The DC Universe has often been defined by the massive disasters that strike it, ones it would never survive without the intervention of the heroes and a little bit of luck. However, there have been many times when disasters that would have destroyed the DC Universe were prevented entirely by time travel, an ability that is granted both as a superpower and because of the amazing technology of the heroes.
Of course, there are good time travelers and bad ones — bad ones being villains who use the power of time travel for evil or just heroes and villains who are generally incompetent when traveling through time, either making things worse or just being bad at it.
10 Batman Is Great At Everything Except Time Travel
Batman is known for being one of the most skilled heroes around, taking down deadly foes like it’s nothing and coming up with plans that have laid low some of the greatest threats in the history of the DC Multiverse. However, one place where he’s been pretty inept is when he’s forced to travel through time.
The greatest example of this is in The Return Of Bruce Wayne — sent back in time by Darkseid, Batman was constantly moving forward through time, chased by the dark god Barbatos, with each shift building up more Omega energy. Darkseid knew that Batman couldn’t help but triumph and the capers he’d encounter because of Barbatos would distract him from the real danger, becoming a living bomb.
9 Silver Age Superman’s Mom Almost Fell In Love With Him
The Silver Age was a weird time for DC and one of the weirdest parts of it was Superman and his adventures. The Man of Steel was immensely powerful back then and would find himself in all kinds of strange, mind-bending adventures. Some of those involved time travel back to Krypton, which were great for him but also almost broke time.
Not because he tried to save Krypton — he knew better than that — but because his mother almost fell in love with him. While it was not something completely within his power, since he couldn’t really guess his mom would be attracted to him, he could have kept more distance from the younger versions of his parents. He did his best but he was still pretty bad at time travel.
8 Extant Tried To Rewrite Time
Zero Hour is one of DC’s forgotten events. Dubbed the “Crisis In Time,” it introduced a whole bunch of characters, most of whom wouldn’t amount to much (with notable exceptions like Bart Allen and Hitman) and pit the heroes of the DC Universe against Extant, a power-mad villain trying to change the history of the DC Universe.
Over time, Extant was revealed to be Monarch, the evil future version of the hero Hawk, and was being used by Parallax to create multiple timelines that could be turned into their own universes. While he was able to kill a few members of the JSA, he never did much else and was killed by Atom-Smasher when he replaced his mother with the villain on a crashing plane.
7 Chronos Is Kind Of Useless As A Time Traveler
There have been several Chronos over the years, with the most well-known one being a villain who fought against the Atom. A villain who could travel back and forth through time, one would think that Chronos would be a really difficult foe to beat, or at least he’d use his knowledge of the future to his advantage but for some reason, he was never able to.
Chronos is one of those Z-list DC villains who aren’t even worth putting in the Suicide Squad because of just how pathetic he is. He’s never used his time-traveling powers for anything really cool and was a waste of time traveling ability.
6 Per Degaton Is A Time-Traveling Fascist
The only thing worse than a fascist is a time-traveling fascist. Per Degaton is such a villain — a time-traveling fascist who has been battling the Justice Society since the earliest days of the team. His time traveling isn’t a power in itself, but it is rather based on technology and he usually has a whole bunch of heavily armed shock troopers on his side as well.
Besides being a time-traveling fascist, he’s also been kind of ineffectual in all of his time traveling. One time, he did use his time traveling to erase his foes from time, but still failed because he made the mistake of not killing them all in their cribs, giving some a chance to escape.
5 Rip Hunter Has Saved Time Many Times But Always Needs Help To Do So
Rip Hunter is one of the oldest time-traveling heroes in the DC Universe, using his time spheres to travel to the past and present in an effort to preserve the timestream. While he’s succeeded in his mandate every time, he’s pretty much never done it alone. In fact, on his own, Rip Hunter has never done much of note.
Rip Hunter’s whole thing is traveling through time, finding a problem, and then getting someone else to do something about it. He’s basically a time-traveling third party, identifying the problems and then bringing in someone to fix them as if he secretly knows he’s pretty useless at his job.
4 Time Commander Is So Bad Of A Time Traveler, No One Remembers Him
Time Commander has a really cool costume but that’s pretty much all he has going for him. Created back in the Silver Age, he’s another villain with time-based powers, using a temporal hourglass he created to control time, allowing him to bring things from the past and future to the present, manipulate the flow of time, or travel through time.
For someone with such great abilities, he’s pretty much done nothing with them. Sometimes he’ll show up, age some things up, and throw a few dinosaurs at heroes but he’s pretty easily beaten most of the time.
3 Reverse Flash Uses His Time-Traveling Abilities To Do The Worst Things
Reverse Flash is one of the most dangerous villains in the DC Universe and a big reason for that is how efficiently he uses his time travel abilities. As the source of the Negative Speed Force, he has different powers than The Flash and one of those is the ability to travel through time unaided. He’s used this ability to his advantage over the years.
Traveling back and forth through time, he’s used his powers to tailor his own personal timeline by murdering everyone who angered him. He also murdered Barry Allen’s mom and framed his father for the crime. On top of that, since there’s always a version of him traveling through time, even if he’s killed, he always comes back.
2 Flash Almost Destroyed The DC Universe With His Time Traveling
The Flash always had a method of traveling through time — the Cosmic Treadmill — and for years, he was kind of an okay time traveler, stopping foes from messing things up too badly. However, one day, he decided to go back in time and prevent his mother’s murder, which was a huge mistake, one that almost destroyed everything.
The weird thing is Flash understood how time traveling worked and what to do and not to do. The fact that he would mess things up so badly showed just how bad he is at time traveling.
1 Booster Gold Is The Most Annoying Time Traveler Ever
Booster Gold has done a lot of good over the years, helping save the day with the Justice League and on his own. However, he pretty much only came back in time for fame and fortune and has caused a lot of trouble over the years, whether it be because of his annoying habits or because he didn’t think things through.
The worst part is Booster can be a very good hero and time traveler but his own deficiencies strike at the worst possible times. He does his best but he can’t help but screw things up sometimes.
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