Marvel and DC both tend to draw inspiration from each other’s storylines and characters. One of these frequent occurrences involves the iconic character, Superman. Debuting in 1939, the so called “Man of Steel” is a popular cultural phenomenon to the present day.
Despite his origins as a DC character, It hasn’t stopped Marvel from creating their own version. For example, Marvel has made characters in Superman’s image such as Sentry and Hyperion. However, a third more recent character also exists as a notable attempt. In 2020’s Taskmaster #3 (by Jed Mackay, Alessandro Vetti, Guru Efx, and VC’s Joe Caramagna), South Korean hero, Taegukgi, joined the ranks of Marvel’s most powerful heroes.
Tiger Division’s Taegukgi is one of Marvel’s Most Powerful Heroes
While some of the hero’s backstory is obscured, fans have been clued in on some of his story. During the Korean War in 1950, his mother perished in the carnage, leaving him alone as a small baby. Later, a woman who was searching for her brother stumbled upon him. She decided to raise him as her own, and named him after her lost brother, Tae-Won.
In Black Cat Annual #1 (by Jed Mackay, Juan Ferreyra, Joey Vazquez, and VC’s Joe Caramagna), White Fox and Black Cat have a conversation about Taegukgi during a mission briefing. The antihero makes a comment, stating that he’s on par with Blue Marvel and the Sentry. In another scene, White Fox explains that the Koreans call Hyperion “the American Taegukgi”, placing the two heroes on the same level as one another.
Tiger Division’s Taegukgi Shares Many Parallels to DC’s Superman
As many fans know, Hyperion’s character draws inspiration directly from Superman’s story. The two characters share similar origins, powers, and have both been a part of major teams. While Tae-Won’s story is a bit different from Hyperion’s, he also shares some striking similarities with the Man of Steel. One of the more obvious similarities is their powers. Both heroes possess super strength, speed, stamina, and endurance as well as the power of flight and the ability to shoot beams of energy from their eyes. Their weakness to psionic attacks should also be noted. Both Superman and Taegukgi have been known to be weak to psionics or even abilities that allow their minds to be controlled by others.
Their origins are also quite similar but have key differences that make each character unique. While Superman is considered an alien, the same may not be said about Taegukgi. As far as fans are aware, he is human, but the nature of how he gained his abilities has yet to be discovered. However, both characters were found and adopted by loving people who were willing to raise them as their own. While both characters are powerhouses in their own right, they are also considered to be the heart of their respective teams, and as team players. Superman helps lead the Justice League alongside his fellow teammates while Taegukgi makes a difference as a member of South Korea’s Tiger Division. Additionally, both are difficult to take down by their teams, and usually, additional intervention is needed, be it by weapons or other characters. In Black Cat Annual #1, Taegukgi was able to fend off each and every single one of his teammates on his own while under mind control. The same has been said about Superman as well.
How Tiger Division’s Taegukgi is Different From Marvel’s Other Superman
While Hyperion has demonstrated incredible feats of his own, there are fundamental differences between Superman and Taegukgi. Despite Hyperion’s life on Earth, he is considered to be a member of the Eternals; an ancient, immortal alien race. This gives him incredible advantages such as not needing to eat, drink, or even breathe oxygen to live. Meanwhile, Taegukgi does require these things, however, unlike Hyperion or Superman, his power doesn’t need an additional boost from the sun.
Taegukgi is an underrated but phenomenal character in his own right. He is considered a national hero to his country. His superhero name stems from the name of the South Korean Flag, which can be seen on his costume. Currently, not much is known about how he gained his powers or if he’s even human at all. There may be more similarities between him and Superman that have yet to be revealed. Hopefully, these topics can be explored as he continues his journey alongside the rest of the Tiger Division.