Infographic: Top 10 DC and Marvel Copycat Characters
There have been plenty of comic book characters created through the years. That being said, it’s no wonder that some characters have featured similar abilities, powers, and attires from previous established works. They can be homages of the original, blatant imitations, or just plain coincidences. Here are our picks for the top 10 copycat comic book characters.
Elongated Man / Mr. Fantastic
Elongated Man – The Flash vol. 1, #112 (May 12, 1960)
Mr. Fantastic – The Fantastic Four #1 (Nov. 1961)
Elongated Man aka Ralph Dibny was a chemist who developed a formula from a rare “gingo” fruit that gave him elasticity, while Reed Richards – better known as Mr. Fantastic – was a scientist who was bombarded with cosmic rays during a failed trip to space that turned him into a human rubber band. Although they have different origins, their powers are basically the same. They both have the ability to stretch their bodies and shape-shift to a certain degree. The two also share an interest in science, serving as a scientific advisor to the superhero community. To top it all off, they both have wives named Sue. Is it just a coincidence? Maybe, but it’s still worth pointing out.
Red Tornado / Vision
Red Tornado – Justice League of America #64 (August 1968)
Vision – The Avengers #57 (October 1968)
Androids who develop human feelings are quite commonplace in fictional stories, but these two are the most popular in the world of comics. With only two months between their debuts, their origins are almost the same. A villain creates an android to destroy the heroes, only for it to rebel against its creator and help the heroes defeat him. When they both first appeared the two androids had the same red color, but while Red Tornado stuck to his namesake, the Vision has added a few colors to his superhero outfit. Even so, they both still sport a stylish cape that they were originally outfitted with. While Vision has found his way into the big screen as seen in “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” Red Tornado has yet to appear in a DC film.
Green Arrow / Hawkeye
Green Arrow – More Fun Comics #73 (November 1941)
Hawkeye – Tales of Suspense #57 (September 1964)
These two archers have been a real hit with audiences on both the big screen and the small screen. Green Arrow currently has his own TV series on the CW while Hawkeye has appeared in the Avengers films. Although they both have a bow and arrow as weapons against much more powerful beings, they still manage to hit their target whatever the circumstance. Oliver Queen was a playboy billionaire who suddenly got stranded on an island. With no other means of survival, he learns how to use a bow and arrow to hunt and for protection. After returning home to Star City, he decides to save his city by becoming the Green Arrow. Meanwhile, Clint Barton was an orphan who was trained by the Swordsman and Trick Shot to become an expert archer. Inspired by other heroes, he decides to use his skills to protect the world alongside the Avengers. Armed with a bow and a whole lot of trick arrows, these two are the top marksmen on their team.
Green Lantern Corps / Nova Corps
Green Lantern – Showcase #22 (September 1959)
Nova Corps – Fantastic Four #205 (April 1979)
An intergalactic police force that defends the galaxy from any threat that comes their way is basically how you describe the two corps on this list. They both draw power from an energy source on the corps’ home world and channel it through certain equipment given to them. The Green Lanterns channel the energy from the power battery in Oa to their ring to create hard light constructs. The limit of this power is only determined by their will. Meanwhile the Nova corpsmen receive their power (called Nova Force) from the living computers of Xandar. Their power comes from their helmet, but the amount of nova force that a corpsman can access is determined by their rank. Aside from those similarities, their first human members also seem to have the same origin. Just like Hal Jordan, Richard Rider of the Nova Corps was selected to join the corps after an encounter with a dying corpsman that crash landed on earth. We’ve seen both of these corps on the big screen, the Green Lantern Corps from the critically panned “Green Lantern”, and the Nova Corps from the fan favorite “Guardians of the Galaxy”.
Darkseid / Thanos
Darkseid – Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen #134 (November 1970)
Thanos – Iron Man #55 (February 1973)
The big bads of their respective universes, these two powerful space-chair-sitting beings are hell-bent on destroying the universe. Thanos is driven to do so because of his undying love for Lady Death, (pun intended), the physical embodiment of death itself. Darkseid on the other hand wants to destroy the universe just because he can. Well technically he wants to rule the universe, but to do that he would basically need to destroy anyone who dares to defy him (which is practically the whole universe). In any case, Thanos and Darkseid are considered to be one of the most powerful villains that our heroes have faced. Both villains are after powerful devices that can give them the power to destroy any world. Thanos has the infinity gauntlet, while Darkseid is after the anti-life equation. If you’ve followed the Marvel films, then you probably know that Thanos is coming soon to fight Earth’s mightiest heroes. As for Darkseid appearing in the Justice League film, well we have yet to find out.
Aquaman/Namor the Submariner
Namor – Motion Picture Funnies Weekly (April 1939)
Aquaman – More Fun Comics #73 (November 1941)
Aquaman (Arthur Curry) and Namor (Namor Makenzie) are both rulers of Atlantis and protector of the seas. They’re almost the same in every way, from their origins to their powers. The two hot-headed kings are sons of a human and a princess of Atlantis. They have super strength, the ability to survive the depths of the ocean, able to breath underwater, swim at incredible speeds, and of course the power to talk to aquatic creatures. Despite these similarities, they still have some key differences. Aquaman has the added power to control water, while Namor can fly, a power he developed due to his mutant heritage. A big difference between the two however is that while Aquaman is more of a superhero, Namor is an anti-hero that will do whatever it takes to protect his kingdom.
Doom Patrol / X-Men
Doom Patrol – My Greatest Adventure #80 (June 1963)
X-Men – The X-Men #1 (September 1963)
One description for these teams can also describe the other perfectly. Lead by a man in a wheelchair, they are essentially a group of misfits that use their strange powers to protect the very same humans that treat them as outcasts. What’s interesting about these two is the distance between their debuts. The X-Men was introduced on September of 1963, while the Doom Patrol came before them only three months prior. They also have a group of enemies that call themselves the brotherhood of evil/mutants. The only difference is that the Doom Patrol got their powers from accidents while the X-Men are born with it. With regards to which one is more famous – the X-Men have been featured in numerous films, with another one coming up pretty soon, while the Doom Patrol don’t seem to have any plans of being adapted to the big screen for now.
Black Cat/ Catwoman
Catwoman – Batman #1 (Spring 1940)
Black Cat – The Amazing Spider-Man #194 (July 1979)
No matter the universe, heroes always seem to have a thing for cat-themed villains. Catwoman and Black Cat are thieves who become love interests to their city’s heroes. Sometimes they help out the heroes in fighting crime, while often times they themselves are being foiled by the same heroes. Although they are both skilled fighters, Black Cat has more luck on her side, literally. Her powers can cause anyone near her to have bad luck. Guns jam, accidents occur, and they trip on the most improbable objects. Although Catwoman doesn’t have any powers, she does beat Black Cat in terms of popularity. She’s appeared in all types of media, from animated TV shows to blockbuster films. It seemed like Black Cat was about to have her chance when a woman named Felicia appeared in Amazing Spider-Man. Since another Spider-Man reboot is on the way, it looks like we’ll have to wait a few more years for her to make her film debut.
Deathstroke / Deadpool
Deathstroke – New Teen Titans #2 (December 1980)
Deadpool – The New Mutants #98 (February 1991)
You can’t have a list of copycat characters without having these two around. Their creators have admitted that Deadpool is basically Marvel’s version of Deathstroke. Even Deadpool’s name Wade Wilson is a reference to Deathstroke’s name – Slade Wilson. That being said, Deadpool has become more than just a copycat of Deathstroke. Both with healing factors, Deathstroke, the world’s greatest assassin, is a no-nonsense mercenary that can be a formidable enemy for anyone he targets. Meanwhile Deadpool, the “Merc with the mouth,” is an unpredictable assassin that has a knack for cracking jokes at the worst times. Luckily he has an incredible healing factor that lets him survive even decapitation. When it comes to fame, the two each have their own fan base. Whether you like it or not, these two are an example of a copycat evolving more into its own character that is just as well liked, perhaps even more compared to the original.
Superman / Hyperion
Superman – Action Comics #1 (April 1938)
Hyperion – Avengers #69 (Oct. 1969)
Superman is the superhero that started it all. He’s been a part of pop culture that almost anyone who has heard his name knows his story, so it’s no wonder that he will have more than a couple of copycats. There are tons from different publishers so listing them all would take too long. Instead we’ll focus on one of the heroes that resemble the big blue Boy Scout – Hyperion. His origin is basically the same as Superman’s. Sent to earth as a baby from a dying world, he is then raised by someone that teaches him the morals of society. With his incredible powers that resemble Superman’s, he becomes a hero and vows to protect the world alongside the Squadron Supreme. What’s interesting about him is that he hasn’t always been a hero. In some alternate universes, he is depicted as a super villain that has faced the Avengers in battle.
Do you have a set of copycat characters to add to this list? If so, share it by leaving a comment below!
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