There aren't many heroes in pop culture like DC Comics' Superman. He's the ultimate superhero, and perhaps because of that, also one of the most generic to create. Let's be honest, it's not that complicated to create a character who's essentially a god outside of a few specific scenarios. For that reason, Marvel Comics has definitely created more than a few Superman equivalent heroes in its universe, though with a few differences.
We'll get into all the Superman wannabes of Marvel below, as well as the key differences that make them their own people. Whether or not they could actually take on Superman is another question entirely, though I do think Marvel has a few doppelgängers capable of giving him a run for his money. Let's dive in!
If you're looking for a Marvel hero who is about as close to a carbon copy of Superman as it gets, it's Hyperion. He has all the same powers, and get this; he draws his power from the sun. He's also a man who had his original world obliterated. In a fictional match-up between the two, I think it would be a fight to a literal stalemate until both sides realize they're the good guys and stand for the same causes. Hyperion is also an Eternal, for what it's worth, which may give readers an understanding of how powerful those beings can get.
Sentry is essentially the same idea as Superman, but if he had a great equally destructive identity that is comprised of the hero's repressed memories and negative emotions. Void, as it's called, is at constant war with Sentry internally, and could totally destroy the universe if not kept in check. For that reason alone, I have to give Sentry more cool points than Superman, though I think that the Man of Steel would stand a good chance of winning this matchup where other matchups would be more challenging. Sentry doesn't have complete control over his powers, which would put him at an extreme disadvantage against a comparable opponent.
This may sound insane, but Wonder Man is almost more over-powered than Superman. This Marvel hero can do almost everything Superman can do, but also has abilites like shapeshifting, teleporting, giving his powers to other individuals and being immortal. There's literally nothing that's impossible, hence the name, and perhaps why he's not as popular as some of the other Marvel heroes. No one would want to see Wonder Man on-screen just kicking ass with no adversity. Fortunately, the odds of that happening are a non-issue, as Wonder Man's extreme pacifism in recent years has kept him from fighting just about anyone in the Marvel universe. If that's the case when Superman shows up, there simply won't be a fight.
Gladiator, I would say, is about the most identifiable Superman clone on this list. Perhaps people didn't immediately peg the mohawk'd purple alien as a being on the same level as Superman, but it's true. The one major difference worth pointing out is that Gladiator has a pretty substantial weakness in that if his confidence in himself is shaken, he's incredibly vulnerable; as in so vulnerable that much weaker opponents can take him on if need be. I don't see Gladiator being capable of keeping his confidence the entirety of a fight with Superman, so a matchup between the two could be a quick finish.
The world debated the possibility of a cinematic Black Superman earlier in the year, and while DC has done that in its comics, it's also notable that Marvel did the same with Blue Marvel. Blue Marvel was essentially one of America's greatest protectors in the 1960s, but once it was publicly revealed he was a Black man, he was asked by the President of the United States to retire. It's unfortunately a fictional premise that doesn't sound too off base with America at the time, and is worth checking out. He could certainly go toe-to-toe with Superman, no question.
I mentioned earlier when talking about Hyperion that Eternals can have immense power, so much so that yet another is on this list of Superman-adjacent heroes. Granted, Ikaris is stronger than most Eternals, but when it comes to fellow Eternal Hyperion, Ikaris is noted to be a bit less powerful. He's also not as strong as the Marvel Comics version of Thanos, so I'm not sure he would be able to stand against Superman blow for blow. With that being said, Eternals can effectively live forever, so he could just keep coming at Superman and wear him down over time? Also, similar to Superman's heat vision, Ikaris can shoot cosmic energy beams from his eyes, which obviously looks cool.
Admittedly, when it comes to backstories, The Hulk and Superman are on different spectrums. Superman is largely adored and admired by all, and The Hulk is around 50/50 with the general populace even at his best. Hulk may not be as beloved as Superman, though when it comes to strength and invulnerability, the two are more than capable of going blow for blow. In fact, the two have dueled quite a bit over the years, though Superman has come up the winner in all official encounters. With that said, Clark credited Bruce for being one of the toughest combatants he's fought during the DC vs. Marvel comic book crossover, so it's not like he's just hitting him with grazing blows.
Did you think we'd get through a Marvel superhero list without mentioning a mutant? Vulcan, or Gabriel Summers, is the brother of Christopher and Catherine Summers, so yeah, he's Cyclops and Havok's brother. Granted, a brother they never knew about for complicated reasons, but that's not what we're here to talk about. Truthfully, Vulcan. couldn't stand against Superman in terms of physical strength, but his energy projection abilities and durability are off the charts. He could definitely out-laser blast Superman, though Vulcan's confidence has often shown to be his greatest weakness.
A powerful Marvel hero sent to Earth as a baby from his doomed planet and raised by moral Midwesterners? This story sounds vaguely familiar. Yes, Virtue has the same story as Superman, though unlike Superman, things don't work out for this Skrull superhero. In fact, Virtue didn't actually know he was a Skrull or what Skrulls were until a bit into his run as a superhero, and the discovery kind of messed him up a bit. He's participated in some not-so-savory things since then. I think he'd be the easiest one of Superman to dispatch on this list truthfully, but perhaps the two could find common ground on their shared upbringing.
Marvel could totally make any of these heroes the next Superman in the MCU, but should it? Sound off in our poll below, and for more on Marvel, read up on how Sony reacted when the upcoming Spider-Man: No Way Home trailer leaked online.
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Mick Joest is a Content Producer for CinemaBlend with his hand in an eclectic mix of television goodness. Star Trek is his main jam, but he also regularly reports on happenings in the world of Star Trek, WWE, Doctor Who, 90 Day Fiancé, Quantum Leap, and Big Brother. He graduated from the University of Southern Indiana with a degree in Journalism and a minor in Radio and Television. He's great at hosting panels and appearing on podcasts if given the chance as well.