Marvel vs DC- Do they share a mirror?


Recognize either of these characters? If not please allow me to enlighten you. The man to the left is DEATHSTROKE, a DC COMICS vigilante mercenary who is a gun for hire. The man to the right is DEADPOOL, a MARVEL COMICS vigilante mercenary who is a gun for hire. Do you know when they appeared? 1980 and 1991 respectively. Now, are you curious as to their real names?

Deathstroke– Slade Joseph Wilson

Deadpool– Wade Winston Wilson

Incase you aren’t connecting this let me elaborate: Deadpool is a direct recreation of Deathstroke in response to the popularity of Deathstroke in the DC universe.


Very cool story, bro. In the recent years of Marvel and DC movies coming out raking in millions and millions of dollars we seem to pick allegiances to a single brand and shun the other. But little do we realize how much overlap is actually occurring between the brands. Deadpool and Deathstroke are sterling examples on how the dispersal of ideas among this creative medium have flowed without legal intervention- within reason- and creates a fountain of imagination that we can all build on and from. Not saying if you made a character called Livingtub in place of Deadpool that you wouldn’t meet legal recourse but it is enough to say that it can help spur ideas.

Now enter Marvel Comics 2014 as they have always tended to do, they address strong world topics in many of their comics. This time, school bullying.

Click HERE to read Rick Schindler’s article.

As shown at the very top of the article in the “featured image” spot we see some of Marvel’s A-list players. As we established with Deadpool and Deathstroke, there is a doppleganger to each of the characters. And this would be where the fanboy-ism shines as each team reps their label in fierce debate of who did it first and who did it better. Below we have a youtube video from WATCHMOJO as they outline some of the biggest similarities (and notice the bias).

Intriguing, no? What matters most is this: How has this not legally been pursued to prevent such close imitation? Companies like Disney and BMG fiercely look into anything resembling similarities and pursue legal courses. What have Marvel and DC done here that transcend the battle of originality and gave us some of our most beloved characters. Want more examples? Okay. Here is Canadian artist DARREN RAWLINGS as he presents his art and shows amazing similarities- “MARVEL SUPERHEROES vs THEIR DC EQUIVELANTS” (once again notice the bias and the selection or wording in the title).

My opinion in this is as such: As the comic labels grew in popularity through the 1950s and onward it was met by considerable resistance from the general population. The resistance came mainly with the horror and adult themed comics. In an effort to preserve their companies they moved into more super hero models. The companies may have forgone the legal actions on the characters to further their own place in the pop culture world. If they decided to start seeking recourse, that could have stalled their growth and buckled. Of course now they are behemoths and could seek recourse- but why? They have already had these characters as staples to their universe.

That being said, the bully issues of Marvel comics come out and help bring attention to an issue. An issue that DC could very well respond to as well with their exact same characters (notice my bias).

-Mike Sullivan


6 thoughts on “Marvel vs DC- Do they share a mirror?

  1. I really enjoyed this article, Mike. I think that if the two companies pursued the copyright issues it would become a huge page turner for the world of comics. I would almost like to see it happen, just to know how it would blow over. But I think your brought up a very good point when you wrote about their struggle for popularity in the beginnings. If they would have pursued the copyright infringements at that time, comics may not have developed and become such a large market. Many may have chosen sides and put a strain on the comic market. I believe at this point, after all that DC and Marvel have each developed, suing for copyright would possibly end the comic market for good because it would become such a back and forth battle. I think both companies have probably come to realize that a little competition never hurt and having a similar character helps them build fan bases.


  2. I really like the point that you brought up, and I too am curious to see what would happen if either of these companies would sue for copyright. But i do think that these companies like the rivalry between them. It makes for competition and it makes fans pick a side. Marvel has a clear fan base and so does DC which means that with every new comic or movie that comes out the fans are going to buy/watch and so are the rival fans to see how they compare to their favorite. Fans are going to watch/buy both DC and Marvel because they will want to compare the two and be able to say their favorite is better.


  3. I really liked this article because I never once realized how similar the two universes are. Seeing how the two worlds of Marvel and DC universe reflect each other was interesting in itself. It is interesting to see such a defined fan based despite the fact the two characters are similar. I am glad the two companies do not occupy themselves with copyright. The two worlds competing against each other is something worth watching and watching how two different companies take their own approach on a similar character is interesting in itself. It’s fun seeing what characters the companies come up with and how they compare to each other.


  4. I really enjoyed the article. I knew that both companies some how copied off of one another. The very huge obvious one was the Deadpool and Death stroke. I guess Marvel’s huge minds couldn’t think of anything so they decided one day hey, I got a huge idea. We will change Deathstroke to Deadpool and swith his middle name. It still amazes me that both companies have billions of dollars and they have to copy off of each other. They don’t even try to hide the fact they are the same character.


  5. I actually have no previous knowledge of DeadPool or any comic book characters, nor do I care who did it first or who did it better. HOWEVER, I still found this article really interesting, because, it just goes to show that not every competition has to be ended with legal action. In today’s world especially when we want to crush our competitors we sue, if we feel they copied or manipulated one of our products we hire a legal team to take them out. Marvel and DC may have selfish reasons to not bring any overlap to court, but I think it is pretty cool that they haven’t and that they let their fans speak. I’m sure both of them borrow from each other constantly and it will be a never ending competition, but I applaud them for dealing with it, without using a lawyer.


  6. I began reading this blog post with no knowledge on anything to do with comments, like Shannon, but I have to say that this really captured my attention because of your knowledge on this topic. I am also wondering why no legal action has taken place, but it dawned on me that Marvel and DC may enjoy the competition between them. Two similar ideas, and a bunch of products/promotion in order to see who will come out a top. It’s genius, actually. There’s a lot to say in the fact that they’re letting this so-called battle rest and lie among the reactions of the people who support them.


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