6 Times Marvel And DC Shamelessly Ripped-Off Each Other's Stories

5. Civil War Ripped-Off Kingdom Come

Marvel V DC
Marvel Comics

Marvel's Civil War (2006/07):

The Marvel arc of the moment, Civil War is a crossover storyline presented in a seven-issue limited series and published across two years. The comic follows Marvel's heroes as they are forced to pick sides in the aftermath of a number of botched superhero missions that lead to significant collateral damage.

When a group of young heroes named the New Warriors fail in an attempt to capture Nitro on camera for their reality TV show, the villain uses his explosive powers to destroy a number of city blocks, killing 600 civilians, 60 of whom were children. This forces the U.S. Government to introduce the Superhero Registration Act, and those not adhering to it are deemed rogue vigilantes.

Tony Stark and Dr. Reed Richards lead the side of the pro-registration, while Captain America leads a team of anti-registration heroes that become known as the Secret Avengers.

The conflict ends with a battle in New York City, brought to a halt when Cap - who was about the deliver the finishing blow to a near-beaten Iron Man - is held back by civilians. Seeing the error of his ways, Steve Rogers is hauled off to jail while Tony Stark is named new director of S.H.I.E.L.D.

DC's Kingdom Come (1996):

Another story arc that DC got to first, Kingdom Come was a four-part mini-series published under the Elseworlds imprint. Like Civil War, it was a deconstructionist story that followed DC's traditional superheroes as they are forced into a conflict with their own kind in the form of vigilantes.

The Justice League, lead by Superman, hang up their capes and abandon the superhero life after public support for a reckless hero named Magog swells. After Magog's actions lead to the deaths of millions in the American Midwest, the Man of Steel is coaxed out of retirement, though his attempts to lure Batman into his reformed Justice League do not go as planned, with Bruce Wayne critical of his former ally's approach to the crisis.

It boils down to a battle between the idealist views of Superman (who is the Captain America of this story) and the diplomatic tactics of Batman (who, of course, is Iron Man). When the final conflict gets out of hand the government are forced to drop bombs on the battle, a move that infuriates Superman.

The Kryptonian heads to the UN's headquarters and threatens to bring the building down on the delegates as punishment, though - much like Cap - he sees that his actions are causing exactly what he was trying to prevent and relents. Same story, different heroes.


Phil still hasn't got round to writing a profile yet, as he has an unhealthy amount of box sets on the go.