Ah, the ’90s. What a time to be a comic fan. Comics were suddenly en vogue, and every man, woman, and child was looking to get a piece of the action. As a result, new comic companies, and new characters, begun to spring up over night. Companies such as Image Comics, Dark Horse Comics, Slave Labor Graphics, and Malibu Comics suddenly entered into the comic book fray and found great success along the way. These new companies gave birth to beloved characters, while stalwart companies such as Marvel and DC worked to introduce brand new ’90s characters of their own. But that’s not to say that every character to be created during this time were original and unique; in fact, a lot of popular ’90s superheroes were grade-A rip-offs.
Whether it was due to a desire to follow in the footsteps of beloved characters or whether it was due to lack of originality, copycat characters sprung up all over the place in the ’90s. You could barely throw a rock in a comic shop without hitting a dozen titles starring cookie cutter knock-offs of Batman or Wolverine. While many of these rip-offs have faded into obscurity, we’re willing to bet that you remember more than one rip-off ’90s superhero. So join us as we take a look back at the decade that gave us Nirvana, Dunk-a-roos, and FUBU, as brings you 15 Rip-Off Superheroes From The ’90s!
You might remember Malibu Comics as that one comic company that was inexplicably popular in the ’90s, spawned a cartoon and then was swallowed up by Marvel, all within the span of a couple years. Before the House Of Ideas sealed Malibu’s cavalcade of heroes away in a massive warehouse never to be seen again, Raiders Of The Lost Arc style, the publisher’s Ultraverse line spawned a popular hero named Prototype. Unfortunately, the character was a blatant rip-off of Iron Man.
Malibu definitely borrowed liberally from Marvel’s popular armored Avenger when creating Prototype.
Like Iron Man, Prototype was an intelligent hero that used a suit of cybernetic armor to fight crime and, much like Iron Man, Prototype pretended to be the bodyguard of the man using the suit in an attempt to conceal his secret identity. Prototype has remained M.I.A. since Marvel gobbled up Malibu, which is probably for the best: Marvel has enough armored heroes running around without adding this half-baked knock-off to the mix.