Four Reasons DC Isn't 'Copying' Marvel in Their Cinematic and Television Universes
While we all hope for world peace, it seems that there's one war that will never end - the war between the fans of DC and Marvel. Personally, I enjoy a good discussion on the pros and cons possessed by each of the comic giants, but the whole "here's why my favorite will always be better than your favorite" dialogue is just petty. If we're objective about it, I think we have to admit that both of these companies are absolutely phenomenal at what they do.
For example, there have been recent rumblings that DC is "unoriginal" and has been "copying" certain ideas from Marvel. But in many cases, these claims are either highly debatable or easily contradicted. Here are 5 different misconceptions about DC copying Marvel that simply aren't true:
"DC is only making a cinematic universe because Marvel has one"
Okay, there actually might be a little truth to this one, in the sense that DC is probably kickstarting their shared universe in response to Marvel's success. But ultimately, a shared universe just makes good business sense, and Marvel wasn't the first to think of it. DC planned for a shared cinematic universe way back in 1998 with Michael Keaton as Batman and Nicolas Cage as Superman (let's all take a moment to be thankful that this never happened). So the idea of a shared universe was first attempted by DC, and we can hardly call them unoriginal for acting on an idea they had planned to use first.
"Arrow is just DC copying Hawkeye"
The CW's Arrow has been generating a lot of buzz as DC's first successful TV show in years. Many have claimed, however, that Arrow's titular character (who is better known by the name "Green Arrow" in the comics) is just a copy of Marvel's bow-and-arrow wielding Avenger, Hawkeye. However, Hawkeye first appeared in the comic Tales of Suspense #57 in September 1964, whereas Green Arrow first appeared in More Fun Comics #73 in November of 1941, over 20 years prior. Plus, the dark tone and aesthetic of Arrow is as far from Marvel as you can get, to the extent that many would characterize the Arrow character as reminiscent of Batman, another DC property.
"The Atom shrinking on Legends of Tomorrow is an idea DC stole from Ant-Man"
This argument is particularly popular right now, as the new Legends of Tomorrow trailer just debuted this past week and the premiere of Ant-Man is just weeks away. But once again, Ant-Man first appeared in Tales to Astonish #35 in January, 1962 whereas the Atom was first featured in Showcase #34 in October of 1961. While DC didn't beat out Marvel by much with the idea of a miniaturized superhero, it's clear that they were still the first ones to publish the concept in their comics. It's difficult to claim that DC is being unoriginal for using a character concept they originated.
"Batman's armor in the Batman v Superman trailer is clearly a rip-off of Iron Man's Hulkbuster suit"
Disregarding the fact that DC was the first to hold claim over a wealthy, billionaire hero with genius-level intellect and the ability to design sophisticated gadgets, we'll focus specifically on the armor. The Hulkbuster was an idea first used in Iron Man #304 in May of 1994, whereas the bat armor that you saw in the Batman v Superman trailer is an adaptation of the one Batman used to fight Superman in The Dark Knight Returns Part 4, published in June 1986, eight years before Hulkbuster ever existed.
If anything, Marvel and DC have been using similar ideas from their respective comic universes because different types of characters generally go in and out of fashion (remember the vampire craze?). So let's stop talking about DC "copying" Marvel. Both DC and Marvel have found inspiration for stories, plot devices, and even their characters from their rival companies from time to time, but ultimately, both companies are amazing at what they do and are deserving of our respect.