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CSBG Archive

2011 Top DC Characters #3-1

After nearly 1,400 ballots were cast, YOU the reader ranked your favorite comic book characters of all-time from 1-10. I assigned point totals to each ranking and then tabulated it all into a Top 50 list. We’re now revealing that list throughout September. Here is the master list of all the characters revealed so far. The DC part of the countdown concludes here…

3. Dick Grayson (Robin/Nightwing/Batman) – 3618 points (105 first place votes)

Created by Bob Kane, Bill Finger and Jerry Robinson, Dick Grayson was a young acrobat whose parents were killed in front of him. Bruce Wayne was in the audience, and seeing himself in young Dick, took in Dick to be his ward, eventually training him to be his crime-fighting partner, Robin.

The two were a Dynamic Duo for many years, until Dick grew older, and went away to college, and soon began spending more and more time with his team, the Teen Titans. Eventually, Dick decided to move on from being Robin, leaving that to younger heroes than him. He decided to take the name Nightwing, in honor of a Kryptonian hero that Superman had told him about.

As Nightwing, he continued with the Titans for many years. After some time, he led the grittier superhero group, the Outsiders.

During Final Crisis, Batman appeared to have been killed in battle against Darkseid. After trying to avoid the idea for awhile, Dick ended up taking over as Batman, with Bruce’s son, Damian, as his new Robin. Dick brought a new spin to the Batman approach, as he was much more of a people person than Bruce ever was. Not only that, but here was a Batman who actually seemed to sometimes be having…fun?!!?

As Batman, Dick became the leader of the Justice League of America.

When Bruce returned from his journey (he had not actually been killed but had instead been zapped through time by Darkseid), Dick originally stayed on as Batman, but eventually he decided that with Bruce back, he would return to his Nightwing identity.

Dick currently stars as Nightwing in his own ongoing series as part of DC’s New 52.

2. Superman – 4096 points (117 first place votes)

Created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, Superman was born on the planet Krypton, which was about to explode. Scientist Jor-El, knowing he and his wife would not make it, decided to save their son, Kal-El, so they shot him off in a rocket to find a new life. Once on Earth, baby Kal-El gained superpowers that he would not have had on Krypton, and soon became one of the most powerful people on Earth.

Adopted by farmers Jonathan and Martha Kent, Kal-El was given the Earth name of Clark Kent, and he grew up in the small town of, well, Smallville. There he became friends with Lana Lang and Pete Ross.

When Clark grew older, he moved to Metropolis, and began working as a reporter for the Daily Planet, under editor Perry White. There, Clark met reporter Lois Lane, who would later go on to become his wife.

Clark also met Jimmy Olsen, cub reporter who would become Superman’s best pal.

One person who was certainly NOT pals with Superman was Lex Luthor, who really hated Superman, and became Superman’s greatest enemy.

Superman was a founding member of the Justice League where he is still a member.

With the new DC 52 reboot, Clark no longer married Lois Lane and Ma and Pa Kent both died some time ago. In addition, Superman has a new costume inspired by Kryptonian ceremonial armor. We shall see how it goes!

1. Batman (Bruce Wayne) – 6585 points (313 first place votes)

Created by Bob Kane and Bill Finger, Bruce Wayne is a rich man, but he is a rich man who has led a tragic life. When he was only a boy, Bruce saw his parents murdered in front of him. Bruce dedicated his life then to fighting crime, ultimately becoming the vigilante, Batman, after traveling the world becoming an expert in most fields of study.

His mind and his body at basically peak human condition, Batman waged a one-man war on crime in Gotham City, although eventually, he gained partners, from within the department, like Police Commissioner James Gordon, to partners, like Dick Grayson (first Robin, then Nightwing), Tim Drake (the third Robin, now Red Robin) and Damian Wayne (the current Robin), to other superheroes (Batman was a founding member of the Justice League of America, where he is still a member).

Batman is needed, because Gotham has a LOT of villains, and notable ones, too!

From the Joker to the Riddler to the Penguin to Poison Ivy to Ra’s Al Ghul to Killer Croc to Catwoman (sometimes) to the Ventriloquist to Mr. Zsasz…Batman has his work cut out for him!

Recently, Batman was seemingly killed in battle against Darkseid. He was actually trapped in time. When he returned, he came with a vision of what he needed to do to stop some epic bad guy. So he decided to turn Batman into a global franchise, with Batmen all over the world. It remains to be seen what his ultimate end game is with Batman Incorporated.


Jimmy Olsen was robbed!

‘Atta boy Dick. See, women do read comics!;)

There is no other king of the DCU! Long live the Dark Knight!!! Batman!

I could say that I’m surprised at the difference in first place votes between Batman and Superman, but I’m not. I love Batman more than I do my family.

Nah bro, Lex is my #1.

I was figuring that Superman and Batman would be in the top two, but I didn’t expect Bats to be up top.
I glad Nightwing was up there.

I figured it would come down to Batman and Superman. I wonder whether Spider-Man or Wolverine will be Marvel’s number 1.

I didn’t realize Wolverine came in 4th. I figured he’d be #2 in Marvel.

Nightwing? Really?


Man, Big Blue wasn’t even CLOSE to Batman. They were both my #1 and #2 respectively, truly the World’s Finest.

So, 5 of the top 10 characters are Batman related, including 3 Batman related characters in the top 5, and two Batmen in the top 3. I guess people really love Batman! Personally, I’ve never really understood it, as I find the “urban vigilante” part the most boring aspect of superhero comics. Give me colourful, imaginative sci-fi adventures over dark & brooding characters fighting “edgy” psychopaths any day.

I’ve never heard of any of these clowns. Where’s Starro?

Wingnuts rejoyce!

Wow, Batman beat Superman so badly that Frank Miller should be drawing this.

The Crazed Spruce

September 29, 2011 at 12:31 pm

I almost had Dick on my list, but I already had Bruce, Tim, and Alfred, and I didn’t want to overload my lists with characters from any one series. It was a close 26th, though.

Superman was #11 on my list. He is the ultimate superhero icon, and with a good writer he can be pretty damn entertaining, but he’s so powerful that it’s too easy for him to be written as the ultimate stuffed-shirt boy scout, with a personality about as interesting as plain yogurt. If I were to base him strictly on the period from his ’86 reboot to just before his “death”, I might’ve kept him in my Top 10, but with the charcter as a whole, I had to let Brainiac 5 and John Constantine squeeze him out.

Batman is, without a shadow of a doubt, the coolest comic book character published, which is why I had him at #2 on my list. (I was planning to put him at #1, but I honestly couldn’t put him ahead of Brainiac 5, who wound up taking the top spot. Yeah, I know. It shocked me, too!)

No one should be surprised about Batman and Superman, but very interesting to see Nightwing so high. Good for him

Hammerheart wins the comment section.

Batman was my #1 pick. Not surprised to see him beat Supes, but I am surprised by how much. And I never would have guessed Nightwing would be #3 when this all started.

Darn and here I thought ‘Mazing Man was going to be number one, lol…

So is the “V” on his new costume now red or is that just an arty cover??

lol @ HammerHeart. Awesome.

wow.. It’s nice to see that a woman doesn’t rank at all until Wonder Woman as #7. She doesn’t even get to be one of the top 3. That’s very sad.

“Personally, I’ve never really understood it, as I find the “urban vigilante” part the most boring aspect of superhero comics. Give me colourful, imaginative sci-fi adventures over dark & brooding characters fighting “edgy” psychopaths any day.”

I agree, that’s why I love Batman.

Long live to Batman

Alright, Dicky!! Man, I love that costume redesign. But, then again… Nightwing’s shite has always been tight!

BATMAN IS IN FIRST PLACE BY OVER 2,000!!! heck yah, Batman’s the best. Definitely number 1!

So, no Solaris, uh?

*Yawn* Big fat surprise…

Brian, not to be mean, but I think you forgot to count all those Elongated Man votes.

Plastic Man, was robbed of the top!

that whole “Trinity” PR scheme is BS. WW is lucky to be at 7. Heck Power Girl’s last series was better than any WW

Um, Streaky the Supercat isn’t #1? not even on the list?

It’s utterly disgraceful and revolting that Superman isn’t in first place, but it IS great to see Dick Grayson do so well.

Disgraceful and revolting? lol.


figured batman and superman would have the top two spots. and nice to see nightwing wound up in the top three. and this leaves marvel top three to go.


September 30, 2011 at 8:16 am

I think the placement of Dick Grayson (and for that matter, Wally West) in the top 10 is a testament to two things:

1. The huge impact that the Wolfman/Perez Titans series made in the 80s, and

2. That so many of the fans that got into DC with that series stuck around well past the “normal” readership duration of 5-10 years. To the point that era’s fans are still a really a dominant voice in DC fandom, over 20 years later.

After all, few people outside comics would even know who Nightwing is. Robin, sure – but not Nightwing. And Dick Grayson been Nightwing for almost 30 years now.

So props to Wolfman/Perez for making a book that motivated a (quasi-)generation of fans to hang on for decades.

I think that Dick and Wally’s placements are a testament to DC’s use of legacy heroes. Wally as Flash and Dick as Batman were things that generations of readers wanted but never really expected to happen.

Which causes me to dislike the Return of Bruce Wayne even more. They were going to reboot the continuity anyway. Why not let the post-Crisis universe end with Dick as Batman?

Well.. I’ll be damned!

Dick Grayson in the top 3, huh? Well… I guess that old adage of pre-Crisis popularity still rings true, now don’t it?

He was the third most popular character back then, and he still could be to this very day.
If someone would be smart enough to make him stop being Nightwing, that is…

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Making Dick Nightwing doesn’t remove him from Batman’s shadow, it only dredges him deeper into it.


I’m guessing Dick’s that high up because of the last few years he spent as Batman and books like Batman and Robin by Morrison and Detective Comics by Snyder really giving him the push he deserved. I don’t think he’ll get treated that good again for a long time.

I had Dick Grayson in my Top 10. I always felt that he’s been slightly shafted as a major player in DCU. I’m specifically talking about for a charcater that’s been around since the beginning, the first character to literally grow up in comics, trained under the best and grew to be respected by the best why wasn’t he pushed more? He always seems to be in Bruce’s shadow. To me his happenings as Nightwing should have been more incorporated into DCU, and not as a Teen Titan. I always felt that Nightwing should have been pushed to be a member of JL.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Making Dick Nightwing doesn’t remove him from Batman’s shadow, it only dredges him deeper into it.

Deeper into it when compared to what? Dick Grayson has only had three serious costumed identities: Robin, Nightwing, and Batman. The Nightwing identity is the one that is in Batman’s shadow the least. He’s still in Batman’s shadow, sure, but less so when compared to being Robin or Batman.

I’m delightfully surprised to see Nightwing at #3. If I’d remembered to vote, he’d have been my #1 pick, just above Superman. I’ve been following him since the Wolfman/Perez Titans days, and while he’s had his ups and downs, Mr. Grayson is to me the true epitome of heroism in the DCU. An generally good guy who is confident in his skills and abilities, who seems to get along with just about everyone in the hero community. Someone who can step into the boots of Batman if needed, but is still his own person.

(Thought: I’d love to read a Nightwing/Spider-Man crossover.)

Hmm. I just skimmed the master list…Barry Allen isn’t on it? Hmm.

Hmm. I just skimmed the master list…Barry Allen isn’t on it? Hmm.

Barry is number nine.

Deeper into it when compared to what? Dick Grayson has only had three serious costumed identities: Robin, Nightwing, and Batman.

And then of course there’s his shining moment as Owlman, the sensational character find of 1957.

I am psyched that Nightwing is in the top 3!!!! Still can’t believe DC was making plans to kill him off a few years ago! Luckily they wised up!!!

It is great that Nightwing is number 3 …. I really believe that he may have been higher than Supes had Devin Grayson not allowed to destroy the character as she did.

[…] 50 Most Overhyped Things in History. Well OK, only one chapter so far. Here is a potted history of Superman – and why he’s so […]

Batman kick superman’s ass anytime

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