Slugfest

Inside the Epic, 50-Year Battle Between Marvel and DC
Narrated by: Will Collyer
Length: 10 hrs and 43 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (438 ratings)

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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)

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  • Overall
    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.

11 people found this 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!

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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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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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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    4 out of 5 stars

pfix your rating system adtible

please fix your rating system adtible I mark the amount of stars i judge it to be and it cancels out next time i am in the library

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    4 out of 5 stars

A well balanced, if somewhat bird’s eye view of the publishing history and rivalry between Marvel and DC

I enjoyed the audiobook quite a bit and wish it had been published later so as to show more of the current drama going on in the comics industry. The book gave a much more balanced, less biased look at the fight between the two biggest comics publishers than have other books of this kind that I’ve read. It didn’t paint one publisher as the bad guy and the other as the good guy. Rather, it called out unfair and unkind practices on both sides when they occurred. Similarly, it showed both the missteps and triumphs of each publisher in their proper light. At the same time, it was obviously written by someone with a love of comics and the industry surrounding them. I do wish the book had been longer, allowing the author to go into a more granular examination of individual events and interactions between characters. The author does better at this as the book goes along, coming closer to the present, but a lot of the first two-thirds of the book feel like it’s giving a summary of events rather than digging into them to get the real story. Still, I think I would recommend this book to friends before others like it that I’ve read. It’s a good starting point for those that want to discover the history of comics.

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    4 out of 5 stars

Great narration and great history

The narrator did a great job reading the story and the history was excellent.

I found that the history of these two comic titains were really interesting and the story focused solely on the business history of what was going on throughout the rivalry.

I felt that at the end was going to call it a draw, but was surprised that the author declared a winner and that some of the other reviewers claim that the author is a fan boy of the winner.

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Must read for comic book fans

Author writes and reads the book in a way that makes the book engaging to read. Well researched and informative. A must read

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    4 out of 5 stars

Has the history but is clearly biased.

Goes through the whole Marvel and DC history nicely but author is clearly way more into Marvel than DC. And in the intro he even states that he doesn't really care much for superhero comics, which makes me wonder why he even decided to write this book. He's got the nerd douche mentality with snarky comments along the way and the reader even embodies that further.

Beyond that, it's still a trip through the history filled with good stories but to me, I think the author should keep out the side choosing and be a lover of all things comics. Being both a big fan of Marvel and DC when putting together these historic events. Let the reader have their opinions on what they like more. Just saying.