We get it. You don’t know DC as well as you should, so you’ve come here for some tips on buying for DC fanatics.
First of all, DC Comics are where Batman, Wonder Woman and Superman come from – so if you’ve heard of them then that’s a good start. But there are still more characters that the real DC fan might appreciate even more. And they all have gifts attached to their names.
Read on for the best DC characters out there, and when you’ve learned all you can, you can come back and take a look through our best gifts for DC fans.
Bruce Wayne, The Caped Crusader, the Dark Knight, The Bat Man – this dark hero has been on our screens since 1966 and in our pages since 1939. Though he was given a camp, light hearted reputation in the 60s by Adam West, in the 80s he was returned to his darker origins. Frank Miller’s comics and then Tim Burton’s movies welcomed Batman back to our imaginations as the Dark Knight.
Why he’s so popular with the DC comics fan perhaps comes from the fact he is not blessed with super powers like the other heroes. He is only human, but he dedicated himself to physical and mental improvement after the death of his parents. It definitely helped that his father’s business mega-empire fell to him, but none the less his lack of powers made it easier to inspire us as kids.
The Batman fan is usually inspired by the vigilante, fight-fire-with-fire approach to life. Batman breaks the law of Gotham City and uses intimidation but only to protect the innocent. It’s an excuse for us to feel good about watching someone do something bad.
Gifting: Fans will love anything dark and moody, like clothes and hoodies. And of course anything that is linked to Batman, like a handheld bat-signal torch or merchandise accessories. And if your giftee is a gamer, you can’t go wrong with the Arkham series of games.
The classic gentleman superhero. Even more of a shining beacon of hope than Marvel’s Captain America, this guy can withstand almost anything. If it wasn’t for his crippling allergy to kryptonite, he would win everything, and be kind of boring.
One of DC’s original characters, the Man of Steel landed on our comic book pages in 1938, saving the world from his home in Metropolis. An alien, he’s one of the last survivors of the Planet Krypton, which exploded.
Unlike Batman, Superman has vowed never to take a life. Having been brought up on Earth by folksy farmers in America’s Midwest, he has a similar naivety to the country folk moving to the city today.
Superman fans are inspired by his good nature – never killing anyone, always following the law – but are intrigued by his potential corruption. Superman could do anything he wanted to, but he sticks to his code.
Gifting: Something that reflects his symbol of hope, goodness and potential destructive power. The iconic S symbol on any piece of clothing will always do this, plus it’s a timeless look for even the non-DC fan. And, with so many decades of content, there will always be a comic book or video game that even the biggest fan hasn’t experienced yet.
Princess Diana of Themyscira is a demigod and daughter of the Queen of the Amazons. She abandoned her birthright to save the world from Nazis and other ne'er do wells.
Along with the God of War games, Wonder Woman is one of the best pop culture heroes inspired by Greek mythology. She first arrived on the DC scene in 1941, fighting Nazis, gods and criminals with her truth-telling lasso and superhuman abilities, granted by the gods. Strength and healing (from Demeter), flight and speed (from Hermes), and animal language (from Artemis).
Wonder Woman is one of the most interesting DC heroes, as she charts the approach to women in pop culture from the 1940s to today. Her success, and controversy, has come as writers walked the line between sexualisation and role model, appealing to both girls and boys.
Gifting: Since Wonder Woman is one of the woefully few female superheroes with her own franchise, she takes on a heavy responsibility for promoting female empowerment. Like it or not, she is a symbol, so gifts with her W logo always go down a treat. Those with an interest for classical myth also tend to love her, so any Wonder Woman clothing, accessories or merchandise are great for the classics fans.
Batman has been around for a long time, which means he has had to fight a few villains, or what else would he do? Apart from enjoying his astounding wealth, that is.
Undoubtedly his most famous foe is the Joker, the Clown Prince of Crime. Consistently ranked the best comic book villain of all time, the Joker is so appealing because he is the embodiment of chaos. He is where any of us could end up if we started to lose our minds.
In movies and TV, the actor who plays the Joker is usually considered to have the best role. Jack Nicholson in Batman, Heath Ledger in The Dark Knight, Jared Leto in Suicide Squad, Joaquin Phoenix in Joker or Mark Hamill in the Animated Series. His motivations are usually whimsical, simply wanting to cause anarchy, so he becomes both the antagonist and the comic relief at the same time.
We never really know if he is ever telling us the truth, a fact that comic book writers and filmmakers have exploited. We have several origin stories for him and any one of them or none of them could be true. He plays Batman, Harley Quinn and us for fools, manipulating the truth at random.
Gifting: Joker fans are probably a little loopy themselves – behind closed doors. So gifts that appeal to slightly warped sense of humour are a safe bet. Some of the best DC artwork comes from depictions of the Joker, so backpacks, clothes or other Joker merchandise will speak to their playfully dark sides.
The Joker’s long-suffering girlfriend and sidekick, Harley Quinn is finally getting her dues. After years as a peripheral player, with zany appearances in the Batman Animated Series, she has two live action movies with Margot Robbie.
Harley Quinn was The Joker’s psychiatrist while he was in Arkham Asylum, falling deeply in love and helping him escape. She also breaks bad, evolving her own personality disorder and criminal tendencies. She is devoted to him, even though he often leaves her to die and shows little affection for her.
Her storyline has been praised as a very insightful portrayal of an abusive relationship. And it makes her eventual freedom all the more satisfying.
Gifting: Harley Quinn is playful but also compellingly dangerous in her insanity. Fans tend to be attracted by the empowerment she gains by turning bad, while also relating to her suffering at the hands of her lover. She makes a great action figure or statue for any DC comic fan, but any merchandise with her artwork is sure to be appreciated.
There are plenty of other DC characters out there. So we’ve listed some notable mentions below. Any DC fan will love a gift of merchandise from one of these.
When you’re looking for gifts for DC fans, the classics are always a good place to start. Merchandise and collectables from the Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman franchises are a definite winner.
But, if your giftee appreciates the effort of going a little more obscure, there are many more heroes, villains and anti heroes to look through. Just don’t blame us if you go into a DC Wikipedia vortex and only resurface days later as a new DC fan.
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