It’s safe to say that when it comes to making movies, DC has a lot of catching up to do. When Marvel first released Iron Man in 2007, DC was still working on the Dark Knight Trilogy. Although the Christian Bale-led Batman movies were incredibly successful, they lacked the cohesive universe that Marvel had been building.
Looking to change course with the release of 2013’s Man of Steel, the DCEU was all set to take over the world of cinema. Throughout the five movies that have been released so far, we’ve seen a lot of different characters. Ones who the universe wouldn’t be complete without like Batman and Superman, to ones who we never imagined would get their chance to shine like El Diablo and Enchantress.
Some of these have been amazing examples of what powerful characters can do on screen, being awesome interoperations of their comic book counterparts. Others have been real duds. Either nerfing the character’s true abilities, not living up to expectations or simply being a lame choice for the silver screen.
So, let’s relive the highs and lows of DC Comics’ movies franchise as we take a look at the strongest and weakest heroes and villains.
Here are the 8 Most Powerful DCEU Characters (And 8 Who Are Completely Worthless).
16 Powerful: Aquaman
After his role in Justice League, there weren’t many people out there making, “he just talks to fish” jokes. Rightfully so, the decision to cast Jason Momoa as Aquaman was a terrific way to build up the character as a hero who should be taken seriously.
His skill set is definitely remarkable.
A classic mix of super strength and durability, the King of Atlantis also wields a powerful trident that helps channel his water manipulating abilities. Oh, and he can swim really, really fast-- like, faster than Michael Phelps.
Although we haven’t gotten a chance to see much of Arthur Curry yet, there are a lot of fans out there hoping powers are showcased on a larger scale when his solo movie is released in 2018.
15 Worthless: Batman
In the DCEU, Batman is a certified loon. In the comic books, the Caped Crusader is generally the voice of reason, often professing that killing is never the answer.
This is his greatest power, the ability to inspire those around him, superpowered or not. This is all thrown out the window in the DCEU, where the Dark Knight is constantly taking lives by crushing goons with the Batmobile and setting dudes on fire.
Sure, this version of Batman showed that he’s an incredible tactician by almost taking down Superman, but he’s not the guiding light that the Justice League needs.
Even Joss Whedon’s attempt at making the character less of a psychopath didn’t totally resonate when mixed with the upsettingly dark Batman V. Superman.
14 Powerful: El Diablo
El Diablo is definitely the wildcard when it comes to the most powerful characters in the DCEU. For the bulk of Suicide Squad, the relatively unknown former gang leader did little more than shooting a couple of flames from his hands. It's not really impressive in the grand scheme of the universe.
However, once he unleashed his true form, El Diablo not only shocked the audience but his fellow Task Force X members as well. Transforming into a towering, flaming behemoth to help take down Enchantress’ brother Incubus.
El Diablo seemingly sacrificed himself to save his team and redeeming himself along the way. He could prove to be even more powerful than folks expected as Jan Hernandez may be returning for Suicide Squad 2.
13 Worthless: The Flash
The Flash will most likely be on the other side of lists like this in the future. The biggest problem with Barry Allen’s role in Justice League is that he’s outdone by Superman every step of the way.
When the two first encounter each other, the Flash is taken aback when Superman is able to spot him while running at high speeds. This shows the young hero’s inexperience. Then, towards the end of the movie, both the Scarlet Speedster and the Man of Steel are shown using their abilities to save those around them.
Supes is able to move an entire building of people seemingly in peril. The Flash, on the other hand, saves a family in a truck.
Hopefully, in upcoming adventures, the Fastest Man Alive will live up to his name and truly be unmatched when it comes to speed. But until then, he just can’t compare.
12 Powerful: Enchantress
While possessed by the Enchantress, Dr. June Moone (don’t laugh) has a wide array of powers at her disposal. She is powerful enough to take on all of the Suicide Squad at once.
She can turn ordinary people into hordes of mindless monsters who do her bidding, teleport, and among other things, is bulletproof.
She can also seemingly grant the deepest desires of those around her.
Of course, since this film came out in the last decade, the Enchantress used her vast and deadly abilities to create a sky-hole. It wouldn’t be a blockbuster movie from 2008 onward if it didn’t utilize a vague and dangerous sky-hole.
The power was there, the execution was just uninspired and lacking. Much like Suicide Squad itself.
11 Worthless: Killer Croc
Being one of the only super powered members of the Task Force X, you’d think Killer Croc would get to live up to his potential. Throughout most of Suicide Squad, the character simply punched a few things here and there.
He really didn’t do much to stand out, you know, besides looking like a human crocodile. Aside from being mostly unimpressive, Croc also came off as a racial caricature who said things like “shorty” and demanding to get BET in his prison cell.
He was able to play an important role during the climax of the movie. After awkwardly scurrying underwater to help retrieve the bomb that is eventually used to put an end to Enchantresses and her evil plot.
10 Powerful: Cyborg
Ray Fisher’s Cyborg was definitely one of the high points in Justice League. His casting was pitch-perfect, and the robotic character was surprisingly human. Plus, he even got to say “Booyah!”
The DCEU version of Cyborg is definitely inspired by his New 52 counterpart. Instead of being infused with revolutionary technology created by humans, Vic Stone is powered by an otherworldly Mother Box.
To borrow a line from Dude, Where’s My Car?, the mother box is a, “very mysterious and powerful device, and its mystery is only exceeded by its power.” This boost in abilities allowed him to hold his own against Steppenwolf.
He even helps Superman separate the Mother Boxes that are powering Steppenwolf’s terraforming device.
Thankfully, he even used his newfound powers to give himself a spiffy new design by trading in the sharp edges for a much smoother, more streamlined look.
9 Worthless: The Joker
Jared Leto had some ridiculously big clown shoes to fill when he was cast as the Joker. He had no chance in surpassing Heath Ledger’s Academy Award-winning performance and needed to do something different. That’s exactly what they did in Suicide Squad. That being said, different isn’t always better.
When the Joker is on the loose and isn’t the biggest threat, there is something wrong.
Acting as more of a nuisance than a real villain, the Clown Prince of Crime just got in the way more than posing as an actual threat.
It was an awful way to reintroduce DC’s greatest villain. This is most likely due to the fact that a lot of his important scenes were left on the cutting room floor.
Also, he definitely loses a lot of points for his Die Antwoord-inspired appearance.
8 Powerful: Ares
Generally speaking, if you’re a god, you’re going to be more powerful than most beings. This can definitely be said for Ares, the God of War and villain in 2017’s Wonder Woman.
Unlike most entries on this list, Ares likes to use his power behind the scenes, letting humans do his dirty work. After corrupting humanity, Ares went on to kill the majority of his fellow gods.
Growing ever powerful while humankind wars with itself, the god orchestrated just about every war throughout history, including the First World War. It took Wonder Woman, the daughter of Zeus to put an end to the chaos, choosing love over war.
Ares was even stronger than Superman in one case. CGI couldn’t remove the god’s mustache.
7 Worthless: Rick Flag
The field leader of Amanda Waller’s Suicide Squad, Rick Flag is tasked with spearheading the stopping his love, June Moone, from destroying life as we know it.
Granted, he may be an expert military tactician with years of training, but when you break it down, Rick Flag is just a normal guy with a gun.
Not even cool guns like Deadshot has too, just normal guns. Flag ends up getting lost in the shuffle, being an extremely dull personality on a team of vibrant and colorful characters.
Tom Hardy was originally cast in this role and would have most likely brought a good bit more to the part. However, he was forced to drop out when filming of The Revenant ran long. He definitely dodged a bullet there.
6 Powerful: Wonder Woman
Had Diana just been a regular Amazon warrior, that would still be enough to garner her a spot on this list. The fact that she is also Zeus’ daughter is what bumps her up.
Throughout Batman V. Superman, Wonder Woman, and Justice League, Wonder Woman showed that she is one of the most versatile heroes in the entire DCEU.
Her speed and reflexes and impressive, she has great strength and is a weapons expert. Plus, she’s immortal.
That’s an ability that goes a long way when trying to put an end to millennia-old forces of evil.
Originally, believing her true powers lied in her sword, Wonder Woman ultimately figures out she was the “Godkiller” all along. It’s just like the movie Like Mike, but with deicide instead of basketball.
5 Worthless: Captain Boomerang
What’s worse than just a normal guy with a gun? An alcoholic with a boomerang. When the Suicide Squad first encounter the Enchantress’ minions, Captain Boomerang tries his best to avoid combat.
Only springing into action when one of the grunts makes him spill his beer. Up until then, the only thing of note he did was help get Slipknot killed.
It also doesn’t help that his motives are all over the place. In one scene Boomerang seemingly leaves the group, only for him to rejoin with no explanation. Chalk it up to him being an untrustworthy anti-hero or poor editing, it still doesn’t help his case for being a team player.
Hopefully, he’ll come into his own during the Flash’s solo outing where Jai Courtney is slated to reprise his role.
4 Powerful: Doomsday
What happens when you combine the body of an extraterrestrial general hell-bent on destruction, the blood of one of the smartest men in the world, and a Kryptonian genesis chamber? You get Doomsday. The aptly named beast whose sole purpose was to destroy Superman had an incredible power set in his arsenal.
The LexCorp created monster not only had super strength, durability, and stamina, but it could also adapt to any damage it took.
By the end of the final battle in Batman V. Superman, Doomsday had increased in size, grew boney protrusions capable of breaking Kryptonian hide, and was able to fire energy blasts from his eyes and mouth.
He even survived a nuclear blast before he and Superman impaled each other, ending his reign of terror.
3 Worthless: Slipknot
This one is pretty interesting. Slipknot isn’t worthless because he was mistreated or was butchered when being transferred from the pages to the screen. It’s quite the opposite, Slipknot is worthless because he was designed that way.
When a character is created with the superpowers of “good at climbing” and “great at ropes,” the writing is kind of on the wall.
In Suicide Squad, Lil’ Slippy was thrown in to show that Amanda Waller wasn’t messing around. Convinced by Captain Boomerang that the bombs inside their heads aren’t real, Slipknot makes a break for it only for Rick Flag to detonate the device.
He fulfilled his purpose by dying for the sake of the plot. For a brief second though, Slipknot climbed like he never climbed before.
2 Powerful: Superman
Surprise, surprise. The character often called unfairly overpowered ranks as one of the strongest characters in the DCEU-- but hey, them’s the break... just ask General Zod.
Ever since he started saving civilians and snapping necks in 2013’s Man of Steel, it was plain to see that this version of Supes wasn’t someone you want to mess with. He was able to go toe to toe with Doomsday, a creature specifically designed to murder the Kryptonian hero.
Even after death, a wonky-brained Kal-El was able to come back and fend off the entire Justice League. He proved to be stronger than Aquaman, as fast as the Flash and could withstand Wonder Woman’s magic lasso and Cyborg’s blasts.
He’s also about to duke it out with Steppenwolf while simultaneously saving buildings filled with people. That’s powerful.
1 Worthless: Jimmy Olsen
Jimmy Olsen is one of the most beloved characters from DC Comics. He has a rich history as the Daily Planet’s photographer that dates all the way back to 1941. Olsen has always been a chipper, happy go lucky character that bright some levity to the stories.
So how is he portrayed in Batman V. Superman? He’s killed almost instantly. To make matters worse, his name is never even spoken in the theatrical cut.
Folks only knew it was Jimmy while reading the credits. This incarnation wasn’t even a real photographer, but rather a CIA agent in disguise.
He wasn’t even a good agent, as his cover was quickly blown.
He wasn’t even important enough to be saved by Superman. According to director Zack Snyder in an interview with Independent, this was him “having fun” with the character. So much for being “Superman’s pal.”
Can you think of any other powerful or worthless characters in the DCEU? Let us know in the comment section!