Marvel vs. DC, by power type

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Curbludgeon
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Marvel vs. DC, by power type

Post by Curbludgeon »

The power level of DC characters is generally higher than those in Marvel. A good example is in comparing super speed: Makkari, Quicksilver, and Northstar don't hold a candle to the Flash, with only someone like The Runner being comparable. That said, this doesn't necessarily hold true for all types of character. Magic and Cosmic characters are often handwavy enough that it's largely a wash between both publishers, for instance, and the number of Superman analogues makes Billy Batson vs Hyperion or The Sentry less than cut and dried.

What are some broad character concepts for which Marvel characters generally exceed their DC counterparts? While psychics, for one, are all but ubiquitous in Marvel, those in DC tend to dwarf all but the most potent. One field in which I'd argue Marvel wins is Ice people. Iceman, when he's on a tear, could knock Captain Cold, Mr. Freeze, and Killer Frost to the curb simultaneously. Transformations at the molecular level may be another, with a sane Molecule Man likely able to ignore anything Firestorm has to offer.
Last edited by Curbludgeon on Tue Apr 13, 2021 2:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Marvel vs. DC, as divided by theme

Post by MacynSnow »

Group-wise, Marvel win's hand's down. Yeah, the JLA DOES have some very heavy hitter's on the team, but the Avengers have MUCH better teamwork & coordination by far. Quicksilver couldn't beat Flash....on his own. But run him into a Cap clothesline going the speed Barry/Wally usually does and he'll be instant KO.
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Re: Marvel vs. DC, by power type

Post by Batgirl III »

Both the “House of Ideas” and the “Distinguished Competition” have a fair few badass normal / costumed adventure / vigilantes, or whatever you want to label the archetype: guys and gals with no superpowers, just incredible amounts of training and maybe a belt full of gadgets. Often urban and usually nocturnal.

I’d say that DC wins this category, given that the Platonic Ideal of the trope unquestioned is the Batman. There were pulp heroes and radio drama heroes that did it first, like the Shadow or the Spider, but it was the Batman that dragged the archetype out of the noir and planted it firmly in the four color superhero comics.

The Batman spawned a host of distaff counterparts, junior partners, homages, tributes, and ripoffs. Within just DC, we’ve got a whole flock of Robins, multiple Batgirls and Batwomen (and a Bat-Woman and Bat-Girl), Nightwings, Wildcats, Catwomen, Huntresses, Owl-Men, Owls, and sooo many others.

Marvel Comics has tried to homage and rip-off the Batman, but they always seem to end up slapping superpowers on them, thus disqualifying them under the rules I just made up (e.g., Moon Knight) or they tend to languish in the D-List and never amount to much (e.g., Nighthawk).

The badass normal / costumed adventure / vigilante archetype has a closely related “cousin” in the form of the archery superhero. Here both companies have one main heroes of the type and a raft of supporting characters with the same gimmick... DC’s Green Arrow and Marvel’s Hawkeye.

I’d say these two are basically even in terms of raw overall power. Ollie might be an imperceptible bit less accurate as he tends to rely more on gadget arrows (making him a teensy bit more versatile) than Clint... But Ollie has a significantly hotter girlfriend.
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Re: Marvel vs. DC, by power type

Post by Hoid »

DC ha the more powerful shrinkers and speedsters. Ant-Man ain’t got nothing on the Atom, and Quicksilver is jacks**t next to the Speed Force.

Marvel has the stronger psychics.
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Re: Marvel vs. DC, by power type

Post by Ken »

Batgirl III wrote: Tue Apr 13, 2021 4:11 pm The badass normal / costumed adventure / vigilante archetype has a closely related “cousin” in the form of the archery superhero. Here both companies have one main heroes of the type and a raft of supporting characters with the same gimmick... DC’s Green Arrow and Marvel’s Hawkeye.

I’d say these two are basically even in terms of raw overall power. Ollie might be an imperceptible bit less accurate as he tends to rely more on gadget arrows (making him a teensy bit more versatile) than Clint... But Ollie has a significantly hotter girlfriend.
I would argue that Ollie has that imperceptible edge, because at the end of the day Ollie learned to shoot for hunting. Clint learned because he was in the circus. I also think that Clint is boosted because his first girlfriend was Nat; and because once Ollie started hanging with Dinah, he had his beard.
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Re: Marvel vs. DC, as divided by theme

Post by Ken »

MacynSnow wrote: Tue Apr 13, 2021 12:07 pm Group-wise, Marvel win's hand's down. Yeah, the JLA DOES have some very heavy hitter's on the team, but the Avengers have MUCH better teamwork & coordination by far. Quicksilver couldn't beat Flash....on his own. But run him into a Cap clothesline going the speed Barry/Wally usually does and he'll be instant KO.
BWHAHAHAHA! Only if Brad Meltzer is writing. At the speeds Barry and Wally usually travel, they'll see Cap's arm going up and vibrate through Cap.
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Batgirl III
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Re: Marvel vs. DC, by power type

Post by Batgirl III »

Image

DC: Batgirl (Barbara Gordon); Batwoman (Kate Kane); Cyclone (Maxine Hunkel); Hawkgirl (Shiera Sanders); Iris West; Lana Lang; Mera; Miss Martian; Poison Ivy; Starfire; Vicki Vale....

Marvel: Alicia Masters; Black Widow (Natasha Romanova); Jean Grey; Mary Jane Watson; Medusa; Mystique; Red Sonja; Siryn; Spitfire....

I gotta give DC the edge here. But I’m willing to spend more time conducting further research.
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Re: Marvel vs. DC, by power type

Post by Shock »

Batgirl III wrote: Thu Apr 15, 2021 6:14 am Image

DC: Batgirl (Barbara Gordon); Batwoman (Kate Kane); Cyclone (Maxine Hunkel); Hawkgirl (Shiera Sanders); Iris West; Lana Lang; Mera; Miss Martian; Poison Ivy; Starfire; Vicki Vale....

Marvel: Alicia Masters; Black Widow (Natasha Romanova); Jean Grey; Mary Jane Watson; Medusa; Mystique; Red Sonja; Siryn; Spitfire....

I gotta give DC the edge here. But I’m willing to spend more time conducting further research.
Doesn't Kate Kane wear a wig? And who knows for sure with Mystique? I think Marvel wins by a hair :mrgreen:
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Batgirl III
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Re: Marvel vs. DC, by power type

Post by Batgirl III »

Image

Kate is a redhead naturally. The length of her hair varies, depending on artist, as is typical for comics. I believe the original intent was that her long hair in the costume was a wig (designed to break away from the cowl easily if grappled) but that’s not always stuck to by artists.

Batgirl wore a red wig on the Batman ‘66 series, because Yvonne Craig (blessed be her name) was a brunette.
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Ares
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Re: Marvel vs. DC, by power type

Post by Ares »

My thoughts:

I don't see a major overall difference in terms of raw physical might between DC and Marvel, especially not the current iterations of the companies. Marvel has roughly as many flying bricks as DC at this point of a similar strength and powerlevel, if not more. Marvel also has the Hulk, Hercules, Thor and other battle bricks to compete.

DC tends to have more speedsters that operate at a higher level, though Quicksilver and Makkari received decent power-ups in recent times, while the Flashes in some ways seem to have gotten less impressive with the axe Geoff Johns has taken to the Speed Force. Quicksilver's apparently up to the point where he can dodge lightning, keep up with radio-waves and cross the globe in a matter of seconds. I'd say even if the Flash is still faster, it's probably the most even the two have ever been and would probably be pretty comparative. Though Quicksilver is one of the only heroic speedsters in Marvel.

Conversely, Marvel has a lot more active telepaths than DC does. It says something when the Martian Manhunter is the most well known psychic superhero in DC, and telepathy is only one of his powers and not even the one that gets the most focus. Other heroes like Brainwave, Looker, Lilith, Tomorrow Woman and the like rarely get any page time. Meanwhile the X-Men alone have an abundance of powerful psychics.

In terms of street level heroes, both are pretty comparable. DC has the extended Bat-Family, the Archers, the JSA Mystery Men, while Marvel has Captain America, Daredevil, Hawkeye, Moon Knight, Black Panther, etc.

Marvel definitely does a better job of defining it's "tiers", where you have your non-powered humans, your low-powered heroes, medium powered heroes, high powered heroes and top tier heroes. DC has their street level heroes, their top tier heroes, and then a very vague middle ground where as long as a character has superpowers, they can challenge someone at either end of the tier.

Marvel used to have a better structured cosmic scene, while DC tended to have a better defined mystic one. Both scenes are more or less in tatters by this point.

I'd say Marvel tends to have better leaders, with folks like Captain America, Cyclops, Storm, Reed Richards, etc. The best leader in DC is probably Nightwing.

Marvel also tends to have more dedicated Science guys, though DC has gotten better about it recently by adding characters like Mr. Terrific and Steel to Ray Palmer, who was more or less the top science guy in DC for a while.

Marvel had the better Top Magic guy with Dr. Strange, but the magic community in DC tends to get more fleshed out and more explored, even if no two writers can agree on how magic is supposed to work.

Archery-wise, I don't see a big different between Ollie and Clint. Both make heavy use of trick arrows, both have an almost impossible aim, and both have been shit on hard in recent years. And both have dated some smoking hot women like Black Canary, Black Widow, Mockingbird, etc.

I would say the Avengers team-work is only slightly better than the Justice League, and not enough to really make it count. Especially Aaron's Avengers who are just a mess. The X-Men, Fantastic Four and New Titans tend to have superior teamwork to both groups anyway.

How powerful the gods of both settings are is ridiculously inconsistent.
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Batgirl III
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Re: Marvel vs. DC, by power type

Post by Batgirl III »

DC has the coolest hero car: the Batmobile.

Can you even name a Marvel car?
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Re: Marvel vs. DC, by power type

Post by Ares »

Batgirl III wrote: Thu Apr 15, 2021 3:43 pm DC has the coolest hero car: the Batmobile.

Can you even name a Marvel car?
The Fantasticar?

Ghost Rider's car?

The Spider-Mobile?
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Batgirl III
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Re: Marvel vs. DC, by power type

Post by Batgirl III »

Okay, first let me say that just the very idea that they put Ghost Rider in a car is offensive. I mean... Really?

The Fantasticar is an aircraft, despite the name, so it doesn’t count. The Spidermobile was also a single issue joke, so obviously not as cool at the Batmobile.
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Ares
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Re: Marvel vs. DC, by power type

Post by Ares »

Batgirl III wrote: Thu Apr 15, 2021 4:00 pm Okay, first let me say that just the very idea that they put Ghost Rider in a car is offensive. I mean... Really?

The Fantasticar is an aircraft, despite the name, so it doesn’t count. The Spidermobile was also a single issue joke, so obviously not as cool at the Batmobile.
You asked for Marvel cars, I named three that were either cars or had car in their name. Check and mate. :P

In all seriousness, Batman has enough iconic vehicles on his own to compete with the rest of DC and Marvel combined. There's the Avengers Quinjet, the Fantasticar, the X-Men's Blackbird, Ghost Rider's motorcycle, Wonder Woman's invisible plane, the Blue Beetle's Bug and . . . that's about it. The Batmobile, Batwing, Batsub, the Batcycle, the Batmech, etc. That's a reminder for anyone developing their own fictional setting: make the vehicles as iconic as the characters that use them.
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Ken
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Re: Marvel vs. DC, by power type

Post by Ken »

Between 1960 and 1985 a certain Thanagarian star cruiser was about as Iconic as the others listed. Sadly, Alan Gold decided otherwise.
Ms S: I hardly think it'll enhance yr reputation at the UN Prof. Plum, if it's revealed that U have been implicated not only in adultery with 1 of your patients, but in her death & the deaths of 5 others.

PP: U don't know what kind of people they have at the UN; I may go up in their estimation.
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