So, today I thought I would write about some thing that has always bugged me and simultaneously interested me over the years: the synchronicity (or should that be duplicity) of certain comic superheroes…how fate conspires to mirror certain aspects of a superhero in his nearest doppelganger from ‘the competition’.
This kind of thing has been going on for years in films, and whereas some of it is good fortune, or bad luck depending on how you look at it, or if it is coincidence, or just a mercenary response to jump on the band wagon. We had the Kevin Costner ‘Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves’ which was closely followed by Patrick Bergin’s ‘Robin Hood’. Bergin lost, Costner won. Star Wars’ success at the cinema begat Battlestar Galactica on television (sparking a court case from the ever-so protective George Lucas). James Bond, Jason Bourne etc etc. Where one success is found, others will try to emulate the success by mirroring the other, but sometimes synchronicity just happens…ie; the summer of 2010 which features films such as The Losers, The A-Team and The Expendables….
I realise that I’m not making myself very clear at all, am I – so allow me to demonstrate my point:
GREEN ARROW vs HAWKEYE
DC Comics’ Emerald Archer Oliver Queen and Marvel Comic’s Avenging Archer, Clint Barton.
- Both are well-trained and well-disciplined archers whose primary weapon is a bow and arrows.
- Green Arrow is well-known for employing ‘trick’ arrows such as the boxing glove arrow, the gas arrow, the sonic arrow bla bla bla.
- Hawkeye is also well-known for utilizing a quiver full of tricks, such as boomerang arrows, net arrows etc.
- Green Arrow went all dark and started using real arrows in the 90’s when comics lapped up grit and grime.
- So did Hawkeye. Even wearing armour at one point designed by Tony Stark himself. Sheesh!
- Green Arrow’s sidekick partner Speedy has some ‘issues’, and they split up as a result only to reunite years later when everything was all peachy again.
- Hawkeye and Mockingbird were married, but divorced eventually due to her having some ‘issues’, only to reunite with Hawk years later when everything was peachy again.
- Green Arrow went outlaw and shunned by his fellow super-friends – and Hawkeye died, but then came back to life again, altered his costume and went by the name Ronin for years until revealing himself – and there the similarities end. Or do they…?
GREEN ARROW vs BATMAN
- Bruce Wayne, millionaire playboy who liked dressing up and foiling crime in his city.
- Oliver Queen, millionaire playboy who liked dressing up and foiling crime in his city.
- Batman drove around in his Batmobile.
- Green Arrow drove around in his Arrowmobile (no joke).
- Batman had a masked teen sidekick, Robin – who later changed his name to Nightwing.
- Green Arrow had a masked teen sidekick, Speedy – who later changed his name to Arsenal…and then to Red Arrow (maybe be wasn’t hanging out on the Venger-bus).
- Batman went very dark in the late 80’s /early 90’s.
- So did, Green Arrow….in fact, an older version of him appeared in the seminal ‘Dark Knight Returns‘ by Frank Miller – albeit missing an arm, a little bit bald and quite a bit mad – Ollie teamed up with Bruce to fight Superman, shooting a kryptonite arrow at the Man of Steel.
- Batman’s illegitimate son took over the mantle of Robin.
- Green Arrow’s illegitimate son took over the mantle of Green Arrow.
BATMAN vs CAPTAIN AMERICA
Bruce Wayne, Batman – Steve Rogers, Captain America.
- Both had teen sidekicks with teeny tiny little masks – Bats had Robin and Cap had Bucky.
- Both were always getting into scrapes, needing their mentor to help them out.
- Jason Todd (Robin II) was killed (apparently) by a ‘bloody good thrashing’ courtesy of the Joker – only to reappear many years later, slightly damaged in the head, with a hatred of his former partner.
- James Buchanan Barnes (Bucky) was killed (apparently) by a bomb courtesy of Baron Zemo – only to reappear many years later, slightly damaged in the head, with a hatred of his former partner.
- The current Batman is Dick Grayson (Robin I) who took on the mantle of the bat when Bruce Wayne was killed (apparently) only for the real Batman to be revealed as floating about in the time-stream somewhere having lots of cool adventures and stuff.
- The current Captain America is Bucky Barnes, who took on the mantle when Steve Rogers was killed (apparently) only for the real Cap to be revealed as floating about in the time-stream somewhere having lots of cool adventures and stuff.
- Bruce Wayne is scheduled to return from the dead and take a new role in the DC Universe…
- Steve Rogers has already returned from the dead and now takes on a new role in the Marvel universe.
And there the similarities end.
Or do they?
There are loads more. Attack and Defence. Action and Reaction, Coincidence – call it what you will.