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

4. Original Sin Ripped-Off Identity Crisis

Marvel V DC

Marvel's Original Sin (2014):

Who shot the Watcher? That was the tagline for Marvel's murder mystery arc in which the Avengers investigate the suspicious death of Uatu, a member of extraterrestrial species the Watchers who was assigned to observe Earth and its solar system. From his base on the moon Uatu sees his killer coming, but, having taken an oath of non-interference, does nothing as an explosion engulfs his facility.

When the Avengers arrive after being contacted by a panicked Thor, however, they determine that the Watcher was actually killed by a bullet to the head, not during the explosion. Uatu's eye is also missing. The heroes deduce that this was a professional hit and, after being organised into smaller teams, begin their investigations, going on information from one of Black Panther's unknown sources.

In the end, Dr. Strange figures out that Panther's source is actually the killer, and that he is closer to them than they think - Nick Fury. The S.H.I.E.L.D director confesses to shooting Uatu in the head and removing his eye, though he reasons that the Watcher was already burned when he found him and within his eye he hoped to find the real culprits.

In the end he succeeds in absorbing the power of the Watcher and is resigned to spending his days alone on the moon as the new Watcher of Earth.

DC's Identity Crisis: (2004)

DC published their own murder mystery a decade earlier, and it proved to be one of their best-selling series, with pre-sales for the first issue reaching over 160,000. Despite Identity Crisis' prevalence in the comic book world, Marvel were happy to tweak the story to fit their own purposes, though the similarities are there for all to see.

The murder victim in the DC version was Sue Dibny, the wife of the Elongated Man. As it was with the Watcher in Original Sin, burns seem to be the initial cause of death, and Doctor Light (who, in the past, had raped Dibny) is made the prime suspect. Soon after the Justice League divide into teams to investigate, however, Atom finds his estranged ex-wife Jean Loring hanging from a door frame. Luckily, he is able to revive her.

Whereas Doctor Strange realised that the killer was known to them in Original Sin, it was Doctor Mid-Nite that uncovered the foul play in the DC universe. After investigations uncover that victim was actually killed with a weapon crafted from Atom's shrinking technology, the heroes realise that his ex-wife murdered Dibny and faked a suicide attempt in a misguided attempt to bring Atom back into her life.

Like Marvel's mystery killer Nick Fury, Loring was destined for a lifetime of solitude after being certified as insane and committed to Arkham Asylum.


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