Top 10 Underappreciated DC Characters



Top 10 Underappreciated DC Characters

VOICE OVER: Tom Aglio WRITTEN BY: Jonathan Alexander
These underrated superheroes need some love! For this list, we'll be looking at heroes, villains and everyone in between that are under this comic banner that don't get the respect or the screen time they deserve. Our countdown includes Terry McGinnis a.k.a. Batman (Beyond), Michael Holt a.k.a. Mister Terrific, Beatriz da Costa a.k.a. Fire, and more!

Top 10 Underappreciated DC Characters

Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Underappreciated DC Characters.

For this list, we’ll be looking at heroes, villains and everyone in between that are under this comic banner that don’t get the respect or the screen time they deserve.

Which of these characters do you wish had their own show or movie? What would it be about? Pitch it to us in the comments below!

#10: Terry McGinnis a.k.a. Batman (Beyond)

Admittedly, the idea of a teen putting on the cowl had us scratching our heads. But we’ll admit that this new-age Caped Crusader proved himself more than worthy of the iconic legacy. Trained by a retired Bruce Wayne in the future Neo-Gotham, Terry managed to hold his own against new villains and classic rogues like the Joker himself. Even though the new Batman struck the perfect balance of homage and innovation, he’s been criminally underused since his tv series ended in 2001. Since his crossover in “Justice League: Unlimited,” his appearances outside of comics have been slim to none. His absence feels like a waste given how much could be done with the character in Neo-Gotham.

#9: Bernhard "Buddy" Baker a.k.a. Animal Man

While the power to borrow animal abilities doesn’t sound all that impressive, there’s much more to this hero than his superhuman imitations. His powerset is rife with potential for wacky humor. But he isn’t just the butt of the Justice League’s jokes. Throughout the comics, he’s portrayed as an everyman figure who advocates for animal rights and environmentalism. Unfortunately, his brief animated appearances and blink-and-you’ll-miss-it cameos have boiled him down to his zaniest elements. We do love his humorous side. However, if he’s adapted with the same respect his comic gave him, he could really roar to life.

#8: Michael Holt a.k.a. Mister Terrific

Goofy name aside, it’s refreshing to follow a hero that doesn’t just punch through every conflict they face. As canonically the third smartest man on Earth, Mister Terrific prioritizes brain over brawn to deliver some unique and compelling stories. But he’s shamefully never been given the chance to lead his own title feature outside of the comics. Mister Terrific has historically been pushed to smaller appearances in both live-action and animated series. If you’re unconvinced of how worthy this guy is, just watch his chess match with an evil Superman in the “Injustice” film. This small Mr. Terrific victory is a small sample of what this character can bring to the wider DC universe if just given the chance.

#7: M'gann M'orzz a.k.a. Miss Martian

It’s one of DC’s greatest sins that this charming heroine is often overlooked both in and out of universe by her famous uncle, Martian Manhunter. Her impressive psychic abilities make her an asset to any team. Her earnest optimism also helps her stand out among DC’s greatest heroes. Despite her standout roles in animated series “Young Justice” and live-action “Supergirl”, it’s still unclear if M’gann will ever get upgraded to the big screen. We fully believe that she could easily adapt to a full length movie on her own. Miss Martian doesn’t need her uncle to prove she’s one of the League’s most worthy combatants.

#6: Vic Sage a.k.a. The Question

This faceless hero's brilliant detective skills and innate distrust of authority make him an excellent companion for Batman’s grittier stories. But a supporting role just doesn’t do this conflicted philosopher justice. Sage’s quest to purify the corrupt politics of Hub City is a bit difficult because of his own struggles with morality. While Vic Sage is the original Question, Renee Montoya, who appeared in 2020’s “Birds of Prey,” has also been seen under the mask. Coincidentally, there have been rumors brewing that DC Films may have a plan for this intriguing character. Maybe we’ll get our wish of a more thoroughly explored Sage or Montoya version of Question sooner rather than later.

#5: Augustus “Arnus” Freeman IV a.k.a. Icon

A hero with super strength, regeneration capabilities, and concussive blasts seems like a hero you’d want on the front lines, right? Unfortunately for Icon, his only appearance outside of comics is in “Young Justice.” And he’s given little to do besides serve as set decoration for Rocket’s introduction. It’s a massive waste given how much potential this character could have fighting alongside the rest of the Justice League. On top of that, Icon’s backstory of being an alien who took on the appearance of a black man to blend in opens the door for an incredible range of stories. Oh, and did we mention he barely ages? This hero could single-handedly protect the planet for centuries to come if he’s allowed to make bigger appearances.

#4: Virgil Hawkins a.k.a. Static

The most shocking thing about this fantastic teen hero is how quickly he’s faded from the spotlight. This electrifying protagonist explored important issues that young Black people faced and starred in hard-hitting storylines. Despite leading the first African-American superhero cartoon, he’s disappointingly been demoted to cameos and small supporting roles in recent years. Years after his titular show ended, “Static” stories kept fading fast outside of his hardcore fans. But Virgil didn’t completely blink out of existence. In 2020, it was announced that a long awaited live-action Static project is in production. Hopefully, this new movie will give “Static” the new spark he deserves.

#3: Scott Free a.k.a. Mister Miracle

Don’t let the colorful suit and quirky behavior fool you. This genius pacifist has proven himself to be one of the most integral members of the Justice League. While his immortality and Houdini hijinks help, his real contribution is his ingenious brain that has all the information of the universe. But his pacifist mindset also means he doesn’t always see eye to eye with the League. Since Mister Miracle’s guided by his own moral compass, his dynamic with the other heroes is all the more captivating. He doesn't deserve to just be dismissed as mere comic relief. Mister Miracle is arguably one of the most impressive members the Justice League has ever seen.

#2: Beatriz da Costa a.k.a. Fire

A standout member of the Justice League International, this flame hero can melt a villain, go deep undercover, or deliver a sassy, gut-busting quip without even warming up. But despite having some of the most visually thrilling powers in DC, the comics often sideline her. Fire is usually eclipsed by more well-known female crime fighters. When she’s jumped from page to screen, it’s often been as a simple hero of the week. Fire’s small role does a huge disservice to her rich backstory that ties into many other prominent Leaguers’. Her big-sister relationship with Ice alone is enough for a full narrative. Given her history with the espionage side of DC, Fire could easily ignite a thrilling spy story on her own.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.

Kyle Rayner a.k.a. Green Lantern
He’s Often Overlooked by Prior Lanterns, but He Holds His Own in an Intergalactic Brawl

Carter Hall a.k.a. Hawkman
This Winged Hero Has Never Gotten the Focus His Deep Lore & Complex Morality Deserves

Rex Tyler a.k.a. Hourman
His Powers May Only Last for an Hour at a Time, but He Makes Every Second Count

Nathaniel Adam a.k.a. Captain Atom
There’s No Good Reason a Justice League Mainstay With Powers This Cool Isn’t Utilized More

Patrick "Eel" O'Brian a.k.a. Plastic Man
Laugh All You Want, but He’s an Iconic Hero With Fun Powers and a Heart of Gold

#1: Jason Blood & Etrigan the Demon

You may raise an eyebrow when you hear the Justice League is now accepting demons into their ranks. But we promise that this antihero is a worthy addition. On his own, Etrigan is as bloodthirsty as you’d expect a creature from Hell to be. Fortunately, since he’s bound to occult expert Jason Blood, the demon is often steered towards aiding the Justice League. It’s fascinating to watch the duo balance their own individual motivations with their limited skillsets. Etrigan’s habit for speaking in rhymes also leads to some really fun interactions. This pair is a horror film and a buddy-cop comedy rolled into one! Our only complaint about them is that they just aren’t around enough.