There is absolutely no denying that Marvel is the lord of the cinematic universe. Since the first Ironman Marvel has locked the "let's catch the movie" slot down. However, when it comes to their comics...I find that they've always been missing something. Something that DC always seems to nail right on the head...and that's substance. Now don't get me wrong. Marvel has some great series', complex stories, and some down right fun comics. However, when it comes to depth, raw honesty, and immersion. DC's got em licked.
I've been reading a lot of comics as of late. More than normal as I've been behind on reviews and am trying to catch up. I'm reading Infinity Wars, Bully Wars, Paradiso, Venom, The October Faction, The Flash, Justice League, Batman Damned, and so many more. However, what I've found is that though Marvel is a good read, DC is a better on. Books like Mister Miracle and Batman both written by Tom King are must reads. Especially Mister Miracle, but ESPECIALLY Batman. Why? Because a writer like Tom King brings his insight and personal experience to how he approaches writing. He worked for the C.I.A in the counter terrorism field for 7 years for crying out loud. So he understands the effects of war and what it can do to a person. He uses this knowledge to make a man like Batman someone we can relate to. He uses this show us what it might look like for a hero trying to escape life, sucked into war, while trying to maintain a family might look like. And in his newest run, Heroes in Crisis. He'll show us the consequences of the choices heroes make and how it affects their character.
DC also has other great writers like Liam Sharp and Sean Murphy that have both written and drawn their own runs on the iconic Batman. You have Sharp with his pure attention to detail and lore. While Murphy uses pure imagination in terrific what if scenarios with an art style that backs up the tone of the issue. He's currently working on another project that includes Batman and Azrael. And let me tell, I don't care for either of those characters, but Sean Murphy made a believer out of me after what he did with the Joker. Meanwhile Liam is drawing for a new Green Lantern series written by Grant Morrison. And though I'm not a Hal Jordan fan, I'm certain that this comic will be a sight to behold.
There are so many great stories being told by DC right now it's hard to go over all of them. However, DC Vertigo has been the cause of a lot of conservative fan backlash. With titles like Hex Wives, American Carnage, and Safe Sex, the Alt Right is losing it's mind. Side note I recommend you pick those up when you can. But, I have personally read two issues of Border Town and it's a great read that shows America it's true colors. You can catch my full review of issue 1, here. Because this book stirred up social media and was the topic of a lot of controversy.
See, what I find is that, better than Marvel, DC taps into what's happening in the world and how it affects the whole. I remember when Superman was drawn protecting immigrant workers from rednecks trying to kill them, and that caused a massive polarization among fans. Some saying that DC was trying to push an agenda or that in having Superman do this, it makes him stand against America. However, least we forget. Superman is an immigrant himself. On a planetary level. So it's absolutely hysterical that people can see an image of Superman, being super and say it makes Superman un-american, while ignoring the fact that he's not even from earth.
Now lets talk DC Black label. An unfortunate victim of circumstance. The first book from the line was Batman: Damned. A book in which Bruce Wayne's penis was shown. "OH NO!" How could a comic book, targeting a more mature audience show a nudity!? Ummmm, did you not get the fucking memo!? Since then Jim Lee and others have been forced to apologize for something that needs no apology. And sources say that Black Label is going through some extensive changes behind the scenes. And that kind of sucks. Because, let's be honest. I never needed to see Batman's dongle. But I wasn't so offended by it that it made me angry. In fact the whole thing hardly phased me at all until I saw all the criticism of it. People would rather be outraged by a book aimed at a more adult audience than be in awe at how amazing this story was. How shocking the ending was. And how exciting it's going to be to see where this all goes. I also fear what this might mean for the rest of the titles coming out of Black Label as well.
But that's DC. Always on the edge on controversy because they tell stories that matter and resonate with it's audience. Whether you like it or not. Agree or no. DC makes you feel something more than your typical comic book does. These characters have a history and personality. And though not every DC story is bustling with deep content, enough of them are. And with Vertigo and Black Label taking center stage one can only imagine that DC Comics have no where to go but up from here.
However, what are your thoughts on the current state of DC right now. Lets hear it in the comment's section below!
Jonathan Quamina is founder/writer/editor for Geek Unhinged. Follow him on Twitter