I’M A DC FO’ LIFE, SON!
Alright, despite the inital tempation to indulge in a nerd argument that rarely comes up around the watercooler, I wasn’t exactly planning on doing this because the temptation to be lazy is a hard one to ignore. But thanks to the prompting of Kate from The Stories That Really Mattered to take part and Kai over at The List for siding with his namesake, I’m throwing down the gauntlet and fighting the good fight in the argument of a lifetime:
Are you a Marvel, or are you a DC?
I don’t know about you gringoes, but I’m picking up the DC flag and flying it like a bastard. You want reasons? Oh, I got ’em, baby. I got ’em in spades! SHAZAM!
5. Kingdom Come
First thing’s first: DC’s just got a better roster. It’s a smaller roster, but it’s quality over quantity that matters. I’ll get to Bats in a minute, but we’ve got Robin (and Nightwing), The Joker, Supes, Bizarro, The Flash (my personal favorite), Wonder Woman, The Green Lantern, Captain Marvel, The Green Arrow and about 650 more total badasses who make Tony Stark look like the alcoholic Tin Man he is. Anyway, here they all are in one place, drawn to astoundingly convincing life by Alex Ross in the best Ultimate Suphero Showdown on the block. As someone who usually walks right past the superhero graphic novel shelf, I couldn’t believe how blown away by this and it’s a total page-turner from start to finish. Talkin’ ’bout fan service at its best.
Alright, now this one along with my top two slots were published under the Vertigo label, but that’s a direct offshoot of DC and it totally freakin’ counts. Jesus, the fact that DC has a badass label like Vertigo under its belt is more than enough to win this fight, but I digress. Preacher is about an alcoholic priest from Texas who gets possessed by the bastard child of an angel and a demon is then able to speak the Word of God (which makes anyone do whatever he says). So God finds out about this, He sends His #1 heavenly hitman to take the priest out pronto before the priests and his traveling buddies (an old fling and an Irish vampire) find Him first. It’s offensive, it’s sacriligious, it’s brutally violent and it’s definitely not for everyone, but I had a blast with it and it’s one of the more memorable series I’ve gotten through in recent years. I think someone out there is trying to make this into a movie, I have no idea how they’re gonna pull it off, but I’m seeing it if they do. Bonus points for the simple fact that The Saint of Killers could single-handedly take out Marvel’s whole crew at once.
3. Batman: Year One
Took me way too long to discover it, but this is the best Batman graphic novel of all-time. Better than The Dark Knight Returns, better than The Dark Knight Rises Again, better than Hush, better than all of ’em and those are all winners. Seriously, this is unbelievable stuff, it’s the best treatment that Master Bruce ever got and if Batman Begins had given the same kind of spotlight to Commissioner Gordon that this did, that bad boy would have been a 10.
No explanation needed.
1. Y: The Last Man
Folks, this series did the impossible, this is the series that bested Watchmen. I borrowed every issue from a friend in college, read through it faster than Johnny-Five with a lightning rod up his ass, and I really wish I had the shelf space and funds to buy them all for myself because I would do it in a heartbeat. Look, I don’t know what else to say other than Y: The Last man is one of the best things I’ve ever read, graphic novels or otherwise, there’s not a thing in Marvel’s repertoire that even comes close to matching it, and there’s no way in hell that you’ll feel otherwise after taking the plunge. Read this immediately, read any of these choice five immediately, and believe you me, you’ll be converted.
So I realize that this was more of a DC’s Greatest Hits list than anything else, but I’ll take one graphic novel over a thousand comic books any day and DC’s where it’s at in that regard. Still not accounting for Alan Moore’s Swamp Thing run, V for Vendetta and Neil Gaiman’s Sandman series which I still need to get through, but I think this coffin’s already got enough nails in it as is.
Then again, this is a movie blog, so that’s a whole ‘nother can of worms we gotta run through right quick:
Marvel – The Good
3. Blade II
6. Spider-Man 2
7. Iron Man
8. The Incredible Hulk
Marvel – The Heinous
1. Red Sonja
2. Howard the Duck
3. The Punisher (the one with Dolph Lundgren)
4. The Fantastic Four
7. The Punisher (the one with Homeless Dad)
8. Blade: Trinity
10. X-Men: The Last Stand
11. Ghost Rider
12. Spider-Man 3
13: Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer
14. Punisher: War Zone
15. X-Men Origins: Wolverine
16. Iron Man 2
TOTAL SCORE: – 8
DC – The Bitchin’
1. Batman (the ’66 version where the seal/dolphin sacrifices itself to save Adam West)
3. Superman II
4. Batman (the Tim Burton version)
5. Batman Returns
6. Batman Begins
7. The Dark Knight
DC – The Criminal
1. Superman III (the one with Richard Pryor)
3. Superman IV: The Quest for Peace
4. The Return of Swamp Thing (the one with Heather Locklear)
5. Batman Forever
7. Batman & Robin
9. Superman Returns (I liked it, but I’ll put it up anyway, ya’ vultures)
10. Jonah Hex
TOTAL SCORE: -2
Argue those numbers all you want, but here’s my thinking: Marvel may have a bigger roster, but it ultimately sets them up for failure more than anything else. Yeah, DC’s got its fair share of stinkers, but we will never let you forget about Howard the Duck. And you’ve still got another Ghost Rider movie on the way! Fuckin’ harsh, man.
Marvels, don’t get me wrong, I love ya’. You’re my boys and you’ve put out some damn fine stuff in your time, but alas, the proof is in the pudding.
I am such a freakin’ DC.