David Hines (hradzka) wrote,
David Hines

Why DC?

So a while back I posted a list of my fanfic for 2004, and it led me to realize something about it was worth comment: despite being a hard-core Marvel Zombie for most of my youth, and being a devotee of Spider-Man and others in the Marvel Universe, my fannishness these days is entirely centered around the DCU. It's not that I don't like Marvel comics. I do. But right now Marvel's only putting out one book that I buy consistently. That book? She-Hulk. (My favorite issue so far -- the one before last, a look at Shulkie's longtime foe Titania -- is just a flat-out terrific character piece, and it's especially moving and affecting because of its inclusion in what often is a humor book.) I don't buy any of the big Marvel heroes these days. I don't read 'em. At all. The Ultimates don't do jack for me. I got bored with mutant angst a long time ago. And I'm a big Straczynski fan, but... Spidey's not doing it for me, either. (In part because I have never given a crap about Mary Jane.)

So, why does DC do it for me?

My take: right now, the DCU feels more like a genuine superhero community to me. The Marvel Universe... doesn't. And I'm not sure why.

My best guess is that it's because the interactions among characters in the DCU are more varied and complex -- and there are more of them. I can think of fewer deep friendships in the Marvel Universe, or rivalries, among the heroes -- at least, that aren't rooted in the characters all being in one book or having come from one. It's not just that the big DC icons do it better for me these days -- it's that the *subordinates* are so much more interesting, and their interactions with the big guys and each other are more complex. Marvel couldn't do a series like Identity Crisis, because the community aspect that made IC possible simply isn't there. Which is ironic, when you think about it, because a big part of Marvel's early success was its rampant cross-overing within its own titles. But there's not enough of the heroes really relating as people, and I think that's Marvel's weakness as far as its efforts at separating me from my money go.

Rick Jones is a big exception where Marvel's concerned -- he's one of the few characters that relates to a number of different heroes (including Hulk and Captain America) as a friend. The friendship between Spidey and the Human Torch is another. But DC does it better.
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