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DC Heroes Who Would Be Horrible Friends In Real Life

In general, superheroes make good friends, and DC superheroes are no exception. After all, we're talking about folks who dedicate significant portions of their personal time defending everybody else, often at the expense of their own safety. These are the sort of people you want to know.

Do you want to know what kind of guy Superman is? Ask his best pal, Jimmy Olsen. Is Princess Diana of Themyscira really all that wonderful? Etta Candy would certainly say so. In fact, you don't even have to rely on civilians — ask any member of the Justice League about any other member of the Justice League, and you'll find that they tend to get along. 

Naturally, though, there are plenty of exceptions to prove the rule. Some superheroes are egomaniacs; others are prone to turning evil; a couple of high-profile crime busters are simply bummers to hang out with. 

Which DC superheroes would we be least likely to invite to one of Looper's signature pizza-and-vodka backyard blowouts? Let us consult the list...    

Guy Gardner

Guy Gardner is a jerk. That's his most significant trait. That's what differentiates him from the other human Green Lanterns. His casual misogyny and macho posturing give him an identity. Without those disgusting personality flaws, Guy Gardner might as well be Hal Jordan with freckles.  

Guy Gardner first appears in Green Lantern #59, published in 1968. He's been a routine presence in Green Lantern and/or Justice League stories ever since the 1980s, when he became the awful rascal we know today. With so many years of published adventures under his belt, there's no doubt that Guy's committed many genuine acts of kindness. In fact, we'd wager that when he makes his upcoming live action premiere on HBO Max, he'll come across exactly as agreeable as a Green Lantern series lead needs to be. 

But for the purposes of this list, we don't care if Guy Gardner behaves slightly out of character in a few stories meant to demonstrate his good heart. If his baseline company is highly unpleasant, then he won't be on our "DC Heroes We Wish Were Our Best Friends" list. 

Amanda Waller

The director of Task Force X is empowered and sometimes eager to murder any member of her own team with the push of a button. Furthermore, do we recall the conclusion of 2021's "The Suicide Squad," in which Amanda Waller's entire staff rebelled against her? Would that have happened if she was a fun person to work for? 

Nothing against Viola Davis, James Gunn, or Gunn's wildly underappreciated Suicide Squad movie — but it isn't the all-time-greatest adapted Amanda Waller story. That title belongs to "Epilogue" — the last episode of "Justice League Unlimited" Season 2, and an unofficial series finale for "Batman Beyond." 

In a story by Dwayne McDuffie and Bruce Timm, an aging Amanda Waller admits that she cloned Bruce Wayne without his knowledge, then arranged for the brutal murder of that clone's oblivious adoptive parents. In Amanda Waller's mind, since Bruce was getting up there in years, she had no choice but to recreate the tragic genesis of the original Dark Knight as precisely as possible. Otherwise, where was the next one going to come from? 

Maybe the world needs a Batman, but it doesn't need folks who subject their friends to deranged biological and social-engineering experiments.  


Seriously, do you know Lobo's origin? He annihilated the population of Czarnia — his own home planet — with an infestation of poisonous space scorpions. Lobo's mind wasn't being controlled by a hidden supervillain; this was not a "Watchmen"-esque atrocity committed in the name of the greater good. Lobo killed his entire planet because he thought doing that sounded cool. 

Lobo has also murdered Santa Claus (that's in the 1991 one-shot "Lobo Paramilitary Christmas Special"). This feels like strong evidence that his camaraderie comes with severely toxic caveats. If you express joy in his presence, Lobo might rip your arms and legs off. 

Lobo is also a horrible pet guardian. We're not sure if he stomped his own dog — appropriately known as "Dawg" — to death, or what was happening there. But the mere fact that he very well might have killed his own pooch does not speak highly of Lobo's character.   

Though DC has never announced anything of the sort, our experts agree that Lobo is too much of a bunghole to have his own movie. (Although, he almost had a TV show.)  If he's too unpleasant for the big screen, then he's definitely not sitting next to us in the cafeteria.


Alright, so Batman's "The World's Greatest Detective"; he can trounce just about anybody in a fistfight; and clearly, he's got the coolest costume and the fanciest gadgets. Batman has a lot going for him. Do we hear him bragging about it all the time? We sure don't. If we did, Batman would be pretty insufferable, wouldn't he?  

Imagine a version of Batman who never shuts up about how fascinating and impressive he considers himself. That's Ghost-Maker. 

A relatively new entry into the DCU, Ghost-Maker first appears in "Batman #100," published in 2020 by James Tynion IV and Jorge Jiménez. Despite being awful, Ghost-Maker might have proven his superhero bona fides by aiding the Caped Crusader in ongoing scrapes with the Scarecrow and the misleadingly titled mercenaries known as the Peacekeepers. If you've got a supervillain problem, maybe Ghost-Maker isn't the worst person to have living down the block. 

But you can't invite this guy bowling. First of all, he'll win so easily the game won't even be competitive. Then he'll rub your nose in it so hard that your nose will get stuck, and you'll have to spend hours detaching your nose from Ghost-Maker's smug sense of self-satisfaction.  

Wally West

Talking about Wally West — a character who's been around in DC Comics since the late 1950s — in the context of one ugly meltdown feels reductive as heck. But when you massacre a bunch of your friends during what was supposed to be a therapeutic retreat, that's going to blast through a few decades worth of social capital very quickly. 

In Tom King and Clay Mann's controversial "Heroes in Crisis," crimefighters and a few meta-humans with no specific moral alignment stay at the high-tech facility known as Sanctuary. In order to push back against the sometimes overwhelming psychological and emotional duress of their vocation, the Justice League established Sanctuary as a space for heroes to rest and work through any mental health issues that require working through. 

During the events of "Heroes in Crisis," Wally West is pretty stressed out about a previous reality warp that prevented his family from ever existing. But that's no excuse for killing Arsenal, Poison Ivy, Lagoon Boy, and a handful of others, even if it was by accident. It's definitely no excuse for planting evidence implicating Harley Quinn and Booster Gold, then fleeing the scene.

Due to his history of ending his friends' lives and framing his acquaintances for mass murder, Wally West definitely can't join our escape room team.  


If haven't read Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons' 1986 masterpiece "Watchmen," go do that immediately. 

We don't mean watch the movie version. We don't mean read a Wikipedia summary. Just read the comic.

Now that you're hopefully caught up, we probably don't have to explain much about Ozymandias' worthless friendship. At first, texting with the World's Smartest Man on a routine basis might make you feel like a well-connected individual and an impressive intellectual specimen in your own right. His companionship looks far less glamorous and exciting when he kills you in the midst of a massive, intricate plot to bring about world peace.  

Whether you believe Adrian Veidt is a monster, or if you buy into his Thanos-esque logic about "mass slaughter in the interest of an unproven greater good" is beside the point. As far as your friendship goes, he's going to be too focused on his perceived "big picture" to care about you, or the continuation of your life.

Doctor Manhattan

Doctor Manhattan — originally known as Dr. Jonathan Osterman – experiences every moment of his own timeline simultaneously. He already knows all about every event in his life that somehow involves you. From his perspective, those events are all happening right now, are always happening, and have always been happening.

As far as friendship goes, Doctor Manhattan is instantly disincentivized to get emotionally or intellectually invested in any interaction with you. Since when do detached know-it-alls make for worthwhile company, anyway?

Furthermore, if you've got a close friend or relative who's been erased from your timeline in recent years, it might be the case that those people are only gone because Doctor Manhattan decided to change reality. Maybe he'll change it back if Superman asks him politely — it wouldn't be the first time. Still, what kind of person goes around arbitrarily screwing with the timeline without asking anyone's permission?


Jean-Paul Valley famously took over for Bruce Wayne after Bruce's nasty fall across Bane's knee in 1993's "Knightfall." But before anyone knew it, Jean-Paul revealed himself as an absurd homicidal maniac who had no business whatsoever inhabiting the persona of Batman. Bruce healed up, mashed Jean-Paul as if he was a large bowl of boiled potatoes, and that was pretty much that. 

Ever gone on vacation, or maybe gotten sick enough to require a hospital stay, and left your friend in charge of watering your plants? What if you came back to see your home had been used as a location to murder several suspected criminals — and worse yet, nobody watered your plants while you were gone? That's a pretty accurate picture of Batman and Azrael's friendship. 

For that matter, what kind of slackwit gets the chance to be literal Batman and shows such little appreciation for the station that original Batman has to swoop in and knock him senseless afterwards?

Adam Strange

As far as friend potential goes, Adam Strange has two strikes against him. 

The first — he's liable to disappear and teleport to the planet Rann at any given moment. He might vanish on you, midsentence. You could toss him a football one moment and realize he's no longer on the same planet the next. 

As for the second strike — we get the impression Adam's not being honest about certain aspects of his past. Maybe that makes more sense to folks who've read Tom King, Evan "Doc" Shaner, and Mitch Gerads' "Strange Adventures." If our instincts are correct, and if his comrades on the Justice League found out the truth, maybe Adam Strange wouldn't be widely classified as a hero any longer. 

Adam Strange is definitely unreliable and might be a massive liar. Does that sound like someone you'd be psyched about spending your precious recreational time with? No? We don't think so either. 

Despite making a poor choice for friendship, Adam Strange makes a perfectly good television character according to the folks over at SyFy. Not good enough to get "Krypton" a third season, but let's move on...


Admittedly, this is the entry we're least certain about. Hippolyta's certainly demonstrated her commitment to motherhood, and she's proven herself a benevolent queen of Themyscira. If she's perhaps the most effective matriarch in the entire DC Universe, is there really a compelling reason to suspect she makes a disappointing comrade?

Eh, maybe? 

Hippolyta has joined the Justice League twice — during Grant Morrison's landmark Justice League run, starting as early as "JLA #16" published in 1998, and recently during Brian Michael Bendis' run with the title in "Justice League #60" — but she never sticks around. Once Princess Diana returns from whatever is keeping her unavailable for Justice League membership, Hippolyta hightails it back to Themyscira. 

Maybe the issue isn't so much that Hippolyta would be a selfish or indifferent friend — she's simply not a huge fan of group social activities. If you've got a project that needs managing, Hippolyta's someone you want in charge. But if the team's hitting the town for veggie burgers and a hula hoop contest afterwards, she'll probably hang back. 

Calling her a bad friend might be overly simple and inaccurate, but her friendship would likely be lacking in some significant areas.

Hal Jordan

When Hal Jordan went bonkers and turned into the intergalactic supervillain known as Parallax, Green Arrow put an arrow directly into his chest — seriously damaging one or more of Hal's vital organs. However, we're not accusing Oliver Queen of bad friend tendencies. In fact, we put the blame for this incident on Hal, whose madness and attempt to remake time itself put Ollie in one heck of a predicament. 

Some readers might be aware of Hal Jordan and Oliver Queen's bromance from Dennis O'Neil and Neal Adams' 1970s series. As the emerald avengers initially bonded over their mutual disdain for evil, Hal's decision to embrace evil in mid-'90s comics probably struck Ollie as a significant betrayal. 

Then again, before Hal became a malevolent cosmic god, Mongul slaughtered basically everyone he knew who a wasn't superhero or a space cop. That level of trauma would mess with anyone's judgement; hopefully Ollie didn't take the Parallax episode personally. 

Maybe Hal's not really a bad guy...but we question the friendship quality of anyone with a track record for going all Dark Phoenix under duress. 


When most DC nerds think of Terra, her landmark betrayal of the other Teen Titans immediately rushes into their minds.  Of course, there's more to the character than one story — but considering working as Deathstroke's double agent is by far her biggest claim to fame, it's pretty hard to mentally detach Terra from an overriding sense of duplicity. 

If we became friends with Tara Markov, even if she never turned on us and delivered us to the mercy of our greatest enemy, constantly worrying about her presumably inevitable betrayal would make spending time with her a complete and utter drag for everyone involved. 

If Terra's going to make friends, she should concentrate her energy on folks who also have issues convincing other people to trust them — for example, police officers who pretend to be drug dealers.

Red Hood

To create a hypothetical example, let's say you had a best friend, and that best friend is under the impression that a supervillain named The Joker has beaten you to death with a crowbar. However, following the ordeal, you've secretly managed to return to life. How long do you wait before you call up your best friend and let them know that mourning your death is totally unnecessary? 

Do you wait 20 minutes? Maybe a day? 

Does about 17 years in real-world publishing time sound a bit excessive?  

Jason Todd — the second Robin — infamously perishes in the tentpole 1988 arc "A Death in the Family," only to return in 2005's "Under the Hood" (more precisely "Batman #638.") We're sure Jason rationalizes his absence and silence in great detail throughout the latter storyline. Frankly, we don't buy whatever he says his reasons are for not telling Batman about his continued existence. We think he kept himself a secret because he's a selfish jerk who likes withholding information. 

The Red Hood's not a good friend — not one bit. 


Have you ever had a friend who's too charismatic? Who feels like she has her act a little too together? Whose seemingly effortless competency makes you feel like a perpetual goofball? That's Selina Kyle

Of course, Selina doesn't really have her life totally under control. After all, she does resort to crime now and again in order to maintain her extravagant lifestyle. But much in the way a cat always lands on its feet, Catwoman's superpower might be the ability to convince you she's the coolest person in whatever room she happens to be in at all times, no matter what else is going on.

More than probably, her job is going to be more exciting and better paying than yours. You're not going to impress her with anything happening in your romantic life, because nothing is sexier than dating Batman. Eartha Kitt and Michelle Pfeiffer have both played her in live action adaptations. Has anybody famous ever played you in a movie? If not, maybe think about how high you're setting the bar for your social expectations. 

Have you considered befriending Kite-Man instead? Pretty much everybody looks like a badass standing next to Kite-Man.  


The overwhelming majority of Batman stories depict Bruce Wayne as a good person. We're not saying he's a jerk. We're also not assessing heroes based on likability or good intentions. It is simply the case that Batman doesn't really have normal friends — he only has work friends. 

Partly due to the obsessive nature of his war against crime, partly because his lack of superpowers limits the amount of time he can spend socializing, Batman's friends are all either directly involved in law enforcement (like Commissioner Gordon) or aid him in his vigilante crime fighting endeavors (like the Robins, the Batgirls, Alfred Pennyworth, and Superman).

His diminished capacity for hanging out might be a byproduct of protecting Gotham City, so maybe this is a case of the positives outweighing the negatives. Regardless of the upside, Batman's tunnel vision makes him a drag to invite over for Christmas dinner. He's either going to make up an excuse to not show up or stop by very briefly to make a performative appearance. 

Batman will not stick around for eggnog and caroling. You will not form cherished Christmas memories with Batman.