DC comics vs Marvel comics

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DC vs Marvel : the key differences

DC Comics was founded in 1934. Marvel Comics followed five years later, in 1939. The pair have been through some fairly dramatic ups and downs ever since (Marvel, for once, faced extinction just 20 years ago), but now are two of the most prominent forces in entertainment. So: how do you tell the two apart?

The Characters

Let's start in the obvious place. It's the characters that offer the big distinction between the worlds of DC Comics and Marvel Comics, and their subsequent movie universes. Marvel has the more rounded, more interesting universe, but DC has arguably the two biggest characters.

On the Marvel side of the fence, then?

 There's Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Hulk, X-Men, Spider-Man, Fantastic Four, Black Panther, Black Widow and many, many more.
Hulk is part of the Marvel stable
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Hulk is part of the Marvel stable

DC?

Batman and Superman rule the roost, although there's also Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Aquaman, Suicide Squad, Shazam and The Flash.
Both Marvel and DC have a far deeper library of characters and stories, of course, if you're open to digging beyond those who have made it to TV and film.
Superman rules the roost at DC
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Superman rules the roost at DC

Owners

Both DC and Marvel have big-name owners. DC is part of the Warner Bros group of companies, and has been for a few decades now. More recently, however, the Walt Disney Company bought Marvel back in 2009. Both Warner Bros and Disney have been aggressively pushing the characters from said universes into film and television projects, which brings us to...

The Screen Universes

The early running here was made by DC and Warner Bros. Christopher Reeve realised Superman in the 1970s, and Michael Keaton became Batman for a generation in 1989. Even since then, the Dark Knight trilogy of films have become regarded as the finest comic book movies of their generation.
Batman - the Dark Knight Rises
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Batman - the Dark Knight Rises

Marvel, however, has since the late-2000s been building a cinematic universe that's now the envy of every movie studio on the planet. With its Avengers films at the heart of it, Marvel releases two - and soon to be three - films in said cinematic universe every year. And it's never had a failure.
The Avengers Marvel
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The Avengers Marvel
Green Lantern
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Green Lantern

Warner Bros and DC are rebuilding theirs. Misfires such as Green Lantern have left them playing catch up, although Man Of Steel just about managed to relaunch Superman. Next year's Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice effectively launches a brand new slate of DC films.

The Small Screen

Things are more competitive right now when it comes to television programmes. That's where Warner Bros and DC have enjoyed more successes, particular with the likes of Arrow and The Flash. But Marvel is going toe to toe now, with a bunch of shows that are not short of spark. Agents OF S.H.I.E.L.D. has been a bumpy ride, but Agent Carter is far stronger. Meanwhile, Daredevil and AKA Jessica Jones are imminent too. There's no shortage of choice.
Agents OF S.H.I.E.L.D.
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Agents OF S.H.I.E.L.D.
Marvel Essentials
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Marvel Essentials

And One More Thing...

We'll say it again: the comics. Collecting and getting into comics can be a little daunting - there's simply so much to choose from - but for a true Marvel vs DC battle, there are decades worth of stories to dig into. If you're after a quick way in, try the Marvel Essentials line, that gives you lots of comics in on reprinted tome, or the DC Showcase equivalent. It's a low cost way to try out the stories of a character you may be interested in...

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