Inside the Epic Fifty-year Battle Between Marvel and DC

Book - 2017 | First edition
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"THEY ARE THE TWO TITANS OF THE COMIC BOOK INDUSTRY--the Coke and Pepsi of superheroes--and for more than 50 years, Marvel and DC have been locked in an epic battle for spandex supremacy. At stake is not just sales, but cultural relevancy and the hearts of millions of fans. Slugfest, the first book to chronicle the history of this epic rivalry into a single, in-depth narrative, is the story of the greatest corporate rivalry never told. Complete with interviews with the major names in the industry, Slugfest reveals the arsenal of schemes the two companies have employed in their attempts to outmaneuver the competition, whether it be stealing ideas, poaching employees, planting spies, or launching price wars. The feud has never completely disappeared, and it simmers on a low boil to this day. With DC and Marvel characters becoming global icons worth billions, if anything, the stakes are higher now than ever before."
Publisher: New York, NY : Da Capo Press, 2017
Edition: First edition
Copyright Date: ©2017
ISBN: 9780306825460 (hardcover)
0306825465 (hardcover)
Branch Call Number: 338.761741 TUC
Characteristics: xviii, 286 pages ; 24 cm


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Apr 07, 2018

1961 was the watershed year Stan Lee introduced Fantastic Four.
Author contends DC's family friendly "must wear tie & suit at work" fiefdom establishment got blindsided Marvel edgier informal counterculture anti-heroes in unified Marvel Universe.
Fantastic four a bickering dysfunctional family metaphor.
Marvel made heroes out of monsters: Spiderman, Incredible Hulk & Iron Man. Cheer for an arms maker in the cold war?
DC had classic generation gap problem to understand the upstarts who used to copy them.
Fifty year war as each side tried to kneecap & poach each other's talents. Marvel more attuned to the teenagers as they were winning battles from 1960s to 1990s. Quoted trash talking from both sides more akin to WWF vs WCW wrestling war & even US vs USSR spy war.
DC copied Marvel. Marvel copied DC.
Comic book prices slowly creep up.
Direct marketing to cut out the middlemen & create the comic shop.
Secret Wars vs Crisis of the Infinite Earths.
Joint frenemy collaboration on Superman vs Spiderman.
Dark Night Returns & Watchman graphic novel with acid free paper & higher price tag was DC to create a better product & go for the long game.
Cold war expanded to exclusive distribution, Television series & movies as readership declined to TV, movies, personal computers & game consoles.
Marvel bought Malibu Comics from DC's noses because why not?
Variant covers & reboots abound.
Killing off Superman was the high point before comic book collection crash & shuttering down thousands of comic shop stores.
Marvel crash & burn thanks to overreaching hubris.
Each could have bought the other in early 80s (DC) & late 90s (Marvel), but nobody loved a drab monopoly or possible lawsuit.
Joint venture unlikely because they have to share profits & each don't want competition have leg up.
Marvel & DC debate somewhat moot because both sides controlled by corporate suits, both looked similar than different, graphic novels opened eyes to general public & combined market share reduced from 90 to 70% by independents. Current biggest selling graphic novel is Diary of a Wimpy Kid series made by traditional publisher.


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