DC COMICS HEROES & VILLAINS

Here you’ll find the various heroes and villains of DC Comics; their stories, and links to the comic books and movies we’ve covered on New to Comics:

SUPER-HEROES

SUPERMAN

Real Name: Kal-El
Affiliation: The Justice League
First Appearance: Action Comics #1 (April 1938)

Born on the planet Krypton, ‘Clark Kent’ was sent to the planet Earth by his father, Jor-El, who feared their home planet’s destruction, but in their hubris, his peers would not listen to his warnings. Crash-landing on Earth, Clark was found by farmers Jonathan and Martha Kent, who instilled in Clark strong beliefs in ‘Truth, Justice and the American Way’. Under the Earth’s yellow sun, Clark developed miraculous powers of strength, speed, invulnerability, flight, enhanced senses and ‘heat-vision’ which he used to combat injustice from the likes of vile businessman Lex Luthor and other criminals around the globe. Wanting to stay close to the action, in his civilian identity, Clark took a job at the Daily Planet, where he used his knack for writing to report on his adventures as Superman, and met his wife and the mother of his child, Lois Lane.

Comics: All-Star Superman, Final CrisisFlashpoint, Justice League: Origin, The Villain’s Journey, Throne of Atlantis, The Grid, Trinity War 
Movies: Man of SteelBatman v SupermanJustice League


BATMAN

Real Name: Bruce Thomas Wayne
Affiliation: The Justice League
First Appearance: Detective Comics #27 (March 1939)

As a child, Bruce Wayne wanted for nothing – the son of some of the wealthiest and most respected people in Gotham City, Thomas and Martha Wayne, Bruce was, in essence, heir to the throne of Gotham. But all that changed when Bruce’s parents were gunned down in front of him, instilling in him a deep hatred for criminals that would hang over his entire life. Committing himself to become skilled in multiple disciplines such as combat and detective work, Bruce used the wealth and resources of the company he inherited from his father to become the vigilante known as the Batman. A figure of fear, Bruce now wages a war against crime with his trusty Batmobile and high-tech armoury of weapons, assisted by his loyal butler and father-figure Alfred, police commissioner Jim Gordon and his extended ‘Bat-family’ of sidekicks like Robin.

Comics: Batman: Year One, The Killing Joke, The WeddingFinal CrisisFlashpoint, Justice League: Origin, The Villain’s Journey, Throne of Atlantis, The Grid, Trinity War
Movies: Batman, Batman v SupermanThe LEGO Batman Movie, Justice LeagueJoker


SHAZAM!

Real Name: William Batson
Affiliation: The Justice League
First Appearance: Whiz Comics #2 (February 1940)

After being orphaned at a young age, Billy Batson moved from foster home to foster home, becoming more and more standoffish with each transition. Growing into a combatant young teen with little in the way of family bar Tawny the Tiger at the local zoo who featured in his earliest memory, Billy found himself welcomed into the loving Vasquez family – home to five other foster children (Mary, Freddy, Eugene, Pedro and Darla). At first, Billy’s combative nature made it hard for him to fit in, but after a fateful encounter with the wizard ‘Shazam’, Billy was gifted the powers of the Champion of Magic; able to transform into a superpowered adult version of himself (possessing the wisdom of Solomon, the strength of Hercules, the stamina of Atlas, the power of Zeus, the courage of Achilles and the speed of Mercury). Learning to control these powers alongside his new family, Billy found peace, purpose and a sense of belonging. Now, as a member of the Justice League and protector of magic, Billy operates as the ‘World’s Mightiest Mortal’, Shazam!

Comics: Shazam: Origins, Flashpoint, Justice League: Trinity War
Movies: Shazam!


WONDER WOMAN

Real Name: Diana
Affiliation: The Justice League
First Appearance: All-Star Comics #8 (October 1941)

12000 BC – during the time of the Olympians – the Greek Goddesses collected the souls of all women who had died at the hands of men and reincarnated them as a fierce race of warriors. Many years later, on the hidden paradise island of Themyscira, Queen Hippolyta longed for a daughter. Sculpting a baby out of clay and praying to her Goddess, Hippolyta was gifted with a new daughter – Diana – the most powerful of the Amazons. But after a man named Steve Trevor crashed in paradise, Diana took on the role of Wonder Woman to escort Trevor back home and adventure through the world of man. Since then, she has become one of Earth’s most revered heroes and has since discovered her true origins – not those of a mythic baby born from clay, but as the daughter of the all-powerful Zeus, God of the Sky and Lord of Olympus.

Comics: Wonder Woman: Blood, Final Crisis, Flashpoint, Justice League: Origin, The Villain’s Journey, Throne of Atlantis, The Grid, Trinity War
Movies: Batman v Superman, Wonder Woman, Justice League


AQUAMAN

Real Name: Orin
Affiliation: The Justice League
First Appearance: More Fun Comics #73 (November 1941)

As the son of Lighthousekeeper Tom Curry and Atlanna, the former Queen of Atlantis, Orin was the son of two worlds. Named ‘Arthur Curry’ by his father, the young man soon discovered his secret heritage brought with it a host of abilities; such as being able to breathe underwater, demonstrate incredible strength and even communicate with fish. Mentored in the use of his powers by another Atlantean outcast named Vulko, Arthur grew to be a powerful young man and was eventually able to return to his destined home of Atlantis and confront Atlanna’s other son, and his half-brother, Orm, and take back the throne. As King of Atlantis, Arthur and his wife Mera hope to one day unite the underwater kingdoms and the surface world, even if it means occasionally leaving his post as ruler.

Comics: Aquaman: Throne of Atlantis, Flashpoint, Justice League: Origin, The Villain’s Journey, The Grid, Trinity War 
Movies: Justice League, Aquaman


GREEN ARROW

Real Name: Oliver Jonas Queen
Affiliation: The Justice League
First Appearance: More Fun Comics #73 (November 1941)

As a child, Oliver Queen was fascinated by the exploits of the character Robin Hood and practised archery in the hopes of emulating his hero. Growing up to become a rich and reckless playboy, Oliver’s knack for archery came in handy when he found himself lost at sea and subsequently stranded on a desert island, with only his bow at hand. After a few years, Oliver had learned to become self-reliant and not take things for granted as he used to; honing his archery skills to become a skilled hunter. Eventually returning to the western world, Oliver was a changed man, dabbling in politics, and using his skills to become the masked vigilante known as the Green Arrow. Very conscious of the man he used to be, the Green Arrow reinvented himself as an outspoken champion of social justice, fighting crime alongside his partner Black Canary.

Comics: Green Arrow: The Longbow HuntersJustice League: The Villain’s Journey, Trinity War
Movies: N/A


BLACK CANARY

Real Name: Dinah Drake Lance
Affiliation:
The Birds of Prey
First Appearance: Flash Comics #86 (August 1947)

Found dumpster diving on the rough streets of Gotham City, Dinah Drake was taken in by martial arts instructor Desmond Lamar in exchange for helping with maintenance around his dojo. Over the years, Dinah became a student of Lamar’s, and was, in turn, left the dojo when Lamar passed away. Eventually, Dinah’s good nature led her to become embroiled in the exploits of the superhuman-fighting ‘Team 7’, through which she met her husband, Kurt Lance, and was given the power of her ‘Canary Cry’; a powerful sonic attack. However, after the supposed death of her husband, Dinah decided to set out on her own, her new ‘superhero’ persona pulling her life in various directions; helping form the Birds of Prey, becoming a member of the Justice League, and finding love once again while fighting alongside the vigilante Green Arrow

Comics: Final Crisis, Green Arrow: The Longbow Hunters, Justice League: Throne of Atlantis, The Grid
Movies: Birds of Prey


MARTIAN MANHUNTER

Real Name: J’onn J’onzz
Affiliation:
The Justice League
First Appearance: Detective Comics #225 (November 1955)

A million years ago, the planet of Mars was home to an incredible race of beings. These Martians were blessed with immense powers of telepathy, shape-shifting, invisibility, flight and increased physical attributes and senses. However, after being hit by a powerful psychic warning of their planet’s destruction and misconstruing it as an attack, the Martians were unable to avert a great tragedy that wiped out their kind. Despite the destruction of his race, a law enforcement officer named J’onn J’onzz managed to escape Mars’ fate. With his home planet now a barren wasteland, J’onn migrated to Earth, where he would spend his time hidden amongst humanity as police officer John Jones. Burdened with a search for justice and belonging, Jones became a superhero, hoping to protect his new home planet as the Martian Manhunter. Despite getting off to a rocky start, J’onzz eventually found a home as a member of the Justice League and is now valued as one of their strongest members; his powers perhaps in excess of even Superman’s. 

Comics: Final Crisis, Justice League: The Villain’s Journey, The Grid, Trinity War
Movies: N/A


FLASH

Real Name: Bartholomew Henry Allen
Affiliation: The Justice League
First Appearance: Showcase #4 (October 1956)

Young Barry Allen‘s life was thrown into upheaval when his mother was murdered and his father, Henry Allen, was arrested for the crime. The slow, laid-back man became determined to exonerate his father, and Barry spent years working towards becoming a Forensic Scientist, often working late nights and falling behind to the chagrin of his reporter girlfriend Iris West. But it was one of those late nights that changed Barry forever, as a bolt of lightning burst through his laboratory window, dousing Barry in chemicals. From that moment on, Barry was linked to the ‘Speed Force’, extra-dimensional energy that allowed him to move at super-human speeds. Driven by that same sense of justice that leads him to try and prove his father’s innocence, Barry resolved to use his powers for good – becoming the Flash; the fastest man alive!

Comics: The Flash: Rebirth, Final Crisis, Flashpoint, Justice League: Origin, The Villain’s Journey, The Grid, Trinity War
Movies: Justice League


GREEN LANTERN

Real Name: Harold Jordan
Affiliation: The Justice League
First Appearance: Showcase #22 (October 1959)

Based from the centre of the universe, a group of alien beings known as the Guardians began dedicating themselves to creating an orderly universe, designing the ‘power rings’ – the most powerful weapons in the universe, and bestowing them upon chosen corpsmen to create an intergalactic police force known as the Green Lantern Corps, known for their ability to overcome great fear. Hal Jordan, a former test-pilot, became the first human to ever join the ranks of the Corps after he discovered the dying Abin Sur – former protector of space sector 2814. Now, Jordan patrols the space-ways – his power ring able to create anything that his imagination can conjure. After a stint of being possessed by an evil, universal force, Jordan has returned to the light and his place as the greatest Green Lantern in all creation.

Comics:  Green Lantern: Rebirth, Final CrisisJustice League: Origin, The Villain’s Journey
Movies:
N/A


CYBORG

Real Name: Victor Stone
Affiliation: The Justice League
First Appearance: DC Comics Presents #26 (October 1980)

Victor Stone was a High School football star who grew to resent his scientist father Silas Stone for prioritising his work over his son’s future sports career. However, when Victor was caught in a terrible accident, he became Silas’ new obsession, as Silas used experimental technology to save his dying son’s life. Now part-man, part-machine, the young Cyborg tried to push past his pain and his hatred of his father, standing alongside his fellow super-humans to use his new powers for good. Now amongst others who could truly understand him, Victor rose up the ranks of the superhero community, becoming a respected figure and an important member of the Justice League. As their technology specialist, Vic can summon portals using Apokoliptian technology to transport the League wherever they are needed.

Comics: Flashpoint, Justice League: Origin, The Villain’s Journey, Throne of Atlantis, The Grid, Trinity War
Movies: Justice League


CONSTANTINE

Real Name: John Constantine
Affiliation:
The Justice League Dark
First Appearance: The Saga of Swamp-Thing #37 (June 1985)

Born in Liverpool (England), John Constantine learned his first spell as a child, which resulted in the accidental sacrifice of his parents and the destruction of his house. After his carefree teen years, John felt compelled to travel across the world and learn more about sorcery. In his travels, Constantine gained a wide network of contacts and had several relationships with men and women along the way, such as famed sorcerer Nick Necro, and Nick’s former girlfriend and superhero-to-be, Zatanna. After John caused the death of Zatanna father, she cast a spell on him commanding him to be a better person. Confident in his abilities, the world-weary Constantine became an occult detective, infamous for his foul-mouth, cynical attitude and chain-smoking. Frequently allied with the likes of Swamp-Thing and Zatana, this mystical con-man has become well known in the colourful world of superheroics alongside his teammates in the Justice League Dark

Comics: Justice League: Trinity War
Movies: N/A


TEAMS

THE JUSTICE LEAGUE

Founding Members: Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Flash, Green Lantern, Aquaman & Cyborg
Base of Operations: Hall of Justice, Washington D.C.
First Appearance: The Brave and the Bold #28 (March 1960)

After reality was rewritten during the ‘Flashpoint’, younger iterations of Earth’s greatest heroes banded together to stop the New God of Apokolips, Darkseid, from conquering Earth. Under the command of Batman, space-cop Green Lantern, Atlantean King Aquaman, speedy forensic scientist Flash, Amazonian Princess Wonder Woman and ‘space-god’ Superman fought back against this evil. Amidst this conflict, young football prodigy Victor Stone was bonded with Apokoliptan technology and became the technological superhero Cyborg, rounding out the Justice League and ensuring Darkseid and his forces’ defeat. Becoming the most powerful and respected heroes on Earth, these seven inspired further ‘Leagues’ to rise up to battle the occult, extra-terrestrial incursions and threats to American interests respectively. Under this banner, the Justice League now features a formidable army of superhumans ready to protect both the Earth and reality itself!

Comics: Justice League: Origin, The Villain’s Journey, Throne of Atlantis, The Grid, Trinity War, Final Crisis 
Movies: Dawn of JusticeJustice League


THE SUICIDE SQUAD

Founding Members: Amanda Waller, Johnny Sorrow, Rustam, Doctor Polaris, Emerald Emperess & Lobo
Base of Operations: Belle Reve Penitentiary, Louisiana
First Appearance: Legends #3 (1987)

From out of Belle Reve Penitentiary, ruthless government agent Amanda Waller calls the shots of Task Force X – a top-secret black-ops team composed of super-villains. Implanted with bombs to ensure their obedience, and the warning that they will be disavowed if a mission goes wrong, the team complete missions in the interest of the U.S. government to reduce their prison sentences. Due to the high mortality rate of their missions, Task Force X has earned the nickname ‘the Suicide Squad’, with their members having a high turnover. However, alongside their sometimes field leader, Colonel Rick Flag, villains such as Harley Quinn, Deadshot and Captain Boomerang have shown themselves to be capable and efficient enough to make themselves longstanding members and take small steps towards ending their sentences and ensuring their freedom.

Comics: N/A
Movies: Suicide Squad


VILLAINS

JOKER

Real Name: Jack Napier
Affiliation: The Legion of Doom
First Appearance: Batman #1 (March 1940)

Facing financial difficulties, former lab assistant aspiring comedian Jack Napier took a job with the Red Hood Gang and was set up to be their fall-guy. While committing a robbery at the Ace Chemical Plant, the Red Hood was confronted by the Batman. Knocked into a vat of chemicals, Jack emerged transformed – his skin bleached white, his hair dyed green and his mouth stuck in a horrifying grin. Finding his wife and unborn child dead, Jack fell into insanity. Taking on the identity of the mass-murdering Joker, this crazed clown criminal made it his mission to torment both Batman and Gotham City at every turn, due to his bizarre twisted love for the caped crusader. Having spent his life since then being put in, and subsequently breaking out of Arkham Asylum, Joker has become Batman’s most dangerous and unpredictable foe. With no limit to his seeming insanity and the dastardly plans it leads him to concoct, the Joker is one of the most dangerous people on the planet, with the paralyzation of Barbara Gordon (Batgirl), the murder of Jason Todd (the second Robin) and the corruption of Harleen Quinzel (the supervillain Harley Quinn) among his various victories.

Comics: Batman: The Killing Joke, The Wedding
Movies: BatmanThe LEGO Batman Movie, Suicide Squad, Joker


CATWOMAN

Real Name: Selina Kyle
Affiliation: Gotham City Sirens
First Appearance: Batman #1 (March 1940)

The daughter of a notorious crime boss, Rex ‘The Lion’ Calabrese, Selena Calabrese was always tied to the criminal underworld despite her father abandoning her. Placed into foster care, Selena learned to fend for herself and began dabbling in criminal activities such as theft and prostitution. Inspired by an early meeting in the streets with a Bruce Wayne-in-training, and later by the appearance of the Batman, Selina began training herself, taking her thievery to the next level as the masked criminal Catwoman. However, from her continued encounters with the Batman, a romantic spark developed, and although still firmly entrenched in her criminal ways, Selina did start to occasionally fight by Batman’s side as a vigilante of sorts. Unable to stop thieving, but plagued with a good heart, Catwoman dances the line between hero and villain all the while struggling with the duty of being Batman’s one true love.

Comics: Batman: Year OneThe Wedding, Justice League: Trinity War
Movies: N/A


LEX LUTHOR

Real Name: Alexander Joseph Luthor
Affiliation:
The Legion of Doom
First Appearance: Action Comics #23 (April 1940)

Mirroring the journey of his nemesis, Lex Luthor hailed from Smallville, Kansas before moving to the gleaming city of Metropolis. Upon Superman‘s arrival in the big city, Luthor was one of the first to study and attempt to bring down the alien hero alongside corrupt businessman Glen Glenmorgan, and subsequently worked his way into power when Glenmorgan was brought down by Superman. One of the most brilliant, yet devious men on the planet, Lex Luthor became an industrialist of great renown. Blessed with an unparalleled genius, which he has used to amass great wealth and influence, Luthor is usually able to achieve nearly anything he sets his mind to. However, in spite of all his great achievements, one thing Luthor still cannot overcome is his great hatred for Superman, whose natural powers spit in the face of everything Luthor has worked so hard to achieve. 

Comics: All-Star Superman, Final Crisis
Movies: Dawn of Justice, Justice League


DARKSEID

Real Name: Uxas
Affiliation: The New Gods
First Appearance: Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen #134 (November 1970)

Uxas began his reign of tyranny by using his devious nature to sow seeds of discontent among the Old Gods, before stealing their powers one by one. With the Old Gods wiped out, and only he and his brother remaining, Uxas became one of the first of the New Gods. But while his brother created the paradise of New Genesis under the alias of Highfather, Uxas created the hellscape known as Apokolips. Here, he raised a vile and wretched race of beings, who teetered on the brink of war with Highfather’s own purer species. To hold off all-out war, the two New God Lords traded their infant sons. As a result, Darkseid’s spawn grew up to be the great hero of New Genesis, Orion, while Highfather’s son lived a tortured life where he learned to be the master escape artist Mister Miracle. With his sights now turned away from the other Gods, Darkseid has since turned his attention to Earth and discovering the Anti-Life Equation.

Comics: Final Crisis, Justice League: Origin
Movies: N/A


HARLEY QUINN

Real Name: Harleen Frances Quinzel
Affiliation: The Suicide Squad
First Appearance: Batman: The Animated Series [TV]: Joker’s Favour (September 1992)

After struggling through a tough upbringing, Harleen Quinzel tried to make something of herself by becoming a psychiatrist. Placed in the infamous Arkham Asylum, Harleen had a hard time getting through to the patients and hatched a plan with the warden to pose as a criminal herself and ingratiate herself with those behind bars. However, when the warden was fired, and their replacement dubbed Quinzel unstable, she struck back by freeing her primary patient, the Joker. In return for his release, the Joker threw her into a vat of chemicals in the hopes of recreating his own origin, before trapping Harleen in an abusive relationship where she functioned as his girlfriend/sidekick. In time, Harley managed to break away from the Joker and start life afresh, forging her own path in life as a rogue agent, sometimes a friendly villainess, others a violent unhinged ‘hero’, making new friends and relationships, as well as undergoing missions for Amanda Waller and her ‘Suicide Squad’.

Comics: N/A
Movies: Suicide Squad, Birds of Prey