Superman is the world’s first true superhero. He is the Man of Tomorrow. He is the Last Son of Krypton. The Man of Steel has had a legacy unlike no other superhero in the comic book world. And many a times, Marvel has tried to shamelessly knockoff that legacy and created Superman rip-offs of their own.
Also Read: Best Live Action Superman Moments
Several versions of Hyperion exist throughout the Marvel Multi-Verse. All of them have a varied range of powers starting from super human haling to energy manipulation but all of them have the basic core abilities of super human strength, flight and invulnerability. In 2003, Marvel Comics published Supreme Power, which created a Hyperion origin tale that was a carbon copy of DC’s Superman. The only difference was that Hyperion was not discovered by a good hearted couple but was instead taken in and trained by the US Government authorities, turning him into a living weapon of mass destruction.
Simon Williams debuted in 1964 in Marvel Comics. When he first came into the scene, Simon was responsible for the merciless and humiliating defeat of the Avengers, who call themselves the Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. Simon would then change sides and join the Avengers, becoming one of the good guys. Powered by potent iconic energy that runs in his veins, Simon possesses nearly all the powers of Superman. The major difference between Wonder Man and Superman is that Simon is more of a self-centered chap while Superman is colloquially called the Big Blue Boy Scout because of his righteous beliefs and ideals.
The Sentry has a striking resemblance to Superman. Even the S crest on his belt looks like Marvel had some terribly bad design ideas that they just lazily brought to the drawing board. Robert Reynolds injected himself with a serum that gave him the power of a million exploding suns. But that incredible power also came at a cost. The Sentry has split personality disorder. The Void is an evil persona that hides within the Sentry’s fractured mental boundaries, and will take over the longer the Sentry uses his powers.
Gladiator was not meant to be a knock-off. The character was created to pay homage to the legacy of Superman. Kallark, Gladiator’s real name, is a play on the two names of Superman – Kal-El and Clark Kent. Gladiator is the leader of the Shi’ar Imperial Guard and one of the strongest beings in the Marvel Universe. Unlike Superman, who needs to get radiation from a yellow sun to have access to Godlike powers, Gladiator’s powers are linked to his will power. His powers increases with the amount of confidence he has in himself. He shares the same powers as that of Superman’s.
Superior is not just a rip off per se. He is actually a rip off of Captain Marvel, who is in turn the rip off of Superman. Superior is not directly owned by Marvel Comics. He is a character that belongs to Icon comics, a subsidiary imprint of Marvel Comics. The creator of Superior – Mark Millar, has publicly acknowledged that he drew some heavy inspiration from Superman of DC Comics. Superior has speed, strength, durability, stamina, and endurance well beyond human limits. He also has the ability to fly and the power of freeze breath.
Marvel Man is also called Miracle Man. His real name is Michael Moran. Moran is actually a rip-off of Shazam. After Fawcett Comics lost the rights to Shazam and stopped making superhero comic altogether, their British Counterpart decided to keep the Marvel Man line safe because they already had a loyal fan base. Marvel bought the rights to Marvel Man a few years later. Michael Moran can become the super human Marvel Man by uttering the word Kimota, just like Billy Batson becomes Captain Marvel by uttering Shazam.
Blue Marvel was created during a time when comic book fans idolized heroes like Superman. To bank on that trend and ride that wave, Marvel came up with Blue Marvel. Blue Marvel’s tale is more complex than his shameful origin story. Blue Marvel is an African American who met with an accident during an anti-matter experiment, turning him into a living anti matter reactor. But while Superman was vilified for being an alien, the people did not take well to Blue Marvel because he was black. His story was supposed to reflect the rampart racism during the 1960’s. Blue Marvel has seen a recent surge in popularity over the recent years.
When Marvel Comics was establishing itself as a worthy rival to DC Comics, they needed a flagship hero who could match up to DC’s greatest heavy hitter. The answer was Thor, the God of Thunder. Unlike Superman, who was viewed as a God by the people because of his powers, Thor descended from the realm of the Gods. DC Comics used to call Superman the Protector of the DC Universe. Thor is literally the protector of the nine realms. While not exactly a knock off, the idea behind Thor resonates with the core design aspects that led to the creation of the Man of Steel in the first place.
Ethan Edwards is actually a Skrull refugee that managed to escape the destruction of the Skrull home world at the hands of Galactus. Ethan Edwards crash landed on Earth where he was found by a lonely farmer couple in Iowa that raised him with the ideals and virtues that would one day make Ethan a good man. If that does not sound familiar to you, we do not know what will. Ethan also possesses the same powers as that of Superman. Flight, Invulnerability, and inhuman strength are some of his basic abilities. He also possesses the ability to shape shift.
Sun God is an alternate reality superhero, hailing from Earth 4290001. Sun God is the leader of his reality’s greatest and most powerful superhero team – the Great Society (ring any bells?). Sun God has a strength level that is easily above 100. He has gone toe to toe with the Hulk. The guy also has an extremely powerful moral compass. He believes in saving lives and doing the right thing no matter what. While he met his doom after fighting the Hulk, Sun God is a very powerful superhero that has abilities that more or less mirror that of superman like heat vision, solar energy absorption and manipulation, and invulnerability.