Cosmic Comic Rip-Offs

by Matthew Russell - Posted 2 years ago


Welcome, my CryptoComic Compatriots!



Black Cat: Created by Marv Wolfman and Dave Cockrum in July 1979 . First Appearance: The Amazing Spider-Man #194

Catwoman: Created by Bill Finger, and Bob Kane in Spring of 1940. First Appearance: Batman #1

Lets face it, the design and motief of this (and most on this list) are a blatant ripoff. There are some subtle differences, however. Black Cat is more of a “super-powered-being” and Catwoman relies on her training.



Hawkeye: Created by Stan Lee and Dan Heck in September 1964. First Appearance: Tales of Suspense #57

Green Arrow: Created by Mort Weisinger, George Papp in November 1941. First Appearance: More Fun Comics #73

Both archers, these 2 have had so many comparisons over the years. For example, they have both been team leaders over the years, both train teenage sidekicks. Still, the Emerald Archer has the lead by about 23 of the Golden Age years.



Plastic Man: Created by Jack Cole in August 1941. First Appearance: Police Comics #1

Mr. Fantastic: Created by Stan Lee, and Jack Kirby in November, 1961. First Appearance: Fantastic Four #1

20 years before the creation of the Fantastic Four, Plastic man was hamming it up over at DC Comics. His slap stick adventures and goofy sidekick made him a mainstay at DC.

When Stan Lee decided to create the FF, I‘m not sure that he was intending to rip off Plastic man. The only thing that was similar was the power-set. Everything else about the character was a total opposite.



Avengers: Created by Stan Lee, and Jack Kirby in September, 1963. First Appearance: The Avengers #1

Justice League: Created by Gardner Fox in March 1960. First Appearance: The Brave and the Bold #28

battle of the team books. Who came first? Well due to the lack of money of most readers, DC decided to put all their major heroes into a single book, and the Justice League was born. While playing golf, the presidents of the 2 companies got to talking and one said to the other “We are having a lot of success with this JLA title.” So Marvel’s president went back and told everyone to start making team books. Now we have the Avengers.



Deadpool: Created by Rob Liefeld, Fabian Nicieza in February 1991. First Appearance: The New Mutants #98

Deathstroke: Created by Marv Wolfman, and George Pérez in December 1980. First Appearance: The New Teen Titans #2

This one is easy, When Rob Liefield presented Deadpool to Fabian Nicieza he famously said “Dude, that's Deathstroke!” This is one of the worst rip offs I’ve ever personally seen. Deathstroke’s name is Slade Wilson. Deadpool’s name is Wade Wilson.

Over the years, they tried to distance themselves from their DC heritage and lean into the crazy. If you don’t know what I mean, watch one of Deadpool's movies.

On a side note, DC got back at Marvel by introducing their own blatant rip off of Deadpool with the character Red Tool. He is a character by the name of Wayne Wilkins who uses various power tools as weapons.



Captain Marvel (Originally Fawcett Comics): Created by Bill Parker, and C. C. Beck in December 1939. First Appearance: Whiz Comics #2

Captain Marvel (Marvel Comics): Created by Stan Lee and Gene Colan in January 1967. First Appearance: Marvel Super-Heroes #12

This one is tricky. Captain Marvel (DC) was created by Fawcett comics. DC sued them over the rights because he resembled Superman (and was outselling Superman at the time). DC won and then published it as is for a while.

Along comes Marvel Comics and in the 70’s had their own Captain by the same name. They sued DC and won that one, forcing DC to change the name of the character to Shazam. So, who had the OG Captain Marvel, Fawcett of course. Everyone should pay homage to them.



Thanos: Created by Mike Friedrich, and Jim Starlin in February 1973. First Appearance: The Invincible Iron Man #55

Darkseid: Created by Jack Kirby in February 1971. First Appearance: Forever People #1

The funny thing about this is that Mike Friedrich and Jim Starlin were told by then Marvel’s Editor-in-Chief to rip off DC’s new gods (which Darkseid is a part of). The funny thing is that they ripped off the wrong god. They were trying to design a new character based off of Morbius, the skinny guy in the chair). When they turned in the designs, they were told to make him a bigger threat so they beefed him up. In the end, he now resembles Darkseid.



Bullseye: Created by John Romita Sr., Marv Wolfman in March 1976. First Appearance: Daredevil #131

Deadshot: Created by David Vern Reed, Lew Sayre Schwarts and Bob Kane (concept), in June 1950. First Appearance: Batman #59

Ok, so it’s no surprise that Marvel took a DC Creation and splattered their name all over it. The difference this time (in my own personal opinion) is that Marvel really did it better. I have always loved Bullseye and could care less about Deadshot (especially the Arrowverse version).

This still doesn’t excuse the fact that Deadshot came out 26 years before Marv Wolfman perfected the character in Bullseye.



Swamp Thing: Created by Len Wein and Bernie Wrightson in July 1971. First Appearance: House of Secrets #92

Man Thing: Created by Stan Lee, Gerry Conway, Roy Thomas, Steve Gerber, and Gray Morrow in May 1971. First Appearance: Savage Tales #1

This is a very unique case. It appears that 2 creators just came up with very similar creations at the same time. They were isolated from each other and with the time it takes to create a new comic and get it published, there is no feasible way one is a direct copy of the other.



Solomon Grundy: Created by Alfred Bester, and Paul Reinman in October 1944. First Appearance: All-American Comics #61

Hulk: Created by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby in May 1962. First Appearance: The Incredible Hulk #1

Solomon Grundy first really appeared in a 1842 nursery rhyme by James Halliwell. The poem is shown below. Personally I’m not sure what the poem is trying to tell us.

Solomon Grundy, born on a Monday,.
Christened on a stark and stormy Tuesday,.
Married on a grey and grisly Wednesday,.
Took ill on a mild and mellow Thursday,.
Grew worse on a bright and breezy Friday,.
Died on a grey and glorious Saturday,.
Buried on a baking, blistering Sunday.
That was the end of Solomon Grundy.

Anyway, Solomon Grundy was a mindless “hulking” zombie. Starting out as a Green Lantern (Alan Scott) way back in the day. He is known for his grey skin and mindless rage.

We all know the story of the Hulk thanks to the Marvel movies. Funny sidenote, like Solomon, he was originally grey.



Vision: Created by Stan Lee, John Buscema, and Roy Thomas in October 1968. First Appearance: The Avengers #57

Red Tornado: Created by Gardner Fos, and Dick Dillin in August 1960. First Appearance: Mystery in Space #61

A robot that started out as a villain and becomes sentient. They become a hero, turned against their creator, got married and had children. They eventually joined the premier team of the world and then led the offspring of those heroes and trained them to become heroes themselves. Can you guess who I’m talking about...both.

At least Red Tornado came out 8 years earlier. It's just a shame that vision beat him to the punch on every other step of the way; family, team, get it.



Atomic Skull: Created by Gerry Conway, and Curt Swan in September 1976. First Appearance: Superman #303

Ghost Rider: Created by Roy Thomas, Mike Ploog, Gary Friedrich in August 1972. First Appearance: Marvel Spotlight #5

This is another strange one. They have completely different origins and powers. It was just the aesthetic of the characters that DC “ripped off”. I’m personally not a fan of either, but the design is pretty cool. What do you think?


Namor & Aquaman used for editorial purposes only.


Aquaman: Created by Mort Weisinger, and Paul Norris in November 1941. First Appearance: More Fun Comics #73

Sub Mariner: Created by Bill Everett in April 1939. First Appearance: Motion Picture Funnies Weekly #1 (Unpublished) and Marvel Comics #1 (Published)

Marvel isn’t the only one that can look at a book and think, “I can do that too.” As you can see DC’s King of the 7 seas and master of all things water was created 2 years after Marvel’s predecessor. At least Namor wasn’t the laughing stock of the comic world after the Super-Friends cartoon.


First off, you as a creator, don’t rip off anyone. It shows a lack of creativity or originality. You will get sued. There are some that fall under satirical laws allowing you to mock whatever you want. This is how Mad Magazine lasted so long.

There are some fan fiction comics such as Hardee Thinn (shown below) but this is simply fan fiction with enough changes in order to try to avoid a lawsuit. If DC really wanted to pursue a copyright trademark, it wouldn’t be too hard to see them having to shut down.

Let the big guns shoot each other in court over copyright and trademark infringements. Let's stay neutral by working and focusing on original works. Rise above the noise and be one of the original free thinkers. Come up with your own characters, and styles. Have your own voice. I love to see originality shine through.

Be your own self and create your own comics. We can’t wait to see them in the marketplace.