Copycats: 20 Characters That Marvel, DC Are Guilty Of Copying

Inspired or copied?

Our favorite comic book publishers have been around for decades now. It is not surprising that both falter from time to time and create characters that look very similar to others. Trust us, they are both guilty of this.

We have put together a list of characters who are far too similar to others. So similar that it just cannot be a coincidence. 

Let’s take a look at these copied comic book characters from Marvel and DC.

#20 Atomic Skull & Ghost Rider

#20 Atomic Skull & Ghost Rider - Marvel, DC Copycats
CharacterFirst Appearance
Atomic SkullSeptember 1976
Ghost RiderAugust 1972

Who Is Guilty: DC Comics
Copy Meter: 79%

We start this list with the least subtle copy – the Atomic Skull. Most of the other characters in this list share much in common such as origin stories, powers, and personalities. To some extent, copycats have done their job well to hide this fact. However, that is not the case here. The entire character design of Ghost Rider has been ripped off, and it is almost as if DC just did not care. 

Atomic Skull was introduced almost a decade after Ghost Rider, an iconic character. How they thought that this would go unnoticed and will forever be a mystery. Both characters have flaming skulls, and even their outfits resemble each other. Their backstories are miles apart and so are their powers, but we don’t even need to go that far for this one.

It might as well have been a photocopy. 

Who Is More Popular: Ghost Rider

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#19 Guardian & Captain America

#19 Guardian & Captain America - Marvel, DC Copycats
CharacterFirst Appearance
GuardianApril 1942
Captain AmericaMarch 1941

Who Is Guilty: DC Comics
Copy Meter: 80%

Captain America is the most iconic hero in the Marvel Universe. This war veteran has been fighting crime for more than a century and has saved the universe countless times. Perhaps Marvel’s most famous hero, Cap Steve Rogers, will never be forgotten. 

Both Guardian and Captain America were created by the great Jack Kirby. Kirby loved taking a character he created from Marvel and making another version of the character for DC and vice-versa.

Being a product of this experiment, The Guardian is a more practical and less idealistic version of the Cap, and in all honestly, is the lamer version. The similarities are there, though. 

Guardian is an enhanced soldier who carries an indestructible shield and probably isn’t as on the face as Cap. Like we said, a lamer version of Captain America.

Who Is More Popular: Captain America

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#18 Zatanna & Scarlett Witch

#18 Zatanna & Scarlett Witch - Marvel, DC Copycats
CharacterFirst Appearance
ZatannaNovember 1964
Scarlett WitchMarch 1964

Who Is Guilty: DC Comics
Copy Meter: 80%

DC Comics brought about the idea of using magic to fight crime. However, Marvel seems to have used the concepts nicely and, decades later, used them better than anyone else. 

Some of the most powerful characters in the Marvel Universe are based on magic, and the most dangerous is Scarlett Witch. Scarlett Witch is the daughter of Magneto and a mutant with incredible powers. The MCU has mishandled the character, but she remains one of the most iconic witches. Her comic book success was unrivaled.

Only months after the Scarlett Witch saw success, Zatanna arrived. DC did well to tie this new character into their existing lore, but it is evident that DC just wanted to take a ride on Scarlett Witch’s success. 

The two share no physical similarities. However, they were introduced only months apart, and both are powerful wielders of magic with powerful fathers. It doesn’t take a detective to see the similarities. 

Who Is More Popular: Scarlett Witch

#17 Hulk & Solomon Grundy

#17 Hulk & Solomon Grundy - Marvel, DC Copycats
CharacterFirst Appearance
HulkMay 1962
Solomon GrundyOctober 1944

Who Is Guilty: Both
Copy Meter: 80%

If you put two pictures of the earliest versions of these characters together, it would be hard to tell the difference. You would think that Solomon Grundy was just the Hulk with another character-skin. 

Solomon Grundy was introduced in comics almost 2 decades before the green monster and terrorized the Justice Society of America for years. 

There have been no blatant admissions that the characters were copied from each. But the dots are for us to connect. 

Let us break this down – Hulk and Grundy are both massive monsters with little to no mental capacity and are dead set on killing everything in front of them (usually). They hit as hard as the strongest people in their respective universes and simply just want to be left alone. 

It is hard for all of this to be just a coincidence. 

When asked about the character, Stan Lee mentions that the character was inspired by Frankenstein’s monster, with a touch of Jekyll & Hyde. Clearly, Solomon Grundy was the product of a similar thought process. So, we’re not sure who the culprit here is.

The Hulk became one of the most iconic comic characters of all time.

Who Is More Popular: Hulk

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#16 Bullseye & Deadshot

#16 Bullseye & Deadshot - Marvel, DC Copycats
CharacterFirst Appearance
BullseyeMarch 1976
DeadshotJune 1950

Who Is Guilty: Marvel Comics
Copy Meter: 83%

Deadshot was introduced years before Bullseye, who served as a primary menace to the Daredevil. There is no direct connection between the two characters, but if you look at their power sets side by side, it will become increasingly apparent that they are at least cut from the same cloth. 

Deadshot first appeared as an antagonist opposite Batman and has had many run-ins with the Caped Crusader. However, Deadshot is all about the money and wants to get this job done. He has even been portrayed as a good guy on many occasions.

Many iterations of the Suicide Squad showcase Deadshot’s inhuman marksmanship. The man cannot miss. Bullseye’s power set is the same, with the difference being that he can use any object as a projectile. 

Bullseye is portrayed as more violent and seems to take things a lot more personally when compared with Deadshot. This is probably the main difference between the two. Still, the similarities outweigh the dissimilarities. 

They are both enhanced marksmen who simply never miss.

Who Is More Popular: Deadshot

#15 Elongated Man & Mr. Fantastic

#15 Elongated Man & Mr. Fantastic - Marvel, DC Copycats
CharacterFirst Appearance
Elongated ManFebruary 1960
Mr. FantasticNovember 1961

Who Is Guilty: Marvel Comics
Copy Meter: 84%

Elongated Man made his debut in 1960, and Reed Richards was first introduced in 1961. Elongated Man was created by Carmine Francine and Mr. Fantastic by Stan Lee. This little piece of information is significant because the two comic legends were also excellent friends and fierce competitors. 

It does not take a lot of Graematter to figure out that Mr. Fantastic is inspired by elongated Man. Especially considering the relationship between the two creators. Even without that considered, their powers are practically the same.

Elongated Man and Mr. Fantastic can stretch their bodies to extraordinary limits, using them for the greater good. It is a mystery why Stan Lee chose this character to rip off because, let’s face it, stretching is not the best ability out there. 

However, Mr. Fantastic has stood the test of time and has turned into one of the most iconic characters in the Marvel universe. What he lacks in power, he makes up for with intellect.

Who Is More Popular: Mr. Fantastic

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#14 Moon Knight & Batman

#14 Moon Knight & Batman - Marvel, DC Copycats
CharacterFirst Appearance
Moon KnightAugust 1975
BatmanMay 1939

Who Is Guilty: Marvel Comics
Copy Meter: 85%

Batman is one of the highest-grossing comic book characters ever created. He doesn’t have powers unless you count the fact that he is wealthy. Some would even say that they would rather wake up with the intellect and wealth of Batman than the powers of Superman. Can’t blame them. 

There are bound to be a few copycats when you have such a successful character. One such copy is Moon Knight. Although not a blatant rip-off, the similarities between the two are hard to ignore. On no avenue have the creators of Moon Knight said that the character is inspired by Batman, but we can fill in the gaps.

If nothing, we can say that Marvel used the same formula when creating the persona of Moon Knight, with the addition of a few mental problems. Moon Knight is portrayed as a highly-skilled crime fighter who wears a costume that reminds people of the night. He also has no issue beating people to a pulp. He also has a Moon-Cycle.

Who Is More Popular: Batman

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#13 Mockingbird & Black Canary

#13 Mockingbird & Black Canary - Marvel, DC Copycats
CharacterFirst Appearance
MockingbirdJune 1971
Black CanaryAugust 1947

Who Is Guilty: Marvel Comics
Copy Meter: 87%

This duo is one of the most noticeable copycats on this list. Mockingbird was created much after Black Canary, and the creator of the former, Mark Gruenwald, admits the fact. Mark was a massive fan of DC Comics but eventually ended up working with Marvel and became one of their most iconic writers. Mark created Mockingbird as a direct homage to the Black Canary. Even the relationship between Hawkeye and Mockingbird was highly inspired by the relationship between Green Arrow and Black Canary.

If this isn’t enough, you would have very little to tell them apart if you were to compare the two characters. They are both highly skilled fighters and are shown to stand toe to toe with the best duelers in their respective universes. They even wear outfits that are very similar to each other. 

The only differentiating factor is Black Canary has power while Mockingbird doesn’t.

Both of these characters are in relationships with Archers and even have names that are bird names. 

Does anyone else find it weird that they’re code-named after birds when their romantic interests are archers?

Who Is More Popular: Black Canary

#12 Black Cat & Catwoman

#12 Black Cat & Catwoman - Marvel, DC Copycats
CharacterFirst Appearance
Black CatJuly 1979
CatwomanSpring 1940

Who Is Guilty: Marvel Comics
Copy Meter: 88%

Black Cat made her debut many decades after Catwoman did. While the creators of the character say that no importation was taken from Catwoman, there are too many similarities between them to simply ignore. 

These characters are first introduced as villains in their universes and are shown to have highly unpredictable attitudes. They often find themselves on the other side of the law but also seem to have a solid moral code. The most common thing these two characters share, apart from their names, is their outfits. They both wear skin-tight black outfits and live a life of thieving.

Oh, and also, they have a way of purring their way into the hearts of their hero counterparts. The life of thieving puts them at odds with the authorities. But beyond this, they seem to be doing a lot of good.

If a crossover event happens with the two, it would be easy to pass them off as sisters who were somehow lost to another universe. 

The only difference between the two is Black Cat’s power to bring bad luck to anyone who does her harm.

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#11 Sentry & Superman

#11 Sentry & Superman - Marvel, DC Copycats
CharacterFirst Appearance
SentryJuly 2000
SupermanJune 1938

Who Is Guilty: Marvel Comics
Copy Meter: 88%

Superman is DC’s most successful project. The Man of Steel is the first name that would come to mind if someone asks you to name a Superhero. An alien boy who crash-landed on a farm, raised by kind-hearted people, and becomes the savior of the entire multiverse. How do you beat that?

The blinding success of the character made every other publisher try something similar to the character, and so did Marvel. They came up with two characters uncannily identical to Superman – Hyperion and Sentry. We’re here to talk about Sentry.

The Sentry is the product of an offshoot version of the Super Soldier program. The difference was that Sentry received the power of a thousand exploding suns. Or, to put it plainly, he was insanely strong. In every portrayal, he is shown as an angel in the sky, here to save the day. Sound familiar?

If that isn’t enough, the giant “S” on Sentry’s chest makes him look like a bootleg version of the Man of Steel. Sentry is shown to have strength levels superior to the Hulk and Thor, and every so often, it just makes you wonder – who would win in a fight between Superman and Sentry?

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#10 Lobo & Wolverine

#10 Lobo & Wolverine - Marvel, DC Copycats
CharacterFirst Appearance
LoboJune 1983
WolverineOctober 1974

Who Is Guilty: DC Comics
Copy Meter: 88%

When pitted together, it is hard to tell which one of these characters is the most badass. Wolverine is a mutant with retractable claws and the power to just not die. He has been one of the most essential members of his team and is said to be one of the most dangerous anti-heroes in the Marvel Universe.

On the other hand, we have Lobo, a space bounty hunter that rides the cosmos with his space bike. Oh, he can also one-punch Superman. So, yeah. Badass.

It is hard to draw direct lines between the two characters, but Lobo is meant to be a parody of Wolverine. Around the time both characters showed up, the idea of a hypermasculine, rugged hero was running free, and DC simply decided to make a show of it. 

Other than the retractable claws, there are many similarities between these two characters. Starting with the obvious, they are both pretty strong and are simply unkillable. They both possess healing factors that enable them to go on fighting without a care in the world. Another glaring similarity is their personalities. They exude this loner, biker, the coolest person in the room energy. 

They’re cut from the same, overly masculine cloth.

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#9 Quicksilver & Flash

#9 Quicksilver & Flash - Marvel, DC Copycats
CharacterFirst Appearance
Quick SilverMarch 1964
FlashJanuary 1940

Who Is Guilty: Marvel Comics
Copy Meter: 89%

The Flash is one of the most iconic superheroes ever introduced. The power that the “Fastest Man on the Planet” possesses would make him a near god. Super-Speed is a power many comic publishers have tried to adapt to their publications and, if done right, is simply the best. Case in point, the Flash. No better speedster. 

Quicksilver appeared more than two decades later than the Flash. These characters are similar, and we believe that the mutant was at least inspired by the Scarlett speedster. He is one of the most successful heroes ever introduced, and even during the Golden age of comics, Flash comics were among the most sold.

Marvel saw that there was potential there and worked quicksilver into the picture. The origin stories of the two characters cannot be more different, but in terms of their powers, there was some level of inspiration. 

Both characters can run at superhuman speeds, and even their costumes, though different in color, possess the lightning streak as a homage to the Greek God Hermes. 

Who Is More Popular: Flash

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#8 Ant-Man & Atom

#8 Ant-Man & Atom - Marvel, DC Copycats
CharacterFirst Appearance
Ant-ManSeptember 1962
AtomOctober 1961

Who Is Guilty: Marvel Comics
Copy Meter: 91%

The two heroes are among the most famous from their respective universes and have played significant parts in helping their respective teammates to win the day. One look at their powers would make anyone wonder if they were copies of each other. That line of thinking may not be unfounded.

Atom debuted in 1940, a good 20 years before Ant-Man was introduced in Tales to Astonish. They both boast the power to manipulate their size and have done so on many occasions to gain tactical advantages. The similarities between the two are long, and their parallels cannot be brushed aside as coincidence. 

Both heroes were born during the Golden Age of comics. It was the time of “Scientist-Superheroes,” and these heroes were the most popular. They used their intellect to create a suit of armor that would enable them to control their powers and manipulate their molecular composition to great extents. 

The only difference between the two characters is that both had different ways of achieving these powers. Even the eventual enemies that they would encounter were those that shared similar power sets. 

The similarities between the two are too many to be ignored. 

Who Is More Popular: Ant-Man

#7 Bumblebee & Wasp

#7 Bumblebee & Wasp - Marvel, DC Copycats
CharacterFirst Appearance
BumblebeeJune 1977
WaspJune 1963

Who Is Guilty: DC Comics
Copy Meter: 92%

Some of these characters did nothing to hide the fact that they were copies. Over the years, DC and Marvel have been ripping off each other’s characters, and this particular one is among the most obvious.

The Wasp made her first appearance in 1963 and Bumblebee in 1976, more than a decade later. You would think that the creators of Bumblebee would put a bit of effort into setting the character apart, but nope. No effort was found.

Both characters have the same powers and have wings that enable them to fly. The wings themselves look like carbon copies. Moreover, they can shrink in size and shoot a type of beam from their hands that are supposed to signify their sting.

If all this wasn’t enough, we give you their names – Bumblebee and Wasp. Both flying insects have quite a sting to them. Bumblebee’s creators have duplicated Marvel, and they seem to be just running with it. 

As we said, they weren’t even trying.

Who Is More Popular: The Wasp

#6 Dr. Strange & Dr. Fate

#6 Dr. Strange & Dr. Fate - Marvel, DC Copycats
CharacterFirst Appearance
Dr. StrangeJuly 1963
Dr. FateMay 1940

Who Is Guilty: Marvel Comics
Copy Meter: 93%

We simply had to put these two on the list. Dr. Fate was created in 1940, and Dr. Strange was first introduced in 1963. So now we know who came first. Let’s now move on to the most obvious similarity. Their names. It is no coincidence that these two are so resemblant to one another.

Marvel never really had a problem with secret identities, so they simply made that his real name while Dr. Fate gets his name from the Helmet of Fate. The powers of both these heroes are mainly similar, and both rely on magic to fight off their enemies. 

Even the kind of enemies they have fought are all magic based and are constantly at odds with anything mystical that dares attack the planet. DC does not have a Sorcerer supreme, but it is obvious who would hold the titles if they did. While the names and the power of both these heroes are similar, even the way they dress is uncanny.

Around the time both these heroes debuted, magic shows were the “in” thing. People were fascinated by these stage shows, and many heroes of that time were based on these magicians. This is probably how we go, two characters that were so much like each other.

Who Is More Popular: Dr. Strange

#5 Red Hood & Winter Soldier

#5 Red Hood & Winter Soldier - Marvel, DC Copycats
CharacterFirst Appearance
Red HoodFebruary 2005
Winter SoldierJanuary 2005

Who Is Guilty: DC Comics
Copy Meter: 94%

Before we get to Red Hood and Winter Soldier, we need to talk about Robin and Bucky Barnes. Batman was known to always have sidekicks that helped him in his battles against crime. After the first Robin was introduced, Bucky Barnes made his first appearance.

The success of Robin pushed Marvel to give one of their heroes as a sidekick; alas, we got Bucky. While the play worked brilliantly for DC, not so much for Marvel, and they ended up killing Bucky Off. 

So, Marvel stole the idea of sidekicks from DC’s Batman.

However, when it comes to Red Hood and Winter Soldier, the former is the culprit of identity theft. Bucky Barnes eventually returns as an Anti-Hero that goes against his first mentor. He is now a trained assassin that has come back to life and is deadlier than ever.

Almost the same origin story is followed by Red Hood. He is killed off but somehow survives and comes back as a menace to his once mentor. We see Batman and Captain America both fight their once sidekicks and even eventually talk them down. Everyone is a lovely big family once again.

Who Is More Popular: Winter Soldier

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#4 Swamp Thing & Man-Thing

#4 Swamp Thing & Man-Thing - Marvel, DC Copycats
CharacterFirst Appearance
Swamp ThingJuly 1971
Man-ThingMay 1971

Who Is Guilty: DC Comics
Copy Meter: 95%

There is a very fascinating story behind these two characters. The similar appearances and origin stories of these characters are a dead giveaway. However, the funniest part about these characters is that the creators of both were roommates.

They both claim to have no idea that they had been developing characters that were so similar to each other’s, but they’re not fooling anyone. If you showed the picture of the two swamp creatures to someone who had no idea about comics books, they would tell you they were the same. 

The green monster-like appearance, the plants coming out the sides, and an eerie presence made the best heroes quiver. All the boxes would be ticked.

Now, when you have such a strong case on your hands, you would think that Marvel should have sued DC for stealing their character design. The funny thing is that the creator of Man-Thing was a massive fan of another character called the Heap-Thing that made its appearance decades ago. Even Man-Thing looked a little too similar to that character. Hence, Marvel wasn’t so innocent, either. 

DC’s Swamp thing had many successful runs, made appearances in animated movies, and even got his TV show.

Who Is More Popular: Swamp Thing

#3 Hawkeye & Green Arrow

#3 Hawkeye & Green Arrow - Marvel, DC Copycats
CharacterFirst Appearance
HawkeyeSeptember 1964
Green ArrowNovember 1941

Who Is Guilty: Marvel Comics
Copy Meter: 95%

This is a hard one to miss. Pun intended.

There is no admission from either party that Hawkeye was copied from the Green Arrow, but there are too many similarities for it to go unnoticed. Both heroes wield bows and arrows and are highly skilled archers.

For the most part, even their personalities are very similar. Green Arrow has been shooting his arrows a good two decades before Hawkeye, and it is hard to believe that the similarities between the characters are just a coincidence. 

The bows and arrows are just among the many reasons Hawkeye is likely a copycat. Hawkeye is also the in-house archer for the Avengers, like Green Arrow for the Justice League. They are both said to have such high accuracy that there is a good chance that both are meta-humans.

Both Archers constantly contemplate and worry about their usefulness in a world filled with highly powered beings. We don’t blame them. How helpful are arrows when people can shoot laser beams from their eyes?

The most spotlighted similarity between the two characters is that they are married to (or once were) women with bird names as their call sign. Black Canary and Mockingbird. That’s a little much, don’t you think?

Who Is More Popular: Green Arrow

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#2 Thanos & Darkseid

#2 Thanos & Darkseid - Marvel, DC Copycats
CharacterFirst Appearance
ThanosFebruary 1973
DarkseidDecember 1970

Who Is Guilty: Marvel Comics
Copy Meter: 97%

The two biggest bad guys in both universes, Thanos and Darkseid, have so much in common that they might as well be brothers. Darkseid first appeared in 1970 and was part of the New Gods. 

When the New Gods run turned out to be a huge success, Marvel decided that it was time to focus and create a villain that would make their heroes tremble. In this process, Jim Starlin- the creator of Thanos, set out to muster up a big bad who would do the trick.

However, his initial sketches were similar to Metron, another New God. When the Head of Marvel at the time saw this, he instructed Jim to “beef him up and make him more like Darkseid, one of the good ones.”

If that isn’t enough to show that the villains are connected, the appearance of the two screams resemblance. The physical build is similar, and even the New Gods are used as a reference for the Titan race that Thanos comes from. Darkseid seems slightly more villainous than his counterpart, but Marvel has always strived to create characters with weaknesses rather than ones that are more black and white.

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#1 Deadpool & Deathstroke

#1 Deadpool & Deathstroke - Marvel, DC Copycats
CharacterFirst Appearance
DeadpoolFebruary 1991
DeathstrokeDecember 1980

Who Is Guilty: Marvel Comics
Copy Meter: 98%

Deadpool and Deathstroke have been incredibly successful in their appearances and created fanbases over time. Deadpool is a mutant with a mouth that just won’t quit, and his moral codes have wavered throughout his life.

Deathstroke, on the other hand, is a hardcore mercenary that only cares about his mission and has found himself at odds with Batman on many occasions. One is a trigger-happy psychopath, and the other is a brooding psychopath. Here stop the differences between the two. 

Deadpool is a point-blank copy of Deathstroke. The creator of Deadpool, Rob Liefeld, was a fan of the Teen Titans and, seeing Deathstroke, made another version of the character. He freely admits to this as well. Even if he didn’t, there is only so much you can balance on chance.

They have not only similar aliases but also similar names – Wade Wilson and Slade Wilson. If that isn’t obvious enough, both are super-enhanced assassins who are highly skilled weapon specialists and use Katanas to fight their enemies and even wear very similar costumes. 

The very mask that Deadpool wears looks like an off-brand knock-off of the Deathstroke’s. It is almost as if the creator did not care, but then again, Deadpool is meant to be a parody of the character, and in that sense, it just works.

Who Is More Popular: Deadpool

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Honorable Mentions

  • Deathlok & Cyborg
  • Black Racer & Silver Surfer
  • Red Lion & Black Panther
  • Namor & Aquaman
  • Power Princess & Wonder Woman

This brings us to the end of this list of copied characters. Which are some Marvel or DC characters that you have found similar to others?

FAQs

Who Is a Copycat DC or Marvel?

Both Publishers have been known to copy each other. For example, Sentry was copied from Superman, and Red Hood was copied from Winter Soldier. 

Did Marvel and DC Copy Each Other?

Both Publishers have been known to copy each on many occasions. They tend to draw a lot of inspiration from characters that did well in rival comic books. 

Who Was First Marvel or DC?

DC comics came first. DC made its debut in 1934, while Marvel began in 1939. This makes DC 5 years older than Marvel. 

Who Came First Thanos or Darkseid?

Darkseid came first. Even the creators of Thanos admitted to taking much inspiration from Darkseid. 

Did Marvel Copy Darkseid?

Yes, Marvel did copy Darkseid. The result of this copy was Thanos. Darkseid did well as a villain, and Marvel tried to use the same formula.

Who Is Thor’s DC Counterpart?

Viking Prince is presumably Thor’s counterman. Viking Prince’s lineage leads back to Odin, the same as Thor.

Is Black Cat a Copy of Catwoman?

When the two are compared, the similarities dictate that it is highly likely that Black Cat was copied from Catwoman. They are very similar in appearance and personality. 

Is Iron Man a Copy of Batman?

No, Ironman is not a copy of Batman. The two have much wealth and have genius-level intellect but so do many other heroes. The two do not share any other similarities. 

Is Deadpool a Copy of Deathstroke?

Yes, Deadpool was created as a parody of Deathstroke. Even their names in the comics are very similar – Slade Wilson and Wade Wilson. 

Is Hawkeye a Copy of Green Arrow?

Yes, Hawkeye is a copy of Green Arrow. The similarities between the two are very high. They are both highly skilled archers. 

Is Aquaman a Copy of Namor?

Yes, Namor came first and then came Aquaman. Aquaman is likely a copy because they share many similarities, including the fact they are both the King of the Seven seas and both carry tridents.

Well, Now you know who the rip-offs are and who the original characters are from Marvel, DC. Which character did you find interesting in our countdown?

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