It's my belief that any superhero with the right writer behind them, regardless of their set of powers can be really great. Superman for example. I fully understand why there are many people who look at his character and think he's lame because nothing can truly hurt him. For one, that's not true, and two, physical attributes aside, Superman's biggest conflict isn't always how he's gonna best the bad guy, but how to remain true to his ideals GIVEN the fact that if he wanted to, he really could just take over the world. That's the conflict that's more interesting to me. One of my favorite Superman stories is Joe Kelly's "What's So Funny About Truth, Justice & the American Way" where we see a new team of "heroes" emerge that decide to do what they believe the world needs, and simply destroy villains. Kill them, essentially. The world largely backs them up, seeing Superman's idealism as old fashioned and out of touch with the needs of society. The story revolves around Superman's struggle between wanting to do what he believes is right/just, and being respectful of the will of the people that he fights for. It's a really interesting set of ideas to me, that wouldn't work with most other characters (IMO).
Now, all that being said, Superman is not the reason I love DC. As most of you have said, Batman is IMO the greatest superhero character ever created. He's the character I've certainly read the most of, and is what I consistently always look forward to each month, and I doubt I need to explain why.
"But isn't DC only Batman & Superman?"
Here's a list of other DC characters that I genuinely do like, have read comics starring, have researched back story, etc. (meaning, I'm not just throwing out names I recognize to make a point)
Green Lantern (Geoff John's run on this character is among some of the best comics I've ever read)
Power Girl (Amanda Conner & Jimmy Palmiotti's run is one of my very favorite series. She's funny, tongue-in-cheek and bad ass)
Wonder Woman (Brian Azarello's current run is fantastic, along with Gail Simone's awesome run)
The Flash (both Barry Allen and Wally West equally)
Most of the Bat-family (Nightwing, Tim Drake's Robin, Batgirl [in several incarnations], Batwoman, Jim Gordon, Alfred, etc.)
Most of Batman's rogues gallery (The Joker, of course, being one of the best comic book villains of all time)
Aquaman (Yes, he actually is quite awesome. Geoff Johns is doing a great job with his character right now in both his solo series and Justice League)
Doctor Fate (the whole idea and mythos behind this character is just fascinating. I really wish he were more present in the current day)
Green Arrow (while being a fairly close analogue to Batman, he's got a much more renegade spirit to him. Issues with authority and bigotry that give him a unique voice in the DCU)
I could continue on about characters that I do LIKE, but haven't given the proper amount of time to to give a truly definitive opinion on.
Another side I want to point out is Vertigo. The Vertigo imprint was branched out of DC by Karen Berger, who was finding all of these really interest, relevant, literate comics that just wouldn't really fit within the DC brand proper. Vertigo (along with Image Comics) has risen up to be a haven for some of the most highly acclaimed and respected titles in the industry, including my all-time favorite comic series Y: The Last Man, among many others.
There's also the animation side. This is one area where I do believe DC is truly trouncing Marvel. Of all the animated Marvel films/TV series I've seen, none of them really hold a candle to what DC is doing with animation. Their Justice League/Justice League Unlimited series was absolutely phenomenal. Their current running show Young Justice is consistently bad ass and gripping story-wise. Their direct-to-DVD movies are some of the best 2D-animated films being produced today. Their adaptation of Frank Miller's Batman: Year One is something I could recommend to almost anybody, comic book fan or not.
Now, when it comes to theatrical films, it's kind of hard to say. I mean don't get me wrong, I LOVE the Marvel cinema universe (Incredible Hulk aside). They rarely make a mis-step in that arena. DC's track record hasn't been quite as flawless (Green Lantern), but at the same time, they're not making nearly as many, and when it's good, it's the best there is (IMO. I'd take the Nolan Batman films over any of the Marvel films). So I can't really say where I land. I guess probably with Marvel but only by a small margin.
Don't get me wrong, I DO really like Marvel comics. The Ultimate Spider-Man series is just.. awesome! I like a lot of X-Men stuff, Mark Waid's current run on Daredevil is awesome, JMS' Thor is a favorite, Joss Whedon's Astonishing X-Men is wonderfully amazing, etc. But on the whole, DC just keeps bringing me back time and time again. So while it may not be an enormous disparity, my answer to the question of Marvel or DC, it's DC. And I'd strongly encourage you guys to give it a bigger chance.
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