With the DC cinematic universe getting into the full swing of things, and with a slate of movies in the coming years, it seems like the right time to look at some of the lesser known characters of the DC universe who deserve a spot on the big screen. While getting yet another Batman movie is always nice, he and the other members of the Justice League aren’t the only interesting heroes that have come out of DC Comics. These entries may not be household names or be plastered on lunchboxes (they may not even have a Funko Pop figure yet!), but they are nonetheless interesting and worthy of the big screen treatment. After all, if Marvel has proven anything with films like Guardians of the Galaxy and Ant Man, its that you can stumble upon a huge success out of a relatively unknown franchise if the right amount of attention and love is given.
1. Plastic Man
Ok, ok. I know what some people may be thinking: “Plastic Man is too goofy and too ‘out there’ to fit into the super serious DC cinematic universe.” While that may be true, that’s actually the reason why he may be a great addition to this cinematic universe. If there’s one big thing that people have complained about so far with this version of the DC universe is that it takes itself way too seriously. Something that was once reserved for a Batman movie has suddenly become commonplace in recent DC films. So why not go the complete opposite route? This would be a great way for Warner Bros./DC to flex their creative muscles by giving us a completely different type of superhero. Think of this as DC’s answer to Deadpool. They’re completely different characters of course, but what Deadpool showed us is that it’s ok to be different than the norm. Deadpool was able to just do whatever the hell he wanted without worrying about the consequences it would have on the X-Men series and it was able to benefit tremendously from the creative freedom provided. Apart from that, this would give us a much needed opportunity to be introduced to this unique super hero. I mean, it’s not like Mr. Fantastic has been wowing anybody with his stretching abilities. Why not give Plastic Man a try?
2. Booster Gold and Blue Beetle
This one may be cheating a bit, but you really can’t have one hero without the other. The combination of Booster Gold and Blue Beetle is aching to have a movie adaption, the type of which we haven’t yet seen before. Like the previous Plastic Man, Booster Gold and Blue Beetle could highly benefit the DCEU by giving us another “not-so-serious” entry into its lineup. Since it looks like we’re definitely not getting a Batman and Robin movie anytime soon (at least one that doesn’t include some sort of tragic Robin backstory), it would be great to get a buddy comedy or at the very least a film that puts the focus on an unlikely partnership and how they work through that. We’ve gotten these sort of movies before but rarely in the superhero genre. The only one that comes to mind is Batman Forever, but even then it felt more like a thinly veiled attempt to sell more action figures than to actually tell a compelling, well thought out story of Batman and Robin’s rise to become the Dynamic Duo. With Robin’s current absence from the DCEU I think it’s time for a new dynamic duo to hit the scene! Like Marvel’s Deadpool and Ant-Man, Booster Gold and Blue Beetle could comfortably fill the role of a more lighthearted view of the DC cinematic universe!
3. Dr. Fate
Some will undoubtedly draw comparisons between a potential Dr. Fate movie and the upcoming Doctor Strange movie starring Benedict Cumberbatch (it’s nothing new in comics either). The interest with this movie is that it would give fans and audiences alike the opportunity to compare a similar premise done by two completely different movie studios. The way that Marvel does a magic-based superhero could be completely different than DC. Getting a Dr. Fate movie could give us the chance to see those differences (or similarities) for ourselves. Fans from all sides will benefit from having different options. Don’t like how Marvel handled a magical superhero? Just check out DC’s version! Aside from the storytelling and production elements, adding Dr. Fate to the DCEU could lead to a number of different opportunities for the DC cinematic universe. Dr. Fate is a great character by himself and one who currently doesn’t have an equal in the Justice League, but he could also open the door into the world of mysticism, which we’ve only seen a small glimpse of with Suicide Squad’s Enchantress. Dr. Fate could also lead to a connection to DC’s older Justice Society of America superhero team, which in turn could lead to other storylines that could be explored in future DCEU films. Perhaps we could get a movie that puts the focus on some of the golden age superheroes? That in and of itself hasn’t been done yet from either DC or Marvel, and it could all start with a movie featuring Dr. Fate!
Casual audiences have been getting introduced to Firestorm for years through his various appearances in shows like Justice League Unlimited, Batman: The Brave and the Bold, and more recently with Arrow and Legends of Tomorrow. So it’s not like people are completely clueless about him. However, what we’ve been missing is an opportunity to get to know his character and origin without playing second fiddle behind another more popular hero. Firestorm’s backstory is actually one of the most unique ones in all of comics and it’s begging to be told on the big screen. The great thing about Firestorm’s character is his dual identity. And we’re not talking about a secret identity and his superhero identity. In most incarnations of the character, Firestorm is actually the fusion of two different people taking control of the same power (that of Firestorm). What ensues are moments where one person tries to control the situation over the other. Imagine Deadpool’s endless banter with himself but instead of a split personality, the two voices in Firestorm’s head are actually coming from two different people. There is a lot of material to work with under this unique premise if done correctly. Add to this the fact that Firestorm is an incredibly flashy superhero with some potentially jaw-dropping super powers and you have the potential for a real summer blockbuster!
5. The Question
This one might catch people by surprise, especially if you’ve never even heard of this guy. The Question isn’t your typical superhero and some people may be put off by that. He doesn’t have any super powers or a crazy origin story or even any villains that would be considered particularly memorable. So why should he deserve his own movie? It’s for the same reasons that he’s not exactly popular. Batman also doesn’t have any super powers but he’s still very much your typical superhero with over-the-top gadgets, over-the-top villains, and a (somewhat) goofy looking costume. The Question is even more grounded than that and he serves as a great antithesis to 90% of the DC universe. This means that a movie focusing on him would be forced to rely on well written characters, a cohesive narrative, and (most importantly) NOT rely on over-the-top CGI action pieces featuring a bevy of super powers. Not every movie based on a comic book needs to have an end-of-the-world scenario as its climax. Perhaps a film-noir inspired mystery movie is enough to attract audiences to the world of DC comics. Who knows? Maybe this can also help bring in new fans who aren’t necessarily all about seeing men in tight spandex and capes! Sometimes being completely different from your contemporaries is a good thing!
We’ve seen Batman. We’ve seen Robin. We’ve seen Batgirl. But we’ve NEVER seen Nightwing on the big screen. Even after nearly 40 years of being one of the most popular characters from DC, the general audience still hasn’t been properly introduced to Dick Grayson’s more serious (and some would argue more popular) alter-ego. Despite being a fan favorite among DC fans, you’d be surprised by how few people know who Nightwing even is, which is surprising given how awesome his backstory is. Ditching his colorful side-kick duds for a more badass persona, Dick Grayson’s separation from Batman is prime movie-going material. With most members of the general audience still holding on to the bright, colorful persona of Robin, this would be a complete shock to see one of pop culture’s most recognizable superhero duo breaking up and giving us such a cool “new” superhero. It seems like every time we’ve gotten a Robin in a Batman movie frahcnise it always ended right before we got to see his transformation into Nightwing. It’s about time DC gave him his due. With the DCEU’s Batman already shown to have a tragic past with one Robin, why not explore what ended up happening to the original Robin that everybody grew up with? I think Nightwing is ready for his big screen debut!