20 best DC comic Heroes
- Originally conceived as National Allied Publications back in 1934, DC Comics has stuck around long enough to become one of the two biggest and hottest comic book companies in America.
- It’s home to some of the most iconic characters in all of pop culture, such as Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman. These characters have slowly transcended the superhero genre to the point that it’s rare that you go a day without seeing a person walking down the street in either a Superman or Batman shirt.
- DC Comics boasts a massive pantheon of superheroes, dating back to the 1940s and with new DC heroes arriving each year.
- While Marvel currently reigns supreme at the box office, DC’s top three heroes—Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman—are still the most famous, acting as genre-defining icons. They set the stage for decades of heroes to come.
The list of 20 best DC comic heroes
- Whether you flag Superman as the first superhero depends on what your definition of “superhero” is. But whether or not he was 1st, he’s doubtless the best.
- Superman is the solid distillation of everything we love about heroes.
- He has the tragic, almost Biblical origin – a baby is sent speed from a doomed planet, is adopted by a human couple, and grows up to become the world’s premiere defender of Truth, Justice, and the American Way.
- But what makes Superman great is that it’s not about “the American Way.” He cares about everyone, nonetheless of creed, color, or nationality.
- He’s a man who should be profoundly lonely and unhappy in the universe, but alternatively embraces his new home and shows us all a heroic ideal to aspire to.
- He’s become an international icon possibly more famous than Mickey Mouse, and he endures every renovate, reboot, and re-imagining largely unchanged.
- What worked eighty years ago still works today.
- You can discover the various inspirations for Batman clearly enough. He’s identical parts Zorro, Sherlock Holmes, and the Shadow. But put all those elements jointly and you arrive at something truly special.
- Since the year 1939, Bat-fans have been captivated by the legend of a man who dresses like a bat in order to inspire fear in the hearts of criminals.
- It’s a chronicle that has played out in every form of media. Unlike most of DC’s heroes, Batman has no superhuman abilities.
- He solely has the training, the resources, and most importantly, the will to wage a one-man war on crime.
- And it’s a testament to that will that no one ever questions whether Batman has what it takes to stand alongside the rest of the Justice League.
- Any human who can defeat Superman through utter cleverness deserves to be feared and admired.
3) Wonder woman-
- Among the very 1st female superheroes, Wonder Woman has been a DC icon ever since her 1940 debut.
- She was generated by the same psychologist who innovated the polygraph test, which explains the magical “Lasso of Truth” she flourish alongside her unbreakable gauntlets and her Amazonian power.
- Wonder Woman has been an established member of the Justice League in just about every exemplification of the DCU.
- She’s as strong as Superman and as wild as Batman.
- She’s been a feminist icon for decades, long before she starred in one of the most successful superhero movies of all time.
- Everyone, regardless of gender or background, can admire Wonder Woman’s power and empathy for humanity.
4) Green Lantern-
- Several characters have used the incognito since Alan Scott, the 1st Green Lantern, arrived in 1940.
- Not to mention all the supporting elements of the intergalactic police force known as the Green Lantern Corps.
- Hal is a fighter pilot turned superhero, diffused with superpowers thanks to the quasi-magical Green Lantern ring.
- He has the unsure honor of appearing in the terrible Green Lantern movie starring Ryan Reynolds, while John Stewart (arguably DC’s first Black superhero) is a military veteran, initially introduced as a backup Green Lantern before taking center stage in his own comics.
- Batman is often attributed as being the most “Marvel” of DC’s heroes, but that distinction really belongs to Dick Grayson.
- Like his adviser, he overcame childhood tragedy and became a defender of Gotham City’s residents.
- But Dick has also controlled to escape the shadow of the Bat. He graduated from being Robin, the original teen sidekick, to becoming Nightwing, a full-fledged hero in his own right.
- Dick doesn’t have the boundless resources and indestructible will of Batman, but he keeps fighting anyway. And therein rests the core of his appeal as a hero. He’s like the Peter Parker of the DCU.
6) Harley Quinn
- Originally written in as the Joker’s long-suffering girlfriend in Batman: The Animated Series, Harley Quinn has since become one of DC’s most popular characters and if to be precise the most popular behind Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman.
- With a devil-may-care attitude and an unorthodox sense of humor, she’s DC’s answer to Deadpool.
- She does sometimes act as a hero, although a morally ambiguous one.
7) The Flash (Wally West)
- Kyle Rayner may have controlled the difficult task of establishing himself as a worthy, lasting hero alongside Hal Jordan, but only one DC hero has filled the legacy so completely that he’s surpassed his predecessor. That man is Wally West.
- This former teen sidekick to Flash became Flash himself after Barry Allen died in Crisis on Infinite earths.
- For the next 20 years, Wally became the preserver of the twin cities of Keystone City and Central City.
- His status as a family man and his struggle to live up to Barry’s reputation lent him a depth his mentor never had.
- It’s telling that the Justice League animated series skipped straight to Wally rather than featuring Barry as Flash.
- But no matter what hardships life throws at him, Wally is worthy of the mantle of The Fastest Man Alive.
- Aquaman is one of the harmlessly eccentric members of the Justice League.
- Introduced in 1941 as the son of a human traveler who discovers Atlantis, he’s an old-school fantasy/action hero whose early years are undeniably silly by modern standards.
- In contemporary years his comics have taken a more serious tone, setting the scene Jason Momoa’s role in the Justice League movie franchise.
- Catwoman would have had no place on a list of DC’s greatest heroes.
- She’s slowly made the transformation from opponent to defender of Gotham in the last several decades.
- She’s also one of the few people who can lead Batman on a merry chase. The two have developed a tenuous co-existence, with Selina defending her patch of Gotham and only occasionally butting heads with her sometimes enemy/sometimes lover.
- The two even came within a stone’s throw of being married.
- Catwoman is a mainstay of pretty much every multimedia Batman adaptation, and played a starring role in both Batman Returns and The Dark Knight Rises.
- She even had her own solo movie.
- The hero once known as Captain Marvel was once more popular than Batman or Superman.
- Young readers recognized with the concept of an ordinary boy who could transform into the World’s ferocious Mortal simply by emitting the word “Shazam!”
- Superman was the cool, confident dad, but Captain Marvel was more like a brother.
- Shazam has never quite regained that popularity, but he’s remained an important part of the DC Universe since they acquired the character from Fawcett Comics.
- Between his modern comic book refurbish and his cinematic debut, Shazam is poised for even bigger things in the months and years ahead.
11) Dick Grayson/Nightwing
- Dick Grayson began his life as the original Robin, a young orphan who grew up in a family of circus acrobats.
- As the quintessential sidekick, his early years were characterized by the Boy Wonder moniker and “Holy smokes!” one-liners in the 1960s Batman show. Then, his role went in a decidedly unexpected direction.
- After the influential Crisis on Infinite Earths storyline of the mid-1980s, Dick Grayson struck out alone as the superhero Nightwing, a charming vigilante who evolved into a senior member of the Bat-family.
- And, let’s be real, he became a sex symbol for many DC fans. Dick also replaced Bruce Wayne as Batman for a while, but for the most part, he’s now known as Nightwing.
12) Green Arrow
- Green Arrow started life as one of a myriad of Batman clones.
- He had his trick arrows, teen sidekick (Speedy), and even an Arrow Car and Arrow Cave. .
- Green Arrow is among the more grounded members of the Justice League, but his deadly aim makes him a tough opponent indeed.
- Green Arrow’s popularity has exploded in recent years thanks to the TV series Arrow.
13) Batgirl/Barbara Gordon
- She is the daughter of Commissioner Jim Gordon and student of Bruce Wayne, Barbara Gordon is one of the most influential members of the Bat-family.
- She was the original Batgirl, changing her code to Oracle after the Joker infamously broke her spine in The Killing Joke.
- It’s a dark and contentious moment in Batman canon, but it led to a unique recovery arc for Barbara, as she forged a new role for herself as the information center of Batman’s team.
- She’s one of the only superheroes to use a wheelchair, fans weren’t universally happy when DC rebooted her to her pre-Killing Joke state as Batgirl in 2011.
14) Swamp Thing
- Many comic publishers have different takes on the story of a brilliant scientist who is transformed into a hideous monster.
- DC’s most famous version is Swamp Thing.
- The character pretty quickly transitioned to TV and film, much of the Swamp Thing’s depth and enduring appeal came courtesy of Alan Moore’s legendary comic book run.
- Swamp Thing has struggled with his connection to the mystical force known as The Green and the thorny issue of whether he’s a man turned into a monster, or merely a monster who thinks it used to be a man.
15) Martian Manhunter
- He’s found plenty in human culture worth fighting for, including his favorite delicacy – Choco cookies.
- He has his Superman-level abilities, he’s a force to be reckoned with.
- J’onn has been a reoccur member of the Justice League in the comics and animated series
- Supergirl’s role overlaps a lot with Superman.
- She represents a kind of cheerful, optimistic heroism that’s rare in modern superhero media, and her ongoing TV show celebrates that legacy.
- It may actually be a better adaptation of the Superman mythos than the Justice League movie franchise, benefiting from a healthy dose of family-friendly feminist themes.
- Supergirl’s vintage back-catalog includes some delightfully offbeat storylines, like that one storyline where her horse turns into a dude and they fall in love.
17) Batgirl (Barbara Gordon)
- Barbara Gordon is by far the greatest whether she is the first or last heroine to carry the Batgirl name.
- Babs was introduced to the comics just ahead of her appearance on the 1960s TV series, and she’s been essential to the franchise ever since.
- Her heroic mettle was put to the ultimate test when she was shot and paralyzed by the Joker.
- Proving that heart and will make a hero, not muscle, she carried on as the computer expert Oracle.
- Babs has been given a second chance at being Batgirl in the comics, and she continues to soldier on the face of all adversity.
18) John Constantine
- John Constantine would likely resent being included on this list.
- Constantine has saved the world plenty of times.
- He debuted in the pages of Swamp Thing, spun out into his own long-running solo series, has been adapted for both movies and TV and has now taken on a much more prominent role in DC’s superhero universe.
19) Big Barda
- Super-strong and ostentatiously costumed, she’s an alien from the planet Apokolips.
- She’s a key character in the New Gods space fantasy comics and is married to Mister Miracle.
- Her weapon, the Mega-Rod, provides endless source material for punchlines.
20) Black Canary
- Black Canary is one of the oldest female heroes in the DC Universe, with the original being a martial arts expert and core member of the WWII-era Justice Society.
- Dinah Lance pairs her combat skills with a wicked sonic scream that leaves enemies reeling.
- She’s been both the leader of the Justice League and the Birds of Prey, as well as the frequent on again/off again lover of Green Arrow.