As far back as I can remember in comics there’s always been a divide between two of the biggest publishers in comics, Marvel and DC. It’s a rivalry that’s made comics as a whole better and more enjoyable and pushed each publisher to make incredible characters and stories. Each year we see events and story lines that are created to help sell comics; Marvel trying to do a spring and summer event, each tying together and making it a whole year thing. From afar this seems like a smart idea, keep readers engaged and have it create massive change for their characters, but has it gone too far?
This year we have Marvel’s Civil War II and DC’s Rebirth events to help revitalize and shake up their books or create new starting points for readers to jump into. According to a post on blog Bleeding Cool about sales on DC’s Rebirth and Civil War II they reported DC books are in demand far more than Marvel’s. After seeing how New 52 was received I can see why some people would go back and check out their newest #1’s. With Rebirth, you can see DC reacting to all the changes that have happened since Flashpoint and the beginning of New 52 and trying to fix their characters and their relationships without rebooting the whole universe.
Marvel on the other hand, it seems that right now they’re just rehashing old ideas with similar plot lines. We have Civil War II which isn’t about a registration act or control, but it does share the ideas of the possible abuse of control. Before that we had Standoff which had a cool premise but in the end only really undid changes to the 616 universe by making Captain America young again. And even before that we had Secret Wars 2016, another recycled plotline where the multiverse was ending and the world some semi-rebooted / merged. Now we look to the horizon for Marvel and they’re already planning the Death of X and Dead No More: The Clone Conspiracy which from just the title alone, have been done before.
Besides the comics, let’s look at both their cinematic offerings. When you compare DC to Marvel, Marvel is leagues above DC currently with a cinematic universe that allows them to give context immediately to any movie they release. DC is playing catch-up trying to front load their universe with little context about what’s going on in the world instead of building it from the bottom. I think DC will eventually have some great team up movies and hopefully turn away from the dark and sadistic tone of Zack Snyder. But with Marvel focusing on their movies so much i think this is why were seeing their comics suffer. We had a civil war movie, so they decided it’s time to do Civil War II, X-men Apocalypse hit theaters and we also have Apocalypse Wars happening during that time. As far as cross promotion goes, it makes sense but it seems that their movie business is affecting their comics business. Since DC is still working on their movie universe we can hope to see the comics having a bit more love poured into the DC books.
As much as like Marvel, it is starting to seem like they’re just throwing event after event at us instead of the books just focusing on their own single & complex story. You could say that DC is doing the same thing right now, making a publisher wide event, but within that event there’s still promising and mostly original stories being told. It should really just be about having good competition and making the best possible books for the fans because in the end, I just want something fun and interesting to read on Wednesdays. Then again, you could avoid the Marvel/DC juggernauts and check out Image and Dark Horse, they make great comics too!