In this superhero-obsessed world of ours where it seems a new MCU movie is released every other week, it’s good to remember that the other classic creator of superhero comics, DC, is still going strong as well. If they have had more recent success with TV shows like Arrow, The Flash, Gotham and now Supergirl, their film properties still remain significant. Sure Green Lantern and Jonah Hex might have been total busts. Their Alan Moore projects of the late 2000s, Watchmen and V for Vendetta, didn’t even come close to matching expectations at the box office. But, crazily enough, their “Lego Superhero” series of animated movies have been successful and their “imprint” movies like the RED series, Road to Perdition and A History of Violence have always done well.
And then there’s Batman and Superman. If you’ve been trapped in a cave full of Kryptonite for the past few years, you might not know that Ben Affleck is the new Batman (amid much controversy) and that Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is coming out this March. The two franchises now have a combined fourteen major theatrical releases since 1978 and show no sign of stopping.
More old-school DC heroes like Wonder Woman, Shazam and Aquaman are getting their own films in the next few years as the DCEU movies lift off. But who on DC’s roster of heroes isn’t getting a movie anytime soon? Here are 10 superheroes you don’t have to worry about shelling out big bucks to see on the silver screen.
He might not be the most famous superhero out there, but since he first appeared in 1983 Obsidian has been rumored to be in line for a movie. We think that probably has more to do with his back-story than anything else, as his parents are Green Lantern and the super-villain Thorn and his sister is the hero Jade. His superpowers, while incredibly cool (he can manipulate shadows and pass through solid objects) might be just a little bit too bizarre for mainstream audiences. The comic book character’s more recent evolution into being openly gay has also been controversial for some. We guess Obsidian is just going to have to continue to run Infiniti Inc on the page rather than the screen.
9 Apache Chief
Along with his animated “token ethnic” Super Friends compatriots Black Vulcan, Samurai and El Dorado, Apache Chief was supposed to break stereotypes and usher in a late 1970s cultural awareness revolution in superheroes. Instead he ended up being a terrible stereotype and has never seen the light of day since those cartoons. You won’t be seeing him in a DC movie. Ever.
8 Elongated Man
The problem for Elongated Man is that, even though he’s a classic DC character (created in 1960), he’s just a little bit too close to another guy in the MCU who is one year younger but way more popular. And we’re not even talking about DC’s own Plastic Man. Yeah, you guessed it. Elongated Man is basically the DC version of Mr. Fantastic. Their superpowers are the same even if they came by them differently. But where Reed Richards got the awesome moniker Mr. Fantastic and a super-hot wife, Ralph Dibny got the weird title Elongated Man. Oh well. Mr. Fantastic has had three separate movie iterations. The Elongated Man has had none and probably never will.
She’s been around in the comics since 1961, was a regular in the original Adam West-led Batman TV series and was even portrayed by Alicia Silverstone in the Batman & Robin movie. So why isn’t there more love for Batgirl? The character doesn’t seem to be on DC’s radar at all. Perhaps it’s because that Batman & Robin movie was so bad. Or maybe people just don’t want to see another Masked Avenger who doesn’t have the haunted past of Batman. But what a great backstory she’s got. Commissioner Gordon’s daughter? How cool is that? Pretty cool.
With the Teen Titans/Blackbirds series now on the back-burner at TNT (and possibly completely dead in the water) it’s highly unlikely that we will ever see Robin in a movie. In addition, the Teen Titans reboot would have been part of the DCEU television ‘verse, not the cinematic one. With no current plans to see Arrow, Supergirl and other small screen heroes on the big screen, it’s a pretty good bet that Robin and the rest of the Titans will not be showing up in your local multiplex anytime soon. Fans of the guy with the yellow cape will have to settle for 2014’s mini-series.
5 The Atom
Both a Justice League and Suicide Squad member, The Atom has a pretty cool background. He dates back to the 40s and has the ability to shrink himself, among other things. His comic book exploits have gone on uninterrupted across many DC universes so he’s never really been forgotten. A modern version of the character has even recurred in the current Arrow series and in Flash crossovers. In keeping with present-day technology, this version of the Atom gained his power through the use of nano-tech rather than from dwarf star material as the original character did. But, since Atom is in the CW version of the DCEU, he won’t even be showing up in this spring’s Suicide Squad movie. Look for him on the small screen in DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, though.
4 Black Canary
The Black Canary is a true DC original. She was first introduced in 1947. That’s less than 10 years after Superman’s first appearance so she’s definitely a classic member of the Justice League. Even better, the character has been romantically linked to Green Arrow throughout her career. She has always been a strong role model for women (her black, fishnet stockings –inspired outfit has left an impression on Fanboys as well) and her mad fighting skills and motorcycle would seem to be a natural fit for the big screen. Unfortunately, the Canary has been a long-time TV star, first in Smallville and now in Arrow and even crossovers with The Flash TV series. The character was also supposed to be an integral part of the perhaps canceled Teen Titans/Blackbirds reboot movie. But since the DCEU is really two universes, one on TV and one in theatres, don’t expect to see her in any movies - although her Arrow version will appear in the series DC’s Legends of Tomorrow.
3 Martian Manhunter
Another classic Justice League hero, Martian Manhunter has been around since the mid-50s. He’s been in just about every iteration of the Justice League you can think of; but in the comic’s universe and in the film/TV universe, Martian Manhunter has never made a splash. Perhaps it’s because his storyline is just a little too close to a certain other off-world superhero. Let’s see: the last member of his race, a destroyed home world, super strength and the ability to fly. Sound like any other superhero out there? It probably doesn’t help either that his actual name is J’onn J’onzz. It’s like his creators didn’t even try to give him a cool name.
There was a time when these two seemed to pop up in every version of the Justice League. They’ve been all over DC’s comic universe since 1940, when they both appeared in the classic Flash Comic #1 issue. There’s no doubt how cool they are with their ability to fly, super-strength and martial arts skills. And Hawkgirl is pretty hot for an alien with, you know, giant wings attached to her. You would think a movie gig (or three) would be in the future. But, unfortunately, as with so many DC heroes, the two are destined for the small screen. This time it’s the series DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, set to premier on January 21st. As DC has no plans to crossover their cinematic universe with their TV one, we’ll just have to hope they change their minds someday.
Yeah, yeah, he’s a supervillain not a superhero. But what a villain! He’s so awesome he should have his own movie. Darkseid is the ultimate bad guy in the DC universe. Think about it. He’s got super-strength, but he’s also got those laser eyes that can kill you, resurrect you and even teleport you depending on how he feels at the time. Oh yeah, and his one mission in life, his only purpose for existing, is to abolish free will from every sentient creature. Wow. Talk about issues. Darkseid makes DC villains like The Joker and Lex Luthor seem like amateurs. The “God of Evil” is rumored to be on the slate as the bad guy in the first Justice League movie but that’s just not good enough. We want him to star in his own movie. Just think of the back-story!