Which Superheroes Won in Marvel Vs. DC – And Who Should Have Won – CBR – Comic Book Resources

Fans got to decide who would win in a war between Marvel and DC but did they choose the right hero to win the fight of the century?
Over the more than 80 years since DC and Marvel started publishing comics about superpowered crime-fighters, fans have pitted their favorite superheroes against each other countless times. As Marvel and DC grew in popularity over the years, a rivalry bloomed between the two that reached its inevitable peak when their heroes faced each other in a multi-versal war that would settle thousands of arguments and start millions of new ones.
Created by Ron Marz, Peter David, Dan Jurgens, and Claudio Castellini, 1996’s DC vs. Marvel/Marvel vs DC was a 4-issue miniseries that pitted comic book’s greatest heroes against each other. Fans were undoubtedly excited for this once-in-a-lifetime crossover but were even more excited when it was announced that fans could vote for their preferred outcome in the five title-card fights featuring each company’s most popular heroes. While DC had decided comic book storylines by fan vote before, Marvel was treading new ground.
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There were 11 battles between Marvel and DC heroes altogether. The first 6 battles were decided by the miniseries’s creative teams with each companies respective heroes winning 3 battles each. The latter 5 battles, entirely told in Marvel vs DC #3, were decided by the fans. Because of this out-of-universe component being the deciding factor, the battles weren’t decided by who was the stronger or smarter hero. Instead, it was decided by a popularity contest more than anything. So, it begs the question, did the fans choose the best heroes to win the fight of the century?
The battle of Marvel and DC’s strongest iconic powerhouse heroes was always going to be a fun fight, but it was clear who the winner was going to be before it even started. Even though Superman was facing the intelligent Merged Hulk, Banner’s mind in Bruce’s body, the post-Death of Superman Man of Steel with a mullet was at the top of his strength. While he’s faced Hulk before, Superman pretty much always edges out a win over the green menace including in this popularity contest. If they were to face each other again without fan votes, it would likely be a more even fight, but the perenially popular Superman would likely still claim a win.
Spider-Man’s fight against Superboy was a battle of the clones because this Spider-Man was Ben Reilly, who coincidentally is also the current Spider-Man. Spider-Man was and still continues to be the far more popular character, so it was clear that he would win the fight before it was ever written. Superboy spent most of the fight being taunted by Spider-Man, only to end up electrocuted and trapped by Spider-Man’s special impact webbing. If the two ever faced each other again, Spider-man is unlikely to win without the fans’ help, because Superboy is one of the more powerful DC heroes. He would likely have no problem getting out of Spider-Man’s webbing with the help of his super-strength, heat vision, and invulnerability.
While Batman and Captain America’s battles are still one of the most hotly debated match-ups in comic book fandom, it is also one of the most equal because they’re both ostensibly “peak-human” heroes who base their moves around strategy rather than pure power. Batman’s victory was inevitable given that he was one of the most popular heroes at the time, but Marvel vs. DC reflected they were relatively even by revealing that their confrontation was decided only after hours of hand-to-hand combat. A future confrontation between the two would likely end the same way, an exhaustive knock-down, drag-out fight where Batman stands over an unconscious Captain America.
While Wolverine is a significantly more popular character than Lobo, the two were matched up because of their gritty and animal-like appearances. While most of their battle took place off-panel, it ended with Wolverine grabbing a lit cigar from an ashtray and puffing victoriously. This battle is perhaps the most lopsided of the fan-decided fights. Wolverine is a tough mutant, but Lobo’s strength and healing factor are leagues ahead of Wolverine’s. For example, both Wolverine and Lobo can regenerate from a single drop of blood but only Lobo can grow clones from his blood.
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By the time Wonder Woman fought Storm, she had picked up Mjolnir and acquired its abilities, but she gave them up to give Storm a fair fight. It was a bad decision to give up such an advantage, especially the only one that would have assured her victory. Storm overpowered Wonder Woman, blasting her with lightning bolts until she dropped. The fans decided this battle correctly, especially as it was later revealed that Storm could lift Mjolnir as well, which would have equalized the only advantage Wonder Woman had against Storm.
The repercussions of these heroes’ battles directly led to the creation of the Amalgam Universe, inhabited by amalgamated heroes that were greater than the sum of their parts. While it’s unlikely these companies will crossover again, these match-ups and proceeding mashups will remain as a uniquely ’90s event that showed how fans can shape comic book storytelling.
KEEP READING: Marvel vs DC: How One Forgotten Hero United Both Universes
Carlos is a freelance features writer and a lifelong comic book fan since he found a battered issue of Batman at his local Blockbuster when he was a kid. You can find him at @Vaquero2XL on Twitter.

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