If you’re a fan of superhero movies, it’s highly likely you’ve felt the pressure to pledge your allegiance to either Marvel or DC at one point or another. This is because everyone assumes you can’t like both of them and lead a normal life. Therefore, you have to be careful every time you get into a forum where people are discussing superheroes and villains. If you happen to promote ideas that are contrary to the beliefs of the members of such a forum, you will bear the full brunt of their wrath.
One thing you will notice though is that the Marvel Universe and the DC Extended Universe have hundreds of superheroes and villains. If you look closely, you’ll realize most of these characters have what appears to be their doubles in the other universe. You might be tempted to think these companies come up with character concepts together, and then develop their own in the way they please, which can’t be the case. One explanation is that they copy each other and pretend to have come up with their unique characters, which is really not fair to the ones who had the original ideas.
Since most of the characters in either of the universes were developed between 1939 all the way to the 1980s, many factors were involved in the adoption and creation of the characters. Furthermore, smaller comic books along the way were bought by these two giants, which led to the acquisition of characters who were already in existence among other factors.
Here are 15 characters from DC and 15 from Marvel who have too many things in common to be a coincidence. We’ve mentioned the years the characters first appeared in the comics, hoping to find out which character is a rip-off and which one is the original. However, as earlier mentioned, there was a lot involved in coming up with these characters, so it’s not as straightforward as it might seem. Do you think the similarities between these characters are just a coincidence?
15 Darkseid Vs. Thanos
By the time you’re reading this article, chances are you will have watched Avengers: Infinity War, or are planning to go as soon as you get the opportunity to do so. Therefore, you either have renewed respect for Thanos, as one of the most powerful villains in cinema so far, or you hate him to the core because he defeated your favorite superhero. Regardless of what you feel about him, here’s an opportunity to find out whether he’s the real deal or whether Marvel came up with him after reading a few DC comics. In addition to knowing that Thanos can end half the Universe with the snap of his fingers after he collects all six infinity stones, he currently has superhuman speed, strength, longevity, and durability. He’s also capable of telekinesis, telepathy, and energy manipulation.
Darkseid, on the other hand also wants to conquer the DC universe, and just like Thanos, he has superhuman speed, strength, longevity, and durability. Also, he can teleport and manipulate mass and energy. The only slight differences are that Darkseid can fly and shoot Omega beams from his hands and eyes.
These two are like the same person, except they’re in different universes. Darkseid appeared in the comics for the first time in Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen #134 in 1970, as a Cameo, but made a full appearance in Forever People #1 in 1971. On the other hand, Thanos appeared in Iron Man #55 in 1973, so it’s clear who the original villain is.
14 Doctor Strange Vs. Doctor Fate
When you have two characters in rival comic book universes sharing a title, it’s worth looking into the possibility of whether the two share a lot more. In 2016, we got to watch Doctor Strange in his amazing self-titled film and then we saw him again in last year’s Thor: Ragnarok. Both these performances were more than impressive, and judging from the trailers, his role in Avengers: Infinity War will be even more exciting.
Doctor Strange is arguably the more popular of these two characters on the big screen, but it’s only because we have yet to see Doctor Fate on any of the Justice League films so far. What makes these two characters so similar is their use of magic and spells to fight their opponents since these are the most powerful sorcerers in their respective universes.
In addition to his mastery of magic, Doctor Fate has the Helmet of Fate, the cloak of destiny and, the Amulet of Anubis. On the other hand, Doctor Strange has the Eye of Agamotto, the Cloak of Levitation, and the Orb of Agamotto, all of which help to make him even more powerful.
Doctor Fate first appeared in DC’s More Fun Comics #55 in 1940, while Doctor Strange first appeared in Strange Tales #110 in 1963. At least Marvel had somewhere to refer to when coming up with their superhero, or was the similarity just a coincidence?
13 Deadpool Vs. Deathstroke
The 2016 film Deadpool was so popular with moviegoers it must have shocked the guys who made it all happen. It was such a breath of fresh air, considering Deadpool’s other appearances in the X-Men films, where for some reason his mouth was sewn shut. They were terrible in every way. Now we can’t wait for the release of its sequel in May this year, which ought to be better than the first movie. Deathstroke, on the other hand, has appeared on The CW’s Arrow and he also appeared on Justice League’s end credits scene, where he met with Lex Luthor to come up with a League similar to what the heroes had done.
Deadpool and Deathstroke are so similar it’s embarrassing. The man under Deathstroke’s costume is called Slade Wilson, whereas the man under Deadpool’s costume is called Wade Wilson.
These two wear costumes with a striking resemblance, they’re both expert marksmen and swordsmen, they can fully heal after a serious injury, and they’re both very powerful villains, although Deadpool leans more towards being an anti-hero. Deadpool first appeared in Marvel’s New Mutants #98 in 1990, whereas Deathstroke had appeared in New Teen Titans #2, 10 years earlier. This is no coincidence.
12 Hawkeye Vs. Green Arrow
By now, we have all watched most, if not all the Avengers films, and if someone was to ask you who you thought was the weakest Avenger, you’d probably say it was Hawkeye. Even Hawkeye knows that all he has is a bow and arrow, and he has to go up against aliens and gods with all kinds of powers, which is really not fair. At least Black Widow uses guns and other fancy gadgets to level the playing field, making her arguably more dangerous than the villains and even Hawkeye.
Green Arrow is one of the most successful superheroes on TV these days, thanks to how well his show on The CW is doing. Just like Hawkeye, the Green Arrow has no superpowers, and all he has going for him is his amazing ability to shoot arrows with pinpoint accuracy.
Therefore, Hawkeye and Green Arrow have identical abilities, since, in addition to shooting arrows, they’re awesome fighters. So, who’s the copycat in this case? Hawkeye first hit the Marvel comics in Tales of Suspense #57 in 1964, while Green Arrow first appeared in DC’s More Fun Comics #73 in 1941. The slightly more than 20-year gap between the release of these characters was enough time for Marvel to think they were coming up with a new and unique superhero, right?
11 Ant-Man Vs. The Atom
If you’ve never come across an Ant-Man comic or animation, then you’ve probably watched the 2015 film by the same name, which was both a great movie and a box office success. We also got to see just how useful his powers are in Captain America: Civil War. Therefore, we all have a general understanding that his powers revolve around his ability to shrink to the size of an ant and even to grow to the size of a giant.
On the other hand, if you’ve watched Legends of Tomorrow, you will find that Brandon Routh plays a character called Atom with similar if not identical powers to Ant-Man. Atom can both shrink and grow his body as well as other objects at will, and his suit has other fancy features to make him even more interesting.
The heroes are so similar that the characters who played them were originally genius scientists who had no superpowers at all. Ant-Man first appeared in comics published by Marvel in January 1962, in Tales to Astonish #27 whereas Atom had already appeared in DC comics Showcase #34 in 1961. Could it be a coincidence that Marvel happened to think of a character with almost the same powers as another one in DC? Not really.
10 Quicksilver Vs The Flash
When it comes to speed no one is faster than The Flash, who can apparently run so fast he can travel through time. Although all the Flash can do is run fast, he is still one of the most dangerous superheroes in the DC universe, and one of the most popular as well. Fans always want to find out who between Superman and the Flash is faster, though the answer to this question wholly depends on the writer.
We have seen Quicksilver in a few X-Men films as well as in Avengers: Age of Ultron and what we can say about him is that he’s simply Marvel’s version of The Flash. Just like The Flash, Quicksilver’s main power is his ability to run fast, which makes it possible for him to dodge bullets and deliver very powerful punches.
There’s no denying just how similar these two speedsters are. It’s like one was fashioned to be the other’s double. Actually, the main differences between these two are who the heroes are in real life and how they got their powers. The Flash appeared for the first time in DC’s Flash Comics #1 in November 1939, while Quicksilver made his first appearance in Marvel’s The X-Men #4 in 1964.
9 Black Cat Vs Catwoman
Catwoman has appeared in quite a number of Batman films, as well as in her solo film Catwoman which hit theatres in July 2004. The film was not as successful as DC hoped it would be, but there’s always next time. She’s one of the main villains Batman often has to fight, or work alongside when she decides to shelf her evil ways for a while and work with him in a few cases as an anti-heroine.
We have yet to see Black Cat on the big screen. However, we almost saw her in The Amazing Spider-Man 2, but she never really suited up. In the comics, Black Cat is also a villain and at times an anti-heroine, who appears in the Spider-Man comics.
In addition to the fact that these two women are associated with cats, they are often the love interests of the superheroes they usually give a hard time, and the fact that their costumes are made of leather is interesting. Furthermore, these two have similar fighting skills, they tend towards burglary, they have acrobatic and gymnastic abilities, and whips are their weapon of choice. Black Cat first hit the comics on Marvel’s The Amazing Spider-Man #194 in 1979 whereas Catwoman first appeared in DC’s Batman #1 back in 1940. The copycat here is rather obvious.
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8 Mr. Fantastic Vs. Plastic Man and Elongated Man
This is the only entry here with three characters, but it’s the case because their powers are too similar its weird.
All three superheroes have bodies with elastic qualities, which means they can stretch out any part of their bodies and even assume different shapes at will. Of course, their biggest difference is their origin stories, but how they use their powers is nearly identical.
Marvel’s Mr. Fantastic and DC’s Plastic Man can withstand serious explosions and blasts, they’re arguably more durable than Elongated Man, and they don’t have to drink any portion to regain or maintain their powers. However, Mr. Fantastic and DC’s Elongated Man can shift their body and facial features to assume someone else’s identity and shape parts of their bodies to become weapons. Furthermore, these two married women called Sue, and they became rich and famous in the end.
DC’s Plastic Man was the first to hit the comics in Police Comics #1 in 1941, DC’s Elongated Man appeared in The Flash #112 in 1960, and finally, Marvel’s Mr. Fantastic appeared in Fantastic Four #1 in 1961. Mr. Fantastic is arguably the more popular superhero of the three, but is it possible Marvel just came up with a character who had a combination of the two DC characters or was it just a coincidence?
7 Namor Vs. Aquaman
If you’re a DC fan, then you’re still excited about how awesome Justice League was. You must also be excited about the direction the DC Extended Universe is taking in bringing their most popular heroes to fight alongside each other as is the case in the MCU’s Avengers. We got to see more of the new and improved Aquaman in the film. We can’t wait to see his solo film coming out towards the end of this year, because it will be out of this world.
Although we’ve yet to see him in the movies, Marvel has their own underwater superhero called Namor, who is also half Atlantean and half human, as Aquaman is. These two are so similar you’d think it’s the same character that has a way of moving from one universe to the next with no one finding out about it.
Both eventually became rulers of Atlantis, they have the same strengths and weaknesses, the same weapon of choice, and they can’t stay away from the ocean for too long. Namor first hit Marvel’s Motion Picture Funnies Weekly #1 in 1939, while DC’s Aquaman appeared on More Fun Comics #73 in 1941. Is it a coincidence that DC just came up with an identical character as the one Marvel had thought of, less than two years before?
6 Magneto Vs. Doctor Polaris
Whenever we get an opportunity to watch an X-Men film, we always anticipate a scene where Magneto will show us why he’s the leader of the mutants who are sick of being mistreated by human beings. His magnetism manipulation ability makes him one of the most dangerous mutants out there, and his helmet makes it impossible for Professor X or any other telepathic mutant from getting into his head. Furthermore, he can generate magnetic force fields and fly through magnetic fields.
Since Magneto is arguably the more popular of these two, most people don’t know DC has its own version of the character by the name of Doctor Polaris.
Although Doctor Polaris is an expert physician and physicist, he also has the power to manipulate magnetic fields and electromagnetism, he can generate magnetic force fields, and he can also fly. Apart from the differences in names, costumes, and universes, these two are almost the same villain with different backgrounds.
These two villains appeared in the comics in 1963. However, DC’s Doctor Polaris appeared on Green Lantern vol. 2 #21 in June whereas Marvel’s Magneto appeared on The X-Men #1 in September. With a two to three month difference in publication, it’s possible the conception of the ideas could have been independent. On the other hand, Marvel could have just copied the idea of their Magneto from DC’s Doctor Polaris.
5 Bullseye Vs. Deadshot
Arguably, the best things about DC’s 2016 film Suicide Squad was the fact that Will Smith was in it, and his portrayal of Deadshot was just amazing. Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn was also outstanding, but the film itself was not as good as we expected it to be, we hope its sequel slated to hit theatres next year will be different. Deadshot was arguably the leader of the Suicide Squad in the film, and he appeared to have the coolest powers of all. This character simply can’t miss, which makes him one of the toughest villains Batman usually has to go up against.
Bullseye, on the other hand, is Marvel’s version of Deadshot. Apart from very isolated incidences, he always hits his target.
Just like Deadshot, Bullseye is an assassin who has no superpowers, but his ability to use almost any projectile as a weapon is nothing short of remarkable. This guy can take someone out using playing cards or even pencils, a skill he has perfected it’s like a superpower. Bullseye first appeared on Marvel’s Daredevil #131 back in 1976, but it appears Deadshot was already taking out his targets a few decades before then. Deadshot first appeared in Batman #50, which hit the comic book stands in 1950.
4 Daredevil Vs. Doctor Mid-Nite
Daredevil and Doctor Mid-Nite are very special superheroes since they are the first physically challenged heroes in the Marvel and DC universes. The reason these two are here together is that they’re both crime fighters who have to take down villains yet they’re blind. Can you imagine how difficult it would be to do such a thing, given the value of attention to details and the appearance of evidence required during an investigation?
Daredevil lost his sight when he pushed a man out of harm’s way when a truck carrying a radioactive substance almost ran him over, only for the substance to fall on him and claim his sight. This incidence might have left him blind but all his other senses were heightened to the level of a superhero such that he even has a radar sense.
On the other hand, Doctor Mid-Nite used to be a surgeon who was operating on a patient, who was an eyewitness to a crime. The guilty mobsters threw a grenade in the operating room, taking out the eyewitness and blinding the soon to become superhero. Although Doctor Mid-Nite can see in the dark, he still shares so much with Daredevil.
Daredevil first appeared in Daredevil #1 in 1964, but Doctor Mid-Nite was already 23 years into fighting crime at the time. DC’s character first appeared in the All-American Comics #25 in 1941.
3 Swamp Thing Vs. Man-Thing
Swamp Thing and Man-Thing are two characters who are different from most other superheroes and villains in either Marvel or DC. These two have the name ‘Thing’, because they’re not exactly creatures that exist. They look like failed experiments or monsters since they’d frighten an individual the minute he or she lays eyes on them. However, these two ‘Things’ used to be scientists, and they have both fought for the good side on a number of occasions.
As his name suggests, Swamp Thing lives in a swamp, and he looks like he’s made of vegetable matter. Swamp Thing is an anti-hero since although he might appear to be hostile to people, his actions protect the environment and even protects humans from terrorist and supernatural threats.
On the other hand, Man-Thing is a humanoid swamp monster, who lives in Florida in a town called Citrusville. Although he’s large and moves slowly, he has superhuman strength and durability, he can secret a corrosive chemical, and he can teleport.
The interesting thing about these two characters is that they appeared in comics just a few weeks apart, which means this similarity must have been a coincidence. DC’s Swamp Thing first appeared in House of Secrets #92 in July 1971, while Marvel’s Man-Thing appeared in Savage Tales #1 in May 1971.
2 Sandman Vs. Clayface
DC and Marvel have characters by the name Sandman, but the Sandman, in this case, is the Marvel character. DC’s Sandman has yet to be part of the DC Universe since he’s largely associated with the folklore character that brings enjoyable dreams to children.
In addition to his appearances in the comics, we’ve seen Marvel’s Sandman in action on the big screen in Spider-Man 3, a 2007 film where the character was played so well by Thomas Haden Church. Although, it’s hard to imagine how a body made of sand can pose any threat, Sandman has superhuman strength, endurance, and durability. He can also change his size, shape, and even fly during a sandstorm, among other abilities.
Sandman has a lot in common with DC’s Clayface, and you can already tell by the names since sand and clay are both types of soil. Several people in the DC universe over the years have become Clayface, and all have been Batman’s adversaries. All incarnations of Clayface have had bodies made of clay and just like Sandman, they had shape-shifting abilities, can transform parts of their bodies into weapons, control their density, have superhuman strength, among other powers.
DC’s Clayface first appeared in Detective Comics #40 in 1940, whereas Marvel’s Sandman appeared for the first time in Amazing Spider-Man #4 in 1963. It seems as if Marvel had enough time to change a few things about their version of the character, but the similarities are still too pronounced.
1 Boomerang Vs. Captain Boomerang
Judging by their names, it’s clear just how similar these two characters are, besides the fact that they both come from Australia. Boomerang is a Marvel character, and the man who transforms into this villain is called Fred Myers. His main adversary is Spider-Man, although he has been part of several supervillain teams and fought against quite a number of heroes since coming into the picture.
Although it’s obvious that his weapon of choice is a boomerang, he wields a variety of such weapons, which have the potential to take down superheroes. He is also a highly skilled marksman, fighter, and baseball pitcher, and he uses jet boots to achieve flight.
Captain Boomerang, on the other hand, is a DC Supervillain whom we’ve seen on TV in Arrow, as well as on the big screen on Suicide Squad in 2016. From the comics, animations, and the film, we all know that his weapon of choice is the boomerang. Just like Boomerang, he weaponizes his boomerangs in tricky ways, and he’s a skilled fighter.
DC’s Captain Boomerang first appeared in The Flash #117 in 1960, whereas Marvel’s Boomerang first appeared in Tales to Astonish #81 in 1966. It might seem as if Marvel simply copied this character from DC, but it could also be a coincidence that they came up with the same character as DC six years later, NO?
References: comicvine.gamespot.com, marvelcinematicuniverse.wikia.com, dccomics.com, en.wikipedia.org.
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