The Washington Post talks to Stan Lee, Paul Levitz and Joe Quesada, among others, about the Big Question … Marvel or DC?
Back when it mattered, you used to be certain. You would ally yourself and endlessly argue the merits in comic-book stores or at a convention at the airport Ramada. DC Comics, led by Superman, was for people who adored the fantasy, the Ubermensch triumphant. These readers loved skyscrapers and archvillains and sidekicks, billowing flags, unerring ethical strength.
Marvel, led by Spider-Man, was a place for the smart but troubled reader, the deeply weird. They loved the night, the underground, accidents in the lab. All that dialogue, so many thought balloons! The heroes always on some emotional ledge, and the hubris of it all — a grittiness that came with saving the world.
DC was about younger kids in back yards, wearing bath towel capes, leaping from treehouses.
Marvel was about older kids in basements, possibly stoned, deconstructing Thor.
Fueled by Superman Returns, X-Men:The Last Stand and Civil War, the article has a bit of a Marvel bias … although retailer Peter Casazza provides the final word:
Around 100 regular Big Planet customers get weekly “pulls,” in which the store sets aside a copy of each title a customer regularly buys and reads, in a nice, ready-to-go stack. Casazza says that when a comic book costs three or four bucks, as they now do, it’s hard for a reader to stick with a title or brand if it’s not working the same old magic. Some years they read more Marvel; some years they read DC; and for a long time, they have read a lot of both.
Imagine two churches across the street from each another, only the congregants keep running back and forth on the rumors of better Scripture.
“It’s DC right now,” Casazza says unequivocally. “Just the stories they’re doing right now are so good. It’s the writers.”
The final word for the article, anyway … what say you?