MARVEL Vs DC: It’s A Little Closer Than You Realize


It’s the age old argument for comic book fans, Marvel or DC? While I take the stance that you should like and embrace both as it’s good for us fans, many have taken their flag and planted firmly in either camp. Marvel fans in particular have a pretty good knack for believing that their company is “ahead” in the race. But are they really? There is no denying what Marvel has done on the big screen is unprecedented and an achievement in cinematic history, but after looking a differing forms of media, it appears that it may be more even than what you think.

MarvelVsDCMovieThis is the big one that Marvel has staked their claim in. There is no disputing what Marvel has done in the realm of movies which has grossed around $6,319,000,000 dollars at the box-office according to Box-Office Mojo. They have multiple movie franchises going on right now, all of which lead to their billion dollar juggernaut Avengers movies. DC meanwhile had a strong showing with Man Of Steel, but that’s just the start of their connected universe as the look to recapture the magic that was the stand alone Dark Knight Trilogy. They have also let it be known that Justice League will follow Batman Vs Superman and it is believed League members will get their own solo movies after that. However, with Marvel having a 10 year plan, according to those in the Disney camp, and flops like Green Lantern, it’s hard to make any form of an argument that DC is remotely close in this arena.

TV Shows
ArrowVsShieldWith the insanity that was The Avengers, one thing stood tall amongst the hoopla- Fans love for Agent Coulson. Disney took this and ran by developing a TV show centered on the character’s resurrection, and tied the show into their movies. Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. started out good enough with the premiere episode with a 4.7 rating in the target demographic of 18-49. That was good for right around 12 million viewers. Now though, ratings have been hard to come by for Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D., which has gotten immensely better in the last couple of week, but it averages around a 2.44 rating or around 7 million viewers. While S.H.I.E.L.D. struggled to find an audience, DC unleashed the Green Arrow origin onto the world. Like S.H.I.E.L.D., Arrow shot out of the gate fast garnering a 1.3 rating with 4 million viewers. Its ratings have been good for the much smaller CW Network, but not as good as S.H.I.E.L.D.’s by averaging a 1.1 rating with 6.78 million viewers in the first two seasons. But Arrow was quick to find its niche, and is one of the best comic book TV shows in quite some time. Both companies have shows in development. Marvel turning to Netflix, and DC turning to a bunch of other networks. So for now while Marvel has the ratings advantage and DC has the critical advantage, we will have to wait to see what the new shows hold and call this a draw. (Ratings numbers thanks to TV Series Finale)

AnimationvsLike movies are no contest with Marvel, animation is no contest with DC. DC has a bunch or original programming they feature on DC Nation featured on Cartoon Network. And while Cartoon Network’s handing of shows such as Young Justice, Green Lantern: The Animated Series and Beware The Batman has been questionable, there has been no denying how immensely popular the shows are. Marvel has had their fair share of animated home runs over the years, but in recent years they have only had Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes to lean on. Even then, they canceled that for the far less popular option, Avengers Assemble. Animated movies is another source of DC’s dominance as well. They usually put out around three movies a year with each one earning high marks from fans. Marvel throws out an anime styled TV show or movie every now and again, but once again they seem not to put a lot of attention in this specific area of their business. Like I said earlier, this is all DC with no possible argument for Marvel whatsoever.

Video Games
VideogamesVsMarvel has had a few successes in this medium. Marvel Ultimate Alliance has 3.29 million copies while the sequel sold 1.56 million according to VG Chartz. They also released the highly anticipated Lego Marvel Superheroes which was able to conger 2.13 million units sold. With those releases and a few Spider-Man games, they have done alright for themselves in the world of video game. They will also look to capture some new magic by having some of their characters appear in Disney Infinity 2.0. However, what they have put out has not had near the success that Rocksteady and DC’s Batman Arkham games have experienced. Arkham Asylum has sold around 7.24 million copies while Batman Arkham City sold a staggering 9.21 million copies. Even the bug filled Arkham Origins raked in a decent showing by selling 3.01 million copies. That trilogy alone equates to 19.24 million games sold. With Batman: Arkham Knight right around the corner, it looks as if it will be some time before Marvel can catch up.

ComicsVsHere it is the reason all these other forms of media exists for these characters we love so much, comics. Based on things I see on social media, such as Twitter, I hear a lot more people who are partial to DC in terms of comic. However, that is NOT what the numbers reflect. According to Comic Horn, Marvel has taken in more share of the overall comic books sold for the past five years. In 2013 alone they accounted for 36.97% of all the comics sold in the world last year. DC was a not too far behind second with 33.35% of the market share. DC has also managed to reduce the gap in how many units Marvel beats them by in the five years. In 2009 Marvel had a commanding 45.63% of the market share while DC only had 32.22%. So while DC may be gaining ground, Marvel had owned the comic book world.

So as you can see it’s pretty neck in neck in terms of categories. But Marvel owns the top two categories in terms of comics and movies, still giving them the slight advantage in my opinion. With DC looking to expand their movie universe, and Marvel saying today they are looking for the right developer for new games, this could change at any time. Make sure you check back here at Comic Book Therapy for the latest on all thing Marvel and DC.

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