They say there are no original ideas out there, and we can believe that. Storytelling themes are universal and we understand when a character or scene gets "borrowed" here and there.
But it's hard not to feel betrayed when you find out that some of the stories around which your entire childhood revolved were, for the most part, copied and pasted in with a cavalier attitude of, "the little bastards will never know the difference!"
We're talking about...
Note: When we ran this article (and others like it) five years ago, we had one goal: expose Batman, Superman, the X-Men and Green Lantern as the blatant rip-offs they are, and scuttle the popularity of superheroes once and for all. We figured that if you knew that these characters weren't 100% original, you'd stop going to their movies, stop buying their merchandise, and move on to other stories -- but our plan failed! All you did was laugh at the jokes and use the trivia to get laid, and both Batman and Superman have made a hundred bajillion dollars at the box office since.
Curses! We'll get you next time, super-jerks! Oh, and enjoy this Cracked Classic. -Cracked
Mutated freaks gathered by their wheelchair bound mentor in order to protect a world that fears and hates them. You think we are talking about the X-Men? No we are not. Well, we will be in a second, and technically we are, but not in this paragraph, except for the parts where we do.
They are a Rip-Off of:
The Doom Patrol, which debuted in comics three months before everybody's favorite, more marketable mutants.
Unlike the X-Men, the Doom Patrollers were once normal people who suffered an accident that disfigured them but also gave them superpowers. Shunned by the world for just being plain ugly, the freaks were gathered by Doctor Caulder, a paraplegic, who thought that maybe the world wouldn't dislike them so much if they used their powers to save the normal people's asses from giant robots once in a while.
If this sounds somewhat familiar to you, it's because the same thing as X-Men with the only difference that the smart guy in the wheelchair was bald in one and X-Men uses mutants as an allegory for minorities instead of people with elephantiasis or whatever the heck Doom Patrol was going for.
Even the tag line is the same! At least make an effort, guys!
Possibly, the most unnecessary thing borrowed by X-Men was the name of the Doom Patrol's enemies: The Brotherhood of Evil. In Doom Patrol the name made sense; because they were a group of evil assholes, which got together to do asshole things. There was never any confusion about what the group was about.
On the other hand Magneto stole the name, added the word mutant at the end of it and then whined endlessly about how humans persecuted and hated him. Maybe people hated you, Magneto, because your group's name was The Brotherhood of Evil Mutants and you went around the world trying to wipe out humanity?
How successful would the American Paraplegia Society be if they called themselves the Brotherhood of Child Molesting Guys on Wheelchairs? Magneto's weak PR skills aren't the only reason the original Brotherhood looks awesome by comparison ...
A brain in a case and an armed gorilla? How is Magneto more famous?