Harley Quinn is a character that I’ve struggled with over the years. She’s annoyed me at different times throughout her history but recently upon further inspection into her character I discovered that I actually enjoyed reading about her a lot more.
For those of you that don’t know, Harley didn’t actually get her start in comics and instead was created for Batman : The Animated Series. She started out as a simple lackey for Joker until she really blossomed into her own character. When she was finally given an origin we discovered that she was a renowned psychiatrist named Harleen Quinzel that wanted to try and cure the Joker but in doing so she fell in love with him and became Harley Quinn.
Harley’s at her best when she’s fighting against him, her story arc involves her constantly going back and forth between her love for him and her attempts to return to normal. Much like some people do when they’re in a bad relationship. I’ve always had the belief that even though Comics are supposed to be fantastical versions of our world with Heroes that are nearly perfect and Villains that are pure evil that when a complex character like Harley sneaks in is when you get some of the most interesting stories. We as readers want her to leave and we want her to stay because we know that she’s crazy but we love her because of that. That’s why Harley worked in the Animated series and has in many of the various comics.
In the latest DC Film : Suicide Squad, Harley is portrayed by Margot Robbie and although I was not a fan of this movie I was very pleased with Robbie’s portrayal of the character…not so much with the character design but hey that’s just me. Robbie brought her to life in a way that exceeded my expectations and I genuinely loved the scene where she’s just so dejected after thinking that Joker has died and then immediately goes back to her “Normal” self when the team returns. It’s a great and very personal scene that the film could’ve used a lot more of.
In conclusion, I’ve changed my thoughts on Harley Quinn in the past few years and I’m happy to add her to my top 50.
Cyborg is the heart and soul of the Teen Titans. Plain and simple. When it comes down to it the Titans are a team that focuses on the idea of younger heroes coming together to learn about their powers and grow as people. It’s basically DC’s answer to the X-Men and that’s where Cyborg really shines because he gets to be the one who suffered through a tragedy and gained abilities that he didn’t really want in the first place. The fact that takes those abilities and uses them to help people in the best way possible is one of the reasons I love him. In his later years he was always viewed as someone who would try to look on the bright side of things but of course these things happen to where he’s overcome with the depression and anxiety of his most recent years. His connection to people who go through different struggles is what has made him a DC mainstay over the last few years.
Victor Stone was a highschool football star when an accident happened causing to lose all but one of his limbs and many of his organs. His father, Silas Stone built him a new body with advanced cybernetic prosthetics thus making him Cyborg.
Initially Victor doesn’t want to live anymore but after he realizes all the good he can do, he accepts his new role as a hero.
He joins up with the newly reformed Teen Titans and quickly becomes a solid member with enhanced strength and incredible technology that him into one a powerhouse for the titans. Victor at time had risen to the rank of leader when Dick Grayson and Donna Troy would either step down or would be injured. He became a mentor for the next generation of Titans when they came of age.
In the New 52 reboot Cyborg was actually one of the founding members of the Justice League. Although being the youngest, the team never looks down on him and he can definitely hold his own. Especially after saving them during Throne Of Atlantis, Forever Evil and Darkseid War. Cyborg honestly kinda became that guy that you could just always count on to be there and save everyone.
Cyborg was also a huge part of the fantastic 2003 Teen Titans show. Always being that driving force thay the team needed and always trying to look on the brightside. He definitely deserves to be a part of my top 50.
From “Throne of Atlantis” this scene above truly shows who amd what Cyborg is. He has to get rid of his last human lung so that he can go and save the team. He has to constantly make those decisions of how to maintain his humanity while still having the ability to save everyone. This, to me, makes him one of the most selfless heroes in DC Comics.
I believe in Harvey Dent and you should too.
Harvey Dent is a truly phenomenal character because of everything he represents for the Batman mythos. His role as Gotham’s white knight is what most people overlook due to the tragedy of his life after his accident. His transformation into Two-Face has been changed over the years but the two most famous versions of his origin were in Batman : The Animated Series and The Dark Knight, and rightly so. Each version takes a few liberties with the details but the classic story is that Harvey was a district attorney that cleaned up the streets of Gotham from the legal standpoint of the system. Whereas Batman was the one who would bring them to him, Harvey was the one who would put them away. In the Nolan films, Harvey was a man who had basically been destroyed by the corrupt nature of Gotham but it was Alan Burnett and Randy Rogel that gave us my personal favorite version of the story in Batman : The Animated Series Harvey had always had a struggle within himself between Harvey Dent and his split personality alter-ego : Big Bad Harv. It was when an accident scarred half his face and nearly killed him that he couldn’t separate the two personalities anymore and thus Two-Face was born.
Two-Face is on this list for a lot of reasons, he’s a perfect mirror image of the struggle for all of us. His coin being the only thing that truly controls his choices is one of the things that makes him compelling as a character. He always works best as a man who is a tragic character, he’s not someone who’s completely in control of himself and that’s why he works and why he’s on this list.
Starting us off is a recent character. Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo started their run on the Batman title in 2011 and in their first year on the title they accomplished one of the most difficult feats of creating modern comics : Creating an interesting, lasting, dynamic villain.
The Court Of Owls are a force to be reckoned with. They are run by mysterious men and women wearing Owl masks that could be literally anybody and they command a nearly immortal army of assassins known as Talons. They use fear tactics to tell people what to do within Gotham and if they didn’t comply then they would send a Talon to kill them.
They target young recruits to be Talons, predominantly looking for orphans and runaways in Haly’s Circus. The Talons are trained to be deadly killers with special attributes as well as given a special serum that allows them an incredibly prolonged life.
In their first appearance in Batman, they’re angry that Bruce Wayne wants to build up parts of The Narrows, a run-down area of Gotham, and so they send him a few messages and ultimately send a Talon for him. Naturally, that doesn’t go well but then you begin to see that The Court isn’t like anything else Batman has ever faced. They truly have a grip on Gotham and it’s up to Batman to stop them.
Since then they’ve spread even further throughout DC, even forcing Nightwing to work for them and honestly that’s why they’re on this list : Because they’re so difficult to stop. They’ll never truly leave Gotham and that’s why the Bat family will always have to stop them.
The other reason The Court Of Owls is on my list is because they’re a new foe for Batman that will literally last for years. As a writer I’m already thinking of the Stories I could tell with them as the Villains. They’re terrifying, they make you think and they challenge our hero in a way that no other villain can and that’s what makes them compelling.