10 Smartest Decisions In DC Superhero History

Batman isn't the only big brain in the DCU.

Robin Damian Wayne
DC Comics / Patrick Gleason

DC Comics is home to a lot of smart people - fictional and otherwise. Whether it's the heroes of the DC universe who reside on the page or the creators who bring life to them off it, comic book fans have had the privilege of enjoying some of the smartest moments in the medium when reading a DC comic, with some sticking out more than others.

Now, usually these "smartest decisions" lists tend to revolve around the actual characters of a given story and their big brain plays that have ended up ensuring victory in one way or another, but I wanted to take a different tack this time around.

There will certainly be examples of the smart decisions individual DC heroes have made over the years, but equally, I think it's just as compelling to examine the harebrained ideas that creators have implemented too.

The superhero genre is home to plenty of rinse and repeat stories that reinforce the status quo in one way or another, but - over the decades - we've seen creators rise to the challenge and leave a lasting legacy with these characters. Sometimes these decisions can provide a fresh new take on a given hero, and others can actually end up redefining them altogether.

Either way, whether it's a case of a hero outthinking their opponent, or a creator breathing new life into an existing property, one thing they both have in common is that they're both super smart.

10. Changing The Green Lanterns - Various

Robin Damian Wayne
DC Comics

It's been said many times that Green Lantern is essentially DC's Star Wars, and in terms of scale and just overall sci-fi goodness, the comparison rings true. It doesn't have quite the mythological splendor of George Lucas' space opera, but there's nothing else in the superhero genre that comes as close to it as Green Lantern.

Interestingly though, Green Lantern didn't start off as the sci-fi epic we know it as today. The original incarnation of the comic (which began in the 1940s), focused on Alan Scott, a Green Lantern who derived his powers from magic. It wasn't until the Silver Age commenced in the following decade that Hal Jordan would be introduced, and with it the sci-fi focus that has stuck with the comic ever since. (Hal's creators, John Broome and Gil Kane, had the foresight to keep the banger of an Oath from the original Alan Scott comic, though.)

But that wasn't the only home run GL managed to hit in the decades following Alan Scott's debut. As the years progressed, DC introduced a number of different Green Lanterns to compete with Hal Jordan, each bringing their own personality to the comic. John Stewart (really the best incarnation of the character), was an architect, which was reflected in the constructs he made with his power ring. Kyle Rayner, meanwhile, was an artist, and so his constructs had much more flare than usual.

Today, every DC reader has a Lantern they love the most. It's generational, and even though the Silver Age nostalgia goggles have prevented newer Lanterns from making the mark they probably should have, it hopefully won't be long until Simon Baz, Jessica Cruz and Jo Mullein - star of the brilliant Far Sector - become just as iconic as their predecessors.

Content Producer/Presenter
Content Producer/Presenter

Resident movie guy at WhatCulture who used to be Comics Editor. Thinks John Carpenter is the best. Likes Hellboy a lot. Can usually be found talking about Dad Movies on his Twitter at @EwanRuinsThings.