ByKit Simpson Browne, writer at
Writer-at-large. Bad jokes aplenty. Can be gently prodded on Twitter at @kitsb1
Kit Simpson Browne

When we think about the Marvel and DC universes, we tend to remember the iconic - and inimitable - heroes and villains from each. After all, not only are the likes of Superman, Captain America, Batman and Iron Man all modern-day icons, but the idea of them ever being successfully copied is ridiculous, right?

Right? Right?

Well, in practice, not so much.

Y'see, over the years, Marvel and DC have both made something of a habit of subtly - and sometimes not-so-subtly) riffing on each others characters - a trend that's actually ended up giving us some of the most iconic (if not quite the most original) heroes and villains of the past seventy or so years.

And, because these are comic-book characters, after all, that got us wondering:

Who'd Win in a Fight - the Original, or the Copy?

After all, though the Marvel and DC universe's have crossed over a bunch of times, we've rarely had the chance to see the heroes and villains who've been carefully duplicated face off against their new-found doppelgangers.

Which, thankfully, we're about to change, with five of the most potentially identity-confusing face-offs of all time - and when it comes down to it, we need you to decide who wins.

First up, then:

Deadpool vs Deathstroke

Who Came First: Deathstroke, by just over a decade, with the villain having made his debut back in 1980. Wade 'Deadpool' Wilson is actually so much based on Slade 'Deathstroke' Wilson, though, that they basically have the same name - all of which was essentially just a massive in-joke from Deadpool's creators Rob Liefield and Fabien Nicieza when the pair created Deadpool in 1991. Also, the two characters totally (sort-of) actually met once, back in the 2006 Batman/Superman annual:

We Say: Despite being the original - and arguably a better fighter - Deathstroke's unlikely to match the sheer un-kill-ability of Deadpool. Also, it'd be way more meta if the Merc with a Mouth won, so it's really no contest.


Who do you think'd win, though?

4. Aquaman vs Namor, the Sub-Mariner

Who Came First: Namor actually beat Aquaman to the page by a little over two and half years - debuting way back in April 1939. Though since he's typically just the Prince of Atlantis, as opposed to Aquaman, who's usually its King, he probably shouldn't get too smug about it.

We Say: It's a close call - since both heroes are actually way more powerful than their lack of mainstream popularity suggests - but Aquaman's the more likely to keep his cool, and make his comparable experience count. Which is about how it went down in the 90's Marvel v DC comics, too...


Who do you think'd win, though?

3. Batman vs Moon Knight

Who Came First: Batman, by about 36 years (it's 1939 vs 1975). The similarities between the two heroes have long been a source of debate (they're both obscenely rich heroes, haunted by their pasts, who pretend to be playboys by day so they can more effectively be caped vigilantes at night) but it's no real contest as to who came first, or indeed who's ended up the biggest name.

We Say: Great as Moon Knight is, this one's not really a fair fight. I mean, Batman always wins...Right?


Who do you think'd win, though?

2. The Vision vs Red Tornado

Who Came First: A seriously close one, this - but Red Tornado ultimately arrived a few months earlier in 1968 than the similarly humanoid android-ish Vision. Plus, he sort-of appeared in the form of Ulthoon, the Tornado Tyrant of Rann way back in 1960. So there's that.

We Say: They're closely matched, but there's something about the super-strong intangibility of The Vision that would seem to give him the edge. Red Tornado's super-strong winds and strength wouldn't be much use if he couldn't touch his opponent, after all...


Who do you think'd win, though?

1. Thanos vs Darkseid

Who Came First: Darkseid, by two years, having made his first appearance as one of the legendary Jack Kirby's 'New Gods' in 1971. Intriguingly, when Thanos was eventually created by Jim Starlin, back in 1973, he was actually a lot thinner than he is now - until Marvel editor Roy Thomas told Starlin: "Beef him up! If you're going to steal one of the New Gods, at least rip off Darkseid, the really good one!"

We Say: Possibly the toughest call of all - since both villains are almost impossibly powerful. If both have their grandest weapon of choice available, though (Thanos' Infinity Gauntlet and Darkseid's Omega Beam) it's ultimately Thanos who'd have the edge. That Gauntlet is ridiculously powerful, after all.


Who do you think'd win, though?

All of which, by our reckoning, puts Marvel ahead 3 to 2.

The big question, though?


Which company do you think would win overall?


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