From Action Comics #1 to the recently-released Action Comics #1047, Superman has been a mainstay in DC Comics (or comic books in general). The subsequent cinematic and TV adaptations have only straightened the presence of the Kryptonian in modern pop culture.
Over the years, Redditors have avidly pointed out the similarities between him and similarly super-powered characters from comics, movies, and even anime series. These comparisons also seek to unravel Superman’s aggressive side with even antagonists like Ikaris, Omni-Man, and Homelander making it to the list.
10/10 Saitama (One-Punch Man)
The so-called One-Punch Man AKA Saitama is a hero who possesses powers like superhuman strength and flight. But he gets his eccentric name from his ability to defeat his enemies with just a single punch! Even though this makes him all the more powerful, the lack of a worthy opponent saddens Saitama and even makes him envious of other heroes, adding goofy humor to the mix.
Even though he is more like a parody of Superman, Reddit sees him as a positive reinterpretation. In a thread started by user Reboot422 asking who are the best Superman-inspired characters, several users were quick to favor Saitama with inzanityisgood13 saying “One-Punch Man. I turned into a total Saitama fangirl”!
9/10 Omni-Man (Invincible)
Originating from the Image Comics series Invincible and then gaining further popularity in the Prime Video animated show of the same name, Omni-Man is quite a menacing villain. A seemingly immortal alien from a Krypton-like planet, Omni-Man is the comic’s answer to Superman albeit with a darker side.
Redditors have put Omni-Man in their picks for “Superman-inspired characters” along with some interesting picks. When Scandroid99 kept him in the same league as Marvel’s Hyperion and Sentry, vegankidollie put him next to Goku and even Captain Underpants!
8/10 The Iron Giant (The Iron Giant)
The robot known as the Iron Giant is naive and rather destructive just like how it is built to be. But an unexpected friendship with a kid and some Superman comics help him save the day. His ultimate sacrifice, in the end, is even followed by the Iron Giant saying “Superman”!
To quote [now deleted] Reddit profile, “The Giant was literally just a giant gun, and by believing in what Superman stood for, became something more.”
7/10 Ikaris (Eternals)
From possessing flight to heat vision to even sporting a blue costume, Ikaris from the Marvel Comics (and particularly Richard Madden’s portrayal in Eternals) is reminiscent of Superman. Even if one looks at Eternals as a team like Justice League, Ikaris would still fill in Superman’s shoes as the leader.
On a Reddit thread explaining how Ikaris stands out on his own in the comics and is much more than a Superman clone, Reddit user Al-7075 added, “Maybe not personality a copy, but his powers are very similar.”
6/10 All Might (My Hero Academia)
My Hero Academia lead character Izuku Midoriya’s mentor is the All Might, a superhero who derives his “Quirk” of superstrength and flight from a mystical power called One For All. Just like Superman’s behavior towards younger heroes, All Might has a very parental attitude towards Midoriya whom he scouts as his successor.
Commenting on All Might’s overall positive nature, Reddit user LeggoMahLegolas comments, “Pretty much Golden Age Superman without any other powers. Pure heart, always there to save the day.”
5/10 Doctor Manhattan (Watchmen)
Once a human scientist, Doctor Manhattan’s life changes forever after a nuclear accident that turns him into a nearly omnipotent and omnipresent being. Even though he uses his powers for good, his immense godliness makes others fear him leading him down a rabbit hole of existential dread like Superman dwelling in his Fortress of Solitude.
When both heroes crossed paths in the ambitious DC Comics crossover Doomsday Clock, mugenhunt joked on Reddit about how Superman would win the duel by showing Manhattan that heroism and optimism matter and that the universe is worth protecting! However, on a serious note, the Redditor added how the heroes are more similar than expected as Manhattan believes in these very values by the end of Watchmen.
4/10 Homelander (The Boys)
The hyperviolent superhero satire The Boys has its own evil Superman as the big baddie. Homelander leads the Seven, a clear reference to Justice League while representing a version of Superman that ends up misusing his power to emerge as an authoritarian god of sorts.
As Redpahnto sums it up well, “Homelander. He’s a great take on Superman. He’s not the boy scout everyone thinks he is. He’s a man child with super powers. It’s a horrifying and interesting concept that I just love.”
3/10 Astro Boy (Astro Boy)
A staple in manga and anime since the 1950s, Astro Boy is an android boy who also has human emotions. While embarking on different adventures, Astro Boy often struggles with his duality, ultimately becoming something more than just a robot or a human. His ultimate transition into a self-confident hero screams Superman’s arc.
Redditor Amelia-likes-birds propagates this theory, “A bit of an oddball pick, but I’d say Astro Boy. Incredibly gentle, kind, compassionate and powerful being whose forced to fight constantly in order to protect his world from threats, both alien and earthbound.”
2/10 Hancock (Hancock)
Hancock might not go down as one of the best Will Smith movies, but it still serves as a unique take on the superhero genre. Despite using his powers to become some sort of costumed Avenger, Hancock prefers to live as a homeless alcoholic. His reckless damage eventually gives way to a more controlled brand of superheroism, making him more accepting of his Superman-like persona.
“Hancock is basically a confused Superman. He has that big heart but unlike Clark it’s still muddied by his mind. He isn’t as committed to his responsibilities yet.” writes Redditor Beowulf_McBethson.
1/10 The Sentry (Marvel Comics)
The Sentry looks like Superman on the surface. But things take an interesting turn with the super-powered character also having a dark side known as the Void that can get triggered accidentally. In more ways than one, the binary of good and evil represented by the Sentry and the Void are comparable with both the peaceful and hostile sides of Superman’s personality.
“The Sentry…mentally and emotionally broken Superman.” That’s how theSteakKnight comments on the comparison in a brief yet apt manner.