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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 #1, Marvel changed the way superheroes stories were done. Writer-editor Stan Lee, artists 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)

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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.

13 people found this helpful

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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!

5 people found this helpful

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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.

7 people found this helpful

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Best for earlier stuff

Enjoyed history of the earlier years Thought they did best with the 50s to mid 90s

1 person found this helpful

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awesome story

I wasn't a comic book person but I work with someone who is and they got me interested in learning the history of the battle between these two companies, this book is perfect for learning that story. The animosity, rivalry, back and forth dominance is so compellingly told. It seems like DC never learned too take a chance but stayed stuck in their old mindset.

1 person found this helpful

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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.

1 person found this helpful

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Heavy marvel bias

Very interesting, but the author has a marvel bias. As a DC fan boy, I agree that overall marvel has done a better job with the industry but it seemed like a glaring omission when the author mentions X-men the animated series and spider-man the series, saying how great they were, but says almost nothing about the Bruce Timm universe, which is almost universally considered the superior series. Author sounded like he downplayed any successes from dc.

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Marvel is the winner!! But DC is still kicking

This is a telling story of how one company over takes another company because its fresh ideas, staying focused on pop culture, and the issues of the day. The other company is too slow and old school to keep up in spite of being the first to develop and present icon superhero characters to the world.

I love the battles this book told. I hope Marvel and DC will continue inspite of poor management at times and media platforms which are forever changing in recent times.

For the record, even though Marvel has done a better job with their characters and products over time on the big screen in movie studios and comic books in general, DC animation is been pretty dominant on TV with a few exceptions from Marvel. I think DC animation on the Batman, Superman, and Justice League animated series deserves some credit for their fresh programming and writing at the time...referring to the mid 90s to late 2000s. Even the 1970s, Challenge of the Superfriends deserves a foot note. Spiderman and his amazing friends, and Spiderman and Xmen cartoon era of the 90s was indeed mentioned which was included in this audiobook and good to hear.

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Decent albeit a bit biased

There were some interesting tidbits about comic publishing in the 20th century in general. The narrator was good but thankfully didn't consistently do accents when quoting people, they were very jarring and not well done.

To be fair, the author states in the beginning that he prefers Marvel but I think that declaration of bias was an understatement. DC was portrayed as the outdated antagonist and received virtually nothing but digs and jabs throughout whilst shining an overly positive light on Marvel.

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learned a lot

I have been reading comics both DC and Marvel for 49 years and didn't know a lot of this. Really enjoyed this.