DC vs. Marvel: Wonder Woman vs. Ms. Marvel
For as long as there have been comic books, there has been the feud between DC and Marvel. Both are heavy-hitting comic companies that continue to gain legions of fans every year. The purpose of this column is to take one DC persona and one Marvel persona of equal measure and popularity and pit them against each other to see who would come out on top.
Background: Diana of Themyscira (first introduced in 1942) is the daughter of Hippolyta, Queen of the immortal Amazons. As a young woman she won a contest to become an emissary into Man’s World. Along with her warrior training and new costume and weapons, Diana embarked on a mission of peace. After a few skirmishes she soon realized that she would have to fight to keep the peace in Man’s World. Diana quickly joined up with Superman and the Justice League and fought many battles both in our world and back home on Paradise Island. She is usually romantically linked to Steven Trevor, a colonel in the United States Air Force and has shown evidence for having feeling for Batman. In the New 52, Wonder Woman’s origin has changed a bit and she has begun a romance with Superman. Wonder Woman’s extensive history is filled with rich stories of Greek Gods and menacing villains.
Carol Danvers (first introduced in 1968) grew up in Boston. At the age of 18 she joined the Air Force to become a pilot. She later trained as a spy and worked with various Marvel characters including Wolverine. Carol moved on to the head of security at NASA where she had some dangerous encounters with the Kree. It was during one of those encounters that Carol’s genetic structure became altered, making her a superhuman which she struggled to control at first. Eventually she established herself as one of New York’s superheroes under the name of Ms. Marvel and joined up with The Avengers. Carol has been romantically linked with Colonel Mike Rossi, Mar-Vell, Mike Barnett, and Johnny Storm. Over the years Carol has been involved in many complicated storylines including both Earthlings and extraterrestrials alike and is especially known for her involvement with The Avengers. Both characters have long and intense backstories but Wonder Woman’s mythical adventures win her this category.
Point: Wonder Woman
Skills: Wonder Woman is one of the strongest DC characters and possesses superhuman durability and resistance to human weapons, for the most part. Wonder Woman also has the ability to fly with hyper-sonic speed. She also has superhuman speed, agility, stamina and reflexes as well as enhanced healing powers and a “oneness with fire” that makes her a “focus of truth”. She is also unnaturally empathic and can communicate with animals. On top of all that, Diana has enhanced vision, smell, and hearing. She has even practiced dimensional teleportation on occasion. A trained warrior, Wonder Woman is a master combatant, tactician, and strategist as well as an expert pilot who possesses great wisdom and intelligence.
Ms. Marvel has superhuman strength that can increase if she absorbs energy. She also possesses superhuman speed and stamina as well as superhuman durability that makes her difficult to hurt, even with bullets. Carol can also fly at tremendous speeds and uses her superhuman agility and reflexes in battle. Her “seventh sense” allows her to anticipate her opponents’ moves. Ms. Marvel can produce photonic blasts from her hands as well as absorb energy that enhances her own powers. At one point, she was also able to generate heat, light, and radiation. Carol Danvers is a talented multilingual journalist and an expert pilot and combatant. Both Wonder Woman and Ms. Marvel are the epitome of warriors but Carol’s ability to blast energy gives her the one-up on Wonder Woman.
Point: Ms. Marvel
Affiliations: Besides being an Amazon, Wonder Woman has always been one of the main members of the Justice Society and Justice League of America and even a founding member in some storylines. She, along with Batman and Superman, is part of the Big 3 of DC comics. In DC’s New 52 reboot, Wonder Woman is once again a founding member of the Justice League.
Ms. Marvel is one of the leading members of The Avengers. She has also been a frequent ally of the X-Men. Carol was originally invited to join the Avengers to replace Scarlet Witch and she soon proved herself to be invaluable. At one point she left The Avengers to join the Starjammers but eventually rejoined The Avengers overcoming past issues and proving herself once again. After The Avengers disbanded, Ms. Marvel joined the New Avengers. After the Civil War Carol became the leader of the Mighty Avengers. When that disbanded she joined the New Avengers again. Both women are important members of their respective groups but Ms. Marvel is also known for being a powerful leader within them.
Point: Ms. Marvel
Apparel/Weapons: Wonder Woman’s costume is one of the most recognized and loved in all of comics. The first variation was a red top with a golden eagle emblem, a white belt, and a star-spangled blue skirt complete with red and gold boots. Her costume has changed over the years with the skirt becoming shorts and then pants. Diana also wears a tiara that doubles as a boomerang. Wonder Woman possesses multiple godlike weapons, the most famous being her Lasso of Truth which makes it impossible for those captured within it to lie to her. The lasso has also been known to erase memories and implant commands. Her other famous weapons are her bracelets which are considered indestructible and bullet-proof. She used them to not only reflect weapons but to redirect energy blasts as well. Wonder Woman also carries the Lansarian Morphing Disk which can be used for communication and to form her invisible jet plane as well as the sandals of Hermes which grant her speed and flight. She has also temporarily been in possession of a black lantern ring and the star sapphire ring.
Ms. Marvel’s first uniform featured an eight-point yellow star on a red and blue bodysuit with a scarf instead of a cape and a slim black mask. Her first upgrade was similar in appearance but covered more of her body including her midriff and neck. Her next upgrade is perhaps her most famous costume: a black one piece bathing suit with a yellow lightning bolt on the front designed by Carol’s friend The Wasp (Janet Van Dyne). Her look is completed by the same slim black mask, long black gloves, and a red scarf around her waist. When working for S.H.I.E.L.D. Carol worse a more utilitarian black and silver suit. As Captain Marvel, Ms. Marvel wore a blue spandex suit over her whole body enriched with red and gold. Despite her numerous costume changes, the black and yellow bathing suit is by far the most famous. Ms. Marvel does not habitually use any sort of weaponry or gadgets. Wonder Woman’s iconic costume and accessories make this an easy win for her.
Point: Wonder Woman
Social Relevance: Wonder Woman may possibly be the most famous female superhero of all time. She’s been around since the 1940’s and has appeared in numerous animated television shows including Super Friends, Superman, Justice League, Justice League Unlimited, Young Justice, and Batman: The Brave and the Bold. She also has her own animated film, Wonder Woman, in 2009. A few live-action shows and movies were pitched but never went forward until the show Wonder Woman in 1975. The show ran for 4 years and famously starred Lynda Carter in a role. 2011 saw another failed Wonder Woman television show (starring Adrianne Palicki) and the CW is planning on developing a series called “Amazon” in the future. Wonder Woman is a character featured prominently not only in comics and television but in video games and paraphernalia of all types. Wonder Woman was listed as the 20th greatest comic book character by Empire magazine and placed 5th in IGN’s Top 100 Comic Book Heroes of All Time. She is a fan favorite that almost everyone can recognize.
Carol Danvers has appeared in various television shows including X-Men, The Super Hero Squad Show, The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, and Ultimate Spider-Man. She has also been a character in many different video games and is rumored to be making an appearance in the much-anticipated The Avengers 2. Ms. Marvel is one of the strongest and most famous females in the Marvel universe. She is known for not only being an important member of The Avengers, but for leading them as well. Despite her fame and power in the Marvel world, Wonder Woman is one of the most iconic fictional characters of all time and her social relevance is as high as Superman’s or Batman’s.
Point: Wonder Woman
Wonder Woman and Ms Marvel represent the epitome of female strength in their respecitive universes. Both women are strong, beautiful, and capable of outdoing any male character. They are the top of the top and there’s simply no one else to go up against either of them. That being said, it’s Wonder Woman’s global recognition and fame for being perhaps the most well-known female superhero of all time that makes her the winner of this match-up.
WINNER: Wonder Woman!