Instigator / Pro

On balance, Flash is to DC what Spiderman is to Marvel, if powers and nitpicky details are ignored.


The debate is finished. The distribution of the voting points and the winner are presented below.

Winner & statistics
Better arguments
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After 1 vote and with 7 points ahead, the winner is...

Publication date
Last updated date
Number of rounds
Time for argument
One week
Max argument characters
Voting period
Two weeks
Point system
Multiple criterions
Voting system
Contender / Con

This is an 'on balance' debate, it is about which side you buy more of, not requiring Pro or Con to prove their side absolutely true.

Kritiks are banned.

It is primarily about the Comic book characters but TV series and movies are allowed to be brought as additional evidence, including physical casting choices and demographics that the characters appeal to.

I believe that Spiderman and Flash are the heroes that scrawny/weak, socially awkward victims of bullying and torment can relate to most immediately in both comic universes but I am entitled to stray from this narrative in other links between them.

Round 1
Okay, so I'm gonna do a relatively lazyish Round 1 because honestly this is a 30k per Round debate and the Pro position is about defending against the Con ones here.

I'll paste some points from the Comments, that I wrote, before proceeding to explore other parallels:

1) Both are orphans but have an adoptive alpha dad type that is overall sided with 'good' and both of their 'dad' figures are well-seasoned cops that don't entirely approve of their methods, especially when others influence them (in Spiderman it's his uncle, in Flash's it's his neighbour who was close to his dad until it was believed that his dad killed his mother).

2) Both have a female they fawn after that was their neighbour and is more like a sister to them, making the feelings a bit inappropriate and then have a continual 'cuck' vibe throughout their story with a lot of hit and miss. The female they are after is very kind but oblivious to the fact the respective boys-turned-men like her that much despite having known them for so many years.

3) Both have a link to the primary newspaper exploring them, ensuring they get the best press by getting either closer to a reporter or in Spiderman's case being that reporter (at least in his original storyline, that changes with this newer guy and how they're playing it out there with him as a younger goofy type).

Now, let's state some more clear-cut ones:

  • Both are in flexible red suits (Spiderman's is a lot more flexible but that's not really a disproof)
  • The suits are not only streamlined to help their powers be utilised and protect their body but also are used to protect their identity as they regularly go around their local city (not town, not village, both very urban) to fight crime.
  • Both of them have interactions with the woman/chick/girl they crush on while in the 'hero persona' this sparks things that then help them in the normal persona.
  • While Spiderman had Venom corrupt him for his overly 'cocky' era, Flash's speedforce itself makes him continously very arrogant in his abilities and drunk on optimistic overestimation. Flash has had moments where Spiderman had a whole movie or Comic-book era dedicated to a the speed force and a villain bringing out their bad side but that's not really important as much as this:
  • Reverse-flash is symbolically to Flash what Venom is to Spiderman. I get that physiologically Venom is very different to Spiderman but these 2 villains have a similar suit/outfit that is blatantly designed to be more sinister than their hero counterpart. It is not common in either comic for heroes to have a villain that sort of 'mirrors' them in a bad way like that. Only Iron Man in Marvel comes to mind as having had such a villain and that was short-lived.
  • Zoom is similar to Green Goblin's son (Harry Osborn) that becomes Green Goblin. Both are jaded sons hellbent on revenge and power, both have Flash or Spiderman (respectively) continuously interact with them out of their suit and mistake them as an ally that understands and relates to them. Both also find that their hero (Flash or Spiderman) struggles to kill them when the time comes and it is in fact their own relentless bloodthirst to defeat the hero and outdo him that brings both to their death (or in Zoom's case total disappearance as we don't truly know what Time Wraiths do to the captured).
  • Harry Osborn, other than in this newest iteration, was a handsome, cocky guy in the movies of Toby Maguire's Spiderman very much like Hunter Zolomon in Flash. Don't deny it, they are sexy, handsome men to some degree. I admit this wasn't true in the comics, Zoom in fact kind of was reverse-flash revamped but green goblin also had 2 iterations and was rethought of in some editions of Marvel as well.

Now for some more subtle ones:

  • In the 'teams' that form, in Spiderman's case it's during the Civil war with him being team Iron Man and in Flash's case it's The Crisis team (not the justice league as such but that can count in a way) Flash and Spiderman are the fast, nimble sidekicks. While I admit Flash's speed makes him ultimately more truly OP than Spiderman ever will be, both are ultimately flankers and supports to their team. Where Spiderman is a support by stunning, trapping and such, Flash is the support by being fast, grabbing and handing enemies over. Both of them are incredible dodgers which makes them excellent melee supports while the ranged members of their team can snipe from afar or more powerful (strong-offence) members can come in and attack as the Flash or Spiderman weaves (pun intended) in and out, disrupting the enemies.
  • While the movies don't truly do it justice, Spiderman is definitely very fast. Of course he's not flash-fast but Spiderman thinks extremely fast and 'feels' threats including precise punches and bullets, coming from afar able to either dodge or weave thick protective web to handle it.
  • Both of them flex their powers at times by either scaling or running up buildings respectively and in each iteration have a period of 'discovering' their powers that is 'exciting' once they realise they can handled up-down fights like that. This also makes it very difficult for them to hide and stay out of the limelight as especially their big-scale building fights make them big time news locally.
  • Kid-Flash is to Flash what Andrew Macquire is to Spiderman minus wanting to 'mimic' their main hero. What is interesting however is that Macquire and Kid-Flash both are even goofier/funnier than their counterparts without being dorkier.
  • Spiderman and Flash both were victims of bullying and are one of the only characters that aren't villains in their comics who have this strong backstory of being taunted as youngsters and overcoming it. They are paragons of what a person with a tough childhood who is skinner than most rather than chubbier, can relate to. The pain of a scrawny guy who keeps trying to use his intellect to compensate is one that only those who relate to it... relate to it (well duh). You either relate or you don't it's not a half-relate thing and is a very underdone trope actually when it comes to heroes rather than villains.
  • Just like I said they're both the flashy, dodging supports for the teams they join, there's a more interesting constant; even in Team Flash where Flash is the 'main guy' on paper, he never really was; Harrison Wells was (or Eobard Thawne). He always has a strong male mentor and so does Spiderman in the teams he forms and his adoptive uncle before him or even that mean guy at the newspaper place that he gave his photography... yeah that's the guy who adopts Spiderman in one iteration of the comics. These guys represent the 'needy son for a dad' vibe that again only those who can relate will relate to in any way. That character is often not just more masculine but also genuinely wiser, for Spiderman it's Iron man in the later iterations and team and for Flash it's The (Green) Arrow.

Round 2
They both have a lot of tragedy in their lives.
Round 3
Con had one more Round to even make their first argument for me to rebuke.
Round 4
Totally unfair if my opponent posts now.