Humans have been infatuated with the cloning process since long before it was made a reality. We’ve wanted to create duplicates of ourselves to lessen our workload, be in two places simultaneously, and more. Dolly the Sheep captivated the world like nothing before her. She brought rise to the fact that nearly anything was possible. She was a genetically produced clone, and her existence changed the world.
Our infatuation runs so deep that it has made its way onto the pages of comic books on more than one occasion. In fact, cloning is so synonymous with comic books that picking a list of just ten clones wasn’t all that easy. I mean, with so many to choose from, how does anyone limit their selections to only ten? Alas, I did, and if you permit me a few moments, I’d like to bring them to you. Let’s take a look at our list of top 10 characters with cloning abilities in comic books.
10. The Stepford Cuckoos
The Stepford Cuckoos were created from the cells of Emma Frost. They were created for one purpose and one purpose only…to kill every last mutant alive. As the offspring of Emma Frost’s cells, the five are extremely powerful clones in comic books. Of course, their power is rooted in telepathy. What makes them unique is that individually they are powerful, but when the five combine, they become powerful beyond measure.
The Stepford Cuckoos are also able to, like Emma Frost, enter a diamond-like state that prevents them from being harmed mentally, physically, or otherwise. As you might expect, The Stepford Cuckoos are a play on the book “The Stepford Wives.” Although the book portrayed its women as robotic, command-receiving creatures, The Stepford Cuckoos bear little resemblance to this. Yes, they keep an upper society-type demeanor in that they often appear without flaws; however, unlike the book, they take commands from a few and can destroy any who oppose them.
9. Madelyne Pryor
Of all the clones in comic books, arguably none have a more confusing history than Madelyne Pryor. Madelyne Pryor is the clone of Jean Grey. Mr. Sinister created her after he learned that Jean Grey had been taken in by Charles Xavier. He hoped to use Jean as a mechanism of destruction against the Apocalypse.
As the clone of Jean Grey, Madelyne should’ve materialized powers at the onset of puberty. This didn’t happen, and as a result, Sinister thought his cloning had failed. Luckily, this changed shortly after Jean’s “death.” Because Jean was “dead,” The Phoenix Force felt it didn’t have a host body capable of surviving should it attach itself to one. Enter Madelyne Pryor.
Madelyne’s powers emerged with the Phoenix Force, and she was given some of Jean’s memories. Sinister then sent her to meet Scott Summers, and the two went on to have a baby together.
What would you do if you desperately wanted to win a battle against your fellow superheroes but didn’t have a game-changing hero on your team to help you win? If you were Tony Stark, you’d create one, and in Marvel’s first Civil War event, that’s exactly what he did. Sensing that his team lacked a hero capable of delivering a knock-out blow to Captain America’s team, he Ant-Man and Mr. Fantastic created a cybernetic clone of Thor.
How did they do this, you ask? Simple. They used a strand of his luscious blonde locks. The clone appeared on the battlefield and instantly made its presence felt. Not only did he kill Black Goliath, but his arrival marked the beginning of the war’s end.
Different from many other Marvel and DC superheroes, X-23 was created by Matt Craig for the much-beloved X-Men: Evolution television show. One year after debuting on television, she made her comic book debut. This occurred in 2004s NYX issue number 3. X-23 (Laura Kinney) was created to be the perfect killing machine. She was programmed to react and respond to environmental triggers. When the triggers occurred, she fell into an uncontrollable rage. The result of her rage was almost always death and dismemberment.
Although Laura started off as a mechanism for death, over time, she has evolved into one of the most important X-Men in the last 20 years. Not only has she become an integral part of the team, but she has also, for a time, taken on the mantle of Wolverine. As a genetic copy of Wolverine, it should be no surprise that she’s also one of the few extremely powerful clones in comic books.
As the clone of Cable, Stryfe is the perfect copy of one of the deadliest mutants in existence. This means that everything that Cable can do, Stryfe can also do. Where they differ, however, is while the Techno Organic Virus limits Cable, Stryfe is not. Yes, you read that correctly. Stryfe is not limited by a disease that threatens to kill him. But that’s not all.
Unlike Cable, who was/is hunted by Apocalypse, Apocalypse raised Stryfe. This means that in addition to being one of the deadliest beings in Marvel, Stryfe was also shaped and molded by one of the deadliest beings in Marvel. All in all, Stryfe is easily one of the greatest and most deadly clones in comic books.
Before there were Kryptonians, there was Doomsday. Doomsday was the work of an alien group of engineers. They set out to create a monster that the galaxy had never seen before. Bertron, the alien responsible for the work, took an infant and had it survive on its own on the unforgiving Kryptonian landscape.
The infant, of course, did not and could not survive the harsh realities of Krypton. Bertron was unfazed and expected these results. Each time the infant perished, he reanimated the infant through an intense cloning process. This process was repeated for many years; each time the creature died, it adapted to that form of death. In short, it learned from how it had died and adapted never to die that way again.
As time passed, the power of the creature grew. It grew so much that it turned its attention to its creator and destroyed the lab he was conceived in. Bertran could not escape the path of destruction, and while he lay on his floor breathing his last breaths, he remarked that he had finally succeeded in creating a lifeform that the galaxy would fear.
Although he isn’t the clone most associated with the Spider-Man clone saga of the 1990s, Kaine Parker is the best thing to come out of it. Kaine was the first clone of Peter Parker and, in a way, the most interesting of all the offspring. Unlike the others, when Kaine came to be, he came to be with a degenerative disease that ate away at both his mind and body.
As a clone of Peter Parker, Kaine can do all that Peter can. This means he has superhuman strength, speed, durability, stamina, and agility. He also possesses Peter’s “spider-sense.” Different than Peter’s, however, Kaine’s “spider-sense” allows him to see slightly into the future. Finally, Kaine can leave what’s known as the “Mark of Kaine” on his opponents. This means that after defeating his enemies, he touches their faces and burns his imprint onto them.
Kaine is arguably the most gruesome of the clones and is often forgotten about. Fortunately, he has amassed a cult-like following over the years, often resulting in creators finding reasons and ways to utilize him in their stories.
When you’re the cloned offspring of Lex Luthor and Superman, you’re easily part of these powerful clones in comic books list.
After Doomsday and Superman shocked the world in 1993, a void was left in all of humanity. That void was soon filled by Project Cadmus when, unbeknownst to anyone, the genetic information of Lex Luthor was combined with that of Superman. The creation, Kon-El, was aged to his mid-teens and given all the biological information required by someone of that age group. Shortly thereafter, the new creation embarked on a world tour to establish his own identity.
Superboy, through what’s known as Tactile Telekinesis, possesses most of the well-known and not-so-well-known Superman powers. Some of these include invulnerability, telepathy, heat vision, x-ray vision, telescopic vision, flight, freeze breath, wind breath, super strength, and super speed.
2. Scarlet Spider
Scarlet Spider (Ben Reilly) is a clone of the original Spider-Man, Peter Parker. As his clone, he can do pretty much anything Peter can. He was created by the supervillain known as the Jackal as a way to compete and beat Peter in battle. Fortunately, things didn’t go Jackal’s way, and rather than fighting Peter, he aligned himself with him.
His rise to infamy came during the much-maligned Clone Saga story. After Peter Parker gave up being Spider-Man, Ben took up the role of Spider-Man. His time, however, was short-lived. During an encounter with the Green Goblin, Ben sacrificed himself so that Peter Parker would live and become Spider-Man again.
Scarlet Spider is easily one of the most divisive “spiders” in history. However, no matter what you think of him, Scarlet Spider is one of the most recognizable Spider-Men ever created…and he’s one of the few comic book clones with longevity.
What do you get when you try to create a perfect clone of Superman but end up with a creature with limited intelligence? The answer is Bizarro.
Bizarro is a Superman variant who has been gifted with intelligence that rivals a snail. Unfortunately, he’s also been given some of Superman’s memories and most of his power to go along with them. This means that he has superhuman strength, endurance, speed, and stamina. In addition, he can fly, can heal, be invulnerable, shoot heat rays from his eyes, and possess heat and vacuum breath.
Because he has both the memories and powers of Superman, he spends his time trying to be Superman. While it would be amazing to have two Supermen, Bizarro doesn’t quite have what it takes upstairs. Nonetheless, he is one of my powerful clones in comic books and deserves to be here.