Who Is DC’s Best Legacy Character? (Non-Batman Division)
Ever since Barry Allen burst onto the comics scene back in 1956, legacy characters have been a huge part of the DC Universe. The idea of heroic identities that can be handed down to the next generation is a cornerstone of a lot of great stories, and it's something that added to the feeling of history that you get from a well-rounded universe. But as with all things, it also raises one crucial question: Who's the best?
Now, we are letting you, the readers, decide. We've combed through the archive of DC's roster of legacy heroes and put together a list of a dozen strong contenders, from Blue Beetle III all the way to Star-Spangled Kid II. Cast your vote below, and may the best legacy win! You can vote for up to three options.
Oh, and don't worry, Robin fans; The Batman Family is getting their own poll soon.
(Editor's note: We used a special formula to determine who to include in this poll, and the character whose omission you're going to complain about did not fit the secret criteria. Oh no, so sad.)
Created by Keith Giffen, John Rogers and Cully Hamner in 2006, Jaime Reyes combined the mystical and sci-fi elements of his two predecessors during his tenure as the Blue Beetle. He protected the city of El Paso, Texas and a pretty big chunk of space, but he really just wanted to be a dentist.
Unquestionably the greatest of the Green Lanterns, Kyle Rayner was given possession of the last Power Ring after that time Hal Jordan was possessed by a giant yellow space bug that made him kill a bunch of people. He served in the JLA during their most intense crises, including bottling up Solaris the Tyrant Sun when it went supernova.
Courtney Whitmore is actually the current holder of two different leagacies: She's the second Star-Spangled Kid, inheriting that title from Golden Age hero Sylvester Pemberton, and was also given the Cosmic Rod and the legacy of Starman by Jack Knight, the hipster superhero who held that title for most of the '90s.
As the fourth character to take the identity of the Atom, Ryan Choi was also quite possibly the weirdest, using his size-changing powers to battle the strange threats of a shifting reality in Ivy Town. His career was cut pretty short (well, more stabbed than cut, I suppose) but hey, at least he lasted longer than Atom III!
Unquestionably the greatest of the Green Lanterns, John Stewart took on the ring in the '70s, opting not to wear a mask or gloves so that the people he was protecting would know his face and be able to shake his hand. He starred in TV's Justice League, becoming the Green Lantern that a generation of kids knew, and also once explained the concept of Christmas to a bunch of aliens. Seriously, read Mosaic, it's great.
Not gonna lie to you, folks, this one is the correct answer here.
"Manhunter" is less of a legacy and more of a cool name that pops up a lot in the history of the DC Universe, but attorney Kate Spencer did a pretty good job of tying in some otherwise unrelated pieces of the DCU by pilfering her equipment from a supervillain evidence locker. She has Azrael's gauntlets, Deathstroke's staff, and a uniform from the Darkstars. Nobody ever did more than she did with some leftover pieces of the '90s.
When Oliver Queen was blown up in an airplane over Metropolis, the identity of Green Arrow was passed on to his son, Connor Hawke. During his tenure, he swapped out the trick arrows with boxing gloves on the end for the standard pointy ones, but don't hold that against him: He was also really really good at kung fu.
Unquestionably the greatest of the Green Lanterns, Guy Gardner triumphed over an almost unbelievable propensity for head injuries to show us all exactly what it would be like if someone really was totally honest and totally fearless. He served primarily on the Justice League International where he was legendarily knocked out by Batman with a single punch and... probably also did some more respectable superhero stuff.
Renee Montoya was originally created for Batman: The Animated Series, but it wasn't long before she made the jump to comics as a detective for the Gotham City Police Department. It took a lot longer, however, for her to step into a superheroic role, taking over from Vic Sage to seek out answers as the Question.
Remember earlier when we mentioned the Starman legacy? Well, Jack Knight is kind of the reason anyone cares about that legacy at all, tying in disparate characters from 50 years of comics history into a single unifying line that resonated with readers who were ready for superhero who fought evil while wearing a Hawaiian shirt and a leather jacket.
Again, I have to be honest with you: This is what scientists would call a "Control Group." But, you know, if you don't like any of the other choices, you can always vote for the guy who melted down the Helmet of Fate and turned it into a Bowie knife and just pretend it's Dr. Mid-Nite II or whatever? It's what I'd do.