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

3. Flashpoint Ripped-Off House Of M

Marvel V DC

DC's Flashpoint (2011):

Hitting shelves not so long ago in May 2011, Flashpoint consists of an eponymous core series and a handful of tie-in titles. It begins with the Flash waking up one day to find that he no longer has his powers and the world as he knew it has completely changed - the Atlanteans are at war with the Amazons, Thomas Wayne (father of Bruce) is Batman, and neither Superman nor the Justice League exist.

After an initial attempt to recreate the circumstances of his power-giving accident ends with him being badly burned, Flash regains his physics defying abilities at the second time of asking and soon figures out that he has been transported to an alternative reality. Reverse-Flash is found to be the villain responsible for creating the so-called flashpoint in time, realising his dream of a world in which the JLA never existed.

As the war between Aquaman's Atlanteans and Wonder Woman's Amazons finally reaches the US, and millions already dead because of it elsewhere, Flash has no choice but to reveal what has happened to Batman and Cyborg and then use the entire strength of the Speed Force to try and travel through the dimensions.

He successfully makes it back, but the consequences were severe for the universe - the New Earth (DC), Earth-13 (Vertigo) and Earth-50 (WildStorm) timelines were now merged into one.

Marvel's House Of M (2005):

It was Marvel who got to the alternative reality arc first, with their eight-issue series House of M coming out 6 years before DC published Flashpoint. In their story, the cause of the new world is Scarlett Witch, who is on the verge of losing total control of her reality-warping powers. While her father Magneto blames himself, Professor X calls a meeting of the X-Men, the Avengers and a number of solo heroes who reluctantly agree that Scarlett Witch must be killed for the sake of the world.

Before that can happen, however, she disappears, and one by one the heroes are engulfed with white light. When the light fades, we are in an alternative reality in which Spider-Man is a celebrity, America's favourite hero Gambit is a criminal and Steve Rogers is an aged war vet.

As was the case with Flash in Flashpoint, only one superhero retains memories from the real world - Wolverine. He suspects that Magneto created the alternate reality to spare his daughter's life and make a world in which mutants rule superior over humans.

Wolverine reveals the truth to a number of superheroes unaware of the change and they band together to take on Magneto's House of M, the headquarters of his mutant dictatorship.

The bloody battle that ensues is too much for Scarlett Witch, who whispers "no more mutants" and, suddenly, our heroes are back in the real world. Millions of mutants (Magento and his children included) have lost their powers, representing real change in the Marvel Universe.


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