10 Ways DC Comics Beats Marvel at Its Own Game | Popgen Tech


DC and Marvel Comics have had fun together for the last 80 years. It’s no secret that during that time the two companies borrowed a lot of ideas and power sets from each other. In particular, DC has sometimes been quick to capitalize on a trend or idea laid out by Marvel and duplicate it for their own universe. While fans are aware of these prints, they are usually excited to see where this goes.

RELATED: 10 DC Heroes Who Are More Powerful Than They Realize

While these ideas sometimes fall by the wayside or don’t receive recognition beyond a story, many of these concepts actually come across better at DC. Whether it’s as simple as adapting a formula established by Marvel or even parodying a Marvel hero, some of DC’s best works are far from original. The big two rivalry isn’t likely to stop anytime soon, and fans have two richer universes because of it.

10/10 Jonah Hex Is Easily A Best Western Comic

Scarred gunslinger Jonah Hex wielding a gun in DC Comics

Western comics are as old as superhero stories, and told by both big two. However, Marvel was the first to gain a foothold with big-name heroes, like the original Ghost Rider and Rawhide Kid. Then, in 1972, DC introduced fans to a new breed of western hero.

In All-Star Western, DC debuted Jonah Hex, a scarred lone gunslinger and bounty hunter of the Old West. Since then, Hex has become the most popular western comic book character of the big two, and has had many modern titles and solo films.

9/10 DC’s Crisis Comics Often Outdo Marvel’s Secret Events

Supergirl's death in Crisis on Infinite Earths

The 1980s set a precedent with both publishers producing big events. In Secret Wars (1984) and Crisis on Infinite Earths (1985), publishers called the events “secret” and “crisis” respectively. As good as Marvel’s events are, no event sells like DC’s “Crisis” saga.

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At Marvel, the publisher had fewer events that actually remained successful works, with most of their stronger stories being arcs and sagas. However, DC continues to tell better events in their crises than Marvel in their secret stories, whose best entries are firmly in the past.

8/10 DC Performed Better In Most Of The 90’s Than Marvel

The 90s Avengers roster during The Gatherers Saga

The 1990s remain a divisive era for comic book fans, largely due to the edgy and extravagant tone adopted by publishers. Marvel and its core talent–namely, those who moved to Image–were the leaders of this era and set the tone for the comics of the decade.

While Marvel made Wolverine, Punisher, Spider-Man and the Avengers grittier for a new generation, DC handled the era a bit better. DC tells many of their more surprising stories through Elseworlds and crossovers, and their “younger generation” books like Star Man aged as classics.

7/10 DCeased is a Better Undead Comic than Marvel Zombies

DCeased turned Maxima into Darkseid's puppet

One of Marvel’s better known horror series, Marvel Zombies once the undisputed king of the big two superhero zombie comic books. However, in 2019, Tom Taylor’s DCeased hit the shelves and became an instant hit. This saw the Anti-Life Equation infect the people of Earth through the screens, turning them into zombies.

The series was so instantly popular that it got four sequel series, which combined to give fans an epic apocalypse saga of superheroes. What Marvel Zombies do good, DCeased has become better thanks to its wide scope and focus on legacy and lesser-known heroes, while being faithful to the superhero genre.

6/10 The Terrifics was a better Fantastic Four Comic

The Terrifics Tom Strong Mr Terrific Gotham City Slaughter Swamp

In 2018, DC launched the “New Age of Heroes” line of new comics. Many of these series sought to duplicate the template of popular Marvel books. The Terrifics, the longest-running book of the line, took its inspiration from Marvel’s Fantastic Four series.

While The Terrifics is running, it has proven to be a better use of The Fantastic Four’s template rather than the original book itself at the time. While Marvel put on a somewhat divisive run with the team, DC published a team book that was loved by the majority of its readers.

5/10 Kamandi Created A World Better Than Planet Of The Apes

Jack Kirby's Kamandi: The Last Boy on Earth

In the early 1970s, the comic rights for The Planet of the Apes is up for grabs. When DC lost it to Marvel, they hired Jack Kirby to create something similar to the idea. The infamous comic creator went further and did better Kamandi.

Marvel ran Planet of the apes at that time was solid, but the effect made by Kamandi is bigger. What is the license for? Planet of the apes Marvel is about to leave, Kamandi remained a DC property, a world they would revisit many times.

Aquaman sits on the throne of Atlantis

Although the debate over whether Namor or Aquaman is the better character (especially since the latter changes from the Silver Age) continues, one thing is certain. Aquaman has achieved better mainstream recognition than his Sub-Mariner counterpart.

Namor is one of the oldest characters in Marvel Comics, having debuted at the beginning of the Golden Age. Aquaman came later, but achieved a recognition in DC and in the mainstream that Namor never did. This is largely due to his status as one of the seven founding members of the JLA.

3/10 Elseworlds Imprint Is More Entertaining Than What If…?

elseworlds vampire batman

Both Marvel and DC enjoy exploring their rich multiverses. Both have hundreds of comics dedicated to exploring the events of alternate worlds and versions of their heroes. While DC invented the multiverse, Marvel made the decision to first have a series dedicated to its exploration.

RELATED: 10 Most Underrated DC Elseworlds Comics, Ranked

What if…? is an entertaining comic but often lacks the impact of Elseworlds comics. It’s in Elseworlds stories like The Dark Knight returns, Kingdom Come and Guards that DC was both changed forever and given timeless stories that are still important today.

2/10 Swamp Thing Has Easily Became a Swamp Monster Fan Favorite

swamp thing dc vs vampires

In 1972, Marvel Comics brought fans Man-Thing, a swamp monster of a superhero. Just a few months later, DC followed that up with their own mossy hero in Swamp Thing. The similarities and timing are uncanny, and Marvel seems to have the upper hand.

At first, the two heroes were consistent, with Man-Thing receiving a cult classic under Steve Gerber. However, Alan Moore’s run on Swamp Thing would change that for decades to come. Today, “Saga of the Swamp Thing” is regarded as the single greatest superhero comic book ever created.

1/10 Warworld Saga Is Better Than Planet Hulk

Superman vs. Warworld

Phillip Kennedy Johnson’s “Warworld Saga” is one of the best DC stories of recent years. It sees Superman journey to Warworld with the Authority to confront its tyrannical leader, Mongul. Like Planet HulkSuperman is forced into the gladiator arena and must fight for freedom.

Although there are major differences in the paths taken by Superman and Hulk, the similarities between the two titanic superheroes who became gladiators on another planet are clear. A great story for Marvel became an epic saga for DC Comics and it’s one of the best Superman stories in modern comics.

NEXT: 10 Ways DC Infinite Frontier Is Aging Poorly


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