, Marvel seems to be pursuing that "Indy" look and feel--decompressed and talky storytelling, way too much art with "coloring book" lines waiting for the colorist to do all the work, etc.

I suppose for a short time just after CRISIS in the late 80's, both companies were doing their best impression of Marvel, but usually they seem very different to me.

Edited by Eric Jansen on 27 June 2020 at 3:50pm
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Bert Kruger
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Joined: 26 June 2012
Location: Canada
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Posted: 28 June 2020 at 10:37am | IP Logged | 5 post reply

Marvel all the way for the characters.
I only ventured to DC to follow creators and even then the characters didn't hold my attention like Marvels. 

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James Woodcock
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Joined: 21 September 2007
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 5576
Posted: 28 June 2020 at 4:22pm | IP Logged | 6 post reply

Marvel. I knew Marvel backwards.

With D.C., I knew OF things, rather than knew things.

The first D.C. comic I bought on a regular basis was The New Teen
Titans - & that was following the cross over with The X-Men.

I slowly increased to include Batman & the Outsiders, LSH. & then
increase a lot around Crisis.
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Rick Senger
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Joined: 16 April 2004
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Posted: 28 June 2020 at 5:20pm | IP Logged | 7 post reply

When I started reading in the early 70s, it was almost entirely DC. A subscription to THE FLASH (my brother subscribed to ACTION) and I bought SUPERMAN, BATMAN and JLA with some frequency. My brother got a small pile of comics at a garage sale around 1972 and it contained some issues by this outlier company I knew of but never really read... a Fantastic Four reprint with a cool Hulk encounter, a Submariner where he also fought the Hulk, a Tales of Suspense with Iron Man and Cap, a couple Avengers issues with gorgeous Buscema / Palmer art, some Silver Surfers, a Daredevil and a couple Spider-mans. Those dozen or so comics were a pretty good sampler of DC's competition and I was intrigued enough to seek out more off the stands though it took a year or two (not sure why). By the latter 70s and particularly in my biggest collecting days in the 80s, I was almost solely into Marvel for new comics. I still bought DC back issues but other than John's Superman / Action and Miller's Batman and a few others, I was otherwise 99 44/100ths% pure Marvel. For some reason I still enjoy early 70s DC but other than that small slice of time, I remain a Marvel guy through and through.
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Eric Smearman
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Joined: 02 September 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 5519
Posted: 28 June 2020 at 7:06pm | IP Logged | 8 post reply

I love 'em both but I've always been more of a DC guy.

And I love Superman above all.
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Greg McPhee
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Joined: 25 August 2004
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 4331
Posted: 29 June 2020 at 6:12am | IP Logged | 9 post reply

I go 50 / 50.
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Gundars Berzins
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Joined: 14 March 2012
Location: United States
Posts: 1342
Posted: 29 June 2020 at 8:41am | IP Logged | 10 post reply

In my childhood (early seventies) I didn't have a preference. I never really thought of it in a DC vs Marvel context. It was actually, "look they have DC comics here so they'll have Superman and Batman" or "they have Marvel comics, I'll look for a Spider-Man".
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John Byrne

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Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 120398
Posted: 29 June 2020 at 8:53am | IP Logged | 11 post reply

As I mentioned, Marvel “happened” for me in 1962. I’d been aware of the monster titles (read at the barbershop), but it wasn’t until FF5 that I really became aware of Marvel as a distinct entity—tho not by that name. I had no idea what that tiny “MC” on the covers stood for. (Didn’t know what “DC” stood for, either. In my mind they were “DC Superman”.)

Since my mother severely restricted my comic purchases, when I started buying Marvel regularly, I had to drop DC titles. There was a fear inside me that the DC Police would show up at my door when they found out.

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Carlos Velasco
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Joined: 02 August 2019
Location: Spain
Posts: 133
Posted: 29 June 2020 at 9:08am | IP Logged | 12 post reply

I only discovered the meaning of DC a few years ago thanks to the Internet.
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