10 DC Heroes Who Were Once Criminals

Not every hero has the typical origin story.

Tigress DC Comics
DC Comics

The journey of a hero is never really set in stone - especially when it comes to the various continuities that can exist within different versions of a comic book universe. In one universe, for example, they might be seen as a hero, while in another they’re considered a villain.

Elsewhere, however, there are comic book heroes who simply have a totally different beginning from that of the typical Batman or Superman origin story. Instead of starting out as an alien from a foreign planet or as a billionaire orphan, characters might begin life as a professional thief, or even as an assassin, long before deciding to switch sides.

So, while not all heroes start out in the sunlight, that doesn't mean that they have to in order to be considered a hero later on. Some of the most famous and beloved superheroes were once criminals, proving that redemption isn't as elusive as readers may think. So, with this in mind, here are 10 DC heroes who were once criminals.

10. Ravager (Rose Wilson)

Tigress DC Comics
DC Comics

As the daughter of the infamous Deathstroke the Terminator, Rose Wilson didn't really have much of a chance for a happy childhood. His relationship to her alone often brought the attention of enemies like Wade Defarge - the first Ravager. Rose had initially been kidnapped by Defarge, after learning that she was Slade's offspring, and had planned to use her to torment Slade. It was also during this encounter that Rose had learned from Defarge that she was indeed Slade's daughter.

Slade himself decided not to intervene, however, because he thought it was best for him not interfere in her life. This unfortunately left Rose without a parent in the long run, though, as her mother Lilian Worth would die during the efforts to rescue her from Defarge. Later on, Slade finally decides to forgo his earlier decision by setting into motion a plan to capture Rose and kill her foster parents.

Once she is in his custody, Slade then explains to Rose that he wanted to renew their relationship by having her as an apprentice. Seeing Slade as her only family left, Rose decides to accept his offer- and her first mission is to kill Wade Defarge. After doing this, Rose then takes DeFarge's moniker and becomes the new Ravager- continuing to serve as Slade's partner in crime under this name.

Rose ultimately suffers from the effects of Slade's manipulative will, though, and even goes so far as to gauge out her own eye as a sign of her loyalty to him. Eventually, Rose decides to leave her father for the Titans, after finding out that he had knowingly exposed her to the carcinogenic effects of Kryptonite.


Emma Chisholm hasn't written a bio just yet, but if they had... it would appear here.