Still concerned with Joe Quesada’s theory of DC wanting to Marvelize, Comic Bloc wonders, “What does that even mean, anyway?”:
“I won’t expound on this at the moment, but the easiest way to see the Marvel formula is to consider the origin stories of their different characters. There is definitely a trend that runs through most of them. And they share such with Batman.”
Bruce Wayne became Batman because of atomic energy? No, wait… Maybe someone else can suggest what it means to emulate the Marvel method…?
“The notion of Batman being, as Mark Waid described him, ‘the zenith of human fortitude and ambition’, has always been a part of the character (even in the Silver Age), but the presentation was very different from a typical Stan n’ Jack (or Stan n’ Ditko) Marvel book. Batman was only an everyman in that he possessed no superpowers. In every other respect Bruce Wayne was very far removed from his audience – he was fabulously wealthy, had an endless supply of cool gadgets, was a father, and dated a string of gorgeous women. One of the big reasons Robin was introduced to the series was to provide a reader identification figure. Batman was who the reader would aspire to be when he grew up; Robin was who he’d aspire to be now. The Marvel characters, by contrast, were deeply flawed. Peter Parker was a nerd whose family was dirt-poor. Bruce Banner was a nerd *and* his ‘powers’ were a curse. The Thing was freakishly strong but also freakishly ugly. And so on. There was always a ‘hook’ for readers (many of whom were also outcasts) to hang onto. If anything, Superman was more ‘relateable’ than Batman because, despite his incredible strength, he had to act like a doofus around the woman he loved. He tapped into the notion of ‘She’d love me if she only knew what I’m REALLY like’. (A notion, by the way, whose removal from the modern Superman mythos has made it poorer.)”
Okay, that sounds right, but can anyone put the Marvel Formula more succinctly?
“Marvel Formula: Eye of Newt, wing of bat, Nightshade, mandrake root, Teredactal Egg, 1 worm from a bottle of Tequila, 3 black pearls. Pinch of Ash from the bark of an ash tree. Mix thuroughly with Blood, sweat & tears of a fanboy.”
Ah. That’s better.