DC and their comics and characters have been around for a very long time. Many classic characters from the 1940s through the 1960s are still some of the most popular in the industry. Batman and Superman are both around 80 years old! Wonder Woman and versions of The Flash and Green Lantern have been around since the early days of DC as well.
However, there was a point of time in the '90s where both Marvel and DC began to reinvent themselves. In Marvel, new characters like Cable and Carnage not only made their debuts but became lasting characters that have remained a large part of comic books today. DC Comics also brought us some icons who have done the same. Here are some of the key DC characters who made debuts in the 1990s.
10 CYBORG SUPERMAN (MAY 1990)
Cyborg Superman became a significant villain after the Death of Superman storyline. Hank Henshaw himself made his debut in the pages of Adventures of Superman #466 in May 1990. He was an astronaut who lost most of his crew (including his wife) in a shuttle accident and blamed Superman for the tragedy.
Henshaw had created a body similar to Superman and returned to Earth to kill Superman, but saw he was too late. Henshaw became Cyborg Superman and ended up involved in one of the most infamous moments in DC history. He used Mogul to destroy Coast City, which turned Hal Jordan into a villain.
9 DOOMSDAY (NOV. 1992)
Doomsday made his debut in November 1992, in the pages of Superman: The Man of Steel #17. The monster originated on Krypton. His creators killed and resurrected him over and over again in an attempt to create an unbeatable weapon. It worked as well.
Doomsday ended up on Earth and took the fight to Superman. He was more than the Man of Steel could handle, and they ended up locked in a stalemate battle where they beat each other to death. Doomsday has returned several times in the years since.
8 RENEE MONTOYA (MARCH 1992)
Renee Montoya made her debut in the pages of Batman#475 in 1992. She was a detective from the Gotham City Police Department as part of the Major Crimes Unit that kept contact with Batman. However, in the pages of 52, Montoya ended up becoming the new Question when the original died. In the New 52, she was the partner of Harvey Bullock.
Fans got to know Montoya more on the Batman animated cartoons. Movie fans will get a chance to finally meet her when she appears in the 2020 DC movie Birds of Prey.
7 MR. ZSASZ (JUNE 1992)
In 1992, a new Batman villain made his debut when Mr. Zsasz appeared for the first time in the pages of Batman: Shadow of the Bat #1. Like most of the villains in the world of Batman, Mr. Zsasz was not superhuman at all, but was instead a vicious serial killer.
Victor Zsasz was, at one time, the head of his own company, but when his parents died, he lost all his money. He then tried to take his own life, but when a passer-by saved him, he killed the man and then decided he did him a favor. Every time he kills a person, he slices a mark into his body.
6 HARLEY QUINN (OCT. 1999)
Harley Quinn is a unique DC Comics character. She didn't make her debut in the comics at all. Harley Quinn made her first appearance on Batman: The Animated Series on Sept. 11, 1992. She was an original animated cartoon character, later introduced into the comic books.
Harley Quinn made her first comic book appearance in The Batman Adventures #12 one year later in September 1993. She has since become one of DC's most beloved characters, moving from her role as Joker's sidekick to a member of the Suicide Squad, and she will also appear in 2020's Birds of Prey.
5 BANE (JAN. 1993)
One of Batman's most powerful enemies is Bane, and he made his DC Comics debut in 1993 in Batman: Vengeance of Bane #1. The fact that Bane got a series named after him showed that DC was serious about making him a massive threat. He was more than that.
Bane is the villain who broke the bat. During the storyline Knightfall, Bane was able to break down Batman little by little, as he sends most of Batman's most dangerous villains after him. When Batman is finally at his weakest, Bane broke Batman's back and took him out of action for a long time.
4 KON-EL (JUNE 1993)
After Superman died at the hands of Doomsday, four new versions of Superman showed up. One was a villain introduced in the '90s, Cyborg Superman. Another was John Henry Irons' Steel. The other two were the Eradicator and a new version of Superboy. Out of the four, it was Superboy that made the most impact.
Kon-El was a clone created from Superman's DNA. He went on to create his own legacy as a member of the Teen Titans and later Young Justice. He was a massive part of the Young Justice cartoon and is one of the most important DC characters created after the Death of Superman event.
3 BART ALLEN (JULY 1994)
In the 1980s, Barry Allen gave his life to save the world in Crisis on Infinite Earths. When the multiple Earths rebooted into one, it was Wally West who was the new Flash, quickly becoming one of the most popular versions of Flash in DC Comics history.
With Wally West giving up his role as Kid Flash to become the main DC Comics version of Flash, it opened up a character. Bart Allen debuted in 1994 as the new Kid Flash. Bart debuted in The Flash #91, the grandson of Barry Allen from the future.
2 KYLE RAYNER (JAN. 1994)
In the '90s, Hal Jordan watched his beloved Coast City destroyed by Mogul and Cyborg Superman and used his powers to bring it back. The idea was to make Hal a villain and replace him as the Earth's Green Lantern. That new Lantern was a young man named Kyle Rayner.
Rayner made his first appearance in DC Comics in Green Lantern (Vol. 3) #48, and he became the new Green Lantern two issues later. Kyle became hugely popular, an artist who was able to use his creativity when creating his weapons and was easier for young fans to relate to than Hal Jordan.
1 PARALLAX (MARCH 1994)
Parallax is one of the most dangerous villains in the world of the Green Lantern Corps. The demon with the power to control minds and cast fear made its debut in Green Lantern (Vol. 3) #50 and was strong enough to warp the mind of Hal Jordan and turn him into a villain.
With Parallax controlling him, Hal Jordan became the most powerful villain in DC Comics, and even the greatest heroes couldn't beat him. When Hal came back to his senses, he gave his life to save the Earth and Parallax was finally defeated.