The most bruising battle in the superhero world isn’t between spandex-clad characters; it’s between the publishers themselves. For more than 50 years, Marvel and DC have been locked in an epic war, tirelessly trading punches and trying to do to each other what Batman regularly does to the Joker’s face. Slugfest, the first book to tell the history of this epic rivalry into a single, juicy narrative, is the story of the greatest corporate rivalry never told. It is also an alternate history of the superhero, told through the lens of these two publishers.
Slugfest will combine primary-source reporting with in-depth research to create a more fun Barbarians at the Gate for the comic book industry. Complete with interviews with the major names in the industry, Slugfest reveals the arsenal of schemes the two companies have employed in their attempts to outmaneuver the competition, whether it be stealing ideas, poaching employees, planting spies, ripping off characters or launching price wars. Sometimes the feud has been vicious, at other times, more cordial. But it has never completely disappeared, and it simmers on a low boil to this day.
The competition has spilled over to the even the casual fans, bisecting the world into two opposing tribes. You are either a Marvel or a DC fan, and allegiance is hardly a trivial matter. Perhaps the most telling question one can ask of a superhero fan is, Marvel or DC? The answer often reveals something deeper about personality, and the reason is wrapped up in the history of both companies.