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The 5 Best Superman Clones of the Marvel Universe
Since the debut of Superman in 1938, many companies have made rip off characters of him. From Wonder Man of Wonder comics infamy to Supreme from Image comics, it seems every publisher has tried their hand at creating their own version of Superman. Surprisingly, the one company who boast the most Superman rip offs is none other than DC comics’ main rival, Marvel Comics. Boasting over 11 different characters based partly or wholly on Superman, it is sad that not a single one has achieved even a fraction of Superman’s fame. In honor of the upcoming Superman movie, let’s discuss the 5 best Superman clones of the Marvel Universe.
#5 Wundarr the Aquarian
Just like Superman, Wundarr the Aquarian was sent away from his planet as an infant. In this case, it was Dakkam from which Wundarr was sent from and not Krypton, as in Superman’s case. Also, unlike Superman, Wundarr’s planet was not on the brink of destruction. Instead, Wundarr’s parents feared political retribution being brought on their son, and so he was sent away. Another difference between Wundarr and Superman was the way their powers were acquired. Superman got his powers because our sun was yellow instead of red like Krypton’s. Wundarr on the other hand was bombarded by cosmic rays upon entering Earth’s atmosphere. In his intial appearance, Wundarr had all the classic powers of Superman including flight, super strength, and energy discharge in the form of eye beams. Eventually, Marvel decided they didn’t want to be sued and Wundarr developed powers that were completely different from Superman. Due to Wundarr no longer having his Superman powers he is merely number 5 on this list.
Possessing the power of a million exploding suns, Sentry’s origin has nothing to do with the Superman mythos. Robert Reynolds was a meth addict looking for a quick fix and he injected himself with an experimental super soldier serum. However, one look at Sentry and your mind screams Superman. From the “S” symbol to the cape flowing in the wind, Sentry is Superman whether or not Marvel wants to admit it. Like Superman, Sentry has invulnerability, super strength, super speed, flight, and heat projection. Without the shared origins as Superman, he can exist without fear of legal action.
Kallark, or Gladiator as he is known, is an alien just like Superman. He has all the classic powers of Superman including super strength, super speed, invulnerability, flight, heat vision, and freeze breath. He doesn’t have any other connections to Superman except that his creators Chris Claremont and Dave Cockrum admitted he was an homage to Superboy, who himself was just a teen version of Superman. Tying into his origin as an homage, Kallark’s name is actually a combination of Kal-El and Clark (Kent).
#2 Ethan Edwards
Sent away from a doomed Skrull home world, Ethan Edwards was imbued with powers far greater than any other Skrull. Crashing into Earth, he landed in Iowa and was adopted by a small town farm family. Sound familiar? Ethan was raised with a strong moral background and when he discovered his powers he was advised to keep them secret. Eventually it was discovered that Ethan was supposed to conquer Earth, meaning he was an homage to Goku of Dragonball fame which was an homage to…Superman! Being a fairly recent creation Ethan is more of a joke on the Superman mythos. No one is fooled when he removes his glasses, he is questioned about being the biggest journalist anyone has ever seen, and his clothes are not invulnerable like Superman’s are. Like most of the characters on this list, he has all the powers of Superman and he even has a degree in journalism. More tongue in cheek wink at Superman than an actual character, Ethan Edwards is the second best clone of Superman Marvel could come up with.
Hyperion has had numerous alternate world versions, but we are focusing on the original creation. Created as an evil version of Superman, he originally had no backstory and was merely a way to face off Superman, and the rest of the Justice League, against the Avengers. Eventually he was presented as being from an “alternate” world that was like our own, but had its own heroes and villains. His powers are identical to Superman’s and he even has a singular weakness, although it is aragonite instead of kryptonite. His look, power, and eventual origin all point to Superman rip off and since this was Marvel’s most successful one is it any wonder it became number 1 on my list?