Saturday, March 17, 2018

Top 5 Fridays: Top 5 DC Comic Villains Who Became Heroes

Comic books are filled to the brim with heroes and villains.  Obviously, it's what makes them tick and I have always been a guy that believes that a book needs a great villain before a great hero because what makes a hero great more than battling his badass arch-nemesis.  That being said, there aren't a lot of books on the spinner racks that feature a full-out villain as the main character.  That's why (much to the chagrin of a lot of fans) we often get a villain making a hero turn that may be for a brief time or may even redefine the character completely.  This list is going to be mostly from the current continuity, but I'd love to hear what everyone's favorites are in the comments below and the sky's the limit to when, where and how you grab them...yes, you can even throw in some other comic companies characters as well!

5. Killer Frost

While the classic character was usually used as a Firestorm villain, Caitlin Snow has had some ups and downs since the New 52 reboot.  Sure, she killed a couple of H.I.V.E. Agents and maybe some Norwegians and did go after Firestorm to cure her sickness, but once Forever Evil hit, she showed that she could also be part of the good side of things.  However, her helping to get Wonder Woman's lasso in the big event was just the ICEing on the cake.  Rebirth has made her a full-out hero and Justice League of America member with the help and blessing of Batman himself.  If you read that series, then you know that she may not be able to take the "Killer" part of her name off just yet, but she's working on it!

4. Catwoman

This is one of those entries that may not be to my liking, but I can't deny what's going on around me...can I?  Of course, this points squarely at Tom King's run of Batman, but the idea of Catwoman being more hero than villain has been going on since the New 52 Reboot and well before.  Sure, she still was into stealing a few things now and again, but she was also into saving innocent people and doing the right thing.  I really liked the end of the New 52 where she was more Selina than Catwoman (and a Mob Boss who put a hit on her cousin), but there is no denying that since Rebirth began, nobody has kicked more villain ass...Bane, Talia, three mind-controlled Speedsters all while stealing...the night!

3. Deathstroke

It's funny to think of  Deathstroke's main claim to fame being hunting down teenagers, but it didn't take DC long to figure out that the Terminator could be so much more.  A Mercenary for Hire...a Killer with a Anti-Hero and even something without the "Anti" in the title.  If you are reading Priest's Rebirth Deathstroke series (and you should!  See last week's list HERE) you have been put through a roller coaster ride of emotions watching Slade Wilson try his damndest to be a hero, culminating in his Speed Force epiphany (in the Lazarus Contract cross-over) and formation of the Defiance Squad.  Yep, the man who once fought the Teen Titans know was leading his own team of teens and while it didn't quite work out fantastically, it still showed that Deathstroke could be a hero in his own terms.

2. Lex Luthor

If you ask Lex, he has always been the hero of his own story, but it took Forever Evil and it's aftermath to make it official.  Lex leading the Justice League?  Yep and awesome!  That was just the beginning, though, as Lex tricked his way into being the God of Apocolypse, got his Super Suit and even went as far as buying the Daily Planet just to get Superman's cape!  Of course, this could have all been a devious plan of Luthor's, but he legitimately wanted to be the replacement for Superman after he died and even seemed to win over Pre-Flashpoint Supes as well.  It seems as if Superman Reborn may have taken a lot of this off the board (much to Eric and my dismay!), but I'll always look at Lex's hero run as a highlight of the New 52 and beyond.

1. Clayface (Basil Karlo)

Clayface being part of the Bat Family in James Tynion's Rebirth Detective Comics was one of the craziest moves in recent years, but also one of the best.  It may have started as a curiosity, but Tynion showed the man underneath the clay and teaming him up with Cassandra Cain (another reforming character) was solid gold.  Tynion didn't sugar coat anything and even introduced Mudface, a woman scarred by Clayface himself to remind the reader of Basil's dark past.  However, Clayface provided the muscle and more laughs than I ever imagined and while I was waiting for him to revert back to his old ways, his ending became the main focus of the book and its ramifications continue to push the book's narrative forward.  Before this book, I'd never imagined I would be #TeamClayface, but I was and still am.

So that's the list for this week.  Let me know what you think and what some of your favorite Villains turned Heroes are.

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