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View Full Version : Versions of Marvel characters in DC comics?


Terrifel
10-05-2007, 09:57 PM
Seems like it's a pretty good time to be a DC character at Marvel these days. The Squadron Supreme series is ongoing, and the Sentry has been featured prominently in Mighty Avengers and World War Hulk. Dunno what Gladiator has been up to these days-- maybe he's teaming up with Moon Knight? World's Marvelousest Comics?

Anyhoo. Marvel features a few characters that are spoofs, pastiches, or that otherwise riff on prominent DC properties to some degree or other. This is all good fun, of course. But does the practice go both ways? I've been trying to think of notable, recurring DC characters that intentionally reference corresponding Marvel properties. The only obvious ones I can think of are one-shots: there was that ersatz Marvel universe that Superman and Batman visited in, um, Superman/Batman, in which versions of most major Marvel characters showed up for a few seconds apiece. Then there was that bogus version of the Avengers that was massacred by the Authority during its puffy-headed Frank Quitely run. And wasn't there a Superman storyline several years back where a version of Galactus showed up? Omnirex or something? Other than that, I'm drawing a blank.

Clearly there are DC characters like Steel or Aquaman that were preceded by extremely similar character concepts from Marvel. But I don't believe that the reader was supposed to look at these characters and think, "Ah, this is intended as a nod and a wink to Marvel's Iron Man/Sub-Mariner," in the same sense that the Squadron Supreme was meant as a recognizable parallel to the JLA.

Kamino Neko
10-05-2007, 10:09 PM
DC's equivalent to the Squadron Supreme (ie, a riff on the Avengers), other than the Maximums from S/B, are the Champions of Angor/Assemblers/Justifiers (Avengers is a very difficult name to riff off).

Most of whom, unfortunately, are dead, mostly wiped out by the Extremists (versions of Dr Doom, Magneto, Sabertooth, Doc Ock, and...Dormammu, I think). Two of them, Silver Sorceress and Blue Jay came over to the DC Universe and joined the Justice League during the JLI days. IIRC, the Sorceress has since died.

Off the top of my head....

Thor was Wandjina, the Sorceress was the Scarlet Witch, Blue Jay was Wasp (although he's male), Quicksilver's dupe I've seen called Captain Speed and Jack B Quick, and Iron Man became Tin Man. I don't remember equivalents to the other Avengers, although the upcoming Extremists miniseries first issue's cover features and obvious Captain America pastiche.

Hey, It's That Guy!
10-06-2007, 12:41 AM
Most of whom, unfortunately, are dead, mostly wiped out by the Extremists (versions of Dr Doom, Magneto, Sabertooth, Doc Ock, and...Dormammu, I think). Two of them, Silver Sorceress and Blue Jay came over to the DC Universe and joined the Justice League during the JLI days. IIRC, the Sorceress has since died.


Yeah, the Extremists were:

Lord Havoc (Dr. Doom)
Gorgon (Dr. Octopus)
Dr. Diehard (Magneto)
Tracer (Sabretooth)
Dreamslayer (Dormammu was always my best guess, too.)

Of course you have The Four in Planetary, the most powerful and evil people in the world, who are the Wildstorm Universe's twisted versions of the Fantastic Four:

Randall Dowling (Reed Richards)
Kim Suskind (Sue Richards)
William Leather (Johnny Storm)
Jacob Greene (Ben Grimm)

I follow Planetary in TPBs, so I've only read as far as #18. Apparently we're waiting on one final issue, #27, to wrap the entire damn series up, so I'm not sure what The Four have been up to lately.

foolsguinea
10-06-2007, 02:52 AM
Other than Silver & Jay? Huh. Well, General Glory is a blatant Captain America spoof. The Scarlet Skier & Mr. Nebula are Silver Surfer & Galactus riffs (but only very loosely).

DC had a Spider-Girl first (in FYL LSH), but I think that's just a similar name.

Aquaman is kind of a Namor knockoff, but not a spoof.

Solomon Grundy & Blockbuster, whatever the original intent, both have tended toward Hulk riffs.

The more sympathetic take on Deathstroke in the early 1990's was probably inspired by the success of the Punisher, but that's reaching, isn't it?

DC likes to be seen as the Original Comic Book Company. Maybe DC would rather buy your concepts outright than obviously knock them off?

On the other hand, Wildstorm has probably done as many mockeries (usually disposable) of Marvel characters as Marvel has done of DC characters--& in a quarter of the time. It's a new kid thing.

Little Nemo
10-06-2007, 03:25 AM
Was the original Doomsday character partially inspired by the Hulk? Super strength, lack of intelligence, oversized body, strange colored skin - there are similarities.

LiveOnAPlane
10-06-2007, 04:35 AM
I'm going so far back that even for me, I'm reaching. But I clearly remember a comic (do not know if it was Marvel or DC) in which Superman and Spiderman have a dust-up.

The only thing I can remember from this is Supe's fist heading for Spidey's jaw and Supe's thought balloon saying something very close to this:

"What am I thinking? If I hit him with my full force, I'll kill him!!"

Sorry I could not contribute more, but I thought it was a pretty cool crossover; I just don't know if it fits your OP. I can not remember if it was a Marvel character in a DC comic or the reverse. Mayber someone can come in with better info?

Horatio Hellpop
10-06-2007, 05:00 AM
The Freedom Fighters fought a parody version of the Invaders and the Red Skull in their 70s incarnation.

Legends #1 (1986) featured a character who looked like Jim Shooter and was a parody of his Star Brand character (Guy Gardner burned his arm off, and he hasn't been seen since).

The two companies have had characters and ideas that popped up pretty much simultaneously, like X-Men/Doom Patrol and Man Thing/Swamp Thing. Ms. Marvel and Power Girl debuted the same year, both scripted by Gerry Conway, and both even had "mysterious pregnancy" storylines.

bbs2k
10-06-2007, 05:42 AM
Was the original Doomsday character partially inspired by the Hulk? Super strength, lack of intelligence, oversized body, strange colored skin - there are similarities.IMHO, no. The Hulk wasn't the first big strong dumb guy and probably won't be the last. And it wasn't so much that Doomsday was portrayed as dumb, just an alien who got dropped like a bomb in the middle of Earth (not literally). DC just needed to create a character out of thin air who was big enough and bad enough to convince the readers that he was capable of killing Supes.

DrFidelius
10-06-2007, 08:07 AM
Hank Henshaw (the current Cyborg Superman) originated as part of a Fantastic Four pastiche.

Hung Mung
10-06-2007, 08:29 AM
Was the original Doomsday character partially inspired by the Hulk? Super strength, lack of intelligence, oversized body, strange colored skin - there are similarities.
In that the Hulk originally had gray skin...yeah, they're similar. I don't think it was more than a passing physical resemblance. I mean, can you see Supes getting knocked off by a cheap Hulk rip-off?

Kamino Neko
10-06-2007, 12:59 PM
DC had a Spider-Girl first (in FYL LSH), but I think that's just a similar name.

Spider-Girl's powers are more similar to Medusa's - she can control her hair to use as a weapon, to pick things up, etc.

She also predates not just Spider-Girl, but all the Spider-Women, and Medusa, being introduced in 1963 - Just over 6 months after Spider-Man. She was a rejected Legion applicant, who went on to join the Legion of Super-Villains, then, after the 5 year gap, joined the Legion proper.

DC's attempt at a Punisher type character wasn't Deathstroke (who was a more generic anti-hero type in his good-guy days), but Wild Dog, who was the star of one of the regular features in Action Comics Weekly.

Menocchio
10-06-2007, 01:17 PM
The more sympathetic take on Deathstroke in the early 1990's was probably inspired by the success of the Punisher, but that's reaching, isn't it?

The history of Deathstroke and Marvel is more complex than that.

Deathstroke, real name Slade Wilson, was in the army, where he recieved an experimental serum that boosted his physical attributes. He uses medieval armaments (Chainmail and a sword), and is renowned as a tactical genius. IOW, he's a subtle Captain America pastiche. The differences being that Deathstroke is an amoral mercenary, uses a sword rather than a shield, and is usually portrayed as being more definitively superhuman than Cap (notably, he has a healing factor).

Eventually, Marvel introduced the character Deadpool, real name Wade Wilson, an amoral mercenary who wields a sword and was given a healing factor by a secret program. Deadpool remained a blatant knock-off until the writers decided that he's batshit insane and banters like Spider-Man.

Then DC published a comic where Superman and Batman fought versions of themselves from and alternate Earth where all the heroes were villains. Deathstroke was involved too, and he was chagrinned to discover that his alternate from that world was a mouthy lunatic. The circle was complete.

Terrifel
10-06-2007, 01:19 PM
Hank Henshaw (the current Cyborg Superman) originated as part of a Fantastic Four pastiche.Oh yeah, I forgot about him. But then, he was the only one of the four whose power didn't closely parallel the original's.

I stopped reading Planetary after the protagonists started driving nails into peoples' eyes, but I understand that their version of Reed Richards doesn't stretch either. It's kind of a shame that no one seems to think an evil stretchy guy would be scary. I happen to think that the ability to stretch is one of the more disturbing abilities out there, especially in the absence of the Comics Code Authority.

Little Nemo
10-06-2007, 01:20 PM
In that the Hulk originally had gray skin...yeah, they're similar. I don't think it was more than a passing physical resemblance. I mean, can you see Supes getting knocked off by a cheap Hulk rip-off?That's kind of my point. It would have been a weak story if Superman had been killed by some unknown character. But if you think of Doomsday as being a non-copyright-violation version of the Hulk you have the most powerful characters in two competing universes fighting to the death.

Amok
10-06-2007, 01:26 PM
Yeah, the Extremists were:

Lord Havoc (Dr. Doom)
Gorgon (Dr. Octopus)
Dr. Diehard (Magneto)
Tracer (Sabretooth)
Dreamslayer (Dormammu was always my best guess, too.)



Coincidently, the Extremists have a mini-series that starts coming out this month:

http://dccomics.com/comics/?cm=8109


Don't miss this special 6-part COUNTDOWN miniseries featuring the most powerful beings on Earth-8 Lord Havok and his Extremists written by Frank Tieri (GOTHAM UNDERGROUND) and illustrated by Liam Sharp (TESTAMENT)!

Lord Havok! Dr. Diehard! Tracer! Gorgon! Dreamslayer! Carny! Meet these dangerous individuals and learn why they are so integral to COUNTDOWN and the fate of the Multiverse! Guest-starring Monarch, the Monitors, Donna Troy, Jason Todd and Kyle Rayner


They'll also be appearing in Countdown to some extent, as the solicitation suggests. Interestingly, this will be the first time DC publishes a series (limited or otherwise) based on Marvel pastiche characters. (As was mentioned a couple Marvel knockoffs ended up in the Justice League in the 90s, but they were far from being the whole team.)

JThunder
10-06-2007, 01:35 PM
Well, General Glory is a blatant Captain America spoof.And his sidekick, Ernie the Battling Boy, was an obvious pastiche of Bucky.

Kamino Neko
10-06-2007, 01:39 PM
I stopped reading Planetary after the protagonists started driving nails into peoples' eyes, but I understand that their version of Reed Richards doesn't stretch either. It's kind of a shame that no one seems to think an evil stretchy guy would be scary. I happen to think that the ability to stretch is one of the more disturbing abilities out there, especially in the absence of the Comics Code Authority.

Dowling's powers are a lot creepier than sticking to Reed's powers would have been - though less disgusting than Richards-style stretching could be, if taken in a villainous direction.

Terrifel
10-06-2007, 01:43 PM
That's kind of my point. It would have been a weak story if Superman had been killed by some unknown character. But if you think of Doomsday as being a non-copyright-violation version of the Hulk you have the most powerful characters in two competing universes fighting to the death.Not just a version of the Hulk, but a Kryptonian Hulk! Sort of, anyway. Or a Kryptonian Solomon Grundy, now that I think about it... he's gray too, isn't he? And he's got white hair like Doomsday... Of course! It all makes sense now. Doomsday is the Kryptonian Solomon Grundy! Because Solomon Grundy was born on a Monday... and Doomsday is also a day! See, it all fits together!

Honestly, though, if you asked someone to design a big, mindless deus ex machina simply to drop on a superhero and beat the crap out of them, odds are you'd probably wind up with something like the Hulk. Unless you specifically requested something creative, that is...

Speaking of which... Recently, the Hulk's powers have shifted focus a bit, in that he's not just "the strongest one there is," but the ultimate survival machine-- if he's in danger of drowning, his lungs will mutate until he can breathe water, etc. This is more or less how Doomsday operated. A mere coincidence?

Hey, It's That Guy!
10-06-2007, 02:32 PM
I stopped reading Planetary after the protagonists started driving nails into peoples' eyes

What what WHAT?!?

Kamino Neko
10-06-2007, 03:01 PM
What what WHAT?!?

Trying to avoid spoilers that are more specific than the quoted bit, I'll just say, Elijah, starting at approximately where you are now, takes a bit of a turn toward the dark side in how he deals with the Four. Which disturbs Jakita, so it's not so much 'the good guys', as Elijah, alone.

The specific incident in question happens in issue 22, IIRC - After capturing William Leather, he puts a device that looks like the goggles worn in tanning booths, but lined with spikes, on Leather's eyes.

I think I need to reread the series, because I remember that having a point beyond the pain and injury, but I can't remember what it was.

Terrifel
10-06-2007, 05:29 PM
What what WHAT?!?Er...I follow Planetary in TPBs, so I've only read as far as #18. :smack:

:smack:

:smack:

Sorry! Sorry about that. Crap, how long ago did that issue come out? It's been years... Anyway, they weren't really "nails," as such... Look, it's been like TWO YEARS, how is it that this issue hasn't been trade-paperbacked yet? I take no responsibility for this. Did I mention that I'm sorry?

Sigh... I bailed on the Authority for the same reason. I enjoy seeing people play around with the classic superhero archetypes, so I tend to be fooled by these series that claim "We're going to shine an exciting new light on superheroes!" But "everyone's a dick" isn't an exciting new light. It wasn't even an exciting new light in the 1980s. It may have been an exciting new light back in 1964 when they introduced Earth-3 and the Crime Syndicate. I remember being distinctly impressed by that one Superfriends episode with the evil Superfriends, where evil Batman had a mustache, and the space monkey was also evil. That was a pretty good episode. Not as good as the one with the zombie plant monsters that sounded like Ookla the Mok, but good.

This is getting a bit off-track, I guess. It's okay if I hijack my own thread, isn't it?

Once again, sorry.

Anyway--Coincidently, the Extremists have a mini-series that starts coming out this month: That is a weird coincidence! I had no memory of the Extremists, or of the Champions of Angor for that matter. Should be interesting to see how DC updates those characters. I guess they're from a parallel Earth now, rather than from another planet? Or possibly from another planet in the same universe as Earth-8? Because I thought Earth-8 was supposed to be the home of characters like Breach and Damage.

Breach is a terrible name for a superhero.

Just Some Guy
10-06-2007, 06:28 PM
Trying to avoid spoilers that are more specific than the quoted bit, I'll just say, Elijah, starting at approximately where you are now, takes a bit of a turn toward the dark side in how he deals with the Four. Which disturbs Jakita, so it's not so much 'the good guys', as Elijah, alone.
I stopped reading Planetary around that point myself, though in my case it was because I got tired of the protagonists acting as righteous hypocrites. It's the world's greatest evil when the Four keep dangerous alien technology out of public hands and they must be murdered for it as opposed to digging this stuff up and only making knowledge of it available to a select group of millionaires.

Amok
10-06-2007, 08:53 PM
Anyway-- That is a weird coincidence! I had no memory of the Extremists, or of the Champions of Angor for that matter. Should be interesting to see how DC updates those characters. I guess they're from a parallel Earth now, rather than from another planet? Or possibly from another planet in the same universe as Earth-8? Because I thought Earth-8 was supposed to be the home of characters like Breach and Damage.


It looks like they're from a parallel Earth now, yeah. Not sure where that places the planet Angor in continuity. Blue Jay (the male Wasp equivalent) is still alive and on Earth in current continuity (he appeared One Year Later in one of the Superman books, I forget which one), so I'm not sure how he ties into this.

Earth-8 would have been the home to heroes like Breech, Damage, and Kyle Raynor if the original multiverse had survived Crisis on Infinite Earths. At least, according to Alexander Luthor in Infinite Crisis. But that multiverse is gone, and the new one isn't the same. Some Earths kinda line up, like old Earth-3 and new Earth-3, but even there the old version had the Crime Syndicate, while the new version has the Crime Society. In the case of new Earth-8, apparently there's no connection to the Earth-8 of the old multiverse.

Kamino Neko
10-06-2007, 09:16 PM
Blue Jay (the male Wasp equivalent) is still alive and on Earth in current continuity (he appeared One Year Later in one of the Superman books, I forget which one)

Action, during Busiek's run while Johns, Donner and Kubert were still getting their run organized.

And Blue Jay is no doubt like Power Girl, or Duella Dent - his origin's simply been shifted to the new Multiverse's Earth-8.

To expand upon the 'not the same multiverse' part - The only Earths we know have the same numbering as the equivalent (which isn't to say, identical) pre-Crisis Earths are 2, 3, and 4, although the new Earths 5 and 10 are obviously designated as such as a reference to their pre-Crisis equivalents, Earths S and X. Earths 5, 8, and 17 were named in both multiverses, but refer to completely different worlds in each. (Although the two pre-Crisis Earth-17s (Grant Morrison mistakenly re-used the designation in his Second Crisis Animal Man story) were the only ones named prior to 2006.)

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