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.
— Bill Wolff (@billwolff) September 13, 2014
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).