Best Rivalries in DC Comics | TheReviewGeek Recommends

DC Universe is jam-packed with heroes and villains, many of which are like fireworks, flashy and exciting but quirky and forgotten, there are some who will linger in our minds for decades.

However, no one can forget the rivalries between these heroes and their nemesis, be it between the Dark Knight or the Agent of Chaos or between the King of the Sea and Black Manta. But which ones are the best? Well, fret not as we’ve got our picks for the best rivalries in DC Comics.

Batman and Joker 

Let’s kick this off with the most obvious and best rivalry ever written. Yes, we’re talking about the fascinating animosity between the Dark Knight and the Crime Price of Gotham. Batman is all about justice, and the Joker is all about anarchy, and in more ways than one, they kind of complete each other. 

The Joker wants to prove that anyone can go crazy, even Batman. On the flip side, Batman’s mission gains weight because of the Joker’s insanity. This on-off relationship makes them both super iconic in the world of comics and stories.

Superman and Lex Luthor

Superman and Lex Luthor’s rivalry is a clash of ideals and power. Superman represents hope, justice, and doing good for others, while Lex Luthor’s ambitions to be in control of everything know no bounds.

More often than not, Superman’s commitment to saving the people of Metropolis and Earth gets tested by Luthor’s tricky plans, who sees the Man of Steel as a big roadblock to his dream of humans being on top. Like Joker and Batman, this duo, too, are two sides of the same coin, with one spreading peace and good while the other wanting power.

Green Lantern and Sinestro

Like others, Green Lantern and Sinestro also sport a really interesting and complicated rivalry, probably because they started out kind of the same. Both Hal and the Korugarian were once part of the Green Lantern Corps, wearing glowy rings powered by willpower.

But fate rolls its dice, or things get juicy when Sinestro becomes power-hungry and obsessed with a unified order. This becomes a problem as it clashes with Green Lantern’s whole justice and free will rule. Thus, Sinestro cuts his ties with the corps and becomes a  villain, using the power that he and his brothers once shared.

The Scarlet Speedster & Reverse Flash

After Batman and Joker, the clash between Barry and Thwane is a top-tier rivalry, given they have the same superpower but totally opposite when it comes to ideals and principles. Thawne is totally fixated on the Flash and often time travels to make his favorite speedster’s life a living hell.

For instance, Thawne killed Barry’s mother and framed his father for it just out of frustration. Thawne is so into Flash that he actually wants to take his place, making sure people worship and admire him instead of Barry Allen.

Shazam and Doctor Sivana

Shazam and Doctor Sivana lock horns, displaying the classic clash of a pure-hearted hero and a power-hungry villain. Shazam, blessed by ancient wizards, is a super-powered kid with a heart of gold who’d happily give his life to save people.

Meanwhile, Doctor Sivana is motivated by personal grudges and a hunger for power and wants to get his hands on magical forces, so he’s more than a nerd with glasses. Their rivalry reminds me of an old-age battle of light versus dark, innocence versus corruption, where Shazam brings a youthful zest and goodness to the table while Sivana wants to obliterate that very table. 

The Monitor and the Anti-Monitor

The Monitor and the Anti-Monitor’s dislike for each other is rooted in the very fabric of DC Multiverse (I don’t know how to put it another way). The Monitor stands for order, creation, and maintaining the balance among different realities.

On the other hand, his next-door neighbor, the Anti-Monitor, lives and breathes chaos and devastation and wants to eradicate the very thing his opponent stands for: the balance in the multiverse. But do you know that despite their conflicting principles, there’s a strange interdependence between them – one can’t exist without the other?

Batman and Ra’s al Ghul 

Batman and Ra’s al Ghul have a unique rivalry shaped by their opposing beliefs. Batman is committed to justice and defends Gotham, making sure not to break his no-kill rule, no matter the villain or danger. On the flip side, Ra’s al Ghul is an eco-terrorist who has his own definition of justice.

Unlike his student, Ra’s al Ghul sees humanity as a threat to the planet and advocates for literally killing half the population. Even though they’re enemies, Ra’s al Ghul holds Batman in high regard and even wants him to lead the League of Assassins. 

Wonder Woman and Cheetah

Wonder Woman and Cheetah, particularly Barbara Ann Minerva, are different yet the same in their own ways. Diana Prince stands for empathy, justice, and the might of an Amazonian fighter, while Cheetah often yields to the temptations of power and the primal instincts of a top-tier predator.

They’ve fought countless times, but Diana has always managed to hold her own, sending Cheetah back to her cave, whining. 

Aquaman and Black Manta

The next one on our list is Aquaman and Black Manta, the dynamic duo known for their intense animosity towards each other. Aquaman is the rightful heir to Atlantis and can talk to sea creatures (He can do way more than that). Arthur’s main priority is to keep the peace between the surface and the ocean, something his half-brother Orm abhors.

On the other hand, Black Manta, aka David Hyde, is a skilled mercenary who just wants revenge against Aquaman by any means necessary.  David blames Arthur for his father’s death and is no slouch when it comes to tech and combat skills.

Batman & Superman

“I want you to remember, Clark…In all the years to come… in your most private moments… I want you to remember my hand at your throat. I want you to remember the one man who beat you.” This is what Bruce told Clarke after giving him a beating in an epic showdown. Even though both stand for justice and protecting people, when one of them goes off the rails, their friendship turns into a world-breaking rivalry.

Remember the Injustice storyline, where Superman becomes a world dictator, and Batman has to imprison him in a cage bathed in the glow of Red Son? Similarly, in The Dark Knight Returns, Batman takes on the entire world, including Superman, to prove that even in old age, he can beat practically anyone.

And there you have it, the 10 best rivalries in DC Comics. Did your favorite make the cut? We want to hear from you! Drop your thoughts in the comments below.

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