DC Comics villains love to put on a massive theatrical show and draw attention to their evil deeds. For example, Captain Cold has made it very clear in the past that he is not, or will not be, confused with Mister Freeze, and that sort of self-centered approach to villains represents the attitude most DC villains possess.
But occasionally, DC villains take a more subtle approach to their evil deeds. Villains sometimes pretend to be the hero to tarnish the hero’s reputation or ruin the cohesion of a superhero team. Whatever the goal, some of the most gruesome moves DC villains have taken have involved taking on the role of a hero in order to tarnish their reputations.
10/10 Fake face imitated Lady Blackhawk
Birds of Prey Vol. 1 #112 by Tony Bedard and David Cole
The False Face name has belonged to more than one supervillain in the DC Universe over the years. The original False Face debuted as a Batman villain disguising himself to pose as Gotham’s wealthy elite and pull off bank robberies.
In 2008, False Face II debuted in birds of prey. In the issue, False Face II used a costume that allowed her to pose as Zinda Blake, also known as Lady Blackhawk. False Face planned to kill Lady Blackhawk and take her place in the Birds of Prey, but Zinda foiled their plan.
9/10 Red Hood pretended to be Nightwing
Nightwing Volume 2 #118 by Bruce Jones and Joe Dodd
Since his debut as the second Robin in 1983, Jason Todd has taken on the roles of hero, villain, and anti-hero. His wavering morale has often put him at odds with the other members of the bat family, particularly the other Robins.
One of the biggest disagreements Jason had with Dick Grayson happened nightwing#118 During DC’s One Year Later event, Grayson arrived in New York and discovered that Todd embodied Grayson’s Nightwing persona. A vicious battle and a tentacle monster later, Grayson emerged as the one and only Nightwing.
8/10 Mirage posed as Starfire
Team Titans #2 by Marv Wolfman and Kevin Maguire
Miriam Delgado, also known as Mirage, accompanied her fellow Titans as they traveled back in time to kill Donna Troy before she could give birth to Lord Chaos. Mirage’s powers involved the use of psionic mirages to disguise her appearance.
When she arrived in the New Teen Titans timeline, Mirage used her powers to impersonate Starfire to get close to Nightwing and she used her disguise to trick Grayson into sleeping with her. Although Mirage and her team never managed to kill Donna Troy, Mirage’s injury to Dick and Kory made it impossible for the team to truly trust her.
7/10 Prometheus killed Retro and stole his identity
New Year’s Evil: Prometheus by Grant Morrison and Arnie Jorgensen
Prometheus’ origin as a supervillain was watching his delinquent parents get killed by cops. The decisive event turned Prometheus against any form of justice. Armed with a helmet that allowed him to download anyone’s skills and knowledge into his head, Prometheus was determined to use that ability to destroy the Justice League.
As he began his plan to take down the Justice League, Prometheus kidnapped Retro, a new hero who had won the right to visit JLA HQ. Prometheus killed Retro pretending to be him to infiltrate the League.
6/10 Match pretended to be Superboy to break up young justice
Superboy Vol. 4 #74 by Karl Kessel and Tom Grummett
Kon-El, also known as Superboy, is a clone of Superman and Lex Luthor. The secret organization known as Agenda created Match from a sample of Kon-El’s DNA. When the Agenda decided to fight against the existence of young heroes, the organization used Match to take Kon-El’s place in Young Justice.
The goal of Match in Young Justice was to drive a wedge into the team and cause it to fall apart due to internal struggles. Match almost succeeded and his plan was only stopped because the real Superboy showed up to stop him.
5/10 Hank Henshaw tried to destroy Superman’s legacy
Superman Volume 2 #78 by Dan Jurgens
Hank Henshaw was exposed to cosmic rays that completely destroyed his physical body. Henshaw’s consciousness was first transferred into LexCorp’s mainframe and later into Superman’s Birth Matrix. While stuck without a physical body, Henshaw began to blame Superman for his tragic situation.
After Superman’s death by Doomsday, Henshaw constructed a cybernetic body that allowed him to pose as the man of tomorrow. His mimicry was a desperate attempt to destroy Superman’s reputation and Henshaw was able to decimate Coast City and almost succeeded in sending a second warhead into Metropolis. The plan was foiled by Supergirl, John Henry Irons, and a newly resurrected Superman.
4/10 Hush used his surgical skills to give himself Bruce Wayne’s face
Batman RIP Heart of Hush by Paul Dini and Dustin Nguyen
Thomas “Tommy” Elliot spent his childhood as a deeply troubled friend of Bruce Wayne. While both were children of wealthy parents, Elliot actively attempted to kill his own parents. When Thomas Wayne saved Tommy’s mother’s life, Tommy began a life of hating the Waynes.
After teaming up with the Riddler and learning Batman’s true identity, Tommy became the supervillain Hush. Tommy planned to take on Bruce’s identity and performed cosmetic surgery on himself so that his face exactly matched Bruce Wayne’s. Hush attempted to impersonate Bruce Wayne several times, but was foiled each time by Batman or one of his allies.
3/10 Deathstroke embodied Batman
Outsiders Vol. 3 #21 by Judd Winick and Carlos D’Anda
After the death of Donna Troy, the Titans disbanded. Nightwing and Arsenal eventually formed a new version of The Outsiders along with teammates like Grace Choi and Thunder. Soon after, Arsenal began receiving information about criminal activity from what he believed to be Batman.
However, it turned out that the “Batman” Harper had interacted with was actually Deathstroke. This led to a fight between Arsenal and Deathstroke, where Arsenal only escaped because Deathstroke saw the hero’s old gunshot wounds from their previous fights.
2/10 Clayface teamed up with Hush to impersonate Jason Todd
Batman: Hush by Jeph Loeb and Jim Lee
in the Batman: Hush, Tommy Elliot has teamed up with Clayface disguised as Jason Todd. While Jason Todd later attained a more villainous status, he was only remembered as a dead Robin at the time. He was without a doubt a hero who had died in the line of duty.
Clayface’s disguise as Jason worked for a time, and Batman chased the fake Jason around town. Eventually, Batman realized that Clayface wasn’t Jason. Further retcons would also involve a resurrected Jason Todd, but the original Hush storyline was entirely Clayface’s act of deception.
1/10 Eobard Thawne fooled everyone into believing he was Barry Allen
Flash: The Return of Barry Allen by Mark Waid and Greg LaRocque
After Barry Allen’s death in Crisis on Infinite Earths, Wally West took over the mantle of the main flash. Years later, Wally got the shock of his life when Barry Allen showed up on his doorstep one Christmas morning.
But this resurrected Barry Allen was more violent and cruel than the one Wally remembered. Over time, Wally realizes that “Barry” is actually Eobard Thawne, aka Reverse-Flash. With the help of Jay Garrick, Johnny Quick and Max Mercury, Wally put an end to Thawne’s impersonation.
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