With tens of thousands of comic book characters out there, it’s only logical that eventually writers will run out of fresh ideas. At some point companies like DC or Marvel will take a look into the competition’s comics and copy whatever tickles their fancy, resulting in numerous DC/Marvel copycats.
Let’s take a look at 15 examples we thought you would enjoy the most!
15. Marvel: Buried Alien – The Flash
Although it is well known that Quicksilver was modeled after The Flash from DC Comics, they still have vastly different origin stories and quite different looks. There is one Marvel character, however, who has a striking resemblance to Barry Allen. In fact, the purpose of his creation was to pay tribute to the Scarlet Speedster after his death in Crisis on Infinite Earths.
He is a speedster from another universe, who suffers from amnesia, therefore cannot remember his name. He does mention, though, that it sounds a lot like “Buried Alien”. The speedster’s costume is similar to the one of The Flash, with red and yellow coloring, and his hair is blonde, just like Barry’s.
It is implied The Flash didn’t die in the events of Crisis on Infinite Earths, instead he ran so fast he jumped from DC Universe to the Marvel one.
14. Marvel: Hawkeye – Green Arrow
23 years after Green Arrow’s debut, a Marvel copycat appeared in 57th issue of Tales of Suspense.
Much like the DC version, Hawkeye uses a bow and a wide range of trick arrows to deal with his enemies. Not only does his outfit have a similar look, with the exception of the color scheme, but also he’s in a relationship with Mockingbird, a character that resembles Green Arrow’s love partner named Black Canary.
13. DC: Damage – The Hulk
This is probably the newest addition to DC/Marvel copycats collection. While the original Damage character, introduced in 1994, bears no resemblance to the Hulk, the 2018 version definitely does.
The second Damage, called Ethan Avery, is a product of the Damage Project, designed for creating living weapons of mass destruction. Much like Bruce Banner, Ethan changes into a raging monster and constantly tries to keep his alter ego from triggering the transformation.
This powerful duo, without a doubt, belongs to the most well-known DC/Marvel copycats out there. After DC Comics introduced us to Jack Kirby’s New Gods, Marvel gave Jim Starlin a task to create their own version in that image just two years later.
Jim had a lot of designs for Marvel’s equivalent of New Gods called Titans and their main man called Thanos, who was originally inspired by DC’s Metron. However, after his boss took a look at the drawing he told him: “Beef him up! If you’re going to steal one of the New Gods, at least rip off Darkseid, the really good one!”.
In the result, the Mad Titan has a slightly modified Darkseid costume and is the Avengers’ worst nightmare, just like Darkseid is to the Justice League.
11. Marvel: Vision – Red Tornado
Vision has become quite a popular character thanks to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but not many know that the idea of this character was strongly based on DC’s Red Tornado.
Vision appeared just two months after the DC counterpart, in the 57th issue of the Avengers. Their looks are pretty much the same, with the exception of the color, and they are both superpowered androids.
10. DC: Swamp Thing – Man-Thing
Just like the two characters above, Swamp Thing and Man-Thing’s debuts were also separated by two months period. Both of them are men that worked on some sort of biological experiments and eventually ended up becoming creatures of the swamp.
They both are human-plant hybrids and seem to be inspired by Image Comics’ character the Heap, which was introduced nearly 30 years before Man-Thing and Swamp Thing were a thing.
9. Marvel: Hyperion – Superman
Since 1969, there have been many variations of Hyperion in Marvel comics. They all resembled Superman in some way. Their origin stories were almost identical to Superman’s, in a sense that both of those characters are the last survivors of their destroyed planet.
Hyperion’s costume possesses almost all of the elements that made Superman the most recognizable superhero in the history of comics and his powers had been copied and pasted from DC to Marvel, giving Hyperion Man of Steel’s signature power set that includes heat vision, ice breath, flight, super senses and more.
8. Marvel: Deadpool – Deathstroke
If you’re familiar with these two characters, then you probably know that they have a striking resemblance to one another. That’s because Deadpool was heavily inspired by Deathstroke, who appeared 11 years before the Merc with the Mouth’s debut.
Aside from a similar costume, skillset and weapons, Deadpool also has a healing factor just like Deathstroke does. Surprises, however, don’t end there. Probably the most obvious nod to his DC counterpart is his name Wade Wilson, which is an inside-joke to being “related” to Slade Wilson, also known as Deathstroke.
7. DC: Bumblebee – Wasp
This DC/Marvel rip-off belongs to the same category as Hawkeye does. Wasp and Bumblebee are pretty much the same characters, that a person who’s not a comic book geek probably couldn’t tell apart.
Karen Beecher made her debut as Bumblebee in 1977, 14 years after the Wasp. She also has the ability to fly and shrink to the size of an insect. If her name isn’t too big of a nod to her Marvel predecessor, Bumblebee’s outfit is almost identical to that of Wasp’s.
6. Marvel: Bullseye – Deadshot
Bullseye and Deadshot aren’t really as identical as some of the superheroes and supervillains on this list, but they do have a specific connection.
Before Bullseye, Deadshot was the only well-known marksman that never missed a target, so if another character happens to appear with the same unique skillset, we have to assume he was based on Floyd Lawton. Aside from both of their costumes having slight similarities, Bullseye and Deadshot also share the same occupation as mercenaries.
Both Avengers and Justice League are popular superhero teams among the comic book fandom, but one of them was actually ripped off from the other.
After the success of Justice League series, Marvel decided it was time they created a league of their own. Stan Lee and Jack Kirby assembled five A-listers of the Marvel Universe and called the team the Avengers.
Since then, there have been countless variations of those teams and their rosters, but it cannot be denied that DC did it first.
4. DC: Red Lion – Black Panther
Much like the Damage character mentioned earlier, Red Lion is a relatively new addition to the DC/Marvel copycats collection, appearing for the first time in 2016.
Just like Black Panther rules over Wakanda, Red Lion is the president and dictator of another fictional nation called Buredunia. His intentions are quite different than those of Black Panther’s, since he’s more on the evil side. Red Lion’s skillset and red-colored costume are strongly based on the ones that belong to the King of Wakanda.
3. Marvel: Black Cat – Catwoman
What Spider-Man and Batman have in common is the vast and complex rogues gallery, and their feline companions are no exception. From the complicated love-hate relationships to being jewelry thieves dressed in black leather with cat gimmicks, both Black Cat and Catwoman serve pretty much the same role to their costumed partners.
Even though the characters have some minor differences, it’s pretty clear that Black Cat is a rip-off of her DC counterpart.
2. Marvel: Wolverine – Timber Wolf
Have you ever wondered how Marvel came up with Wolverine? Well, they must’ve found the inspiration when reading about DC Comics’ Legion of Super-Heroes.
Probably not many of you know that a character called Timber Wolf was a member of this team and his appearance might seem familiar to you. That’s most likely because the creators of Wolverine based his design on him. Even their powers are pretty much the same, ranging from claws on their hands to a healing factor.
Aquaman is without a doubt DC’s most popular rip-off character. He debuted in comic books in the year 1941, two years after his Marvel counterpart called Namor.
They both are sons of human fathers and Atlantean mothers, while their powers, like with most Marvel/DC copycats, are very much alike. Whether you look at the origin story, their abilities or the mythology that surrounds them, Aquaman pretty much stole everything from Namor.
◊ ◊ ◊
What did you think of our list? Keep in mind, that this is just a portion of the characters Marvel and DC copied from one another. Do you have any other ripped-off superheroes or supervillains in mind that we haven’t mentioned? Feel free to share them with us in the comments section below.
Don’t forget to leave your suggestions for future articles. If we pick your idea, we’ll mention your name at the top of that very story, so don’t miss out!