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DC vs. Marvel: Superhero Counterparts

Updated on August 7, 2012

It is expected that in a fictional world, that eventually someone will come up with an idea that's similar to something that was already made. A counterpart. There are only so many features one person can have that make them unique and there are only so many powers a hero can be given before someone new gets something close to it. Someone could also be inspired so much by that hero that they want to make their own version.That doesn't mean its done on purpose or as a way of "stealing" that idea, it might even be done by accident. The point is it happens and it's noticeable between several DC and Marvel heroes. Even Marvel and DC noticed it and created a cross-over comic (Marvel Comics vs. DC) where their similar heroes battled. I do have a little bit of a different opinion on who is more like who, but the cross-over was also from 1990s so...

Batman / Iron Man

Both of these heroes don't actually have super powers. Yes, Iron Man has "rays" that he shoots from his gauntlets via his arc reactor, but its not really a "super power". It's something he engineered. Iron Man does have enhanced strength and the ability to fly as well, but again, that is all due to his reactor and his suit. He also biologically changed himself to give himself healing powers. Iron Man is also very well trained in combat. Batman gets all of his "powers" from his suit as well. Though he cannot shoot beams from his hands, Batman has several gadgets to help him fight at a range such as batarangs and the batgyro. Batman's suit is made from the most durable materials such as kevlar, that provide him extra support and strength. He has a grappling gun that allows him to "fly" around the city by swinging from building to building. Batman is also incredibly skilled in combat. Batman and Iron Man can also compared to Bruce Wayne and Tony Stark. Both are billionaire playboys who are ridiculously smart. They developed their own suits and weapons, their parents are dead, and they own powerful companies. Bruce Wayne and Tony Stark also both have butlers who help take care of them as well as go above and beyond to aid them in their crime fighting and business. Bruce Wayne has Alfred Pennyworth, and Tony Stark has Edwin Jarvis.

Superman / Hulk

Superman and the Hulk are very similar heroes, aside from the Hulk stemming from accidental exposure to gamma radiation by Bruce Banner and Superman being an alien from planet Krypton as well as the Hulk often being an anti-hero. Both Superman and the Hulk possess similar powers such as super strength which both have variables. The Hulk's strength depends on his emotional state, while Superman's depends on the sun. The Hulk is highly resistant to injury and Superman has invulnerability. Both possess advanced healing abilities as well as super-human speed. Superman has the ability to fly though, still the Hulk can leap far and high distances. Superman and the Hulk both also possess enough energy and power to destroy whole planets if they wanted to. Though the Hulk is kind of brutish, Bruce Banner is incredibly intelligent and so is Superman. They also have extended lifespans, much greater than a normal human.

Wonder Woman / Valkyrie

Wonder Woman is Princess Diana of Themyscira and an Amazon. Valkyrie, Brunnhilde, has an unknown origin, but she is an Asgardian none-the-less. Diana, as the princess, was a leader to her people, while Brunnhilde was selected by Odin to lead the Valkyrior, a group of warrior goddesses. Wonder Woman and Valkyrie has similar abilities and weapons. Plus, both are female warriors of their race. Both have super strength, speed, stamina, and agility. Wonder Woman and Valkyrie are stronger than any other of their race. Currently, Wonder Woman has the ability to fly, but in some cases Wonder Woman had an invisible jet which likewise, Valkyrie has a mutated, winged horse, Aragorn, which she rides. Both heroes also have swords, Valkyrie's is enchanted and Wonder Woman's was forged by Hephaestus. Both heroes were given their abilities and weapons by their gods. Valkyrie and Wonder Woman are strong female characters that have proven themselves among the male heroes several times.

Green Lanter / Silver Surfer

The Green Lantern and the Silver Surfer's main thing in common is that its not them who wield power, but their weapons. Still, the ring chose it's owner and the Power Cosmic was given to the Surfer by Galactus. Without these items, the holders are basically regular people. Save for the fact that Norrin Radd, the Silver Surfer, as he is actually from another planet. The Green Lantern can manipulate his power ring with his imagination and create various things he can use to fight or bright about a solution. Likewise, Silver Surfer can manipulate matter and energy and can create objects. The Green Lantern and Silver Surfer can also manipulate time and space as well as possess enhanced strength, endurance, and the ability of flight. Both have accelerated healing abilities and can also heal other living beings. They can also both phase through solid objects and can travel across galaxies at high speed via dimensions and wormholes.


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    • Jedi Reach profile image

      Jedi Reach 17 months ago from Earth

      Don't think the Hulk / Superman comparison is very accurate. Superman's ideals make him in a tier of his own.

    • EJ Lambert profile image

      EJ Lambert 4 years ago from Chicago, IL

      It is amazing how remarkably different yet similar these characters are. Bruce Wayne uses the playboy image as a front and the technology as an accessory to his exemplary physical skill. Whereas Tony Stark is an open book who lives that image as a reality and isn't afraid to make the technology a key component of his battles. Yet both are brilliant, rich, with deep scars hidden in their backgrounds.

    • nanderson500 profile image

      nanderson500 5 years ago from Seattle, WA

      Interesting hub, I had never really thought about the comparison between Superman and Hulk before. Another example would be Catwoman and the Black Cat from Spiderman.

    • Clayton Fernandes profile image

      Clayton 5 years ago from Dubai, United Arab Emirates

      Wonderful comparison. I completely agree on Iron man & Batman being very similar. I LOVE YOU TONY STARK / IRON MAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Mr Tindle profile image

      Mr Tindle 5 years ago


      Good article. I remember back in the 90s Marvel and DC actually did a Marvel vs DC crossover. I don't remember it being that great though. I think the writers just kind of threw it all together. I think DC and Marvel could really do some good crossovers with some of these similar character combinations you highlighted here.

    • josh3418 profile image

      Joshua Zerbini 5 years ago from Pennsylvania


      Very interesting hub! I like how you brought these super heroes together with their similarities. Clever idea for a hub!

    • profile image

      One Eyed Dragon 5 years ago

      I always thought Iron Man is more like Green Arrow than Batman.

      Sure, Arrow is more low-tech (though Batman is still lower-tech than Stark), but consider- both were irresponsible millionaire playboys who had a life-changing near-death experience, that directly led them to develop the skills / armour that turned them into superheroes; both look physically quite similar, with Stark just a black-haired version of Oliver Queen (other than Queen having a pointier beard); both are political heroes, with Green Arrow is a Liberal in a Conservative-leaning comic, while Stark is a Conservative in a Liberal-leaning comic; both had major stories dealing with substance abuse (in Arrows case, it was his sidekick, but still); both occupy a somewhat similar position in their respective hero communities; etc. etc.

      Superman is more the counterpart too Captain America, I feel; Batman is...harder to pin down, but probably has more in common with Spiderman; Wonder Woman I would pair with Thor....

      The Power Cosmic, that is not a weapon for the Surfer, not in the way the GL's ring is. It is his power, as much as Peter Parker's spider powers are his. Its not quite the same.

      .....Is my thoughts, is all. I can be pretty contentious at times.

    • Edgar Arkham profile image

      Edgar Arkham 5 years ago from San Jose, CA

      Great Hub! I always thought that Batman and Iron Man were two sides of the same coin in a way.