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  1. #1
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    Default DC's Power Scale vs Marvel

    Is DC 's power ranking to clear cut. Why must Superman be the absolutley most powerful for example?

    I think the reason why Marvel has more success marketing their stable of characters as a whole is because their is more parody power wise between characters. Their is no clear cut "most powerful" at Marvel. Characters like Thor, Sentry, the Hulk, Doctor Strange are all about equal, and they all have different power sets, and they all can beat each other in any given battle. This is in stark contrast to DC who seems to have a standard power set for most of their heavy hitters and a far more ridged hierarchy. Superman, Captain Marvel Wonder Woman Martian Manhunter all have the same power set with minor differences here and there.

    I think the ridged heirarchy appoach hurts many of DC characters (Wonder Woman and Captain Marvel for example) because those characters will never reach their full potential if Superman's supremecy is never questioned.
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  2. #2
    Senior Member Fast's Avatar
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    Superman's not the most powerful character in DC though. Maybe the strongest earthbound hero, but there were a few characters above him reality warpers and high end cosmics for example.

    and Marvel has a fairly clear cut most powerful in Living Tribunal...wait it may be TOAA...I'm forgetting Marvel cosmic history now. either way both universes have plenty of character much much stronger than the popular earth based heros.

  3. #3
    pygophile and podophile Dr. Cheesesteak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mathew101281 View Post
    Is DC 's power ranking to clear cut. Why must Superman be the absolutley most powerful for example?

    I think the reason why Marvel has more success marketing their stable of characters as a whole is because their is more parody power wise between characters. Their is no clear cut "most powerful" at Marvel.
    Although I think you mean parity, funny enough "parody" fits too kinda.

    Anyway, I get what you're saying and have always agreed. Not only does Marvel have a bunch of equal "most powerful"-type characters, but they're all B- or C-list, except Hulk.

    I think its simply due to publishing timing. Supes first came around inthe 30s? So in comics, a god-like hero was established. Marvel's big guns came 20~30 years later, so they may have felt to have more unique, varied, and interesting origins/powers. Their god-like heros (Sentry, Wonder Man, Thor, etc) sort of were overlooked in a sense. Although Thor not TOO much cuz he is a god...kinda.
    Comics were happier before the Internet turned writing superhero stories into fruitless attempts to impress/entertain a small group of ppl who appear to hate comics and their creators.
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  4. #4
    Junior Member loki lauyfeyson's Avatar
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    i never really thought about it but youre right marvel does have no clear cut "strongest" (not including cosmic beings, which opens a whole nother bag of worms) but you could take hulk, red hulk, sentry, thor, even people will throw wolverine in there. and ask who would win youll get a million answers. dc anybody vs superman (not including kryptonite or some other power dampener) and supes wins unless somebodies a real fanboy and wants to argue against it. i think the other poster was right though superman was 1st and is just the most powerful.

  5. #5
    Senior Member maniacthw's Avatar
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    I do kind of wish DC would throw in the "real world" issues that Marvel manages to. As someone at my comic shop said: "In DC, Clark is always Superman, Bruce is always Batman, but they're never human... Always a hero."
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  6. #6
    Senior Member Castel's Avatar
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    I do kind of wish DC would throw in the "real world" issues that Marvel manages to
    DC is about "bigger than life" heroes, Marvel is about super-powered average joe.

    Let's keep it that way, would be damn pointless to have the 2 main comic books companies writing the same kind of stories now wouldn't it ?

  7. #7
    E = p(orn) x C(offee)˛ Finganforn's Avatar
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    Imo the biggest difference is that on DC you have the extreme powers said to be extreme and given some 'tangible' numbers (more often than not totally inconsistent numbers, but they still give people some idea).

    For example, everyone knows that Super and Flash can move at near light speed, depending where and how much time they have to speed up they catch light speed and pass it. How many Thor fans know he has flown in space faster than light? Or, if we go and try to deduce stuff, he (and the Hulk, among others) can fight the Silver Surfer on even terms, who is absurdly fast, and they can catch and hit him. Obviously they are uber fast to do that, but how much? How much fast can the Surfer move on his own without his board anyhow? No one has any idea since at Marvel you rarely see those powers really quantified and compared (and when it does happen it is suddenly ignore), while on DC those details are often 'rubbed on your face' for lack of a better expression.
    [/sarcasm]

  8. #8
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    I'd also point out that parity and ambiguity in your power levels breeds conflict more easily then a rigid hierarchy does. Having Superman be the clear cut most powerful earth bound being is boring. People like to say that the Pre Crisis Superman was to powerful, but I would argue that their was a lot more parity back then. Characters like Darkseid , Validus of the Fatal Five, Mon’el and the many phantom zone criminals were all shown to be potentially as strong if not stronger then Superman, not to mention that their was more then one version of Superman himself flying around. It wasn’t until relatively recently that the “Superman is untouchable” mentality began to sink in, which in my opinion has hurt the character's popularity in someways. Most people don't want to read about an untouchable character.
    Creativity involves breaking out of established patterns in order to look at things in a different way.
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  9. #9
    E = p(orn) x C(offee)˛ Finganforn's Avatar
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    To be honest, pre crisis Superman wasn't really more powerful, it is collective misinterpretation aided by some (un)creative PIS that stuck. Golden Age comics were of a different genre, it is like trying to compare today Wolverine's healing factor with the regenerative abilities of Coyote from the old Road-Runner cartoon: by feats alone, Coyotte wins, characters on those cartoons are immortal, but such direct comparisson makes no sense, it is just wrong.

    Super had 'superpowers' like melding reality with heat vision, traveling time by flying very fast around the globe and *gasp* reversing time or speeding it up (see first movie). Or consider the first (and only if I am not mistaken) confront between Captain Marvel and Black Adam at Fawcett. They punch each other without either moving an inch or felling pain since they are both 'equally indestructible and strong, so they can't hurt each other' (the scene is a bit goofier than that, abeit funny for those comics). The genres were different, just the theme and outlines of the characters were the same. Since that era superhero comics have become a little more pseudo-scientific credible (that is, they tend to try and be consistent with the rules of the realities they propose) while older comics didn't bother with that and were more like soft versions of cartoons.

    But then, there had to be some 'genius' that people decided to follow who somehow concluded that the literal and direct comparisson of both 'levels' made sense and after that things only got better and better until we got Superemoboy Prime (who could beat unharmed BA, PG, Johnzz and some others fighting together, but a much weaker Connor could come alone and make him bleed for a while, I guess people were trying to return to the golden age by sheer amount of inconsistency).
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  10. #10
    Marquis de carabas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Finganforn View Post
    To be honest, pre crisis Superman wasn't really more powerful, it is collective misinterpretation...
    I vividly recall him, when some loon fired a missile at the earth, grabbing hold of the planet and pushing it out of the way. By himself, casually, without exerting or even straining himself.
    Or using superspeed to change costumes soooo quickly that he could appear as Superman and Clark Kent in the same room, with people watching them both.

    Pre-Crisis Superman was just silly-powerful.
    'The marquis. Well, you know, to be honest, he seems a little bit dodgy to me.'
    'Mm,' she agreed. 'He's a little bit dodgy in the same way that rats are a little bit covered in fur."

  11. #11
    T.S.O.T.I. Hulk_Is's Avatar
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    I can't wait to get some more time and comment with depth here. I've always noticed a clear difference in power scales between DC and Marvel since I was a kid.
    Marvel, STOP writing for the Trade so I can go back to collecting Monthlies again. Thanks.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by mathew101281 View Post
    I think the ridged heirarchy appoach hurts many of DC characters (Wonder Woman and Captain Marvel for example) because those characters will never reach their full potential if Superman's supremecy is never questioned.
    This is absurd. A character's value has never been in how many foot pounds of force they can exert in a world where the laws of physics are broken every other panel. Even the smallest character with the least of abilities can save the world, see I dunno the entirety of Morrison's JLA.

  13. #13
    E = p(orn) x C(offee)˛ Finganforn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by James-K View Post
    This is absurd. A character's value has never been in how many foot pounds of force they can exert in a world where the laws of physics are broken every other panel. Even the smallest character with the least of abilities can save the world, see I dunno the entirety of Morrison's JLA.
    Sadly, that statement is absurd but true. You can have all characters saving the world, but they may not be allowed to get that much attention within the universe and media. It is the business side of the entertainment industry. If giving too much spotlight to a character that is considered minor and less profitable makes fans of more popular character upset for having to share the spotlight (and on comics that is triple true, there are a lot of petty buyers) and the investors and major share holders see it as a threat to their profits, they will demand changes (on characters and sometimes on staff). If those guys pull their money out, no deal, no money, no creations and no jobs, so people take the least bad route.

    To take CM's example, when DC acquired him he was still a goddamn popular character and before he used to be even more than Super, so they just didn't use him to avoid harming their property that was more profitable at the time (there could have been other reasons, but that certainly was there among them too). That is an old thing, and doesn't seem to be going away any time soon.
    Last edited by Finganforn; 01-04-2011 at 06:20 PM.
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  14. #14
    E = p(orn) x C(offee)˛ Finganforn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carabas View Post
    I vividly recall him, when some loon fired a missile at the earth, grabbing hold of the planet and pushing it out of the way. By himself, casually, without exerting or even straining himself.
    Or using superspeed to change costumes soooo quickly that he could appear as Superman and Clark Kent in the same room, with people watching them both.

    Pre-Crisis Superman was just silly-powerful.
    Talking about old-age silliness that doesn't try to make any sense at all:


    But that is not silly, not yet:



    That is from The Marvel Family #61, from 1951.
    Last edited by Finganforn; 01-04-2011 at 07:16 PM. Reason: Insomnia.
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  15. #15
    Senior Member Hamdinger's Avatar
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    I never understood the hierarchy at DC that Superman has to be the most powerful and best at everything and always outshine everyone else, except maybe Bats, and be the big winner at all events. Especially when there are many other Kryptonian heroes who have the exact same powers set like Power Girl, Super Girls, Mon El, and others like the Marvels that are as fast, durable and strong. Why not elevate others and have many more viable properties? Especially since Superman has been having mediocre sales numbers for a long time in the monthlies. I like Superman but not DC's handling of him for some time.

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