Are DC heroes too overpowered to be interesting?

#1 Posted by capfan80 (363 posts) - - Show Bio


Let m start out by saying I am a DC fan and if this has been discussed before I apologize. 

 

When comparing popular DC heroes and Marvel heroes it seems like DC heroes are so powerful that many of their tough battles don't seem as interesting as Marvel characters.  Obviously Superman is the best example of massively powered to the point where you are always wondering when he will take the gloves off and end the fight.  And almost at his level are a laundry list: Wonder Woman, Captain Marvel, Black Adam (in his hero days), Martian Manhunter, Superboy, Supergirl, etc.  Green Lantern's ring can do whatever he has the willpower and imagination to make so you always end up wondering "Why didn't he just...?"  Even the Flash could pretty much move to fast for anyone to react and phase a fist throught their head.

 

On the Marvel side you do have your Thor and Hulk (There will be no discussion of Sentry here) but many of the popular figures are believable when they are in trouble.  Captain America just has a shield.  Spider-man is much weaker than many of his enemies.  Wolverine and other X-men all have  many weaknesses so their teams are a matter of survival.  In the end Iron Man is a guy in a metal suit.

 

As I said, I love these DC characters but let me know if you agree.  Tell me if you see any flaws in my thought.

#2 Posted by davelecave (1123 posts) - - Show Bio

I completely agree.  The only DC I read regularly is Batman, because he doesn't have the problem of being overpowered.  I find I get frustrated reading Superman or Green Lantern because it's far less accessible.

#3 Posted by Caligula (12661 posts) - - Show Bio

not quite sure where people get this idea that DC characters are over-powered. Marvel has overpowered characters too. Both of a really powerful guys, and both have seemingly average guys.

#4 Posted by capfan80 (363 posts) - - Show Bio

I agree that both have powerful and weaker characters.  It just seems that almost all of the most famous DC characters are pretty much Superman level except Batman.  Marvel has more famous weaker characters like Spiderman, Captain America, Iron Man, X-men (minus a couple of real badasses) who are more successful.  Anyway, point taken.
#5 Posted by Caligula (12661 posts) - - Show Bio
@capfan80 said:
" I agree that both have powerful and weaker characters.  It just seems that almost all of the most famous DC characters are pretty much Superman level except Batman.  Marvel has more famous weaker characters like Spiderman, Captain America, Iron Man, X-men (minus a couple of real badasses) who are more successful.  Anyway, point taken. "
same could be said for Marvel.

look at Marvel's trinity. Thor, Iron Man, Cap all are superpowered beings.

look at DC's Wonder Woman, Superman, Batman only two are superpowered.

I still don't get your point.
#6 Posted by jloneblackheart (5868 posts) - - Show Bio

I still don't get why everyone says DC heroes are so much more powerful than Marvel ones. I don't see it.

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#7 Posted by AssertingValor (6658 posts) - - Show Bio


Not really to overpowered within their own universe here, there are plenty of villans that can beat them,

the problem is that the villans beat them too rarely....................................

#8 Posted by Deranged Midget (18230 posts) - - Show Bio

What about Wildcat, Green Arrow, Blue Beetle(Ted Kord), Tim Drake, Dick Grayson, Catwoman, Question, The Atom, Doctor Mid-nite, Batgirl, etc? I could name more but either you just look at the top-tier DC characters or you just don't bother looking deeper into DC's huge lineup of characters. Batman is definitely NOT the only interesting non-superhuman character. I actually prefer reading Red Robin than Batman, Green Arrow is an awesome read, as is Batman and Robin feat Dick and Damian.


I wouldn't say Iron Man is a weaker character. He holds up against Hulk and Thor. Iron man would be closer to the top-tier of Marvel. Also, how is anyone supposed to relate to Silver Surfer? He is a herald to one of the most powerful beings in the universe who goes around munching on a planets life force. Definitely more accesible.
#9 Posted by capfan80 (363 posts) - - Show Bio

All good points.  Even though I said I wouldn't talk about sentry I will (I am a liar).  He has Superman-esque power and I thought he ruined a lot of stories because all you could do was wait for him to show up, rip some unsuspecting soul in half and leave.  Marvel's superbadasses all have reasons why they don't show up to ruin evil's day:  Thor is in Asgard or pouting, Hulk is out of control and wants to be left alone, and Sentry is a douchebag.

 

When reading the "weaker characters" such as the ones Deranged Midget mentioned you always have to wonder "Where is Superman-Wonder Woman-Martian Manhunter-Flash-Green Lantern-Supergirl-Spectre-etc.  There should be no problems on earth except when some cosmic powerhouse rolls through the universe and finds earth.

#10 Posted by Caligula (12661 posts) - - Show Bio
@capfan80 said:
"

All good points.  Even though I said I wouldn't talk about sentry I will (I am a liar).  He has Superman-esque power and I thought he ruined a lot of stories because all you could do was wait for him to show up, rip some unsuspecting soul in half and leave.  Marvel's superbadasses all have reasons why they don't show up to ruin evil's day:  Thor is in Asgard or pouting, Hulk is out of control and wants to be left alone, and Sentry is a douchebag.

 

When reading the "weaker characters" such as the ones Deranged Midget mentioned you always have to wonder "Where is Superman-Wonder Woman-Martian Manhunter-Flash-Green Lantern-Supergirl-Spectre-etc.  There should be no problems on earth except when some cosmic powerhouse rolls through the universe and finds earth.

"
Every point you made can be reversed.
#11 Posted by capfan80 (363 posts) - - Show Bio

And the biggest problem with DC...  They did this

 

 


 

#12 Posted by Caligula (12661 posts) - - Show Bio
@capfan80 said:
"

And the biggest problem with DC...  They did this

 


 

"
well Marvel made Stiltman... guess they are about even.
#13 Posted by AtPhantom (14434 posts) - - Show Bio

 While we're here, does anyone want to actually define "overpowered"? The phrase is tossed around so much these days by people who just use it as an excuse for hating DC without actually knowing what it means.

#14 Posted by Caligula (12661 posts) - - Show Bio
@AtPhantom said:
"  While we're here, does anyone want to actually define "overpowered"? The phrase is tossed around so much these days by people who just use it as an excuse for hating DC without actually knowing what it means. "
in my opinion Overpowered is undefinable. What one person may see as Overpowered is different than what another may see it as.

too some Cap's power may be OP, to another Cap may not be But Iron Man is, and too another only people stronger than say Hulk are, and to another Overpowered may not mean anything to do with strength, it may mean some one like Spectre or Strange.

Overpowered is not a definable thing. Every person has their own limit on what is considered too much.
#15 Posted by PikminMania (4766 posts) - - Show Bio
@capfan80: I say no since

1: the characters fight villains that are usually as powerful as they are and

2: These characters, when they first came out, were so original, and back then having a flawed hero wasn't too interesting. That is what made Spider-man so famous
#16 Posted by JediXMan (32273 posts) - - Show Bio

DC characters are good and interesting. Also, I don't see how they're any more overpowered than Marvel.

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#17 Posted by tim2081 (521 posts) - - Show Bio

DC characters have to double as Cosmic heroes, whereas Marvel Earth heroes are kept separate from the Cosmics. Even Thor hasn't been a major part of the recent Cosmic events (starting with Annihilation). Superman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, and Martian match up better with Silver Surfer, Quasar, Nova, and Gladiator. Also Marvel characters without powers, such as Punisher and Iron Man, are only good at one thing. Punisher is a soldier and nothing else. Iron Man is a genius engineer and nothing else. Batman is good at anything a person can possibly do.


I think it's tougher to define a struggle if you're not bad at anything.
#18 Posted by The Poet (8646 posts) - - Show Bio
@Caligula said:
" not quite sure where people get this idea that DC characters are over-powered. Marvel has overpowered characters too. Both of a really powerful guys, and both have seemingly average guys. "
this
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#19 Posted by Billy Batson (59154 posts) - - Show Bio

Marvel also has popular powerhouses...

#20 Posted by AtPhantom (14434 posts) - - Show Bio
@Caligula said:
" @AtPhantom said:
"  While we're here, does anyone want to actually define "overpowered"? The phrase is tossed around so much these days by people who just use it as an excuse for hating DC without actually knowing what it means. "
in my opinion Overpowered is undefinable. What one person may see as Overpowered is different than what another may see it as.too some Cap's power may be OP, to another Cap may not be But Iron Man is, and too another only people stronger than say Hulk are, and to another Overpowered may not mean anything to do with strength, it may mean some one like Spectre or Strange.Overpowered is not a definable thing. Every person has their own limit on what is considered too much. "
That doesn't make it undefinable, it makes it arbitrary and taste related. It must be definable if it exists as a concept, so again I ask people, what does overpowered mean?
#21 Posted by pulseangel666 (347 posts) - - Show Bio

The only op hero they have is superman, but ofc he is all heros father so.. But I don't really like him that much, his simply to op, and that makes for to op villians. And how he hides his identity pfff....
#22 Posted by Caligula (12661 posts) - - Show Bio
@AtPhantom said:
" @Caligula said:
" @AtPhantom said:
"  While we're here, does anyone want to actually define "overpowered"? The phrase is tossed around so much these days by people who just use it as an excuse for hating DC without actually knowing what it means. "
in my opinion Overpowered is undefinable. What one person may see as Overpowered is different than what another may see it as.too some Cap's power may be OP, to another Cap may not be But Iron Man is, and too another only people stronger than say Hulk are, and to another Overpowered may not mean anything to do with strength, it may mean some one like Spectre or Strange.Overpowered is not a definable thing. Every person has their own limit on what is considered too much. "
That doesn't make it undefinable, it makes it arbitrary and taste related. It must be definable if it exists as a concept, so again I ask people, what does overpowered mean? "
actually that does make it undefinable, Unless you are going to try to tell me there is an actual bar, and that past it is overpowered. Sorry But it doesn't work that way.
If People all make their own point in their mind, that give the overpowered question undefinable. if there is no set of standards for it.
#23 Posted by AtPhantom (14434 posts) - - Show Bio
@Caligula said:
"actually that does make it undefinable, Unless you are going to try to tell me there is an actual bar, and that past it is overpowered. Sorry But it doesn't work that way.If People all make their own point in their mind, that give the overpowered question undefinable. if there is no set of standards for it. "
You're confusing definition with standard. I'm not interested in what the bar is (Though there actually is a bar, but more on that later), I want to know what people think 'owerpovered' means.
#24 Posted by Kallarkz (3389 posts) - - Show Bio
@AtPhantom said:
" @Caligula said:
"actually that does make it undefinable, Unless you are going to try to tell me there is an actual bar, and that past it is overpowered. Sorry But it doesn't work that way.If People all make their own point in their mind, that give the overpowered question undefinable. if there is no set of standards for it. "
You're confusing definition with standard. I'm not interested in what the bar is (Though there actually is a bar, but more on that later), I want to know what people think 'owerpovered' means. "
Eye of the beholder. Can't be defined and nobody will ever...EVER agree on what it means. =)
#25 Edited by capfan80 (363 posts) - - Show Bio

Does the anyone think the higher the power level the harder it might be to win over the modern fan, or is that a myth?  I myself think that it is the character, the writing, and the art, not the power but I know some people that say they relate to the more "street level" heroes better.

 
#26 Posted by AtPhantom (14434 posts) - - Show Bio

I don't need them to agree on it, I want to know what they think it means. They must have some definition by which to judge it, what is it?

#27 Posted by Caligula (12661 posts) - - Show Bio
@capfan80 said:
"

Does the anyone think the higher the power level the harder it might be to win over the modern fan, or is that a myth?  I myself think that it is the character, the writing, and the art, not the power but I know some people that say they relate to the more "street level" heroes better.

"
Power Sets have never influenced me one way or another.
#28 Posted by Kallarkz (3389 posts) - - Show Bio
@AtPhantom said:
" I don't need them to agree on it, I want to know what they think it means. They must have some definition by which to judge it, what is it? "
I think its either 
1) They have difficulty imagining themselves taking on the role of this superhero because of the few problems that could actually present a threat to them
2) Their favorite character is a street character and they believe that these "overpowered" beings should be more "realistic".

For those that mention realistic though...if i want to learn about the realistic world..I'll walk outside instead of paying my $3.99
#29 Posted by Malonius (924 posts) - - Show Bio
@capfan80 said:

All good points.  Even though I said I wouldn't talk about sentry I will (I am a liar).  He has Superman-esque power and I thought he ruined a lot of stories because all you could do was wait for him to show up, rip some unsuspecting soul in half and leave.  Marvel's superbadasses all have reasons why they don't show up to ruin evil's day:  Thor is in Asgard or pouting, Hulk is out of control and wants to be left alone, and Sentry is a douchebag.

 

When reading the "weaker characters" such as the ones Deranged Midget mentioned you always have to wonder "Where is Superman-Wonder Woman-Martian Manhunter-Flash-Green Lantern-Supergirl-Spectre-etc.  There should be no problems on earth except when some cosmic powerhouse rolls through the universe and finds earth.

Excellent points...Superman level characters milling around the planet makes regular people and most other superheroes seem inconsequential. The Sentry made the other Marvel superheroes feel like regular people felt in the Marvels miniseries.

Consider the raid on Bin Laden: Why were special ops guys used instead of a cruise missile or a nuclear bomb? What if you had a special ops guy who had the power of nuclear bomb? Why would you use anyone else?
#30 Posted by DH69 (4324 posts) - - Show Bio

tons a reason why i dont like DC this is one of the better reasons.

#31 Posted by Malonius (924 posts) - - Show Bio
@AtPhantom said:
@Caligula said:
"actually that does make it undefinable, Unless you are going to try to tell me there is an actual bar, and that past it is overpowered. Sorry But it doesn't work that way.If People all make their own point in their mind, that give the overpowered question undefinable. if there is no set of standards for it. "
You're confusing definition with standard. I'm not interested in what the bar is (Though there actually is a bar, but more on that later), I want to know what people think 'owerpovered' means.
"Overpowered" is relative to the context. Silver Surfer or Superman facing interstellar, maybe even intergalactic, threats is sensible. Silver Surfer or Superman stopping a bank robbery is ridiculous. In order to imperil Superman you have to have a planetary threat every issue. No one could live like that. It would be spiritually exhausting to be so dependent.
#32 Posted by SC (14655 posts) - - Show Bio

A company having more popular powerful characters than another err doesn't equal overpowered characters. Nor does power level have much bearing on how interesting the writing is, from any objective standpoint. Was Sandman and Lucifer dull and uninteresting? Physical struggle is but one aspect of a story that can be played up, or downplayed, or be skewered to create tough challenges for characters of any power level. 

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#33 Posted by SC (14655 posts) - - Show Bio

As to what people find more interesting? Its about what they want. Power fantasies and wish fulfillment characters are as appreciated as those that share our common problems and troubles. A good writer, director or whatever will have the ability to if so desired to have characters like Thor, have his little human moments even if at full power. Then have his moments of physical, idealized clarity even with human durability. The same applies when you switch the power level. So Superman is not 14 or at high school, you can emphasis his differences and feeling of isolation in a number of ways to get a similar effect as say Spider-man in his earlier original days. Too much room to play around with characters that has nothing to do with power levels, to capture peoples interests. Too many people with broad tastes as well for a lot of different character types to fail if down well enough. 

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#34 Posted by cody1984 (1366 posts) - - Show Bio
@capfan80 said:

Does the anyone think the higher the power level the harder it might be to win over the modern fan, or is that a myth? 


To some degree I believe this is true.  Someone like say Silver Surfer is tough to relate to since the guy deals with threats to entire universes where as someone like say Punisher deals with threats like crime which is more relatable.  A character who deals with some guy who beats his wife is more easy to sell than one being saving an entire alien race by himself (or with very little help) in some far off galaxy.  That's not to say those galaxy saving characters can't be interesting I just think it’s much harder for them to do so and appeal to a wide audience.       

@AtPhantom said:

I don't need them to agree on it, I want to know what they think it means. They must have some definition by which to judge it, what is it?

My view on whether a character is overpowered or not is this if the current governments of the world banned together and would not stand a shot in hell of beating the character because of their power I consider them overpowered, so characters like Spectre, Silver Surfer, Beyonder, etc. are overpowered by my definition.  Characters like Dr. Doom and Magneto while extremely powerful are capable of being beaten so they are not overpowered regardless of some of the crazy things they are able to pull off.    

   
#35 Posted by Nefarious (27610 posts) - - Show Bio

I don't think that they are too overpowered.

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#36 Posted by Westlife (1806 posts) - - Show Bio
@davelecave said:
I completely agree.  The only DC I read regularly is Batman, because he doesn't have the problem of being overpowered.  I find I get frustrated reading Superman or Green Lantern because it's far less accessible.
Can he really lift over a ton?
#37 Posted by Westlife (1806 posts) - - Show Bio
@Caligula said:
same could be said for Marvel.look at Marvel's trinity. Thor, Iron Man, Cap all are superpowered beings.look at DC's Wonder Woman, Superman, Batman only two are superpowered.I still don't get your point.
Cap's not superpowered.
#38 Posted by Deadcool (6898 posts) - - Show Bio

I wouldn't say that is just the power levels, most of the new characters in DC are lack of imagination, their suits looks like candy wrappers (too many colors), and the way some characters without superpowers use their skills against superpowered villains/heroes seems unconventional and lack of sense Example: Batman, Karate Kid, etc.
 
#39 Posted by Kal'smahboi (3810 posts) - - Show Bio
@davelecave said:
I completely agree.  The only DC I read regularly is Batman, because he doesn't have the problem of being overpowered.  I find I get frustrated reading Superman or Green Lantern because it's far less accessible.
I actually disagree with this. Batman can arguably be called overpowered. His power is tactical. And he never loses.
#40 Posted by The Stegman (28781 posts) - - Show Bio
@capfan80: have you READ anything with superman in it?? he gets his ass kicked all the time! if anything i'd say he's underpowered, i mean let's be realistic, with his powerset NO human should pose a threat to him, that includes Metallo, Toyman, Lex (i don't care how smart he is) Batman or any of the others that constantly spank him, he is like a god, he should stop them before they even blink. with Superman on their side, the JLA shouldn't even have criminal threats although the same could be said about Thor, seriously if you have a GOD on your side...how can you lose? it's like having Jesus on your basketball team.(it annoys me to no end how thor couldn't dent a man made, captain america shield or beat Hulk)  but annnyway i think dc is doing a good job with their characters, although they are powerful, there's more to them than that, behind the Green Lantern is the very human Hal jordan, same could be said for WW, superman and flash, the characterization is what makes them believable, not the powers
#41 Posted by entropy_aegis (15988 posts) - - Show Bio
@Deadcool:
Using one of DC's most popular stories to prove why people don't like it? Strange.
#42 Posted by PowerHerc (86127 posts) - - Show Bio

The answer is a definitive 'No.'
#43 Posted by Violet-Eyed Dragon (2265 posts) - - Show Bio
@davelecave said:
I completely agree.  The only DC I read regularly is Batman, because he doesn't have the problem of being overpowered.  I find I get frustrated reading Superman or Green Lantern because it's far less accessible.
yeah.  i havent read any amazing dc issues and i just cant get into stories with such extreme powers. 
#44 Posted by castleking (24747 posts) - - Show Bio

i think DC tends to use the same template for their heroes. flight, super strength, invulnerability and than they add on things like telepathy, superspeed, geo manipulation, shape shifting..
I think they have way to many herald type beings on earth and on a team to make it interesting and the villains they face are very overpowered but at the same time written sub par. the fights things beings are involved in with their enemies should wreck the planet or at least a city i think which is why the cosmic type heroes in marvel fight in space and dont make it a habit to clump together on earth.

But i have grown bored of seeing the near same template powers of DC.

aside from all this writers tend to write the power scale up and down as needed for stories on earth and whatever low meta they are facing.. a slight superhuman will be allowed to hold his own against a herald being and get knocked around to the point that people start to believe a 2 tonner is 50 to 100+ cause DC doesnt ground character powersets.. so yes i think they are often overpowered mostly in strength and durability. But it is a rollercoaster of ups and downs.. one day a hero will reach his limit of power hauling a planet and the next day strain to block a punch from the no name slight superhuman of the week.

#45 Posted by SC (14655 posts) - - Show Bio

Bluewater Productions comics are clearly, the worst offenders. Their Female Force comics had some of the most ridiculously powerful characters ever. One character made billions of dollars by selling trash, which is >> super strength and planet moving, and another character is Oprah! Which is like >> Galactus. 

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#46 Posted by alcoholbob (1208 posts) - - Show Bio
@jloneblackheart said:

I still don't get why everyone says DC heroes are so much more powerful than Marvel ones. I don't see it.

Check the Comic Vine Battle forum. Superman solos Thor, Hulk, Sentry, Ms Marvel, and the rest of the Avengers. That's popular opinion on the vine.
#47 Posted by Caligula (12661 posts) - - Show Bio

another thing I don't understand is when did it become a bad thing for a superhero to have superpowers?

#48 Posted by azza04 (1578 posts) - - Show Bio
@AtPhantom said:
@Caligula said:
"actually that does make it undefinable, Unless you are going to try to tell me there is an actual bar, and that past it is overpowered. Sorry But it doesn't work that way.If People all make their own point in their mind, that give the overpowered question undefinable. if there is no set of standards for it. "
You're confusing definition with standard. I'm not interested in what the bar is (Though there actually is a bar, but more on that later), I want to know what people think 'owerpovered' means.
I tend to think any character whose as powerful as Silver Age Superman to be over powered, but thankfully there aren't to many of those running around these days. Or any character that couldn't sustain an ongoing series because there are only a few villains that could pose a significant threat to him/her. 
#49 Posted by Caligula (12661 posts) - - Show Bio
@azza04 said:
@AtPhantom said:
@Caligula said:
"actually that does make it undefinable, Unless you are going to try to tell me there is an actual bar, and that past it is overpowered. Sorry But it doesn't work that way.If People all make their own point in their mind, that give the overpowered question undefinable. if there is no set of standards for it. "
You're confusing definition with standard. I'm not interested in what the bar is (Though there actually is a bar, but more on that later), I want to know what people think 'owerpovered' means.
I tend to think any character whose as powerful as Silver Age Superman to be over powered, but thankfully there aren't to many of those running around these days. Or any character that couldn't sustain an ongoing series because there are only a few villains that could pose a significant threat to him/her. 
Not all threats have to be physical in nature.
#50 Posted by azza04 (1578 posts) - - Show Bio
@Caligula said:
@azza04 said:
@AtPhantom said:
@Caligula said:
"actually that does make it undefinable, Unless you are going to try to tell me there is an actual bar, and that past it is overpowered. Sorry But it doesn't work that way.If People all make their own point in their mind, that give the overpowered question undefinable. if there is no set of standards for it. "
You're confusing definition with standard. I'm not interested in what the bar is (Though there actually is a bar, but more on that later), I want to know what people think 'owerpovered' means.
I tend to think any character whose as powerful as Silver Age Superman to be over powered, but thankfully there aren't to many of those running around these days. Or any character that couldn't sustain an ongoing series because there are only a few villains that could pose a significant threat to him/her. 
Not all threats have to be physical in nature.
Yeah I no what you're saying but seeing a good fight in a comic is a big draw for me. If a character only has a few villains that can match them, the stories would start degenerating into Silver Age nonsense, emotional drama (good in small doses but boring after a while) or it would get cancelled. IMO    

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