DC Character Fan Theories That Actually Make A Lot Of Sense

List Rules
Vote up the most interesting (and believable) fan theories.

Marvel Comics and the MCU may be dominating the market these days, but it's fair to say that wouldn't be possible without DC Comics. After all, it's the company that introduced the world to Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, the Flash, the Green Lantern, Harley Quinn, and many more. DC Comics has been around, in one form or another, since 1937, and in the many decades it has been in business, the company has introduced a plethora of characters, settings, tropes, and more. With so much DC content out there, the fans have had plenty to work with by coming up with some fan theories.

Every so often, fans will take their theory to the FanTheories subreddit to share their thoughts and ideas behind the characters of the DC Universe that make it such a successful franchise. Some fan theories actually make a lot of sense, and the best of them have been compiled here.


  • 1
    19 VOTES

    The Bat-Signal Is Meant For Criminals — Not Batman

    From Redditor u/randomusername02130:

    Think about it! It seems ineffective to call on a vigilante by shining a light in the sky. There is a huge chance he won't see it, or notice it in time for the crime to still be stopped.

    My theory is that the bat signal itself doesn't actually apply to batman, but rather it is a warning to criminals, like saying "we called him, now's your chance to drop everything, go home, and turn your life around," and there is a silent alarm mechanism within the signal that sends a signal directly to batman's computers.

  • 2
    11 VOTES

    Diana Gave Up On Humanity Because Of WWII

    From Redditor u/Afalstein:

    At the end of Wonder Woman, Diana talks about how she has faith in love, how love will change the world and how humanity has such beautiful potential. This is why she wants to protect the world.

    Except this doesn't make sense, because Diana hasn't been protecting the world, and in fact, said in Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice that she gave up on humanity a long time ago. Bruce calls her out on this in Justice League, but Diana doesn't really give much of a response.

    My theory is that Diana's hope at the end of Wonder Woman reflects the hope of Versailles. Diana did actually think Ares got it wrong and that without his influence there would be no war. I mean, everyone started getting along the second he was dead. She thought the war was too terrible and that no one would fight again.

    But then WWII happened. And Diana got a very exact and very grim view of the cycle. The same war, over again, except worse this time. And worse than war, genocide.

    My theory is that this is why Diana is in the shadows and not involved at the time of Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice. WWII brought her hope in humanity to the lowest point. And it's not until Batman's act of kindness (returning the picture to her) and Superman's act of selflessness (coming to protect a world that scorned him) that she rediscovers her faith in love.

    EDIT: As a further thought, assuming Diana was on the side of the Allies, perhaps she helped liberate some of the camps--but was shocked anew by the atom bomb, which would be hard to reconcile with her warrior ethos. Thus she ended up with no particular government and faded into the shadows.

  • 3
    5 VOTES

    Lex Luthor Enriched Himself Via Superman's Destruction

    Lex Luthor Enriched Himself Via Superman's Destruction
    Photo: DC Comics

    From Redditor u/EquivalentInflation:

    Lex Luthor made his money by owning a construction company, fixing all the destruction Superman left behind.

    When Lexcorp first started, it was wealthy, but not especially so. It took up only about 10 floors of an office building. It also focused solely on aerospace engineering. Later though, it became a massive corporation, buying up hundreds of smaller companies, and according to Superman, employing nearly 2/3rds of Metropolis alone. It covered tons of markets: medicine, beauty, educational materials, chemical engineering, software design, real estate, media, and more. In comics, Lexcorp is generally portrayed as a mix of Amazon, Google, and Apple combined.

    So, how did Luthor manage to turn a relatively small company into a business conglomerate capable of overthrowing major world powers? Easy: Luthor owns a number of construction companies, and manufactures fights with Superman in order to trash the city, and create a market. Lex would spend a fraction of his money on some kryptonite, or a robot, then make back his investment ten times over when Superman trashed a few city blocks fighting it. We've seen repeatedly that Superman has no real idea how to mitigate collateral damage, and considers throwing someone through a building a viable option to destroy them, so Lex would be practically guaranteed a positive return.

  • 4
    9 VOTES

    Aquaman Is A Tyrant

    From Redditor u/Symiir:

    So, I thought Aquaman was a pretty fun movie overall. Had some weak dialogue and characters at times, but it also had an octopus playing the drums so it’s hard not to like.

    There was, however, one thing that just kept bugging me after the credits rolled. I didn’t really feel like Aquaman was a good guy. And I’m not even talking about the beginning where he was kind of a d**k to Black Manta’s dad (and created a supervillain in the process).

    No, for most of the movie, I feel like he follows a fairly stereotypical hero’s journey. He wants to be good, makes a few mistakes, he’s not sure he’s king-ly enough to be king. He checks all the boxes.

    But then the third act of the movie happened. And in the third act, Aquaman turns from a hopeful king… into a tyrant. And it’s all thanks to a certain Trident.

    When Aquaman takes control of Atlan’s trident, he gets his first taste of real power. And everything changes. Atlan’s trident amplifies his powers, but also seems to corrupt them.

    Let’s break down what Aquaman does after retrieving the sacred trident (and changes clothes).

    He makes a beeline to his brother to try to stop him from waging war on the surface world. Seems reasonable. Unfortunately, he does this by unleashing a giant Cthulu-kaiju-monster… thing smack dab in the middle of a battlefield. The movie literally spends like 30 seconds showing how this sea monster erupts from the underwater lava field (don’t worry about it) and kills countless numbers of combatants. It’s not even like he dropped the sea monster just on Orm and his army. No, the poor crab people (who remind me of dwarves for some reason) get demolished just the same.

    So here’s Aquaman, riding in on a sea monster that is practically a mythical beast to the Atlantians, and he’s basically killing everyone. And this is a good guy’s entrance? If I was anyone on that battlefield, I’d be s**tting myself. At that moment, Aquaman isn’t anyone’s hero; he’s just a terror. And he’s riding every Atlantian’s childhood nightmare into battle.

    And really, from here on out, Aquaman’s entire modus operandi revolves around fear. He’s playing on the nightmares of Atlantians to convince them that his way is the only path forward.

    Don’t believe me? Who does Aquaman bring as backup to this fight? The Trench. The boogeymen of the sea. These creatures are well established as corrupt, demonic, and everyone avoids them unless they’re using them as a punishment. And Aquaman rides into battle leading them to the Atlantians. The Atlantians rediscover exactly how terrible it is to fight the trench. They tear into the Atlantians in gruesome fashion. The few surviving Atlantians from this battle would probably have PTSD for the rest of their days.

    Yet through all this, some Atlantians are still trying to fight valiantly. Battling the trench with everything they’ve got. But Aquaman plays one final, cruel trick on them. He turns their mounts against them. Warping the minds of all sea creatures across the entire battlefield to turn on their masters. Turn on the people who, despite their poor choice of methods, are truly trying to save the sea from the surface people who have poisoned and killed them for generations. Fighting nightmarish creatures wasn’t enough. Aquaman needed to crush all hope that the Atlantians could have to make sure they would submit.

    Finally, only one stood in his way. King Orm. Ocean Master (good god, they really kept saying that with a straight face). He would not yield. Not in battle. Not while facing death after losing to Aquaman. At this point, the Atlantians were broken. Aquaman had won. But if Aquaman simply killed Orm, he could become a martyr. An icon that could be held up by Atlantians in secret to breed resistance and spark a rebellion. Lucky for Aquaman, fate gave him the perfect way to break Orm.

    At just the right moment, Aquaman revealed his trump card. Their mother. Obviously mad from decades of isolation and sadness. She doesn’t care what’s happening, just that she has her sons again.

    Orm knows he shouldn’t let her affect him; shouldn’t let such a simple gambit work. But he can’t deny the mother that he’s been aching for, for so long. And he can’t deny the threat. Aquaman brought Orm’s mother back. And thus, Aquaman could take her away again. Permanently. And so, Orm is left with no choice but to give in. Trapped by the love for his lost mother.

    At the end of the battle on the sub, Aquaman raises his trident to the Atlantians. Reminding them of the power he wields. And he gives them an unspoken ultimatum. Submit, or perish.

    People cheer for him because they have no choice. He holds them all hostage with that trident. They’ll always know what Aquaman can do to them. The sea monster still lives. The trench will still obey him. Their mounts and sea creatures could turn on them. The one person who could challenge Aquaman is now broken and terrified of losing his mother again. Atlantians are trapped. Trapped beneath the iron first of the merciless tyrant. Aquaman.

  • 5
    11 VOTES

    The Joker Has A Superpower

    The Joker Has A Superpower
    Photo: DC Comics

    From Redditor u/Codoro:

    No one could pull off half the random crap Joker does unassisted. All the near deaths, convoluted plots, and inevitable escape attempts... impossible without some other force at work. But really, it's his name that gives it away. He's got a power any comedian, class clown, or joker would kill for.

    He has a supernaturally good sense of timing.

    That's why all his schemes can work and why the only times he gets caught are when he can safely get away later. Because even if he's unaware that he's doing it, he's always in the right place at the right time.

    Edit: Joker probably isn't aware he even has this power, but it's part of the reason he never gets over his insanity. Because everything always works out for him, he's never confronted with facing reality aside from the chaos he creates. Except... for... the Batman. Maybe he's immune or maybe he's just so organized he can cut through the chaos, but for whatever reason Batman's the only one who can overcome this subtle power. Joker may be aware of this subconsciously or just pick up that things go wrong whenever Batman's around, but he knows he NEEDS to kill him.

    Edit 2: Maybe the Joker doesn't need to KILL Batman, but I think he does want some kind of final conflict where two enter and one leaves. Whether Joker hopes HE'LL die in the conflict or just prove that his reality is the correct one depends on which Joker you're talking about, I think.

  • 6
    4 VOTES

    There's A Reason Superman's Disguise Works

    From Redditor u/epsonabcdefg:

    Superman doesn't wear a mask. And even when he is walking around as Clark Kent, he doesn't go to any extreme lengths to disguise himself. He puts on a pair of glasses, parts his hair differently, and adjusts his posture slightly... that's it. Sure, it might have been easier back in the golden/silver age of comics, but nowadays? In an age of facial recognition, social media, and everyone having a camera in their pocket, how does he stay hidden?

    The answer is simple. People don't go looking for his secret identity... because he doesn't hide it. Think about it. Characters like Batman, the Flash, or Blue Beetle have masks. There is an element of mystery about them, and people cannot resist a mystery. The best way for Superman to get people off his back is to remove the mystery. They can't solve a mystery that's already solved.

    Hiding in plain sight is often the best way to hide. And even if he wasn't wearing the glasses, he'd probably still be able to hide just fine. There's real-world evidence to support this. In this image and article, Henry Cavill stands in front of a giant billboard of his face and goes completely unrecognized. Presumably, actors and superheroes would have the same amount of fame in the DC universe. If Superman's actor can go unrecognized when standing next to a giant picture of his face, how would the average person in the DC universe recognize Superman while he's flying way up in the sky? Speaking of which, we also have to consider whether the average person is getting a good up-close look at Superman, let alone Clark Kent. Superman might be famous, but Clark Kent is not (at least not at the same level).

    But what about facial recognition software? We live in an age where companies like Facebook and Google can scan images and compare them to almost every other image on the entirety of the internet. Billionaires like Lex Luthor and Bruce Wayne would most likely have access to computers that would have the sufficient capability of doing something similar. How does Superman get past these?

    Again, the answer is somewhat simple. He puts on a pair of glasses, parts his hair differently, and adjusts his posture slightly... that's it. That might not sound like much, but it goes much further than you might realize. You can try this yourself. Take an image and simply reverse it, or even just crop it a bit, and Google's reverse image search tool will have a hard time analyzing it. Granted, facial recognition and reverse image searching are slightly different, but the principle is the same. It will have trouble comparing the faces if it has poor-quality pictures to work with.

    The comics seem to support this idea.

    In short, as long as Clark Kent keeps his glasses on whenever he steps in front of a camera, Superman will be fine.