Hello, and welcome to Part 2 of our Marvel vs. DC Clash at the Stash. If you’re here, you probably read Part 1 that explained what this entertainment series is, the rules, our competitors, and their arguments. If you haven’t, you’re probably really confused. But don’t worry because we have you covered. You can catch up by clicking here!
Johnny Reynolds (currently going through comic withdrawal due to the coronavirus)
I knew from the very beginning that this would be a tough one to judge as I love both Marvel and DC. There are definite strengths and weaknesses to both of them, all of which are argued by both writers.
But I have to give my vote to Erin and Marvel here for one key reason: relatability.
Yes, DC is the timeless OG. But that doesn’t leave a lot of room to adapt to current times. Characters with disabilities like Daredevil, POC characters like Miles Morales, characters with different religious backgrounds like Kamala Khan, LGTBQ characters like America Chavez. Readers of all variety can find something to relate to in Marvel. DC’s god-like characters such as Superman and Wonder Woman don’t really have the struggles of normal people.
DC does have representation in it, though it’s usually seen in supporting characters rather than highlighted in a mainline book series (Batwoman as part of the Bat-Family, for example). I’m not saying Marvel has always been perfect when it comes to representation or that DC’s characters are not enjoyable. But, Marvel has seemed to work harder towards more of this. It’s why Black Panther is regarded as one of the most important superhero movies of all time.
James Bentley (is just here for the popcorn)
Erin’s stance is a contemporary one and there are some points that are hard to ignore. Marvel’s films have been stronger and their representation across a variety of different people is very solid but there are a few assertions I can’t agree with. I don’t think Marvel has the better games and not much was put forward to back that up. Personally, I can’t think of much outside of 2018’s Spider-Man that can attempt to match the Batman Arkham games.
It is clear that Erin and Billy have very different reasons for their choice. Erin argues the movie and TV production outclassed DC (which they do) whilst Billy argues DC have a more original history (which is also true). I think they both have a market and somehow both sides, have used that as their central argument.
This is what makes these styles of debates so good. It’s not like one is right and one is wrong objectively. They each spot the parts they like and that, in turn, makes them fond of the work. I think, ultimately, Erin’s argument falls to gish gallop. There are a lot of good points but some that aren’t backed up as much as they could have been. It might have been better with 6 or 7 more fleshed out points.
Billy’s argument wins me over, in the end. As I said earlier, going in I thought Marvel would win for me but Billy made his point eloquently and admitted to the obvious flaws DC has. Erin has made his work very hard (especially for her first time competing in this series!). But I have to go with DC on this one.
Matthew Kowalski (the invisible giant pirate who should cosplay Almight)
Growing up, if you asked me to choose between Marvel or DC, it would have easily been Marvel. Although I loved Batman as a child, Spider-Man and the X-Men held a significant place in my heart. No one wanted to be the superhero whose family died in some horrible accident or life-altering situation; however, as I grew older, I decided to branch out and look further into each universe.
Yes, Marvel makes you feel good at the end of each movie, but DC shows you how cruel life can really be and different ways to overcome it. Let’s be honest, DC’s track record with movies has not been the best in the last twenty years with the exception of The Dark Knight Trilogy, Aquaman, and Wonder Woman. On the other hand, Marvel has (mostly) knocked it out of the park with their casting, blended universe, and merchandising.
Now based on what I have said so far, you would think that I would be voting for Marvel. Well, it’s not that simple, and here’s why. Yes, Marvel’s Cinematic Universe is great. Yes, they do have good representation. But when I think of anything outside of the comics and movies, they are a disappointment.
Outside of the cinematic universe (excluding comics), Marvel does not hold up. If we are going to compare their video game universes (which is something that was brought up in Erin’s case for Marvel), I cannot think of one good Marvel video game outside of Spider-Man (2018) on the PS4 and Lego Marvel. DC, however, has killed it with the Arkham franchise and Lego Batman. Plot twist, popular Telltale game The Wolf Among Us is technically a DC property too.
Then we get into Marvel vs DC TV shows. Personally, I have been more invested with DC’s Arrowverse, Teen Titans, or Young Justice than I have ever been with Netflix’s sometimes cringy Marvel shows. Don’t get me wrong, I still look back at the 90’s Spider-Man and X-Men fondly, but Batman Beyond and Static Shock can battle those two out. If we are talking about the Inhumans, Legion, and even Agents of Shield, their plotlines are more convoluted than a teenage soap opera.
Onto Erin’s point on realistic locations. Yes, Marvel’s locations are relatable, but DC created these unique towns that could carry their own weight without namesake recognition.
Alright, I’m getting carried away, so let’s wrap this up. You go to Marvel for the heroes and feel-good moments, but you go to DC for complex characters, great villains, and a deeper story. DC is the superior brand, at least in this argument.
WINNER: Billy Whitehouse and DC Comics
As always, we conclude an installment of Clash at the Stash with a brief interview with the winner. Here’s how that went:
Taylor Cole – “Billy, you’ve made quite the comeback in the Clash at the Stash standings and you’re on a huge win streak right now. Congrats. So, I got two questions for you. How have you managed to claw your way back up to the top? And unrelated to the first question, what’s your favorite piece of DC content?”
Billy Whitehouse – “Well Taylor, as our Lord Crom teaches us, the only boons we have are the strength of our sword arm and the fire in our heart. And only through those can we achieve what’s best in life: To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and hear the lamentations of their women. As for DC, I think the best thing they have going currently is their animated stuff. Favorite all-time DC content though is a four-way tie between Watchmen, All-Star Superman, The Dark Knight Returns, and Alan Moore’s Swamp Thing.”
Who do you think should have won this installment of Clash at the Stash? Erin and Marvel? Or Billy and DC? Let us know in the comments below!