Whether they were good from the outset or they came around to the idea after a few years, there are few characters in the DC Comics universe who have a happy backstory. The company’s heroes were often pushed into greatness by the unhappiness they faced in their everyday lives. Characters like Batman and Rorschach from Watchmen have both experienced great losses and see lawbreaking everywhere they look and no one doing anything about it. Rather than call 911 and wait for the police, they put on costumes and take matters into their own hands.
On the flip side of that coin, anti-heroes like Harley Quinn are happy to live a life of chaos until it all falls apart around them, and their grim backstories make it even harder for these former villains to turn their lives around. While the backstory of many of these characters comes from witnessing a close personal tragedy, some of them were simply twisted until they popped and had no other choice than to adopt the life of a masked hero.