Since I did a Marvel Thursday 13, time to do DC.
Here are 13 of my favorite DC Heroes:
1. Superman Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Of course the most famous superhero of all time. The eternal Boy Scout has to be my favorite simply because with all of his power, he feels compelled to do good simply because itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s right. No hidden motives or agenda. His morals hold true.
Superman is born Kal-El on the alien planet Krypton, and is rocketed to Earth as an infant by his scientist father moments before the planet’s destruction. The rocket lands on Earth, where the child is found by passing motorists who adopt him and give him the name Clark Kent. As Clark reaches maturity, he learns that he has superhuman abilities, which he resolves to use to help others, fighting anything from petty crime to universal threats. To keep his identity secret when not fighting evil as Superman, Clark lives among humans as a “mild-mannered reporter” for the Metropolis newspaper The Daily Planet. Clark works alongside reporter Lois Lane, with whom he is romantically involved (and whom he marries in the current mainstream comics continuity).
Alter ego: Kal-El , adopted as Clark Joseph Kent
Affiliations: The Daily Planet, Justice League, Team Superman
Abilities: Vast Superhuman strength, speed, stamina, invulnerability and intelligence, freezing breath, super hearing, multiple extrasensory and vision powers, longevity, flight, and regeneration.
2. Wonder Woman Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Of course, my childhood idol has to be at the top of the list.
Wonder Woman is Princess Diana of the Amazon warrior tribe of Greek mythology, “Diana” being the Roman name for the Greek goddess Artemis on whom the character is based. The Amazon ambassador to the larger world, Diana was awarded several gifts by the Olympian gods, including the Lasso of Truth and indestructible bracelets/gauntlets. For several years she was described in the splash page of each story, as “beautiful as Aphrodite, wise as Athena, swifter than Mercury, and stronger than Hercules.”
Alter ego: Princess Diana of Themyscira, Diana Prince
Affiliations: Justice League, Themyscira
Abilities: Flight, super-strength, super-speed, durability, highly developed fighting skills, enhanced hearing, enhanced vision, animal empathy, regeneration, high resistance to magic, astral projection into mythic lands.
3. Supergirl Ã¢â‚¬â€œ My favorite superheroin, second only to Wonder Woman. She has all of the abilities of Superman, but still has some growing up to do. SheÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s gone through a lot of retellings in the comics, but the current series is becoming a favorite.
Kara Zor-El is SupermanÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s cousin. Like her cousin, Kara is a Kryptonian and can fly and possesses superhuman strength and abilities. Kara-Zor-El dies in the 1985 limited series Crisis on Infinite Earths. After the publication of Crisis on Infinite Earths, DC Comics rebooted Superman continuity and as part of the reboot, made Superman the sole survivor of Krypton’s destruction. For nearly 20 years, the title of Supergirl was given to several different characters none of whom were Superman’s cousin. However, a post-Crisis version of Kara Zor-El was re-introduced into modern continuity in 2004.
Alter egos: Kara Zor-El, Linda Lee, Linda Lee Danvers, Claire Connors
Affiliations: Legion of Super-Heroes, Outsiders
Abilities: Vast super strength, speed & stamina, various extra sensory and vision powers, invulnerability, flight.
4. The Flash Ã¢â‚¬â€œ There have been a few incarnates of the Ã¢â‚¬Å“Fastest Man Alive.Ã¢â‚¬Â And itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s too hard to pick a favorite. I probably know Barry Allen the best, because of the live action tv show starring John Wesley Shipp.
Barry Allen is a police scientist in 1956 with a reputation for being very slow, deliberate, and frequently late, which frustrates his fiancee, Iris West. One night, as he is preparing to leave work, a lightning bolt shatters a case full of chemicals and spills them all over Allen. As a result, Allen finds that he can run extremely fast and has matching reflexes. He dons a set of red tights sporting a lightning bolt, dubs himself the Flash (after his childhood hero in the comic books, Jay Garrick), and becomes a crimefighter. In his civilian identity, he stores the costume in his ring, which can eject the compressed clothing when Allen needs it and suck it back in with the aid of a special gas that shrinks the suit.
Once nicknamed the Scarlet Speedster, the Flash possesses “super-speed”, which includes the ability to run and move extremely fast, use superhuman reflexes and violate certain laws of physics. Thus far, four different characters, each of whom somehow gained the power of “super-speed”, have assumed the identity of the Flash: Jay Garrick (1940-Present), Barry Allen (1956-1986), Wally West (1986-2006), and Bart Allen (2006-present).
Characteristics of Jay Garrick:
Alter egos: Jason Peter “Jay” Garrick
Affiliations: Justice Society of America, All-Star Squadron, Justice League
Abilities: Movement at the speed of sound and decelerated aging.
Characteristics of Barry Allen:
Alter ego: Bartholomew Henry “Barry” Allen
Affiliations: Justice League
Abilities: Super speed, complete self-molecular control, time travel.
Characteristics Wally West:
Alter egos: Wallace Rudolph “Wally” West, Kid Flash, Kid Lantern, Supersonic
Affiliations: Justice League, Teen Titans, Justice League Elite
Abilities: Super speed, molecular control, time and dimensional travel.
Characteristics Bart Allen:
Alter egos: Bartholomew “Bart” Allen II, Impulse, Kid Flash
Affiliations: Young Justice, Teen Titans
Abilities: Super speed, photographic memory, Speed Force clones, complete self-molecular control.
5. Aquaman Ã¢â‚¬â€œ I love the ocean, myths of Atlantis, and seafood. So I place Aquaman in my #5 spot… Maybe thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s kind of morbid.
Aquaman, also known as Arthur Curry, is an undersea hero from Atlantis. Born to a Atlantean wizard and an Atlantean Queen, he was raised by a human lighthouse keeper. In the most well-known version of his origin, Arthur Curry grows up slowly learning about his powers and origins and vows to defend the oceans and their inhabitants as Aquaman, becoming the ruler of Atlantis and the undersea world. Aquaman possesses the abilities to breathe underwater, telepathically communicate with and control all forms of sea life, and swim at fast speeds. He also possesses superhuman levels of strength, speed, endurance and durability, all by-products of his body being adapted to survive unprotected in the tremendous pressures of the ocean depths.
Alter ego: Orin, adopted as Arthur Curry
Affiliations: Justice League
Abilities: Undersea adaptation; telepathy; super strength; enhanced speed; healing factor; senses and durability; extra resistance to heat/energy based attacks; mystically enchanted left hand.
6. Nightwing (formerly Robin) Ã¢â‚¬â€œ IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m not sure why I like Dick Grayson more than Bruce Wayne, but maybe it has something to do with the character growth that he has gone through. Grown from the boy that idolized Batman, Dick has grown into his own as Nightwing, trying to make his own place in the world.
Richard John “Dick” Grayson is a fictional superhero in the DC Comics Universe. He is Bruce Wayne’s first ward (later on adopted son), and the original Robin, The Boy Wonder (later The Teen Wonder), before evolving into the superhero Nightwing.
The youngest in a family of acrobats known as the “Flying Graysons”, Dick watches his parents killed by a mafia boss to extort money from the circus that employs them. Bruce Wayne, secretly Batman, takes him in as his legal ward. Throughout Dick’s adolescence, Batman and Robin are inseparable, but, as Dick grows older and spends more time as the leader of the Teen Titans, he takes on the identity of Nightwing to assert his independence (other teenaged heroes will later fill in the role of Robin). As Nightwing, Dick Grayson leads the Teen Titans and later the Outsiders. In an eponymous series, launched in 1996 and continuing at present, he becomes the protector of BlÃƒÂ¼dhaven, Gotham’s economically troubled neighboring city.
Alter ego: Richard John “Dick” Grayson
Affiliations: Batman Family, Outsiders, The Titans, Justice League, The Society
Abilities: Peak human level athlete/acrobat, exceptional martial artist, master tactician andfield commander, master detective, and access to hi-tech gadgets and weapons.
7. Batman Ã¢â‚¬â€œ ComicsÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ greatest detective. (And many a fanboyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s favorite character, but IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m not a boy.)
Batman’s secret identity is Bruce Wayne, a billionaire industrialist, playboy, and philanthropist. Witnessing the murder of his parents as a child leads him to train himself to the peak of physical and intellectual perfection, don a bat-themed costume, and fight crime. Unlike most superheroes, he does not possess superhuman powers or abilities; he makes use of intellect, detective skills, science and technology, wealth, physical prowess, and intimidation in his war on crime.
Alter ego: Bruce Wayne
Affiliations: Batman Family, Justice League, Wayne Enterprises, Outsiders
Abilities: Genius-level intelligence, master detective, peak human physical condition, martial arts master, escapologist, access to high tech equipment.
8. Oracle (formerly Batgirl) Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Even though tragically crippled, Barbara still fights crime using her mind and computer-hacking abilities.
The librarian-by-day, Barbara Gordon is the daughter of Gotham City’s Police Commissioner James Gordon. On her way to a masquerade ball dressed as a female version of Batman, Barbara intervenes in a kidnapping attempt on Bruce Wayne by the villainous Killer Moth, attracting the Dark Knight’s attention and leading to a crime-fighting career.
In Batman: The Killing Joke, the Joker, as part of his plan to drive James Gordon into madness, shoots Barbara through the spine, paralyzing her and ending her career as Batgirl forever. Initially, Barbara’s paralysis led her to a period of despondency. However, she realized that, in a world becoming more centered on technology and information, she had a tremendous repository of skills which could be potentially useful to fight crime Ã¢â‚¬â€œ a genius-level intellect, photographic memory, a vast knowledge of computers and electronics, expert skills as a hacker, and her training as a librarian.
After having a dream where Barbara (in her previous Batgirl persona) sees an all-knowing woman (similar to Oracle at Delphi of Greek mythology), she adopts Oracle as her new codename. She now acts as an information broker, gathering and disseminating intelligence to law enforcement organizations and members of the superhero community. She has also trained under the tutelege of Richard Dragon, one of the world’s premier martial artists, who has trained some superheroes, to engage in combat (usually escrima) from her wheelchair should the need arise.
Alter ego: Barbara Gordon
Affiliations: Birds of Prey, Batman Family, Seven Soldiers of Victory, Suicide Squad, Justice League
Abilities: Genius-level intellect, superb hacker, skilled detective and martial artist, eidetic memory.
9. Green Arrow Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Like Batman, Green Arrow doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t have any actual superpowers. But he does have a super ability. You gotta love this Robin Hooded archer. (And I absolutely adore Justin HartleyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s portrail of Ollie on Smallville!)
Green Arrow (or Oliver Queen), billionaire and Mayor of fictional Star City, is best known to his associates as Ollie. Dressed like Robin Hood, Green Arrow is an archer, who invents arrows with various special functions, such as a glue arrow, a net arrow, or a boxing-glove arrow.
In the late 1960s, writers chose to have him lose his fortune, giving him the then-unique role of streetwise crusader for the working class and the underprivileged.
Alter ego: Oliver Jonas “Ollie” Queen
Affiliations: Justice League, Green Arrows of the World, Justice League Elite
Abilities: Master archer; arsenal of trick arrows; martial arts master and sword mastery.
10. Green Lantern Ã¢â‚¬â€œ No, I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t have any fondness for the color green. But Hal Jordan is another great character.
The second Green Lantern is Hal Jordan, who in comics was a second-generation test pilot (having followed in the footsteps of his father, Martin Jordan) who was given the power ring and battery (lantern) by a dying alien named Abin Sur. When Abin Sur’s spaceship crashed on Earth, the alien used his ring to seek out an individual to take his place as Green Lantern: someone who was “utterly honest and born without fear.”
Alter egos: Harold “Hal” Jordan, Spectre, Parallax
Affiliations: Green Lantern Corps, Justice League, US Air Force
Abilities: Power Ring
11. Martian Manhunter Ã¢â‚¬â€œ The last of the race of Martians, and another great detective.
J’onzz is a native of the planet Mars who possesses abilities similar to those of Superman, including flight, heat vision (sometimes called “Martian Vision”, and inconsistently accompanied by a full Superman-like suite of vision powers), super-strength, and super-stamina. He also possesses the powers of invisibility, telepathy and shape-shifting; related to shape shifting is the power to alter his density or phase, thereby becoming intangible and able to pass through solid objects. His usual public appearance is of a tall, hairless, green-skinned humanoid with a pronounced brow. He is highly sensitive to fire; in some stories this weakness is a physical weakness, and in others it is purely psychological. Fire can affect him much as kryptonite does Superman, making him sick and weak, unable to use his various powers.
Alter ego: J’onn J’onzz, John Jones
Affiliations: Justice League, Justice Experience
Abilities: Superhuman strength, speed, stamina and endurance, invulnerability, flight, telepathy, intangibility, invisibility, shape-shifting, “Martian vision.”
12. Cyborg Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Half-man, half-machine and mentor to the Teen Titans.
The son of well-meaning but thoughtless scientists who tried to use him in their experiments to artificially enhance human intelligence, Victor was a troubled youth. When one of his parentsÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ experiments brought an extra-dimensional monster to Earth, Victor was horribly maimed. His father used advanced prosthetics to rebuild his son, but at a cost of being disfigured by them.
Half-man, half machine, Cyborg used his mechanical enhancements as a superhero. The Teen Titans acted as a surrogate family, helping him recover his self-esteem and retain his inner humanity. He is a mentor of the current Titans.
Alter ego: Victor ‘Vic’ Stone
Affiliations: Teen Titans
Abilities: Most of his body has been replaced with advanced prosthetics that grant superhuman strength and numerous other functions like sensors and weapons.
13. Kid Devil Ã¢â‚¬â€œ IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m a sucker for tortured young souls, I guess.
Eddie had the good fortune of being a gofer in his Aunt Marla’s film company. He met Blue Devil on a film set, and became quite a fan of the hero, dreaming about one day becoming BlueÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s sidekick. Edward snuck into Blue Devil’s workshop at night and, using his prodigious knowledge of electronics, created a battlesuit incorporating the designs of the Blue Devil suit. Even though Blue Devil didn’t want a sidekick, Eddie was determined to make a go at being a hero. As “Kid Devil”, he assisted his hero in foiling an airplane hijacking, and later helped defeat one of his enemies, the Vanquisher. After these adventures, his parents left Eddie’s education and supervision to professors at the Institute of Hypernormal Conflict Studies. After Eddie’s Aunt Marla died in a helicopter crash, Eddie attempted to live up to her name and succeed in the movie business. His attempts failed, however, and Eddie continued to have adventures as Kid Devil.
One evening, Eddie is visited by a cloaked figure who gives him a candle. Eddie’s then friend Zachary Zatara tells him that the candle has some magical properties. Eddie decides to light it, and the two are taken to Neron. Neron makes a deal with Eddie, transforming him into a new Kid Devil. Neron’s magic gives Eddie a new, demonic appearance and inherent superpowers. As part of the deal, Eddie won’t lose his soul to Neron if he can still trust Blue Devil by his 20th birthday. Before Eddie leaves, Neron tells him that it is Blue Devil’s fault his Aunt died. Zachary helps Eddie join the Teen Titans, they battle Kid Crusader and Zachary promises to keep his secret.
Alter ego: Edward “Eddie” Bloomberg
Affiliations: Teen Titans
Abilities: Enhanced strength and agility, ability to breathe fire, skin burns others when touched, Healing Factor.