Superheroes at the moment, with the upswing in comic inspired movies, television shows and cartoons at a peak, are most definitely NOT underrated. But what if I told you that some of these characters still are, in fact, underrated? That’s what I’m telling you, if you didn’t catch that…
With superheroes from across DC, Marvel & Independent companies seemingly everywhere you look, it’s hard to imagine that some of these characters created for fantasy could be overlooked. So, let’s talk about some of these characters, shall we?
Disclaimer: My original list looked very different from the one you are about to (hopefully, for my sake) read. I’ve always found heroes such as Green Arrow, The Winter Soldier, Black Panther, Luke Cage, Daredevil & Jessica Jones underrated. But with each one of them having either a currently successful TV show, a highly anticipated stand alone movie in the works, or being groomed to be the next Captain America in the MCU, I decided that this group was undoubtedly not underrated anymore. So I essentially went with a group that hasn’t yet seen the pop culture push from mainstream television or cinema. Thanks for understanding. I love you guys.
Top 10 Most Underrated Superheroes
10. Devil Dinosaur
…Because he’s a f-ing giant, red Tyrannosaurus Rex who can switch bodies with his genius BFFL, Moon Girl. That’s why!
Nemesis was launched through Icon Comics 8 years ago, with the tag line “What if Batman was the Joker?” The Mark Millar creation was a supervillain as brilliant as Bruce Wayne or Tony Stark, but evil to the point of making the Joker seem like an alter boy. The limited series is not for the faint of heart, but Millar puts to paper one of the greatest villains of this generation, even if it shouldn’t be read by anyone under 17 years of age. If this peaked your interest enough to go read this run, be warned: You will be disgusted, intrigued, and drawn in. You will also utter the phrase “Are you f-ing kidding me!?” at least twice an issue. You have been warned.
Arguably the most powerful sorceresses in DC Canon, Zatanna inherited her magical abilities from her father, Giovanni Zatara. Able to create spells by speaking the words backwards, she is a vital member of the Justice League Dark, an ally of the Batman, and has the abilities to manipulate time and space, as well as resurrect an entire city (i.e. Metropolis). Not bad for a magician.
I’m sure to some it seems ridiculous to think that Nightwing, the original Robin Dick Grayson, is underrated. But if you think about it, the focus of the Bat Family tends to settle on the shoulders of the Dark Knight and whoever his newest boy wonder is, who is at the moment his son, Damien Wayne. Dick has a checkered past with the World’s Greatest Detective, is a beast with the ladies, and oh yeah, is a world class martial artist trained by Gotham’s Knight. The one time leader of the Teen Titans, and one time Batman, had to hang up his black and blue (sometimes red) getup for a bit, but has left Blüdhaven and is back in Gotham City thanks to the ReBirth relaunch. I guess this is just my plea for a Nightwing show, since TNT’s Titans never got off the ground. But yeah. Nightwing is better than Batman (hahaha, I just said that to get a reaction. lolz, jk…kinda).
Warren Worthington III was one of the OG 5 of the X-Men, known as Angel, a wealthy playboy who, as part of the original squad, fell in love with Jean Grey (sweet Jesus, who didn’t fall in love with this telepathic redhead) and at one point died and was brought back to life by Magneto. Everything I just wrote, you shouldn’t care about, because I don’t either. You know what you should care about? When Apocalypse got a hold of this arrogant, winged mutant and turned him into his Horseman of Death, upgrading his costume and turning him into Archangel. For those keeping score, it’s Angel 3, Archangel 4,712. Why the character wasn’t kept longer in this form is beyond me, but he was basically Marvels’ version of Nemesis Enforcer from GIJOE. That’s a random reference, but I pray to God someone gets it. I’m straying off the topic here, but yeah. Archangel>Angel.
Best known for her role in Cartoon Network’s
god awful kid friendly Teen Titans Go!, Raven is a core member of the current Teen Titans roster, and the most intriguing one at that. Half human, half demon (thanks to her father, the demon Trigon), Raven is what is referred to as an “empath.” To break it down, she can sense and often control the emotions of those around her, as well as play with energy and time. And she can teleport. And she has what is called a “soul-self”, which is an astral projection of a bird, in the form of black energy, as well as manipulate the darkness. Did I mention that she’s half demon? I think that’s all I needed. Man, I screwed up this list, she should be higher. Anyways, don’t watch that terrible quirky show on Cartoon Network. Pick up a comic and get into this character.
He looks like a blue demon but is a devout Catholic with an intense moral code. And that MFer can teleport by picturing his location first in his mind (if he isn’t able to see it). Nightcrawler made his debut in the 70’s, has been a part of 2 different X-Men continuities played by 2 excellent actors, yet the hero is still relegated to the 2nd tier (3rd tier?) of the X-Men. An incredibly unique character with the background and powers to have a starring role in any X-Men comic or movie that should come this way, Nightcrawler isn’t given his due alongside the Wolverine’s and Deadpool’s of the X-Universe.
A time traveling pseudo-cop from a dystopian future in which mutants are marked and killed in the same way Jews were during the Holocaust. His mutant powers manifest in a way in which he is able to absorb energy into his body, then use that stored energy to project it outward, not completely unlike the concussive energy blasts Cyclops shoots from his eyes. Convinced yet? You should be. He doesn’t get the credit that fellow time traveler Cable gets, possibly due to not being the son of Scott Summers of the reluctant best friend of the Merc with a Mouth, but Bishop has just as much to offer from a character standpoint.
2. Red Hood
The second member of the Bat Family to make this list, and I suspect it’s due to the fact that all pail in comparison to the patriarch of that clan (to most, anyways). The Red Hood, aka Jason Todd, aka Robin #2, aka the dude blood thirsty fans had the Joker kill off with a crow bar in the original “Death in the Family” mini arc, has turned into one of the most intriguing and nuanced characters in the current DC Universe, currently leading a new team of Outlaws consisting of himself, Bizarro Superman & Artemis (his previous outlaws consisted of Arsenal and StarFire…so needless to say he surrounds himself with DC’s most eccentric and colorful cast of characters). Starting off as a foil to the Bat, he’s turned into the Punisher-esque antihero that Gotham so desperately needs. And his costume is B.A.
1. Silver Surfer
If you hated Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, I feel bad for you son, that movie had 99 problems, but the Surfer ain’t one. Herald to the Devourer of Worlds, Norrin Radd saved his home planet from certain destruction by agreeing to serve Galactus, scouting new worlds for the cosmic parasite to, well, devour. In return he was given a bad ass silver surfboard, a new body & just a bit of the Power Cosmic (the cosmic energy Galactus controls). The man (alien, actually) betrayed his master to save Earth, and went on to be a part of both the Defenders (originally not a street level team, as Netflix would have you believe), the Order and the Annihilators. A side character to the Fantastic Four, but WAY cooler than anyone IN the Fantastic Four, the Sentinel of the Spaceways has never gotten his due, so here’s hoping the character gets a brilliant character arc through Marvel Comics or finds his way into the MCU sooner than later, because a silver alien on a cosmic surfboard is a terrible thing to waste.
Alright, fellow Geeks, that’s my list. I hope I made some of you happy. If I didn’t, my most sincere apologies. Make sure you tell me below who would be on your list, what I messed up on, and how I can make it up to you.
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Lou Mattiuzzo is a full time teacher, full time husband, full time father & full time superhero enthusiast. Also, the Patriots have ruined the last 17 years of his life.
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