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Updated by Stephanie Harper on Mar 27, 2021
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The Coolest Heroes That DON'T Come From DC Or Marvel

There are a lot of great heroes that aren't as well-known!


Stephanie Harper

Stephanie Harper

Comic books published by Marvel get a whole lot of attention. Comic books published by DC are n that very same position. That happens because those two major companies know how to produce content about superheroes with epic powers and intense storylines that come across as being very interesting and addictive to read about.

At the same time, it is also important to acknowledge heroes that don't come from the world of Marvel or DC because those heroes are so underrated. They deserve more attention and their lack of notoriety comes from the fact that they exist under smaller named comic book companies. Some non-Marvel and non-DC heroes are more powerful than heroes like Tony Stark or Superman. Here are ten of the oldest comic book heroes that do not come from either of those universes.

Shadowman - 1992

Shadowman is a character that was created back in 1992 by Valiant Comics. The writers who came up with him were Jim Shooter and Steve Englehart, who had the artwork done by an artist Mike Manley. Over 5.3 million copies of Shadowman comic books to date have been sold, which is very impressive for a hero who comes to the world from a company that isn't Marvel or DC. Shadowman (aka Jack Boniface) can see in the dark, regenerate, and use enhanced strength when it comes to the supernatural powers that he got from the ancient spirit known as the Shadow Loa.

Spawn - 1992

One of the most popular heroes who exists outside of the MCU and DCEU is Spawn, who has been around since 1992. His notable aliases are The One, Hellspawn, Ken Kurobawa, and Spawny, all of which are nicknames used sporadically throughout his comic book appearances. Formerly known as Al Simmons, Spawn's abilities include superhuman strength, speed, agility, teleportation, shapeshifting and -- most famously -- sentient chains. Not only that, but he is technically immortal thanks to a powerful healing factor and the fact that he's imbued with the powers of Hell itself. What also makes Spawn unique is that he's one of the most prominent Black heroes seen in comics who didn't originate from the big two.

Midnighter - 1998

1998 was a good year because it is the year the world was introduced to Midnighter, who hails most famously from The Authority. He appeared for the first time in American comic books that were published by WildStorm. Later on, DC Comics picked him up and gave him (and his boyfriend Apollo) their own series sometime after the New 52's end. Midnighter's superpowers include enhanced physical attributes, temporary pain suppression, an auxiliary heart, and Neurotactical wetware. He has powers that are not too common among other heroes and that is what makes him stand out.

The Darkness - 1996

The Darkness is a hero that came to the world in 1996. What a name for a hero! His alter ego goes by the name of Jackie Estacado, and his team affiliations are with the Franchetti Mafia, the Darklings, and alongside Sierra Muñoz. The Darkness has a wide range of abilities including control over the demons that dwell in an otherworldly dimension that he is able to gain access to. He also is able to teleport and show up in any place that he wants to at any time. His abilities to shapeshift and heal naturally prove that he's a hero worth reading about.

Velocity - 1992

This female superhero is definitely worth reading about because she brings so much to the table. Velocity (aka Carin Taylor) hails from the worlds of Image Comics and Top Cow Productions, where she was a part of the supergroup Cyberforce. She has been around since 1992 after Marc Silvestri decided to create her and put his creative idea down on paper. Velocity is easy to recognize with her brightly colored hair and green colored costume. As her name implies, Velocity has the power to run at intense speeds but she fears that maxing out her speed could rip the world apart.

Invincible - 2002

Invincible is also known as Mark Grayson and he is an Image Comics Universe superhero. He was created by a writer named Robert Kirkman and by a talented artist Cory Walker. The illustrations were done by Ryan Ottley. The first time Invincible appeared was in a comic book called "Tech Jacket #1" back in November of 2002. This hero has superhuman strength and the ability to fly through the sky to get from point A to point B. His story is interesting to read about in comics as he first learned to adjust to his powers as a teenager.

Hellboy - 1993

1993 was the year of Hellboy, a hero who doesn't originally come from the MCU or the DCEU. His species is not human or even alien-- he is a demon, as scary as that might sound. He was created by a writer and artist named mike Magnolia. The first time he appeared was in August of 2993 in "San Diego Comic-Con Comics #2." Three live-action films have been made in honor of this hero, telling the stories of his escapades.

Sailor Moon - 1991

Manga is a form of comic books and the first time Sailor Moon appeared ina Manga was back in 1991. She is a heroine that resonates with plenty of readers but the female audience was statistically more attracted to her. She is known for being cute and sweet but also being fully capable of fighting for justice on a regular basis. She has a good spirit with a pleasant attitude ad those things make her so much more likable as a heroine.

SHAZAM - 1940

While Shazam (aka Billy Batson) is best known as a DC Comics hero and a surprise hit for the DC Extended Universe, this is not how things started out for him as a hero. Shazam first appeared in 1940, originally published by Fawcett Comics and under the name Captain Marvel. An artist named C. C. Beck and a writer named Bill Parker created him and his comic books ended up outselling Superman's for a period of time. His first appearance was in "Whiz Comics #2," which comic book lovers still look back upon with much respect and admiration. Following a long legal battle, Fawcett Comics stopped making Captain Marvel comics and sold his rights to DC, who then rebranded him as Shazam to avoid a possible legal clash with Marvel Comics.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - 1984

Mirage Studios published comics about the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles dating back to 1984. Even though non-comic readers might assume this hero squad comes from marvel or DC, they actually do not. They have enough popularity and notoriety for something like that to make sense but they gained that level of fame due to the fact that they are a very interesting group of heroes to read about. The live-action movies that have been released about them, starring Megan Fox, were released in 2014 and 2016.


Sailor Moon

Sailor Moon

Sailor Moon is an epic heroine who did not come from Marvel or DC!