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First Impressions: Marvel sets vs. DC sets

monkey_roomonkey_roo Member Posts: 1,411
edited April 2012 in Everything else LEGO
There are a few threads about discussing each line and postulating as to what is coming next, but as a comic fan I have often been engaged in this age old geeky conversation, which house is best, DC or Marvel. DC has Batman and Superman, Marvel, Iron Man, Cap etc. Now that we have Lego incarnations of both I wondered which people thought was best (incidentally on the comic front I drop on the Marvel side as I feel it has a better all-round set of characters and stories, that said Batman is my favourite character overall).
In the Lego world I think it is pretty tight, but unlike the comic world I drop on the DC side this time. My thinking is based on three criteria, mini-figs, vehicles, set pieces:

Both sets have great figures, if anything the Marvel ones are better, if only for their wider range of characters, although three Loki’s in 4 Avenger sets is a bit much. Then again five Batmans in five DC sets could draw the same comment, although there are two different versions of him and another with wing accessories. Overall a draw.

On the Vehicle side I think the Quint Jet is great (and big – oh so big) and the Shield truck and Magneto chopper are very nice, but the smaller Shield Jet and the Alien pieces not so much. On the DC side the Bat-mobile and Two Faces truck are great, the Bat-bikes are fun and Jokers chopper brilliant, the only weak entry is the Bat-wing, which looks ok from the top and front but the underbelly is decidedly flat, the massive bonus in Luthor’s Mech armour, that rocks. A win for DC

Set Pieces:
This one is a bit clearer, the smaller elements of the Catwoman and Bat-mobile set are solid and the Batcave and Jokers funhouse are brilliant. On the other side the only offering is the Hulk set and that sadly is poor, not much fun to build and not much there to play with. A win for the DC sets.

So on a points score I make that 2.5 to DC and 0.5 to Marvel - 
Anyone else care to venture an opinion


  • ThezoofoxThezoofox Member Posts: 188
    I haven't got any of the sets yet, been spending my money on too much other LEGO (thanks NINJAGO sale). However just from the images I've seen i think the DC stuff looks better. Generally I used to be more of a Marvel kind of person but recently I've been drifting towards DC and I think these sets help me drift even further towards DC.
  • nerick906nerick906 Member Posts: 429
    edited April 2012
    Me from the other side like DC more, even if I really hate captain america + his set is very poopy too tho, I really like the way they made him and the shield.
    Jokers fun house is brilliant with really, really good figs too. No point in buying the joker helicopter with batwing, as no new minifigs except his guard.
    I just bought the wolverine & loki's cosmic cube escape and I had really big fun building the vehicles. The figs are just stunning, and the Deadpool is a WIN of all. Ironmans mask is beautiful fixture as well. I don't play with the lego, I just build them and leave them as a display & those MARVEL & DC sets will be the best part in my collection. ( why my flat is so small ;( ) I can see myself 8 years younger and having so much fun with all this stuff! why so late LEGO !!!

    Edited by YC 4-6-12
  • IstokgIstokg Member Posts: 2,362
    Here's an interesting thing about DC comics. One of their best illustrators was a man by the name of Joe Certa (1919-86). He helped create the DC character "Martian Manhunter", and worked on many other comics, as well as other "illustrative" areas of his craft.

    A few years ago some of his estate's artwork became available for sale on Ebay. And among the images I captured was the middle image below... when he created an image for a Samsonite LEGO magazine ad of 1962. Well his ad was never used by Samsonite, but that image was haunting me because I knew I had seen a lot of it before.

    After looking thru my extensive (8000+) old LEGO images I have, I found what I was looking for... Apparently Joe Certa was given an old (1958) image from a continental European glued display model catalog (in my LEGO CD Collectors Guide)... shown below left. And the finally produced LEGO ad shows a photograph, rather than Joe Certa's illustration (below middle is Joe's work, and below right is the actually used ad).

    It seems that Joe Certa's craft of illustration was of a very high quality. But his grasp of LEGO parts and colors wasn't quite right. He painted in what looks like lime green and Maersk blue... both colors that came out decades into the future. And his image of the boy holding the LEGO brick upside down, did not help.

    But anyway... with a little bit of detective work, I was able to put a history behind this one (of many) images on an Ebay auction... and I sent this 3 part image to my contact at the LEGO Archives in Billund, where it was added to their files. This 3 part image is also found (with the history) in my Chapter on Prototypes in the new LEGO CD...

    Gary Istok

    P.S. The 2nd image below, also from the Joe Certa estate is of a Samsonite Luggage ad... never did find out if that one was used or not...
  • YellowcastleYellowcastle Administrator, Moderator Posts: 5,234
    So far, I only have the Superman and Wolverine sets. Based on those alone, I think I'd have to call it a tie so far. Both have great figs and each vehicle is really a marvelous design.
  • MultiversalMultiversal Member Posts: 29

    To me, every licensed line is a gamble; It has to fulfil two requirements: That it's well executed, and that it's something I care about before seeing it in Lego. If either of those isn't there, chances are that I'll dismiss the theme.
    Now, as far as superheroes go, the only one I care for at all is Batman, and that's partially due to the first line of Lego Batman sets (which I have none of). Therefore, DC (they make Batman, right?) is a clear winner for me.

  • doriansdaddoriansdad Member Posts: 1,337
    Both lines are great IMO. Personally my faves are the limited edition hulk minifig, wolverine and iron man.....iron man surprised me as I thought I'd hate it with that huge mask but after seeing the Avengers movie poster done with the lego minifigs and seeing that the mask flips open it looks really cool. I'd say a tie....great job by TLG!
  • andheandhe Member Posts: 3,914
    edited April 2012
    It's a tricky one, as it seems unfair to criticise the Marvel stuff so early on as their sets have obviously been restricted by needing to tie-in with certain movie scenes, whereas the DC stuff has freer reign to just put together classic characters and potential scenarios.

    The Captain America set suffers from a lack of recognisable antagonists (just watched the movie again and some Hydra figs would have been awesome, or Red Skull) whereas the Batman set at the same price point contains two recognisable characters.

    If money was no issue then I'd easily skip the Iron Man jeep thing as all the figs come in other larger sets. Whereas the Superman set contains (currently) exclusive characters, but is let down by a slightly dull Lex Luthor fig (the promo fig wearing armour that fits into a larger mech would have been a better idea!) so in this price point the obvious winner seems to be the Wolverine set as it has 3 cool figs for play or display.

    I think the Jokers funhouse blew us all away with the selection of figs and it looks great. And although the Hulk set is the only set that comes with the Hulk it seems to lack play features or look like a fun build. And I'm sure Hulk will turn up in future sets so DC is the winner here.

    In the top price bracket we have the Batcave and the Quinjet. The jet looks good but huge, so can't imagine many kids managing to 'swoosh' it around, and although the Batcave seems to lack the favour of its previous version bases are always cool and I think offer more playability... the jury is out til I see a review of the jet...

    Currently 2 - 1 to DC but that could all change as more marvel (X-Men please please please) sets are released.
  • YellowcastleYellowcastle Administrator, Moderator Posts: 5,234
    I've decided to revisit my earlier comments and will give the Wolverine set the win based on the simple fact it comes with 4 chrome 1x1 cones. :o)
  • SparkyHamSparkyHam Member Posts: 141
    DC comes out on top for "coolness" factor. Whenever my friends come 'round and see my LEGO sets, they always close in for the Batman minifigs. I find the DC line is a little more adult & dark that the kid friendly and bright Marvel offerings.
  • vwong19vwong19 Member Posts: 1,191
    DC comes out on top for "coolness" factor. Whenever my friends come 'round and see my LEGO sets, they always close in for the Batman minifigs. I find the DC line is a little more adult & dark that the kid friendly and bright Marvel offerings.
    Have your friends come and seen the Marvel minifigs, they might close in on those also? The joker, Two Face, Poison Ivy, Superman and Wonder Woman are pretty bright to me.

    For me, the characters are even, but I would give DC the edge on vehicles due to the Batmobile. Nothing in Marvel looks iconic.

  • SparkyHamSparkyHam Member Posts: 141
    Until Lego come out with a few more X-men villains and the red Skull, DC have the main catch of bad guys
  • TyrellArcherTyrellArcher Member Posts: 8
    edited April 2012
    Have your friends come and seen the Marvel minifigs, they might close in on those also? The joker, Two Face, Poison Ivy, Superman and Wonder Woman are pretty bright to me.

    For me, the characters are even, but I would give DC the edge on vehicles due to the Batmobile. Nothing in Marvel looks iconic.
    As a longtime Marvel fan, I will be biased if I were to say that I prefer the Marvel sets. The variety of minifigs alone puts Marvel on top... but Marvel needs more iconic locations and vehicles for future sets. I hope to see The Baxter Building Lab and Fantasticar (both from Fantastic Four), the X-Men Blackbird and Danger Room, Daily Bugle offices from Spider-Man (a nice tie in with City theme, too!), Avengers Mansion, and SHIELD flying car.
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