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July 12, 2005

Why DC Comics is Lame « Social Issues »

1) The name. "DC Comics", but the "DC" stands for "Detective Comics", so they are calling themselves "Detective Comics Comics" on their own official website.

2) Superman being so superpowerful that only kryptonite and red suns can hurt him.

3) Superman's lame "no one can recognize me if I put on my glasses" secret identity.

4) Aquaman.

5) Anytime they hit upon a semi-popular hero, they run it into the ground with minor variations: Superman, Superboy (A younger the future???), Supergirl, SuperDog???!?; Batman, Batgirl, Robin (an obvious "Batboy"); Hawkman, Hawkgirl; Aquaman, Aqualad.

6) Nearly every superhero has a significant villain that is nothing more than an "opposite but equal", including the amazingly lame "Bizarro" treatment.

7) Why would it matter if Superman can leap over a tall building in a single bound if he can fly?

8) If Lex Luther (or whomever) can make our sun red so as to inconvenience Superman, everyone on earth would be burned to a crisp and life on earth would end. Somehow, that never seems to be an issue with DC

9) The Teen Titans may have had a short stretch of decency when they hired away Marvel writers, but for the most part, this was their best "supergroup", and it was still pretty lame for most of its existence. DC has nothing even half so cool as the Fantastic Four, much less the Avengers, S.H.I.E.L.D., the X-Men, the Defenders...

10) Compare "rich, gadget-men": DC has Batman: weenie who suffers his parents' death, and so broods and beats up on villains; he comes up with gadgets only for himself. As if no one else has had his parents die tragically. Marvel has Tony Stark: an alcoholic with a bad heart, and comes up with Iron Man as a possible weapon for the defense industry. Which is more interesting, more relevant, more inspiring, cooler? If you say "DC's", there's no help for you.

There's more, but there's no reason to go any further. DC never figured out how to consistently incorporate real-life elements like the Thing's problems with his appearance, Spiderman's realization that his moment of selfish detachment indirectly caused his beloved uncle's death, Doc Ock's friendship with Aunt May, Dr. Doom's kindness to children, etc. Which is why DC isn't worth reading. I'll throw you DC fans a bone by admitting that for short stretches, specific comic lines/threads might have been worth following. But by and large, DC is far inferior to Marvel.

Oh, John Byrne was the worst artist, but he worked for both sides at various times. I hated his minimalist style. His facial proportions were often wrong, his lines were too thick and eliminated subtle shading, and strong heroes usually just looked like skinny stick figures. I have no idea how he ever got to be considered top talent.

Posted by Nathan at 10:13 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack (1)
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Except that DC Comics had Neil Gaiman's Sandman.

Posted by: Seth Ben-Ezra at July 12, 2005 11:03 AM

And the "Crisis on Infinite Earths" which is universally regarded as perhaps the best mini-series ever published by any comic group. Not to mention Miller's "Dark Knight Returns" mini-series. Ok, so I did just mention it...

And yeah...there's also the Sandman. And While I've not read any of them myself, I heard wonderful things about Devon Grayson's work on Catwoman.

So a pox on thee Cap'n Nate. Thy taste rests solely in thy mouth. Keep thy thrown bone to thyself... ;)

Posted by: Dalin at July 12, 2005 01:21 PM

"Universally". You keep using this word; I don't think it means what you think it means.

And I did acknowledge that DC has a few short moments...punctuating long stretches of lameness. You named 4 examples out of a history stretching back to the 1930's. Not a stellar argument, by any means...

Marvel has its share of lameness, too:
The Secret Wars cross-marketing money-making scheme literally drove me out of collecting comics. But overall, Marvel has a much better track record than DC. The list of 10 points of extreme lameness by DC is pretty hard to refute. And those were just off the top of my head.

Posted by: Nathan at July 12, 2005 01:35 PM

Teen Titans best DC supergroup. Have you forgotten about the Justice League? Or even the Suicide Squad?

Plus DC had Watchmen. Marvel has a war protesting pansy Punisher. :-P

Posted by: Trench at July 13, 2005 06:14 AM

You might enjoy this one Nate, lol.

Posted by: Warpaint at July 13, 2005 11:43 AM
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