Ya know something interesting about the Marvel/DC ‘rivalry’ on tumblr?
Everyone acts like DC is this super regressive company compared to Marvel when DC really did more progressive stuff first and is still doing so.
Women as heroes?
DC’s had Wonder Woman as one of their…
THIS and THIS!!
Worth clicking. Like, yeah, DC’s fucked a lot of stuff up, and some of the discussion in the linked post deals with historical stuff not new stuff (and I also don’t think it’s fair to dismiss all the historical stuff Marvel did or throw accusations of grandstanding; that helps no one). But I’m not even really comfortable with the narrative that since the reboot DC’s been terrible. Bits of it have, sure. Bits of it have been really great. And yeah, there’s a selfish (and conflicting, since I do find myself upset with them quasi-regularly) element of team loyalty, but it’s frustrating to see articles about diversity in comics praise Ms Marvel, Young Avengers and Mighty Avengers, but ignore The Movement (when it was being published) and Earth 2. Like Earth 2 is so amazingly diverse and also so hugely commercially successful it’s getting a weekly spinoff event series, but most people I know in fandom have no idea unless I mention it.
To see Marvel getting praise from all corners for their increased line-up of female-lead solo books (praise which they DESERVE and a lot of those books are really good, and you should all buy Elektra because I’m worried about its sales), but no real conversation about the fact that after this huge push, and at a time when DC are publishing fewer monthly titles than usual, Marvel have, as of November, drawn level with DC in terms of their female-focused output. So maybe they’ll overtake them by the end of the year. Good for them if they do, and if they maintain that lead. But…Marvel publishing 8 female solo titles is worthy of some serious cookies (and there was a period back in 2012 when they had NONE), while DC consistently publishing 7 - 10 since before their reboot isn’t worthy of notice.
Yeah, you know. It’s just frustrating.
But hey, hopefully soon the Rock will be Shazam and we’ll have a Wonder Woman movie and I think Jason Momoa would make a fantastic Aquaman, and let me have my dreams. LET ME HAVE THEM!
I’m done. I’m done being scary and grumpy. As you all were. <3
Yeah, and with the movieverses it’s even more ridiculous. I enjoy the MCU as much as the next person but it seems like Tumblr is too busy creaming over Marvel’s latest White Lead Named Chris to notice that DC cast a Pacific Islander in a role that was always drawn as as the Aryan ideal and, if the rumors are true, a POC as another historically white character. And these aren’t sidekicks ala Rhodey and Sam, these are full-blown lead heroes (in addition to Cyborg as a probable full-time Justice Leaguer). If Marvel did either of those things Tumblr fandom would be singing their praises to high heaven.
Like, I am dismayed as the next person over some of the shitty decisions DC has made in their movie and comicverses since the reboot and I really wish there were more women in the JL movie. But the Animal Farm-esque “Marvel Good, DC Baa-aaad” mantra could use just a teensy bit of examination.
Yeah, exactly. With the movieverse it’s just straight up weird. I mean I do wanna say that I also see criticism of the whiteness and maleness of the MCU from people I know are Marvel fans? And I’m totally for the idea of being a fan of something and also recognising its problematic elements, so respect to those people. I hope I manage to do the same regarding DC (on that note, while I’m extremely hopeful, Momoa and Johnson aren’t officially confirmed yet?)
It’s just on a fandom-wide level, it doesn’t seem to hurt its popularity, whereas for DC, Wonder Woman’s lack of a movie is like…a meme. And I agree, if the Rock had been all-but-announced on a Marvel project, the representational implications would be all over tumblr, but the linked post was actually the first time I saw it brought up? Hence, like…frustration and occasionally reblogging stuff like this. ;)
I just…yeah. I feel the balance of our criticism needs shifting a little, sometimes. Particularly with regards to the movies, although, honestly, I also think there’s a double-standard with the comics too sometimes. Like DC being criticised for hiring Orson Scott Card, when he’d worked for Marvel or years, or how, if DC had done something like kill of Scarlet Witch and Rogue as a “shocking plot twist!” they’d have been put out to dry for it.
Like not totally, cus, you know, forever-furious-about-New-Amanda-Waller, but…it’s a thing I think happens.
I 100% agree with this: Marvel is getting too much of a free pass, and DC is not getting enough recognition for the stuff that they do (much of which, like The Movement, I think they are supporting past the point when other comics might be let go; how much of that is about Gail Simone and how much is about appearances, who knows).
But here’s the thing, at least for me. I’ve long read both DC and Marvel, from my childhood through to my late teens. And when I came back to comics in my mid-twenties, it was DC that I cam back to. Marvel… I’d tried, but man, the X-comics were impossible to get into. There was too much. And DC… ruckawriter's Gotham Central leading into 52: a lesbian Batwoman! That’s literally what brought me back. I remember the day I read the “Half A Life” arc so clearly. And Rucka, Phil Jimenez, gailsimone writing Diana. Secret Six. Birds of Prey. I have been reading comics since I don’t even know when, and for the first time: these were comics for me. About me. Including me.
And then the new 52 took all of that away.
I don’t think it was deliberate, but the reboot took all of the queer female characters I loved away except for Kate Kane, and they took her away from Greg. It broke up the female friendships and relationships I cared about: the Birds were re-imagined, Diana’s origins were altered, most of the Batgirls were wiped, and even the friendships I did love, like Huntress and Power Girl, were altered. That’s not the only area the reboot altered, but it’s the one I’m most engaged with, and the one where I noticed the changes most painfully. And I tried to keep reading, still. I did! I loved a lot of things about the new Wonder Woman, but I literally could not deal with what they did with the Amazons. I tried the new BoP, but lost interest. I just kept getting sad about Kate without Renee. In the meantime, DC was muzzling creators, firing them, shuffling them, generally treating these people, many of whom I quite like, very poorly. I eventually had to give up on DC, after another creator-related kerfuffle, because it was making me so angry and hurt to think about their books that I couldn’t think about comics in general without bleedthrough.
And Marvel, in that time… feels like it keeps getting better. They’re neither of them great, but it meant a lot to be able to pick up Captain Marvel and not only get a kick-ass Carol, but then go on and read kellysue's unapologetic, uncensored feminist rants. Instead of having a childhood favourite tarnished, like it felt like Diana was being, I could read about another, Spider-Woman, coming back into focus and importance. And yeah, the bullshit way that Black Widow gets talked about drives me up the wall, but at least she fucking shows up on screen, you know? It was better. It was healing.
I read more comics now, monthly, than I ever have before. They’re probably almost evenly split between Marvel and indy stuff. I don’t have a single DC title on my pull list, except for the last few issues of Batgirl for the BoP reunion. I might keep getting the new Batgirl. If Gail’s relaunching Secret Six, that’ll bring me back. I think DC is on an upswing, both in the comics and, I hope I hope, in the movies. I think the DC upswing is more pronounced than the Marvel one. But it feels like DC ticked sharply upward before, in around 2005 - before slamming to the floor, and only now starting to regaining round. Marvel, in contrast, has been ticking upwards much more slowly, but hasn’t had an egregious fail of the same proportions recently. So I can understand why it’s harder to realize that both companies are probably sitting at about the same place: if you’re coming at it from the long view, you, like me, might feel once-burned about DC.
(These are obviously very narrow views, my own opinions, and probably missing some facts, AND are not meant to denigrate anyone who came to DC before or after the new 52 and loves it.)