The Most Underrated DC Comics Characters
Through the years, DC Comics has created so many heroes that it can be hard to keep track of them all. Some of them fade to the background, some of them are revitalized, and some always stay at the top. You’ll never see a Justice League without Batman. Wonder Woman always manages to prove her strength. There’s even an entire corps of Green Lanterns!
Some heroes simply don’t get enough time in the limelight, and it’s not because they’re not powerful. They’re just a little underrated. So today, let’s take some time to celebrate these unsung heroes of the DC Universe.
Real Name: Oliver Jonas “Ollie” Queen
Alias: The Green Arrow
Abilities: Perfect Aim
Oliver Queen has gone through many different iterations over the years, but let’s start by taking a look at his very origins. The original Green Arrow was made simply to be a Robin Hood-esque Batman. He was meant to mimic Batman in most ways, including wealth and resourcefulness. In the Arrow CW series, they even reference some of Batman’s storylines. And while the Green Arrow has changed over the years and his character stands up on his own, keep in mind that he is made to be just as capable as Batman himself.
In fact, Batman had to rely on him in the classic Batman vs. Superman comic. He needed Green Arrow to fire a Kryptonite arrow at Superman with perfect aim- Superman, who can fly around the Earth in seconds. Superman, who can hear every heartbeat on the planet. And remember, at this point, Oliver Queen only had one arm.
So with one arm, Green Arrow was able to perfectly hit Superman. The precision and skill necessary to hit one of the strongest heroes in the DC Universe makes him a valued member of any team.
You can learn more about Green Arrow in our Then & Now podcast!
Real Name: Shiera Sanders Hall, Kendra Saunders
Abilities: Immortality through Reincarnation, Flight through Nth Metal Wings
Chay-Ara was the original Hawkgirl, thousands of years ago in ancient Egypt. She was murdered by a knife made of Nth metal, a unique a mystical material. Due to its properties, she has been reincarnated indefinitely, always working side by side with her also reincarnated love. Using this Nth metal for wings, armor, and weaponry, Hawkgirl is able to fly, and withstand even the most powerful of foes.
Admittedly, she has had many different origins. In the Justice League Animated Series, she was an Alien from a planet called Thanagar, which is where the Nth metal originates from. Regardless of her origin, Hawkgirl has always fought for good. She retains memories from all of her lives, so she has thousands of years of training behind every single punch.
Real Name: Boston Brand
Abilities: Ghostly Physiology
Deadman was originally a circus performer, but was murdered by the League of Assassins. In order to find justice, he was brought back to like by the Hindu Goddess Rama Kushna, who gave him the powers of a ghost. He has the ability to possess any person, though it’s much harder to possess those with strong willpower, like Batman or any Green Lantern. He is naturally invisible in his own form, is intangible, and can fly.
The most interesting part of his character is the deal he made with Rama Kushna. It is Deadman‘s job to seek justice for mortals. As long as he is in a body, he wants to help that person find justice in their world. He wants to save people one at a time, the way a true hero always will.
You can learn more about Deadman in our Top 10 Underrated DC Comics Heroes podcast!
Real Name: Mera
Abilities: Atlantean Physiology, Hydrokinesis
Mera is currently the Queen of Atlantis, which is a position of both authority and recognition of her strength. She can withstand the pressures of the deepest parts of the ocean. Mera’s dense muscle makes her extraordinarily strong and fast on land. However, no matter how powerful she is on land, she is not half-human like Aquaman. Mera cannot live forever outside of the water.
In her natural habitat, though, she is undeniably strong. Mera has arguably the strongest hydrokinetic hero in the DC Universe, controlling and commanding water in a creative and powerful way. She always fights for love, though in the Blackest Night storyline, she becomes so angry that a Red Lantern Ring finds her and picks her as its wearer. Nothing can stop Mera from protecting and fighting for the things she loves.
Real Name: Victor Stone
Abilities: Cybernetic Enhancement
Victor Stone was just a high school football player when a science experiment went wrong and transformed him into the incredibly powerful and resourceful Cyborg. Though he was in the Teen Titans for many years, he’s recently become a member of the Justice League, proving his strength and maturity. He has super human strength, speed, and durability. Cyborg’s cybernetic enhancements give him incredibly powerful sonic cannons and the ability to shapeshift and integrate any tech. He also has the ability to create portals through boom tubes anywhere, and he is always able to repair and heal himself.
In some iterations, Cyborg was a founding member of the Teen Titans. In other versions, he has been a founding member of the Justice League. Cyborg’s true power comes from his intelligence. He is able to create and interact with technology seamlessly, even being able to understand and translate alien technologies to the rest of the Justice League. Despite being part robot, Cyborg also has a heart of gold.
Real Name: Rachel Roth
Abilities: Telekinesis, Flight, Astral Projection
Azarath, Metrion, Zinthos! Rachel Roth, or Raven, is also a member of the Teen Titans. She is the daughter of the evil Demon Lord Trigon, raised by monks who only taught her peace and helped her fight against her demonic nature and rage. Her rage is an integral part of her character, and as a powerful empath, she gains control over her powers by controlling her emotions.
Raven is able to use astral projection to teleport and express telepathy. She is able to heal others with her powers, she can fly, and she is able to use incredibly strong telekinesis. There is truly no way of knowing the limit to Raven’s telekinetic power, especially since she is the daughter and sometimes queen of Trigon’s dimension.
Real Name: J’onn J’onzz
Alias: Martian Manhunter
Abilities: Martian Physiology, Telepathy, Telekinesis, Matter Absorption
Martian Manhunter is arguably the most powerful superhero in all of DC Comics. Superman described him as being the most powerful being on the face of the Earth. When you hear that from Superman, you’ve got to know just how strong and intimidating Martian Manhunter is. Not only can he travel at near lightspeed, but he is super strong and so durable that he could even regrow himself from just a severed hand. He is able to shapeshift into any shape and size, and can express incredible telekinesis.
Despite being just as powerful as and sharing the abilities of the Man of Steel, the one ability that puts him far beyond the strength of Superman is his telepathy. Martian Manhunter is the strongest telepath in the entire world. He was able to read everyone on Earth’s minds all at once. He was able to even break into the mind of the Spectre, who has god-tier powers including mental resilience. Despite that, Martian Manhunter could use his telepathy on him. He’s even been able to fight off the entire Justice League all at once.
For more Underrated DC Heroes, check out our Underrated DC Comics Heroes podcast. If you’re looking to put the spotlight on any of these incredible under-appreciated superheroes in your collection, be sure to browse Sideshow’s full offering of DC Comics collectibles.
Who’s your favorite underrated DC Comics hero? Let us know in the comments, and don’t forget to Let your Geek Sideshow!