Not So Different / Comic Books
Short-tempered, insecure original and short-tempered, insecure Bizarro clone
- Xavier and Magneto of X-Men...
- An interesting variant occurs during the "Acts of Vengeance" crossover, where Magneto decides to ignore the stated purpose and kill the Red Skull. Red Skull launches into a Not So Different speech◊, essentially taunting Magneto about the fact that his quest for mutant supremacy is quite similar to the Red Skull's own ideology. Bear in mind that this is essentially a Nazi lecturing a Holocaust survivor, so you can probably guess where this goes. In the end Magneto doesn't kill him outright but leaves him to die sealed inside an underground room with 10 gallons of water and no food.
- Magneto to humans. Humans want the mutant species either isolated, tagged like cattle, or just outright eradicated. Magneto simply swaps "human" and "mutant" in his rhetoric.
- Or Cyclops and Prof. X. After taking charge of the X-Men, Scott has begun to keep secrets and make unilateral decisions, the same things that made him kick out Xavier. This came to a head in Avengers vs. X-Men, where a Phoenix-possessed Cyclops killed Xavier after trying to conquer the world and make it into a mutant Utopia. Now he's on the run and leading his own team of mutant outlaws.
- Ironically, in more recent years Cyclops have been compared to Magneto more so than anyone else. Despite being Professor X's top student, his philosophies and actions actually fell more aligned with Magneto's. Magneto himself even directly says so before the climax of the aforementioned event. Cyclops angrily responds to this by telling Magneto "I'm nothing like you. I'm winning."
- Then there's Emma Frost to X-23, who explains to the latter the reason she wants her to leave Xavier's Institute is because Emma sees in her the same capability to hurt (and kill) those close to her that she has as a young girl. However, Emma also points out one big difference, whereas she would do this willingly, X would likely have no choice in the matter due to her conditioning to a "trigger scent."
- Ironically, Emma later gives one to Cyclops at the beginning of Laura's solo series, pointing out that involving her with X-Force was no different than what the Facility was using her for.
- Captain America of all people gets called out on this, too: In Target: X he intends to turn Laura over to S.H.I.E.L.D. to be tried for her crimes, despite Daredevil's attempts (as her lawyer) to warn him that S.H.I.E.L.D. won't care about justice, and will only see her as a weapon to use themselves. Fortunately, Steve realizes Matt is right before he can actually go through with it.
- Also X-23 and Vampire Jubilee realize they have much in common, with X-23 having to struggle with finding herself and the trigger scent and Jubilee struggling to control her newfound blood lust. They get along really well though.
- X-23 also had hero-to-hero example when she joined Avengers Academy — she was afraid her Dark and Troubled Past and few mental issues it gave her will make her into an outcasts, only to learn many of the students also had problems developed by their past traumas.
- And X-23 again, with her psychotic ex-handler, Kimura: Both were severely physically and emotionally abused and bullied in their formative years. But that's about where it ends, as Laura makes an ongoing effort to heal, while Kimura makes it her Freudian Excuse to inflict pain on others.
- X-23 and Daken are a lot alike: Offspring of Wolverine, both raised by some very bad people, both highly-trained and dangerous killers. Despite their relationship being antagonistic, after Daken's usual bouts of double-crossings are out of the way when they first meet they actually get along and work together fairly well. When they part ways Laura is one of the very few people Daken genuinely respects, in large part because they are so alike.
- A big part of Sabretooth's schtick is proving that for all his heroics and insistence otherwise, Wolverine is at heart no better or different than he is, and that they're both savage animals. The twist is that Creed thinks the fact that he embraces his animal nature makes him the better and more honest man of the two, while Logan hides behind his morals. His regularly seeking out Logan or Logan's friends and loved ones to torment him is part for the LOLs, and part to prove his point.
- Runaways also have it with The Pride, their parents.
- Later there was conflict between them, and the students and faculty of Avengers Academy, full of this trope from very begining, which culminated in two groups trying to use magic to better understand each other and ending up experiencing how much they really have in common.
- This is very apparent with the anime version of Blade and Deacon Frost. Both had their families taken away from them by vampires and lash out at them. But the difference is, Blade seeks to protect humanity from vampires and resists the Thirst, while Frost turned himself into a vampire and accepted the bloodlust, effectively becoming what he hated for the sake of power.
- That he is Not So Different from his greatest enemies, especially The Joker, is repeatedly shown to be one of Batman's greatest fears. It's not an unfounded idea either; he may not be cruel or a murderer, but he's still not the sanest guy. In fact, most of the members of his Rogues Gallery are a dark reflection of a certain aspect of his personality.
- The Killing Joke has the Joker try to prove this to Batman in his own psychotically twisted way. In the end, after Batman proves that the Joker's biggest point, that everyone was just like him, false, he and Joker share a big metaphorical Not So Different moment, and end the book laughing maniacally together. One of the Joker's primary goals is to prove that everyone else is Not So Different from him. He tried it in The Killing Joke, and he tried it again near the end of Batman: No Man's Land when he shot Gordon's wife Sarah.
- Mr. Zsasz gave Batman one of these speeches during the Knightfall crossover. His main point was that they both hunted people.
- The whole point of Arkham Asylum is about questioning Batman's sanity and showing him being Not So Different than his villains.
- The logical conclusion if he did end up snapping and killed Joker (with the help of a dose of Joker venom)? Batman who Laughs.
- Batman himself is also regularly used as the unsavoury person from whom the hero is not so different, when other heroes accuse their Bat-raised team members.
- Oracle (Barbara Gordon): while Barbara is more emotionally stable than Bruce and is actually willing to let people get close to her without being compelled to push them away, she can be every bit the manipulative Control Freak that he is. In an early Birds of Prey storyline, Huntress called out Barbara on her secret attempts to "fix" Huntress (Huntress took issue with being considered "broken") and left the team. As she left, she accused Barbara of turning out to be a manipulative jackass just like Batman.
- Nightwing (Dick Grayson): as the leader of several groups of heroes, he's occasionally being judged as becoming way too much of a drill sergeant by less, ah, obsessive heroes. Happened a couple of times in The Titans and Outsiders.
- Tim Drake: more prevalent in earlier years, when Tim's Crazy-Prepared Properly Paranoid tactics hadn't come to be as accepted by his friends, and they tended to blame the fact that he could be distant, manipulative, and distrusting on Batman. Nowadays they know better.
- Doesn't happen with as much regularity to the members of the Batfamily who would most rejoice in the comparison, Cassandra and Damian, both of whom want to become Batman.
- With the New 52 reboot in effect, this trope can apply to Batman and Barry Allen. Both heroes have been orphaned at a young age, victims of circumstances beyond their control. Their respective tragedies are part of what drives them to be heroic.
- Played for laughs at least once; when waiting for the police in Batman's custody, a captured serial killer makes a mocking speech of this nature about how Batman is driven by the same bloodthirsty impulses that he is, and that it's only a matter of time before Batman snaps and gives into them. Batman points out that if this is true, then the most likely first target is going to be whatever crazed serial killer he happens to be standing next to, particularly if said serial killer is insulting him. Crazed serial killer decides that Shutting Up Now is probably a good idea.
- Iron Man has been compared to Doctor Doom quite a bit. Especially since his behavior in Civil War. It really doesn't help when Doom discovers that the technology behind their Powered Armor is nearly identical.
- Doom and Reed Richards of the Fantastic Four. They are two of the most brilliant supergeniuses in the Marvel universe, and are in many ways similar in personality. The fact that they were even more similar in grad school has also been explored at length, including at least one alternate universe with Doom as a hero and the Fantastic Four as supervillains blaming Doom for sabotaging their ill-fated trip into space...because Reed was too proud to heed Doom's warning that his spaceship didn't have proper shielding.
- The Punisher gets a lot of these, although he usually just shoots the guy before they get beyond "we're no--".
- A quadriplegic mob boss goes on a rant about how the Punisher is a evil monster who is no better than her. Frank's response:
- Supergirl and Lobo in the New 52. Although the former is a hero devoted to protect people and her cousin Superman's protegee and the latter is a violent jerkass and Anti-Hero at best, both of them are two angry, lonely aliens and the last of their respective kinds. In the Red Daughter of Krypton, Lobo tells this to Supergirl:
Lobo: I know, because I was like you once. Bitter. Alone. Mad as Hell. But I didn't let it consume me. I put it to work.
- In Bizarrogirl, Supergirl realizes that she and her Bizarro counterpart are not really opposites as much as reflections as soon as she meets her.
Supergirl: But then you happened. Everything I was thinking... Every emotion in my body... Every doubt I had inside... I saw all of them in your cracked face. You were like me.
- Several examples in Supergirl (Rebirth):
- When Kara fights Lar-On, she explains that they are not so different in order to appease him.
Supergirl: I know your anger. Your confusion. I remember it from when I was stranded here. Disoriented. A different language. Different world.
- While she sees Supergirl's rocket leaving Earth, her foster mother thinks is how her biological parents felt when they blasted their only daughter off into space to save her.
Eliza: Look at her go. It feels strange, Chase, blasting Kara off into space. This must be how her real parents felt.
Cameron: I think they'd relate.
- In Krypton No More, Superman has been tricked into believing he is a mutant human (long story). After defeating two mutant super-villains, Superman thinks that they are not so different:
Superman: The ironic part is — They and I have so much in common! We were all victims of mutation, yet they turned their powers against the normal world...
- The Black Ring provides a rare example where it's the hero who utters this line. When Lex Luthor realizes that Superman is Clark Kent, Superman tries to show thim that they are more similar than Luthor wants to believe◊. Luthor being Luthor, he refuses to admit it.
Superman: You see, Lex? We're more similar than you think.
- Here's a weird one: In the first issue of the new Azrael, Az is on the hunt for a serial killer. During the course of his investigation, he realizes the killer is targeting people who allowed a horrible crime to happen. When they finally confront each other, the Avenging Angel gives himself the Not So Different speech, and allows the killer to depart.
- In the Archie Sonic the Hedgehog comics, Scourge often brings this up to convince Sonic to be 'evil' like him. As he puts it, "All it takes is one bad day, and you'd be just like me." Throughout the series they compare themselves to one another (in one issue, Sonic says something along the lines of "My evil 'twin' conquered a planet on his own. What do you think will happen if I let loose?")
- Promptly after the aforementioned Scourge quote, Sonic catches him off-guard with a counterattack, and while he's on his back, proceeds to throw the same thing right back at him, saying the real reason he hates Scourge is that if he only had a little kindness and decency, he'd be just like Sonic.
- The Mist (Nash) from the 1990s Starman series gave this speech to Jack Knight, citing the fact that they were both carrying out the roles because of their fathers. Jack goes out of his way to prove her wrong by being nice to her father, the original Mist.
- The Incredibles comic has this when Mirage and Elastigirl have to work together on a mission, Mirage bringing up the point that Helen ended up having to lie to her family about a new adventure as well as having been the ex-girlfriend of the supervillain they're going after.
- In Blackest Night, Saint Walker tries to connect with Atrocitus by pointing out that he has lost his family as well, so he can understand his pain. However, Atrocitus retorts that Saint Walker lost his family in an accident, while Atrocitus' family was murdered.
- dWARf!/Fleshmaster calls this between himself and Empowered, but she proves him wrong. Also, Sistah Spooky claims this to be true about her then-partner Mindf??k and Mindf??k's brother. (She just wanted to hurt Mindf??k.) What's really sad is that Sistah is right. Mindf??k had to psychically lobotomize herself in order to remove her less savory personality traits.
- Another example occurs in volume seven, wherein Oyuki tells Ninjette just how much like her father she is:
Ninjette: If you think that I am voluntarily walking into a scenario likely to result in my death and/or dismemberment without first getting good and solidly buzzed...you are sadly f**king mistaken.
Oyuki: By sheerest f**king coincidence, this humble genin has often heard a remarkably f**king similar sentiment voiced before battle...by Kaburagi-san's own f**king father, interestingly enough.
- Deconstructed in this strip◊. For those who don't understand Spanish, it's about how a rich and a third world country woman comment on their food restrictions: While they both claim that they only eat cereals, the rich woman does so to keep her weight, while the poor woman does it because it's the only thing left to eat, and they both complain that their children eat a lot of "trash", like junk food in the rich woman's case and worms, infected water and rotten food in the third world woman's case.
- Played straight in this one◊.
- In one classic Doctor Strange story, our hero finds out that the only way to defeat Shuma-Gorath is to play his own game. He puts his morals aside, descends into dark sorcery, destroys Shuma-Gorath and then kills himself before he can become another Shuma. Fortunately, his ally is able to bring him back.
- Read this article about Norman Osborn and you'll see that he and Peter Parker are not so different.
- Amazingly enough, Spider-man is perfectly aware that he and Loki, of all people, can relate to each other to a degree. After all, they both are tricksters of a sort, and they both carry the burden of great responsibility from their powers, even if their reasons, methods and ultimate goals are vastly different.
- Peter Parker and Otto Octavius also have a lot in common, including both being nerdy children, not having great social skills, being huge into science, and more, with their main difference being how they were raised. Peter was raised by his loving Aunt and Uncle, while Otto was raised by an abusive father and a loving mother (who doesn't have the strength to defend her son against her husband).
- Scott Pilgrim makes the realization that he's as much of an asshole as his greatest enemy, Gideon Graves. The only difference is that Scott wants to change and be a better person. This realization causes him to level up and gain a sword called The Power of Understanding which he uses to defeat Gideon.
- The same thing can also apply to Ramona Flowers. While Scott did the things he did without thinking and through impulse Ramaona's actions were intentional and maliciousness in mind. Thankfully, she too realized her faults and wants to change.
- Done across two different dimensions by Jonathan Hickman with Reed Richards, scientist, explorer and leader of Fantastic Four from the Marvel Universe and his evil Ultimate Marvel counterpart. Compare the two speeches, both written by Hickman:
Marvel Universe Reed Richards: So we'll begin here. With you and me. With a new focus for your ongoing and never-ending education. Our curriculum will start at survival and end at the edge of an eternal tomorrow. The rules are simple. I teach one class and it's pass or fail. Welcome to the Future Foundation.
Ultimate Marvel Reed Richards: And we'll begin here... with you and me. We're going to have a new focus for my ongoing and never-ending education. The experiment will start with survival and end on millennial tomorrow. My rules are simple. In the dome it's evolve or become extinct. Welcome children. Welcome to tomorrow. I'm sorry. Most of you are not going to make it.
- Tony Stark once allowed an anti-war activist/documentarist named John Pillinger to interview him knowing the man was heavily biased against him. When Pillinger later asked him why Tony agreed to the interview, Tony responded with an Armor-Piercing Question that essentially asked if Pillinger's work has actually changed anything at all. When Pillinger admitted that he didn't know, Tony said that he didn't know if anything he has done has changed anything either. The two shake hands before parting, realizing that for all their differences they are both just trying to make the world a better place.
- Invoked in Ultimate Avengers, where Ghost Rider convinces The Punisher to spare his life after pointing out that they both were driven to become Anti-Heroes in order to avenge murdered loved ones.
- The majority of Hulk: Gray consisted of Bruce coming to realise that he had a surprising amount in common with his long-time enemy General Ross. Naturally, this being a Hulk comic, he didn't take it well.
- Red Hood and the Outlaws: How Red Hood handles his Talon during the Night of the Owls. He relates to being killed and reanimated as a killer, and not being in control of his own life. The Talon asks Red Hood for help, as he cannot self terminate.
- In My Little Pony Micro Series Issue #1 Twilight says that she can sympathies with Jade Singer having to live with extremely high expectations, since being the princess' personal students puts similarly high expectations on her.
- In Transmetropolitan Spider Jerusalem has this with many people - as the story progresses all traits he shares with Yelena become more apparent, despite how different they seem at first, he quickly finds he shares the same good intentions with her father, even through socially they behave like polar opposites, and many of his rants are dangerously close to Smiler's infamous speech about hating people.
- From The Incredible Hercules, Ares cannot figure out why people love Hercules considering the latter causes nearly as much death and destruction as Ares. Hercules claims people can see themselves in him since Hercules sees himself and acts more like a normal, flawed man instead of a god or person aspiring for greatness. That and while both love to fight Hercules generally knows when to reign it in while Ares does not care who he fights or how far he goes.
- Ares tries to pull the same with War Machine claiming that both of them are Blood Knights who use war as a medium to satisfy their bloodlust since it is the only means they can fight and been seen as heroes instead of monsters. Rhodey disagrees arguing he does what he does to try and prevent wars compared to Ares who willingly starts them for fun.
- The Transformers (IDW):
- The Transformers: Robots in Disguise: Prowl was fused with the Constructicons, and they all got a look at each others minds. He calls them some of the most vile Decepticons ever, they in turn really like him because of all of his devious ideas. Prowl isn't happy that they keep following him around and complimenting him.
- The Transformers: Dark Cybertron: The Autobots and Decepticons have an Enemy Mine situation to stop Shockwave and all of his machinations. When there's a lull in the fighting, the bots and cons proceed to go to a bar get drunk and sing old Cybertronian songs.
- The sides of the war in Arrowsmith. Underlined with a Description Cut.
Captain Foxe: That's the difference between us and them — even if our wizards had the sort of minds that could even think of such things, we would never, never use them.
Cut to magister Boisrond testing the new weapons of mass destruction.
- Judge Dredd: Judge Dredd's Evil Counterpart Judge Death has tried this approach towards Dredd several times, noting that they're both zealous enforcers of the law, and even offered Dredd to be his new host on one occasion. Dredd counters that despite their mutual dedication to their principles, only Death enjoys killing for its own sake.
- The Autumnlands: Tooth & Claw: In Erries Dusty learns that the sheep people that he had been taught were simpletons who lived to serve the floating cities are actually normal people like himself with rich lives
- Huntress thinks this about her (even more) Evil Counterpart, Tabby Brennan, in Birds of Prey:
Huntress: Can't help it...that young woman grew up the daughter of a KILLER. Just like I did. Just like me.
- In Ultimate Fantastic Four, Diablo says this about himself and Reed Richards after observing how far they both went to discover the secrets of the universe and amoral drive for science. Considering Reeds eventual lapse into villainy, this point becomes even more poignant.
- In The Sandman: Overture, Night notes that Dream and Desire are too similar which resulted in their disagreements, while Dream insists that they're nothing alike by insisting that Desire is selfish, manipulative and single-minded, three qualities that DO apply to Dream. Moreover, Desire actively works with Dream to save all of reality, proving that Desire also takes his/her responsibilities seriously.
- Will Vandom and Nerissa in W.I.T.C.H.. This is actually played for drama: the Guardians of Kandrakar have similar personalities to the ones with their same powers in previous and following generations, and as Nerissa was her predecessor Will fears to become evil just like her, and while Nerissa never points it out other villains do.
- In Fury (Max), Col. Rudi Gagarin points this out to Nick Fury.
- Superman and Batman in Injustice: Gods Among Us/Injustice 2; In an alternate universe where Superman went evil after a traumatic tragedy and Batman has sworn to stop him, despite their obvious differences, some characters have compared the two in-universe. Though Batman swore to never break his one rule while Superman jumped off the slippery slope, both men act on their own without consulting anyone and do as they feel like it with the justification its for "the greater good" and are quite the control freaks demanding complete obedience from their followers. Also, while Batman is adverse to killing, he will use just about anything that is on the table to take out Superman's Regime, whether if its forming a deal with the devil or Ares himself which predictably lead to disastrous results.