Meeting your doppelganger would be worrying enough. Imagine the double walker takes one look at you and decides to kill you! This is a surprisingly common dilemma in the superhero community.
Well, maybe it’s not that surprising after all. Cloning, shapeshifting, magic, parallel earths and strange dimensions, all a fact of life in the world of superheroes, would be more shocking if doppelgangers didn’t crawl out of the intergalactic woodwork to kick each other’s butts. As such, superheroes have evolved different ways to deal with their treacherous twins. We start with the most obvious solution …
Knock you down
In a now infamous plot from 2017, Captain America was “revealed” all along as a secret, brainwashed HYDRA agent – in other words, a Nazi. But no, that wasn’t the Steve Rogers we all know and love: it was a different Steve Rogers from another universe.
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A clash between HYDRA Cap and Real Cap was inevitable. It came at the end of Secret Empire when Real Cap, empowered by Thor’s Hammer just to prove how worthy and unfascist he is, gave HYDRA Cap the beating he so richly deserved. It was wonderful. Let’s never talk about it again now.
Use the power of the heart
This is a bit of a scam: Dark Angel didn’t want her counterpart – Donna Troy, better known as Wonder Girl – to be dead. All she wanted to do was force Donna through hundreds of lives of abuse and tragedy in order to get revenge on Queen Hippolyta, whom Dark Angel had imprisoned decades earlier. Completely different!
Exactly why Dark Angel thought tormenting Donna would piss off Hippolyta is a long and kinky story we just don’t have time for right now, so let’s skip to the end: Wonder Woman # 135. Donna’s inhuman long suffering served to purify her soul and made it possible for her to destroy the evil Dark Angel with a mere touch. I’m not sure I like the idea of suffering as self improvement, but there we go.
Uncover a stupid villain plot
After a mishap with Doctor Doom’s time machine in Avengers Annual # 2, the Avengers landed on an alternate timeline. There they encountered versions of themselves who were led to believe that the only way to ensure peace was to destroy all other super-beings, be they heroes or villains – or their other selves. (It was disturbingly easy to get her to do.)
After much fighting, the real Avengers learned that this intricate scheme was brought into being by one of the many, many alternate identities of Kang the Conqueror. And then all of her memories were erased by the guard for some reason. The end!
Let someone else handle it
In Superman / Batman’s “Public Enemies” story, a future Superman nearly killed our titular heroes in a very misguided attempt to stop a catastrophe that is devastating the world, leaving Supes as the guilty sole survivor. Why the future Superman couldn’t calmly explain what happened and how to prevent it, I’m not sure, but still. He disappears before he can say or do anything useful.
In this day and age, Superman and Batman are trying to figure out what “mistake” they are making that leads to Old Supes becoming ballistic. In the end, it was Captain Atom, who had been working against her all along, who solved the puzzle. He sacrificed himself so the earth could live and Superman could avoid becoming an angry grandpa.
When Loki made a rare, genuine attempt to open a new page in Loki: Agent of Asgard, he encountered fierce opposition – including from himself. Loki of the future still wanted to be king of everything, an ambition that echoed his younger son’s desire for reform I was diametrically opposed to it.
After much trouble, Present Loki realized that Future Loki was basically still the frustrated goddess who never got the acceptance he needed. By giving him this assumption, the new Loki could grant “himself” peace and neutralize the threat. And who could have guessed that Loki would have the nicest solution to a murderous alter ego?
Back #superhero problems
So your family has been erased from reality
So you’ve been put in a bastard again
So you have been deprecated against your will