23 December 2006

Quesada on DC Becoming Marvel

From NEW JOE FRIDAYS WEEK 27:

"There's a reason Batman is the greatest DC hero, he's the closest to the Marvel formula, but the rest of the DC universe I feel suffers from the same flaws as Superman. In his time, Superman spoke of the immigrant experience which was very important in America at the time, but he's also a paternal figure where as Spider-Man is us. At his core, Superman is also actually a dishonest character in his make up. He has to create a persona in order to be accepted by the people around him, the same for Batman. That's also an intrinsic difference between the Marvel and DC characters. Spider-Man is the facade, he's the mask, Peter Parker is the real deal and if we could actually be superheroes, that's exactly how it would happen and by virtue of that, makes Spider-Man truer.

By the way, if you disagree with this, that's cool, but then you would have to argue as to why DC, since the inception of the Marvel Universe, has been trying to Marvelize their characters."

From GOODBYE TO COMICS #7: "WE NEED A RAPE":

"My theoretical comic company, which, for the theoretical purposes of my theoretical memoir, I'll call Gilgongo! Comix, was tired of being 'pushed around' in the sales wars and in the court of fanboy opinion (such as it was). So with all the red-nosed gumption and determination of Ralphie from 'A Christmas Story' Gilgongo! Comix decided to go badass...

So our books changed. There was rape, and murder, torture, death, and mutiliation. Superheroes did amoral or outright evil things and the line between good and bad was blurred. And you know what? Our sales improved. And this is a fact. But it all started with Vicki Victim, and she has to be given credit."

From Batman Begins:

Jim Gordon: And what about escalation?
Batman: Escalation?
Jim Gordon: We get semi-automatic weapons, they get automatics. We get kevlar body armor, they get armor-piercing rounds. And you're wearing a mask and jumping off rooftops. Take this guy... armed robbery, double homicide... has a taste for theatrics, like you... he leaves a calling card.


Nuff said?

2 comments:

Loren said...

I agree with Quesada that it seems like DC tries to Marvelize their characters too much. One could argue whether that's a good thing or not. But, for me, the books that I tend to like the most from DC are the ones that try not to be Marvel comics. They're more about how heroism is driven by an overwhelming sense of doing good and not because of internal conflict.

I think the Marvel way is not a bad thing, but I really only like it in Marvel comic books (and, then, sometimes I don't -- for example, Civil War gets more and more preposterous every month). DC is about icons or trying to be an icon. In this day and age where reality sometimes becomes too heavy, I don't really want to read it in my entertainment. I want to feel like I could aspire to be more than who I am.

Guy LeCharles Gonzalez said...

Yeah, I agree with him, too; particularly his Elvis/Beatles analogy.

DC's major characters are genuine icons and attempting to humanize them only serves to tarnish their images, especially in less-skilled writers' hands. Marvel has a lot more flexibility because their characters' foundations are based in their flawed humanity from the beginning.

My favorite DC titles right now are Robin, Firestorm and Blue Beetle, the fledgling hero/sidekick type of character they've always done better than Marvel. Young Avengers, which I enjoyed, is the closest Marvel has come to that type of character. Jonah Hex, I think, is one of the few fundamentally Marvel-style characters that works well for DC, and one who's title I'm also currently enjoying.