Ever since the Marvel Universe was born with the publication of Fantastic Four #1 in 1961, the worlds of Marvel and DC have been evolving in parallel. That has inevitably led to certain mirror images appearing in comics and on screen. Many of those characters underline the various creative and structural links between the two universes, and how that’s shaped the history of superhero fiction as we now know it.
With DC Studios co-head James Gunn recently unveiling his ambitious first chapter of film and TV projects known as “Gods And Monsters,” comparisons between the MCU and DCU will of course keep growing—but where are the strongest character links right now? Let’s take a closer look. From strident defenders of humanity to complex antiheroes, these are the DC and Marvel heroes who match up most closely in their journeys from the comics page to the silver screen.