- Iron Man (Tony Stark) – Kanye West (Yeezus)
The cocky hero who says whatever is on his mind no matter who it pisses off; the ego on these two tabloid giants cannot be touched. Kanye’s albums are analogous to Stark’s armors; continually going through changes and updates as the years pass – refusing to stay consistent or content. Both have created their own companies. Tony Stark has made Stark Industries, Stark Enterprises, Stark Solutions, and Stark Resilient; Kanye has made his own label GOOD music, his clothing line Yeezy Season 1, and design company DONDA.
Whether you like them or not, both continue to break records and sell their product efficiently. Always controversial with household names worth an ungodly amount of money, everyone knows Kanye and Stark. Plus, we all can imagine Tony ending an Avengers meeting with, “I’m happy for you, and Imma let you finish, but The Vision is the best artificial intelligence of all time.”
- Harley Quinn – Miley Cyrus
Rambunctious, irreverent, and entertaining – both could care less what you think because they’re having too much fun doing what they love. Miley and Harley are both highly experimental; Harley has been finding herself through joining teams like the Suicide Squad or forming her own crime fighting duo with Power Girl. Miley has filled seats with her risqué duet with Robin Thicke at the VMAs in 2013, her controversial shows featuring an inflatable blow up doll or penis, and her racy magazine cover photos.
Both bangerz share the struggle of breaking free from their past partners – Harley and the Joker, Miley and Disney. Either way, these two continue to cause a stir and sell anything their visage is printed on. They can’t stop, and they won’t stop. Of course, if Harley starts talking about a “Wrecking Ball”, get out of there as fast as possible.
- Spider-Man (Peter Parker) – Kendrick Lamar
A fan of either of these heroes will understand this comparison from the start. Both came from humble beginnings, are highly intelligent straight A students (yes, Kendrick was a straight A student), and both continue to fight for their communities. Their works repeatedly feature relatable themes or struggles on socially relevant issues, often revolving around death. Where Spider-Man is self-reflective in his monologues as he web-slings, Kendrick goes soul searching through many of his songs in the studio, often questioning himself and his actions regarding what he’s doing and how he can make a difference. While Spider-Man continually harps on his responsibility for the death of Uncle Ben and Gwen Stacy, Kendrick reminisces on his role in the death of a kid who’s fate he feels he shares responsibility (in his music, anyway).
Kendrick and Spidey have also been heavily featured in other works. Nearly every comic book that’s been running longer than 12 issues has seen at least one appearance of Spider-Man; likewise, Kendrick has been featured in the songs of a variety of artists, ranging from J. Cole and Eminem to Taylor Swift or Flying Lotus. Where Kendrick found guidance from industry giants like Dr. Dre, Spider-Man has found his in legends like Captain America. Anyone who indulges in these two idols, either through an issue of Spider-Man or a hot Kendrick track, can find moments of deep inspiration bound at the core to an enjoyable vibe. If one listens to the latest Kendrick album, To Pimp a Butterfly, it’s evident both Kendrick and Spider-Man understand the signature phrase, “With great power must also come great responsibility.”
- The Hulk (Bruce Banner) – Linkin Park
Edging the line between genres, these two are a classic example of the conflicting divergence within. Bruce Banner walks the thin line between hero and villain as he struggles to keep his humanity and control the rage beast known as the Hulk; Linkin Park maintains a balance between harmonic and catchy rhythms mixed with bouts of high energy and screams (not to mention finding the equilibrium of rap and rock). These two also continue to be used as a relevant social commentary on society. The Hulk examines the results of war, domestic abuse, and the ethics of scientific advancement. Linkin Park has made commentary on the Bush administration, the Iraq War, the ethics behind nuclear warfare, and the corporate machine, not to mention their charity organization Music for Relief (y’know, in addition to whining about break ups and crappy relationships). The level of angst in these two entities is reminiscent of being stuck in traffic after taking too much pre-workout – strangely, this is meant positively.
Both have also spurned multiple off shoots; Linkin Park had Chester Bennington’s side project Dead by Sunrise and Mike Shinoda’s Fort Minor as well as the memorable collusions Reanimation featuring various hip hop artists and the infamous Collision Course with Jay Z. The Hulk has created popular characters such as She-Hulk, Red Hulk, and Skaar, most of which with their own spin off series. The Hulk has also had multiple Team Up series with Wolverine and his own collaborative project the animated TV show Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H,featuring a diverse selection of character cameos. Both entities make room for sharing the spotlight with their contemporaries in order to spread awareness of talents and characters the public may also enjoy. The Hulk and Linkin Park’s fusion of two conflicting entities can truly only be explained as a Hybrid Theory.
- Batman (Bruce Wayne) – Drake
While Batman is the most popular superhero, Drake is arguably the most popular hip hop artist in the game right now. The mere mention of their names causes those who hear it to feel some type of way. Drake and Batman enjoy brooding; Batman spends about 90% of every comic he’s in brooding, while Drake tends to do it more palpably with catchy hooks and heavy bars. Both have had multiple beefs with contemporaries. Batman has had a falling out with heroes such as Superman, Dick Grayson, and Guy Gardener while Drake has had confrontations with Common, Chris Brown, and Meek Mill. (Side note: Meek Mill is like the Guy Gardener of Hip Hop.)
Drake and Bats also rep their hometowns proudly with love for their respective city; of course, I doubt anyone in Toronto is superstitious of invoking Drake’s name (but you never know). Both have enemies – a lot of enemies. These two icons also share an affinity for equally as recognizable women. Batman has had flings with Talia al Ghul, Catwoman, Zantana, and Wonder Woman; for Drake, some notable names include Rihanna, Tyra Banks, and Serena Williams. This leads one to wonder what Drake could do with a song about having a bastard child with the daughter of his most hated rival. Ain’t no tellin’.