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DC Comics, for those of you that are not familiar with the story behind the comics, is a major American comic book publisher founded back in 1934. DC Comics is a major player in the comic book business and is the “home” of many famous comic book characters such as Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, The Flash and many others. Along with its chief rival, Marvel Comics, DC Comics is the biggest and most important mainstream comic book publisher in the United States. Throughout the rich and colorful history of DC Comics, a large number of characters have appeared in the stories published by them.
Some of these have been villains, other heroes. Some have been weak, some extremely powerful. Some beloved, some hated, and the list goes on. Still, in today’s article, we have decided to bring you a list of the 20 most powerful DC Comics villains of all time. We plan on ranking them based on their power to finally determine which one among them is the strongest.
20 Most Powerful DC Comics Villains
Debut: Batman: Vengeance of Bane #1 (1993)
Created By: Chuck Dixon, Doug Moench, Graham Nolan
Son of the revolutionary Edmund Dorrance, better known later as the Serpent King, he was sentenced from birth to serve the sentence of his father on the island of Santa Prisca in a maximum-security prison, Peña Duro, where he has been incarcerated since childhood and exposed to countless tortures that have turned him into a murdering psychopath.
In spite of his appearance, Bane not only uses tremendous physical strength for his plans, but also has a highly developed intellect and is even versed in the humanities, thanks to the teachings of a former Jesuit companion he met in prison. This element makes his story somewhat similar to that of Edmond Dantès, protagonist of The Count of Monte Cristo, who was also educated in prison by the abbot Faria. This detail shows Dixon’s initial intention to make him almost an “anti-Batman”.
The prison doctors used him as a guinea pig for a powerful steroid, the “Venom”, which tremendously increased his physical abilities; thanks to the newly obtained vigor, Bane escaped from prison and reached Gotham City. He finally arrived in Gotham City with the intent of conquering it, and this inevitably led him to clash with Batman, whose secret identity Bane was able to discover.
Having studied the biographies of the best strategists in history for years, Bane devised a cunning plan to finally defeat the Dark Knight: he organized a large escape from Gotham prison, so violent that it caused hordes of criminals to flee the streets of the city, including the most dangerous ones such as the Joker or the Scarecrow. Batman managed to stop them all, not without sustaining injuries and, when practically exhausted he returned to the Batcave, found Bane and Alfred unconscious.
Bane smashed Batman’s back and threw him out of a window, taking control of the criminal community. Together with his accomplices Trogg, Zombie, and Bird, he had absolute power in the city. Meanwhile, Batman’s role went from Bruce Wayne to Jean-Paul Valley; the new Batman, despite the recommendations of his predecessor, faced the mighty criminal, being at first beaten, but later, using an armored combat suit and more lethal equipment, he faced Bane again, managing to defeat him, as Jean-Paul managed to deprive him of the “Venom”, on which Bane seemed to be addicted.
After the events narrated in Batman: Knightfall, Bane, once he was able to rebuild his powerful physique lose his addiction to Venom, goes to Santa Prisca where he interrogates the Jesuit priest, who had raised and educated him in Peña Dura, on the true identity of his father. The priest explains that his father could be one of four men: a revolutionary, an American doctor, an English mercenary or a Swiss banker.
Bane, after killing the Jesuit, leaves for Rome in search of the latter and here he meets Ra’s al Ghul, who, considering him a new potential companion for his daughter Talia, names him his heir, a role he had in the past chosen for Batman, before the latter betrayed him. Back in Gotham, Bane confronts Nightwing (Dick Grayson) in a hand-to-hand fight, being defeated but managing to escape; he then confronts Bruce Wayne again, who has returned, in the meantime, to the role of the Dark Knight.
Batman gets his rematch with Bane and finally manages to defeat him in a one-on-one fight. Later, Bane battles Azrael in the story Angel and the Bane. He then has a supporting role in the No Man’s Land arc in which he puts himself in the service of Lex Luthor, intent on conquering Gotham, but is convinced by Batman to leave the evil philanthropist from Metropolis. After the defeat of Ra’s al Ghul, Bane embarks on a campaign to destroy the Lazarus Pit and, at the same time, makes the acquaintance of Black Canary.
19. Gorilla Grodd
Debut: The Flash #106 (1959)
Created By: John Broome, Carmine Infantino
Originally, Gorilla Grodd was an ordinary gorilla, until one day he and his comrades stumble upon an alien ship (a radioactive meteor in older versions). The ship’s pilot makes the apes intelligent and gives two of them, Grodd and another named Solovar, psychic powers. In gratitude, the gorillas make the alien their leader. Under his orders, they founded a highly technologically advanced city, Gorilla City.
For years the gorillas lived in peace, until one day, human explorers stumbled upon the city. Seizing the opportunity, Grodd forces one of the humans to kill the alien, to get rid of him without arousing suspicion. Later, he seizes power in Gorilla-City and prepares to conquer the world. For this, Grodd takes his comrade Solovar prisoner and he extracts from him the secret of mind control, in order to ensure the loyalty of the other gorillas. Solovar escapes from his cage and telepathically contacts Barry Allen, better known as the hero Flash, for help.
The superhero manages to defeat Grodd and appears to rob him of his power of mind control. It later turns out that Grodd has retained the power anyway, allowing him to subdue his jailer. With this new ally, he enslaves a race of winged creatures and tries to develop a machine to deprive other gorillas of their intelligence. Once again contacted by Solovar, Flash locates the machine and destroys it, before freeing the winged beings.
Defeated once again, Grodd is locked up again, this time with four guards. He escapes once more and develops a machine to transform into a human. He takes a pill that gives him even greater psychic powers. When Flash returns to stop him, Grodd, with his newfound powers, easily defeats him. However, the effect of the machine that transformed him into a human is temporary. He returns to his gorilla form, in which his brain was not evolved enough to harness all of his psychic powers.
Before he can use the machine again, Flash remodels the machine into handcuffs and brings him back to Gorilla City to be returned to his cell. Later, Grodd develops a way to transfer his soul to a new body and takes control of a human in Central City, the Flash’s hometown, before being imprisoned again. Gorilla Grodd then frees several of Flash’s enemies from prison, to distract the hero while he escapes by transferring his spirit into the body of Freddy, a gorilla from a zoo.
He finally manages to temporarily deprive Flash of his superhuman speed by using a radiation-based system. Grodd, however, is ironically beaten by Freddy’s mate, who lashes out at him upon hearing her mention another female gorilla. After his defeat, he and Freddy find their respective bodies.
Later, Grodd faces off against the new Flash, Wally West, and during the battle, he increases the intelligence of the majority of Central City’s animals, hoping to endanger human lives. His plan backfires, however, when some animals remain loyal to their owners. Flash defeats him with the help of other heroes. At some point, Grodd briefly joins the Tartarus group of villains led by Vandal Savage, the latter having promised him immortality and power in return for his services.
During his various appearances, Grodd attempted, no less than eighteen times, to wipe out all traces of humanity from the planet, even going as far as time traveling to the Cretaceous to achieve this. Grodd seizes the Heart of Darkness, a talisman ordinarily active only during eclipses, which allows him to awaken the inner beast of humans, thus transforming the people of Leesburg into bestial and ferocious monsters under his control.
Supergirl nevertheless manages to fight her influence until the Sun returns to its normal state. Grodd is apparently killed at the end of this storyline.
One of Grodd’s most elaborate plans is to arrange Solovar’s assassination and manipulate Gorilla City to declare war on humanity, with the help of a sect of monkeys named Simian Scarlet. During this adventure, Grodd absorbs too much neural energy from his fellow monkeys, leaving him with the intelligence of an ordinary monkey. He eventually regains his intelligence and powers, but a failed attempt to establish a base in Florida leads him to re-incarceration.
18. General Zod
Debut: Adventure Comics #283 (1961)
Created By: Robert Bernstein, George Papp
General Zod, also known as Dru-Zod, is a fictional supervillain appearing in comic books published by DC Comics, commonly in association with Superman. The character, who first appeared in Adventure Comics #283 (1961), was created by Robert Bernstein and initially designed by George Papp. As a Kryptonian, he exhibits the same powers and abilities as Superman and is consequently seen as one of his greatest enemies alongside Lex Luthor and Brainiac.
Dru-Zod Corkript is a megalomaniac Kryptonian, in charge of the Kryptonian military forces. He met Jor-El, Superman’s father, when he was an aspiring scientist. When the space program was abolished after the destruction of the inhabited moon Wegthor (designed by the renegade scientist Jax-Ur), Zod attempted to take over Krypton. Zod created an army of robotic duplicates of himself, all bearing a resemblance to Bizarro. He was sentenced to exile in the Phantom Zone for forty years for his crimes.
Zod was finally freed by Superman when he finished his prison term. However, he attempted to conquer Earth with the superpowers his Kryptonian body acquired under the yellow sun (the source of Superman’s own superpowers). With Zod’s threat now obvious, Superman was forced to oppose him and eventually returned him to the Zone.
During the remaining years before the Crisis on Infinite Earths event, Zod and other inmates of the Zone such as Jax-Ur, Faora Hu-Ul and others, escaped from the Phantom Zone and fought Superman and Supergirl on numerous occasions, always being defeated by the end and returning to the Zone.
General Zod appeared in the story of Superman: Last Son (written by Geoff Johns and Richard Donner, the director of Superman: The Movie and most of Superman II). In a story similar to that of Superman II, Zod, Ursa, and Non escape the Phantom Zone and come to Earth to try and turn it into a “New Krypton.” This incarnation is the first post-Crisis Zod to come from the same Krypton as Superman, and not from an alternate reality (DC had a habit of reusing Zod as a character from an alternative dimension during this time).
The backstory of the three Kryptonians was recounted in Action Comics Annual #10 (2007), and Zod’s origin was revealed in Countdown #30 (2007). Before the destruction of Krypton, Zod, his wife Ursa, and their accomplice Non rebelled against the oppressive rule of their planet, but soon became would-be lawless tyrants who coveted power.
After a nefarious insurrection led by Zod, the government sentenced the trio to death. However, Superman’s father, Jor-El, pleaded with the government to mitigate his sentence of imprisonment in the Phantom Zone, agreed on the condition that he assume responsibility as their jailer. While in the Phantom Zone, Zod and Ursa were able to have a child who was born immune to the effects of the Phantom Zone, ultimately facilitating their escape; they named him Lor-Zod.
On Earth, the boy was discovered by Superman and his wife Lois Lane, who adopted him as his own son and named him Christopher Kent. During the 2007 Action Comics “Last Son” storyline, Chris Kent is portrayed as an adopted son of Superman and his wife Lois in the DC titles. Along with Zod, Ursa, and Non, 25 other Kryptonian criminals also escape the Zone and defeat various heroes from Earth, beginning their quest to conquer the planet.
Zod ambushes Superman in revenge for Jor-El’s actions and traps him in the Phantom Zone, from which he later escapes with the help of the heroic Phantom Zone prisoner, Mon-El. With the help of his traditional enemies Lex Luthor, Metallo, Parasite, and Bizarro, Superman faces off against Zod’s army. Of the nearly thirty Kryptonians, Superman’s temporary allies successfully kill several, leading the rest to the Phantom Zone alongside Zod and Ursa, who take Chris Kent with them.
However, in the last story of the “New Krypton” arc, Zod is freed from the Phantom Zone once again by Supergirl’s mother, Alura. The “bottled city of Kandor” is transformed into a populated Kryptonian planet (“New Krypton”), and Zod is named the leader of its army. In the Action Comics story “World of New Krypton”, when Superman decides to see what life is like on New Krypton, he is recruited into the Military Guild under the command of General Zod.
Zod and Superman maintain a professional relationship of distrust. Despite their past, neither seems willing to behave with marked aggression towards the other. Later, during a Kryptonian ceremony, Zod is shot by the Kryptonian Ral-Dar (who is working with Lois’s father, General Sam Lane), prompting Zod to appoint Superman as a temporary general until he recovers himself. The two are involved in a Kryptonian political plot, but eventually they capture the planet’s traitor and see a reform of the New Kryptonian Council.
17. Lex Luthor
Alias: Alexander Joseph Luthor
Debut: Action Comics #23 (1940)
Created By: Jerry Siegel, Joe Shuster
Lex Luthor is a supervillain from the DC Comics universe. He first appeared in Action Comics #23, which was first released back in 1940. In the comics, he is a highly successful businessman, an intelligent scientist, and the CEO of LexCorp. Lex Luthor comes from an old Metropolis family that became impoverished at the end of World War II. He grew up in the poorest area of Metropolis, the Suicide Slums.
When Lex was thirteen, his alcoholic, hopelessly falling-out parents were killed in a car accident; the cause of the accident is still unclear (sometimes it is claimed that Lex had a hand in it). The young Luthor received $3,000,000 from his parents’ life insurance and went to live with foster parents, the Griggs family. It soon turned out that the Griggs, who were “professional foster parents”, were interested only in his money. After Lena, a young orphan, died, Luthor evolved into the ruthless and determined egomaniac he is today in order to survive in this hostile environment.
As a young man, Luthor met the Contessa Erica Alexandra del Portenza, with whom he soon entered into a relationship. Luthor founded his company LexCorp, which quickly developed into one of the most influential global corporations and consolidated its power. For a long time, Luthor was the most powerful and influential man in Metropolis. Research institutions as well as television broadcasters and radio stations were part of his empire.
Luthor saw himself as the heart and soul of Metropolis until Superman appeared. He arranged a test to test Superman’s abilities and then offered him a seemingly friendly partnership, which Superman refused. Luthor learned very quickly that you can’t buy Superman’s service and loyalty. Since then, he has set himself the goal of defeating Superman and regaining his old place as the most powerful man in Metropolis. Luthor tried again and again to kill him – but unsuccessfully.
Debut: Batman #1 (1940)
Created By: Bill Finger, Bob Kane, Jerry Robinson
Similar to his origins, the Joker’s biography lacks a definitive account of his background and the character has undergone several changes since his first appearance in the 1940s. According to the character’s own dubious narrative from The Killing Joke: “I’m not exactly sure what happened. Sometimes I remember it one way, sometimes another… If I’m going to have a past, I prefer it to be multiple choice!” His explanations range from being abused by his father, to being an incarnation of a jester who served a pharaoh.
In Detective Comics #168 (1951) it is revealed that in the past, he assumed the identity of the criminal Red Hood to rob a factory. However, Batman thwarts his plans when he appears on the scene and pursues him until the criminal enters a container of corrosive substances that disfigure his face and turn his hair and skin green and white, respectively.
Alternatively in The Killing Joke, he is described as a chemical plant assistant who gives up his job to pursue his dream of becoming a famed comedian. However, his failure in this occupation puts his economic stability at risk, on which his wife Jeannie also depends, who at that moment is pregnant. In a desperate act, he agrees to help a pair of criminals infiltrate the interior of the factory where he had worked, only to find out later that his spouse and child were killed in an accident.
Although he tries to back down from the robbery, he is ultimately forced by the criminals to keep his word. Thereafter, the story takes place in a similar way to the previous publication: Batman appears and the frightened man throws himself into a vat of chemicals that give him the characteristic physical features of Joker.
In fact, Batman: Gotham Knights #50-55 argue that Edward Nygma witnessed the kidnapping and murder of Joker’s wife in order to force him to cooperate with the robbery of the chemical corporation. This version is supported in other publications such as The Man Who Laughs, where Batman suspects that Red Hood survived the fall and became the Joker, and Batman #450, where Joker assumes the identity of Red Hood to recover from the events of “A Death in the Family”.
Although Batman Confidential #7-12 proposes a similar outcome to explain the physical appearance of the villain, it differs from previous interpretations by pointing out that, after abandoning his job as Red Hood, Jack is a man who lives obsessed with Batman to the point of hurting to his romantic interest, Lorna Shore, which causes the Bat to injure his face with a Batarang and cause his deformity.
Eventually, Jack becomes the Joker after being tortured by a group of gangsters in a chemical plant, where he is exposed to a set of chemicals and neuroleptic drugs. Other accounts, such as The Brave and the Bold #31, suggest that Joker burned his parents alive after being discovered killing animals, while “Zero Year” reveals that Joker is the mastermind of a group of criminals known by the collective pseudonym of Red Hood.
In turn, the publication “Case Study” describes the character as a sadistic gangster who created the personality of Red Hood to carry out crimes and robberies, as well as feign insanity to avoid the death penalty.
15. Vandal Savage
Alias: Vandar Adg
Debut: Green Lantern #10 (1943)
Created By: Alfred Bester, Martin Nodell
Vandar Adg was born during the Upper Paleolithic, in the Cro-Magnon Blood tribe. Seeing his bloody future, time traveler Rip Hunter decides to eliminate him but ultimately ends up killing Vandar’s father. Years later, a strange meteorite falls near Klarn Adg and Vandar Adg, now the tribal chief. They are exposed to unknown radiation. Vandar then discovers that he has become immortal and smarter, just like Klarn, who then becomes Immortal Man, his perennial enemy.
Vandar then travels through the centuries trying to conquer the world, assuming various identities as fatal as they are infamous: Julius Caesar, Pharaoh Khafre, the serial killer Jack the Ripper, Genghis Khan, Vlad III the Impaler, etc. He will also be the advisor to Adolf Hitler, Erik the Red, Napoleon Bonaparte, Otto von Bismarck, and even Ra’s al Ghul. As the leader of the Illuminati, Vandar was also responsible for the fall of Atlantis.
In the twentieth century, he took a new name for himself, Vandal Savage. He joined the Axis forces during World War II, believing that this position would satisfy his dreams of conquest, but it also prompted him to confront the Justice Society of America and the first Green Lantern on several occasions. Vandal then created the Injustice Society and created Damage from DNA samples of many heroes (Black Canary, Jay Garrick, Hawkman, Hawkgirl, Hourman, J’onn J’onzz, Barry Allen, Hal Jordan , Atom, etc.).
After the war, Savage continued to take revenge on the Justice Society of America by capturing its members. His plans will be thwarted by the two Flashes, Jay Garrick and Barry Allen. He also faces the Teen Titans, when he kidnaps Omen to recruit members of his new team: Tartarus. He then manipulates the two Flashes to recover the meteor at the origin of his immortality and thus regenerate himself. Savage then regains his youth as his physical abilities increase and he also discovers a proneness for witchcraft. He then faces Wally West, the third Flash, as he then ages in an accelerated way after an injection of Velocity 9, a drug of his conception.
Vandal hoped to find a cure through Flash. Wally is eventually rescued and healed by Kilg% re. The latter also brings in Immortal Man to confront his nemesis, Vandal. Immortal Man disappears during the Crisis on Infinite Earths storyline. Savage will discover a brand new enemy, just as determined: Resurrection Man.
The latter will do everything to counter Vandal, especially with the Justice Legion A (Justice Legion Alpha), when in the 853rd century, Savage tries to kill Superman. At this time, Vandal’s immortality again shows signs of degeneration. Vandal must take organs and limbs from descendants or clones, as well as blood from his enemies. He reincarnates in the past after his death in the 853rd century.
He reappears in Villains United to attack Lex Luthor, whom he accuses of endangering his daughter, Scandal Savage. Vandal reappears in One Year Later, where he is the founder of the Fourth Reich, an organization of fascists created to kill the families of members of the Justice Society. Savage wishes to personally kill the descendants of the original members and thus wanted to kill Tom Bronson, the son of Wildcat II.
A violent fight breaks out; father and son confront him until Savage is hit by a fire engine. In Final Crisis, he joined the Secret Society of Super Villains as a member of the Inner Circle. In Final Crisis: Revelations, in a world corrupted by Darkseid’s anti-life equation, the Cult of Stone (worshiping sect of Cain) uses the Holy Lance to resurrect Cain, the first murderer in history, in Vandal Savage’s body
14. Ra’s al-Ghul
Debut: Batman #232 (1971)
Created By: Dennis O’Neil, Neal Adams, Julius Schwartz
He was born at the time of the Crusades. He was the court physician of the Shalimb, a ruler who professed such love for his son that he was unable to see his brutality. When he fell ill, the doctor retired to meditate to try to find a cure. What his dreams revealed to her was that, by making a certain combination of poisons, at a specific point where the energy of the Earth came together, he could create a pit that would breathe life into a dying body.
But the resurrection carried a heavy price. The son of the Shalimb came back from the dead completely mad, and lashed out at the doctor’s wife, devoured by lust, until causing her death. When he regained consciousness, he betrayed the doctor by accusing him of the murder, for which he was sentenced to die of hunger, thirst, and heat, buried alive in a cage next to the corpse of his wife and covered in deranged prisoners.
He was rescued by the son of an old woman whom he had saved his last hours of suffering. They fled the city and ran into a tribe of nomads led by the doctor’s uncle. They then learned of a caravan of merchants, the same ones who had passed through the city before the illness of the Shalimb’s son, who had perished victims of the same evil. The doctor retired again to meditate, and in his dream, he understood that some “small invisible demons” (viruses) inhabited the silk that the merchants sold to the son of the Shalimb.
His revenge consisted in making the murderer of his wife sick again and having the grave dug in the wrong place, thus causing the most horrible of deaths to the son of the Shalimb. He killed his father and led the nomads to the city to raze it, to claim what he believed would be his just revenge. An entire culture was eradicated, but now the doctor felt even emptier. He decided to erase all traces of his past, removing even the language and the history of the people from him.
He adopted a name that meant the same as that of the demon Bisu, whom the Shalimb worshiped, as a symbol. It was “The Head of the Demon” – Ra’s al Ghul (often they just call him Ra’s). Since then, Ra’s al Ghul has repeatedly plunged into pits dug at points of energy confluence on Earth, called “Lazarus Pits.” He has a clear goal in mind: to eradicate ninety percent of the human race, which he considers a cancer on Earth, to create a new Eden.
For that he needs time, and he knows that the “Lazarus Pits” will not be able to heal him eternally, so he has dedicated part of his efforts to get a worthy heir. Ever since their first meeting, he always considered Batman as the only one worthy of continuing his mission. He repeatedly offers him the hand of his daughter Thalia, who is madly in love with him, and with her the command of his organization.
But Batman, who opposes killing from the very start, does not accept a plan to heal the Earth that goes through genocide. Although Ra’s al Ghul knows Batman’s identity, he has never thought of revealing it to the world. Somehow, Ra’s al Ghul respects Batman, whom he calls “The Detective.”
One of Ra’s bases of operations is in the Himalayas, in a large fortress. He is surrounded by ninjas and assassins, but the one he trusts the most is his servant Ubu of him. It must be clarified that there is more than one Ubu, a whole family linked to Ra’s al Ghul for centuries.
13. Black Hand
Alias: William Derek Hand
Debut: Green Lantern #29 (1964)
Created By: John Broome, Gil Kane
William Hand is a genius inventor who loves to speak using old clichés. William’s family, the Hands, is famous in Coastville (a suburb of Coast City, California). However, he learns to hate them early in his life. He thinks the best way to get away from family members, especially his three brothers (David, Peter and Joe) is to take the path of crime.
After extensive study, he becomes an outstanding criminal and escapes the hands of the police at the slightest opportunity. Eventually, his criminal behavior leads him to become a costumed supervillain, nicknamed himself “Black Hand” (an internal joke he created and which refers to his status as the “black sheep” of the Hand family).
As he prepares for an inevitable fight against Green Lantern (Hal Jordan), who lives in Coast City, William created his most remarkable invention. The device he creates is capable of absorbing residue energy from a Green Lantern ring of power from any object it comes in contact with. Once filled with this energy, its device can then be used in a similar fashion to the Green Lantern Ring.
In a series of crimes, he uses his device to trick the public into believing that the items he stole are in fact intact. William also tends to break the fourth wall by revealing his plans to fight Hal Jordan directly to the reader. While being transported to the prison, Black Hand feels a sudden surge of power, killing his guards, and seems to begin to have visions of the planet Ryut and the Black Lantern. Once his visions are over, he wanders the desert, hearing Death calling him.
She orders him to recover all the souls she has lost in the DC universe, including those of Superman and Hal Jordan. Black Hand returns to his family home, kills his two brothers, his mother, his father, and then commits suicide. As events unfold, Guardian Scar arrives at the Hand’s home. She says self-sacrifice makes her “happy” and regurgitates the first black ring of power, which brings Black Hand back to life. She reveals that William is the embodiment of death, just as Ion is that of will, Parallax is that of fear, and the Predator is that of love.
William then announces that he will use his new power to finally exterminate the light. Black Hand later spies on Hal Jordan and The Flash when they meditate at Batman’s unmarked grave. After the two heroes leave, Black Hand digs up Batman’s body and, reciting his own oath, initiates the process of recruiting the deceased hero. Holding Bruce Wayne’s skull, Black Hand tells the mysterious force behind the Black Lantern (residing in Sector 666) that no one escapes death.
He will be seen later, after the Black Lantern Elongated Man and Sue Dibny kill Carter Hall and Kendra Saunders. William enters the room and proclaims that Hawkgirl and Hawkman will not escape death this time around. Two black rings emerge from Batman’s skull, and William orders the two fallen heroes to rise.
Black Hand is also present when The Spectre is taken over by a black ring, triumphing in front of all magic users such as Blue Devil and Zatanna, ensuring that their powers are useless against his “lord” power. When Black Lantern’s power finally reaches one hundred percent, the Black Lantern teleports to the outskirts of Coast City, at the very top of the Hand Mortuary.
Black Hand rejoices as he watches as Nekron finally rises, and more Black Rings resurrect the bodies of people who perished when Coast City was destroyed. When Barry Allen tries to attack Nekron, Black Hand steps in and uses Batman’s skull as an “emotional bond” to weaken the hero. He is definitely defeated when the White Lantern Corps is used to convert Black Lanterns to White Lanterns, and a white ring attaches to him.
This revives him and forces him to regurgitate several white rings, freeing Anit-Monitor and destroying Nekron’s physical form. Later, he will be seen being held captive by the Indigo Tribe, chained to the tribe’s characteristic energy staff.
Debut: Green Lantern #25 (2007)
Created By: Geoff Johns, Ethan Van Sciver
Atrocitus is a fictional character, an alien supervillain from the DC Universe. Created by Geoff Johns and Ethan Van Sciver, Atrocitus was the first archenemy of the former Green Lantern, Sinestro. He first appeared in Green Lantern #25 (2007), in a two-page spread “War of Light”, and made its first chronological appearance in Green Lantern #29 (2008) as a prisoner of Hal Jordan’s predecessor, Abin Sur.
After the war against the Sinestro Corps, we witness the birth of the Red Lantern Corps: on Ysmault, Atrocitus, freed from crucifixion, will use the Power Battery to kill his companion Qull, the one responsible for telling Abin Sur the prophecy of the Blackest Night (which caused the Guardians of the Universe to continue the Empire of Tears’ incarceration on Ysmault, rather than transfer them to Oa’s sciencells, closer to the enemies of the Five Inversions), by bludgeoning him with the power battery. In this way, the first power battery was christened with blood.
His first goal will be to take revenge on the one who proclaimed himself “The greatest of the Green Lanterns”, that is Sinestro, ignoring that he had long since abandoned the Green Lantern Corps to create a corps of his own. Then, Atrocitus assassinated the remaining members of the Five Inversions, using their blood to forge new red rings of power, red batteries, and the Great Red Central Power Battery based on Ysmault. He then proceeded to recruit other beings from around the universe who were filled with anger and hatred, including the former Green Lantern Laira.
Many of them were united by having suffered losses and harassment from the Sinestro Corps, and Atrocitus promised them that the first act of the Red Lantern Corps would be its destruction and the death of Sinestro himself. He led his Red Lanterns in an assault on Sinestro as he was being transferred by some Green Lanterns from Oa to the planet Korugar to be executed. The Red Lanterns interrupted the fighting between the Sinestro Corps, who had come to the rescue of their leader, and the Green Lanterns, killing members of both factions without distinction.
The despicable Atrocitus himself killed the older and more powerful Green Lantern, Remnant Nod. Finally, Sinestro was captured and taken to Ysmault to be executed, and Hal Jordan, who collided with Atrocitus shortly before, was left in space, though to be dead. After taking Sinestro to Ysmault, Atrocitus crucified him in anticipation of personally killing him. However, unlike the Guardians, who intended to carry out a quick execution, Atrocitus was intent on making Sinestro suffer as long as possible, taking revenge for the suffering suffered during his imprisonment.
With Sinestro dead, his next targets would be his homeworld, Korugar, and his daughter, whose identity was discovered by Atrocitus by performing a ritual using the Korugarian’s blood. When Hal Jordan, preceding the Blue Lanterns, reached Ysmault to save Sinestro, despite the latter’s warning, he fell victim to an ambush by Atrocitus; crucified next to his old mentor, Jordan heard from Atrocitus a new prophecy: one day the Guardians would steal his greatest love from him, and this would lead him to rebel, returning to be a renegade, while the universe is would be divided.
After bringing Sinestro to safety, the Blue Lanterns began to leave, but Jordan wanted to go back for Laira, who, rendered out of control by the red ring, attacked him, only to be killed by Sinestro in an attempt to save Jordan. Blinded with anger, Jordan, in turn, attacked the Korugarian and, having trapped him in a construct, prepared to carry out the death sentence with his own hands, against the wishes of the Blue Lanterns.
The anger felt by Jordan at that moment was not without consequences: Laira’s ring went to place itself on his finger, transforming him into a new member of the Red Lantern Corps. Jordan attacked the Blue Lanterns and the Sinestro Corps, until Saint Walker came up with the idea of putting his blue ring of power on him. The blue ring destroyed the influence of the red one, returning Hal Jordan to normal.
Then, Jordan attacked Atrocitus, using the powers of both the blue and green rings and blasting the red ring in his face. Defeated, the Red Lantern retreated to the dark side of Ysmault, where he performed another blood ritual to discover the location of the base planet of the Blue Lantern Corps.
11. Black Adam
Debut: The Marvel Family #1 (1945)
Created By: Otto Binder, C. C. Beck
Black Adam is the alter ego of one Teth/Theo-Adam, a fictional supervillain and occasional antihero appearing in stories published by DC Comics. He is usually portrayed as the rival and archenemy of the superhero Shazam, whose real name is Billy Batson. Otto Binder and C.C Beck are credited as Black Adam’s creators; he made his debut in The Marvel Family #1 (1945). Black Adam was initially owned by Fawcett Comics, but the rights transferred to DC Comics in 1973.
His initial origin story, as presented by Fawcett Comics, states that he was an ancient Egyptian known as Teth-Adam, who was chosen by the wizard Shazam to be his successor due to his presumed purity.
Granted magical powers, Teth-Adam became the powerful superhero Mighty Adam, but was soon corrupted by that same power. This opted Shazam to rename him Black Adam and to banish him into the farthest corner of the universe, as he was unable to take the powers back.
Black Adam traveled the universe for 5,000 years before returning to Earth in 1945. Unbeknownst to him, Shazam had already picked a new successor, Captain Marvel, whose archenemy Black Adam soon became.
When DC Comics got the rights to the character, they changed his origin story, although not drastically. In this revised origin, Teth-Adam was born on September 11, 1279 BC. Teth-Adam is the son of the ancient Egyptian Pharaoh Ramesses II, and impresses one of the high priests, the wizard Shazam, with his good deeds.
The wizard gives Teth-Adam the power to become the superhero Mighty Adam by speaking the name “Shazam”. Mighty Adam serves as Egypt’s champion for many centuries, but becomes corrupted by the charms of a mysterious woman, revealed to be Shazam’s evil daughter Blaze in disguise. Becoming corrupt, he soon killed the Pharaoh and appointed himself the new ruler; this disappointed Shazam so much that he actually took Black Adam’s powers from him and locked him into a necklace, where he died.
Thousands of years later, during the late 20th century, an unscrupulous archaeological aide named Theo Adam finds himself assigned to an expedition to excavate the tomb of Ramesses II. Adam uncovers Khem-Adam’s tomb in a secret passageway, and leads his superiors, C.C. Batson and his wife Marilyn, to the discovery.
Upon first sight of Khem-Adam’s scarab, Theo Adam becomes obsessed with the artifact and kills both Batsons in order to steal it. The Batsons’ son, Billy, has been left behind in the United States, and is drafted by Shazam to become the wizard’s second champion, Captain Marvel.
When Theo Adam first encounters Captain Marvel, he notes both Marvel’s identical appearance to C.C. Batson and the lightning-bolt insignia on Marvel’s chest that had also decorated Khem-Adam’s tomb. Adam, therefore, has a revelation and realizes that he is a reincarnation of Khem-Adam. Grasping his stolen scarab, Adam speaks Shazam’s name and is transformed into the super-powered Black Adam.
Since then, Black Adam has mostly been an enemy of Shazam, but in recent years, he was most often portrayed as an antihero who wants to redeem his villainous deeds. Still, he is one of the best-known and most popular supervillains in DC Comics’ lore.
Alias: Thaal Sinestro
Debut: Green Lantern #7 (1961)
Created By: John Broome, Gil Kane
Thaal Sinestro is a comic book character created by John Broome and Gil Kane, appearing in stories published by DC Comics. He first appeared in Green Lantern #7 (1961), later becoming the archenemy of Hal Jordan (the most famous Green Lantern) and the entire Green Lantern Corps. Over the course of Geoff Johns’ management, the character has undergone a significant evolution from a well-rounded villain to a complex and multifaceted anti-hero.
Sinestro was born on the distant planet Korugar in Sector 1417. He was the greatest of all the Green Lanterns, but is now believed to be their greatest enemy. After being trained by Abin Sur, the former Green Lantern of Sector 1417 managed to free his home planet from all forms of oppression and then pursued the same goal on all other planets in his sector.
Believed to be a prime example of how a member of the Corps should behave, the Guardians of Oa commissioned him to train all freshman Green Lanterns, and that was how he met Hal Jordan. Jordan in fact, after an initial training received by Kilowog, was entrusted to the care of Sinestro; over time the two developed a strong bond of friendship.
After training, Hal became the lantern of Sector 2814 (sector that includes Earth) and Sinestro returned to Korugar. There happened what none of the Guardians could have foreseen: Sinestro, in fact, let himself be corrupted by the power of the Ring, and soon, from a beloved hero, he became first feared and finally despised.
Sinestro proclaimed himself ruler of Korugar, and began to neglect his responsibilities as a Lantern. This did not please the Guardians, who exiled him to the anti-matter universe of Qward. Sinestro felt humiliated for this, and swore revenge against the Guardians and against the entire Green Lantern Corps.
Sinestro’s charismatic personality soon took hold of the Qwardians, united by their hatred of the Guardians of Oa, and allied themselves with him. They provided him with a Ring of Power very similar to that of the Lanterns, but unlike the Lanterns, it used yellow energy, the only weakness of the rings created by the Guardians.
Back in his universe, Sinestro became a sworn enemy of Oa and this led to him becoming Hal Jordan’s nemesis. They fought for years, until Sinestro was defeated and imprisoned inside the main battery, a larger version of the Lantern from which each member of the body draws their powers.
Locked in there for years, he was released to stop Hal Jordan who, after the destruction of Coast City, went insane and slaughtered the entire Green Lantern Corps and set about destroying Oa. Not even Sinestro could do anything against Hal’s fury, who killed him and entered the main battery, absorbing its power and becoming the very powerful Parallax.
Years after the incident, Kyle Rayner discovered that Sinestro was not dead. He was, in fact, the one who caused the alien parasite to take possession of Hal and drive him to madness, realizing what Sinestro had always wanted: the destruction of Oa and making his former pupil a renegade too, just like him.
Alias: Eobard Thawne
Debut: The Flash #139 (September 1963)
Created By: John Broome, Carmine Infantino
The Reverse-Flash is, like the Flash, a superhero name used by several different characters in the DC Comics universe. At the time of writing this article, there has been a total of five Reverse-Flashes – Edward Clariss, Eobard Thawne, Hunter Zolomon, Thaddeus Thawne, and Daniel West. Since Eobard Thawne is by far the best-known and most important Reverse-Flash in the continuity, we are going to focus on him.
Eobard Thawne had an ever-changing origin story before his history was finally established in The Flash: Rebirth (2009), written by Geoff Johns. The character debuted in The Flash #139 (1963) and was created by John Broome and Carmine Infantino. In this iteration, Thawne found a time capsule with the Flash suit in the 25th century. He then amplified the suits energy and turned himself into a Speedster, but reversed the colours of the suit, becoming Professor Zoom the Reverse-Flash. Flash discovered this and confronted Thawne, eventually defeating him and destroying his suit. Blaming the Flash for his defeat, Thawne became obsessed with “replacing” Barry and travelled back in time to exact his revenge. He killed Iris West and tried to kill Fiona Webb, but Barry Allen snapped his neck in order to avoid losing another person he loved.
The post-Crisis story “The Return of Barry Allen” gave Thawne a new origin. He was depicted as a scientist obsessed with the Flash, so much in fact that he underwent plastic surgery to look like Barry Allen. He managed to gain Speedster powers by using an antique Cosmic Treadmill and went back into time, fighting Wally West in the process. He was ultimately sent back to the 25th century.
Thawne returns as a major DC villain in The Flash: Rebirth (2009), where his return foreshadowed the major Final Crisis event. He played a major role in the Blackest Night storyline, where his pre-Crisis corpse was revived by Nekron as he became a Black Lantern and, subsequently, Black Flash. He died once again but was ultimately resurrected, after which event he escaped. In one later story, Thawne travelled back in time to completely alter his personal history. During the Flashpoint storyline, he goes back in time to kill Barry Allen’s mother, which results in the creation of the “Flashpoint universe” after Barry Allen also went back in time to stop Thawne from killing his mother. The“Flashpoint universe” was an alternative timeline Barry Allen ultimately fixed, but only after Thomas Wayne – that universe’s Batman – killed Thawne with a sword.
Thawne, of course, did not die and it was late revealed that he is practically immortal because of his connection to the Negative Speed Force. His origins slightly changed during the New 52 and Rebirth imprints, but the essence was kept. He played a major part in the events leading to and happening during the Doomsday Clock narrative, where he was killed by Dr. Manhattan. He survived even that, proving that even the omnipotent Dr. Manhattan could not kill or erase him.
Debut: Green Lantern #50 (1994)
Created By: Ron Marz, Darryl Banks, Geoff Johns, Ethan Van Sciver
Parallax is a fictional comic book supervillain from the DC Universe, primarily associated with the Green Lantern Corps as one of their major enemies. He debuted in Green Lantern #50 (1994) and is considered to be one of the most powerful villains in the DC Universe. Parallax is known as the embodiment of fear.
After the tragic events described in “Emerald Twilight”, a saga in which Coastal City is destroyed, as well as all its inhabitants at the hands of Mongul, Hal Jordan goes mad and head to Oa to find enough power to correct things by facing various members of the Green Lantern Corps, defeating them all (including Tomar-Re and Kilowog, his former masters, even killing the latter), and removing their Rings, becoming stronger and stronger with each victory.
In the final stage, and one step away from seizing the Central Power Battery, the Guardians of the Universe bring to life Sinestro, Jordan’s sworn enemy, and former a Green Lantern. During the battle between the two, Jordan breaks Sinestro’s neck and enters the Central Power Battery, which absorbs all the energy, leaving the other rings without power (thus killing several Green Lanterns and almost all the Guardians).
Upon exiting the Battery, the man known as Hal Jordan transformed into Parallax. Once Hal Jordan absorbed the power of the peripheral battery on Oa, he was faced with a ‘light’ version of the Justice League comprised of Captain Atom, Wonder Woman, the Green Lantern Alan Scott, Martian Manhunter, and Guy Gardner, a former Green Lantern and now the wielder of Sinestro’s Yellow Power Ring.
One by one, the heroes fell until finally Gardner and Jordan clashed. At the climax of the battle, Jordan melted Gardner’s ring, stripping him of his power and an eye. Several weeks after these events, the young Kyle Rayner (the new Green Lantern) was called in by Superman to help during Zero Hour, a crisis that involved the destruction of time.
During this saga, the author of the destruction was thought to be Extant (Hank Hall, a lesser-known character) and it was revealed only at the end that the true manipulator was Parallax, as he sought to erase the universe to create a new perfect one. Several heroes of Earth confronted him, among them Superman, Atom and Guy Gardner, preventing Parallax from fulfilling his mission.
At the end of this saga, Parallax confronts Kyle Rayner on Oa although, with almost all his power depleted, he convinces Kyle to return his ring to him to regain his place as Green Lantern. Kyle does that and discovers that Parallax has not changed and that he wants to use the ring to collect more energy directly from Oa. After recovering the ring from him, Kyle decides that the only way to defeat Parallax is to destroy his Power Battery, that is, the planet Oa.
Kyle uses his ring to overload the planet and it explodes leaving only Kyle’s figure in space. Several years after the destruction of Oa, Parallax appears again in Kyle’s apartment claiming the ring as his own. The clash again, but this time Parallax has a clear advantage over Rayner. While this happens, Ganthet (who had also gone to claim the ring as he deemed Kyle unworthy) recruits several friends of Jordan to stop him, including Flash (Wally West), Superman, Hawkman, and Green Arrow.
After a titanic battle, Parallax defeats all the heroes and strips Kyle of his ring; Ganther moves in and convinces him that he is a worthy successor and returns the ring. Ganthet merges with Parallax and they move away from Earth.
During “The Final Night”, the Sun-Eater feeds on the Earth’s Sun with the heroes being unable to stop it, so Kyle orders his ring to take him to Parallax and convinces him to help them save Earth. Parallax confronts the Sun-Eater, destroying him but perishing in the effort. After regaining the Sun, a funeral was held for Hal Jordan honoring him as the hero he was, despite his brief time as the villain Parallax.
However, Hal Jordan’s character returns as the Spectre during the events of Day of Judgment, in which an angel (Asmodel) seizes the power of the Spectre and seeks to destroy Earth. The heroes travel to Purgatory and meet the soul of Hal Jordan, who decides to merge with the Spectre, seeking redemption for his crimes.
After several years, Hal Jordan comes back to life in the series called Green Lantern: Rebirth. In this saga, it is explained that the yellow impurity of the power rings was actually a parasitic entity called Parallax that fed on fear and was imprisoned within the Central Battery. Parallax symbolized fear in yellow, while willpower was symbolized in green.
After millions of years trapped in the Battery and left for dead, Parallax awoke and, taking advantage of the fact that the power rings are a conduit to the Central Battery, he searched among the Green Lanterns for someone strong enough to help him escape, and that is how he found Hal Jordan. Parallax infected him with fear. The first signs were the gray hair on Jordan’s temples.
Shortly afterward, the destruction of Coastal City occurred, upsetting Jordan, a situation that Parallax took advantage of to further influence him, and when Hal absorbed the power of the battery, Parallax was released and fused with Hal’s soul. Jordan was able to free himself from Parallax at the same time that the Spectre released Hal’s soul, so he returned to his body (which was inside the Sun and was rescued by Kyle Rayner), in time to save Kyle and Green Arrow from an attack.
Once he defeated him, he flew to Earth to permanently destroy Parallax, who had taken over Ganthet. Following Parallax’s defeat, Hal Jordan announced his definitive return, free from Parallax’s influence and was willing to do the right thing by fulfilling the Green Lantern’s oath.
Debut: Wonder Woman #1 (1941)
Created By: William Moulton Marston, H. G. Peter
Ares is a fictional comic book character created by William Moulton Marston, published by the US publisher DC Comics. Based on the analogous Greek mythological figure, he is the god of war and Wonder Woman’s main opponent. The character made his debut in Wonder Woman #1 (1941).
In the next issue, he reappeared under the name of the Roman god Mars, a name he would keep until February 1987, when writer George Pérez would restore the Greek name, as part of the relaunch of the Wonder Woman character. To ensure the narrative continuity of the comic, Ares has been adjusted over the years by different authors, making him take on different personalities and new physical appearances.
His current incarnation, in recent years, has appeared in two forms: both as a blond muscular man in contemporary clothing with red eyes and a marked torso, and as a Greek demonic warrior dressed in black and blue battle armor, his face hidden behind a hellish hoplite helmet. Ares sought to realize his vision of eternal war and conflict in the world of men. In opposition to Aphrodite, goddess of love, he tried to realize a reality contrary to the civilization of love.
When Ares taunted Aphrodite with the success of her plans, the goddess of love fashioned out of clay a new race of women, the Amazons, who built a city-state called Amazonia.
Like all the Gods of Olympus, Ares possesses superhuman strength, endurance, and speed, capable of challenging powerful beings like Wonder Woman and Superman. Additionally, he is a master of conflict and strategy with impressive warrior skills and centuries of industry experience and has complete telekinetic command and mastery of any weapon or armor.
As for his nature of a deity of war, violent actions and emotions such as anger, hatred, death, and bloodshed make him stronger and heal any wounds he can receive, as his soul is able to absorb psychic energy created by such events. His armor is virtually indestructible and, being a god, he is also immortal and cannot be harmed by deadly, only magical weapons.
Thanks to his powers, Ares is able to summon weapons at will or an entire army from beyond. He can increase his size at will, increasing his abilities enormously, and he can change his shape to any shape he wishes and can teleport himself and others. He can also emit energy of enormous power while also managing to wipe out an entire city with one blow, and possesses unlimited pyrokinetic abilities.
He also has telepathic powers and can create illusions: he can mentally communicate with his he worshipers, transmitting an image of himself at an interdimensional distance and perhaps he can do the same with any other intelligent beings. Ares can also directly control the minds of his living followers; they will degenerate and show cadaveric characteristics, then die when the effects wear off. He can also wrap himself in dark energy to fly.
Debut: The New Teen Titans #2 (1980)
Created By: Marv Wolfman, George Pérez
Trigon is a fictional demon appearing in stories published by DC Comics. He had his cameo debut in The New Teen Titans #2 (1980) and made his first full appearance in The New Teen Titans #4 (1981). He was created by Marv Wolfman and George Pérez and is today considered to be one of the most powerful entities in DC Comics’ mythos.
A sadistic, evil, cruel, dark and very powerful demon of inter-dimensional origin, Trigon is the result of mating between a female member of a mystical sect and the god they worshiped. A side effect of this mating is that their child had absorbed the evil energy of the inhabitants of Azarath, who formed him into their own personification.
At birth, Trigon killed everyone around him (including his own mother). At the age of six, he destroyed an entire planet. And at the age of thirty, he held dominion over millions of worlds in his own dimension.
Later, he met Arella. Arella was a depressed woman who decided to join a sect known as the Church of Blood, which was trying to kill Trigon. When the ritual was performed, Trigon, disguised as a man, emerged and married Arella. Soon, Arella discovered the true nature of her husband. When Trigon left her, Arella was on the verge of suicide when she is found by an extra-dimensional cult and she is taken to Azarath, where she gives birth to their daughter, Raven. Raven is brought up to “control her emotions” in order to suppress and control the demonic powers she inherited from Trigon.
During this time, Trigon was aware of his daughter’s whereabouts, but rarely intervened, except when a renegade monk attempted to cast Raven into another dimension; Trigon found him and killed him in time, and allowed the cult to keep her safe for the time being. Raven, learning of Trigon’s intentions to conquer the world, promises to help stop him; she initially approached the Justice League, but they turned her down on the advice of Zatanna, who sensed her demonic parentage.
In desperation, she reformed the Teen Titans with several new members in order to fight her father. The team was finally able to defeat Trigon and seal him in an interdimensional prison. However, Raven still had to fight the influence of her father, as he was not completely destroyed. Trigon eventually escaped and came to Earth, taking control of Raven and destroying Azarath in the process.
The Titans came together and tried to fight Trigon, but were contaminated with his demonic influence and were forced to kill Raven; this allowed Azarath’s souls to possess her and use her to kill Trigon – her demonic possession had made a plan to defeat the demon – and freeing her from the negative influence of her father. Although Trigon is dead, his followers (led by Brother Blood) have tried to revive him multiple times.
Alias: Vril Dox
Debut: Action Comics #242 (1958)
Created By: Otto Binder, Al Plastino
Brainiac is a comic book character created by Otto Binder and Al Plastino, appearing in stories published by DC Comics. He is a supervillain whose real name is Vril Dox and usually appears as one of Superman’s worst enemies, who has more than once opposed his insane plans to conquer him. He is quite often an enemy of the Justice League.
In his first appearance, Brainiac is depicted as an extraterrestrial who has the hobby of preserving entire cities under glass after having reduced their size with a ray of his own invention: among his most famous victims we can mention the city of Kandor, originally from the planet Krypton, shrunk and bottled with its seven million inhabitants.
Later, through a retcon, it will be explained that in reality, Brainiac is a very sophisticated android created on the planet Colu, where all the inhabitants have an intelligence superior to that of the terrestrials. After years of pacifism, the Coluans will build computers with a tenth level of intelligence, which in a very short time will conquer the planet making the Coluans mindless slaves; wanting to increase their power the Computer Tyrants will build a spy android, or Brainiac.
Defeated by Superman after attempting to shrink Metropolis, Brainiac will clash numerous times with the Kryptonian, eventually allying himself with Superman’s other great enemy, Lex Luthor. It will be Luthor himself to discover that there was the potential to reach the twelfth level of intelligence in the circuits of Brainiac.
Luthor will help his ally, but will insert a sort of switch in Brainiac’s brain that left the robot completely at the mercy of the earthling. Later, Vril Dox will lead a crusade to free Colu from the Computer Tyrants and the Brainiac dynasty will radically change his life by giving itself to good. This change will be maintained until the 31st century, when a young Coluan named Querl Dox joins the Legion of Super-Heroes under the name of Brainiac 5.
After his old body is destroyed following the explosion of a nova, Brainiac will build a new body in the form of a metal skeleton and a huge space shuttle in the shape of a skull.
After Crisis on Infinite Earths, Braniac’s story was changed: the scientist Vril Dox was destroyed by the Computer Tyrants of his planet and his mind travels through space until he finds a magician with latent telekinetic powers called Milton Fine, whose nickname was in fact “Brainiac”.
After mutating his human body into an almost entirely Coluan one, Brainiac will hypnotize the heroines Maxima and Supergirl and take possession of the war machine known as the Planet of War and use it to attack Earth. He will be stopped by Superman and his allies, thus ending up in a kind of psychic coma.
After Superman’s apparent death, Brainiac will awaken from his coma and proceed to undermine the confidence of the Man of Steel’s friends and allies in Superman’s resurrection.
Debut: Superman: Man of Steel #17 (1992)
Created By: Dan Jurgens, Brett Breeding, Jerry Ordway, Louise Simonson, Roger Stern
Doomsday is the name given by Booster Gold to a fictional supervillain appearing in comic books published by DC Comics, primarily as an antagonist of the superhero Superman.
He was conceived during a brainstorming session of the Superman writing team in 1991 as a foe that would match Superman’s physical strength; one of the writers wrote down a remark for the need of a “doomsday for Superman”, and the rest of the team liked it so much that they decided to name the monster – Doomsday. He made his cameo debut in Superman: Man of Steel #17 (1992), with a full debut in #18.
The origin story of Doomsday is pretty bizarre. He was created by an alien named Bertron and was left on prehistoric Krypton to evolve, if possible. Namely, prehistoric Krypton was a harsh environment where only the strongest beings could survive (this was long before the humanoid Kryptonians evolved and lived on the planet).
The alien infant was killed but also revived repeatedly, becoming stronger after each resurrection. Namely, Doomsday developed the ability to develop immunity to what had killed him, meaning that he could never die from the same cause twice. Combined with his extreme regenerative abilities, he was a powerful being even as an infant.
Doomsday was forced to endure the agony of death several thousand times, which eventually led him to hate all life. At one point, he became so powerful that he killed all life on Krypton and eventually located and killed his creator, Bertron. Doomsday eventually escaped and went on a killing spree across several planets, even facing a younger Darkseid, but the two didn’t engage in direct combat.
He eventually crossed paths with the Green Lanterns, killing thousands before eventually being killed by a Guardian of the Universe, who sacrificed himself to kill the Kryptonian monstrosity.
Doomsday didn’t actually die, but was send through a spatial tear and eventually ended up on the planet Calaton. He terrorised the planet for years, before its inhabitants created The Radiant, who killed Doomsday with one strong energy blast. But, as it usually is with Doomsday – he was not killed. He regenerated slowly, but he came back to life, now immune to the energy that killed him, just like every time before that.
His most famous storyline is “The Death of Superman”, where the Kryptonian monstrosity came to Earth. After defeating the whole Justice League in a matter of minutes, he engaged in a fight with Superman.
He was the first supervillain to be a match for the Man of Steel in a physical confrontation and the cult series eventually lead to Superman and Doomsday killing each other. Thus, Doomsday became the first and so far only supervillain to kill Superman in combat. Of course, both of them survived the famous clash and Doomsday would play a role in future DC Comics stories.
Debut: Crisis on Infinite Earths #2 (1985)
Created By: Marv Wolfman, George Pérez, Jerry Ordway
Anti-Monitor, whose name has recently been revealed to be Mobius, is a fictional supervillain and antagonist that debuted in the limited series Crisis on Infinite Earths, which was published between 1985 and 1986 by the publisher DC Comics.
His first appearance was in Crisis on Infinite Earths #2 (1985) (although he initially remained in the shadows until his official appearance in Crisis on Infinite Earths #5-6), and was subsequently destroyed in Crisis on Infinite Earths #12 (1986), only to return after a long absence in Green Lantern: Sinestro Corps Special #1 (2007) (as part of the crossover event “War of the Sinestro Corps” and Blackest Night).
Anti-Monitor has been one of the most formidable enemies ever faced by the heroes of the DC Universe (or the “Multiverse”, as he has been everywhere around the multiverse). He is directly responsible for more deaths than any other known DC supervillain, having destroyed thousands of universes.
He was powerful enough to kill a distracted Supergirl with almost no effort, although it might be suggested that when the universe was rebooted, most of the deaths attributed to him indeed, apparently never happened. He has consumed thousands of positive matter universes in order to increase his power, and he was able to personally fight dozens of the strongest heroes of the multiverse at the same time.
During Blackest Night, even though he became a Black Lantern after being killed by Superboy Prime, the Anti-Monitor was not controlled by Nekron, revealing just how powerful the Anti-Monitor actually is, and even a personification like death was not able to control him, even while he was a power source for the Nekron Corps when he was subdued.
Debut: Tales of the Green Lantern Corps #2 (1981)
Created By: Mike W. Barr, Len Wein, Joe Staton
Nekron, the fictional demon personification of Death, is a comic book character appearing in stories published by DC Comics. He first appeared in Tales of the Green Lantern Corps #2 (1981), and was created by Mike W. Barr, Len Wein and Joe Staton.
A recurring enemy of Green Lantern, he is the main antagonist of the famous story Blackest Night. Nekron is the imaginary personification of Death, the master of a hellish region that appears to be a frontier between Limbo and Purgatory within the DC Universe. It is the place where the souls of the dead await the passage to their final destination, be it the Silver City or Hell.
Nekron draws his power from the souls and spirits of those who have died. During the events of Blackest Night, it was revealed that Nekron was in charge of the black rings of power, which reanimated the dead, and was in partnership with Scar and Black Hand. When the power level of the Black Lantern rings reached 100%, Nekron arose on Earth, just outside Coast City.
It also turned out that Nekron, in a partial retcon of an earlier Teen Titans story, was the mastermind behind the miraculous resurrection of many superheroes in the past. By “allowing” the deceased heroes to be reborn, he secured a small team of “undercover agents”, so, after resurrecting Batman for a few moments as an emotional lever, he was able to create black rings of power that attached themselves to Superman, Wonder Woman, Donna Troy, Kid Flash, Animal Man, Ice, Green Arrow and Superboy, transforming them all into Black Lanterns.
Hal Jordan and Barry Allen were also on the list of possible targets, but Barry managed to avoid their transformation by moving two seconds into the future thanks to his speed. According to the Black Lantern Jean Loring, when the Guardians initially harnessed the Emotional Specter, Nekron was created out of the pre-creation existence of the universe as a defense mechanism, Guardian of Darkness.
Given the form of death conceived by the human mind, Nekron marched with his army of the undead, claiming that the hunger that grips him is never satisfied. The limits of Nekron’s powers are unknown. Geoff Johns described it as arguably the most powerful dark force in the DC Universe. He displayed the ability to raise the dead, kill with a touch, deliver black energy blasts, and grow out of proportion.
1. Darkseid (True Form)
Debut:Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen #134 (1970)
Created By: Jack Kirby
People usually perceive Darkseid as the New God we’ve seen in the comics. Yes, the guy who conquers planets and lost to Doomsday, Superman, Batman and others. But, and we have to stress out that a lot of this is still shrouded in mystery, that seems to be only one of Darkseid’s forms.
In The Multiversity Guidebook, the Highfather, also a New God and Darkseid’s brother, states that each reality – past, present and future – has its own version (avatar) of Darkseid. This means that Darkseid is actually an omnipresent, non-corporeal being fragmented so that he can be present in every possible reality. As far as we know, only actual multiversal deities (The Presence in DC Comics and The One Above All in Marvel) and Dr. Manhattan have these abilities, which would put Darkseid – his true form, that is – very high on the list of the most powerful beings in the history of comic books.
Sadly, not much is known beside this remark by his brother. Throughout the history of the comic books, Darkseid’s true form did make several cameo-type appearances, but it was never fully revealed, nor did it play a major part in most storylines. Why? Simply because the true Darkseid doesn’t really care about such trivial things. He is so powerful and so above the general concepts of reality that he really doesn’t even bother intervening, opting to just send some of his avatars to do the job.
So, when did this true form actually appear?
In Final Crisis, Darkseid is said to be able to cast a gigantic shadow above the whole Multiverse, thus proving that he transcends all of reality and existence, and not just the ones we’ve most often seen him in.
Likewise, the Flash (Barry Allen) stated that him falling is so dangerous that he would take the whole multiverse down with him. Darkseid falling would cause the destruction of existence. Along with that, he was able to create a singularity so powerful that it was swallowing up the Multiverse itself, as the Green Lanters witnessed.
In the Pre-Crisis area, Darkseid was able to take control of a total of 3,000,000 Daxamites (humanoid aliens with powers similar to Kryptonians) without any help whatsoever.
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