It seems Hollywood can't come up with anything original anymore and comics aren't immune to retreading old material either. Here is a list of comic characters that are basically the same person.
Deadpool vs Deathstoke
DC’s Deastroke debuted in 1980 as an enemy for the Teen Titans. He is an assassin and mercenary. He is a tactical genius, expert marksman, swordsman, and hand-to-hand combatant. A serum also granted him super-strength, speed, agility and durability. He also has accelerated healing though not to levels where he could regenerate limbs or organs.
Marvel’s Deadpool debuted in 1991 as the fourth wall-breaking ‘Merc with a Mouth’. Originally cast as a villain to foil for Cable and the New Mutants, since then he has morphed into an anti-hero. Due to his similarities to DC’s Deathstoke, his creators gave him the name Wade Wilson as a play off of Deathstroke’s real name, Slade Wilson. Deadpool’s abilities include an accelerated healing factor as well as being an expert martial artist, marksman, and swordsman.
Namor vs Aquaman
Namor the Sub-Mariner is sometimes referred to as Marvel’s first mutant with his debut coming way back in 1939. He is the son of a human sea captain and an Atlantean princess. Namor initially possessed the ability to communicate with all sea life and even imitate their powers, however he has lost these abilities for the most part over the course of his publication history. His mainstay powers are his ability to breathe underwater, super strength, speed, agility, and reflexes. He also has enhanced vision granting him the ability to see in near complete darkness. Namor can swim at super speeds, even for Atlantean standards and he can even fly with the aid of tiny wings on his ankles.
If you think Namor sounds eerily familiar to you even if you didn’t know who he was, it’s because his powers are almost identical to DC’s Aquaman. Aquaman debuted in 1941 and has been a key member in the Justice League along side Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman. Also an Atlantean, Aquaman shares many similar powers and abilities with Namor. He possesses super-human strength, stamina, endurance, durability, senses, healing, and reflexes. He also has telepathic abilities with aquatic life. He also gained the ability to fly later in his publication history.
Moon Knight vs Batman
Marvel’s Moon Knight debuted in 1975. So here is the rundown on Moon Knight: he is a millionaire entrepreneur who is a masked vigilante on the side. He is an expert detective, olympic-level athlete and is proficient in martial arts and armed combat. Moon Knight is also driven by vengeance. Sounds like Batman. The major difference coming from the fact that Moon Knight’s alter ego, Marc Spector, is not his only alter ego. Spector suffers from dissociative identity disorder. Moon Knight also gains increased strength from the lunar cycle due to his association with Khonshu, the Egyptian moon god.
Batman, the World’s Greatest Detective, is one of DC’s most famous and longest-running comics. Debuting in Detective Comics in 1939, Bruce Wayne is a billionaire playboy and philanthropist by day and a masked, crime-fighting vigilante by night. Driven by the need for vengeance after the murder of his parents, Batman protects Gotham City and is a founding member of the Justice League. Batman possesses a genius-level intellect, is in peak physical condition, an expert martial artist and hand-to-hand combatant and finally, Batman is an expert detective and tactician.
Red Tornado vs Vision
Vision originally debuted in 1940, but his character was re-introduced in his more-familiar android form in 1968. The second iteration of Vision was written as a creation of Ultron and was intended to be an enemy of the Avengers but later became a member of the Avengers. Visions abilities include superhuman intelligent, speed, agility and strength. Vision has the ability to alter his density from ghost-like to extremely dense, flight, solar energy projections, and technopathy.
Red Tornado is DC’s android staple of the Justice League. Debuting in 1968, a few months before Vision was debuted as an android, has had his origins ret-conned a few times but the origin that most closely mirrors Vision’s is when Dr. Morrow creates Red Tornado to infiltrate the JLA only to later join the League. Red Tornado is highly durable and possesses excessive strength and is cable of flight and producing tornado-force winds and is also a technopath.
Thanos vs Darkseid
One of the most powerful beings in the DC universe, debuting in 1970, Darkseid is one of the most feared and power-hungry villains around. A member of the New Gods and the ruler of the planet, Apokolips, Darkseid rules with a fascist and militant regime. Darkseid’s powers and abilities include superhuman strength, speed, durability, flight, telekinesis, teleportation, energy and mass manipulation, Omega beam projection. Darkseid is also immortal.
Thanos the Mad Titan is a member of the Titanian Eternals and has enhanced his abilities and powers through technology and mysticism. Thanos has an obsession with death, and even falls in love with the physical embodiment of death, Mistress Death, and is willing to do anything for her. Thanos possesses superhuman strength, durability, endurance, energy manipulation, telekinesis, teleportation. Thanos is also a master tactician and has a genius-level intellect in every known field of advanced science. Thanos is also obsessed with galactic domination.
Plastic Man vs Mr. Fantastic vs Elongated Man
Plastic Man was created and debuted in 1941 for Quality Comics and was later acquired and incorporated into the DC Universe in 1956. His abilities include superhuman elasticity meaning he can stretch his body into any form imaginable. He is also super agile and durable. He possesses a healing factor and is immune to telepathy and is invulnerable and immortal.
Elongated Man - Another one of DC’s heroes that can stretch his body to any shape and size is Elongated Man. He debuted in 1960 in DC Comics and is a member of the Justice League. His abilities also grant him durability and limited invulnerability. Elongated Man is also an expert detective and chemist.
Mr. Fantastic debuted a year after Elongated Man in 1961 in Marvel Comics and is a founding member of the Fantastic Four. Reed Richards is a genius before he was exposed to cosmic rays giving him his super powers which include his body being highly malleable and able to transform into almost any shape desired. Along with his superhuman elasticity, Mr. Fantastic is highly durable and possesses high level of endurance and has a resistance to most physical assaults and is immune to psychic powers.
Atom vs Ant-Man
Ray Palmers’s version of DC’s The Atom debuted in 1961. The physicist via a mass of white dwarf star matter is able to shrink his body down all the way to subatomic levels while maintaining his normal strength and also grow his body and also manipulating his density.
The following year, 1962, Marvel introduced Dr. Hank Pym aka Ant-Man who is a biophysicist discovers a chemical substance that allows him to alter his size. The aptly named Pym-Particle allows Ant-Man to shrink down to subatomic levels and increase his normal size. Ant-Man has superhuman strength and agility and possesses a helmet that allows him to communicate with ants. Ant-Man is a founding member of the Avengers.
Black Cat vs Catwoman
Catwoman first appeared in DC’s Batman #1 in 1940. She has been a longtime adversary of Batman and occasional ally and love interest. Catwoman is highly skilled burglar, gymnast, and hand-to-hand combatant. Her favorite weapon is a bullwhip. She also utilizes razor-sharp retractable claws and steel pitons.
Black Cat is Marvel’s ‘Cat’ burglar. Debuting in The Amazing Spider-Man #194 in 1979, Felecia Hardy aka Black Cat is a foil for Spider-Man. Like Catwoman, Black Cat is a highly skilled burglar, gymnast, and martial artist. She also possesses razor-sharp retractable claws but instead of the use of pitons, prefers grappling hooks to maneuver an urban landscape.
Green Arrow vs Hawkeye
Green Arrow is a member of DC’s Justice League and debuted in 1941. He has no superpowers but is an expert marksman, especially with his trademark bow and arrow. He is also a suburb hand-to-hand combatant and is more than capable with melee weapons like a sword. Green Arrow is known for using trick arrows ranging from explosive arrows, grappling arrows and his famous boxing-glove arrow.
Hawkeye is Marvel’s resident archer, debuting in 1964 and later becoming a member of the Avengers. Like Green Arrow, Hawkeye is an expert marksman and master archer. He is proficient with melee weapons and is an expert martial artist. Hawkeye also uses a variety of trick arrows and is said to be able to use any item as a weapon.
Green Lantern Corps vs Nova Corps
The Green Lantern Corp debuted in 1959 as the DC Universe’s intergalactic police force. Green Lanterns patrol the universe under the guidance of the Guardians and utilize the power of their green lantern rings that draw power from the wearers willpower.
The Nova Corps debuted in 1979 and the Marvel equivalent of the Green Lantern Corps as they, too, are an intergalactic policing force. Based on Xandar, the corps derives its power from the Living Computers of Xandar known as the Xandarian Worldmind.
Ultron vs Braniac
Brainiac debuted in 1958 and has primarily been one of Superman’s most formidable antagonists. He is depicted as an alien android with a ’12th-level intellect’ with enhanced memory and advanced understanding of mechanical engineering, bio-engineering, physics and extensive knowledge of applied and theoretical sciences. Brainiac also has extensive knowledge of various alien technology. Brainiac possesses superhuman strength and durability, flight, and is able to discharge energy blasts from his hands. Brainiac is also a technopath.
Ultron debuted in Marvel’s Avengers #54 in 1968 as the ‘Crimson Cowl’ only to be identified as Ultron-5, The Living Automaton one issue later. A creation of Hank Pym, the robot’s artificial intelligence developed to a genius-level and Ultron rebelled against his creator even developing a hatred for Pym. Through various upgrades to his body, Ultron possesses superhuman strength, speed and durability, as well as flight and energy blasts.
Superman vs Gladiator vs Hyperion vs Sentry
Superman is one of the most iconic superheroes ever. He is the gold standard and is the supreme superhero archetype hero. A founding member of DC’s Justice League and is part of what many call the Trinity of DC Comics along with Super Woman and Batman. Superman’s abilities include superhuman strength, speed, durability, longevity, as well as flight, heat vision, freeze breath, x-ray, infra-red, telescopic, and microscopic vision. His only real vulnerabilities are to kryptonite and magic.
One Marvel character to serve as a homage to Superman is Gladiator, who debuted in 1977. Even his real name is Kallark which made up of Superman’s real names, Kal-El and Clark Kent. His abilities also mirror DC’s Man of Steel with his superhuman strength, speed, reflexes, stamina, and durability. Gladiator also possesses microscopic, x-ray, and telescopic vision as well as heat vision, super-breath and frost breath. Gladiator has the ability to fly, possesses a healing factor and is resistant to psionic attacks. He is, however, vulnerable to certain types of radiation and his power level coincide with his confidence levels.
Superman vs Gladiator vs Hyperion vs Sentry
With the success of Superman there is little surprise that copycat characters exist. Marvel’s Hyperion was introduced as a member of the Squadron Sinister in 1969 and al the members were mirrored off of DC’s Justice League and were created to battle the Avengers. Hyperion was based off of Superman. Hyperion has appeared as multiple versions of himself in a convoluted Marvel continuity but in all iterations he possesses superhuman strength, speed, stamina, and durability. Hyperion can also fly and has enhanced sensory perceptions as well as ‘atomic vision’.
Sentry is yet another Superman copycat from Marvel. Debuting in 2000, his character was written to have been apart of the Marvel universe for a very long time and apart of many pivotal moments throughout history. Gaining his powers from a serum similar but much stronger than the super serum used to create Captain America, Sentry possesses superhuman strength, speed, stamina, and durability. He also has a enhanced senses, is able to manipulate molecules, fly, and is able to be resurrected when he dies even tho he is almost invulnerable.
Solomon Grundy vs Hulk
Solomon Grundy, born on a Monday, buried on a Sunday, is a DC supervillian who debuted in 1944. The hulking grey zombie-like creature often recites the nursery rhyme on which he is based and possesses superhuman strength and stamina. Grundy is also nearly invulnerable and virtually indestructible, that, coupled with his healing factor equates to Grundy being immortal.
In 1962, Marvel unveiled their own hulking grey monster named the Incredible Hulk. After being exposed to gamma rays, Dr. Bruce Banner has dealt with his raging and sometimes completely out of control alter ego, The Hulk. Shortly after his debut, Hulk went from being a grey monster to a green hulking rage-machine. Hulk’s abilities include superhuman strength and durability and also a healing factor. In most iterations, Hulk’s power coincides with his anger, the more mad he is, the stronger he becomes. Hulk smash, indeed.
Ghost Rider vs Atomic Skull
Johnny Blaze was a stunt motorcyclist who agreed to sell his soul in order to save his father’s life. In doing so, he became the Ghost Rider, Marvel’s Spirit of Vengeance. Clad in a spike-adorned leather jacket as hellfire consumes his body only to reveal his skeletal form, Ghost Rider rides a motorcycle imbued with hellfire and wields hellfire chains. He also possesses superhuman strength, stamina, agility, and durability. He is able to be resurrected, regenerate with an accelerated healing factor and is able to travel interdimensionally. Ghost Rider is also able to project hellfire from his body and uses his Penance Stare in his quest to defeat the guilty.
DC has had two characters go by the name Atomic Skull, but if you look at Joseph Martin’s version of Atomic Skull, he looks A LOT like Marvel’s Ghost Rider, mainly due to the fact he has a fiery skull atop his shoulders. Atomic Skull also possesses superhuman strength, agility, and endurance as well as the ability to emit powerful atomic energy blasts from his hands and mouth and also gives off radiation from his purple-fire skull.
Bumblebee vs Wasp
Hope van Dyne worked with Hank Pym on his Pym Particle. And like Pym, Hope utilized the particle to gain superpowers including size manipulation. The Wasp debuted in Marvel Comics’ Tales to Astonish in 1963. She was a founding member of the Avengers. Wasp’s size manipulation isn’t her only power, she also is able to fly with her insect-like wings and can fire blasts of bio-electric energy and possesses telepathic insect control.
DC’s also has a size-manipulating insect-based hero, Bumblebee. Debuting in 1976 as a member of the Teen Titans and Doom Patrol, Bumblebee is very similar to her Marvel counterpart, Wasp. She can shrink to insect-like size and can fly via her bee wings and has the ability to fire sonic force blasts and electrical stings.
Swamp Thing vs ManThing
In May of 1971, Marvel Comics debuted their humanoid swamp monster, Man-Thing. Man-Thing used to be Dr. Ted Sallis who was working in the Everglades to recreated the Super-Solider Serum that created Captain America, but when he is injected with the serum and involved in a crash combined with magic and chemicals is transformed into a plant-matter creature. Man-Thing possesses superhuman strength and durability and almost impossible to kill or be destroyed do the fact he can recreate his body from nearby vegetation and plant life. Man-Thing is also able to secrete powerful corrosive chemicals and counter agents and has access to the Nexus of All Realities.
A few months later, in July of 1971, DC debuted their own plant elemental creature, Swamp Thing. Much like Man-Thing, Swamp Thing was a scientist, Alex Olsen, who was created after being exposed to chemicals in a swamp. Swamp Thing has super strength and durability, has shapeshifting abilities and hyper elasticity from his vegetative body. He is able to inhabit and animate vegetation including alien plants via telepathic means and is nigh invincible due to the ability to regrow or even create a new body out of plant life.
Doom Patrol vs X-Men
So both DC and Marvel, in a matter of months, debuted a team of young superheroes led by a man in a wheelchair. Both teams have had a revolving door when it comes to membership and both have gone through multiple series and reboots. DC’s Doom Patrol debuted in June 1963 while Marvel’s X-Men debuted in September of 1963, the X-Men have had a much more successful run over the years compared to their DC counterpart.
Dr. Fate vs Dr. Strange
Dr. Fate debuted in 1940 and has been a mantle many have taken up over the years. Dr. Fate is the name of whoever the god, Nabu, possesses via a golden helmet and amulet. Dr. Fate is a master of magic and spell casting, Fate also has the ability to fly and possesses super strength, invulnerability, telekinesis, telepathy, pyrokinesis and lighting manipulation. Fate’s magic is often manifested in hieroglyphs such as an ankh. Dr. Fate has been referred to as the Sorcerer Supreme and resides in the Tower of Fate.
Marvel has its own Sorcerer Supreme, a title once held by the Ancient One, but more famously help by Dr. Strange. Dr. Strange debuted in 1963 and is also a master of magic and sorcery. His power is enhanced with relics such as the Cloak of Levitation that allows Strange to fly as well as the Eye of Agamotto, the Book of Vishanti and the Orb of Agamotto. Strange is also an accomplished hand-to-hand combatant and is able to adeptly wield melee weapons like swords and axes. Strange has his own magical residence as well, the Sanctum Sanctorum.
Silver Surfer vs Black Racer
The Silver Surfer debuted in 1966 as the herald of the world-eating Galactus. He was originally an astronomer, Norrin Radd, who agreed to be the Surfer in exchange for Galactus sparing his planet. Imbued with a galactic surfboard and metallic skin with the Power Cosmic. His powers include superhuman strength, endurance, and senses. He is able to absorb and manipulate energy from the universe, he can heal others and revitalize organic life. He is able to travel at light speed and even time travel with the use of his board.
The Silver Surfer is a creation of Jack Kirby, so it’s not really a surprise that when Kirby moved over to DC, he would create some similar characters. In this case, we have the Black Racer debuting in 1971. Black Racer is seen as a avatar of Death, where Silver Surfer is the Herald of Galactus and eminent death of a planet, but instead of a surfboard, the Black Racer rides around on cosmic skis. The skis allow Black Racer to travel at the speed of light and phase through objects. He possesses the ability to deliver a death stoke or instant death. Black Racer is also immortal and wears cosmic armor.
Alfred vs Jarvis
Sometimes when you are a billionaire playboy who also happens to be a superhero, you need a butler who just so happens to be trained in hand-to-hand combat. Well both DC’s Batman and Marvel’s Iron Man have such a butler. Bruce Wayne has Alfred Pennyworth who debuted in 1943 and has been faithfully serving the Caped Crusader ever since. Tony Stark has Edwin Jarvis to keep his household in order. In recent interpretations of the character Jarvis is now an artificial intelligence to assist Iron Man known as J.A.R.V.I.S.
Black Lightning vs Electro
Electro debuted in Marvel Comics as an enemy to Spider-Man. He is also apart of the villain team the Sinister Six. His abilities include electricity generation and manipulation, flight, and electric energy absorption. When Electro is fully charged his strength and speed are superhuman.
DC’s Black Lighting has almost identical powers to Marvel’s Electro, the main difference is that Black Lightning is a hero and not a villain. His powers include electricity generation and manipulation, flight, and force field generation. He is also a skilled martial artist and olympic level athlete.
Killer Croc vs Lizard
The Lizard is another one of Spider-Man’s foes. His alter-ego, Kurt Connors, is a brilliant scientist and in his search to regrow his amputated arm accidentally turns himself into a reptilian creature. As the Lizard, Connors has superhuman strength, speed, agility, reflexes, stamina, and durability. He also possesses telepathic control over other reptiles, enhanced healing factor, hardened scales, razor-sharp claws and a powerful tail. He is also able to scale walls and ceilings.
In 1983, DC introduced a new Batman enemy to his already vast catalog in Killer Croc. Waylon Jones has a rare genetic condition that gives him a crocodile-like appearance that later due to a meta-gene develops into a more feral attitude with cannibalistic tendencies. Croc possesses superhuman strength, senses, and durability as well as a regenerative healing factor. He is an experienced wrestler and utilizes his reptilian-like teeth and claws in combat.
The Flash vs Quicksilver
In 1940, DC introduced the Scarlett Speedster, The Flash. Over the years, The Flash has been a mantle that has been taken up by numerous people, all with similar powers derived from the Speed Force. The Flash can move, think and react at light speed. He has superhuman endurance to maintain his speed. The Flash also possesses a healing factor and can vibrate his body so fast, he can phase through solid matter. The Flash has even been known to run so fast he tears open the time-space continuum and time travel.
Marvel has their own speedster known as Quicksilver, who debuted in 1964. The son of Magneto, Pietro Maximoff, is a mutant with typical speedster powers. Quicksilver has the power to move, speak, and think at supersonic speeds. He has enhanced stamina and durability. He can also vibrate his body fast enough to phase through solid objects. Sounds familiar doesn’t it?
Boomerang vs Captain Boomerang
For all intents and purposes, these two characters are the same and can be used interchangeably. The only real differences between them is that Captain Boomerang was introduced by DC in 1960 while Boomerang was Marvel’s boomerang-wielding marksman who debuted in 1966. Both are primarily villains and both incorporate a myriad of gimmicky boomerangs in their deadly arsenal.
Tigra vs Cheetah
Both DC and Marvel have characters that are essentially anthropomorphic felines. DC debuted the character Cheetah in 1943 as a nemesis to Wonder Woman, her alias has changed several times over her publication history and her story has been retconned as well. Cheetah possesses superhuman speed and strength as well as enhanced senses like that of a cat.
Marvel has Tigra, a super heroine that debuted as a tiger-woman mutant in 1974. Tigra has limited mystical abilities as well as superhuman strength, agility, and speed. She also has retractable claws and pronounced canine teeth. Her senses are enhanced and are likened to that of a cat.
Dr. Polaris vs Magneto
When you look at DC’s Dr. Polaris you might think that he is knock-off of Marvel’s Magneto. Both are able to manipulate and generate magnetic fields. Both are able to fly using their manipulation of magnetic fields and are both masters of magnetism. Both are highly intelligent and both have been villains at some point. Magneto has also been a hero when not opposing the X-Men amongst others. But Dr. Polaris actually predated Magneto by a a few months, making his debut in June of 1963 while Magneto first appeared in September of 1963.
Quasar vs Green Lantern
Green Lantern is name of several heroes in the DC Universe, the first debuting in 1940, Green Lantern is a member of the intergalactic-policing Green Lantern Corps. Each Green Lantern derives their power from their power ring that are based off the wearers willpower. The ring allows the wearer to conjure constructs to aid in their missions and also allows the wearer to fly and travel through space.
Quasar is a Marvel hero that debuted in 1978 and is also a character that has had a few people take up the mantle. Like Green Lanterns, Quasar derives his power from an external source in this case, two Quantum Bands fused to the wrists. The Quantum Bands grant the wearer energy manipulation including producing energy constructs as well as form energy blasts.