Comic book characters come in many different shapes and sizes. They are an odd bunch with a variety of different outfits. How can we know which one of these characters are heroes or villains and what their intentions are? Their immense power capabilities create hazardous situations, (especially when they are on the bad guys' side). Not only can a comic book character be a hero or a villain but they can also switch alliances without warning making them difficult to identify.
What makes a character a hero or a villain? It is not by what they say but by the actions they choose. Joining evil organizations or preying on the weak is a more than certain way for a comic book character to be labeled as a villain. Villains are greedy, persuasive, merciless and often believe they are the hero in their story. Heroes have courage, empathy, humility and patience.
A character is labelled as "both" when they have played both sides of the field. There have been multiple cases when a villain developed a sense of morality and changed their alliance. The opposite has also happened when a hero decided to abandon his principles and join the forces of evil. This quiz tests your ability to identify comic book heroes and villains. Good Luck!
Darkness is his ally. As a creature of the night he goes by many names: The Caped Crusader, The Dark Knight, The World’s Greatest Detective and Batman. His power comes from his training and expensive gadgets. The police consider him to be an outlaw and a vigilante. Batman’s purpose is to clear the corruption and crime in Gotham City. Batman has “one rule” which is no killing. In the first Batman solo comic from 1940 he hung a mental patient around the neck, while tied to his Batplane. A few moments later he said “He’s probably better off this way.”
Punisher, also known as Frank Castle, is a vigilante who attempts to bring down a mob in New York City. He is a martial arts expert, and has a huge variety of weapons. He had special ops training and was very good at what he did. Taking down the mob one by one while finding the culprits responsible for the death of his family is the Punisher’s purpose. Instead of being motivated by justice the Punisher is motivated by vengeance.
He may appear as your ordinary everyday wild brute but he also has Adamantium claws which extend out his hands and can penetrate any person. The claws are attached to his skeleton so they cannot part with him. On top of having super strength he is also almost invincible and will regenerate after being seriously injured. Wolverine has survived an indirect blast from a Nuclear Bomb. As far as anger goes he has some serious rage issues to work out.
Lex Luthor is a business magnate, philanthropist and wealthy individual in the city of Metropolis. He is the owner of LexCorp, a corporation known for investing in potentially dangerous projects. He was once looking for Bruce Wayne, the billionaire of Gotham City, to invest in his corporation but Bruce was not interested due to Lex’s use of guns. Lex Luthor will do anything to enhance his portfolio and is generally law abiding in his business. Even greater than improving his corporation further he wants to defeat Superman.
Her powers were first discovered when she kissed another boy in her early teens. As a result of Rogue making contact with this boy, he fell into a permanent coma. To prevent her powerful abilities from accidentally hurting someone she wears gloves and loose baggy clothes which provide a barrier from direct contact. Interestingly enough, Rogue’s first appearance was cancelled after the issue was halfway completed due to the Ms. Marvel series being cancelled. Over thirteen years later she appeared in Marvel Super-Heroes #11.
This scientist is renowned for his work as a nuclear physicist, atomic research consultant, inventor and lecturer. At one point he designed a robotic set of arms which permanently attached to his body for assisting him with lab work. These robotic arms were once used as a tool but later became used as a weapon as they have immense thrusting power. His name “Doctor Octopus” is a pun his last name “Octavius”, stemming from the reason he has eight appendages including his robotic arms, his real arms, and legs.
Poison Ivy has control over plants and uses them for aid. These plants are studied through Botany and from this she utilizes their individual uses. The plants can be poisonous but can also do things such as make people fall head over heels for her. After being poisoned by her advanced botanical biochemistry professor, Poison Ivy is sent to the hospital for months. Through this ordeal she gains abilities such as immunity to toxins and a special connection with plants.
Deadpool, played by Ryan Reynolds in the movie, is a former Special Forces operative and works as a mercenary. His real name is Wade Wilson and his face is seriously disfigured. Deadpool, like Ryan Reynolds, is Canadian and often refers to his home country. Also he is an organ donor. Deadpool would like nothing other than to be Spider-Man’s best friend. Although Spidey doesn’t agree, Deadpool believes it’s already true. It’s a one-sided bromance that we don’t need to dive further into.
Possibly the most recognizable character in comic book history is Superman. His power is so ginormous that it can only be estimated and not accurately measured. One time Superman was so infuriated by his friend’s death, (caused by a car accident), that he took to the radio to say all dangerous and homicidal drivers are now targets of his. After this, Superman continued his frenzy to an impound lot where he violently destroyed every car possible. Later within this early edition comic, Superman kidnaps the mayor in order to persuade him to create tougher traffic regulations.
Ultron is most widely recognized for his appearance in Avengers: Age of Ultron. Ultron was created by Dr. Hank Pym, the famed scientist and Avenger, who was running a series of experiments. Ultron was later upgraded into Ultron-2, Ultron-3 and Ultron-4. These upgraded forms gave him extra armor and made him more human like. Organic matter is present in his body also. Ultron mentioned he acquired a digestive system. Powers of Ultron include: enormous strength, flight, super speed, tractor beams, concussion blasters, energy absorption and a memory capacity of 3.2 terabytes.
This thing is made out of a rocky, orange-like material that is flexible in nature. Thing largely resembles Hulk, who he has clashed with many times. Thing’s power is the result of a mutagen effect that came when he was exposed to cosmic radiation. His strength is immense but due to Hulks increasing anger, Hulk will always be stronger than Thing. The human form of Thing will age but his rocky form is almost immortal. Bullets will bounce off Thing but it is possible to penetrate his shell.
This green cloaked figure is a genius inventor and sorcerer. He is part of Marvel and was created by Stan Lee. Dr. Doom is the archenemy of the Fantastic Four. Dr. Doom is technically a human from Earth but he is more god-like in nature. His armor is one source of his power and boosts his strength to superhuman levels. His main source of power is his intellect and if he were to go head to head with any villain or hero he would be outmatched most of the time.
Hellboy was conceived by his witch of a mother who gained her power from the the demon Azzel. Azzel is Hellboy’s father. Her mother’s body was dragged to hell when she tried to repent on her death bed. After this young Hellboy had his right hand chopped off and replaced with a Hand of Doom. When the other Hell princes learned what Hellboy’s father had done, Azzel was stripped of his powers leaving Hellboy on his own. Hellboy is neither DC nor Marvel and was created by Dark Horse Comics.
Two-Face, formerly known as District Attorney Harvey Dent, was one of the main characters in The Dark Knight movie which is considered by many to be one of the top 10 movies of all time. His signature coin determines most of his major actions. The horrific scarring on one side of his face, among other reasons, is why he is named Two-Face. This scarring is the result of an explosion burning half of his face. It’s a shame Batman just missed the opportunity to save him.
No one can beat the speed of The Flash. As a character in the DC Universe his main power is based on his incredible speed. There have been many different versions of The Flash. Some of the different ways that he got his incredible speed include being doused with chemicals when lightning struck, being born with the speed, and inhaling fumes from hard water on the planet Earth-Two. This speedster can run faster than the speed of light with ease.
He is similar to Spider-Man in many ways aside from having extra strength and a few different variations of powers. He is not related to a spider but is more of an alien-like creature which mimics the abilities of Spider-Man. Venom can shoot webs and is a shapeshifter. The Symbiote can detach from its main host and choose another. Once the Symbiote attaches itself to a host it is incredibly difficult to remove it. Venom appears in the movie Venom (2018).
His arch-nemesis is Charles Xavier. They have a complicated relationship and are still friends but their beliefs and actions cause much distance between them. Magneto can generate and control magnetic fields. This allows him to move metal which is a monumental power considering objects such as cars, buildings and jewelry are all made of metal. Others will follow Magneto as he displays many leadership qualities. His intelligence combined with his power makes him a formidable opponent. Magneto is in the film “X-Men: Dark Phoenix (2018)”
This person is similar to The Flash in many respects. Instead of a red outfit he wears a bright gold outfit which is the source of his immense speed. The colors of Professor Zoom’s outfit are the exact reverse of Flash’s outfit. Like many heroes and villains, Professor Zoom boasts a genius level of intellect. Additionally he can time travel, perceive and deliver blows at faster than the speed of light , alter his age, regenerate cells and create sonic shockwave projection.
At one point this serial killer shared a cell with Eddie Brock. Eddie Brock is Venom and is Carnage’s mortal enemy. Carnage is similar to Venom in many ways as they were both bonded by the same alien parasitic symbiotes. The symbiotes bonded to Cletus Kasady, a murderer and psychopath. This bonding occurred during a prison breakout. Cletus’ father murdered his wife (Cletus’ mom) when he was a young boy and this caused many of the personality dysfunctions Cletus developed in his life.
Bane joined the League of Shadows later after its formation. His presence in the League of Shadows was a huge influence as he is very powerful. After being injected with copious amounts of a highly addictive compound he gained abnormal strength and size. This venom has been used by Batman who used it to surpass his limitations. Bane is incredibly intelligent. His eidetic memory is so strong that he can recall almost anything he sees. He is also a polyglot who can speak Spanish, German, French, Russian, Mandarin, English, Urdu, Farsi and Latin.
He is one of the most eccentric characters in comics. He always has a smile on and dresses like a clown. He was planned to be killed off during the first comic book appearance he made so we can all be glad that did not happen. His first appearance was in Batman #1 of 1940 which is the first Batman comic book ever made. His weapons are a series of tricks and comedic gizmos which surprise their enemies because of their seemingly normal appearance. These include sharp cards, poison-shooting flowers, explosive toys and a shocker on his hand.
Loki is the brother of Thor and son of Odin. Thor is Odin’s genetic son but Loki was adopted after Odin slayed Loki’s father in battle. In the movie Loki is played by Tom Hiddleston and makes appearances in the Thor and Avenger series. His abilities include master manipulator, superhuman strength, astral projection, energy blasts, flight, illusion casting, inter-dimensional teleportation, and magical powers. This character had standalone comic books as well as also appearing across many others as a secondary character.
This fictional archer possesses no superhuman abilities and is an exceptional fencer, acrobat and marksman. Hawkeye’s training stemmed from the circus but he later received additional training from an organization. Do not underestimate his strength as no ordinary man would be able to draw the string from his weighted bow. Hawkeye has appeared in Marvel Studio’s The Avengers, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Captain America: Civil War and as an uncredited appearance in Thor. Clint Barton, (Hawkeye), was born in Iowa which is fitting because Iowa is known as “The Hawkeye State.”
Her secret identity is Selina Kyle but with her black outfit she becomes Catwoman. Catwoman first existed within the Batman comics but later got her own publications. Like cats, she has tremendous finesse and uses her claws to attack enemies. Felines all-around will flock towards Catwoman. This can be advantageous in certain situations. Catwoman and Batman frequently cross paths and have been romantically involved. Although they are both night crawlers, they are practically opposite in every other way. Perhaps that is why they fit so well together.
Don’t confuse this character Superman. Bizarro is a mirror image of Superman and exists with the Bizarro World. Bizarro World is a term which exists in pop culture and was mentioned in the television series “Seinfeld.” In the Bizarro World there is an opposite Lois Lane and an opposite Batman. The opposite Batman is named Batzarro, the World’s Worst Detective. Bizarro Superman’s powers are opposite from Superman. He has freeze instead of heat vision, vacuum breath instead of super breath and Bizarro X-Ray vision which allows him to see through only lead.
"'Who is Spider-Man' He's a criminal, that's who he is! A vigilante! A public menace! What's he doing on MY front page?” In the Marvel comics Peter Parker is given superpowers when he is bitten by a radioactive common house spider. One of his most well-known powers is his ‘spider-sense’ which creates a tingling feeling, alerting him of imminent danger. Spider-Man's other abilities include his web-slinging and wall-crawling. Even before obtaining superpowers, Peter Parker had a whopping IQ of 150. Now that’s a smart cookie.
Spawn is one of the few characters on this list that were not created by Marvel Comics or DC Comics. In 1997 Spawn received his own movie. Spawn was created after doing a deal with an evil entity known as Malebolgia. When he returned from hell his appearance changed and five years had passed. When he came back the world was a very different place. His wife had moved on, married his best friend and had a child with him.
Flint Marko was a common criminal and entered street gangs early in life. After being dosed in radiation while surrounded by sand, the sand was connected to him and made him a being of sand. As Sandman he is able to take any form he wants. This reasoning is of course not perfect but it’s a fictional story so it doesn’t have to make sense. In Spider-Man 3 (2007) Flint Marko, Sandman’s true identity, kills Uncle Ben by mistake when a gun misfires.
Grayson exists within the Batman universe and has gone by many different names throughout the years. He has appeared as Robin, Nightwing, Batman, Target, and as Agent 37. One major reason for his constant change in identities is because his former identity was exposed. Dick Grayson appears in the game “Batman Arkham Knight” as a secondary character. Dick Grayson and Bruce Wayne’s parents were both killed at an early age. Dick Grayson swore justice contrary to Bruce Wayne who swore vengeance when their parents were killed.
In recent Marvel movies she has been played by Scarlett Johansson. Black Widow wears a black outfit with a utility belt, weapon holsters and gadgets. She is a member of The Avengers and was created by Stan Lee. Did you know in 1975 they almost made a television show for Black Widow? Yep, her and Daredevil were almost had their own television series but it never got past development stage because no studio would take on the project. Hopefully they bring that idea back very soon.
There are different versions of Daredevil’s origins but typically the combination is either he was blind before then being doused in radioactive material or he was blinded by the radioactive material which gave him his superpowers. Daredevil senses are heightened all around. Even though he can’t see, he can sense movements and sounds making him able to image an entire room with ease. He trains hard which allows him to be incredibly conditioned for acrobatic movements and combat. Daredevil has partnered with Black Widow.
This big blue woman is actually a powerful being who can shapeshift into any other person. Her ability to mimic another individual's appearance and voice with extreme accuracy is astounding. Originally it was stated Mystique was only able to mimic appearances but it was later added that she could also mimic voices. She is a master of disguise and first appeared in the comic book Ms. Marvel #16 published in 1978. According to screenrant.com’s “12 Things You Need to Know About Mystique” by Fred Blunden, she was once married to Xavier and is Nightcrawler’s mother.
Supergirl’s story bears many similarities to that of Superman. Like Superman, Supergirl (Kara Danvers) was sent on an escape pod moments before the impending destruction of the planet of Krypton. Supergirl did not go directly to Earth due to her escape pod being knocked off course. She was instead sent to the Phantom Zone and remained there for a number of years before being sent back on course to Earth. Kara Danvers once caused mayhem on National City by using her eye’s laser beams.
Before joining the Watchmen, Rorschach was named Walter Joseph Kovacs. Rorschach has been said to be possible an asexual and had a very odd childhood but was very bright. His personality is distant and he shows contempt to anyone who turns down his beliefs. The mask he wears contains shapeshifting ink which is based on the Rorschach inkblot test. This ink continues to change and remain consistent with Rorschach’s sense of view and morality. Rorschach was a main character in the Watchmen movie.
Ra's al Ghul
This character has fought in multiple wars throughout history and is approximately five hundred years old. His old age is due to his usage of the “Lazarus Pit” to prolong his life and heal injuries. His abilities include genius-level intellect, peak physical conditioning, master martial artist, and master alchemist. Ra’s al Ghul is the leader the League of Assassins which is known as the League of Shadows in Director Christopher Nolan’s Batman Trilogy. His daughter is Talia al Ghul who later heads the League of Shadows in Ra’s al Ghul’s absence.