DC: 10 heroes who would make great horror villains


DC has long been the leader in mainstream horror comics. They revitalized horror comics in the 80s with Alan Moore’s Swamp thing and went from there, attracting new talent and ultimately creating Vertigo. Even now, all these years later, horror is a big part of DC’s DNA, with the publisher putting his list of respected heroes in stories like Deceased and DC against vampires.

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One of the great things about the DC Universe is how adaptable it is. There are plenty of heroes out there who would work just fine as horror movie villains with relatively few tweaks.

ten Batman already uses a horror movie villain vibe in his crime battle

Batman driving

For years, Batman has played on the fear and superstition of criminals in his quest to destroy crime, so this one is kind of a no-brainer. Beyond that there have been whole stories like Batman: red rain that show just how much of a horror villain Batman could be. Even without vampirism, Batman could still be a great horror movie villain.

Imagine a man taken too far in his war on crime with cutting edge technology, his mind broken by years of fruitless conflict, targeting ordinary citizens of Gotham because they could become criminals. A dark terror that melts, catches this kid who tags the walls of the alleys and leaves him smashed in the street. Batman would make great urban horror.

9 Superman could be the ultimate boogeyman

Superman Resident Evil

Superman is the great role model in the DC Universe, but there are plenty of stories that have shown just how effective he is as a villain. Deceased already played with an undead Superman being the ultimate monster and that makes perfect sense. His powers make him potentially the scariest being ever, not only because he can kill just about anyone, but because he could easily destroy society on a whim.

Superman as a horror movie villain wouldn’t just kill people; he would destroy entire nations, shattering human civilization into pieces so small that she could never recover even if she was able to defeat him somehow.

8 Zatanna’s power makes her dangerous for everyone

Zatanna is one of the most powerful magic users on the planet and it’s pretty scary. His powers allow him to do all kinds of damage just about anything. She has an incredible amount of magical knowledge, which allows her to do things that are beyond imagination without even using her demotion spells.

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Zatanna could be used as the ultimate wicked witch, using her powers to help people but putting a terrible price on them. It’s a classic archetype in horror stories, which she would excel at with a few tweaks.

7 Ragman’s Soul Steal Costume Has A Lot Of Horror Potential

Ragman is one of the coolest magical heroes in the DC Universe. Her costume allows her to steal souls and use them to fuel her powers, improving her strength and other abilities. This opens up the character to a lot of cool horror storylines. What if one of the evil men’s souls he absorbs takes control of him and the suit?

Or maybe ripping the souls of so many for so long has caused him to lose his own? Perhaps he has become addicted to the power it gives him, deciding to separate himself from the evildoers and start absorbing more and more innocent souls? There’s a lot of potential with a Ragman-directed horror movie.

6 Black Adam is already an unstoppable killing machine

The slasher movie became the genre of choice for generations of horror fans after the successes of Halloween, Friday 13, and Nightmare on Elm Street. Characterized by unstoppable killing machines killing morally compromised teens, it has become a beloved feature of trashy cinema and lends itself well to a particular DC hero: Black Adam.

Black Adam is known to violently send out all manner of enemies that do not meet his moral standards. This makes him perfect for a slasher-type horror villain, even if his favorite weapon isn’t bladed, making him the first villain of the smasher genre.

5 Cyborg could combine body horror and fear of tech

Cyborg discusses how he's a bridge between humans and technology

Two major genres of horror are body horror and technological horror. Cyborg is the perfect crossover character for this type of horror. He lost most of his body and had it replaced with cutting edge technology, making him a titanic hero. Those same perks could be turned into the perfect fodder for horror villains.

A man, slowly eaten away by the technology on which he depends to give him back his body? It has a lot of horror potential and makes him someone who could star in great horror movies that push the boundaries of the genre.

4 Harley Quinn would work well as a fatal murderous woman

Harley Quinn # 1 cover detail

Harley Quinn quickly took her place as one of comics’ most popular heroes, but she has the perfect pedigree to become a horror movie villain. She’s already known to be mentally unstable, so playing that would be easy. On top of that, as a beautiful woman, she can easily slip into the role of a femme fatale, using her feminine tricks to find victims and gain sympathy.

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Quinn is highly skilled and has no qualms about getting extremely violent. It works perfectly for horror, allowing it to expertly straddle the femme fatale and psychological horror worlds.

3 The specter could be used in an incredible Lovercraft horror story

Adventure cover detail # 436

Lovecraftian horror is also known as cosmic horror. These are humans coming into contact with all the mighty gods who have no respect for humanity and who realize how insignificant humans are. The Specter is perfect for that. As a divine instrument of vengeance, he has all the qualifications for cosmic horror.

The Specter is already one of the most powerful beings in the DC Universe and has long brutalized evildoers. He doesn’t care about humanity, just to brutally right wrongs, rule over humans. He would be excellent in a cosmic horror story.

2 John Constantine would easily lend himself to horror

John Constantine Hellblazer DC

John Constantine has long been a cornerstone of the horror side of the DC Universe. Usually he is the one who fights demons, but it wouldn’t take much for him to follow the path of damnation. John Constantine is already known to be a down-to-earth individual, so to see him walk the path of evil with the best of intentions at the start would not be overkill.

John Constantine slowly losing more and more of his soul as he attempted to gain the power to defeat all the evils in the world would make for a compelling horror story, ultimately leaving nothing more than a dark avenger fueled by a demon, destroying everything in its path.

1 Swamp Thing as Avenging Angel of Green is not a stretch

Swamp Thing fire function

Swamp Thing was the catalyst for horror’s comeback in comics, and making him a horror movie villain would be straightforward. Humanity is destroying the Earth and Swamp Thing is the representative of Green. It wouldn’t take much for him to start preying on the people who are actively destroying the life he has sworn to protect.

Swamp Thing could easily wreak havoc not just on individuals, but on all of human society, destroying cities and killing everyone inside with little more than thoughts. It is an unstoppable force for nature, a force that would teach the world a lesson it would never forget if it survived its rampage.

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