Now that Man of Steel has surpassed expectation at the box office, it appears that Warner Brothers is going full steam ahead with its plans to expand its DC Comics movie universe, with a possible MoS sequel next year and Justice League in 2015. An insider has also revealed that Warner Brothers is “kicking the tires” of Wonder Woman and Aquaman movies. Presumably, The Flash is in the mix someplace, along with relaunches of the Batman and Green Lantern franchises.
Marvel, already on a roll, announced some left field movies to ride the waves of The Avengers and Iron Man 3— Guardians of the Galaxy, Ant Man and Doctor Strange. Taking for granted that the heroes from the Justice League will at some point be spun off into their own movies, what other DC heroes could headline their own movies? Here are my ten picks!
10. Hawkman and Hawkgirl
Science fiction meets mysticism, as this couple, originally ancient Egyptian royalty, were killed only to be reincarnated and destined to be together throughout time. Imagine Cloud Atlas only not sucky and more super heroic. While most super movies include a romantic interest of sorts, this tale of immortal romance could prove to be just the ticket to appeal to female viewers.
9. Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E.
Patrick Dugan once served as the valet to teen millionaire Sylvester Pemberton and once Pemberton decided to become the super hero the Star-Spangled Kid, Dugan served as his faithful adult “sidekick” Stripesy. Fast forward to the present, Dugan is happily retired from the super hero game and married to Barbara Whitmore. When Barbara’s rebellious teenage daughter Courtney adopts the mantle of the Star-Spangled Kid (later simplified to Stargirl), Pat has no choice but to don a suit of mecha armor and follow her into battle in order to protect and keep tabs on her. There haven’t been any movies starring female super heroes, but a headstrong teen character could tap into a whole new audience and the generation gap never fails to entertain!
Speaking of teen heroes, Raven is the offspring of a misguided, drug addicted human woman and a demon warlord named Trigon, who hopes to conquer our world. His gateway is none other than his daughter Raven and her emotions. Therefore, she must keep her emotions suppressed in order to prevent this… but can you imagine being a teenager and being forced to suppress your emotions? No easy task! Raven could bring a supernatural/horror angle to super hero popcorn flicks.
7. The Spectre
I was blown away by the Spectre animated short on the Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths DVD. It was a gritty, seventies noir horror tale of God’s avenging angel taking out revenge on evil-doers. It hinted at loads of potential and I would love to see that played out in live action on the silver screen.
6. Martian Manhunter
Mars Needs Moms bombed. John Carter (of Mars) did too. Maybe film goers really do hate Mars. Poor J’Onn J’Onzz has been cut out of the Justice League in New 52 continuity, but that doesn’t make him any less fascinating. I’d love an approach that hews close to Darwyn Cooke’s take on the character from The New Frontier, a kind-hearted alien who learns about Earth culture from watching TV and who only wants to return home, only to be captured and imprisoned by the US government. Cue Superman cameo…
5. Blue Beetle
Jaime Reyes is one of the few instances where a beloved character was killed off (Ted Kord) and replaced, only for fans to actually embrace the replacement because of his sheer likeability. Jaime is a flawed teen, along the lines of Spider-Man, only his family is in on his secret and helps him in his heroic endeavors… as long as he gets his homework done. Add to that, extraterrestrial intrigue and you have a pretty surefire formula for success.
4. Animal Man
Isn’t it about time we turned the traditional super hero movie on its head? How about a super hero horror movie? Animal Man is the anti-establishment super hero, who draws his powers from The Red, the force that generates animal life on The Earth… only to discover that his real role is to protect his young daughter Maxine who will grow up to be the real defender of The Red. But in order to discern this, Buddy Baker and his family most take a grotesque voyage into The Red.
3. Black Lightning (featuring Thunder and Lightning)
For years, Black Lightning was DC’s biggest name African American hero, serving along with The Outsiders and the Justice League. In more recent times, it was revealed that his two teenage daughters also possessed powers. Anissa can manipulate gravity and goes by the name Thunder, while Jennifer, like her father, can control electricity and calls herself Lightning. An overprotective father and daring teen kids… it’s a live action Incredibles just waiting to be made!
This might be a cheat, since Zack Snyder planted seeds for Kara Zor-El’s cinematic introduction in Man of Steel, but after the poorly received 80s movie, I think the Girl of Steel deserves a redemption on screen. Imagine the difficulty the Kryptonians had adapting to Earth in Man of Steel and mix in raging hormones and that should make for some interesting drama. Sign Revenge‘s Emily Van Camp ASAP! Also, I expect to see a scene set in front of Popeye’s Fried Chicken.
Shazam/Captain Marvel has had a bit of a struggle distinguishing himself in the DC Comics crowd, but the concept of a ten year-old boy empowered with the abilities of the ancient gods, is timeless and rife with potential for the big screen. A Shazam movie could easily outpace the Percy Jackson franchise! And Patrick Warburton was born to play the adult version of Captain Marvel!
Those are my picks! Would you pay to see movies based on any of these heroes? Are there others you would like to see instead? Please leave a comment below!