Right now it seems that the biggest craze for movies is superheroes and especially Marvel heroes. So far we’ve had The X-Men, Spiderman, The Avengers, The Fantastic Four, Daredevil, Iron Man, Captain America, Blade, Ghost Rider, The Hulk and most recently Guardians of the Galaxy. Also movies starring The Black Widow, Ant Man and Dr. Strange are reportedly in the works. Netflix is planning on a Daredevil series and I’ve heard talk of Power Man and Iron Fist also being possibilities down the line. And “Agents of Shield” is currently a network series as well. DC Comics has also had success with Superman, Batman and on the CW Network, Arrow, while also producing movies, with slightly less success about Catwoman and Green Lantern. With all of these spandex clad heroes and villians popping up everywhere, it seems that the mainsteam world has finally realized what I learned almost forty years ago…. that the best and most interesting characters to be found, from any medium, are those from the world of comic books. They’re not just for kids anymore.
And with all that in mind, I’ve decided to do a list. With apologies to David Letterman for stealing his bit, it’s a “Top Ten List”. I would like to see more comic book based movies be made. And here are the characters, from the literally hundreds of thousands of comic book characters out there, that I would like to see featured. So here we go.
Top Ten Comic Book Based Movies I’d Like To See…
10. The Champions: Combining the Avengers (Black Widow) with the X-Men (Angel, Iceman) and the supernatural (Ghost Rider). Throw in a Greek god (Hercules) and a powerful, yet naive mutant (Darkstar) and anything is possible.
9. The Daughters of The Dragon: Two long time Marvel comic characters – an ex-NYPD cop with a bionic arm (Misty Knight) and her best friend, a true Samauri in every sense of the word (Coleen Wing). They investigate things (Nightwing Restorations is the name of their operation), they have ties to the superhero clique (Misty is the long-time girlfriend of Iron Fist), and they kick ass. What more could anyone want?
8. Dr. Doom: The son of a witch, the King and Ruler of Latveria, possibly the most intelligent man on the planet, equally adapt in both science and magic, and considered evil, but with a strong sense of honor as well. He’s one of the strongest anti-heroes ever created and with his long history, as both villian and hero, there is so much story here. Throw in the Fantastic Four, Mephisto, The Red Skull, etc… whoever you want and there is a story to be told.
7. The Suicide Squad: They have appeared in the series “Arrow”, but that just barely scratches the surface of the potential of this group. Amanda Waller, the leader (who should be portrayed as fat as she was originally and not as she is on TV now), is such a great character. Col. Rick Flagg and his guilt-based sense of responsibility. And the fluid membership where anyone and everyone is a possibility. So much to do here that would work well on the big screen. Think “The Expendables” but with more sizzle, flash and balls to the wall.
6. Birds of Prey: I know it was a TV series, but the combination of the former Batgirl turned paralyzed computer-whiz group leader of characters such as Power Girl, The Black Canary, the new Batgirl, etc. It works in so many ways and could be a huge success for the DC Movie Universe.
5. The Defenders: I’m not a big fan of the original group of Defenders, which consisted of Dr. Strange, The Hulk, The Submariner and The Silver Surfer, but some of the later additions who became part of the non-group really made it into a unique and powerful combination of heroes. Picture this: The Sorcerer Supreme of Earth, Dr. Strange. His fiance, a powerful mage in her own right, Clea. The billionaire turned villian turned hero, Kyle Richmond aka “Nighthawk”. Former model Patsy Walker, aka “The Hellcat”. Norse godess and death maiden, “Valkyrie”. The eighty-year old man trapped in the body of a demon, Isaac Christians aka “The Gargoyle”. The telepathic, self-proclaimed godess of the mind, “Moondragon”. The “Son of Satan” Damion Hellstrom. Nowhere else will you find such a unique and eclectic group, united not in a formal manner, but only by the bonds of friendship and respect. As Guardians of the Galaxy has shown, weird works and with the Defenders, weird is definitely what you would get.
4. Magneto: He survived the concentration camps of Nazi Germany. He’s been both a hero and a villian. He’s a mass murderer, but his main goal is the safety and protection of his people, mutants. He has connections to both the X-Men (as friend and foe) and the Avengers (his children, The Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver are both members of that elite grouping.) He was once a Nazi hunter, working for the Government. And he’s been public enemy # 1. So many ways to go and so many stories to tell as one of the most complex characters in comic history. I don’t think it’s a question of if, but instead when. The sooner, the better.
3. Avengers West: This is a no-brainer to be sure. The Avengers has become the most successful comic-book movie in history and most likely, Avengers 2 will be just as, if not more successful. So why not expand on the franchise and create another team. Just as they did in the comics, have Hawkeye and War Machine (James Rhodes from the Iron Man movies) shipped out to California and thus, another team (and more movies) are born. This would allow characters like Mockingbird (who will be soon appearing in the “Agent of Shield” series, Tigra, Wonder Man, The Living Lightning, Spider Woman, The Shroud, Moon Knight, etc to all be used and developed. It would be a great move and realy just dot the “I’s” and cross the “t’s” for The Avengers as the top comic-movie franchise of all time.
2. Druid: A relatively obscure character in the Marvel Universe, but he’s been around since the mid-fifties, a creation of Stan Lee almost ten years before the Fantastic Four, X-Men or Spider Man came into existence. He’s known as the “Master of the Unknown” and is a mystic, a telepath, a hypnotist and can create illusions. He’s been a member of The Avengers and spent several years “lost in time and space”. He’s cold and slightly arrogant, with an ego and slightly twisted sense of right and wrong. There’s so many ways to take and use this character. He’s one of my favorite characters to write about and use in fan fiction stories and he would make a great movie character as well. He’s been around for almost sixty years, but so much of his past and history is shrouded in mystery, the story could go anywhere… and probably would.
1. Alpha Flight: Canada’s version of the Avengers. The patriotic, government sponsered leader, James Hudson, aka “Vindicator”. His wife, Heather, who’s the heart and soul of the team. The man turned beast, Walter Langowski, aka “Sasquatch”. The doctor turned mage, the man known as “Shaman” and his protege of a sort, the goddess “Snowbird”. The super-speedster twins, “Northstar” and “Aurora”. One is gay and the older suffers from multiple-personality disorder. The tiny yet potent warrior, “Puck”. Throw in characters like “The Purple Girl”, “Madison Jeffries”, “Marina” and “Manekin” and it’s a movie that has to be made. Add in the politician Gary Cody and the overzealous military dictator, General Clark. And even a Wolverine / Weapon X cameo if desired. It’s everything that the Avengers has, but even better. It’s a no brainer and really needs to be made.
And there you go. My lists and ideas for future comic-based movies. What do you think? Any ideas or suggestions of any other comics turned movies you’d like to see? Thoughts and comments welcome.