So...this is kind of a weird question, but its something that's been on my mind recently. Whenever I see people talking comics, I see them talk about the "Big Two", DC and Marvel. And I LOVE DC and Marvel, but....you ever notice how similar they are? Not in everything, but in a lot of things. They just rip each other off all the time. Like how Marvel's the Fantastic Four was taken from DC's Challengers of the Unknown and the X-Men was taken from the Doom Patrol. When you look at one thing that may seem unique to one company, you can almost always find a carbon copy in the other company. It can get REALLY annoying, so I got to thinking....should there be a third major comic book universe, one that strives to be different from the other two?
I know that there are other companies and universes of course, like Image, Dark Horse, and even the different imprints from the Big Two like Vertigo and Wildstorm. But, none of them seem big enough to challenge one of the Big Two or attract a significant amount of the fanbase, save for Vertigo (which itself overlaps with the main DC Universe from time to time). Maybe that's just my perception, but I've never really seen the fanaticism that people direct toward DC and Marvel, directed toward independent publishers.
And its because of this that there is little uniqueness left in comics. Since the Big Two compete so much, because they're constantly bumping up against each other, they try to steal each other's readers by offering similar things. Therefore, you get similar characters. Marvel is more prone to copying DC, sorry, its just a fact, but DC is also guilty of ripping off Marvel from time to time.
So, what I'd really like to see, and its kinda hard for me to explain, is a new universe built from a clean slate, not tied down by previous continuity. But also somewhat similar in that it produces stereotypical comic book characters. However, I wouldn't want the characters to be carbon copies of DC or Marvel characters. Maybe a little inspiration would be fine, but all in all, I'd want them to be distinct in their powers, themes, origins, and overall structure of their universe. We need some diversity outside of the Big Two. Therefore, even if Marvel and DC were to copy some stuff from this new universe, they wouldn't necessarily copy all of the same things, therefore, resulting in difference between the two of them as well.
What do you guys think? Do we need a new large superhero universe that is strictly different from DC and Marvel?