The DC Universe is the fictional shared universe where most stories in American comic book titles published by DC Comics take place.

The fact that DC Comics characters (Superheroes) coexisted in the same world was first established in All Star Comics #3 (1940) where several superheroes (who starred in separate stories in the series up to that point) met each other in a group dubbed the Justice Society of America. Subsequently, the Justice Society was reintroduced as the Justice League of America, which was founded with Major League Baseball's National League and American League as inspiration for the name. The comic book that introduced the Justice League was titled The Brave and the Bold. However, the majority of National/DC's publications continued to be written with little regard of maintaining continuity with each other for the first few decades.

The Top 10 Greatest DC Comics Superheroes Of All Time

Many of the superhumans on Earth owe their powers to the "metagene", a genetic feature of unknown origin, which causes some people to develop superpowers when exposed to dangerous substances and forces. Others owe their powers to magic, genetic manipulation (or mutation) or bionics. A large power gap resides between most superheroes and civilians. Still others owe their powers to not being human at all. There are also superheroes and supervillains who possess no superhuman powers at all (for example Batman, Robin, Green Arrow or Speedy), but rival their effectiveness with specialized equipment or "to the absolute limit of human potential" training in special skills, such as martial arts.

10 Greatest DC Comics Superheroes Of All Time


  • Superman
  • Batman
  • Wonder Woman
  • Green Lantern
  • Nightwing
  • The Flash
  • Catwoman
  • Shazam
  • Aquaman
  • Green Arrow

1. Superman


Superman

First appearance: Action Comics #1(cover date June 1938 / published April 18, 1938)
Created by: Jerry Siegel (writer) and Joe Shuster (artist)

The character was created by writer Jerry Siegel and artist Joe Shuster, and first appeared in Action Comics #1, a comic book published on April 18, 1938. The character regularly appears in comic books published by DC Comics, and has been adapted to a number of radio serials, movies, and television shows.

Although Superman was not the first superhero character, he popularized the superhero archetype and defined its conventions. Superheroes are usually judged by how closely they resemble the standard established by Superman. He was the best-selling superhero character in American comic books up until the 1980s.


2. Batman


Batman

First appearance: Detective Comics #27 (cover date May 1939 / release date March 30, 1939)
Created by: Bob Kane, Bill Finger

The character was created by artist Bob Kane and writer Bill Finger, and first appeared in Detective Comics #27 in 1939. Originally named the "Bat-Man," the character is also referred to by such epithets as the Caped Crusader, the Dark Knight, and the World's Greatest Detective.

Batman's secret identity is Bruce Wayne, a wealthy American playboy, philanthropist, and owner of Wayne Enterprises. Batman originated from an incident in Bruce's childhood; after witnessing the murder of his parents Dr. Thomas Wayne and Martha Wayne, he swore vengeance against criminals, an oath tempered by a sense of justice. Bruce trains himself physically and intellectually and crafts a bat-inspired persona to fight crime.

Batman operates in the fictional Gotham City with assistance from various supporting characters, including his butler Alfred, police commissioner Jim Gordon, and vigilante allies such as Robin. Unlike most superheroes, Batman does not possess any inhuman superpowers. He does, however, possess a genius-level intellect and is a peerless martial artist, and his vast wealth affords him an extraordinary arsenal of weaponry and equipment. A large assortment of villains make up Batman's rogues gallery, including his nemesis, the Joker.

The character became popular soon after his introduction in 1939 and gained his own comic book title, Batman, the following year.


3. Wonder Woman


Wonder Woman

First appearance: All Star Comics #8 (released October 1941)
Created by: William Moulton Marston

Among the very first female superheroes, Wonder Woman has been a DC icon ever since her 1940 debut. She was created by the same psychologist who invented the polygraph test, which explains the magical "Lasso of Truth" she wields alongside her unbreakable gauntlets and her Amazonian strength. Wonder Woman has been a founding member of the Justice League in just about every incarnation of the DCU. She's as strong as Superman and as fierce 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 strength and compassion for humanity.

The character is a founding member of the Justice League. The character first appeared in All Star Comics #8 in October 1941 with her first feature in Sensation Comics #1 in January 1942. The Wonder Woman title has been published by DC Comics almost continuously except for a brief hiatus in 1986. In her homeland, the island nation of Themyscira, her official title is Princess Diana of Themyscira. When blending into the society outside of her homeland, she sometimes adopts her civilian identity Diana Prince.

Wonder Woman has been featured in various media from radio to television and film, and appears in merchandise sold around the world, such as apparel, toys, dolls, jewelry, and video games.

4. Green Lantern


Green Lantern

First appearance: All-American Comics #16 (July 1940)
Created by: Alan Scott: Martin Nodell

Hal Jordan: John Broome, Gil Kane

Green Lantern is the name of several superheroes appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics. They fight evil with the aid of rings that grant them a variety of extraordinary powers, all of which come from imagination and/or emotions. The characters are typically depicted as members of the Green Lantern Corps, an interstellar law enforcement agency.

The first Green Lantern character, Alan Scott, was created in 1940 by Martin Nodell during the Golden Age of Comic Books and usually fought common criminals in Capitol City (and later, Gotham City) with the aid of his magic ring. For the Silver Age of Comic Books, John Broome and Gil Kane reinvented the character as Hal Jordan in 1959 and shifted the focus of Green Lantern stories from fantasy to science fiction. Other notable Green Lanterns include Guy Gardner, John Stewart, and Kyle Rayner.

The Green Lanterns are among DC Comics' longer lasting sets of characters. They have been adapted to television, video games, and motion pictures.

5. Nightwing


Nightwing

First appearance: Superman: Superman #158 (January 1963), Dick Grayson: Tales of the Teen Titans #44 (July 1984)
Created by: Superman: Edmond Hamilton, Curt Swan
Dick Grayson: Marv Wolfman, George Pérez

The character has appeared in various incarnations, with the Nightwing identity most prominently being adopted by Dick Grayson when he reinvented himself from his role as Batman's vigilante partner Robin. Although Nightwing is commonly associated with Batman, the title and concept have origins in classic Superman stories. The original Nightwing in DC Comics was an identity assumed by alien superhero Superman when stranded on the Kryptonian city of Kandor with his friend Jimmy Olsen. Drawing inspiration from Batman and Robin, the two protect Kandor as the superheroes Nightwing and Flamebird. Following the Crisis on Infinite Earths continuity reboot in 1985, Nightwing was re-imagined as a legendary vigilante from Krypton whose story inspires Dick Grayson's choice of name when he leaves behind his Robin identity.

6. The Flash


The Flash


Characters: Jay Garrick; Barry Allen; Wally West; Bart Allen
First appearance: Flash Comics #1 (January 1940)
Played by: Ezra Miller, Jimmy Bennett, Josh Keaton, Charlie Schlatter, James Arnold Taylor, Jason Spisak, Matthew Senreich
Creators: Harry Lampert, Gardner Fox

The Flash (or simply Flash) is the name of several superheroes appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics. Created by writer Gardner Fox and artist Harry Lampert, the original Flash first appeared in Flash Comics #1 (cover date January 1940/release month November 1939). Nicknamed the "Scarlet Speedster", all incarnations of the Flash possess "super speed", which includes the ability to run, move, and think extremely fast, use superhuman reflexes, and seemingly violate certain laws of physics.

Thus far, at least four different characters—each of whom somehow gained the power of "the speed force"—have assumed the mantle of the Flash in DC's history: college athlete Jay Garrick (1940–1951, 1961–2011, 2017–present), forensic scientist Barry Allen (1956–1985, 2008–present), Barry's nephew Wally West (1986–2011, 2016–present), and Barry's grandson Bart Allen (2006–2007). Each incarnation of the Flash has been a key member of at least one of DC's premier teams: the Justice Society of America, the Justice League, and the Teen Titans.

The Flash is one of DC Comics' most popular characters and has been integral to the publisher's many reality-changing "crisis" storylines over the years.


7. Catwoman


Catwoman

First appearance: Batman #1 (Spring 1940)
Created by: Bill Finger, Bob Kane

The character made her debut as "the Cat" in Batman #1 (Spring 1940), and her real name is Selina Kyle. She is Batman's most enduring love interest and is known for her complex love-hate relationship with him.

Catwoman is a Gotham City burglar who typically wears a tight, one-piece outfit and uses a bullwhip for a weapon. She was originally characterized as a supervillain and adversary of Batman, but she has been featured in a series since the 1990s which portrays her as an antiheroine, often doing the wrong things for the right reasons.

Catwoman has been featured in many media adaptations related to Batman. Actresses Julie Newmar, Lee Meriwether, and Eartha Kitt introduced her to a large audience on the 1960s Batman television series and the 1966 Batman film. Michelle Pfeiffer portrayed the character in 1992's Batman Returns. Halle Berry starred in 2004's Catwoman; this, however, was a critical and commercial flop and bears little similarity to the Batman character. Anne Hathaway portrayed Selina Kyle in the 2012 film The Dark Knight Rises.

8. Shazam


Shazam

First appearance: Whiz Comics #2 (cover date February 1940 / release date December 1939)
Created by: Bill Parker, C. C. Beck

The hero once known as Captain Marvel (legal battles convinced DC to change the name), was once more popular than Batman or Superman. Young readers identified with the concept of an ordinary boy who could transform into the World's Mightiest Mortal simply by uttering 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 revamp and his cinematic debut, Shazam is poised for even bigger things in the months and years ahead.

The character was ranked as the 55th-greatest comic book character of all time by Wizard magazine. IGN also ranked Captain Marvel as the 50th-greatest comic book hero of all time, stating that the character will always be an enduring reminder of a simpler time. UGO Networks ranked him as one of the top heroes of entertainment, saying, "At his best, Shazam has always been compared to Superman with a sense of crazy, goofy fun."

9. Aquaman


Aquaman

First appearance: More Fun Comics #73 (November 1941)
Created by: Mort Weisinger (writer), Paul Norris (artist)

The character's original 1960s animated appearances left a lasting impression, making Aquaman widely recognized in popular culture and one of the world's most recognized superheroes. Jokes about his wholesome, weak portrayal in Super Friends and perceived feeble powers and abilities have been staples of comedy programs and stand-up routines,[3][4][5] leading DC at several times to attempt to make the character edgier or more powerful in comic books.[6] Modern comic book depictions have attempted to reconcile these various aspects of his public perception, with many versions often casting Aquaman as serious and brooding, saddled with an ill reputation, and struggling to find a true role and purpose beyond his public side as a deposed king and a fallen hero.

Aquaman has been featured in several adaptations, first appearing in animated form in the 1967 The Superman/Aquaman Hour of Adventure and then in the related Super Friends program.

10. Green Arrow


Green Arrow

First appearance: More Fun Comics #73 (November 1941)
Played by: Stephen Amell, Justin Hartley, Robin Atkin Downes, Chris Diamantopoulos, Phil Morris
Creators: Alfred Gough, Mort Weisinger, George Papp

His real name is Oliver Jonas Queen, a wealthy businessman and owner of Queen Industries who is also a well-known celebrity in Star City. He uses this position to hide the fact that he is the Arrow. Sometimes shown dressed like the character Robin Hood, Green Arrow is an archer who uses his skills to fight crime in his home cities of Star City and Seattle, as well as alongside his fellow superheroes as a member of the Justice League. Though much less frequently used in modern stories, he also deploys a range of trick arrows (in contemporary times, they are referred as "specialty arrows") with various special functions, such as glue, explosive-tipped, grappling hook, flash grenade, tear gas and even kryptonite arrows for use in a range of special situations. At the time of his debut, Green Arrow functioned in many ways as an archery-themed analogue of the very popular Batman character, but writers at DC subsequently developed him into a voice of left-wing politics very much distinct in character from Batman.

See alsoTop 10 Greatest Marvel Comics Female Superheroes

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