In comics, our favorite heroes all have a plethora of rogues to battle against, which make a veritable pantheon of villains; however, some of these villains are all too similar to their respective heroes. Some of these villains have the same abilities, techniques, and even looks of the heroes they most often come up against. They may or may not be their heroes’ archnemesis, but they are without a doubt their heroes’ counterparts.
Like funhouse mirror versions of the heroes they fight against, these villains resemble versions of said superheroes that never quite figured out how to handle the responsibilities of their superpowers and status as heroes.
Without further ado, here is Screen Rant’s 10 Villainous Versions of Superheroes.
Titanium Man & Iron Man
There have been many Iron Man villains who attempted to recreate Tony Stark’s brilliant technology, but few ever came close to replicating a suit equipped with technology that rivals that of Tony Stark’s Iron Man. During the Cold War, however, the Soviets created their own superior version of Iron Man to combat Tony Stark. Their version was dubbed “Titanium Man.” A KGB agent named Boris Bullski was the one chosen to be the man in the armor with orders to kill Tony Stark.
The armor had basically the same capabilities, but was thought to be more resilient. However, when faced against Tony in his classic Iron Man armor, Boris Bullski was defeated. There were later versions of the Titanium Man armor, but all turned out to be inferior to Tony’s continuously improving armors. Is this a testament to the advantages of a free-enterprise economy? Perhaps, there’s no doubt that Stark’s enormous wealth helped to keep him one step ahead of the Soviets.
The Red Hulk & The Hulk
General Thunderbolt Ross has been a long time foe of Bruce Banner and the Hulk. Thunderbolt Ross, also known as Red Hulk, was obsessed with repurposing Hulk’s strength and abilities for his own goals. In fact, when he achieved his transformation his powers, they were so similar to the Hulk’s that when the Red Hulk first appeared, many suspected that he was actually a different form of the real Hulk.
Thunderbolt Ross’s Red Hulk has most of the same abilities, but is less sustainable than the actual Hulk. Unlike Abomination – another Hulk-like villain – Red Hulk looks much more like Bruce Banner’s Hulk than any other gamma affected heroes or villains. They’ve faced each other many times and the Red Hulk has come close to victory, but Hulk’s rage factor has always allowed him to emerge victorious. Unlike others on this list, Thunderbolt Ross has actually spent considerable time as a hero who helps not just the Avengers but other government teams.
Baron Mordo & Dr. Strange
A powerful sorcerer, Baron Mordo has fought against Dr. Stephen Strange for decades. Although Dr. Strange spends his career fighting demons and evil sorcerers, few have the same set of skills and training that Baron Mordo possesses. Baron Mordo was trained by the Ancient One – the previous “Sorcerer Supreme” – just like Stephen Strange, but chose to apply his newly found mysticism to becoming rich and powerful.
Having been trained by the Ancient One, Baron Mordo stands up to Stephen Strange’s techniques with great proficiency, but he is always vanquished. Like Dr. Strange, Baron Mordo also possesses great intellect and can often go toe-to-toe with Strange in a game of wits.
Owlman & Batman
DC’s Multiverse gives us many vastly different versions of the heroes we know and love, but some of these alternate earth versions are not always what they seem. On Earth-3, the Crime Syndicate acts as the overlords of the entire world. One of the key members of this team is Owlman, the alternate earth version of Batman who is actually Thomas Wayne, Jr.. Owlman is nearly identical to Batman in his intellect and tactics, but is prone to murder and crime, as opposed to dishing out justice.
Despite Thomas Wayne, Jr. using an owl as his symbol rather than a bat, both men employ a vast array of gadgetry to accomplish their goals and aid their respective teams. Owlman even has a teenage sidekick named Talon (not to be confused with the Court of Owls’ hitman, Talon). Talon from Earth-3 most closely resembles Tim Drake’s Robin and aids Owlman in his criminal endeavors.
Ultraman & Superman
Another Earth-3 doppelgänger, Ultraman is their world’s version of Superman. However, with the Crime Syndicate being the leaders of the world, Ultraman acts as the powerful enforcer of their ideals, rather than the savior of mankind like Superman. His origin is a twisted version of Prime Earth’s Kal-El in that Ultraman’s Kryptonian parents sent him to Earth in a pod, but sent him with contempt and no hope. Once reaching Earth, Ultraman forces the drug-addicted Martha Kent and wife-beating Jonathan Kent to raise him. Later he murders them and begins his tirade against humanity.
Ultraman has the same set of abilities as Prime Earth’s Superman, but has different weaknesses and power-ups. For instance, Ultraman is empowered by kryptonite and uses it as a form of drug that he snorts. Sunlight actually weakens Ultraman, opposite of it’s effects on Prime Earth Superman. Despite these differences, both men look similar, but Ultraman’s costume is different, as is his demeanor.
Professor Zoom & The Flash
Barry Allen’s archnemesis, Professor Zoom has been one of DC’s greatest villains – his speed alone makes him one of the most menacing psychopaths. Eobard Thawne, hailing from the 25th century, was not only obsessed with the Flash, but looked up to the long dead icon. Much like Barry Allen, who looked to his childhood hero Jay Garrick, Eobard strove to be the Flash that the world needed, but was destined to become Flash’s greatest nemesis.
In an accident identical to the one that gave Barry his great speed, Eobard was granted access to the same abilities. When Eobard endured this accident, he ultimately created the Negative Speed force the same way Barry created the normal Speed Force. Together, they mirror each other as they forever race against one another, always trying to one-up each other as the fastest men alive.
Dark Archer & Green Arrow
Malcolm Merlyn, also known as the Dark Archer, is one of Green Arrow’s greatest nemeses. Malcolm has matched Oliver Queen in duels of archery, but is often defeated by the Green Arrow’s skills. The Dark Archer has spent a large portion of his life dedicated to the tiresome task of honing his archery abilities, much like Oliver spent the five years on the deserted island using just a bow to survive.
Although Malcolm Merlyn may not be a perfect match when up against Oliver’s archery abilities, he is definitely the Green Arrow’s counterpart. No other enemy that Oliver faces uses a bow and arrow as well as Merlyn, nor do any of the other villains employ the use of trick arrows. Additionally, Merlyn is an incredibly wealthy businessman, who competes with Queen both as a villain and as a business rival, and once even had an affair with Oliver’s sister, Thea. Merlyn’s relationship with the Queen family also allows for close-to-home attacks that affect Oliver both mentally and physically.
Ma’alefa’ak & Martian Manhunter
The twin brother of Martian Manhunter, Ma’alefa’ak is one evil Martian. He had his telepathy – the most sacred ability that the martian race possesses – erased as punishment for “mind rape,” but also lost his key weakness – fire. As a Martian, Ma’alefa’ak has the same set of amazing abilities that have helped turn Martian Manhunter into the successful hero he is today. Unfortunately, he uses his gifts for evil and gets great pleasure from the despair he inflicts.
Although Martian Manhunter has gone up against an array of villains during his time as a member of the Justice League and during his own solo adventures, Ma’alefa’ak has always given him a unique challenge that is specific to their species. Ma’alefa’ak may not be the most powerful of Martian Manhunter’s enemies, but his ability to cut at his Martian brother’s emotional side makes him more dangerous than most other adversaries.
Venom & Spider-Man
Spider-Man comics are home to some of the greatest villains of all-time – considering how successful Spider-Man is as a character, it really isn’t that big of a surprise. The symbiote known as Venom, when bonded with Eddie Brock, is one of Spidey’s most difficult enemies. Since the symbiote was bonded to Spider-Man and later separated from him, it now mimics the powers Peter Parker has. When it is bonded to Eddie Brock and they form the villain known as Venom, they often look similar to Spider-Man, but more importantly, they use similar techniques and abilities.
Venom uses all of Spider-Man’s abilities, but also has a keen rage factor that Spidey does not possess. Since the symbiote and Eddie Brock both despise Spider-Man, together they channel their hatred as a means of ferociously fighting Peter Parker. With the obsession over Spider-Man, Venom has remained one of Peter Parker’s greatest villains, but also a villain who is all too eerily similar to our friendly, neighborhood Spider-Man.
Sabretooth & Wolverine
Wolverine’s arch nemesis, Sabretooth has been causing Logan problems for decades. Being a natural born mutant with a penchant for murder, Sabretooth was also subject to the experiments of the Weapon X program, just like Wolverine. His healing factor, claws, and instinctive ferocity were all augmented to be even more effective after the experiments were completed.
Sabretooth is an excellent tracker and uses his primal instincts to not just track enemies, but kill them as well. Wolverine has these same abilities, but is often not as feral as Sabretooth. Both also have Adamantium laced skeletons that give them claws, which they both use as their primary weapons.
These villains may not be the most powerful, but each of these bad guys presents a unique challenge for each other these superheroes. With their similar powers these villains continue to wreak havoc for each of these superheroes to clean up. Thanks for reading!
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