DC vs. Marvel

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DC vs. Marvel
The cover to the first issue of DC vs. Marvel. Art by Dan Jurgens.
Publication information
Publisher DC Comics
Marvel Comics[1]
Schedule Monthly
Format Limited series
Publication date April – May 1996
Number of issues 4
Creative team
Writer(s) Ron Marz
Peter David
Penciller(s) Dan Jurgens
Claudio Castellini
Collected editions
DC versus Marvel Comics ISBN 1-56389-294-4

DC vs. Marvel Comics (issues #2–3 titled Marvel Comics vs. DC) was a comic book limited series crossover published by DC Comics (Detective Comics) and Marvel Comics from April to May 1996. The series was written by Ron Marz and Peter David, with art by Dan Jurgens and Claudio Castellini.[2]

Two godly brothers who personify the DC and Marvel Universes become aware of the other's existence, and challenge one another to a series of duels involving each universe's respective superheroes. The losing universe would cease to exist. The story had an "out of universe" component in that the outcomes for five of the eleven primary battles were determined by a fan vote.[3]

Numerous smaller, story-driven skirmishes occur throughout the series, not counted with the primary duels meant to determine the outcome between the brothers.[4]

The first six primary battles were:

  • Aquaman (DC) vs. Namor (Marvel). Aquaman won by crushing Namor with a whale.
  • Elektra (Marvel) vs. Catwoman (DC). Elektra won by making Catwoman fall off a building.
  • Flash (DC) vs. Quicksilver (Marvel). Flash won due to his superior speed
  • Robin (DC) vs. Jubilee (Marvel). Robin (Tim Drake) won by using his cape as a decoy and then by tying up Jubilee.
  • Silver Surfer (Marvel) vs. Green Lantern (DC). Silver Surfer won when both collided with each other and released a huge explosion which knocked out Green Lantern but Silver Surfer was unfazed
  • Thor (Marvel) vs. Captain Marvel (DC). Thor won when Captain Marvel was forced to change back to his alter ego Billy. Billy tried to change back but Thor exerted control over him using the magic lightning and the resulting blow caused his hammer to fly off and Billy to fall unconscious.

There were five other primary battles, with the outcomes determined by a fan vote:

  • Superman (DC) vs. Hulk (Marvel). Superman wins in an all out brawl.
  • Spider-Man (Marvel) vs. Superboy (DC). Spider-Man wins by electrocuting Superboy.
  • Batman (DC) vs. Captain America (Marvel). Batman won by knocking Captain America out with his batarang. Initially both are evenly matched but then a sudden wave of water (their battle takes place in a sewer) knocks Cap off balance as the both throw their weapons. Batman's batarang strikes Cap's forehead, while Cap's shield misses.
  • Wolverine (Marvel) vs. Lobo (DC). Wolverine beats Lobo in a brutal barfight which was largely off panel.
  • Storm (Marvel) vs. Wonder Woman (DC). Storm won the fight after repeatedly hitting Diana with her lightning after a brief melee encounter. However it should be noted that Wonder Woman threw away Thor's hammer prior to the fight in order to have a clean fight.

Victories in the first six battles were split evenly, three wins per universe, with the five fan-vote battles giving the Marvel Universe a 6–5 edge over the DC Universe. Before any further battles were engaged, the Spectre and the Living Tribunal were able to briefly force the "brothers" to resolve the situation by temporarily creating a new universe, called the Amalgam Universe, which is occupied by merged versions of many of the heroes (such as Dark Claw, a merging of the characters Batman and Wolverine). An inter-dimensional character called Access eventually managed to restore the two universes to their normal state with the aid of Batman and Captain America. The presence of the two heroes – essentially serving as the brothers in miniature, each being unique among their peers – forced the brothers to recognize how petty their disagreement truly was.

Although the brothers suspended hostilities before further battles were engaged, Marvel Comics celebrated their 6–5 lead at the point of the Amalgam Universe's creation. A one page "Marvel Won ... but ... we all had fun" advert was published in some of their comics, thanking DC Comics and the fans, while featuring the six victorious Marvel heroes: Thor, Silver Surfer, Elektra, Storm, Wolverine and Spider-man.[5]

Collection edition[edit]

The series was collected into a trade paperback titled DC versus Marvel Comics (collects mini-series and Doctor Strangefate #1; 163 pages; September 1996; ISBN 1-56389-294-4). Two versions of this paperback exist with one edition having DC winning three of the five fan voted battles and another version of the trade paperback with Marvel winning three of the fan voted battles. In both editions only Superboy and Lobo lose their respective bouts.


  1. ^ "Marvel, DC Are About To Rumble!". Chicago Tribune. October 10, 1995. 
  2. ^ Manning, Matthew K.; Dolan, Hannah, ed. (2010). "1990s". DC Comics Year By Year A Visual Chronicle. Dorling Kindersley. p. 272. ISBN 978-0-7566-6742-9. Written by Peter David and Ron Marz with art by Dan Jurgens and Claudio Castellini, this four-issue miniseries event consisted of five major battles voted on in advance by reader ballots distributed to comic stores. 
  3. ^ "DC Vs Marvel – Universe-Shattering Comic Book Crossovers". UGO.com. 2011-01-19. Retrieved 2013-08-18. 
  4. ^ "Secret Wars on Infinite Earths: DC versus Marvel". 2011-01-19. Retrieved 2006-05-22. 
  5. ^ "Secret Wars on Infinite Earths: DC versus Marvel". 2011-01-19. Retrieved 2006-05-22.