10 DC Heroes Everyone Forgets Are Geniuses

A split image of Green Arrow and Superman from DC Comics


DC Comics has created many of the most powerful superheroes of all time, beings with godlike powers. However, the company is known for its smart heroes, like Mr. Terrific and Batman, as well. Their brilliance is a key part of their superhero careers, allowing them to come up with plans and technology that makes things easier.


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Many DC heroes are well known for their genius, but it’s easy to forget about some of DC’s more subtle geniuses. Their intelligence has been just as important to their careers as their powers or other abilities. It’s added an extra dimension to DC’s greatest that made them even more formidable.

10 Kent Nelson’s Tenure As Doctor Fate Proved How Intelligent He Is

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Dr. Fate’s career stretches back to the Golden Age when archeologist Kent Nelson found the Helmet of Fate. Nelson was no slouch in the intelligence department, having graduated college and worked for years in his field. His intelligence came in handy later in his life, as well, as it allowed him to memorize a lot of magic.

Unlike more contemporary Fates, Nelson didn’t rely on Nabu nearly as much for his magical knowledge. He studied very hard to master the mystic arts. That’s why he made such a good instructor to Khalid Nassour. He used the Tower of Fate’s bounteous libraries to study and wasn’t content to rely on an untrustworthy Lord of Order.

9 The First Hourman Was A Brilliant Chemist

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Hourman in front of a clock in DC Comics

Even before he became a superhero, Rex Tyler was a very successful man. His knowledge of chemistry made him a fortune, as patents from his many creations allowed him to purchase the company he used to work for, Bannerman Chemicals, and start TylerCo. His greatest creation was Miraclo, the drug that granted him superhuman strength and durability.

Hourman spent years refining the formulation for Miraclo, but it wasn’t his only accomplishment. Tyler created multiple drugs and formulations over the years. Beyond chemistry, he also was well-versed in human biology. Even one world-changing chemical would have been enough to prove his genius, though.

8 Ted Knight Devoted His Energy To Mastering Several Sciences And Became Starman

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Ted Knight as Starman from DC Comics

Ted Knight was born into a life of privilege, which afforded him a lot of free time. He was also a genius, which meant that he was very bored with his life. So, Ted threw himself into science, learning as much as he could about astronomy, physics, engineering, and several other disciplines. He created the Gravity Rod, which harnessed ambient cosmic energy, allowing him to fly and use the energy for combat.

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Knight would later refine the design, creating the Cosmic Rod, the Cosmic Staff, and the Cosmic Converter Belt. As Starman, his wide base of knowledge often came in handy. His gift for invention was definitely a boon to his friends and, later, his children.

7 Wonder Woman’s Intelligence Is Often Underestimated

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Wonder Woman posing in front of a DC Comics banner

Wonder Woman is the Amazons’ greatest warrior. She’s a master of multiple weapons and many unarmed fighting styles. No one wants to fight Wonder Woman, but anyone who thinks that she’s only good for hitting things is gravely underestimating her intelligence. There’s a reason why she’s often been the ambassador between Man’s World and Themyscira.

Diana was granted the Wisdom of Athena, but even without divine intervention, she’s quite intelligent. She knows multiple languages, is a master of tactics and strategy and has a wide knowledge of magic and the occult. She’s always been more intelligent than she gets credit for.

6 Damian Wayne’s Superiority Extends To His Intelligence

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Damian Wayne with Eclipso in the background in DC Comics

Damian Wayne is a devastating combatant. He was trained from an early age in martial arts, mastering multiple styles. There isn’t a weapon on Earth that he isn’t proficient with, and he can easily defeat most more experienced foes. Damian is the most dangerous Robin in a fight, but he’s also probably the smartest of the bunch.

Fighting wasn’t all that Damian was taught in his childhood. Talia al Ghul wanted Damian to be a well-rounded individual, so he was also tutored in academics. By the time he met his father, he had the equivalent of several PhDs worth of education in a variety of subjects.

5 Supergirl Is Super Smart

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Supergirl raises a sword in Woman of Tomorrow from DC Comics

Supergirl is one of the few DC superheroes more powerful than Superman. Kara Zor-El was raised in Argo City with a Kryptonian education, and she’s much better educated than any of Earth’s residents as a result. On top of that, yellow sun radiation gives her super-intelligence, one of her many superpowers.

This takes Supergirl from genius to super genius. She rarely needs to show how smart she is, but she can understand concepts that would perplex even the smartest humans. Supergirl has it all, combining brains and brawn.

4 Tim Drake Figured Out Who Batman Was

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Jamal Campbell's Tim Drake/Robin climbs a wall in DC Comics.

The Robins are a varied bunch. Each brought something to the table that the others didn’t. Most of them were chosen by Batman, but only one of them set out to prove why he should be Robin. Tim Drake had decided that Batman needed a Robin, noticing how violent he got after the death of Jason Todd and took it upon himself to become the next Robin by finding Batman.

Tim was able to figure out Batman was Bruce Wayne completely on his own. Since then, Tim has shown his genius many times. He’s the best detective of all the Robins and proved to be a great leader and tactician as well.

3 Impulse’s Super Speed Allows Him To Learn At An Amazing Rate

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Impulse and Jay Garrick in DC Comics

Impulse got a reputation as the flightiest DC speedster, zooming between topics and thoughts as fast as he ran. Bart Allen was born with super speed, unlike most other speedsters, and it affected the way he thought about and looked at the world. However, it also gave him an advantage over many other heroes.

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Unlike other speedsters, Impulse internalized all the information he consumed at super speed, giving him a genius-level intellect. He once speed-read his way through an entire library. Impulse is whip-smart and has a knowledge base that would impress anyone.

2 Green Arrow Has The Smarts To Back Up His Bluster

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Green Arrow and friends in DC Comics

Green Arrow is a top DC hero, but it’s not just because of his archery skills. Oliver Queen inherited his family business and went into playboy mode, but he was always very intelligent. This would become more apparent when he became a superhero. His mastery of archery was just the beginning, as he learned multiple fighting styles and put his intelligence to use in a variety of other ways.

Arrow’s a great detective, has created multiple trick arrows, and is an expert at espionage. He can run multi-billion dollar businesses and was even the mayor of Star City for a time. He can be an arrogant blowhard, but that doesn’t change the fact that he’s intelligent enough to back it up.

1 Superman’s Intelligence Is As Important As His Other Powers

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A man of many powers, Superman has a special place among DC’s heroes. His abilities aren’t unique but the way he uses them makes him an inspiration for every other DC superhero. He’s basically good at everything, but most people look at him and only see the Big Blue Boy Scout. They underestimate his intelligence as a result.

Superman is super intelligent and he puts it to good use. He’s not only a brilliant writer but can understand and replicate the advanced technologies from many worlds. Beyond replication, he’s also invented all manner of objects in the Fortress Of Solitude. Superman’s intelligence has always been a huge factor in his success.

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