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The Top Three Marvel Heroes for DC Readers

April 6th, 2010 by | Tags:

At this point I stick to the DC side of the Faux Comics War merely because I’m not prepared to memorize the continuity, seek out the current stories, (Seriously, Marvel, what is wrong with your website?) and be enraged about the twists of yet another universe full of superheroes.  There are only so many hours in a day.

Still, there are a few characters out there who are fun enough and simple enough for me recommend wading hip-deep into murky water of weeklies, if only to pick up an issue or two for when DC weeks are lean.

1.  She-Hulk

She-Hulk is paradoxically a continuity walk in the park because it is a continuity disaster.  Different origins, different powers, different versions of the character, different motivations, different numbering systems, and different descriptive adjectives.  Eventually you stop trying to surface through the confusion and just enjoy the warm, light-headed feeling it gives you.  It’s like what drowning would be like, if you could do it on your couch while eating potato chips.

Don’t try to understand.  Just accept that you’ll get a story about a giant green lady who kicks ass, and usually it will be pretty funny.

2.  Hercules and Amadeus Cho

Big dumb guy.  Little smart guy.  Basically in a competition to see who can screw up more egregiously.

Since they are characters owned by one of the Big Two, one of them has already been killed off.  I’m told he’s coming back, though.

One caveat for this pair; don’t buy the singles, buy the trades.  The singles are too continuity laden to understand, but the trades make for pretty good stories, if you don’t question why some big cataclysmic event is happening and just accept that it is happening.  They’re fun, they make even the sound effects funny, and there are some interesting concepts in there as well.  I especially liked the spin on the Pandora’s Box myth in a female-dominated society the pair visit.

3.  Daken

I remember David telling me, many podcasts ago, that I might like this characters, and I have to admit I kind of do.  He’s a dude with love powers, daddy issues, a secret plot that I can’t follow, and no morals.  I don’t think I would like him in DC.  The reason that I do like him in Marvel, I think, is because I have no stake in the Marvel Universe.  I have a feeling that the writers are promoting him as the Big Bad by chopping down other characters.  If I were a regular fan, that would probably make me mad.

I’m not.  It doesn’t.  And he’s psychotic and twisted enough to be my Marvel Equivalent of the Secret Six.  Well, not quite.  The Secret Six make me race to the store.  Daken is like the rest on this list, good enough to make me pick up a story I see on the shelf if it looks interesting.

So that’s my list of books I’d follow if DC suddenly got magicked off the face of the earth.  I know they’re all sidelined characters, but honestly, that’s the point.  I don’t have the time, patience, or money to deal with the Old Cap, New Cap, Red Cap, Blue Cap nonsense that Marvel seems to be pulling right now.

DCers, pick them up, if you like.  Marvelites, tell me I’m wrong.

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15 comments to “The Top Three Marvel Heroes for DC Readers”

  1. Amadeus Cho/Mastermind Excello is a name – aaaaaanddd alll most a character, from what little I know of him – who seems to have wandered into Marvel from Indie Comics and never found his way out again.

    As to the matter at hand, is Nova a bit too near the knuckle? A “spider-maneqsue” doofus goodheart hero in the Firestorm/Ray/Blue Beetle mould with an origin and powers of a Green Lanterny nature?

    Um…legacy characters…mercifully, there aren’t that many…oh! Young Bucky Nomadshire! Rikki Barnes! WWII legacy character, sex-swap, universe-swap, teenager, adopts a second codename, Sean McKeever! Ticks all the important boxes – AND she was originally a bit of a Carrie Kelley riff, to boot.

    So, there you go: Nova and Rikki Barnes.

    //Oo/\


  2. Matthew Craig is right– I totally emailed you a link to a Rikki Barnes book! She’s fun.

    Nova is basically Kyle Rayner done right, too.


  3. As a DC kid going back to the death of Superman who’s buying way more Marvel than DC these days, a couple of titles I’d have on this list:

    1) The Fantastic Four – the earliest of the silver age Marvel comics, it tends to be the most optimistic and the most similar to the silver age DC books. Esther, I know you didn’t like Waid/Wieringo’s Unthinkable because of what happened to the Richards children (or did I imagine that from a podcast?), but there is a lot of F4 stuff that I imagine would be tonally more to your liking.

    2) Thor – Captain Marvel with an adult alter-ego. The use of Norse mythology as a story springboard has given Thor a rich yet accessible background which I don’t think can be matched by any character other than maybe pre-Crisis Superman. Plus it means that sometimes he fights giants or dragons or giants turned into dragons, and that is awesome.

    What I think (I hope?) will be nice about Marvel is that all the meshugas that’s been going on will be relatively cleaned up once Siege is through.


  4. For avoiding continuity heaviness I’d recomend the various Power Pack minis. Always fun and only lightly connected if at all to the regular Marvel stuff. The Power kids are all excellent…

    Both of Marvel’s ongoing cosmic books are full of excellent characters. I’d be buying Guardians of the Galaxy just for Rocket Raccoon and Cosmo…


  5. Runaways! I’m a few volumes behind, but it’s still a lot of fun, and requires little to no knowledge of the Might Marvel Mythos.

    Immortal Iron Fist, by Brubaker and Fraction. Yes, I know it’s not as ongoing anymore, but that’s four great graphic novels to check out.

    And it’s not an ongoing, but: Doctor Doom And The Masters Of Evil, by Paul Tobin. An awesome tour of the dark side of Marvel, with little to no knowledge of the backstory needed.

    Hmm. I don’t think I actually read any Marvel on-going series, other than Herc. Weird! Sure, the occasional graphic novel here and there, but still.


  6. Interesting list, but only a DC person or, more precisely a non-Marvel person, would describe Daken as ” He’s a dude with love powers, daddy issues, a secret plot that I can’t follow, and no morals.”


  7. @david brothers: @LurkerWithout: Cosign. I still prefer Kyle, but damn if DnA haven’t given him a strong run for his money.


  8. If I were you, I’d drop the DC universe and switch to Marvel. The only truly terrible comics over here come from Jeph Loeb, and it’s not too much trouble to avoid him. Daredevil, Thor, Captain America, the Avengers, etc. are all pretty good. Not happy fun good, but good good.

    Basically, almost every other comic on the Marvel universe is written up to Green Lantern standards. Whereas most of the DC universe is either boring crap, or Jeph Loeb style crap. Just terrible, terrible stuff. I had to stop reading Wonder Woman, Justice League, Green Arrow, Teen Titans, and half the Batman stuff because it was pissing me off. And I wasn’t actually paying money to read any of this.

    In short, the Marvel universe is less likely to piss you off week after week then the DC universe.


  9. I’m sure SOMEBODY has tried to sell it to you before, but Agents of Atlas is pretty great. It’s straight up fun and doesn’t have much continuity because the characters were so obscure before it started that pretty much everything you need to know about them was explained within the pages.

    @Eric: These kind of things are cyclical though, I remember when the situation was reversed…

    I agree, DC has a pretty great website, while Marvel’s is uniquely terrible. Kind of funny considering DC’s stance on digital comics.


  10. *tosses in some extra love for Agents of Atlas, since I see someone mentioned them, above*


  11. @Eric: “In short, the Marvel universe is less likely to piss you off week after week then the DC universe.”

    Yes, but that’s hardly how fan allegiance works. If you told *me* to give up on DC and buy only Marvel, I’d be tempted to punch you in the face – and I’ve dropped a half dozen DC books in the last six months, and am down to three a month. If you told me to give up Marvel for DC, it would be a polite “no thanks.”


  12. @Mark Cook:

    Ah. I don’t really have an allegiance to either company, it’s just that I’ve been reading a lot less DC nowadays due to the fact that it isn’t interesting or it is terrible.

    I’m just saying that if the only reason you don’t want to read Marvel is that you don’t want to get embroiled in the same bullshit that is making you not read DC comics despite being a DC fan, that’s not really an issue.


  13. @Eric: We’re certainly in agreement about that :)


  14. I third Agents of Atlas. They’re awesome & solid fun, fun. I’m always pleased when I read one of their books.


  15. Let’s see. I don’t DC save for Secret Six, and Green Lantern, which after the terrible blackest night I now intend to drop.

    Marvel has…
    (cue in figaro music)
    Ultimate Spider-man
    All the X-men
    Hercule and Cho
    Atlas an’ more
    while Avenger is so and so
    But there’s fantastic four
    Iron man rocks
    loeb sucks
    but thor redeems
    for all of the deeds
    that bastardic cancer laid on us all
    Cap is just ace
    with a jack bauer taste
    but you just can’t beat
    The thrill on your feat
    When the sentry just drops
    Asgard on your ass
    Sure they do sin
    With editorial dicks
    But if you can handle the penis
    Of old man’s obscenitis
    You get cool books and a couple of flicks