DC: 10 Best Reformed Villains, Ranked

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DC has created some iconic villains over the years, but not all of them remain so. A common trope in comics is to take villains who gain modicum popularity and reform them, bringing them to the heroic side of things. This gives them greater visibility and often makes them renowned heroes. Other times, the heroes themselves become villains and eventually reform, returning to their heroic roots.

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DC’s reformed villains have done some amazing things over the years. Some of them have surpassed many classic heroes in popularity and are among the best of the best.

ten Deathstroke had a twisted path between heroism and villainy


Deathstroke got his start as a villain while battling the Teen Titans to get revenge for the death of his son Ravager, and being part of one of the biggest comics of the 80s did wonders for his popularity. . Deathstroke’s status as an anti-hero made him one of DC’s greatest characters, and he’s been back and forth between hero and villain ever since.

Although it is impossible to say that he is completely reformed, he is known to work as a hero. His mercenary status means he will work for anyone with money, good or bad. He’s one of the first DC villains to have his own book and has a complicated legacy.

9 Pied Piper reformed and worked with Wally West


The Flash Rogues are one of DC’s greatest villain teams, but even they aren’t immune to jumping aside. One of the best examples of this was Pied Piper. Hartley Rathaway’s flute gave him the ability to control the minds of others, and eventually he reformed, working with the FBI and Wally West against his old Rogues friends.

Piper’s reformation went on for years and he did a lot of good for Keystone City. The shifting currents of DC continuity may have changed his status over the years, but a Rogue reforming as fully as he does is rare.


8 Azrael’s violent methods pitted him against Batman, but he changed his ways


Azrael holds his burning sword.

Azrael’s time as a villain was rather short, but it took him time to completely let go of his old ways. His brainwashing by the Order of St. Dumas was broken and he became Batman. However, it ended badly, as he couldn’t let go of his violent ways. Eventually, he would return to Gotham and join the Bat-Family, putting his training to work as a better hero than ever.

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Azrael will eventually join the Justice League Odyssey team. Since then, he’s kept a low profile as a hero, but he’s almost completely changed his ways. While still rather violent, he’s right with his fellow heroes in a way he wasn’t before.


seven Deadshot gave up villainy for the Suicide Squad


Deadshot is one of the first mercenaries in comics. He started his criminal career fighting Batman but ended up joining the Suicide Squad. While it’s hard to call the reformed Suicide Squad members, Deadshot went on to become one of the Squad’s most iconic members and has spent most of his time with the team ever since.

Deadshot was also a member of the Secret Six and is one of DC’s best reformed villains. He’s still pretty violent, which is why the Squad suits him well. However, when someone worse than him needs to be taken down, Deadshot is the right man for the job.


6 Catman found a second life with The Secret Six


The Secret Six have become one of DC’s best reformed villain teams. It gave C-list villains a chance to put their skills to good use, and one of its biggest accomplishments was Catman. He started his career as the cat version of Batman, battling the Dark Knight. His many losses wore him down and eventually he found his way to the Secret Six.

Catman trained as a member of the team and had a bigger career as an anti-hero than he ever did as a villain. Unfortunately, the end of the Secret Six marked the end of his time as a hero, and he hasn’t really been seen since.


5 Red Hood’s Return As A Villain Made Joining The Bat Family


Red Riding Hood

Red Hood has gone through many changes since their comeback. After his death at the hands of the Joker, he was resurrected by Talia al Ghul and trained in the manner of the League of Assassins. He returned to Gotham to get revenge not only on the Joker but also on Batman, whom he hated for never getting revenge for his death.

Red Hood proved to be a powerful villain, shaking Gotham’s underworld and challenging both Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson as the Batman. However, he eventually reformed completely and joined the Bat-Family, becoming the black sheep of the group.


4 Hal Jordan became a universe shaking villain before reforming


Hal Jordan was one of the greatest heroes in the universe until the destruction of Coast City. The loss of his home drove him crazy and set him on the path to becoming Parallax. He destroyed the Green Lantern Corps and gained more power than he ever had. Jordan did wrongdoings as Parallax, but he sacrificed his own life to rekindle the Sun after a Sun-Eater extinguished it.

He became the Specter before coming back to life. He learned that his fall into evil was entirely due to the Fear Entity, also known as Parallax. He helped reignite the fire of the Green Lantern Corps and joined the side of the Angels, helping save the universe on several occasions.




3 Black Adam had a complicated road to reform


Black Adam fought Shazam and his family of heroes for years, but he was a great hero in the distant past. He decided to try this life again by joining the Justice Society on a probationary basis. His violent methodology didn’t sit well with the team, and he set out with a group of heroes to violently liberate the nation of Kahndaq.

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As Kahndaq’s monarch, he’s moved back and forth between villainy and heroism, but he recently joined the Justice League and delivered on his promise of reform. Since then, he’s been a model hero, doing his best to control his violent tendencies as a member of the greatest super team.


2 Harley Quinn broke free from the Joker to become one of Gotham’s heroes


Harley Quinn #1 cover detail

Harley Quinn has long been one of Batman’s most tragic foes, her love for the Joker leaving her open to his manipulations. She would go back and forth for a while, reforming and leaving the Clown Prince of Crime before joining him. She made a total break with him and joined the Suicide Squad before leaving the fully reformed team.

Since then, Harley Quinn has proven herself to be a great heroine, fighting evil alone and alongside members of the Bat-Family. She’s become one of DC’s most popular heroes since, and is mentally healthier than she’s ever been.


1 Catwoman found love as a villain before embracing heroism


Catwoman and Batman have always had a more complicated relationship than any of its other villains. Their flirtations gave way to love and Catwoman began her long road to heroism. She still stole for years, but she was better than all the other criminals in Gotham, battling villains worse than her. Eventually, her relationship with Batman got serious, and she left her criminal ways behind.

Catwoman is one of Gotham’s toughest heroines, using her criminal expertise and fighting skills to become Batman’s perfect partner. She’s more than made up for her days as a cat burglar and is now at the forefront of the heroic world.

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