As proud members of the Freaks and Geeks sections of society, we devour the world of pop culture and absolutely relish it. One downside, though, is that we are also privy to plot holes, inconsistencies, and especially repetitions. Avid fans are encyclopedias on fictional and fantasy worlds and sometimes remember characters and characteristics better than the creators. All hail reruns and rereads. For decades now, Marvel and DC, the two powerhouses of comics and content in general, have had several similarities in their characters. The latest being Kingo from Eternals and Hob Gadling from The Sandman. Let’s compare the two, shall we?
Why does The Sandman’s Hob Gadling remind us of Kingo from Eternals?
Hob Gadling is Morpheus’s pet project that began in 1389. The king of dreams wanted to test the resilience of humankind and serendipitously picked Gadling out of a group in a tavern. Death granted the human immortality, and Dream met with him every century to discuss his experience and/or struggles with eternal life. Kingo, on the other hand, is also an immortal created by celestials. As a part of genetically engineered Eternals, he was sent to Earth for the development of society. Also, an experiment in our book.
One of the perils of immortality is hiding the fact from curious and inquisitive humans. Mortals often equate perpetuity in others as a threat, even though they secretly desire it themselves. Kingo, who took a liking to the human race, eventually settles in India and becomes a Bollywood star. Unable to age, he convinces the surrounding mortals by posing as his own son, grandson, and so on. All having the same name, he manages to create a whole dynasty in the massive film industry. One wonders if that’s how nepotism in Bollywood started.
Similarly, Hob Gadling in The Sandman also faced issues with shrouding his immortality. So much so that he even goes through the gut-wrenching ordeal of witch trials that crippled society in that era. Humans around him drowned him as a way of eliminating the threat to their own lives. Among other tactics, Hob Gadling also disguised himself as his own male descendants to keep his cover intact. Maybe he’ll also create an actor’s dynasty like Kingo but as part of England’s theater scene. Perhaps he’s the one who helped with recreating the lost work of Shakespeare, having lived through it all.
Marvel and DC characters mirror each other through the ages
One can call it inspiration, homage, flattering imitations, or a straight-up rip-off. At times, there are undeniable similarities between the characters in the two massive universes. DC’s fastest man alive, Barry Allen aka the Flash, (recently portrayed by Ezra Miller) is almost identical to Marvel’s Quicksilver. Granted, Quicksilver is a mutant born with the X gene and Barry Allen acquired his powers in a scientific mishap, their abilities are the same.
Let’s play Batman or Iron man. Born without superpowers, but incredibly smart and filthy rich. Science and technology become their friend, and they have an intuitive suit than helps them fight crime. And the resemblance that takes the cake? Undoubtedly, Namor and Aquaman. Both rule the underwater kingdom of Atlantis. Both are defenders of the sea. Whether it breathing underwater, talking to aquatic species or possessing super strength, Aquaman and Namor the Sun-Mariner are the same person.
Do you agree with us about the similarities between Hob Gadling and Kingo, or do you believe we are nitpicking? Refresh your memory with a rerun of The Sandman and then let us know your thoughts.