6 Characters I Do and 6 Characters I Don’t Want to See in the DC Cinematic Universe
Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice has come and gone, and now all that’s left is for that justice to finished dawning. The movie made all the money, so there’s no doubt that Warner Bros. is going to forge ahead with all of their plans. We’ve got the Wonder Woman movie coming out next year for sure, and plans are in place for the Justice League, Aquaman, Cyborg and more. In a few short years, the DC Cinematic Universe could be as big and as varied as the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
So what does an old comic book fan like me want to see in the DCCU?
I did this list before with the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Who doesn’t love talking potential movies or character cameos? There are decades of DC characters, both big and small, who could be used on the big screen. Not all of them deserve their own movies, sure, but who doesn’t love a little Easter Egg or two? Maybe a surprise cameo? The sky is the limit for DC. If they can make Superman dark and gloomy, then they can do it to anybody, and any character can appear.
Join me after the jump to see who I would like to show up, as well as who I hope DC keeps on the cutting room floor.
Once upon a time, Secret Six was great. I don’t know what happened to the revived series, but I didn’t take to it like I did the original. And back then, Catman was the greatness. He took his somewhat silly gimmick and pushed it to extremes that nobody could predict. He became one of the coolest characters in comics, a badass with no equal. So when Suicide Squad comes around for its inevitable sequel, he’s the one character they need to add. Everybody will get the joke — that he’s some weird knock-off Batman — and then Thomas Blake will come out kicking butt, taking names and scratching people. Plus, just think of the memes!
5. Martian Manhunter
The picture above is one of my favorite moments from the early New 52. In the flagship Justice League comic, writer Geoff Johns did a five year time jump from the formation of the team to their later adventures. And at one point, he established that there had only ever been one new member of the Justice League in that entire 5 year span — Martin Manhunter. And it went about as well as the picture above. That was a legitimately cool moment, because the Martian Manhunter is a classic Justice League mainstay, and knowing that his New 52 version was so explosively wicked was pretty cool. That’s what I would like to see when we start getting multiple Justice League movies. Weave the Martian Manhunter into the world and then come up with some big, huge, explosive debut in some future Justice League sequel. Should be pretty gnarly.
4. Poison Ivy
Enough time has passed that we can put Uma Thurman behind us. Poison Ivy is ripe for reinterpretation, and the new Batman movies should be the perfect place — as long as she gets to team up with Harley Quinn. I think that when the Suicide Squad movie comes out this summer, we’re going to see a Harley who has already broken off from the Joker. The comics have recognized for a long time now that Harley is much better on her own, as a strong and powerful character who saw that she was in an abusive relationship and got the hell out of it.
DC is, theoretically, going to want to use Harley Quinn and actress Margot Robbie a lot more after Suicide Squad. So when it comes time to pick a villain for the new Batman movie, I want to see Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn team up to take over Gotham City. Their relationship has been a thing of beautify since it started randomly on Batman: The Animated Series. They’re one of the best LGBTQ couples in comics, and it would be really cool to see them team up on the big screen.
3. Star Sapphire
They’re going to make another Green Lantern movie someday. Perhaps it will be about the Green Lantern Corps as a whole. Perhaps it will be about Jon Stewart this time (or Simon Baz, fingers crossed!). Whatever they do, I hope they do a better job this time exploring the multi-colored rings. And I hope, whether Hal Jordan is the main character or not, that Star Sapphire gets to show up. She is one of my favorite villains at DC, and one of my favorite female characters in comics. I love her wildcard status in the Green Lantern mythos. I love the way her history was woven into Geoff Johns’ new ideas for the multi-colors Corps.
An obvious Green Lantern movie would put the GLC against possibly the Sinestro Corps, and Star Sapphire would make for an amazing wildcard/third party, who expands the mythos while causing trouble, for either good or ill.
2. Simon Baz
You know what, I’m going to say it: I hope DC uses Simon Baz when they make their next Green Lantern movie. He’s not one of the four famous Green Lanterns, but that’s perfectly fine. He’s my Green Lantern, and that’s all I need. Simon Baz is one of the GLs created by Geoff Johns, the writer who revolutionized the Green Lantern books, and who currently works as DC’s Grand Creative Poobah. Johns will undoubtedly have a hand in the GL movie, and he should pick Simon Baz as the star.
Simon is of Middle Eastern descent, a car thief with a heart of gold who was chosen to become a Green Lantern when Hal Jordan ‘died’. The Hal Jordan movie didn’t work. And while DC could easily make a new GL movie starring Jon Stewart (he of the super popular Justice League cartoons), I would rather they go with Simon Baz. Let’s have a superhero movie starring a Muslim character!
1. A good Robin
I cannot express how badly I want a good Robin in the DC Cinematic Universe. I don’t care which Robin they use (sort of, more on that later), I just want him to be cool, for once. Batman has a million different awesome movie versions. Alfred and Commissioner Gordon have been great in multiple franchies. But Robin always gets the short shrift. He was acceptable in Batman Forever (at least when I was 10), but any good will was immediately and viciously wiped away by Batman and Robin. The character was pretty darn cool in the Dark Knight movies, but he wasn’t really Robin.
The DC Cinematic Universe is likely here to stay for years to come. Ben Affleck is already working on the next solo Batman movie. And we’ve already seen that Robin once existed in the universe, only to be killed by the Joker. But surely that won’t be the end of it. Surely Affleck and company will create a new Robin to show up in the movies, to continue the legacy. I don’t care if it’s Tim Drake or Carrie Kelley or Harper Row or Duke Thomas or Stephanie Brown, I just want them to bring in a new, awesome Robin. I don’t care of it’s Dick Grayson or Jason Todd who died. I just want Robin to matter going forward.
The one thing I want from the DC Cinematic Universe, more than anything else, is for Robin to be awesome in the movies. I don’t think that’s too much to ask.
6. Reverse Flash
A Flash movie is coming, and I’m struck by the intense fear that it’s going to be an origin story. Does the Flash really need an origin story? Considering his TV show, considering his cameo in Batman v. Superman, and considering the overall general public knowledge about the Flash (he has super speed!), do we really need to show how Barry Allen gets his super speed and why he becomes the Flash? I hope not. Of any of DC’s superheroes beyond Batman and Superman, the Flash is the one who does not need an origin story.
And he also doesn’t need to go up against his bizarro version. The Flash TV show has gotten a lot of mileage out of Reverse Flash and Professor Zoom, the evil twin villains. And these evil twin villains are popular in superhero movies, from the Iron Monger in Iron Man to Venom to Abomination in The Incredible Hulk. The Flash has a ton of great villains. The Rogues is one of the best villain teams in comics. When they get around to making that Flash movie, they need to do something interesting, and putting him up against another speedster will not be very interesting.
5. The Metal Men
The Metal Men are just plain dumb, and I have no idea how they continue to stick around. I don’t mean to be insulting to anyone who loves the Metal Men. Please, you’re more than welcome to enjoy them. But me, personally, I have never seen the appeal. They’re a bunch of dorky looking robots made out of one single type of metal. And they always look ridiculous in the comics, always. Maybe this could work as a Big Hero Six-like animated movie, maybe about a young inventor and his awesome robot pals. But the Metal Men would be a dumb addition to the new cinematic universe.
I still think the Hawks can be cool. They’re weird, and their origins are insane, but the very idea of a couple of ass-kicking warriors with bird wings is cool. Unfortunately, DC has already twice tried to create live action versions of Hawkman and Hawkgirl, and both times have been pretty lame. First there was Hawkman on Smallville, then both Hawkman and Hawkgirl showed up on The Flash, with both continuing on to Legends of Tomorrow. DC and The CW are doing everything they can to make the characters cool…but they’re not. Not really. The CGI doesn’t look that great, the backstory is too crazy, and the characters themselves just flop. Don’t bring that madness to the DCCU. There are plenty of better Justice League characters to use.
3. Justice Society of America
I am not a fan of the Justice Society. I know a lot of people are, but they’ve never been my cup of tea. The Justice Society are different from the Justice League in that the heroes on the Justice Society were active in the first half of the 20th century. In modern times, they’re all senior citizens with enough juice left to keep fighting crime. It’s a neat idea, and it works well in comics, but I don’t think these DC movies are the right place for the Justice Society. Not only are metahumans a new concern in the DCCU, but I don’t think the legacy aspect would work the same. The Justice Society has old person versions of the Flash and Green Lantern, who have nothing to do with the modern interpretations that are definitely going to appear in upcoming movies. We don’t need that added layer of confusion.
2. Green Arrow
As I said before, there are plenty of superheroes and members of the Justice League to use in the DC Cinematic Universe. So there should be no reason to use Green Arrow in the movies. He’s got a hit TV show on The CW, and one assumes it’s still popular, right? Why steal any of the show’s thunder? I can understand wanting to use the Flash in both movies and TV. He’s the Flash. He’s world-renowned and largely pretty cool. But there’s very little cool about Green Arrow. He brings nothing to a big screen Justice League (nothing that Hawkeye hasn’t already brought to the Avengers). So leave Green Arrow on TV. He’s being put to much better use there.
1. Damian Wayne
I still don’t particularly like Damian Wayne. He can be a good character, and I enjoyed his time with Dick Gryason as Batman and Robin, but I just don’t like him overall. First and foremost, I don’t like him as Robin. I’ve never seen Batman and Robin as a father/son dynamic. Partners, teacher/student, perhaps even brothers, but never as father and son. Making it literal is even worse. To me, Robin simply isn’t the role for Batman’s son. Robin is Batman’s apprentice, his partner and sidekick. Second, I’ve never liked what Damian’s existence does to Bruce Wayne. I don’t really like Batman as a father, and I don’t think DC Comics does either.
Think back on the past year or two of comics: ever since Damian came back from the dead, Batman has been avoiding him like the plague. Damian was missing for the entire year of Batman Eternal. I don’t think Damian ever factored into Scott Snyder’s now-legendary run on the Batman title. And for the past few months, Bruce has been amnesiac, with no memory of Damian, and Damian has been off doing his own thing in the pages of Robin: Son of Batman. So not even DC really wants Batman as a father, but they’re kind of stuck with the character (which is weird, since they went to the trouble of bringing him back from the dead).
Wherever the DC Cinematic Universe goes with Robin, I don’t want Damian to be their choice. Batman as a dad just isn’t as appealing as Batman as a benevolent teacher who takes a partner under his wing.
Unless they cast Raquel Castro as a female Damian. She played Ben Affleck’s daughter in the 2004 film Jersey Girl, and I will only accept Damian if they retroactively turn that movie into some kind of Batman and Robin prequel.
Who do you want to see eventually show up in the DC Cinematic Universe? Who do you hope never rears their ugly head? Let me know in the comments!