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Publisher's Summary

The first in-depth, behind the scenes book treatment of the rivalry between the two comic book giants.

They are the two titans of the comic book industry - the Coke and Pepsi of superheroes - and for more than 50 years, Marvel and DC have been locked in an epic battle for spandex supremacy. At stake is not just sales but cultural relevancy and the hearts of millions of fans.

To many partisans Marvel is now on top. But for much of the early 20th century, it was DC that was the undisputed leader, having launched the American superhero genre with the 1938 publication of Joe Shuster and Jerry Siegel's Superman strip. DC's titles sold millions of copies every year, and its iconic characters were familiar to nearly everyone in America. Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman - DC had them all.

And then in 1961, an upstart company came out of nowhere to smack mighty DC in the chops. With the publication of Fantastic Four number one, Marvel changed the way superheroes stories were done. Writer-editor Stan Lee, artist Jack Kirby, and the talented Marvel bullpen subsequently unleashed a string of dazzling new creations, including the Avengers, Hulk, Spider-Man, the X-Men, and Iron Man.

Marvel's rise forever split fandom into two opposing tribes. Suddenly the most telling question you could ask a superhero lover became "Marvel or DC?"

Slugfest, the first book to chronicle the history of this epic rivalry into a single, in-depth narrative, is the story of the greatest corporate rivalry never told. 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, or launching price wars. The feud has never completely disappeared, and it simmers on a low boil to this day. With DC and Marvel characters becoming global icons worth billions, if anything, the stakes are higher now than ever before.

©2017 Reed Tucker (P)2017 Hachette Audio

Critic Reviews

"Reed Tucker masterfully dissects the REAL issue dividing us as a nation." (Seth Meyers, host of NBC's Late Night with Seth Meyers)
"This is a book for 'Fans.' I consider myself a 'Fan.' I love this book. I guess you could say I am a 'Fan' of this book. If you are not a 'Fan' of 'Things' then this is not a book for you. It is a book for me. GIVE ME BACK MY BOOK!" (Bobby Moynihan, comedian and former Saturday Night Live cast member)
" Slugfest is the ringside commentator for the clash of the comic book titans. A must-read for all comic fans." (Scott Sigler, author of the number-one New York Times best-selling novel Alive)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Loved it, but...

Really enjoyed this book. It was well researched and the anecdotes really put you there in the historical context. However it was obvious from pretty early on that the writer was very much a marvel fan. At times he came off as objective, but any discerning listener can tell which Company he is more a fan of. Grant Morrison’s book on a similar subject managed far better to give an even evaluation.

I absolutely LOVED the narrator.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Very Interesting to an Comic Newb

I imagine like many others, my knowledge of the DC and Marvel characters and their origins (both inside and outside their respective universes) was largely based on the cinematic releases of the last 30 years. This was a very interesting jumping off point as someone curious about the back stories of many other industries and also a bit of an outsider comic book fan.

The book is well paced following a roughly chronological history of each company with brief summaries of the founding of each company and early years up to about 1960. The 1960s are where the "vs" part of the story gains legs and the author does a good job with multiple inside sources recollecting the various back and forth battles the two companies had with one another, as well as the internal woe's eached experienced over the subsequent decades.

The audio presentation was great with the exception of the author trying to do different voices for some of the quoted sources. Does not ruin the experience but I found it mildly annoying.

It has peaked my further interest in the comic book realm and in am now anxiously awaiting a few online comic book purchases!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Matt Moore
  • An ex-expatriate repatriated, by choice, back to the U.S.
  • 10-20-17

Solid Examination of DC and Marvel's Rivalry

This is a solid examination of the long, often bitter and ultimately impactful rivalry between DC Comics and Marvel. Scholarly in its scope, yet easily accessible, the work upturns many stones to find the roots of enminity and malice between the two companies, borne out by both companies' management teams, and how it has affected the creators in their employ and the readers in their enthrall.

Few in the industry's upper echelons emerge unscathed, and that's important to know and learn.

The scope is wide, encompassing all eras of comics, including the vibrant cinematic and small-screen exploits.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Slugfest Gotta love the title

Big fan of this book. A lot of stuff that happened in the past seem to be happening today with the companies film franchise. An interesting look on how each company created thier IP and how they percieve the other. Highly recommend for the fan who are hardcore for one side, who like both equally, or even some one who doesn't have a dog in this fight.

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Interesting Stuff

Overall this was interesting, not a lot of new info but comments by comic pros made it worthwhile. I agree with other reviewers that have said there a Marvel bias, it is not a huge bias but a bias none the less. I would have given a higher rating for the narration if Mr. Collyer had avoided using accents when reading quotes, his English accent was bad enough but his Australian, well, it was flat out awful. It is too bad because his read otherwise was really good.

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  • Flavius
  • Morro Bay, CA, United States
  • 05-04-18

Clash of the Titans

As a long-time reader of comics, I'm always on the lookout for a serious, entertaining book about the industry. "Slugfest" more than met my expectations.

"Slugfest" traces the histories of Marvel and DC, the two most influential comic book companies, from their floppy pulp beginnings in the late 1930s and 1960s respectively to the current cinematic era, incorporating a variety of sources, and telling a lot of fun stories along the way. The author manages to strike a sympathetic tone without becoming sentimental.

The narrator does a great job.

Highly recommended for anyone interested in the history of the comic book industry.

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Awesome for comic fans

Informative fun review of the history of the comic book business. DC and Marvel 1930s-today

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good book<br />

very fun listen, highly recommended, nice flow to the stories, great information about the industry, and nice to hear the pronunciation of some names that I've only seen written but never spoken

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Amazing!

I have read multiple comics industry historical books and this one is by far the best. The narrator is also top notch.