Infinite Danger Room #28: Alternate DC Comics in the 1980s?
What if Marvel Comics had taken over as the publisher of DC Comics’ characters in the 1980s?
Back in 2011, Jim Shooter revealed that Marvel, at one point in 1984, was discussing the licensing of DC Comics characters to be published by Marvel. From his blog:
Bill Sarnoff was the Big Cheese, I forget his exact title, of the publishing arm of Warner Communications. Among the operations under his purview was DC Comics.
Bill introduced himself, as if that was necessary. What he wanted to talk about was licensing the publishing rights for all DC characters to Marvel Comics.
Holy hegemony, Billman!
Bill said, more or less, that Marvel seemed to be able to turn a substantial profit on publishing comics, as opposed to DC, which consistently lost money, a lot of money, and had for a long time. On the other hand, LCA (Licensing Corporation of America), Warner’s licensing arm did very well with the DC properties, while Marvel “didn’t seem to do much licensing.”
I guess the few million a year we made from licensing, mostly from Spider-Man, seemed paltry to him, what with the fortune that just their big four, Superman, Batman, Robin and Wonder Woman brought in.
I told him I thought Marvel would be very interested, and that I would discuss it with Marvel’s President, Jim Galton.
Ultimately, antitrust concerns killed the deal. But what if they hadn't?
The Oklahoman’s Matthew Price joins panelists Matt Howlett and Chris Borthick to look at a “what if” scenario that nearly happened during Jim Shooter’s era at Marvel, choosing their picks for what creators might have taken over some of the top DC titles had they been published by Marvel.