DC has been playing catch-up to Marvel at the movies for years now, but when both firms first entered the comic sector many decades ago, the reverse was true. Detective Comics published its first issue way back in 1937, giving it a significant head start on Marvel, which began life as Timely Comics five years later.
The House of M had ground to make up on its rival and one of the ways it has narrowed the gulf is considered underhanded by some. Several of the firm's creations bear an uncanny resemblance to characters that already existed in the DC camp.
Marvel is by no means the only comic book publisher guilty of this practise. The industry has always been rife with copycats and imitators, and with so much history to trawl through, it's often difficult to pinpoint who came up who an idea first.
Sure, there have been times when DC has ripped off Marvel. Namor predates Aquaman and Bumblebee is basically a second-rate Wasp, but some of the most high-profile examples of this dubious practise paint Marvel as the house of stolen ideas...