Someone said that Rodney was DC and John was Marvel. And I've been thinking about this. Now, I have to make a disclaimer here - I'm a DC girl. I read Daredevil and no other Marvel universe comic. However, I *am* a comic book fan, and I am part of this culture, so I know something about the Marvel universe and most of the big heroes.
And I did read the big crossover series a few years ago.
However, I might be mistaken in what I've gleaned, so any Marvel readers out there, please correct me.
In the DC universe, people with powers are out in the open. I don't mean that they don't wear masks or otherwise keep their civilian identities separate, but they function in the greater world openly cooperating with the powers-that-be. Several even *were* the powers-that-be - Barry Allen was a "police scientist", Ollie Green is mayor of Star City, Dick Grayson was a police officer, John Jones was a detective and Bart Allen is in training. And superheroes are lauded by most people - their books sell, when they die, they get statues. Some are even worshipped. If they get injured, they go to Star Labs. Even the villains are...open, if you will. They use their powers in their villainy and they have to be kept in special prisons. Some are insane, and have to be dealt with in that way. However, no one is deemed good or bad because they have powers - only in how they use them. (Very Jewish, that.)
So, in pretty much any crowd scene in a DC comic, you'll see people wearing t-shirts with hero emblems, and there magazines and tabloids dedicated to them. They're up there with actors and rock stars.
In the Marvel universe, from what I can see, it's very different (and probably closer to what it would be in the real world - witness the series Heroes.) Heroes act without government sanction - I think the whole Civil War thing is about that. The public at large, while aware of what good the heroes do, do not trust people with powers, and less so those who are born with them. So the heroes are often underground, avoiding authority while taking care of the bad element. Daredevil went through several years of this particular problem, culiminating in an arrest because he was outed.
Do kids wear Captain America t-shirts in the Marvel universe?
These people are not rock stars.
So, let's look at John and Rodney.
Rodney is not about going underground, or hiding himself. He *can't*. He needs an audience (for all his apparent ego, Rodney's self-esteem must be abysmal), he needs to bounce his ideas off other people and he needs it to be known that he's smart. In fact, that might be the only thing he thinks is positive about him, so, you know. Yeah, I know this feeling. :)
And here's DC, all sunny and bright and full of people whose superpowers or abilities (like archery or acrobatics) are acknowledged - where people are allowed to be special and different and better without it being a threat. So, of course he's a DC fan.
And here's John. And what do we know about John? Very little - because John hides - he hides his intelligence, his geekishness, his own insecurity and, possibly, his sexuality. He doesn't let anyone in but Rodney. He fears being different, being outcast, and so he's learned to hide those parts of himself, and he's learned really, really well. He still wants superpowers :), but he wants them on Atlantis where - well, he *has* superpowers, so what's more? Just like other "mutants" - he blossoms where it's okay to be different, but back on Earth, he'd be in his shell again, hiding.
And then - who is Rodney's favorite hero? Batman. Batman, as we all know, is not powered. He has an arsenal of "toys", he has a superbly trained body and he has a brilliant detective's mind, but he's completely "normal." He's also the guy everyone goes to when they need something solved. When he stops trusting his fellow heroes, things go wrong.
And he's in the deepest hiding because he's not officially with the Gotham City Police Department. He's sort of on the side and tolerated - he even spent some time being wanted by the police. He's in so deep that he has created a persona he's named "Bruce Wayne" - a thoughtless, spoiled playboy - to hide behind during the day. In many ways, despite his normality, he's the closest DC has to a Marvel type hero.
And. Here's John, who has created this wise-cracking, laid-back, not quite bright persona he's named Lt. Col Sheppard to hide who he really is.