I became aware of comic books when I was not quite six years old (way back in 1969). I clearly recall my first comic book was Marvel Comics the Incredible Hulk Issue #114. It had the Incredible Hulk fighting both Sandman and the Mandarin. I also got some other Marvel Comic books, but I also was interested in D.C. Comics with Batman, Aquaman, Superman, and the Green Latern. Looking back I gravitated to the Marvel Comics universe instead of D.C. Comics. I was a kid, so I should have been happy with either type. But I found that I preferred the Marvel Comic book characters, or more specifically, the villains in Marvel Comics were more compelling than those in the D.C. universe.
Please remember the time frame I talking about. Maybe some will see this as hokey, but the Marvel Comic villains and plots seemed more “serious” or “darker” than those in the D.C. comics universe. I was a serious kid, so it is why I liked them better, at least this is what I can recall for my reasons of loving Marvel vs D.C.
How could you argue with Dr. Doom or the Red Skull? These guys regularly killed their underlings for the least little failure or slight. And while you can laugh now at the giant green headed Leader, his mania for power involved wiping out most of the human race with nuclear war and enslaving the rest. And the planet eating Galactus was no one to screw with.
However, D.C. Comic fans will rightly point out that D.C. started to move toward more realistic or gritty versions of the Batman series during the mid to late 70’s. While no officiando on Batman villains, I noticed that Harvey Two Face returned as a tragic villain to torment Batman. And correct me if I am wrong, but the Joker became more menacing, cruel, and deranged during that time frame.
Or am I wrong? I know by the 90’s D.C. Comics was not the same one I had known back in the late 60’s and early 70’s. But by then, I had lost track of comic books. My interest returned to them as many superheroes found their way into Hollywood films. Now, there appears to be little to no difference in the two types of universes. Both appear to have gone into character development of both heroes and villains, at least at a first glance.