|Posted on September 26, 2013 at 4:35 PM|
epsi or Coke? Beatles or Rolling Stones? PC or Mac?
Some questions just naturally divide people into two distinct camps. For comics fans, that question always has been “Marvel or DC?” The lines between the two companies have, for sure, blurred in the past couple of decades, as creators hop back and forth between companies more frequently than in the past. But the Marvel vs. DC question remains a point of debate wherever comics are sold, read and enjoyed.
I’ll be up front about it – as a kid, I was totally in the Marvel camp. My first comic book love was Spider-Man (as I discussed in a previous post), and I remained a devoted Amazing Spider-Man reader from the Len Wein/Ross Andru era of the late ‘70s through the Dave Michelinie/Erik Larsen run of the early ‘90s. So it’s no surprise I was drafted into the Marvel Army.
Oh, sure – I read the occasional DC book. I was a regular reader of The Flash early on in my fandom, and the company’s ghost story anthology books were always a lot of fun. But Spider-Man was my guy and Marvel was my company. At one point or another, I regularly read pretty much every superhero book Marvel published at the time – Captain America, the Avengers, the Fantastic Four, Daredevil, Thor (once Walt Simonson took over the book), the Uncanny X-Men, and, of course, all of the Spider-Man titles. I have little doubt that when I’m working on Wildcard, I am channeling these Marvel influences from the so-called “Bronze Age of Comics.”
But somewhere in the 1980s, my steadfast Marvel loyalties began to shift to the Distinguished Competition. A little at first, then a lot. Part of this, no doubt, was due to familiar Marvel talent such as Gerry Conway, Marv Wolfman and George Perez taking on plum assignments and DC (and knocking them out of the park). For example, I had never been a Superman fan until John Byrne’s Man of Steel mini-series. But when Byrne, whose work I had loved on FF, moved to Superman, I went with him.
But part of it was simply that DC stepped up and began published some truly great material in the mid- to late 1980s: Watchmen, The Dark Knight Returns, Batman: Year One, Justice League International, the rebooted Wonder Woman and Superman books, and more. These projects caused me to give DC a fresh look – and I liked what I saw. I still bought plenty of Marvel titles, but I made sure that I set aside some pennies to pick up the latest DC offerings as well.
So what about you? Which company did you like growing up—and did that change over time?