It's a tale as old as time. The rivalry between DC and Marvel comics is one that has been around generations, as comic book fans chose which universe of superheroic characters is their favorite. And now that superhero movies are ruling the world of Hollywood, the feud has only continued to heat up with the fandom. While Marvel President Kevin Feige has put it to bed, it turns out that Stan Lee himself has been trolling his competitors for many years. An old interview with Lee has just resurfaced, showing him getting real sassy about DC, and it's pretty hilarious.
Back in 1977 Stan Lee participated in a student run interview at Virginia Tech. Through the magic of Youtube, it has been reemerged, and it shows Stan Lee claming that DC would consistently copy Marvel Comics's work in order to sell more issues. He said:
Shots fired, Mr. Lee. It turns out that before anyone knew the phrase "throwing shade" that Stan Lee was already doing it. Excelsior!
This classic interview (which is deliciously awkward, considering the clearly inexperienced host) features quite a few moments where Stan Lee puts down his DC competitors. He seems to believe that DC's writers were just not as smart as the folks over at Marvel. As a result, he claims the characters to be a bit more boring and one note, where Marvel's heroes tend to be more flawed and therefore relatable for audiences.
And although Stan Lee claims that Marvel copies some of Marvel's best selling covers, he also admits to having been inspired by his competitor's work. In fact, he admits that the inception of The Fantastic Four was due to DC's success with large team comics like Justice League of America and Justice Society of America. So while Lee believes that The Fantastic Four was a more complex and relatable group of superheroes, it's clear that Marvel did a fair amount of "copying" and took inspiration from DC as well.
Unfortunately, it looks like comparisons Marvel and DC shows no signs of slowing, despite an amicable relationship between the studios. And now that DC has entered the world of shared universes and serialized storytelling, these types of conversations likely aren't going anywhere. While Marvel has a bit of a heads up, with nearly a decade of blockbusters in its catalogue, DC just had its first critical darling with Wonder Woman. So the possibilities are endless.
You can catch Marvel's next big screen adventures when Spider-Man: Homecoming hits theaters tomorrow. In the meantime, check out our 2017 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.
Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Double majored in theater and literature during undergrad. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his famous actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid.
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