Top DC Characters of the Decade (2000-2009)

A little late on this one, but I couldn't just leave it at a list for Marvel. DC's list was a little tougher. It was hard to find many characters who had a consistently good decade in the DCU. Most of the time it seemed like a good run for a character would be balanced out or outweighed by some pretty terrible stuff also in the decade. Batman's a prime example of that, if anyone wonders why he isn't on the list. But here it is: the top DC characters of 2000-2009.

10. Green Lantern (Hal Jordan)

This was the decade Hal Jordan made a triumphant return and retook the spotlight of the Green Lantern franchise. Thanks to Geoff Johns and an assortment of top artists, Green Lantern was one of the company's bestselling titles for the rest of the decade with Hal Jordan at the forefront, benefiting the most. His origin was retold, his villains fleshed out and added to, and greater detail and thought went into framing the Green Lantern Corps he belonged to. 2009 came to an end with Hal Jordan starring in DC's event Blackest Night and being set up to lead his own unique Justice League of America lineup. 

9. Captain Cold

Somehow, the Flash's Rogues become one of the most interesting villain groups in comics. The characters were colorful and campy at first glance, but Geoff Johns turned each of them into three-dimensional human beings. No longer did they seem outrageous. They became grounded and relatable. You understood who they were, and why they did the things they did. Chief among the Rogues was Captain Cold. He stopped being a joke villain with an ice gimmick. He epitomized the working class metacriminal. He was smart and dangerous without being a villainous mastermind. He just had common sense and a set of rules. Later writers of the Flash would drop the ball on the development Johns had accomplished with Cold and the other Rogues, but reparations came during Final Crisis with Rogues' Revenge. Captain Cold was back to form, and with Geoff Johns returning to the Flash franchise, it looked like things would stay that way.

8. The Question (Renee Montoya)

Renee Montoya was a character from the animated series who had found her way into comics in the nineties, but it was during this past decade that she really shone. Greg Rucka took the character under his wing when he first came to Detective Comics and stuck with her through what became years of excellent writing and development. From Detective Comics, she went on to be a main character in the critically acclaimed Gotham Central. Following that, 52 followed her journey into the next Question, and two limited series later, she was back where she belonged in Detective Comics. 

7. Green Arrow (Oliver Queen)

Overlooking a hero returning from the dead is hard to do, especially when that return is followed by almost ten years of good writing. Oliver Queen was brought back in 2001 by Kevin Smith, followed by an arc from Brad Meltzer and a prolonged run by Judd Winick. Through this time, he reunited with his former sidekick Roy Harper, rekindled things with Black Canary, embraced his biological son Connor Hawke and picked up a new Speedy in Mia Dearden. The Arrow Family became one of the closest and most compelling families in the DC Universe, and Oliver Queen went on to appear prominently in othe rmajor books, such as Identity Crisis. The decade may have come to an end with Green Arrow & Black Canary in an unstoppable nosedive of quality, but Oliver Queen spent most of it as one of DC's most engaging and interesting characters.

6. Superman

The Man of Steel got off to a shaky start at the turn of the century. Honestly, it seemed a lot like DC had run out of ideas for what to do with Superman ever since they killed him. But this was the decade things began shaping up again for the man meant to be DC's top hero. Writers like Kurt Busiek, Greg Rucka and Mark Verheiden began pulling together all the frayed edges of Superman's franchise and set the stage for Geoff Johns to really revitalize things. As bad as the idea of bringing in 100,000 other Kryptonians seemed at first, New Krypton worked to not only expand on Superman's heritage in ways never done before but also to show what makes the character so great even in a population with powers equal to his own. And if that was not enough, this was also the decade of Mark Millar's Red Son and Grant Morrison's All-Star Superman.


5. Booster Gold

Here's one of those characters who came out of nowhere. Booster Gold was one of those characters thought well past his prime, back in the days of Justice League International. It took the death of Ted Kord to shine a new light on Booster in the Omac Project and beyond. He went on to be one of the main characters in 52, spinning off from there into his own series. The most surprising thing was just how successful his ongoing series was, becoming one of DC's top selling ongoings thanks to Geoff Johns. Booster Gold carved out his own niche in the DC Universe as its new premiere time hero, and the decade came to an end with his series outlasting his original run. 

4. Catman

Catman was even more nowhere than Booster Gold. He appeared early in the decade as a loser of a crook well past his prime, and somehow he became one of DC's more badass villains. This was all thanks to Gail Simone. He appeared in Villains United as part of a new Secret Six and was immediately welcomed with a new fan following. It only took a few limited series and appearances before he and the rest of the Six were given their own ongoing series that persisted for the rest of the decade. Catman never had it so good. It probably helped that he ended up naked a lot. It was a cold, but good, decade for Catman.

3. Oracle

Barbara Gordon was already well established as Oracle before this decade began, but this was the decade of Birds of Prey, where she really became a character to be reckoned with in the DC Universe. She broke away from the Bat-franchise and along with Black Canary was treated as one of DC's top female heroes. It was a shame that Birds of Prey didn't make it to the end, but there's no doubt that the book had a good run. Oracle remained a major player even though she returned to the Bat-family, adopting the role of mentor over the newest Batgirl.


2. Sinestro

Hal Jordan wasn't the only one brought back in Green Lantern: Rebirth. Sinestro used to be the epitome of the mustache twirling villain cliche. Just look at him. He even has a mustache for twirling. Geoff Johns didn't make him any less a villain, but Johns did expand on Sinestro's motivations. In his own way, Sinestro was trying to save the universe and he created his own Corps for the job. He had friends, loves and a daughter. Throughout the decade, we saw Sinestro at his best and at his worst. We saw him in his days as the greatest Green Lantern and the seeds being planted that would lead to his eventual downfall. We saw him lead a war against the combined might of the Green Lantern Corps and Earth's heroes. The decade came to the end in the middle of Blackest Night, where we saw Sinestro as one of the last hopes for fighting back the darkness. Sinestro was arguably the true star of Geoff Johns' Green Lantern run.

1. Mr. Terrific  

Created in the late nineties, it was this decade when Mr. Terrific rose in the ranks of DC's characters. The character was redesigned and joined the JSA as the third smartest man in the world.  It wasn't just hyperbole, because it wasn't long before Mr. Terrific was appearing all over the DC Universe as one of its most brilliant heroes. Soon, he was the chairman of the Justice Society of America and then went on to be the White King of Checkmate. No other character in the DC Universe had anywhere near the ten years worth of quality writing and growth that Mr. Terrific had, making him the #1 hero of the decade.
Start the Conversation
Edited by Final Draft85

A very cool list and I agree with your character choices, but I'm especially glad you have Booster Gold on your list. He is my favorite DC character & I agree 100% with your assessment of his charater.  The rest of the characters on the list are fantastic as well & i'll look out for your next list, Peace!     

Posted by Captain13

I can't believe I just found this. You did an excellent job.

Posted by B'Town

I like your list.  You rocked it with Catman, Rene Montoya and Oracle making it. 
Posted by harleyquinn12

I totally agree with your list especially Oracle, Mr. Terrific, and Catman!
Posted by Silver Zeal

We(Silver Zeal) are in total agreement about Mr Terrific.
Where can we find a Mr.Terrific appreciation/respect thread in dis website?