Tag Archives: Fear

Advertising Techniques Classified by Modes of Persuasion

Advertising Techniques Classified by Modes of Persuasion Table

This article is attempting to establish a relationship between the three modes of persuasion and particular advertising techniques. Ethos is an appeal to authority.  Logos is an appeal to logic. Pathos is an appeal to emotion.  I have added a fourth category, media, because some advertising techniques don’t really fit the modes of persuasion but are media centric.  Marshall McLuhan has argued that “the medium is the message”.  Ancient Greece had limited types of media and would find this category confusing but media technique is increasingly important as part of the art of persuasion since the 20th century.

 

1) Altruism – The ad presents an altruistic story and hopes the viewer associates the story with the product and/or service.  The ad ultimately evokes emotions and is therefore a type of pathos.

2) Analogy – A similarity between like features of two things, on which a comparison may be based.  This is a type of logical argument and therefore logos.

3) Arouse Curiosity – The ad catches the curiosity and therefore the attention of the customer.  Curiosity is a feeling and therefore a type of pathos.

4) Bandwagon – Trying to convince viewers that a product is good because “everyone” is buying it; encouraging people to “jump on the bandwagon”.  The people are the authority and therefore this is an example of ethos.

5) Card Stacking – Telling the facts from one side only.  This is a manipulation of the logic of the argument and therefore logos.

6) Cartoon Character – An animated character that promotes a product.  This is a good example of a media that did not even exist in Ancient Greece.  This is a mass media technique.

7) Children – In most houses, children have a say in every big or small purchase made. Most parents just give in to the tantrums, a fact well known to the advertisers. Out of ten commercials one sees through any medium, 8 have children featured in them who are generally a little more perfect than the target audience. These perfect children then go on to become role-models that have to emulated by other children.  I think this is an example in which the same commercial persuades the parents using emotion i.e. pathos.  However, there may be an ethos effect on the children watching the advertisement.  Finally, in the very beginning of film the fact that children look good on film was noticed i.e. this is a mass media issue.

8) Comparison Appeal – This brand is better than other brands of the same product.  A taste test between Pepsi and Coca Cola would be ethos.  Comparing the products using facts and figures would be logos.

9) Deal Appeal – This technique involves making the audience a compelling offer, and telling them exactly how to get it. Key words associated with this technique are “free” and “save”.  Saving money is logical but these types of ads often involved a lot of titillation i.e. pathos.

10) Emotional Appeal – Writers may appeal to fear, anger or joy to sway their readers. They may also add climax or excitement. This technique is strongly connected to the essay’s mood.  Emotional appeal is the modern way to refer to pathos.

11) Establish Credibility – “I have the honor of serving as president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, an organization operating in every southern state, with headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia.”  Appeal to authority and therefore ethos.

12) Exaggeration – Exaggerating products and their uses is another of the good advertising techniques and examples of the technique can explain how this works in the favor of the advertiser. Exaggeration of facts and figures is logos.  Exaggeration the appeal of the products to a peer product is ethos.

13) Exigency – Creating the impression that your action is required immediately or your opportunity will be lost forever.   A good combination of appealing to both logic and emotion and a reason this technique works.  Acting quickly before an opportunity is lost is logical and our emotions also kick in.

14) Facts and Figures – Statistics and objective factual information is used to prove the superiority of the product.  Statistics are the modern version of logic so this technique is logos.

15) Fantasy – Super athletes, superheroes, movie stars, the beautiful, the rich, the powerful, or things associated with them are featured with the hope that the consumer will tend to transfer the qualities of these people to the products and themselves and buy the item.  Fantasy is an emotional experience but I think there is also an element of ethos in that superheroes and movie stars are beings we aspire to be.

16) Fear – Using fear to sell a service and/or product.  This is the dark side of pathos.

17) Green – If you buy this product then you are helping the environment.  The ad can go to in a feel good direction and therefore pathos.  The ad might also be logical in that a dead world means yours truly is also dead.

18) Glittering Generalities – An emotionally appealing phrase so closely associated with highly valued concepts and beliefs that it carries conviction without supporting information or reason.  An appeal to emotion but can also be an appeal to authority depending on the ad.

19) Humor – The use of humor may help people remember the ad and want to buy the product because of the positive association with it.

20) Hyperbole – This is one of the more enjoyable persuasive techniques. It involves completely overstating and exaggerating your point for effect. (Like when your mom says, “I must have asked you a million times to clean your room!” Get it?).  The effect is ultimately emotional and therefore pathos.

21) Image Advertising–  Presenting a desirable situation or lifestyle in order to convince the viewers that if they use a product, they, too can have this lifestyle; beautiful people.

22) Innuendo – Causing the audience to become wary or suspicious of a competing product and/or service by hinting that negative information may be being kept secret.  Suspicion is an emotion so this is an example of pathos.

23) Irony – Irony is present if the writer’s words contain more than one meaning. This may be in the form of sarcasm, gentle irony, or a pun (play on words). It can be used to add humor or to emphasize an implied meaning under the surface. The writer’s “voice” becomes important here.  Humor is appeals to emotion therefore this is an example of pathos.

24) Jingle or Slogan – A “catchy” song or phrase that helps you remember a product.  A song or jingle is the use of media to get attention.

25) Lifestyle Appeal – In this technique, an advertisement provides a glimpse from a particular lifestyle or way of living.  The hope is that the audience will desire this lifestyle and transfer that longing to the product.  This is an example of ethos.

26) Magic Ingredients – The suggestion that some almost miraculous discovery makes the product exceptionally effective.  Ultimately this is a logical argument even if the argument is fallacious.

27) Mascot – Mascot the audience can identify with like Smokey the Bear.  A costumed character is ultimately a type of media that appeals to our emotions.

28) Metaphor – A figure of speech in which a term or phrase is applied to something to which it is not literally applicable in order to suggest a resemblance.  The metaphor may be an attempt to make a logical and/or emotional connection.  Therefore the metaphor could be logos and/or pathos.

29) Name Calling Appeal – In this technique, the advertiser compares its product or service to the competition in a way that is favorable to the advertiser.  This is the use of names that elicit emotion and therefore pathos.

30) Nostalgia – This appeal implies that this product takes you back to the “good old days” or back to nature, etc.  Nostalgia is ultimately emotional and therefore this is an example of pathos.

31) Parallelism – When an author creates a “balanced” sentence by re-using the same word structure, this is called parallelism. Always strive for parallelism when using compound or complex sentences.  Jingles and/or slogans can be improved using parallelism.  A jingle/slogan is media and an improvement on media is a media issue.

32) Patriotism – The suggestion that purchasing this product shows your love of your country.  Patriotism is an emotion so this is an example of pathos.

33) Personification – This technique gives human characteristics to a product, or service.  Novelty elicits positive feelings so this is an example of pathos but computer graphics mean this technique is used more effectively and perhaps more often.

34) Plain Folks – The product is not elitist and suitable for ordinary people.  This is an ethos argument.

35) Promise a Benefit – The ad promises a benefit to the consumer.  Does the benefit have emotional appeal?  Does the benefit make sense logically?  Will the benefit help you socially?  This technique can be slanted to be ethos, logos or pathos.

36) Red Herring – Highlighting a minor detail as a way to draw attention away from more important details or issues.  This is an appeal to logic i.e. using logic to mislead the viewer therefore logos.

37) Repetition – Repeating an element within one advertisement so that viewers will remember the advertisement and will buy the product.  Repetition is an important part of mass media in which ads are played again and again rather than a type of argument.

38) Reverse Psychology – A persuasion technique involving the false advocacy of a belief or behavior contrary to the belief or behavior which is actually being advocated.  This is a manipulation of both our logic and our emotion in tandem.

39) Rhetorical Question – Sometimes a writer will ask a question to which no answer is required. The writer implies that the answer is obvious; the reader has no choice but to agree with the writer’s point.  This is ultimately an appeal to logic so logos.

40) Savings or Free – You will save money or get something free if you buy this product.  Saving money is logical if the price aspect is emphasized but emotional if the thrill of the sale is emphasized.

41) Scale – A product looks bigger or smaller in the ad than the actual product.  This is a graphic design trick and therefore media.

42) Sensory Appeal – The product tastes good, looks good, or feels good.  Sounds or pictures appealing to the senses are featured.  This is generally done with video and is the use of this media to elicit very basic emotions and therefore pathos and media.

43) Shocking the Viewer – An effective method of advertising, shocking viewer gets them more interested in the product, because it is a shift in their comfort zone. Shock is an emotion therefore this is an example of pathos.

44) Simple Solutions – One product and/or service solves several problems at the same time.  Simple solutions are easy to understand logically therefore this is a type of logos argument.

45) Slice of Life Appeal – A problem is presented in a “realistic” manner by “real” people. The real people are an example of ethos.

46) Snob Appeal – The use of the product makes the customer part of an elite group with a luxurious and glamorous life style.  The elite group is an example of ethos.

47) Testimonial Appeal – In this technique, a celebrity or authority figure endorses the product.  This could be a celebrity, sports star, or “professional”.  Ethos yet again!

48) Transfer – Words and ideas with positive connotations are used to suggest that the positive qualities should be associated with the product and the user.  This is the use of the emotional impact of words and therefore pathos.

49) Weasel Words – “Weasel words” are used to suggest a positive meaning without actually really making any guarantee.  This is a sneakier version of word choice (50) and ultimately a manipulation of emotion and therefore pathos.

50) Word Choice – Is a person “slim” or “skinny”? Is an oil spill an “incident” or an “accident”?   This is a narrower version of transfer (48) and therefore still pathos.

Conclusion

There were 24 examples of pathos ad techniques.  There were 18 examples of ethos ad techniques.  There were 15 examples of logos ad techniques.   There were 9 examples of media techniques.  This means most ad techniques make an appeal to emotion.

Handout at:

Hugh Fox III - Amazing 3D

You can also download my autobiography of my struggle with a bipolar condition on  Am I Kitsune on my Google Drive.

WereVerse Universe Baby!

50 Advertising Techniques

50 Advertising Techniques Table

 

1) Altruism – The ad presents an altruistic story and hopes the viewer associates the story with the product and/or service.

2) Analogy – A similarity between like features of two things, on which a comparison may be based.

3) Arouse Curiosity – The ad catches the curiosity and therefore the attention of the customer.

4) Bandwagon – Trying to convince viewers that a product is good because “everyone” is buying it; encouraging people to “jump on the bandwagon”.

5) Card Stacking – Telling the facts from one side only.

6) Cartoon Character – An animated character that promotes a product.

7) Children – In most houses, children have a say in every big or small purchase made. Most parents just give in to the tantrums, a fact well known to the advertisers. Out of ten commercials one sees through any medium, 8 have children featured in them who are generally a little more perfect than the target audience. These perfect children then go on to become role-models that have to emulated by other children.

8) Comparison Appeal – This brand is better than other brands of the same product.

9) Deal Appeal – This technique involves making the audience a compelling offer, and telling them exactly how to get it. Key words associated with this technique are “free” and “save”.

10) Emotional Appeal – Writers may appeal to fear, anger or joy to sway their readers. They may also add climax or excitement. This technique is strongly connected to the essay’s mood.

11) Establish Credibility – “I have the honor of serving as president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, an organization operating in every southern state, with headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia.”

12) Exaggeration – Exaggerating products and their uses is another of the good advertising techniques and examples of the technique can explain how this works in the favor of the advertiser.

13) Exigency – Creating the impression that your action is required immediately or your opportunity will be lost forever.

14) Facts and Figures – Statistics and objective factual information is used to prove the superiority of the product.

15) Fantasy – Super athletes, superheroes, movie stars, the beautiful, the rich, the powerful, or things associated with them are featured with the hope that the consumer will tend to transfer the qualities of these people to the products and themselves and buy the item.

16) Fear – Using fear to sell a service and/or product.

17) Green – If you buy this product then you are helping the environment.

18) Glittering Generalities – An emotionally appealing phrase so closely associated with highly valued concepts and beliefs that it carries conviction without supporting information or reason.

19) Humor – The use of humor may help people remember the ad and want to buy the product because of the positive association with it.

20) Hyperbole – This is one of the more enjoyable persuasive techniques. It involves completely overstating and exaggerating your point for effect. (Like when your mom says, “I must have asked you a million times to clean your room!” Get it?).

21) Image Advertising–  Presenting a desirable situation or lifestyle in order to convince the viewers that if they use a product, they, too can have this lifestyle; beautiful people.

22) Innuendo – Causing the audience to become wary or suspicious of a competing product and/or service by hinting that negative information may be being kept secret.

23) Irony – Irony is present if the writer’s words contain more than one meaning. This may be in the form of sarcasm, gentle irony, or a pun (play on words). It can be used to add humor or to emphasize an implied meaning under the surface. The writer’s “voice” becomes important here.

24) Jingle or Slogan – A “catchy” song or phrase that helps you remember a product.

25) Lifestyle Appeal – In this technique, an advertisement provides a glimpse from a particular lifestyle or way of living.  The hope is that the audience will desire this lifestyle and transfer that longing to the product.

26) Magic Ingredients – The suggestion that some almost miraculous discovery makes the product exceptionally effective.

27) Mascot – Mascot the audience can identify with like Smokey the Bear.

28) Metaphor – A figure of speech in which a term or phrase is applied to something to which it is not literally applicable in order to suggest a resemblance.

29) Name Calling Appeal – In this technique, the advertiser compares its product or service to the competition in a way that is favorable to the advertiser.

30) Nostalgia – This appeal implies that this product takes you back to the “good old days” or back to nature, etc.

31) Parallelism – When an author creates a “balanced” sentence by re-using the same word structure, this is called parallelism. Always strive for parallelism when using compound or complex sentences.  Jingles and/or slogans can be improved using parallelism.

32) Patriotism – The suggestion that purchasing this product shows your love of your country.

33) Personification – This technique gives human characteristics to a product, or service.

34) Plain Folks – The product is not elitist and suitable for ordinary people.

35) Promise a Benefit – The ad promises a benefit to the consumer.

36) Red Herring – Highlighting a minor detail as a way to draw attention away from more important details or issues.

37) Repetition – Repeating an element within one advertisement so that viewers will remember the advertisement and will buy the product.

38) Reverse Psychology –  A persuasion technique involving the false advocacy of a belief or behavior contrary to the belief or behavior which is actually being advocated.

39) Rhetorical Question – Sometimes a writer will ask a question to which no answer is required. The writer implies that the answer is obvious; the reader has no choice but to agree with the writer’s point.

40) Savings or Free – You will save money or get something free if you buy this product.

41) Scale – A product looks bigger or smaller in the ad than the actual product.

42) Sensory Appeal – The product tastes good, looks good, or feels good.  Sounds or pictures appealing to the senses are featured.

43) Shocking the Viewer – An effective method of advertising, shocking viewer gets them more interested in the product, because it is a shift in their comfort zone.

44) Simple Solutions – One product and/or service solves several problems at the same time.

45) Slice of Life Appeal – A problem is presented in a “realistic” manner by “real” people.

46) Snob Appeal – The use of the product makes the customer part of an elite group with a luxurious and glamorous life style.

47) Testimonial Appeal – In this technique, a celebrity or authority figure endorses the product.  This could be a celebrity, sports star, or “professional”.

48) Transfer – Words and ideas with positive connotations are used to suggest that the positive qualities should be associated with the product and the user.

49) Weasel Words – “Weasel words” are used to suggest a positive meaning without actually really making any guarantee.

50) Word Choice – Is a person “slim” or “skinny”? Is an oil spill an “incident” or an “accident”?

Handout at:

Hugh Fox III - April Fool

You can also download my autobiography of my struggle with a bipolar condition on  Am I Kitsune on my Google Drive.

WereVerse Universe Baby!

 

The Giant Mosaic Good Luck Poster

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Giant Good Luck Poster

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Five Buddhas, Deity, Color, Element, Direction, Sense, Medical, Organ, English name, Consort, Bodhisattva, Wheel-turning Buddhas, Delusion, Enlightened Mind, Symbol, Syllable, Vehicle, Aggregate, Vairochana, white, space, Center, sight, energy channels, heart, Illuminating, White Tara, Vajradhatvisvari, Samantabhadra, Krakucchanda, ignorance, delusion, All-encompassing, Dharmadatu, Wisdom, Wheel, Tathagata, OM, dragon, form, rupa, Sanskrit, Akshobhya, blue, water, East, sound, blood flow, kidneys, Unshakable, Locana, Vajrapani, Kanakamuni, anger, hatred/, Mirror-like, Wisdom, Vajra, HUM, elephant, consciousness, vijnana, Ratnasambhava, yellow, earth, South, smell, Flesh, spleen, Jewel-born, Mamaki, Ratnapani, Kashyapa, pride, miserliness, Wisdom of Equality, Jewel, Ratna, TRAM, Horse, lion, sensation, vendana, Amitabha, red, fire, West, taste, body, heat, liver, Infinite Light, Pandara, Avalokiteshvara, Shakyamuni, desire, lust, Discriminating, Wisdom, Lotus, Padma, HRIH, peacock, perception, sanjna, Amogasiddhi, green, air, North, touch, inner winds, lungs, Conqueror, Green, Tara, Vishvapani, Maitreya, jealousy, fear, All-accomplishing Wisdom, Double Vajra, Karma, AH, garuda, impulses, Samskara

Five Buddhas, Deity, Color, Element, Direction, Sense, Medical, Organ, English name, Consort, Bodhisattva, Wheel-turning Buddhas, Delusion, Enlightened Mind, Symbol, Syllable, Vehicle, Aggregate, Vairochana, white, space, Center, sight, energy channels, heart, Illuminating, White Tara, Vajradhatvisvari, Samantabhadra, Krakucchanda, ignorance, delusion, All-encompassing, Dharmadatu, Wisdom, Wheel, Tathagata, OM, dragon, form, rupa, Sanskrit, Akshobhya, blue, water, East, sound, blood flow, kidneys, Unshakable, Locana, Vajrapani, Kanakamuni, anger, hatred/, Mirror-like, Wisdom, Vajra, HUM, elephant, consciousness, vijnana, Ratnasambhava, yellow, earth, South, smell, Flesh, spleen, Jewel-born, Mamaki, Ratnapani, Kashyapa, pride, miserliness, Wisdom of Equality, Jewel, Ratna, TRAM, Horse, lion, sensation, vendana, Amitabha, red, fire, West, taste, body, heat, liver, Infinite Light, Pandara, Avalokiteshvara, Shakyamuni, desire, lust, Discriminating, Wisdom, Lotus, Padma, HRIH, peacock, perception, sanjna, Amogasiddhi, green, air, North, touch, inner winds, lungs, Conqueror, Green, Tara, Vishvapani, Maitreya, jealousy, fear, All-accomplishing Wisdom, Double Vajra, Karma, AH, garuda, impulses, Samskara

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Five Buddhas Collage

Five Buddhas, Deity, Color, Element, Direction, Sense, Medical, Organ, English name, Consort, Bodhisattva, Wheel-turning Buddhas, Delusion, Enlightened Mind, Symbol, Syllable, Vehicle, Aggregate, Vairochana, white, space, Center, sight, energy channels, heart, Illuminating, White Tara, Vajradhatvisvari, Samantabhadra, Krakucchanda, ignorance, delusion, All-encompassing, Dharmadatu, Wisdom, Wheel, Tathagata, OM, dragon, form, rupa, Sanskrit, Akshobhya, blue, water, East, sound, blood flow, kidneys, Unshakable, Locana, Vajrapani, Kanakamuni, anger, hatred/, Mirror-like, Wisdom, Vajra, HUM, elephant, consciousness, vijnana, Ratnasambhava, yellow, earth, South, smell, Flesh, spleen, Jewel-born, Mamaki, Ratnapani, Kashyapa, pride, miserliness, Wisdom of Equality, Jewel, Ratna, TRAM, Horse, lion, sensation, vendana, Amitabha, red, fire, West, taste, body, heat, liver, Infinite Light, Pandara, Avalokiteshvara, Shakyamuni, desire, lust, Discriminating, Wisdom, Lotus, Padma, HRIH, peacock, perception, sanjna, Amogasiddhi, green, air, North, touch, inner winds, lungs, Conqueror, Green, Tara, Vishvapani, Maitreya, jealousy, fear, All-accomplishing Wisdom, Double Vajra, Karma, AH, garuda, impulses, Samskara

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Five Buddhas, Deity, Color, Element, Direction, Sense, Medical, Organ, English name, Consort, Bodhisattva, Wheel-turning Buddhas, Delusion, Enlightened Mind, Symbol, Syllable, Vehicle, Aggregate, Vairochana, white, space, Center, sight, energy channels, heart, Illuminating, White Tara, Vajradhatvisvari, Samantabhadra, Krakucchanda, ignorance, delusion, All-encompassing, Dharmadatu, Wisdom, Wheel, Tathagata, OM, dragon, form, rupa, Sanskrit, Akshobhya, blue, water, East, sound, blood flow, kidneys, Unshakable, Locana, Vajrapani, Kanakamuni, anger, hatred/, Mirror-like, Wisdom, Vajra, HUM, elephant, consciousness, vijnana, Ratnasambhava, yellow, earth, South, smell, Flesh, spleen, Jewel-born, Mamaki, Ratnapani, Kashyapa, pride, miserliness, Wisdom of Equality, Jewel, Ratna, TRAM, Horse, lion, sensation, vendana, Amitabha, red, fire, West, taste, body, heat, liver, Infinite Light, Pandara, Avalokiteshvara, Shakyamuni, desire, lust, Discriminating, Wisdom, Lotus, Padma, HRIH, peacock, perception, sanjna, Amogasiddhi, green, air, North, touch, inner winds, lungs, Conqueror, Green, Tara, Vishvapani, Maitreya, jealousy, fear, All-accomplishing Wisdom, Double Vajra, Karma, AH, garuda, impulses, Samskara

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DC vs. Marvel Horror Hosts

House of Mystery #1

This is the seventh post in this series. The series pits non superhero genre characters from DC and Marvel against each other. The first post looked at Westerns and Western heroes (https://foxhugh.wordpress.com/2009/02/13/dc-vs-marvel-western-heroes/), the second post looked at war comics and war heroes (https://foxhugh.wordpress.com/2009/03/21/dc-vs-marvel-war-heroes/), the third post looked at women’s comics and working women (https://foxhugh.wordpress.com/2009/04/11/dc-vs-marvel-working-women) and the fourth post looked at space operas and spacemen (https://foxhugh.wordpress.com/2009/04/20/dc-vs-marvel-spacemen/). The fifth post analyzed funny animals (https://foxhugh.wordpress.com/2009/06/10/dc-vs-marvel-funny-animals/). The sixth post looked at the teenagers of teenage humor comic books (https://foxhugh.wordpress.com/2009/07/15/dc-vs-marvel-teenagers/). The eighth and next post will look at kid’s comic books.

This post looks at the horror genre. I had problems separating the horror genre from the superhero genre. This would not have been a problem when I was reading comic books in the sixties and seventies when I was younger. However, since at least the eighties, DC and Marvel heroes that belong to the horror genre have been incorporated into their mainstream comic book universes to the point that they are often just another type of superhero.

For example, Blade, who fights vampires, has done so many crossovers with mainstream Marvel characters that he is no longer a hero of the horror genre but a hero with horror roots who inhabits the Marvel superhero universe. The mystery that is essential in horror is lost when the characters of horror are overused in a flashy superhero universe that in many ways is the antithesis of horror. Superheroes wear bright colors and fly off into the sunset versus inhabiting a world beneath the moon, moss and worms. When you juxtapose a creature of horror with a superhero the creature of horror is lessened. The suspension of disbelief is just too much. I can temporarily believe in a world of horror. I can temporarily believe in a world of superheroes. I can only believe in a world with both superheroes and horror with difficulty.
The entire Vertigo line, a DC imprint, can be seen as an excellent attempt to bring the sense of horror back to DC by creating boundaries between creatures of horror and superheroes for the purposes of better story telling. So who represents pure horror in the DC and Marvel universes? I would argue the horror hosts do! Most horror comic books are anthologies with one-shot characters that often die a horrible death at the end and are never seen again. You have the same problem with romance comics. Both genre focus on single shot stories and finding ongoing characters in both genres is hard do. So what sort of character survives in a horror comic book? The host of the stories is who!
A horror host is the host of a horror comic book anthology. The most famous horror host does not belong to either the DC or Marvel line but to EC Comics. The host for the EC comic book Tales of the Crypt was the Crypt Keeper and perhaps the only horror host to make the transition to TV where the same character hosted the very popular and long running TV show of the same name and also two movies and even a Saturday morning cartoon named Secrets of the Cryptkeepers Haunted House. The Crypt Keeper was one of the GhouLunatics and that included fellow EC horror hosts the Vault Keeper and the Old Witch.

The DC horror hosts include Abel, Cain, Charity, Destiny, Eve, Mad Mod Witch, Madame Xanadu, and Macbeth’s witches (Mordred, Mildred and Cynthia). Abel was the host of the House of Secrets. Cain was the host of the House of Mystery. They are the Cain and Abel of Biblical fame and an ongoing gag is that Cain kills Abel over and over again whenever there is a crossover between the two brothers. The two houses sit next to each other so a little neighborly interaction is only to be expected. Charity was the host of Forbidden Tales of the Dark Mansion and probably wins the title of most obscure and forgotten DC horror host. Destiny hosted Weird Mystery Tales. Eve hosted Secrets of Sinister House from issues # 6-16. Eve later generally replaced Destiny as the host of Weird Mystery Tales. Abel and Cain are officially cousins of Eve. The Mad Mod Witch was the, on again of again, host of Unexpected from issue #108 onwards and with the alias Fashion Thing was rebooted by Neil Gaiman in the Sandman. Madame Xanadu was the host of Doorway to Mystery. Madame Xanadu returned in the first direct sales only comic book in Madame Xanadu. The series is a one-shot. The witches Mordred, Mildred and Cynthia hosted the Witching Hour. Lucian was the host of the short lived Tales of Ghost Castle.  Neil Gaiman made use of all the DC horror hosts, except Charity, in his Sandman series. Heck, even Lucian, perhaps the most obscure of the horror hosts became a librarian of the Sandman.  All the horror hosts have gone onto new fame and prominence in the Vertigo line that probably exceeds the fame and prominence they had during their original title runs in the sixties and seventies.

In the Sandman title, Destiny and is one of the Endless who in turn are mightier than gods. Destiny has been able to resist the influence of Zeus. Zeus is in turn much mightier than for example Superman. Zeus can create a female version of Superman, Wonder Woman. Destiny is one of the most powerful characters in the DC universe but is also considered the most boring story teller by Abel, Cain and Eve.

Despite a slew of horror tiles by Marvel/Atlas including Beware, Chamber of Chills, Chamber of Darkness. Creatures on the Loose, Crypt of Shadows, Dead of Night, Fear, Giant Size Chillers, Journey into Mystery (2nd series), Tomb of Darkness, Tower of Shadows, Uncanny Tales (2nd series), Vault of Evil, Weird Wonder Tales, Where Creatures Roam and Where Monsters Dwell only one of these titles had a horror host! Digger and Headstone P. Gravely hosted Tower of Shadows that was designed to go head on against DCs House of Mystery and House of Secrets. I do remember Tower of Shadows and I even remember the story of the first issue and I was like 14 years old at the time! I don’t remember the horror hosts at all. Two unknown hosts versus an interconnected family of DC hosts that are major part of the current DC/Vertigo universe? This contest doesn’t seem fair at all and I am going to change the rules! I am going to bring in a Marvels number one comic book host! The Watcher!

The Watcher acted as a host to futuristic stories in Tales of Suspense starting in issue #39 in the sixties. The Watcher acted as second story to the main Iron Man story. The stories were titled Tales of the Watcher. I actually often preferred the Watcher stories to the Iron Man stories and am totally aghast that Marvel has not made an Essential version of Tales of the Watcher. I mean Werewolf by Night and Spiderwoman get an Essential volume but not those great stories by the Watcher? The tradition was carried on in the first volume of the Silver Surfer. Later still the Watcher became the host of What If stories that were 100% superhero stories but the original Tales of the Watcher were mainstream science fiction complete with a Twilight Zone sort of lesson about the universe and/or humanity told by the Watcher at the end.

Despite their genre difference the Watcher and Destiny actually have an awful lot in common. The Watcher is a cosmic entity. Destiny is a cosmic entity. Destiny is a lot more powerful but like the Watcher mostly tells stories, and despite being blind, “observes” and doesn’t really do much. The Watcher is bald and for all we know Destiny might be bald as well. Destiny always wears a cowl and this is probably to hide his baldness. I would see Destiny as being somewhere in the power class of the Living Tribunal over at Marvel. Destiny and the Living Tribunal both wear cowls by the way. The Watcher is at least two hierarchical levels below the Living Tribunal.

The Living Tribunal is even more powerful than Eternity or Death that only represent the totality of one universe. Both Destiny and the Living Tribunal are multiverse type beings that more or less bring balance to the multiverse. There isn’t a different Destiny or Living Tribunal in each universe but one for the whole dang multiverse. A being that performs a balancing multiverse function has to be more powerful than any being limited to one universe no matter how powerful they are in that one universe. Destiny could squash the Watcher but this won’t happen.
Destiny and the Watcher are hyper rational, Mr. Spock is emotional compared to those two, and I do mean the old Mr. Spock, not that new guy French kissing Uhura, and would never engage in aggressive behavior except in self defense and neither would attack the other first since that would be illogical, uncivilized and just bad manners. Destiny and the Watcher both exchange the very best stories from their mutual universes and agree I am not a very good story teller and perhaps should find another hobby. This “DC versus Marvel” story ends in a draw.

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Other DC vs. Marvel Posts

Big Monsters

Fourth Wall Heroes

Funny Animals

Horror Hosts

Kids

Robots

Sidekicks

Spacemen

Superpets

Teenagers

Transportation

War Heroes

Weapons

Western Heroes

Women in Refrigerators

Working Women

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