Marvel and DC have had a public sparring match going for decades now, and while they are cordial with one another while the cameras are rolling, the truth is that they are always looking to be the best in the business. Both studios have created timeless characters that have been able to become pop-culture fixtures, and as time rolls on, they will have opportunities to continue to expand upon their legacy. Of course, when one is on the top, the other needs to make some moves, and this is precisely why we have seen some characters get blatantly copied on more than one occasion.
Today, we are going to take a look back at 20 Marvel characters that were practically ripped from the pages of DC. Sure, these characters have done their own thing, but true fans know exactly where they really came from.
20 Sentry (Superman)
Sentry, while not one of the most popular characters from Marvel Comics, made his debut in the pages back in 2000, and he immediately drew comparisons to the Man of Steel. Superman had debuted back in the 1930s, and he came equipped with a number of Sentry's powers, including superhuman strength, speed, and flight.
19 Bullseye (Deadshot)
There are 26 years that separate the debuts of these on-target characters, and it just so happens that DC was first to the punch. Not only are these two men exceptional with hitting the mark at will, but they also excel in hand-to-hand combat whenever the moment calls for it.
18 Nova Corps (Green Lantern Corps)
After making their debut in 1959, the Green Lantern Corps was able to take flight in the galaxy to help save the day from intergalactic foes looking to do harm. 20 years later on the planet of Xandar, the Nova Corps was able to arise and tap into the Nova Force to help protect their people.
17 Mr. Fantastic (Plastic Man)
Having the ability to stretch means that a person is only limited by their creativity. Reed Richards has been a popular character for Marvel for quite some time now, but he is hardly the first hero to possess this power. Plastic Man was in the game 20 years before Reed came along to found the First Family of Marvel.
16 Beetle (Blue Beetle)
Heroes that utilize technology are nothing new, but they usually don't hit this close to home. Marvel created Beetle and debuted him back in the 1960s, but this was long after Blue Beetle had come around in the 1930s. After all this time, it appears as though DC did it better because Blue Beetle is a fixture in the Teen Titans.
15 Super-Adaptoid (Amazo)
Despite being a creation of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, Super-Adaptoid has been largely compared to the hero that he imitates, Amazo. Super-Adaptoid made his debut in 1966, which was some time after Amazo's debut in 1960. Both of these characters are able to imitate the powers of those they encounter.
14 Black Cat (Catwoman)
It's almost like Marvel didn't even try to be discrete here. Black Cat made her debut back in 1979, and she came complete with phenomenal acrobatic abilities as well as exceptional burglary skills. Sound familiar? Catwoman had been doing this song and dance since 1940, so this was not simply an accident.
13 X-Men (Doom Patrol)
If we were to describe a team of misfits that have superpowers and needed to come together to save the world, which team would spring to mind? For most people, it would be the famed X-Men, but this concept actually began with the Doom Patrol, as they debuted before the X-Men back in 1963.
12 Boomerang (Captain Boomerang)
In a superior showing once again for DC, we want to take a look at both Boomerang and Captain Boomerang for this entry. The former made his debut 1966, a full 6 years after the latter, and he had a similar set of skills to boot. One primary difference is that people actually know who Captain Boomerang is.
11 Deadpool (Deathstroke)
In all fairness, this character is more of a parody than anything, but there was no way that we could omit him from this list. Deadpool has become a massively popular character over the last several years, even surpassing the popularity of Deathstroke. Deadpool (Wade Wilson) debuted in 1991, whereas Deathstroke (Slade Wilson) debuted in 1980.
10 Doctor Strange (Doctor Fate)
Tony Stark's favorite wizard and cool facial hair bro, Doctor Strange, has been wielding magic since the 1960s, but another magic-using doctor came before him and set the bar. Doctor Fate was around and using amazing abilities back in the 1940s for DC, which was long before Strange was in the picture.
9 Hawkeye (Green Arrow)
With bow & arrows and legitimate combat skills, this was one entry that had to be included. Green Arrow debuted over 20 years before Hawkeye with nearly identical skills. Hawkeye's fans are happy that he's getting his own show, but this is just another example of him doing something well after Green Arrow.
8 Vision (Red Tornado)
These two famous androids have a ton in common, including a number of their abilities. Unfortunately for Marvel, Vision's 1968 debut came after Red Tornado's 1960 debut, and the comparisons came out immediately. Both have superhuman functions and incredible resumes, but Red Tornado can turn into a human at will.
7 Thanos (Darkseid)
The Mad Titan came along and served as the ultimate baddie for the MCU, but longtime comic fans know him as little more than a Darkseid ripoff. After making their debuts three years apart, it was noted that these villains have a lot in common with one another, but Darkseid has always been seen as the older and superior talent.
6 Squadron Supreme (Justice League)
Having debuted over a decade beforehand back in the 1960s, it would be a massive understatement to call the Justice League an inspiration for Marvel's Squadron Supreme. In fact, many of the members for Squadron Supreme were based on the famed Justice League members, but they are largely forgotten by many fans.
5 Thunderbolts (Suicide Squad)
Using villains for a superhero team is a brilliant idea, which is precisely why DC made this decision back in 1959 when they debuted their squad. Marvel was a little late to the game, and they rolled out Thunderbolts in 1997. By that point, the gimmick had lost its luster and DC was miles ahead.
4 Moon Knight (Batman)
A dark, brooding hero with excellent detective skills and a penchant for using his fists would normally conjure images of Batman, but Marvel fans could just as easily have Moon Knight cross their minds. Though similar in many ways, Batman's 1939 debut came long before Moon Knight's 1975 appearance.
3 Magneto (Doctor Polaris)
Having the ability to manipulate electrical and magnetic fields is something that could come in handy in many situations, and these two characters are a testament to this. Unlike a number of entries on this list, the gap in debuts from these characters is only months apart, back in 1963.
2 Hulk (Solomon Grundy)
Though these two famed characters have drastically different origin stories, they share so many traits in common. Both men have superhuman strength, regeneration, and invulnerability making them more alike than most others. Keep in mind that Grundy's 1944 debut came some 18 years before the 1962 debut of Bruce Banner's Hulk.
1 Owl (Penguin)
To cap things off, we want to take a look at these two bird-like villains and connect some dots here. Penguin debuted back in 1941 and proved to be a formidable foe for Batman, and he caught on with fans in no time. 23 years later, Owl, a foe to Daredevil, came along as nothing more than an imitator. Both men are criminal masterminds that resemble the birds they are named after.
Sources: denofgeek.com, polygon.com, yahoo.com, bestofcomicbooks.com, looper.com, geeksmate.io, marvel.fandom.com, dc.fandom.com