It's one of the biggest and oldest rivalries in pop culture fandom: DC vs. Marvel. Who would win? For decades, the comic book industry has been dominated by the "Big Two." In terms of history, DC might have a slight edge as the first comic company on the scene. The publisher was founded as National Allied Publications in 1934 and can also claim to have kickstarted the entire superhero genre with the publication of Action Comics #1 in 1938, featuring the debut appearance of Superman. The precursor to Marvel Comics, Timely Comics, released Marvel Comics #1 a year later featuring Sub-Mariner and the first version of the Human Torch.
The two companies have enjoyed a friendly but highly competitive rivalry ever since, with similar Marvel and DC comic events and analogous Marvel and DC superheroes inspiring fan debate. Since 2008, the massive success of the Marvel Cinematic Universe has lead many to claim that Marvel has left its long-time competitor in the dust. But, does cinematic achievement translate to better comics? These comic book fans don't think so, and have taken to Reddit to explain why they still prefer DC to Marvel.
From Redditor /u/Dredeuced:
In recent times I feel like a lot of Marvel's books have gone in directions that don't interest me very much. I used to be a huge X-Men fan but have given up on that franchise basically since the "House of M" fallout, then "Schism," [and] then [the] "Avengers vs. X-Men" mess just burned me on it. Same with Spider-Man and "One More Day." That said, I suppose I could say the same for DC ("New 52" was basically the equivalent of that for a lot of series, to me) just at a lesser rate.
Generally speaking, DC's imprints put them way ahead for me. Vertigo, primarily, was way ahead of anything Marvel or core DC were doing when I got into comics. Young Animal has slipped into that niche lately, but it's still rather limited and I've gone to more third party sources for those kinds of stories as I've grown older. [...]
Final bit, and this is purely personal opinion and is in no way representative of every Marvel fan, but the Marvel fanbase has always felt far, far more toxic to me and the difference has only increased with the massive movie success. Being insulted because I liked DC at all (despite still liking Marvel) is not an experience I'm proud or fond of. Being less enthused about Marvel's product due to the community (both on and off line) spoils the enjoyment of the product a bit since I'd feel punished or repressed in trying to communicate with Marvel fans.
From Redditor /u/ZaMaddog98:
I prefer the way DC is doing comics as opposed to Marvel. Marvel comics have felt more political and it feels I can't pick up a Marvel comic without having politics thrown in my face or be insulted due to having a different mind set.
I feel that DC respects their consumers, writers, and legacy heroes far more than Marvel does. This is solely the comics side of things.
From Redditor /u/cpillarie:
I actually started off reading Marvel, but their continual cutting or rebooting certain comic lines, while continuing other lines, got to the point where there was absolutely no continuity to follow. Captain Marvel has been rebooted at least six times in the last ten years, each with its own continuity, all the while other comic lines have continued to run a single line. When I pick up a Marvel event comic, I have no idea which characters are from what line, what they've been through, etc. It's just a bland mess. It's impossible to follow, and they've been so reboot happy the past decade, why bother even starting to collect a new line when a whole new continuity will be introduced within a year or two?
DC, however, has excellent organization and planning with their comic lines and events. Every comic book line starts at the same time with an easy-to-recognize label ("New 52"! "Rebirth"! "Convergence"!) and even if they don't all stop at the same time, they don't start a new line until all their previous lines conclude, then we get a massive event that spawns the new generation of comic lines. When I pick up a DC book, I know exactly what universe its from, what the characters backgrounds are, and what stories are linked to it. If I don't, it's incredibly easy to find the other stories linked to that line. DC is by far the more accessible universe to dive into, and on top of all that, both their trades and single issues are cheaper.
Furthermore, I enjoy DC stories far more. Even the ones that aren't grand, big, cosmic stories where everyone comes together, they feel so much more fulfilling. Their conclusions actually conclude a story, whereas Marvel's events are basically there just to set up their next big event, like with "Civil War" or "Infinity." DC's events often do this as well, but certainly not to the extent as Marvel. Read "Blackest Night" or "Sinestro Corps Wars," and you'll understand perfectly why I prefer DC to Marvel.
From Redditor /u/TheSnakeofTalins1213:
DC heroes represent ideals and the best that humanity can be, while Marvel heroes are often more relatable. I have found I connect with and enjoy these characters more than Marvel because they represent ideals that everyone should strive for[...]
Batman vs. Spider-Man in terms of accessibility. My two favorite heroes before knowing anything about comics were Batman and Spider-Man. Why? Batman: The Animated Series and the '90s Spider-Man cartoon. I watched these shows when I was little, and I loved both these characters. Once I thought about getting into comics when I was older, I knew I wanted to read about these characters for sure. So where do I start with Batman? "Year One"? "Long Halloween"? "New 52"? "Court of Owls"? "The Killing Joke" to see his most famous villain? An "Elseworld" story like "The Dark Knight Returns"? I have found there are plenty of places to start with Batman, and many of them are top tier stories because DC have given this character their best writers over and over again.
Where do I start with Spider-Man? [Brian Michael] Bendis' "Ultimate Spider-Man"? Comics from the 60s? [J. Michael Straczynski]'s run? [Dan] Slott's run? I have found it very difficult to get into Spider-Man. Many of the runs I mentioned go on for a long time and large reading like that is daunting to someone new. [...] Ultimately, this has made it very difficult for me as a new reader to start reading Marvel's most popular character.