DC comics are the pioneers of the superhero comics industry. The studio has been creating groundbreaking characters with compelling backstories and narrative arcs that are worthy of awards and laurels. Characters created by DC comics namely Batman, Joker, Superman, Wonderwoman, and many more have surpassed the comic book medium and have garnered fans across the globe.
However, not every character created by the studio has been utilized to its full potential. Some superheroes still linger under the shadows of other vastly popular characters, while others have been lost under the sands of time. In this list, we will rank the top 5 superheroes of DC Comics who have vast potential but are underrated to a great extent.
Since 1934, DC Comics has created over 10,000 characters, a few are fan favorites while the majority of others are underrated.
5) Doctor Fate
The mantle of Doctor Fate has been carried by many individuals, but every version of this character is underrated to a great extent. Created in 1940s, the golden age of comics, Doctor Fate is the sorcerer of DC Comics. The title was originally helmed by archeologist Kent Nelson, who gained the powers of the ancient immortal god Nabu.
Dr. Fate has mastery over magic, can do everything from healing to forcefields and astral projections and is a founding member of the Justice Society of America. While he has appeared in many comic and animated television series, Doctor Fate possesses immense power but is severely underutilized. Doctor Fate will soon appear in the Shazam movie and will be played by Pierce Brosnan.
Etrigan, the fire-breathing demon from the underworld, was created by Jack Kirby, creator of Marvel characters like Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, and Hulk. But unlike his Marvel creations, Etrigan didn’t receive mass popularity. What makes Etrigan’s character special is his alignment with the good despite being the prince of hell.
Etrigan has made numerous animated appearances and is well received by hardcore DC comics fans, but the character is poorly represented in comics and his big-screen adaptation is yet to be done.
Etrigan the demon almost always speaks in rhymes and can be seen reciting couplets and poems, which adds a Shakespearean persona to the character. This gem of a character, Etrigan the demon, needs to be known to the world.
3) Captain Atom
Nathaniel Adam was a pilot in the Vietnam war who was framed for a crime he never committed. He was chosen as a candidate in a government experiment in which an atomic bomb exploded under the hull of an alien spaceship. Adam was present in the spaceship in which he disintegrated and was fused with alien metal. The blast transported Captain Atom twnety years ahead in time.
The character created by Spider-Man creator Steve Ditko is immensely strong and has a complex backstory but stays underutilized in comics as well as other mediums. Watchmen graphic novel's fan-favorite hero Doctor Manhattan was inspired by Captain Atom. This proves the potential of the character and how underrated Captain Atom is.
2) Blue Beetle
The title of Blue Beetle was carried by not one but three different characters, Dan Garett, Tedd Kord, and Jaime Reyes. Despite three different attempts by DC Comics to make Blue Beetle connect with the audience, the studios were unsuccessful in doing so for a long time.
The first two characters are as good as forgotten but the Jaime Reyes’s Blue Beetle was comparatively well received. With an exciting narrative, the young Mexican-American Jaime garnered a cult following but remains out of the limelight he deserves.
The blue armored superhero made a few heads turn thanks to his appearance in animated shows like Young Justice. A Blue Beetle movie is also scheduled for release in 2023 starring Cobra Kai actor Xolo Maridueña. Hopefully, the big-screen adaptation will shine a spotlight on the character.
1) The Question
DC Comics is an abbreviation of Detective Comics, which naturally suggests that the publication is an expert at creating detective characters and stories. The world’s greatest detective Batman is their biggest intellectual property. However, new fans are unaware of the other detective character the publications have created.
The brainchild of Spider-Man creator Steve Ditko, The Question is the most underrated DC Character to ever exist. Detective by profession, The Question was the protagonist of many mind-boggling comic book crime stories.
The character gained minor yet much-needed traction in Justice League: Unlimited, but despite that, the character has stayed away from casual fans’ recognition. DC needs to stick to its roots and churn out more detective stories. The Question deserves more and better comic titles. A series or movie with the character will surely chart its way to the Academies.