Marvel characters copied from DC Comics who went on to become more popular than the original

Like it or not, but DC Comics and Marvel have more in common than you might think. We have seen that there has been a plethora of cases where DC Comics copied Marvel characters.

© DC Comics

Well guess what, wonder, did the same. They largely copied DC characters back then. The only difference is, when DC used to copy Marvel, most of their covers failed to reach audiences. Unlike that, Marvel has been able to polish a character and make sure it’s a guaranteed hit.

Marvel characters blatantly copied from DC Comics that became more popular than the original
© Warner Bros

Here are just 7 of those characters that Marvel blatantly copied from DC and made them more popular than the original.

Deadpool copied from Deathstroke

Marvel characters blatantly copied from DC Comics that became more popular than the original
© Marvel Comics & DC Comics

It actually started out as a joke. DC Comics has always had a reputation for being a bit serious and melodramatic. They had a character called Slade Wilson aka Deathstroke, the world’s best assassin. The comic book version of Deathstroke is nothing like the film version – the original was dark and very silent as a character, and was introduced in 1980.

11 years after Deathstroke was made by DC, Marvel decided to release a comedic version, which poked fun at DC’s serious tone. So Deadpool or Wade Wilson was born in 1991. Marvel didn’t even try to hide the fact that they had copied Deathstroke, and placed Deadpool as a parody of the assassin.

Mr fantastic copied from a reclining man

Marvel characters blatantly copied from DC Comics that became more popular than the original
© Marvel Comics & DC Comics

We bet most of you haven’t even heard of Elongated Man, have you? Well, DC introduced the character in 1960, a year before The Fantastic 4 comics launched. Elongated Man was doing well as a character and had decent sales.

However, once the Fantastic Four’s first comic book, The Fantastic Four # 1 was released in November 1961, it was Mr. Fantastic who dominated the charts and conversations around comics. Mr. Elongated was confined to a tiny corner of the comicverse, almost forgotten.

Doctor Strange Copied From Doctor Fate

Marvel characters blatantly copied from DC Comics that became more popular than the original
© Marvel Comics & DC Comics

Hard to believe, isn’t it? One of the most popular Marvel characters of all time, not just in the movies, has actually been copied from DC. Doctor Fate first appeared in 1940. The story goes that Kent Nelson, the first Doctor Fate, was an archaeologist who discovered Nabu’s tomb and was trained by him after an accident.

Likewise, Dr. Stephen Strange is also a genius and at the top of his field, who meets an accident, forms in the East and is magically healed. The wizard first appeared in 1963, 23 years after Doctor Fate.

Vision copied from red tornado

Marvel characters blatantly copied from DC Comics that became more popular than the original
© Marvel Comics & DC Comics

As a comic book character, Vision was not as popular as the version we see in the movies and in WandaVision of Paul Bettany. Vision was first seen in a comic book copy of the Avengers, in October 1968.

Red Tornado, the character Marvel copied to make Vision, was first seen in August 1968, the same year. When Red Tornado first appeared it was a huge success. Both, Red Tornado and Vision, were sentient androids with superpowers. Stylistically, they also had some similarities. However, the powers they possessed were completely different.

Ultron copied from Brainiac

Marvel characters blatantly copied from DC Comics that became more popular than the original
© Marvel Comics & DC Comics

Ultron and Brainiac are more alike than you might imagine. Again, it seems Marvel wasn’t even trying to hide that their Ultron was inspired by Brainiac. Both are sentient AI systems married to an android body, and both have the ability to reappear and exist in great numbers.

Brainiac, who is often considered one of comics’ greatest villains and one of Superman’s deadliest opponents, first appeared in 1958. Ultron, meanwhile, first appeared. times in 1968, a decade after Brainiac.

Fun fact: In the comics, Tony Stark isn’t the one who created Ultron. It was actually Hank Pym, the man who created the Ant-Man costume.

Thanos copied from Darkseid

Marvel characters blatantly copied from DC Comics that became more popular than the original
© Marvel Comics & DC Comics

It’s pretty well known that Thanos was copied from Darkseid. In cinematic universes, Thanos appears to be a much more formidable supervillain. In the comics though, Darkseid could wipe the floor with Thanos.

Darkseid was first introduced in 1970, while Thanos was introduced in 1973. While both have superhuman strength and intellect and are fundamentally immortal, one key difference is that Darkseid had powers of controlling the mind, including telepathy and telekinesis, as Thanos had to rely on various devices for such powers.

Hulk copied Solomon Grundy

Marvel characters blatantly copied from DC Comics that became more popular than the original
© Marvel Comics & DC Comics

If we only consider the comics, the most successful and popular characters are not Iron Man or Captain America, but Spider-Man, followed by the Hulk. What is surprising is that the Hulk was not an original concept for Marvel.

Long before the Hulk existed, DC Comics had an antihero / villain called Solomon Grundy. Grundy was introduced in 1944 and had superhuman strength, virtual immortality was almost invulnerable and had immense healing power, all powers we see in the Hulk as well. Hulk was introduced in 1962 and had similar abilities and issues. Both were the result of coming face to face with lethal radiation, although Grundy was already dead when exposed to the radiation.

There are, however, subtle differences between the two characters. Grundy does not have a human form and therefore does not morph into anything. Additionally, Grundy doesn’t fall into an uncontrollable rage, despite becoming just as destructive as the Hulk.


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