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10 Best Alternate Versions Of Popular DC Villains

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Alternate universes are one of the fan-favorite tropes in comics. Especially because they allow the creation of new characters based on the ones fans already know and love. The writers’ constant tinkering with the characters’ circumstances makes for a fascinating experiment, but it often has horrific results.


RELATED: DC’s 10 Best B-List Villains, Ranked

Some of the most ruthless and complex versions of certain villains in the DC comics exist in the main continuity, but others were created especially for an Elseworld. All these villains have in common that they stand out among their many multiversal iterations because they have left a mark in readers’ minds.

10/10 Clayface Provides Histrionic Comic Relief In Harley Quinn

Originally a B-lister actor from Gotham, Basil Karlo starred as the Clayface killer in a classic horror film. When he realized he wouldn’t return for the remake, he killed the cast and crew of the new project. Post-Crisis, Karlo injected himself with blood samples from the Mud Pack, which granted him shapeshifting abilities.

Harley Quinnincludes Karlo as one of Harley’s best relationships on the show. In the series, Karlo is an amateur actor trying to make it in Hollywood while dealing with the gang’s adventures. Way less ruthless than the original version, this Clayface has won the fans’ hearts due to his hilarious attitude.

9/10 Harley Quinn Becomes A Hero In DC Vs. Vampires

In DC vs. Vampires, after Mary, Queen of Blood, dies, vampires immediately go out of control. The surviving heroes and villains must ally to survive their eternal night. When Jim Gordon tasks Harley Quinn to smuggle Lex Luthor’s vaccinated blood – humanity’s only hope of survival –Harley injects herself to preserve it.

In the last few years, Harley has changed a lot. She became more of an anti-hero and less of a villain, which fans love. DC vs. Vampires takes her new moral alignment a step further, having her sacrifice her own personal safety in order to help a bigger cause. This is something the main continuity’s Harley would’ve never done ten years ago.

8/10 The Joker’s Daughter Reached Her True Potential In DC Bombshells

A former member of the Suicide Squad and the Teen Titans, Duela Dent is a mysterious character who has claimed to be the daughter of brutal villains, such as the Joker, Catwoman, and the Scarecrow. Because she’s often in the shadow of other characters, fans don’t particularly love her.

However, DC Bombshells, by Marguerite Bennett, allows her to be her own villain. As a member of the Nazi Party, Duela kidnaps magic users, such as Zatanna and Raven, to use them during World War II. Eventually, she’s defeated by her victims with the help of Miri Marvel, but before this happens, Duela reaches scary levels of psychopathy in the series.

7/10 The Jurassic League Turned The Joker In A Cruel Dinosaur

The Jurassic League, by Daniel Warren Johnson and Juan Gedeon, reimagines the DC universe if all heroes and villains were sentient dinosaurs instead of humans. This bizarre premise allows for a fresh perspective on the stories fans already know and love and a radical redesign of all characters. For example, the Joker is a dangerous predator with a curved mandible named Dilophosaurus.

RELATED: 8 Best Things About Jurassic League

The Jokerzard, as his enemies know him, is a carnivorous dinosaur that kills for fun and not just to feed himself. This type of predatory attitude takes the Prince Clown of Crime’s chaotic mentality over the top. Additionally, his colorful attire pays homage to Heath Ledger, one of the best iterations of this villain ever.

6/10 Scarecrow Was As A Member Of The Sinestro Corps

Jonathan “Scarecrow” Crane was a psychology professor obsessed with fear. In a twisted attempt to understand phobias, he designed the fear toxin to terrorize his victims as objects for his experiments. Given that fear is the Scarecrow’s main motivation, it makes perfect sense that he became a member of the Sinestro Corps. After all, these Yellow Lantern Corps get their power from fear.

During Green Lantern #27, by Geoff Johns, Amon Sur’s ring chose Crane as his new bearer. Crane barely got to touch the ring before the Guardians destroyed it, but the comic still showed a glimpse of how powerful he could be. Hopefully, another writer will recover this version of this prominent member of Batman’s rogues’ gallery.

5/10 Dark Knight, Dark City’s Riddler Is One Of His Darkest Depictions

Batman: Dark Knight, Dark City, by Peter Milligan and Kieron Dwyer, follows the Riddler after he tricks Batman into becoming the sacrifice in a ritual to summon a demon. This version of the Riddler forces Batman to kill a dog with a dagger, slit a baby’s throat and bathe in human blood.

Generally, the Riddler acts more like a mafia criminal than a psychopath. He enjoys putting Batman through psychological games, but he takes it the extra mile in this series. It’s impossible to know if Batman: Dark Knight, Dark City is really a paranormal story. Regardless, it features one of the most ruthless and interesting versions of the Riddler.

4/10 Lex Luthor Once Became The God Of Apokolips

During Justice League: The Darkseid War, by Geoff Johns, Lex Luthor traveled to Apokolips during the battle between Darkseid and the Anti-Monitor. When Darkseid died, the energy from his anti-life equation hit Lex and the rest of the Justice League, giving them new abilities. Since he was the one who absorbed the most significant amount of energy, he became the new Darkseid, the God of Apokolips.

With his new powers, Lex returned to Earth after Superman’s death to take his place. At this time, he was the god of a whole planet, the savior of Metropolis, and a successful businessman. Unarguably, this version of Lex held the most power he has ever had.

3/10 The Batman Who Laughs Merged The Joker & Batman

Created by Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo, the Batman Who Laughs is exactly what main continuity’s Bruce Wayne doesn’t want to be. Earth-22 Batman was exposed to a mix of the chemicals that created the Joker. Before realizing it, he becomes a mix of Bruce Wayne’s intelligence and strength and the Joker’s sadism.

RELATED: 10 Best Versions Of The Joker From The Comics, Ranked

Unarguably one of the darkest Bruce Wayne versions, the Batman Who Laughs, became so popular that he received his own series a little after debuting. Given that Batman and the Joker have always been two halves of a warped dichotomy, their combination resulted in an incredible villain with a lot of potential.

2/10 Doomsday Became A Three-Dimensional Character After Imperiex Killed Him

After Imperiex vaporized Doomsday, Lex Luthor took his remains and imbued them with Superman’s blood samples and Kryptonite. This fully regenerated the villain and gave him intelligence and super-powerful abilities, like flame breath.

Ironically, he was weaker than before. In fact, Superman easily outmatched him. Apparently, the fact that Doomsday now understood the world made him fear death, which caused him to question his mission against Superman. After years of savage and irrational versions of Doomsday, this smart iteration of the villain showed that he could be way more than just a scary monster.

1/10 The Green Man Is A Mix Of The Joker, Lex Luthor & A Green Lantern

Dark Knights of Steel #1 introduced one of the villains of this Elseworld, a horrifying amalgam of the Joker, Lex Luthor, and the power of a corrupted Green Lantern. The Green Man seems to be behind the blood feud between the Kingdom of Storms and the Kingdom of El. This is the main storyline of Dark Knights of Steel.

The Joker and Lex Luthor are two of the most prolific criminals in the DC universe, so a combination of them already feels overpowered enough. However, the Green Man also got a hold of one of the most powerful weapons out there, a Green Lantern ring. Since this gives him the ability to craft pretty much anything he can think of, it’s only a matter of time before Lex Luthor’s intelligence and the Joker’s sadism put everyone in real danger.

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