The world’s favourite superhero universe? Marvel vs DC

The Marvel and DC universes dominate the superhero genre, with the comic franchises taking over cinema screens, streaming services and our favourite consoles with games such as Marvel’s Spider-Man, Marvel’s Avengers and the anticipated Gotham Knights. For decades, we’ve watched our favourite superheroes and supervillains battle it out in print, on-screen and through our consoles from both franchises, but who would win the battle for fan favourite and which multiverse comes out on top?

Our new study will put arguments to rest as we have analysed Google search volumes across the world to reveal which universe is the favourite with fans. Where does DC beat Marvel and which franchise has the biggest share across the world?

From Spider-Man to Wonder Woman and Ultron to The Joker we’ve analysed searches for superheroes and supervillains from both universes to name each country's favourite.

Marvel vs DC: Which universe is the most popular?

Marvel vs DC Most Popular Franchise by Country

In the study, Marvel comes out on top, being the favourite in 51 countries and taking 85% share of the results. Marvel has released several hugely successful movie series such as Guardians of the Galaxy and The Avengers making their blockbusters household names. With their new launch on Disney+ releasing exclusive series Wandavision, The Falcon and The Winter Soldier, it’s no surprise that this franchise is the favourite. Countries favouring Marvel include the UK, Australia, Columbia, Greece and India.

DC has increased in popularity since the release of box office hits like Aquaman and The Flash. Despite other big hitters from DC Films, including Birds of Prey, Joker and Wonder Woman the franchise came out on top in just 9 countries. Taking a 15% share of the results DC falls behind Marvel in the race for the top spot. Countries favouring DC include Russia, Chile, China and Ethiopia.

The Biggest Marvel Fans

Rank Country Monthly Searches
1 USA 301,000
2 India 110,000
3 Brazil 110,000
4 UK 90,500
5 France 90,500

The USA had the most searches for Marvel with over 301,000 searches a month coming from the states. With 110,000 in Brazil and India, the two countries are the second biggest fans of the franchise. The UK and France round off the top 5 biggest marvel fans with 90,500 searches each month from both countries.

The Biggest DC Fans

Rank Country Monthly Searches
1 South Korea 201,000
2 USA 165,000
3 India 110,000
4 Brazil 60,500
5 Turkey 60,500

South Korea has the most searches for DC, with over 201,000 each month. The second biggest fans of DC are the US with 165,000 searches a month followed by India with 110,000. Brazil and Turkey round off the top 5 biggest fans of DC, both with 60,500 searches each month.

Marvel vs DC: Which universe is the most popular in each state?

Marvel vs DC Most Popular Franchise by US states

Marvel is the clear favourite in the US, being the most searched for franchise in 28 states with DC winning in just 22. Californians are the biggest Marvel fans with over 52,000 searches a year, whilst Texans are the biggest fans of DC with over 40,000 searches for the superhero universe.

Marvel’s cinematic efforts have produced some of the biggest films of the 21st century including the Avengers Series, Black Panther and Spider-Man. Most recently the franchise has launched shows Wandavison and The Falcon and The Winter Soldier which may have swung the vote in several other US states including Alabama, Hawaii, Florida and Wyoming.

DC also dominates in New York, Indiana, Arizona and North Carolina.

The world's favourite superhero

At GAME, we’ve crunched the numbers to reveal which superheroes from both the Marvel and DC universes are the favourites in each country.

The most popular superheroes around the world

Rank Superhero Number of Countries % Share in Study
1 Spider-Man 57 48.7%
2 Wonder Woman 15 12.8%
3 Batman 11 9.2%
4 Iron Man 10 8.5%
5 Superman 6 5.1%
6 Captain America 4 3.4%
7 Aquaman 4 3.4%
8 Hulk 3 2.5%
9 Wanda Maximoff 2 1.7%
10 Groot 1 0.8%

With great power comes great responsibility, our study names Spider-Man the world's most popular superhero. Created by Stan Lee, Spider-Man is the superhero alter ego of Peter Parker and has been the focus of comics, film series and video games so it’s no surprise that he comes out on top in 57 countries.

Wonder Woman comes in second place and is the highest-ranking DC superhero, with 15 countries searching for her the most! The heroine has been the focus of two Hollywood movies since 2017 which have undoubtedly increased her popularity internationally.

Batman rounds off the top three, being the most searched for hero in 11 countries and claiming a 9.2% share in the study.

10 countries were most obsessed with Iron Man placing him in fourth whilst Superman is favourite in six countries and is fifth in the results.

When it comes to superheroes Marvel rules with six of the most popular superheroes in the study coming from the Marvel franchise and four being DC heroes.

The world’s favourite supervillain

The most popular supervillains around the world
Rank Supervillain Number of Countries % Share in Study
1 Thanos 66 56.4%
2 Joker 21 17.9%
3 Venom 16 13.6%
4 Emplate 11 9.6%
5 Ultron 2 1.7%
6 Catwoman 2 1.7%
7 Daken 1 0.8%

We’ve delved deep into the world of supervillains to reveal which from both the Marvel and DC universes are the favourites in each country.

Thanos is the standout favourite, coming in as the most searched for villain in 66 countries including Canada, Australia, Ireland and South Africa. It’s no surprise that Thanos dominates searches as he is known as one of the most powerful in the Marvel universe, battling heroes on screen in Guardians of the Galaxy, The Avengers series and games such as the LEGO Marvel Superhero series.

Coming in second place is the Joker. Famous for being a rival to Batman, the Joker was the most searched for in 21 countries. The iconic clown-faced character has been portrayed by Hollywood legends Heath Ledger, Jack Nicholson and most recently Joaquin Phoenix on the big screen making him one of the world's most well-known supervillains.

Rounding off our top three is Venom, who is favoured by fans in 16 countries. The Marvel villain increased in popularity upon the release of the 2018 live-action blockbuster which focused on the character.

The rankings suggest Marvel supervillains are the most popular, with only two villains in the study coming from the DC franchise.

Which franchise takes the top spot for you?

If you’re a Marvel fan check out the latest Spider-Man: Miles Morales game from the franchise.

If DC is more your thing why not pre-order Gotham Knights?