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Thursday, January 08, 2015 

This is why Marvel would not license DC management?

ComicBook published an explanation why Marvel turned down an offer by Warner Brothers to license publication of DC properties in 1984:
Marvel apparently declined, thinking that the reason DC was failing was the characters, not the management, and that it was unlikely it would have been a profitable venture for Marvel.
If this makes sense, that's very, very sad. To me, it translates as the execs saying they have no faith in their staff to develop stories with better characterization, or at least with enjoyable adventure. The Golden Age DC contributors did such hard work, and if it weren't for Superman, Marvel's stable might not have come to be. That's how they thank so many people for all the hard work they turned out? If they had to turn it down, it should've been because it would strain their budget, and they might not have been able to publish many other series unless they were miniseries.

Jim Shooter once told Comics Bulletin the deal fell through because First Comics sued them for anti-trust and they didn't think it would work out at the time. I don't know whether that's true, but again, if they had to turn down the offer, it should've been because of monetary problems, not lack of writing talent. That the deal never happened was probably a mixed blessing, because within several years, after being at the height of successful storytelling, there came the era of the speculator market crash, coupled with poor writing, and now, look where it's all wound up.

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It would be ironic if Marvel thought that there was something inherently wrong with DC's characters. The Fantastic Four and The Avengers were inspired by the Justice League, Sgt. Fury may have been Marvel's answer to Sgt. Rock, the X-Men were suspiciously similar to the Doom Patrol, and Moon Knight was so similar to Batman that I'm surprised DC didn't sue.

Also ironic, by 1984, DC was emulating Marvel, with longer arcs and serials, more crossovers and tie-ins, more complex plots, and more character development. The Justice League, Teen Titans, and Legion of Super Heroes had become imitations of the Avengers and X-Men. Marvel may have decided that they had no need for more super-teams that were basically imitations of the ones they already had.

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