DC Comics’ Superman is without a doubt the most iconic superhero ever created, to the point that even DC’s rival, Marvel Comics, has taken inspiration from the Man of Steel to create no less than three characters based on the Last Son of Krypton over the years. . Obviously, none of them have reached the level of Superman’s popularity and his status as a flagship character for the publisher, but their powers and abilities still rank them among the most powerful characters in the Marvel universe.
Gladiator, Hyperion and Sentry were created at very different times and for completely different stories and contexts. Although their abilities look the same, they all have a unique origin, which caused fans to argue about which of the “clones” of Marvel Superman is stronger, and whether any of them will be able to fight the original Man of Steel. Such a comparison is always very subjective, but the three characters are different enough that one can look at their origins and powers, and then guess who is the “best” clone of Superman.
Kallark, aka Gladiator, is a loyal servant of the Shi’ar Empire from the planet Strontia, whose inhabitants train from a young age to receive the coveted title of Gladiator, Praetor of the Imperial Guard. Gladiator’s powers stem from Stront’s physiology, complemented by technological process improvements, and they make him one of the strongest characters in the Marvel universe. Kallark has super strength, endurance, invulnerability, healing factor, super speed, flight, thermal vision and icy breath. However, he also has a big weakness. Strontian’s powers are related to their level of confidence. If Kallark doubts himself, his powers are greatly reduced to the point that he can be defeated by a much weaker character. On the other hand, when he is completely confident, very few can resist the Gladiator (usually they are just space creatures).
Gladiator was created by Chris Claremont for his legendary X-Men launch. In fact, Claremont drew inspiration not from Superman, but from one of his minor characters, Mon-El, a member of A Legion of Superheroes and a Daxamite alien with the same abilities as the Man of Steel (but a different weakness, lead). . The legendary author used the Legion as inspiration when he created the Shi’ar Imperial Guard, but Kallark’s name is actually a reference to Kal-El and Clark Kent, two Superman names.
Of all the characters on this list, Hyperion (Mark Milton) fits the “Superman clone” label the most, and even his origin story is the same as that of the Man of Steel. Hyperion is the last survivor of an alien race (later renamed the branch of the Eternals), sent to Earth in infancy and raised as a man in a loving family who gave him a strong sense of morality that led him to become the greatest hero of his world (Earth-712). Hyperion and the other members of the Supreme Squadron were created by Roy Thomas and John Buscema as guest villains/allies of the Avengers, and they were all based on the DC Comics Justice League. These characters later received their own titles and storylines, including the highly recommended Squadron Supreme series written by Mark Grunwald and drawn by Bob Hall.
There are several versions of Hyperion in the Multiverse, some (for example, King Hyperion) are stronger than others, but in this article we will talk about the original version (Earth-712). Hyperion’s powers stem from his Eternal physiology, but he has the unique trait of being able to collect cosmic radiation and convert it into energy through a process similar to nuclear fusion (reflecting Superman’s dependence on solar radiation). He has standard superpower, speed, resistance, and flight, and can manipulate cosmic energy with various effects, including “atomic vision” (heat rays emanating from his eyes) and a regenerative healing factor. Hyperion has one weakness, and that is one substance called argonite, its own version of kryptonite.
The sentry is the most popular of the “Marvel Superman” trio, but also the one who is the most difficult to evaluate. His origins and abilities have gone through several retcones, and in fact the mystery of the Sentry’s true nature is one of the main attractions of the character. Created by Paul Jenkins and Jay Lee for the limited series Sentinel, Robert Reynolds is an ordinary man capable of turning into a Sentinel, the greatest hero that no one has ever heard of. Apparently, the Sentry was the first and greatest hero of our time, who was forced to make everyone forget about himself in order to keep in check the dark evil being generated by his powers, the Void.