When it comes to competing against each other, there is no denying that Marvel beats DC Comics by a long shot. While DC Comics may have two of the greatest superheroes of all time i.e. Superman and Batman and the greatest female superhero of all time i.e. Wonder Woman, Marvel has still managed to beat their competition in terms of movies, sales, and even cross-overs. However, it cannot be denied that Marvel’s success owes a great deal to stealing from its very own rival. Here we take a look at Marvel characters stolen from DC Comics:
15. Hawkeye (Green Arrow)
The similarity between the two superheroes is too obvious and it cannot be ignored that Marvel’s Hawkeye debuted decades later than DC’s Green Arrow. The former made his first appearance in November 1941 while the latter made his first appearance in September 1964.
Unlike Green Arrow debuting as a superhero, Hawkeye was originally introduced as a villain. Apart from the striking similarity of using bows and arrows, both superheroes are members of their comics’ most powerful superhero teams i.e. Justice League and The Avengers.
14. Magneto (Doctor Polaris)
There is no doubt that Magneto is one of the most iconic Marvel characters and one of the greatest comic book villains of all time. However, what you may not know is that DC had introduced a much similar super-villain three months before Magneto’s memorable arrival.
Serving as an enemy of Green Lantern, Doctor Polaris has a lot of superpowers that can be found in Magneto as well such as manipulating metals according to their will and flight through magnetic fields. Furthermore, both villains feared telepathy.
13. Moon Knight (Batman)
Apart from the whole bat-like persona, Marvel’s Moon Knight has been accused of being inspired by DC’s Batman ever since his creation. Both are wealthy and normal humans who rely on gadgets, fear tactics, and detective skills to solve a crime.
Charlie Huston, one of the writers of Moon Knight, admitted that the strong comparison between the two superheroes is not baseless but insisted that there are differences, notably Moon Knight having three alter-egos. On an interesting note, even IGN referred to it as a concept of what would happen if Batman suffered from multiple personality disorder.
12. The Hulk (Solomon Grundy)
Even when Marvel steals a character from DC and iterates it, the shreds of similarities are always visible. Solomon Grundy debuted in 1944 and 18 years later, Marvel created a similar-looking superhero and green-washed him.
Both characters have dozens of shared powers such as immense superhuman strength, durability, stamina, and longevity, and a similar speaking pattern of repeating their names and a few words from a limited vocabulary.
11. Bullseye (Deadshot)
Whenever a DC character begins to flourish, there is no doubt that Marvel will be one of its biggest admirers and will plan to create a similar character. Floyd Lawton aka Deadshot is a villain without superpowers but has earned a reputation for being extremely lethal because of his skills as an expert marksman and assassin.
The same words can be used to describe Marvel villain Lester aka Bullseye. With a gap of 16 years between both characters’ first appearances, it was enough time for Marvel to come up with something original but chose to make a replica.
10. Boomerang (Captain Boomerang)
Even though Marvel was able to give their character a completely new look and even some more superpowers, it could not resist changing the primary weapon of the very character they were intrigued by and hardly made an effort to alter the name.
DC’s Captain Boomerang debuted in 1960 while Marvel’s Boomerang made his first appearance in 1966 and their similarities are too visible to miss – both use boomerangs as a weapon and both are D-class villains.
9. X-Men (Doom Patrol)
Regarded as misfits due to their superpowers, they were hurt to be cast out from society but sought to use their extraordinary abilities to help people. If you think that is the story of X-Men, be prepared to be shocked as the concept was introduced four months before their debut.
DC introduced Doom Patrol, a similar group much like X-Men but lesser known due to the latter’s popularity. The similarities between the two teams are too visible to ignore as Doom Patrol’s primary villains are a team known as Brotherhood of Evil while X-Men’s is Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. As hard as it might be to believe, both teams are led by a wheelchair-bound individual.
8. Black Cat (Catwoman)
Batman has a lot of villains that are considered the best at what they do and that catches the attention of the rival company, Marvel. This Marvel villain is a complete rip-off of DC’s Catwoman.
Debuting in 1940, Selina Kyle aka wears a latex suit resembling a feline, has an obsession with robbing pieces of jewelry and that is the same thing that Marvel’s Felicia Hardy aka Black Cat does. The comparison does not end there as both have on-and-off relationships with their superhero counterparts – Batman and Superman – and both are seductively beautiful. Meow!
7. Thunderbolts (Suicide Squad)
From individual superheroes to superhero teams, Marvel takes every opportunity to learn from their competition and come up with a similar thing of their own. When DC came up with a supervillain team comprising secondary characters, Marvel introduced a similar team 38 years later.
The group has tons of similarities that can be pointed out, notably featuring a primary member expert in bow and arrow as Suicide Squad has Deadshot and Thunderbolts has Bullseye. As the most striking similarity, both supervillain groups have worked under the orders of the government.
6. Sandman (Clayface)
Sometimes, Marvel cannot even pull off a proper theft rightly. If you are going to steal a character, at least equip him with enough stuff to make sure the similarities are not too clear. That was the case when Marvel stole DC’s villain Clayface to create Sandman.
After experiencing dirt-related accidents – Sandman encountering sand and Clayface encountering clay – both were endowed with shapeshifting powers and resorted to a life of crime with the only difference being that the former debuted 16 years before the latter.
5. Deadpool (Deathstroke)
Marvel pretty much confirmed that they have a habit of stealing from DC when they created Deadpool – an extremely obvious knock-off of DC’s supervillain Deathstroke. From his costume to his weapon of choice, the two characters are the same thing in terms of appearance.
One of the co-creators of Deadpool remarked:
“This is Deathstroke from Teen Titans”
after seeing the finished product. The games do not end there as Deadpool was given the real name of Wade Wilson to give the idea that he might be “related” to Deathstroke whose real name is Slade Wilson.
4. Quicksilver (The Flash)
The inevitable character schemes are a fun topic for Marvel as the famous comic book company has an eye for spotting potential in a superpower. That is where DC’s Flash comes in as the character made every reader’s jaw drop because of his unique ability to run super fast.
Debuting in 1940, the Flash established himself as the fastest man alive and it was just a matter of time before Marvel came up with a character similar to it. In 1964, Marvel introduced a mutant named Quicksilver whose special ability was – you guessed it – super speed.
3. Mr. Fantastic (Elongated Man)
Ralph Dibny aka Elongated Man is a lesser-known character of the famed comic book company despite being a member of the Justice League on three different occasions but was special enough to grab the attention of rival company Marvel.
With the ability to stretch his body to great lengths and being an exceptionally great scientist, Marvel took the entire idea from Elongated Man and repackaged him as an original character by the name of Reed Richards aka Mr. Fantastic of the Fantastic Four. Nothing is more fantastic than stealing, right?
2. Thanos (Darkseid)
On a very rare occasion, Thanos’ creator Jim Starlin admitted that his character is heavily influenced by DC’s Darkseid but insisted that his early iterations of the god were quite different and it was editor Roy Thomas who asked him to:
“Beef him up! If you’re going to steal one of the New Gods, at least rip off Darkseid, the really good one!”
Apart from apparently spending eternities sitting in a giant chair, both characters share several superpowers such as superhuman strength, telekinesis, teleportation, and being the biggest and most powerful villains of their separate universe.
1. The Avengers (Justice League)
Astounded by the sales of DC’s Justice League, veteran comic book artist Stan Lee was asked to create a similar team consisting of superheroes for Marvel as he recalls,
“If the Justice League is selling, why don’t we put out a comic book that features a team of superheroes?”
Exactly like the Justice League, Avengers was a team of pre-existing superheroes working together and it was the same thing only being three years apart. Furthermore, the success of the Justice League prompted Marvel to create another superhero team with original members. That team was none other than the Fantastic Four.
Did we miss any important Marvel characters stolen from DC Comics on our list? Let us know in the comments below!