Batman versus the Joker. Spider-Man against the Green Goblin. Superman opposite Lex Luthor. Captain America facing off with the Red Skull. All of these classic match-ups pale in comparison to the real greatest rivalry in comic book history: Marvel vs DC. While Marvel and DC have been duking it out in theaters across the globe for the better part of the 2010s, their duel extends back for more than half a century when it comes to publications. Unlike the battle on the silver screen, neither side has ever been able to gain a permanent advantage over the other on the four-color page.
Perhaps this is due to the frequently parallel nature of the rivalry between Marvel and DC. Whereas music contemporaries, like the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, make every effort to differentiate themselves, or sporting rivals, like Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin, develop drastically different playing styles, Marvel and DC have always sought to keep things pretty similar. This has led to characters that are direct analogues of their rival’s best qualities, frequently identical merchandising, and, most notably of all, the occasional freakishly similar storylines that leave readers feeling like they’ve just read the same thing twice. Whether Marvel stole from DC or DC stole from Marvel, here are some of the most egregious times Marvel and DC ripped each other off.
Secret Wars And Convergence
2015’s Secret Wars was a Marvel event that brought together storylines which had been brewing for years in various titles. It featured universes literally slamming together and destroying each other. That same summer, DC released Convergence, a series that sought to resolve some storylines that had been dropped in their New 52 reboot.
Both events revolved around various worlds within the multiverses being mashed together for continuity-free fun. Secret Wars centered on a Battleworld created by Doctor Doom with the remnants of the Marvel Universe, bringing together fan-favorite alternate universes like the Age of Apocalypse, Marvel Zombies, and Old Man Logan. Convergence brought together characters from DC’s various continuities, including Pre-Crisis and Pre-New 52 heroes. Both events specifically catered to fans that had bemoaned a lost marriage, as Secret Wars temporarily brought Spider-Man and Mary Jane back together, while Convergence did the same for Superman and Lois Lane.12649Too similar to be a coincidence?
Captain America And Batman's Deaths And Rebirths
Both Captain America and Batman were killed at the culmination of major crossovers; Cap with Civil War in 2007 and Batman with Final Crisis in 2008. Both heroes were gunned down, as Cap fell to a sniper’s bullet and Batman was struck by Darkseid’s omega beam. However, in each case, not all was as it seemed.
In 2009, it was revealed in Captain America: Reborn that Steve Rogers had actually been deliberately sent careening through time by the Red Skull. Cap had to fight his way back to the present in order to confront Norman Osborn’s Dark Reign. Batman waited another year to return in 2010’s The Return of Bruce Wayne, where he too was revealed to have been sent back in time. Batman fought through various time periods in what proved to be a convoluted plan by Darkseid to turn Batman into a literal time bomb. Of course, he figured it all out in the end.15975Too similar to be a coincidence?
Nova Corps And Green Lantern Corps Both Go Missing Around The Same Time
2015 saw the Green Lantern Corps, a famous band of space cops, go missing in Green Lantern Corps: Lost Army. The Lanterns, minus the ever-popular Hal Jordan, end up lost in space and have to find their way back to the appropriate galaxy. The Marvel startlingly-similar version of space cops, the Nova Corps, had actually been missing for longer, but new Nova Sam Alexander got around to looking for them in 2015. Sam mostly focused on his missing father, Black Nova Jesse Alexander.
Both storylines are still somewhat unresolved. Sam Alexander found the Nova Corps’ Worldmind and may have also discovered former Nova star Richard Rider, but still hasn’t found his dad. Most of the Green Lanterns Corps have yet to find their way back in DC’s Rebirth.13762Too similar to be a coincidence?
Deadpool's Mercs For Money And Harley Quinn And Her Gang Of Harleys
Harley Quinn has undoubtedly become DC’s version of Deadpool. She’s a quirky yet violent antihero that breaks the fourth wall and expresses fluid sexuality. Both characters starred in 2016 films and were heavily merchandised.
Both also starred in 2016 comic series that had near-identical premises. Harley and Deadpool each formed a team of sidekicks, with Harley’s Gang of Harleys and Deadpool’s Mercs for Money. At the beginning, at least, each team wore variations of their namesake’s costumes. Harley’s team debuted first, but Deadpool’s team got their own title first, so this one's a tie.12259Too similar to be a coincidence?