20 Comic Characters That Are Total Rip-Offs‏

15. Swamp Thing

swamp thing
DC Comics

Alec Holland is an unlucky young gentleman, even by comics standards. Holland was a scientist working on "a secret bio-restorative formula" who was murdered for complicated reasons that got explained later.

Rather than perishing in the bombing of his lab, though, Holland stumbled into a nearby swamp and was resurrected in the form of the Swamp Thing, a creature formed of the plant life of the forest who fiercely protected his new, muddy home.

Totally a rip-off of: Man-Thing

Marvel Comics

This is a contentious one. Man-Thing's first appearance was in Marvel's Savage Tales #1, published in May of 1971. Swamp Thing, meanwhile, debuted in DC's House of Secrets #92, which came out in July 1971.

The characters are almost identical in their looks and their origins - Ted Sallis was a biochemist working on a secret formula who crashed into a swamp whilst injecting himself with it whilst under attack - but it's less sinister and more strange. Len Wein was living with Gerry Conway around the time both comics came out; Conway wrote Man-Thing and Wein, Swamp Thing.

Wein claims that neither of them new what the other was working on, so they couldn't have influenced each other, but Wein did pen the second Man-Thing story so maybe he was ripping off...himself?

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Tom Baker is the Comics Editor at WhatCulture! He's heard all the Doctor Who jokes, but not many about Randall and Hopkirk. He also blogs at http://communibearsilostate.wordpress.com/