If DC and Marvel Fell Under the Same Corporate Roof, and You Were in Charge...

Once again, there is speculation that DC and Marvel could end up under the same corporate "roof", growing out of the events we're discussing here.   

I have no idea how probable any of this is.  My suspicion is "not very", but what do I know?

Setting probability aside, if such a thing did somehow happen, and you were somehow given the book by ConHugeCo as to  how the characters should be handled, how would you proceed?

A few possibilities:

  1. Merge the two universes after the great-granddaddy of all comic book events?
  2. Keep them separate, but establish them as being in the same multiverse, so that crossovers are relatively easy?
  3. Keep them entirely separate?
  4. Something else?

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In the JLA/Avengers crossover, the two Earths were merging at certain points. they didn't quite synch up, and both Earths experienced merged realities when they touched. What I remember specifically is that, for whatever reasons, Kurt Busiek established that the DC Earth was somewhat larger than the Marvel Earth and I always wondered why. Was it to accommodate DC's additional fictional cities? I don't think that's a good reason, but it's the only one I can think of. 

I think saying that the two sets of characters always existed on the same earth would be problematical at best. Where was the JLA when Galactus attacked? The Avengers ignored the threat of Darkseid? Unless they were to make it an entirely new Earth where both sets always existed (the '70s TE crossover approach). If they were going to go with a merged Earth, I'd prefer Bob's option #1. 

I'm pretty sure that accounting for DC's fictional cities and countries was exactly the reason for the Earth being larger. IIRC, it was mentioned in the comic that that was the reason 

Jeff of Earth-J said:

In the JLA/Avengers crossover, the two Earths were merging at certain points. they didn't quite synch up, and both Earths experienced merged realities when they touched. What I remember specifically is that, for whatever reasons, Kurt Busiek established that the DC Earth was somewhat larger than the Marvel Earth and I always wondered why. Was it to accommodate DC's additional fictional cities? I don't think that's a good reason, but it's the only one I can think of. 

I think saying that the two sets of characters always existed on the same earth would be problematical at best. Where was the JLA when Galactus attacked? The Avengers ignored the threat of Darkseid? Unless they were to make it an entirely new Earth where both sets always existed (the '70s TE crossover approach). If they were going to go with a merged Earth, I'd prefer Bob's option #1. 

I would probably focus more on rejuvenating flagging sales and the aging fan base. Maybe attempt to emulate the success that Japanese publishers have.

Crossovers would be nice in occasion, but I'd still keep the universes separate. 

I would exercise whatever marketing muscle the combined company has to get comics into more places. I'd expand the Wal-Mart 100-Pagers into Target. I'd create digests like Archie does, including the thick digests that are several hundred pages long and get them into Barnes & Noble and Books-a-Million and your friendly neighborhood supermarkets.

I would create a division of tie-in comics, whether reprints or all-new tales, and make sure those comics are sold in every movie theater that's showing a superhero movie from either universe. 

JD DeLuzio said:

Option #2, with a third, completely separate universe that retools and combines only the most interesting and/or iconic of the characters in a new continuity.

A third universe probably should be the Amalgam Universe.

Jeff of Earth-J said:

Where was the JLA when Galactus attacked? The Avengers ignored the threat of Darkseid?

Like Superman in the early days of the JLA, “away on a space mission.”

ClarkKent_DC said:

I would exercise whatever marketing muscle the combined company has to get comics into more places. I'd expand the Wal-Mart 100-Pagers into Target. I'd create digests like Archie does, including the thick digests that are several hundred pages long and get them into Barnes & Noble and Books-a-Million and your friendly neighborhood supermarkets.

Just about every supermarket has a magazine rack in one of its aisles. Exciting covers might get the kids to bug their parents to buy. The prices need to be reasonable.

"I'm pretty sure that accounting for DC's fictional cities and countries was exactly the reason for the Earth being larger. IIRC, it was mentioned in the comic that that was the reason"

Maybe that's where I got the idea. Kurt Busiek must not get away from the city much. There are plenty of open spaces in Nebraska, for example, which could accommodate a Blue Valley.

Jeff of Earth-J said:

"I'm pretty sure that accounting for DC's fictional cities and countries was exactly the reason for the Earth being larger. IIRC, it was mentioned in the comic that that was the reason"

Maybe that's where I got the idea. Kurt Busiek must not get away from the city much. There are plenty of open spaces in Nebraska, for example, which could accommodate a Blue Valley.

But there aren't plenty of open spaces in the Northeast that could accommodate a New York City and a Metropolis and a Gotham City and a Smallville (if you think Gotham and Smallville are in N*w Y*rk St*t*) or a Midwest that can accommodate a Chicago and a Gotham (if you think Gotham is in *ll*n**s), or California that can accommodate a Los Angeles and a Coast City, or a Pacific Northwest that can accommodate a Seattle and a Star City, etc., etc., and so forth.

It seems to me a single company couldn't keep all the characters afloat. DC and Marvel have both acquired properties, used them for a bit, and then largely dropped them.(1) They haven't even managed to keep all the characters they've generated themselves afloat. Sometimes these were quite prominent for a time: Firestorm, Swamp Thing, Lobo, Guy Gardner, Ghost Rider, Luke Cage, Alpha Flight.

 

(1) The Charlton and Wildstorm heroes in DC's case, the Malibu ones in Marvel's.

DC acquired the AAC properties in 1945, but then gradually dropped them except for Wonder Woman and Mutt & Jeff. (Funny Stuff continued, but its original slate was dropped and it was renamed Dodo and the Frog in 1954.) Granted, some of the properties - the Flash, Green Lantern and the JSA - have been DC mainstays since their late 1950s reboots, the JSA as the JLA. Of the Quality heroes DC was initially only interested in Blackhawk. It ran his title into the ground in a decade (but it kept two of the titles it acquired, Heart Throbs and G. I. Combat, going longer).

I agree, Luke -- there's too many properties for one company to pay attention to. As you say, they've already got more than they can deal with. 

And wow -- it never occurred to me that G.I. Combat wasn't originally a DC book! Thanks for the info!

"But there aren't plenty of open spaces..."

Sure there are. and if there's not, They could simply substitute the fictional cities of Blue Valley, Calvin City, Central City, Civic City, Cloister, Coast city, Dos Rios, Elmond, Evergreen City, Fairfax, Farmville, Happy Harbor, Houma, Hub city, Ivy Town, Keystone City, Littleville, Middleton, Midway city, New Carthage, Pittsdale, Quad Cities, Star City, Waymore, etc. for real cities which have never been mentioned in either mythos. 

I always thought of Smallville as being in Illinois. Post-Crisis, it took my years to accept it being in Kansas, but I do now. Beyond that, Metropolis is in Delaware and Gotham City is in New Jersey.

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