The top 20 DC Comics superheroes of all time

DC Comics boasts a massive pantheon of superheroes, dating back to the 1940s and with new DC heroes arriving each class. While Marvel presently reigns sovereign at the box office, DC ’ s crown three heroes— Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman —are distillery the most celebrated, acting as genre-defining icons. They set the stage for decades of heroes to come. Most of us are at least passingly companion with DC ’ s A-list, but what about the perch ? To get you started with the publisher ’ randomness best and most popular characters, we ’ ve put together a list of the top DC superheroes—including, we hope, some unexpected choices .

DC heroes: A definitive top 20 list

20) Shazam

We ’ ra excited for the approaching Shazam movie to bring this character to a wide-eyed audience, because ohio boy, Shazam is fun. Originating as a sincere and kid-friendly superhero called Captain Marvel ( no relation to that Captain Marvel ), he ’ second now more of a banteringly comedy fictional character : a colorful Superman type whose human alter-ego is a young male child named Billy Batson. Gifted with superpowers by a charming, Billy transforms into Shazam by shouting a charming bible, immediately gaining superpowers that include force, speed, and the ability to control lightning .

19) Zatanna

Tuxedo-wearing sorcerer Zatanna has the capability to be funny story, eldritch, and profoundly capture, and while she by and large exists as a team player, she decidedly deserves more solo comics. She ’ s a stage sorcerer with real charming powers, and she ’ mho appeared in an impressively divers range of DC material since her initiation in the 1960s : Justice League team comics, Batman : The Animated Series, and Neil Gaiman ‘ s Books of Magic series, to name a few.

18) Midnighter

arguably the most celebrated cheery superhero, Midnighter is an intentional parody of Batman, created for the adult-rated Wildstorm comic Stormwatch. When Wildstorm became an impress of DC, he officially joined the DC universe, creating a rather unexpected overlap with the character who inspired him. In late years, he ’ mho even teamed up with Batman ’ s # 1 buddy Nightwing. Armed with the ability to predict battle moves in advance, Midnighter is a hyper-violent military action bomber with no compunctions about killing his enemies. While holocene comics portray him as a character, he started off as a extremity of the Authority team, which is led by his conserve Apollo —a blond Superman analogue .

17) Rorschach

Until recently, people saw Watchman as a separate entity from the chief DC universe. But always since the sequel comics began in 2016, Watchmen characters have become honest game for DC crossovers. Each of the independent characters satirizes or criticizes mainstream superheroes in a different way, but Rorschach is possibly the most abridge and memorable. As a street-level vigilante, he ’ second driven by an obsessive moral code to mete out retribution on anyone he decides is a condemnable. And while he ’ sulfur explicitly portrayed as a dangerous, bigoted figure, he still has an unironic fanbase in certain sections of superhero fandom. Did Watchmen’ s social comment blowback, or was this an inevitable result all along ?

16) Big Barda

After Warner Bros. revealed that Ava DuVernay is developing a New Gods movie, everyone suddenly remembered how much they love adult Barda. Super-strong and ostentatiously costumed, she ’ s an alien from the satellite Apokolips. She ’ s a key character in the New Gods outer space illusion comics and is married to Mister Miracle. Her weapon, the Mega-Rod, provides endless informant material for punchlines. READ MORE:

15) Green Arrow

Best described as “ What if Batman, but an archer ? ” green Arrow found surprise success with the CW display Arrow, one of the longest-running superhero serial on television receiver. Taking obvious cues from Robin Hood, he ’ s a vigilante hero who uses a bow and arrow to fight crime, helped along by the fact that his alter-ego, Oliver Queen, is a affluent playboy .

14) Cyborg

While not precisely gifted with the most imaginative name, Cyborg is a beloved character thanks to his character as a core member of the Teen Titans and Justice League. His super-strength and cybernetic weapons have a tragic origin story, though : He entirely became a cyborg after surviving a frightful accident, forcing his scientist father to save him using prosthetic limbs and implants .

13) Catwoman

As a caterpillar burglar and femme fatale, Catwoman is one of Batman ’ s most celebrated antagonists—and an periodic love-interest. Although she ’ mho by and large portrayed as a villain, she ’ s not actually evil, and she sometimes steps across the line to become one of Batman ’ mho allies. Superhero comics being what they are, most female characters wear skintight costumes and get drawn in weirdly sexualize poses. however, Catwoman is one of the few for whom performative sex is an intentional aspect of her role. This sometimes leads to insultingly exploitative depictions ( cry out to the Halle Berry movie ), but plenty of creators get the libra correct. Michelle Pfeiffer and Eartha Kitt created iconic depictions onscreen, and Catwoman maintains a dateless appeal as a woman who takes what she wants and doesn ’ triiodothyronine manage what other people think .

12) Supergirl

Supergirl ’ mho character overlaps a lot with Superman, and that ’ s merely fine. She represents a kind of cheerful, affirmative heroism that ’ s rare in advanced superhero media, and her ongoing television express celebrates that bequest. It may actually be a better adaptation of the Superman mythos than the Justice League movie franchise, benefiting from a healthy drug of family-friendly feminist themes. As for her function in the comics, Supergirl ’ sulfur vintage back-catalog includes some delightfully balmy storylines, like that one storyline where her horse turns into a fellow and they fall in beloved .

dc comics heroes supergirl

11) Swamp Thing

While he isn ’ t precisely a spandex-and-superpowers kind of character, Swamp Thing decidedly qualifies as a hero. Appearing as a sentient creature made from swamp-matter, he exists in the middle of a Venn diagram between classic monster movies, environmental comment, and the fantasy english of the DC universe. If that sounds challenging, we recommend starting with the 1980s Swamp Thing Vol. 2, when Alan Moore revitalized the character with a modern origin floor and a dark tonicity. Oh, and there ’ s a live-action television receiver express on the way at the DC Universe streaming servicing ! READ MORE:

10) Batgirl/Barbara Gordon

As the daughter of Commissioner Jim Gordon and protégé of Bruce Wayne, Barbara Gordon is one of the most influential members of the Bat-family. She was the original Batgirl, changing her callsign to Oracle after the Joker infamously broke her spine in The Killing Joke. It ’ s a dark and controversial consequence in Batman canon, but it led to a unique convalescence discharge for Barbara, as she forged a new role for herself as the information center of Batman ’ sulfur team. Since she ’ randomness one of the only superheroes to use a wheelchair, fans weren ’ t universally happy when DC rebooted her to her pre- Killing Joke submit as Batgirl in 2011 .

9) Dick Grayson/Nightwing

Dick Grayson began his life as the master Robin, a young orphan who grew up in a family of circus acrobats. As the quintessential buddy, his early years were characterized by the Boy Wonder nickname and “ Holy smokes ! ” one-liners in the 1960s Batman show. then, his function went in a decidedly unexpected commission. After the influential Crisis on Infinite Earths storyline of the mid-1980s, Dick Grayson struck out alone as the superhero Nightwing, a charm vigilante who evolved into a senior penis of the Bat-family. And, let ’ s be real, he became a sex symbol for many DC fans. Dick besides replaced Bruce Wayne as Batman for a while, but for the most share, he ’ sulfur now known as Nightwing .

8) The Flash

Gifted with super-speed, we ’ ve seen four Flashes then far, with Barry Allen and wally West as the most long-familiar. Often playing a comedic function in contrast to the more serious members of the Justice League, the Flash international relations and security network ’ t inevitably the coolest direct current champion, but he ’ mho surely got staying baron. And thanks to the television express on the CW, Barry Allen is nowadays a familiar front outside his original audience of comics fans .

7) Batwoman/Kate Kane

Batwoman has a quite ironic origin narrative, given her late character in the comics. She first appeared as Batman ’ s love interest in the 1950s, curtly after the publication of Seduction of the Innocent, a reserve that accused Batman of homosexual propaganda. In recent years she was rewritten to be brave herself, a controversial decisiveness that led to some problems of its own. While her comedian ’ s creators wanted her to marry her girlfriend, DC nixed the decision by saying heroes “ shouldn ’ t have glad personal lives, ” a dubious affirmation that sounds pretty pathetic in the context of, say, Superman. Despite all this, she ’ randomness undoubtedly the most high-profile lesbian superhero around, with a key function in the Bat-family. She ’ ll besides make her live-action television receiver debut in December 2018, played by Ruby Rose .

6) Aquaman

As a dandy who can talk to fish and hangs out in the lose city of Atlantis, Aquaman is one of the cockamamie members of the Justice League. Introduced in 1941 as the son of a homo explorer who discovers Atlantis, he ’ s an old-school fantasy/action hero whose early years are undeniably punch-drunk by modern standards—not precisely an strange trait for a Silver Age superhero. In holocene years his comics have taken a more serious note, setting the picture Jason Momoa ’ mho function in the Justice League movie franchise. READ MORE:

5) Harley Quinn

OK, so it ’ s a little sneaky to put Harley on a list of heroes quite than villains, but international relations and security network ’ triiodothyronine that good her style ? in the first place written in as the Joker ’ s long-sufferance girlfriend in Batman: The Animated Series, Harley Quinn has since become one of DC ’ s most popular characters—perhaps the most popular behind Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman. With a carefree attitude and a far-out sense of wit, she ’ south DC ’ s answer to Deadpool. And yes, she does sometimes act as a hero, albeit a morally equivocal one .

4) Green Lantern

Which Green Lantern, you might well ask ? several characters have used the pseudonym since Alan Scott, the first Green Lantern, arrived in 1940. not to mention all the supporting members of the intergalactic police force known as the Green Lantern Corps. For the purposes of this number, we ’ rhenium declaring it a tie between Hal Jordan ( possibly the best-known Lantern ) and John Stewart. Hal is a champion pilot program turned superhero, imbued with superpowers thanks to the quasi-magical Green Lantern band. He has the doubtful honor of appearing in the atrocious green Lantern movie starring Ryan Reynolds, while John Stewart ( arguably DC ’ s first Black superhero ) is a military veteran, initially introduced as a backing Green Lantern before taking center stage in his own comics .

3) Batman

Suave detective, medieval hero, lovable dad, farinaceous military action star, this guy has done it all. Batman gets revamped every few years, meaning that ( a lot like Captain America ) he means different things to different people. For some, he ’ s a hypermasculine antihero. For others, he ’ s the charming father-figure of the animize series or the awkward romanticist lead of Tim Burton ’ s Batman. This tractability is the winder to his longevity, coupled with his unforgettable Bat-inspired vogue, that is .

2) Wonder Woman

A literal goddess. A feminist icon, to the extent that when her solo movie came away in 2017, people debated whether it somehow “ failed ” because she couldn ’ triiodothyronine stage every feminist point of view on Earth. ( She obviously can ’ triiodothyronine, but that ’ s kind of the distributor point. ) Created in 1941 as a singular combination of utopian bomber and juju character, her long career covers everything from greek mythology to political allegory to conventional superhero team adventures. She ’ randomness besides canonically queer —something it took DC Comics several decades to admit out forte.

1) Superman

The one, the only, the ultimate. Look, do you seriously think we ’ five hundred publish a list of DC superheroes and not put Superman up top ? There are definite arguments to be made for the other two members of DC ’ s Big Three, but Superman remains the quintessential superhero, inspiring countless later additions to the genre. While Batman is the king of reinvention, Superman has remained amazingly close to his original shtik from 1938 : a wholesome champion with an indefatigable moral core and a goofy sense of liquid body substance. He ’ s a symbol of hope and heroism cosmopolitan, with no bless of losing popularity as the years wear on. Editor ’ randomness note : This article is regularly updated for relevance.

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