The most boring question in all of geekdom: Are you a DC or a Marvel fan?
Hold on a second, I need to push my glasses up on my nose.
DC and Marvel are the world’s two dominant comic book companies, the ones that have published the adventures of Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman (on the DC side) and Spider-Man, Iron Man and the X-Men (on the Marvel side) for decades. Asking which company is your favorite rankles me, because if you love comics, why choose? It's the sort of thing you'd be asked by the kid in your high school algebra class who just found an issue of "Wolverine" in the lost-and-found and decided that Batman is lame because he doesn't have superpowers.
(He would be wrong, of course, because Batman's superpower is generational wealth.)
With the sublime "Black Panther" dominating both the box office and the cultural conversation this month, though, it's worth casting an eye toward each house's output during the great superhero movie boom of the past couple decades. It's hard to deny that Marvel has soared where DC's silver screen seems cursed by green kryptonite, "Wonder Woman" notwithstanding. That's not because of the characters, mind you. Even Beyoncé would flop if she was directed by Zack Snyder.
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Here's where I, whose first comic book purchases as a child were issues of Green Lantern and Superboy (both DC characters) from the Comics Cave on Westgate Lane, start to have doom-filled thoughts. Are DC's muddy-colored and poorly scripted movies dragging down their almost century-old icons in the public mind?
According to a study by satellite TV retailer USDish, they could be getting crowded out, at least. Citing Google Trends data, USDish found that most U.S. states — including Texas —prefer Marvel comic books over their DC counterparts. A few states like Kentucky, Oregon and Indiana are clear-cut Marvel fans, the study found. Only eight states (and fittingly, Washington, D.C.) swing for Wonder Woman's parent company. Five eastern states couldn't pick a super-fast horse in the race, going 50-50 for Marvel and DC.
There's still some hope for the people who brought you the Flash and Aquaman, though. (DC, just in case that's not clear.)
"Most states, though, barely reach consensus," according to the study. "In Mississippi, Iowa, and Pennsylvania, DC or Marvel comics win by a single point."
The study also found each state's favorite superhero. In Texas, the Man of Steel is our hero, even if we do prefer the house of the Hulk overall. Mixed message, y’all. We've looked a previous super-studies along these lines that seem to fly in the face of that finding, which named Batman as the Lone Star State's protector of choice.
A battle between Superman and Batman to see who comes out on top? Been there, done that, saw the movie, wished I hadn't seen the movie.
Correction: An earlier version of this post incorrectly attributed the original study to Dish Network. USDish is an online authorized sales agent of Dish.