Some of the most classic and shining examples of heroism in the comic book world belongs to the heroes of the DC Universe. Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman and more were some of the first heroes to ever grace comic books, and became a mainstay of the industry. Yet these heroes have not always remained heroes.
Whether it’s alternate timelines, parallel universes or something more, the heroes of the DC Universe have evil counterparts and evil versions of themselves roaming the DC Multiverse. With so many memorable ones, here are the ten most powerful evil DC Comics heroes to ever exist.
While there have been many versions of the hero and villain Superwoman, the most notable evil version is the one associated with the Crime Syndicate of America. More recently revealed to hail from Earth-3, Superwoman is an evil counterpart to Wonder Woman, and was shown to have ended the lives of all her fellow Amazons on her world.
Taking the name Lois Lane in the world of men, Superwoman becomes a founding member of the Crime Syndicate, using her lasso not to bring out the truth, but force victims to reveal most embarrassing and humiliating truths in their lives.
While lately in DC Comics readers have seen a multitude of evil versions of Batman, one of the original evil Batmen has to be Owlman, the Batman of the Crime Syndicate from Earth-3. Born Thomas Wayne Jr., he survived while his mother and younger brother Bruce were slain in the alleyway attack.
Blaming his father Thomas (that world’s police commissioner of Gotham), the two grew to be rivals. Wayne Jr. used a serum to enhance his intellect and became Owlman. He often uses countermeasures built to contain his Crime Syndicate teammates and has used them whenever he pleases.
8 Power Ring
Another member of the Crime Syndicate of America from Earth-3 that is an evil version of Green Lantern is Power Ring. In this reality, the villain gains his power from a Tibetan Monk, and uses its power much like the Silver Age Green Lantern did.
In the Post-Crisis storyline, the original Power Ring gave his ring to Kyle Rayner’s counterpart. The monk who granted the ring housed himself inside the ring, and thus inside the mind of the bearer, marking the ring as a “curse”. Power Ring would make giant monstrosities to destroy entire city blocks on Earth.
This next evil version of a hero is unique in that it stems from one of the heroes themselves. Grid appeared in the Trinity War storyline. A powerful software that wanted Cyborg to access information on metahumans, Cyborg trapped the software until Atomica brought out its full sentience, bringing it into the fold of the Crime Syndicate upon their arrival and giving it what it always wanted, a body of its own.
Joining the Crime Syndicate, the villain helped their takeover of the world by cutting power to all major cities and releasing all criminals and supervillains on Earth.
6 Flashpoint Wonder Woman
One timeline that brought out the worst of the DC heroes has to be the Flashpoint timeline. In this reality, Barry Allen had raced back in time to save his mother from Eobard Thawne, and returned to a much different world. One of the villains of that world was Wonder Woman.
In this reality, Wonder Woman was due to marry Arthur Curry of Atlantis, but her mother was assassinated on their wedding day. Believing Atlantis to be responsible, she declared war between Atlantis and the Amazons. She would go on to end the lives of many innocent people during war.
5 Red Son Superman
One popular alternate reality comic book series introduced a villainous form of Superman, and that series was known as Superman: Red Son. In this storyline, instead of landing in Kansas, Superman landed in the Ukraine, and became an agent of the Soviet Union. This led to a major Cold War between the U.S. and Soviet Union, where metahumans were sought after rather than Nuclear Warheads.
Lex Luthor led the United States campaign against Superman. While appearing heroic, Red Son Superman served the Soviet Union’s ideals rather than the world’s and human morality in general, imposing restrictions on personal liberties.
One of the most prominent turns of a hero into a villain in the DC Universe belongs to Hal Jordan, aka Green Lantern. While many others have taken on the mantle of Earth’s Green Lantern, Hal Jordan was known as the best of them all. However, during the ’90s, Hal took a dark turn.
After the destruction of Coast City, Hal became disillusioned with the Green Lantern Corps, and ended up destroying Oa and the entire Corps, becoming the villain Parallax and plaguing the universe for years. It was later revealed he had been taken over by another entity.
3 Red Death
One of the most evil versions of a hero comes in the form of one of the newly introduced Dark Multiverse villains, Red Death. Bruce Wayne of Earth -52, Red Death came into being after his mind broke after the loss of all his allies/Robins, Tim, Dick, Jason and Damien respectively.
Seeking to stop criminals once and for all, he took out all of the Flash’s Rogues, used their weapons to capture the Flash, and then tied Barry to the hood of the Batmobile. Bruce Wayne attached his car to the Cosmic Treadmill and raced into the Speed Force.
One villainous hero who literally became the opposite of his heroic counterpart was Ultraman, the Superman of the Crime Syndicate of America from Earth-3. In this world, Superman came from a Krypton that had not exploded, and gained his power from the radiation of Kryptonite, not the Earth’s sun.
He became the leader of the Crime Syndicate, and even married Superwoman. However this was a result of his obsession with her, and she eventually showed her hatred of him by having a secret tryst with Owlman. He became the cruel, twisted version of Superman Lex Luthor always feared him.
1 Batman Who Laughs
The most evil version of a hero has to be the recently introduced Bruce Wayne of the Dark Multiverse, The Batman Who Laughs. No other hero has ever become as villainous, as this Bruce Wayne was infected by none other than the Joker, the cruelest and most evil villain of the DC Universe.
The Joker’s blood infected Bruce, twisting him into a grim version of himself. Having his original intellect and tactician mind, he gained the Joker’s proclivity for violence and cruelty, turning his Robins into ravenous beasts. He survived Dark Nights: Metal, and is now infecting the DC Heroes.