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Eric Sofer
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Posted: 09 September 2017 at 9:30am | IP Logged | 1 post reply

A thought arises from another topic... let's discuss DC books that tried to emulate Marvel comics. Obviously, in the mid to late 60s, Marvel popped the clutch, and roared past DC as far as story style, characters, etc. That was okay; it's why they have horse races instead of just comparing 'em on paper.

But DC retaliated, and tried to do one or two books that were relevant, as well as a couple that just seemed to tread into that Marvel style. So what titles, or spans of a title, did DC have that were Marvelesque?

Three immediately came to my mind...

The original Metamorpho stories by Bob Haney and Ramona Fradon seemed to really get that feeling.

The Doom Patrol by Drake and Premiani also had a Marvel like feel to 'em.

And of course, Kirby's Fourth World (even including Jimmy Olsen) could have been under Marvel's banner. But then, Kirby.

I'm interested what YOU think. And also - although I don't suspect it was intentional nor particularly desirable - do you think of any Marvel characters or runs as being very DC-like? I figured that maybe Marvel Team-Up and Marvel Two-On-One* were a little similar when they were just doing single issue stories. And while I only read it once, the Sentry seemed to be a direct DC... er, homage, and a tiny bit in the DC form.

So what unintentional crossovers do you think have been published?

EDIT: As I consider it, maybe the original Marvel Nova character had a little DC in him, as well as Marvel's attempt to recreate Spider-Man.

*Yes, I know. It's an inside joke known only a few thousand readers. Don't start with me. ;)


Edited by Eric Sofer on 09 September 2017 at 10:25am
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 09 September 2017 at 9:38am | IP Logged | 2 post reply

Perhaps odd, but DC Comics' STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION title felt like a Marvel title. If not for the DC logo, I might have thought it was "Marvel-style". 

If any others come to mind, I'll post my thoughts. 
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Vinny Valenti
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Posted: 09 September 2017 at 10:34am | IP Logged | 3 post reply

The O'Neil/Adams GREEN LANTERN/ARROW seemed very Marvelesque.
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Brian Miller
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Posted: 09 September 2017 at 10:37am | IP Logged | 4 post reply

NEW TEEN TITANS. 
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Robert Shepherd
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Posted: 09 September 2017 at 11:00am | IP Logged | 5 post reply

Yeah New Teen Titans was certainly in response to Uncanny X-Men popularity.
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Eric Smearman
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Posted: 09 September 2017 at 12:38pm | IP Logged | 6 post reply

LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES by Levitz & Giffen. I believe Levitz once
cited Roy Thomas' work as an influence on his approach to LSH.

Gerry Conway's FIRESTORM.
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 09 September 2017 at 2:58pm | IP Logged | 7 post reply

Grant Morrison's ANIMAL MAN? 
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Sergio Saavedra
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Posted: 09 September 2017 at 4:23pm | IP Logged | 8 post reply

As a side note, I've read two or three issues of Flash from the late 50s and I thouhgt it felt like Marvel.
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 09 September 2017 at 4:26pm | IP Logged | 9 post reply

As a side note, I've read two or three issues of Flash from the late 50s and I thouhgt it felt like Marvel.

***

Fascinating (as Spock would say). I have read Flash tales from that era, via reprints, and would not have thought of them as being akin to Marvel.
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Stephen Churay
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Posted: 09 September 2017 at 9:34pm | IP Logged | 10 post reply

The Goodwin/Simonson MANHUNTER stories
felt like Marvel to me.

Edited by Stephen Churay on 09 September 2017 at 9:34pm
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Philippe Negrin
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Posted: 10 September 2017 at 2:37am | IP Logged | 11 post reply

Definitely The New Teen Titans
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 10 September 2017 at 12:49pm | IP Logged | 12 post reply

This has been a fascinating topic, Eric. Maybe you can do the reverse topic soon.

I've been looking at DC Comics' STAR TREK and STAR TREK: TNG books over the weekend, refreshing my memory. They do feel "Marvel-like". And, odd though it may sound, Marvel UK actually reprinted the late 80s TNG comic that DC produced. 
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Eric Jansen
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Posted: 10 September 2017 at 12:56pm | IP Logged | 13 post reply

FIRESTORM was definitely a Marvel comic produced at DC, and I'm sure that was the intent.

SPIDER-WOMAN seemed the most DC of the Marvel books.  The early issues by Marv Wolfman and Carmine Infantino had the DC feel, even doing some multiple stories per issue.  Infantino continued through Greuenwald's run (the art was more DC then than the stories), and then they both were replaced by Michael Fleisher and Trevor Von Eeden, two DC guys, and Fleisher's whole run felt like the most DC book I ever read outside of actual DC.
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Eric Sofer
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Posted: 10 September 2017 at 1:50pm | IP Logged | 14 post reply

Robbie - thanks, and I'm glad you like it!

I'm not sure what you mean by the reverse, as I kinda did invite anyone to contribute the opposite - Marvel characters that felt like DC creations.

Unless you mean characters that were the epitome of their company brands, in which case I probably begin and end with Superman and Spider-Man respectively.
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Dave Phelps
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Posted: 10 September 2017 at 3:31pm | IP Logged | 15 post reply

What are we using as our definitions of Marvel vs. DC? For the last 30 years or so the main difference seems to be that DC is more overt about its "continuity breaks."

But going with the old school notion that DC comics tend to be continuity neutral (establish the baseline and work within it with gradual tweaks; any dramatic changes would occur in an issue with no real build up (see Aquaman's marriage to Mera and him becoming King of Atlantis; Rita Farr's romance with Steve Dayton in Doom Patrol; etc.)) and Marvel's more soap operatic approach...

A lot of the very early Marvels followed the DC model. Thor, Iron Man and Ant Man all could have had their stories published in almost any order after the second or third issue. In Hulk they were kind of flailing wildly trying to figure out how to do the series, so that ended up closer to the model Spider-Man and the Fantastic Four were following. After the initial growing pains, I'd be harder pressed to think of them following the classic model. The Steve Ditko Speedball series in the 80s comes the closest. Maybe Sgt. Fury after Stan Lee left the series. The STAR comics and Marvel Adventures lines, if those count.

With DC, it was just a gradual encroachment of style. The earliest examples were when they started hiring Marvel alumni, but by the time you get post-Crisis, the Marvel approach had pretty much taken over the line, aside from stragglers like Sgt. Rock and GI Combat.

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Eric Jansen
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Posted: 10 September 2017 at 8:49pm | IP Logged | 16 post reply

Oh yeah--early THOR was definitely Stan Lee's attempt at writing SUPERMAN!  I read these fairly recently and I was shocked at how DC-ish these were.  And I think I have to agree with Dave about ANT-MAN and IRON MAN too.  Interesting that only the books that Stan did with Ditko and Kirby had that distinct Marvel feel.  (Kirby left ANT-MAN and THOR early on, but when he later returned to THOR--hang on!  "Cosmic" and "Majestic" had a baby!)
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Rodrigo castellanos
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Posted: 10 September 2017 at 11:33pm | IP Logged | 17 post reply

Grant Morrison's ANIMAL MAN? 

----------------------------------------------

May I ask what makes you think that, Robbie?
Feels like a very "DC-esque" comic to me
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Mike Norris
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Posted: 11 September 2017 at 12:02am | IP Logged | 18 post reply

Yeah, Morrison DC work is often what I've called "the Silver Age on acid." And I mean the DC of the Silver Age. 
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Eric Sofer
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Posted: 11 September 2017 at 3:30am | IP Logged | 19 post reply

Dave Phelps - use your own discretion as to what DC vs. Marvel means to you. Character design? Stories? Plots? Art? Shucks, even costume design - what do YOU think?

For an example, one of the things about the Sentry that makes him feel DC-ish to me is his costume.

And I think that the New Teen Titans stories had a very relationship-heavy and subplot-heavy atmosphere that seemed to be a Marvel type of situation.

But it's pick-your-own on my topics! What do you think?
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Dave Phelps
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Posted: 11 September 2017 at 6:30am | IP Logged | 20 post reply

Eric S - I said what I thought in my original post. :-)

Eric J - I'd only agree with that Ditko/Kirby comment in the early days. (He also had others scripting the books, which likely was a factor.) A couple of years in, the superhero books followed "the Marvel style" regardless of artist.
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Eric Jansen
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Posted: 11 September 2017 at 3:53pm | IP Logged | 21 post reply

Yes, definitely.  I'm no Stan basher!  His SPIDER-MAN with John Romita Sr. is one of my favorite comics ever!  Proof that he did not need Kirby or Ditko to make great comics!
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Adam Schulman
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Posted: 11 September 2017 at 4:45pm | IP Logged | 22 post reply

Morrison's earliest ANIMAL MAN issues felt a bit "Marvel" in that Buddy Baker was very "ordinary guy who randomly had superpowers thrust upon him."

Then suddenly it went "metafiction." Marvel never did that sort of thing, from what I recall (even HOWARD THE DUCK doesn't really count). By the time Psycho-Pirate is bleeding old DC comics from out of his eyes (great Brian Bolland cover!) we've gone, indeed, "Silver Age DC on acid." 

When Morrison has editors restraining him (like on JLA, for example) it can make for some great comics. 
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Eric Jansen
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Posted: 11 September 2017 at 5:01pm | IP Logged | 23 post reply

I love how Morrison's ALL-STAR SUPERMAN won all sorts of awards when, really, it like any twelve issues I read in the 70's (except Curt Swan was a better artist than Frank Quitely).  It could easily have been written by Bates and Maggin.

Yeah, there's more than a couple of "style eras" to keep in mind--classic Marvel, classic DC, DC on acid, and DC trying to be 90's Marvel (or Image--same thing).

I think when we talk about "DC style" here, we're all talking about classic DC.
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Eric Jansen
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Posted: 11 September 2017 at 5:14pm | IP Logged | 24 post reply

Stan Lee's DAREDEVIL was also a book I enjoyed that had nothing to do with Kirby or Ditko.  It was weird though, all over the place (aliens? fake twin brother?)--not sure how much I would have enjoyed it without the great Gene Colan art.  The early issues though, again, seemed like Stan's attempt to write a DC character--this time Batman.

The Owl, the Purple Man, and Mr. Fear were all Batman villain analogues (Penguin, Joker, and Scarecrow, respectively), while the Matador and Ani-Men could have been.  Wally Wood's brief tenure was a great course correcter.

I think THOR, DAREDEVIL, IRON MAN, ANT-MAN all started as not that much different than DC books, but FANTASTIC FOUR and SPIDER-MAN really established the Marvel brand (and heart and spirit) and then the other books eventually followed their lead.
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Warren Scott
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Posted: 11 September 2017 at 8:14pm | IP Logged | 25 post reply

Looking at the 60s Marvels, some characters, like Captain America, Thor and Daredevil, were close to the well-adjusted noble DC superheroes, but the stories were still much different, with subplots that continued from issue to issue. I don't recall seeing much of that in DC until the late 70s. And I don't recall many battles between DC heroes,which often occurred in Marvel.
But to answer the question about characters or books that resembled the other company's: I have found similarities in the 60s Legion of Super-Hero stories (probably written by the young Jim Shooter)and the 60s Marvels, such as a hero dying (and not coming back), heroes showing romantic interest in each other and an emphasis on battle scenes.
Firestorm was definitely Gerry Conway's chance to do Spider-Man at DC. And the Teen Titans were influenced by the X-Men.
But I think, for the most part, the two companies' styles weren't so different from each other by the late 80s, when so many of the same creators had worked at both companies. Animal Man, Doom Patrol and other DC Comics weren't really an attempt by DC to do Marvel as they were to do something different, with British creators being a big part of that.

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