Are we stuck in a cycle of recycle, reuse, repeat?
Comic book creators from both DC and Marvel have been finding inspiration in each others work for years.
Think of this way - if DC creates an amazing superhero that becomes wildly popular and profitable, Marvel wants a similar success story... and vice versa.
Other than in your own brain, there's no better place to search for character and storyline concepts than in other similar works.
Thus, resulting in multiple immitations or as we like to call it - copycats.
This doesn't only happen in the world of comics, but also in any creative endeavor like film, novels, television shows, design, and even art.
For example - two very similar best-selling novels, Gone Girl and The Girl On The Train were both adapted for the big screen resulting in almost the same movie which will most likely attract the same type of audience.
This further prooves the point that sometimes creators borrow ideas from others because they are profitable and everyone desires success.
The big question is - have creatives just simply run out of new and original ideas? It seems like the essential brainstorming process has been replaced by immitation.
With that said, let's take a look at the most obvious copycats between DC and Marvel comics...
Hawkeye & Green Arrow
Neither Hawkeye nor Green Arrow have any superhuman abillities. They simple went throught a lot of training to hone their craft of archery.
These are almost exact copies of each other, however DC's Green Arrow came first in 1941. Oliver Queen was once a wealthy playboy in Star City until he got stuck on a deserted island and was forced to hunt for his own food.
He mastered the bow and arrow in order to survive. After returning home, he began fighting crime with his new abiiity, ultimately joining the Justice League, in which case he never misses his target.
Marvel's Hawkeye also never misses his target but he didn't show up in the comics until 1968. Clint Barton, an orphaned circus kid, started out as a villain who eventually turned good. He became a key member of the Avengers.
Because a normal arrow doesn't do much damage, both Hawkeye and Green Arrow depend on technology to defeat their enemies.
Both superheroes have jumped into live-action, animated series, and are still aiming away in the comics.prevnext
Deadpool & Deathstroke
Slade Wilson first appeared in 1980 in Teen Titans comic books. Wade Wilson first appeared over 10 years later in 1991 in The New Mutants.
Allegedly Deadpool's creater Rob Liefeld wanted to draw Deathstroke but he was unable to. Instead he created a spin on Deathstroke in the form of a brand new mutant named him Wade Wilson, who's design is clearly heavily inspired by Slade Wilson.
First of all, they look very similar and their names rhyme. They both have the same armored belts, bandoliers and two-tone costumes.
However, ComicBook's resident expert Kofi Outlaw clarifies that they have two totally different personalities:
"On a personality level, the two aren't even close: Deadpool is a wise-cracking killer who's a lot of fun to be around while Deathstroke is a stoic and militant hard-ass, with a presence that pretty much lives up to his nickname: The Terminator.
The former is a psychopathic Spider-Man; the latter is a killer version of Batman. Take away the superficial similarities (the costume, name, and occupation) and the two are polar opposites."
General audiences are familiar with both Deathstroke and Deadpool, as they recently made the jump to live-action. Deathstroke appeared in season 2 of Arrow, and Deadpool got his very own R-rated movie.
For non hardcore comic fans, you'll soon have the chance to get to know Deathstroke a bit more in DCEU's upcoming solo Batman flick as the main big bad.prevnext
Catwoman & Black Cat
There's nothing wrong with having too many cats, right?
Black Cat and Catwoman are such a perfect example of comic book copycats, that it's almost laughable. But why cats? Why didn't creators develop human female characters that dress up in dog suits?
Because a woman in a dog suit is not sexy, and both Black Cat and Catwoman are the definitive "sexed up" comic book ladies.
They both were created as a love interests to their male counterparts Batman and Spider-Man. They switch back and forth between hero and anti-hero. And finally Black Cat and Catwoman are both flirtacious thieves with expensive taste.
The only difference is that Black Cat has the ability to wish bad luck upon someone when she crosses their path. Oh, and Selena Kyle appeared in DC comics in 1940, almost 40 years before Marvel's Felicia Hardy earned her whiskers.prevnext
X-Men & Doom Patrol
Imagine a team of strangely different superheroes who desperately want to be accepted by society that is led by a man confined to a wheelchair.
Now, put that superhero team into a copy machine and both X-Men and Doom Patrol will spit out on the other side.
DC's Doom Patrol, a group of young outcast teenagers with peculiar gifts, first appeared in 1963. Society determined that they were freaks and alienated until The Chief (Doctor Caulder) took them in.
Caulder who was bound to a wheelchair taught them how to use their special gifts and created the Doom Patrol.
Well, this sounds familiar doesn't it?
Marvel's X-Men #1 was published just few short months later in the same year of 1963. There's really no reason to re-explain their backstory considering it's the same as Doom Patrol.
The main difference between the two teams is that the X-Men were born with mutations, while Doom Patrol got their powers from odd accidents.prevnext
Superman & Sentry
No matter how hard Marvel has tried, they can not copy Superman.
DC's Superman is arguably the most powerful superhero of all time. Unless you have a hidden stash of Kryptonite, he is virtually unstoppable against his foes. Most superheroes were created in his image.
Marvel's first attempt was with Hyperion who debuted in 1969. Hyperion was an alien with identical powers to Superman, he even had his own version of heat vision called atomic vision. In some incarnations, he is also a journalist. However we don't know if he wore fake glasses or not.
Marvel's second attempt at a Superman-esque character was Sentry, who also gained his power from a million exploding suns, could fly, wore a huge S on his chest, and was the strongest being of all time. Sentry was not an alien, but gained his powers from being injected with a secret serum. He's played a role with The Avengers and is considered the most powerful inhuman in the Marvel Universe.
The point is that there can not be another Superman.
There is only one!prev