Despite the plethora of comic based shows and movies, are fans loyal to those characters across all mediums?
If you have a passion for superheroes, mythical stories, big-time TV shows and movies or, of course, comics, then you know Comic-Con International is hitting San Diego this week. But what you might not know is the range of events and topics covered at the event. Of course traditional comics play a huge role, but this world has stretched to mainstream movies, media and culture. Panels and speakers range from screenwriting to art to figurines to movie premieres. There’s everyone from the “Game of Thrones” cast to the “Simpsons” creators in attendance.
But even within just the comic side of the convention, there are levels upon levels of events, speakers, booths and more. All with their differences.
Comics today go far beyond the Superman and Spiderman superhero stories we all know. There are hundreds if not thousands of characters, storylines and parallel universes. You can even check out all the superheroes and villains on record here. In fact, there are tons of comics that don’t even involve superheroes.
However if you were to ask anyone on the streets of San Diego, from the die-hard Comic-Con fan to the person who’s never touched a comic book, who are the top two names in comics and superheroes, we’d bet anyone would say Marvel and DC.
Both have become household names through their character stories turned into box-office hits. DC is responsible for Superman, Batman and Suicide Squad, which is the focus of an upcoming movie. Marvel is known for Spiderman, The Avengers and X-Men, and that’s just to name a few for each. While their fan bases are similar, they have true loyalists. The data told us just that. Here’s how we did it:
We started by analyzing Comic-Con’s following as a whole to find the average demographic. Between gender, men and women were nearly tied with women having 52% of the following and men having 48%. Nearly 40% of that group ranged in age between 26 and 40.
Along with this, we noticed our theory held up. Marvel and DC were the top two followed brands among Comic-Con fans by a landslide.
This also showed us that traditional comics and superheroes still hold a large stake at Comic-Con.
Because gender was so closely tied, we decided to create two personas in our Persona Builder based around age. One was 26-40 year olds following Marvel and the other was 26-40 year olds following DC.
To no surprise, both personas were extremely similar. Below is a selection of unique facts about each group. They’re nearly identical:
However, differences started to appear when it came to entertainment, particularly TV shows.
For both personas, the top five TV shows all worked around superhero storylines. What was interesting, is that within each, four of the five were based around Marvel or DC characters that corresponded with their following. “Agent Carter,” “Agents of SHIELD,” “Daredevil” and “Jessica Jones” are all Marvel based characters. “Supergirl” is the only DC representative in the Marvel persona. “Legends of Tomorrow,” “Supergirl,” “The Flash” and “Gotham” are all DC characters with “Daredevil” being the exception.
Both Marvel and DC are doing a great job creating loyal fans, but they could certainly improve their appeal to their arch nemesis’s audiences.
While these fans have an extreme amount of overlap in demographics, interests and brands, it is fascinating to see their loyalties followed through in television entertainment, one of the biggest markets for superhero and comic culture right now. It will be interesting to see how these loyalties continue to play out throughout the Comic-Con weekend and continue into a major movie release such as “Suicide Squad” and beyond.