The DC universe is filled with hundreds and hundreds of characters. The company was founded some 85 years ago in 1934 so they have a huge collection of source material that comprises every era of comics. The sheer size of DC’s catalog rivals that of Marvel and means that they have literally thousands of stories.
With so much material, there are bound to be some characters that DC no longer uses. Some might have been abandoned because they were unpopular, while others might have become offensive or a product of their time. Of course, there is always the chance that the company may have just forgotten about some of the heroes and villains they have created throughout the years. Whatever the case, there is still a chance that some of these characters that DC has seemingly given up on may eventually return in the future.
20 Major Bummer
Major Bummer is the superhero alter ego of 19-year-old Lou Martin. The slacker receives an Extreme Enhancement Module that was meant for a more worthy person and is endowed with incredible strength and intelligence. However, because he is such a lazy person he has no interest in being a hero and actually hates his powers as they attract trouble and force him to battle super-villains. The series featuring Major Bummer was canceled in 1993.
19 Stephanie Brown
Stephanie Brown first appeared as an associate of Batman in the Detective Comics line in 1992. She went on to become a hugely popular character after fighting criminals in the guise of the Spoiler. Brown would then go on to take on the role of Robin and even took on the mantle of Batgirl for an extended run. Although she has appeared several times since 2014, the character has largely been forgotten by DC.
18 Knight And Squire
Knight And Squire are a pair of British heroes who essentially take on the role of Batman and Robin in the country. Modeled on their American counterparts and taking inspiration from the Knights of the Round Table, the pair battled various criminal elements and would even join forces with Batman on occasion. Their first appearance came in 1950 in Batman #62.
Thomas Reese Blake became Catman after his career as a cat trapper in Africa could no longer sustain his lavish lifestyle. He instead chose a life of crime and designed a cat costume based on that of Catwoman’s. In the intervening years since his debut in 1963, he made very few appearances until a revival saw him portrayed more as an antihero.
Azrael is an assassin with the DC continuity who was created by The Sacred Order of Saint Dumas through a complicated brainwashing scheme. He would go on to battle Batman various times before finally turning against his villainous masters. Eventually, Azrael would even take on the mantle of Batman himself when Bane broke Bruce Wayne’s back.
15 Challengers Of The Unknown
The Challengers of the Unknown are a group of four individuals who adventure across Earth and other planets to investigate sci-fi and paranormal events. They first debuted in 1957. They have no special abilities but decide to carry out their risky job after the group were the only survivors in a plane crash. Believing they were living on borrowed time, the group thought themselves bets suited to face unknown risks.
14 The Prankster
First impressions of the Prankster might make him seem as if he is just an imitation of the Joker. However, that isn’t a fair assessment. The Prankster, who was created in 1942, has been a major foe to Superman for many years. His main characteristic is that he using a variety of joke props and devices to carry out his crimes, employing practical jokes whenever he can.
Separate from the A.R.G.U.S. group that came much later in the DC continuity, Argus is a superhero who made his debut in 1993. The character acquired the ability to become invisible when in a shadow and to see an expanded spectrum outside of visible light. This allows him to sense infrared, ultraviolet, and microwaves. Argus would go on to work with the Flash and the Blood Pack.
12 The Guardian
Eerily similar to Captain America, The Guardian is a character who was created for DC comics in 1942 by Jack Kirby. The comic artist and writer had previously helped create Captain America with Joe Simon. This new character was trained in extensive fighting styles and used a golden shield and helmet to protect him as he battled criminals who couldn’t be prosecuted by standard police.
11 Hawk And Dove
The team of Hawk and Dove was created by Steve Ditko and Steve Skeates in 1968. They first appeared in Showcase #75 and would go on to battle evil as an effective partnership for many years. The two represented different ideologies of the time, with Hawk being a militant fighter while Dove is more of a reasoned pacifist. These conflicting personalities allowed them to find a good balance and work effectively together.
10 The Forever People
The Forever People were created by celebrated writer and artist Jack Kirby in 1971. The group is a collection of extraterrestrial superheroes who are essentially God-like individuals. They were tasked with defending Earth and under times of great stress could join together to create the more powerful hero Infinity-Man. Like other Gods, the five members were immortal being with a variety of superhuman abilities.
Several people have taken on the mantle of Chronos, a super-villain who is the main enemy for Atom. Created in 1962, each of the various incarnations of the character has an extraordinary ability to understand time. This gives Chronos the ability to have perfect timing when committing crimes to ensure all his plans execute perfectly. Chronos would also use a variety of clock-based weaponry.
8 Alpha Centurion
Alpha Centurion is a Roman man who was taken by an alien race during the reign of Emperor Hadrian. As Earth’s mightiest warrior at the time, he was taken to be trained among other champions from various planets in the galaxy. Using this extensive training and advanced technology, he would return to Earth to help defend Metropolis from a variety of villains. The character, who was created in 1994, would occasionally come into conflict with Superman.
7 Canterbury Cricket
The Canterbury Cricket is an English superhero who made his first appearance in the alternate timeline in Flashpoint. Having worked as a con man for most of his life, he asked the invading Amazons under the command of Wonder Woman to grant him superpowers. They, in turn, transformed him into a giant cricket. He would then lead a group of resistance fighters against both Wonder Woman and Aquaman.
Monarch is a super-villain who was first introduced in 1991 as part of the Armageddon 2001 series. The character leads a dystopian Earth several decades in the future. His tyrannical rule led to a scientist traveling back in time to assassinate Monarch before he could rise to power. The character was eventually revealed to be Hank Hall, although he was initially going to be Captain Atom before a leak of the story led to DC changing the plot at the last moment.
5 Dr. Mid-Nite
Introduced in 1941 in the All-American Comics series, Dr. Mid-Nite is a superhero that worked as a surgeon. He was blinded during a mob attack as he was operating on a witness. This event also made it so that he could see in perfect darkness, allowing him to adopt his superhero alter ego. Along with an owl sidekick, he would battle enemies using a special visor and black-out bombs that blinded opponents but allowed him to see without issue.
4 Space Cabbie
Making his debut in 1954, the Space Cabbie is unique in that he isn’t really a superhero or a villain. Instead, he is a driver who garners a reputation for being able to transport any being anywhere they want in the universe. During his travels, he routinely helps heroes such as Superman and acts as a narrator as he tells his passengers about past adventures.
3 Professor Amos Fortune
Amos Fortune is a super-villain who was first introduced in the Justice League of America series all the way back in 1961. Created by Gardner Fox and Mike Sekowsky, he was a scientist who discovered that humans had bad and good luck glands in their bodies. Using this discovery he attempted to battle various heroes and remove their good luck so that they would make mistakes and under-perform.
There have been a number of characters who have taken on the name mantle in the DC comics. While they are all somehow connected to the mythical being of the same name and are associated with dreaming, their powers and personalities are very different. Neil Gaiman even produced a line of comics under the Vertigo banner.
1 The Heckler
The Heckler is a unique character within the DC universe in that he doesn’t have any actual superpowers. Created in 1992, Stu Moseley would dress up in his signature costume and then spend the night tormenting the various criminal elements in his neighborhood. Without any actual powers, he would rely on his sense of humor and sarcasm to irritate his enemies until either gave up or defeated themselves in frustration.
Sources: CBR.com, Fandom.com, Comicbook.com, Newsarama.com, IGN.com, Gamespot.com, Screenrant.com, and Bleedingcool.com.