DC’s heroes have some amazing origins, ones that have set the standard for the heroes that came after them. In fact, sometimes, they set the standards too well. There have been times when the perfect origin has already been used, so a creator will come along, give it a few tweaks, and use it for another character. Often, no one notices unless they’re looking; even if they do, it doesn’t usually bother anyone too much.
It’s sort of like the old stereotype of copying someone’s homework, but changing it just enough to make it look different. The real interesting thing is that sometimes two disparate characters share origins that are the same except for the particulars.
10/10 Wonder Woman & Cassie Sandsmark’s Origins Has Become Quite Similar
Wonder Woman is DC’s greatest warrior and has gone through several origins over the years. The latest is that she is one of Zeus’s many illegitimate children, raised by her mother to be a princess on Themyscira. Interestingly enough, this origin is quite similar to a character created decades after her: Cassie Sandsmark. The one-time Wonder Girl is also an illegitimate child of Zeus, raised by her mother.
Cassie was given this origin story first, back in the pre-Flashpoint days of the DC Universe. Wonder Woman gained her new Zeus origin in the New 52, and it’s stuck around, even since the New 52 was mostly invalidated. It’s interesting how the whole thing worked out.
9/10 Captain Atom & Swamp Thing’s Origins Have Striking Similarities
Captain Atom and Swamp Thing are two very different characters. Captain Atom is a soldier and superhero, working for the federal government, while Swamp Thing is a nature elemental who works only for himself and the good of the planet. However, taking a look at their origins reveals some striking similarities.
Both of them were parts of experiments that gave them godlike powers, with the difference being that Captain Atom was there in lieu of being executed, and Swamp Thing chose to do his experimenting. The details are different, but there’s a lot that’s the same.
8/10 Stephanie Brown & Cassandra Cain Have An Ironically Similar Origin
Stephanie Brown and Cassandra Cain are both Batgirls, having joined Batman in his battle to protect Gotham City. Ironically, they also have very similar origin stories. Both have parents who are criminals, with Brown’s father being the Cluemaster, a C-List Gotham villain, and Cain’s being the assassins, David Cain and Lady Shiva. Both of them ended up becoming vigilantes to make up for the evil their parents did.
Brown ended up spending a lot of time with Tim Drake, and Barbara Gordon mentored Cain. The fact that the two of them became such good friends in recent years makes a lot of sense. They have walked very similar paths to heroism.
7/10 Zatanna & Jon Kent Were Both Taught By Their Powerful Fathers
DC has many powerful magic users, with Zatanna being the foremost in the superhero community. She was the first sorcerer to join the Justice League and currently leads the Justice League Dark. Jon Kent is the son of Superman and Lois Lane, having graduated to becoming Superman after a stint with the Legion of Superheroes.
They’re two very different heroes, but their origins are basically the same. Both of them are the children of powerful heroes who learned the ropes from them and took their place. In fact, they’re both even half-human, with Jon being half-Kryptonian and Zatanna being half-homo Magi.
6/10 Barry Allen & Wally West Got Their Powers In Exactly The Same Way
DC’s speedsters are the fastest around. Even among that powerful number, Barry Allen and Wally West stand out. Formerly partners, Allen taught West everything he knew about speed when they worked together as Flash and Kid Flash. After Barry’s death battling the Anti-Monitor, Wally takes over as the Flash, showing that he has learned his lessons well.
Barry Allen got his powers when he was working with chemicals in his crime lab and was struck by lightning. Wally got his the exact same way, with a twist. West was a big fan of the Flash, who was dating his aunt Iris, and Barry replicated the accident that gave him his powers so that Wally could become his kid sidekick.
5/10 Hourman & Blue Beetle II Both Used Their Creations To Fight Crime
Hourman has always been an underrated member of the Justice Society. Rex Tyler was a chemist who created the drug Miraclo, which gave him superhuman strength, durability, and speed for an hour a day. This is remarkably similar to Ted Kord’s origin, the second Blue Beetle. Ted was also a wealthy industrialist who created technology that allowed him to become a crime fighter.
Hourman and Kord’s origins are pretty common. There are some fundamental differences — Kord was motivated by his esteem for the original Blue Beetle, Dan Garrett — and Kord’s tech didn’t give him any powers, but they’re still alike.
4/10 Hal Jordan & Animal Man Both Got Their Powers From Approaching Crashed Starships
Hal Jordan’s time as Green Lantern proved he was fearless as he was reckless, something that played into his origin. He was the closest to Abin Sur’s starship when it crashed, and that was a big factor in why he was chosen to wield the Green Lantern ring. However, he wasn’t the only hero to approach a crashed ship and get powers.
Buddy Baker also did so. The future Animal Man was out hunting when he saw a starship crashing. He found it in the woods, and the aliens aboard connected him to the Red, rebuilding his body from scratch. In the Silver Age, investigating a downed starship was just another day.
3/10 Cyborg’s New 52 Origin & Citizen Steel Both Got Their Powers From The Thing That Almost Killed Them
Cyborg’s origin in the New 52 was very different from what came before. He was in his father’s lab when a Father Box exploded, and it bonded with him, rebuilding his shattered body. He ended up helping the Justice League against Darkseid and helped found the team. This origin shared a lot in common with Citizen Steel, a legacy hero was related to the first two Commanders Steel.
Citizen Steel’s family was attacked by the Fourth Reich, a group of Neo-Nazis, and he gained his powers by injuring Reichsmark, who spit liquid metal blood on him. The substance bound to him and gave him metal skin and superhuman strength. Both heroes became metallic marvels by bonding with something that everyone thought would destroy them.
2/10 Superman & Supergirl Obviously Have Similar Origins
Superman is the Earth’s greatest hero, known for being superlatively powerful. However, there are DC heroes more powerful than Superman, and his cousin Kara Zor-El is one of them. As far as having nearly identical origins, this one is a no-brainer. The two of them are survivors of Krypton, sent by their parents to Earth so they can survive.
However, there are a few differences. Supergirl was not only older, but her home of Argo City was launched away from Krypton when it was destroyed. So, Supergirl has actual memories of her family and the death of Krypton.
1/10 Batman & Nightwing Bonded Over Their Shared Experiences
Batman is the world’s greatest vigilante, having watched his parents killed in front of him as a child. He swore on the graves of his mother and father that he’d avenge them, which was the genesis of Batman. Soon after, Bruce Wayne was at the circus when he witnessed a terrible tragedy, as the adult Flying Graysons were murdered in front of the entire audience.
They left behind their son, Dick Grayson. The similarities between the two bound them together, and Grayson joined Batman’s crusade against crime as Robin and later as Nightwing. Their status as two people orphaned by crime allowed them to understand each other and planted the seed for the beginning of the Bat-Family.
NEXT: 8 DC Characters Who Would Have Won At Game of Thrones (& 7 Who Would Have Lost Big Time)