Who is the Best Superman Clone?

Posted by No_name_here (1247 posts) - - Show Bio

Since Superman’s swooped back down into the zeitgeist, it seems appropriate to talk about his sons. No, I’m not talking about Lois Lane’s love child from SUPERMAN RETURNS, nor all the super-progeny who’ve shown up in the likes of GENERATIONS and DC ONE MILLION... I’m talking about all the characters who’ve been created with a wink and nudge to this specific heroic archetype that was introduced in 1938.    

 We won't even get started on all the alternate Supes scattered across the multiverse.
Let’s say we’re in some strange parallel world - - call it Earth S - - where the unthinkable happens. SUPERMAN ceases publication permanently.  Of course, in this world, you Comic Vine maniacs still have an insatiable appetite for stories starring the man of steel; it's so great that you'll even accept stories about his analogs.  
So, which one would you accept as substitute?  Let’s go down the list of familiars, why not...? == TEASER ==


There have been many versions of both the villainous Squadron Sinister leader and the heroic Squadron Supreme leader, with many more alternatives showing up in the likes of EXILES, the EARTH X saga and SUPREME POWER. Generally, he’s meant to show what excesses Superman could be taken to if he were freed of the constraints of continuity. Often, that leads to megalomania. Other times, it simply means the answering of long-standing questions, like what kind of woman a man of steel could safely mate with (as we found out in one Mark Gruenwald’s classic maxi-series.)



Years before ALL-STAR SUPERMAN put a modern spin on the whimsical fantasia of the man of tomorrow’s Silver Age exploits, Alan Moore did just the same thing with his radical reinterpretation of Liefeld’s hyper-aggressive creation. Partly an apology for the infamous "grim and gritty" era that followed WATCHMEN, this run re-conceived the character as a pure-hearted pastiche whose mythos was filled with a comprehensive selection of creative stand-ins for the regulars of Superman's Pre-Crisis world like Krypto, Bizarro, the Legion of Superheroes and the Kandorians of that famous Bottled City.



Like Hyperion, this character explores Superman-related issues that could only be explored outside the confines of a title that's been running continuously for decades. Although, the angles taken on this Richard Gere lookalike are a lot less extreme and a lot more... everyman. For example, if Superman really were working double-shifts as a reporter and a solver of all wrongs in the world, his spread-thin experience probably would be comparable to that of your average over-worked bachelor. And he probably wouldn’t be able to enjoy even the act of flying anymore because he'd be in such a rush all the time. I especially appreciate this guy for the elegant Alex Ross costume design (although maybe that's redundant given how Ross has done portraits of basically every character on this list) and the chronal webbing in his arsenal makes for a unique gimmick..  


Many writers have tried over the years to properly modernize the man of steel, and this veteran of Stormwatch and the Authority might be the closest success story. Not only is his minimalistic costume more in-line with today’s fashion, so too is his brutal and pro-active approach to crime fighting a better reflection of the times (perhaps.) And, of course, I’m sure his relationship with the Midnighter realizes many a slash fan fiction writer's fantasies about Supes and Batman.  



Even though it’s been almost 60 years since a court ruled that Billy Batson’s alter-ego was a rip-off of Clark Kent’s, I think the jury of popular opinion is still out on whether that was actually so. Aside from similarities of costume, this character’s got enough of a unique mythology to distinguish himself as being more than simply Superman with a magical power-source. Fittingly enough (in respect to my early question about a character to replace Superman) Captain Marvel was actually the most popular character of the Golden Age, selling much more than Superman did back in the day.


Alas, these are all the analogs we have room for, here, but I'm sure you maniacs all know well that this is only a small sampling of an extensive fraternity that also includes the likes of the Sentry, Mr. Majestic, True-Man, Ultiman, Superior, Icon and the Plutonian.  The club's membership is wide enough to even include analogs for other Superman analogs, such as Prime, Mar-Vell, Miracleman and Gladiator.  

 Once again, I put the question out - - which of these super guys would the Comic Vine community be O.K. with as a replacement on this fearsome Earth S? Which ones do you even prefer over Kal-El on this Earth?

Tom Pinchuk’s the writer of  HYBRID BASTARDS!  &  UNIMAGINABLE . Order them on Amazon   here  &   here .  Follow him on Twitter:  @tompinchuk

#1 Posted by G-Man (39827 posts) - - Show Bio

I really dig the Plutonian in Irredeemable but I suppose he wouldn't be a good replacement since he turned evil. But still, it's a comic people should be reading.

#2 Edited by MikeDanger1 (17 posts) - - Show Bio

Omni-Man with his kick ass mustache FTW!!!!! And Mark Millar's Superior as a worthy mention.

#3 Posted by NightFang (11046 posts) - - Show Bio

APOLLO and CAPTAIN MARVEL are the best, but why isn't ICON on the list?

#4 Posted by thechessclub (515 posts) - - Show Bio

Hmmm...a very intriguing article. I need to try out all of these homages' books now. Also, I love to hate on Alex Ross but holy dam if that last image of Captain Marvel isn't hot as hell. It really makes me want his costume to rock at cons but since I stopped BMXing every day my upper leg muscles have went on vacation=P

#5 Posted by Chane (557 posts) - - Show Bio

My favourite is  Plutonian.

#6 Posted by yeopop (791 posts) - - Show Bio

Supremme looks like a clone of Terry Bradshaw.
#7 Posted by Supreme Marvel (11572 posts) - - Show Bio

Captain Marvel.  As if I was going to say anyone else.

#8 Posted by Primmaster64 (21663 posts) - - Show Bio

lol Omni-Man...haha Sentry

#9 Posted by Valtot (4502 posts) - - Show Bio

maybe mr majestic

#10 Posted by dondasch (931 posts) - - Show Bio

I have always liked  Shazam, personally.  Moreso after having read Kingdom Come.  
@TomPinchuk In lieu of calling it Earth S, I suggest we rename it to Planet Pinchuk :)

#11 Posted by entropy_aegis (16121 posts) - - Show Bio

Hank henshaw ,he's both superman and his ripoffs done right.
#12 Posted by Primmaster64 (21663 posts) - - Show Bio

MR Majestic

#13 Posted by AKAWiccan (163 posts) - - Show Bio


#14 Posted by buttersdaman000 (13976 posts) - - Show Bio

But, Captain Marvel........maybe Supreme.....

#15 Posted by Mbecks14 (2114 posts) - - Show Bio

Gotta love Captain Marvel! 
But Superboy is the true superman clone haha

#16 Posted by entropy_aegis (16121 posts) - - Show Bio

I noticed that only the indirect clones are allowed. 
in this case mr majestic or cap marvel.
#17 Posted by FadeToBlackBolt (23390 posts) - - Show Bio

Original Jenkins and Lee Sentry. Curbstomp. Easily one of Marvel's best characters.
Then came Bendis. And my soul died.
#18 Posted by Jake Fury (21456 posts) - - Show Bio

Supreme Power Hyperion was one of the best origin stories I've read. Complete awesomeness from JMS.
#19 Posted by Icemizer (181 posts) - - Show Bio

Supreme, original run issues 1-9. After that he was a watered down joke. When Moore took over the character lost everything that was important. No longer Supreme at all.
#20 Posted by gethere (165 posts) - - Show Bio

Sigh, Look I know you must be a huge superman fan, but you shouldn't  use the term superman ripoff, because in fact superman himself is a ripoff, so you sound a bit hypocritical, I think the term 'superman inspired 'characters work better, but  that just my opinion. 

#21 Posted by JonesDeini (3859 posts) - - Show Bio
I don't think enough people know him. Superman's never done much for me as a reader so I honestly wouldn't care if his comics ceased. I've never considered Marvel a knockoff or clone, but if I had to pic a clone I'd say Apollo's one of the more interesting takes on the role. 
#22 Posted by DEGRAAF (8346 posts) - - Show Bio

with the ones listed i would say Captain Marvel or Apollo

#23 Posted by red_rover (100 posts) - - Show Bio
@yeopop:    I vote for   Terry Bradshaw!
#24 Posted by Video_Martian (5650 posts) - - Show Bio


#25 Posted by Mumbles (858 posts) - - Show Bio
@Chane said:
" My favourite is  Plutonian. "
same here
#26 Posted by Ellocobruja (620 posts) - - Show Bio

#27 Posted by Mr. Dead Pool (3026 posts) - - Show Bio

Captain Marvel with Omni Man as a runner up

#28 Posted by Doctor!!!!! (2135 posts) - - Show Bio

Captian Marvel!!! 

#29 Posted by Valtot (4502 posts) - - Show Bio

would invincible count because hes my favourite superman type character

#30 Posted by skaarason (693 posts) - - Show Bio
@Valtot: yup invincible is the best !!!!!!!
#31 Posted by Joe Venom (1290 posts) - - Show Bio

you forgot to mention Prodigy! its cool we all know he's the best :)

#32 Posted by mk111 (3148 posts) - - Show Bio

I like Captain Marvel, so I guess him.
#33 Posted by Silkcuts (6040 posts) - - Show Bio

Where's Miracle Man?  does he count?

#34 Posted by Valtot (4502 posts) - - Show Bio
@Joe Venom said:
"you forgot to mention Prodigy! its cool we all know he's the best :)


ive never ever heard of him before-
#35 Posted by BlackTarantula (9 posts) - - Show Bio

#36 Posted by LitosWay357 (90 posts) - - Show Bio

#37 Edited by The Impersonator (6965 posts) - - Show Bio

I wouldn't say Captain Marvel is a rip-off from Superman. His human identity was different. A kid turns into an adult-grown man with magical powers. Sure, he's strong like Superman and his power source does come from the wizard much as like Superman gets his powers from the Sun. But I would say Captain Marvel is completely different from Superman. 
#38 Posted by cascadeking09 (6790 posts) - - Show Bio

It's between Captain  Marvel and Icon. I like both of them the best.

#39 Posted by cascadeking09 (6790 posts) - - Show Bio
@The Impersonator:  I don't really consider any characters rip-off unless they suck and they are a complete copy of his character.
#40 Posted by joshmightbe (26593 posts) - - Show Bio

#41 Posted by Frobin (104 posts) - - Show Bio

That's really hard ... first I would add Majestic of the Wildstorm Universe ... but he's not my favorite, just one good clone. So my ranking would be ... 
1. Apollo - because together with The Midnighter - they are the best Superman & Batman adaptation;
2. Hyperion - I love both the classic version and the "Ultimate" version of "Supreme Power";
3. Captain Marvel (Shazam) - the Superman of Magic & Mythology;
4. The Sentry - Psycho-Superman, really a nice clone (of course as we've seen: no hero, but a major threat);
5. Majestic - yep, I like the ancient warlord from another world too.

#42 Posted by Billy Batson (59391 posts) - - Show Bio

SHAZAM! Billy Batson.

#43 Posted by Primmaster64 (21663 posts) - - Show Bio


#44 Edited by CrimsonAvenger (1288 posts) - - Show Bio
The Best

The Worst

#45 Edited by ArtisticNeedham (2542 posts) - - Show Bio
Captain Marvel, when he was first created, outsold Superman.  
Back when superhero comics was still new Captain Marvel seemed like a rip off, having super strength, speed, invulnerability, able to fly, all seemed too similar.  Now a days there are so many superheroes you can't make up a power that hasn't already been done.
To me, the reason he is the best is because while he may have started as a rip off (or maybe just similar) his character and idea (a kid being a hero, and how he got his powers) is original and so interesting he stands out.  Even though he is constantly fighting Superman, he still doesn't seem as much of a "rip off" as some other characters.
#46 Posted by ironshadow (1583 posts) - - Show Bio
@FadeToBlackBolt said:
Original Jenkins and Lee Sentry. Curbstomp. Easily one of Marvel's best characters.  Then came Bendis. And my soul died. "
Original Sentry is not a Superman clone, he's better than Superman.
#47 Edited by Nova`Prime` (4172 posts) - - Show Bio

My top three Superman stand in... (in no particular order)

 Technically not a clone.

I don't count Captain Marvel (Fawcett) as a Superman clone, if I did he would be at the top of my list.
#48 Posted by They Killed Cap! (2268 posts) - - Show Bio

Hey where is The Sentry, Mon El, Gladiator and Marvel/Miracle Man??? 
#49 Posted by Walker696 (1014 posts) - - Show Bio

I'm going with Majestic mainly because he is pretty much Supes but with a Batman like attitude

#50 Posted by Primmaster64 (21663 posts) - - Show Bio


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