Marvel’s Latest Big Superhero Crossover Is Way Better Than DC’s

You know the drill: Worlds will live! Worlds will die! Lots of spin-offs! Marvel and DC Comics are pretty much doing the same universe-changing story in almost the same way at almost the same time. One of them is good. One of them isn’t.

Kotaku editor-in-chief Stephen Totilo and I have both been reading chunks of the major publishing crossovers from Marvel and DC. There’s been elements that we’ve liked and some that have left us cold. Overall, we both feel like Marvel’s got the better offering and elaborate as to why that is in the chat below.

(Spoilers follow. Hover over the top left of each image and click on the magnifying glass icon to expand it.)

Evan Narcisse: These days, it seems like the big two superhero publishers are always doing one big crossover after another, designed to shake things up and keep readers engaged.
But what’s been different this event season is just how similar DC Comics’ just-ended Convergence and Marvel’s ongoing Secret Wars are to each other. I wondered about just closely they’d line up when they were both being hyped but now that they’re happening the resemblance is kind of uncanny.

Stephen Totilo: I figured out any easy way to spot the difference. The DC one is the one that’s bad.

Evan: Harsh but true. Convergence read like what it is: a stopgap fill-in while DC figures other, more important stuff out. It exists to cover for the company’s move out to California, for those who didn’t know.)

Stephen: One emerges from a company needed to move offices; the other from a writer (Jonathan Hickman) building a years-long story to a crescendo. Both are business moves in that all comics crossovers are designed to rope in new readers and compel existing ones to buy more books. They both trade on nostalgia, since the core concept, as you alluded to, is similar: they involve the creation of patchwork worlds full of districts that contain characters from this or that beloved classic Marvel or DC series. The thing is, I grew up reading DC. I read and loved many of DC’s older crossovers. And yet I’ve avoided much of Convergence and have disliked most of what I tried, because so much of it was drenched in DC’s dreary, uninspired approach to its own history. Whereas, I didn’t grow up reading Marvel, have no clue what Inferno is, have no soft spot for its 2099 timeline, didn’t read Infinity Gauntlet, and yet I’m trying and enjoying nearly all the Marvel Secret Wars stuff. Why? Because Marvel taps more interesting creators these days and seems to let those creators have more fun.

Evan: Yeah, the fact that DC’s higher-ups knew that Convergence was coming and somehow didn’t tease or build to it at all is pretty damning. Either you can’t get your creators to play ball or it’s just not that important as part of what you’re actually building towards.

Evan: I read almost all of the Convergence main series and tie-in books, and they largely seem like try-out or paycheck comics for their creative teams. The ones that had actual charm or worked—like the Atom, Shazam, Question, Nightwing/Oracle or Speed Force books—were anomalies.

Marvel’s Latest Big Superhero Crossover Is Way Better Than DC’s