‘Frienemies’: Tom Brevoort on the Marvel/DC rivalry
I’m starting to think we should make “What’s Tom Twittering Today?” one of our recurring features, like “Straight for the Art” or “Talking Comics with Tim.” Anyway, spurred by a comment from Amazing Spider-Man writer Dan Slott, Marvel Executive Editor Tom Brevoort took to his do-not-miss-it Twitter account to comment on the age-old competition between Marvel and DC — which, at least on Marvel’s end, seems to have heated up of late:
I am told by @DanSlott that I’m coming across as too mean and petty towards DC. Putting aside why Dan was Twittering rather than scripting[, it] seems like something I should address. First off, my affiliation should be clear, but that doesn’t mean I don’t like DC or it’s people. I know all of those characters just as forwards and backwards, and have edited more DC-related material than any other Marvel editor. And most DC editors have been pleasant. Dan Didio’s been nothing but nice whenever our paths have crossed. But by that same token, DC is the competition. Friendly, but not friends. Frienemies. The sports team rivalry between Marvel and DC is all part of the game, for readers as much as us. Everybody likes to cheer on their faves. It profits nobody for things to get too lovey-dovey with them. That’s dull for everyone. And, particularly when they start pulling plays from our playbook, we pride ourselves at being faster, sharper and smarter in [our] promo as well as in the books themselves. So, long story short, they stink and we’re great! And hey, it keeps us from talking about Dark Horse, Image or IDW …
(I’m pretty sure those last bits were said with tongue in cheek.)
So in short, Brevoort’s take seems to be of the “healthy rivalry” variety, something that’s not just good for the respective companies, but entertaining for their fans. Or, as he put it in response to a fan of both Marvel and DC who said he didn’t like to see the two companies being dicks to each other for no reason: “Never dicks just to be dicks. Always dicks with a point.”
This leaves me wondering a few things:
1) Which plays have DC swiped from Marvel’s playbook, in the eyes of the House of Ideas? ( 1.5) Do Houses have eyes?)
2) Will anyone from DC publicly sound off on the rivalry as well?
3) How does the trash-talk and gamesmanship play with the new corporate stewards of the two companies?
I know where I’ll be looking for the answers …