The DC Universe has seemingly never been in a more healthy spot than it is right now. The Dawn of DC initiative has ensured that DC has focused on several corners of the DCU, making sure that everyone has nearly equal focus. However, just because many heroes are getting a focus, doesn’t mean all of them are.
There are plenty of amazing heroes in the DC Universe that have been forgotten about since the start of the Infinite Frontier era of comics. Some of them have held their own ongoing titles in the past, while others have at least been powerful, supporting characters. All of them have strong fanbases, and deserve more of DC’s attention than what they receive now.
Amethyst was a lead character of her own fantasy series in the ’80s. She started out as Amy Winston, a girl from Earth who discovered she was a princess on her 13th birthday. Traveling to Gemworld, Amy fought to free her home world from the villains who stole it from her family.
After the ’80s, Amethyst only made random guest appearances until the New 52. She represents a unique side of the DC Universe — one that isn’t constantly obsessed with the same superheroes from Earth. Though she has a connection to Young Justice now, as a magical hero, Amethyst can work with regular superheroes and within the mage corner of the DC Universe as well.
One of the oldest characters within the DC Universe, Hawkman has been around since dating back to the Golden Age and the Justice Society of America. The character has been a major part of the DC Universe across the decades, as a member of teams and a solo hero. While his last comic was one of DC’s best solo comics, it feels like he has been de-prioritized as of late.
Hawkman doesn’t spend nearly as much time with the Justice League or the Justice Society, and he hasn’t had his own ongoing in several years now. The focus has been on Hawkgirl, likely because fans of the Justice League cartoons are more familiar with her than Hawkman. However, there’s no reason Hawkman shouldn’t also find his own purpose in the hero community.
While Manhunter was never a mega popular character, she did represent a different side of DC Comics. She was a gritty street-level hero, but she didn’t get wrapped up in the Bat-Family like nearly every other street-level character.
Since the New 52 era, Manhunter has made appearances across several DC Comics, most recently appearing in the espionage-focused comic Event Leviathan. She would do better either back on the streets as her own character, or within the pages of a more grounded Checkmate comic like back in the day.
While Jade was never one of the biggest superheroes, she had a solid career going for her during the pre-Crisis era as a member of the teenaged super-team, Infinity Inc. Jade spent years working with her brother and the other siblings of the Justice Society, until the team disbanded. In the years since, she hasn’t gotten nearly the focus she deserves given both her experience and power.
Technically, Jade’s potential with the Starheart energy is even greater than her father’s, meaning she could be one of the strongest heroes in the DCU. DC recently acknowledged her again at the start of Infinite Frontier, but she’s only had minor appearances since then. Even the Justice Society comic, which is focusing on legacy heroes, hasn’t given Jade much attention yet.
6 Rip Hunter
The time-travelling Rip Hunter is responsible for keeping the timestream safe from all the villains with time travel powers. In that respect, his job as a hero is arguably more important than even the Justice League’s. However, he hasn’t had the same level of importance in the modern comics.
Rip Hunter’s most often a guest character at best, which is a shame considering he’s a versatile character who works in literally any era. Both Rip Hunter and the Time Masters deserve to see a resurgence, whether that’s in an ongoing or as a back-up in another book.
5 Kyle Rayner
Throughout the ’90s, Kyle Rayner took on a hefty burden as the only Green Lantern and completely excelled. He went from an inexperienced hero to a member of the most fondly remembered Justice League team ever. Even into the New 52, DC had a strong role for him as a White Lantern, but that all ended with the start of the Rebirth initiative.
Since then, Kyle Rayner has been a second-stringer at best, barely making supporting appearances. As the Green Lantern universe expands, it would be nice to see him make an appearance either in a team book or a solo comic.
Firestorm was one of DC’s biggest superheroes from the ’80s. A newer superhero, he was quickly given a place inside the Justice League as their “rookie hero” during the Satellite Era, and maintained that role for years to come. However, in the ’90s, the character’s relevancy gradually fell.
Without a place on Morrison’s JLA and without his own ongoing, Firestorm struggled to remain a big deal. Still, he’s got enormous potential as an experienced young hero who could slot into any team, meaning DC could revamp him with relative ease.
After the Teen Titans faded out in the ’90s, several teenaged supergroups appeared to take their place. WildStorm’s Gen 13 were one of those groups — a collection of kids who had superpowers thanks to government experiments in the “Genesis project.”
Gen 13 maintained their popularity throughout the ’90s and into the 2000s, even as the rest of the WildStorm universe shifted drastically around them. Since the New 52 though, most of the characters have only made minor appearances. Since the WildC.A.T.s having their own comic book now, maybe this group of teen heroes can finally get the revival they deserve as well.
Introduced during the major DC event Zero Hour, Jack Knight represented the ultimate reluctant hero. The title and power of Starman ran in his family, and when his brother fell in battle, Jack took up the mantle to protect his hometown, Opal City.
Jack Knight’s ongoing comic was one of the best DC stories of the ’90s, and he spent sometime working in the JSA once his book was over. However, in the years since then, the character’s largely been forgotten. Having him return after he stopped being a hero might feel off to some fans, but he has the experience to teach the next generation of superheroes in the JSA.
1 The Ray
During the ’90s, DC introduced new superhero Raymond Terrill, who boasted incredible light based abilities he inherited from his father, a Golden Age hero known as The Ray. Throughout the decade, this new Ray established himself as a worthy successor to his dad’s name, operating as a member of the Justice League and Young Justice.
Raymond Terrill reappeared during the Rebirth era, but didn’t spend long in the spotlight before being forgotten again. Considering The Ray was meant to be another of DC’s major queer heroes at one point, there’s no reason not to make him part of some hero’s supporting cast, or a member of a superhero team once more.
Enjoying popularity during past DC Comics initiatives, heroes like Kyle Rayner and Manhunter faded into the background, making them ripe for a return. Read More