The List: Characters I Want To See In The DC Expanded Universe (and those I don’t)

Ok, so, a couple of weeks ago I did a list of characters from the Marvel Universe that I most wanted to see introduced on the big screen and it was requested that I do a DC version of the list. That puts me in a bit of a bind because, whilst I do own a copy of Man of Steel, I've never bothered to watch it and I still haven't watched Batman vs. Superman (so sue me) so I'm not all that up on what they've done so far with their cinematic universe. Plus, DC's apparent aversion to movie origin stories (not necessarily a bad thing) does make it a bit harder to make a list like this. But, you asked for it, so who am I to say no. Of course, I have nothing but the finest of no faith at all in Warner Bros. being able to make a good superhero movie, but you've always got to hope right?

WARNING: Opinions after the jump. You have been warned.

10. Hal Jordan

Film?: Errrr..... I wonder. Green Lantern?

Who?: The guy who used to be cool until Ryan Reynolds got hold of him and isn't called Deadpool.

Why?: Because the last Green Lantern movie was *expletive*. I have actually watched that movie, because Hal Jordan's Green Lantern is one of my favourite superheroes and I thought "it can't be as bad as everyone says, can it?" I regret all my life choices. Honestly, they could do John Stewart as the DCEU Green Lantern and it'd be fine, but Hal deserves another chance. Mind you, they'll probably ruin him all over again, so maybe they'd better go with Guy Gardner instead, because he can't sink any lower in anyone's estimations.

Likelihood Of It Happening?: 50/50, they'll either go Hal or John. Guy Gardner is too unpopular, Kyle Rayner's origin doesn't work without Hal already being an established Green Lantern and Simon Baz isn't well known enough for anyone to really care.

9. Ares

Film?: Wonder Woman

Who?: The God of War and one of Wonder Woman's greatest foes.

Why?: So, the Wonder Woman film is meant to be taking place around the time of World War 1. Ares is the God of War. Anyone else see the connection here?

Likelihood Of It Happening?: 8/10. They'd be stupid not to. Even if people aren't familiar with many of Wonder Woman's greatest foes outside of maybe Cheetah, people know who Ares is. It makes sense for him to be involved in WW1 in some capacity as well. They could stick in some of the German villains WW fought in her earliest incarnation, but they were Nazi villains more than anything so they wouldn't make much sense in an earlier setting.

8. Ocean Master

Film?: Aquaman

Who?: Arthur Curry's angry half-brother. Also known as the second best Aquaman villain.

Why?: Because it makes more sense than using Black Manta (who is the best Aquaman villain, and one of the best DC villains). If they do an Aquaman movie, no matter what it's going to focus a lot on Atlantis. Ocean Master fits the role of a villain for a movie like that perfectly. He is an Atlantian, he is royalty and he has a vendetta against both the hero and the surface world. It's the same as Ares for the Wonder Woman movie, it would just fit too easily not to do it. His role works for either an origin story or at a later point in Aquaman's life.

Likelihood Of It Happening?: If it doesn't, I'll be very surprised. 10/10

7. Krona

Film?: Either a second Justice League film before Green Lantern is release or the Green Lantern film

Who?: The rogue Guardian of the Universe, who attempted to witness the Dawn Of Creation and let evil into the universe. Powerful enough to make him a threat to not only the Justice League but also the entire Green Lantern corps.

Why?: Ok. If Krona were in a Justice League film it would be a good way to introduce the Green Lantern corps and, more importantly, whomever they choose to be the Green Lantern before their solo movie. If he's the villain in the Green Lantern movie, it's simple. He was banished/ imprisoned by the other Guardians for his crimes and now wants revenge, basically like the comics. That story works it's self and it keeps the Green Lantern film away from Earth, negating one massive problem (among many) that the original GL film had.

Likelihood Of It Happening?: 4/10, they'll probably just go Sinestro because reasons, even though, like Venom, Sinestro is a character that would take 2-3 films to set up properly.

6. The Riddler

Film?: Batfleck's first solo outting

Who?: Do I even need to answer this question? If you don't know who The Riddler is, why are you even on this website?

Why?: Because, sorry everyone, we don't need to have another Joker main bad guy film, tv show, cartoon or video game. The Clown Prince of Crime is fun and all and I'm sure Jared Leto is going to be amazing in Suicide Squad, but Batman does have other villains too you know. He's in the same situation as Spider-Man, where he has a fantastic rogues gallery but it's just Green Goblin all the time. Riddler, if done right, will be a great character to bring to the screen in a darker comic book movie. He's a mental match for Batman, just like The Joker, possibly even smarter. It was a legitimate shame that Nolan didn't take a crack at him but I guess we'll have to make do with Batfleck.

Likelihood Of It Happening?: 6/10. It's likely we may see him at some point, if they decide to go down the route of cramming literally every villain they can find into the film like it sounds like they're planning. But as a lead villain, nah, they'll just go Joker because it's safe.

5. Batgirl/ Oracle

Film: Possibly first Batfleck movie to introduce Barbara Gordon, more likely a second outing for Batgirl.

Who?: Nah nah nah nah nah nah Batgirl. Aka Jim Gordon's daughter.

Why?: The best possible use for The Joker in a Batman film is to screw with the Dark Knight. Now, there are two ways you can really really go in with this and that is to do either A Death In The Family or The Killing Joke. And even though her main purpose in the movies would be to end up being shot, Batgirl would be a great character to bring to the silver screen anyway. She's a strong female character even without the association with Batman and as Oracle she's not only a fantastic female inspiration, but a fantastic inspiration to disabled people and people who have gone through trauma. Batman not only has one of the best rogues galleries of any superhero, but he has probably the best supporting cast and the more of them they bring to the big screen the better.

Likelihood Of It Happening?: 5/10. I can see them bringing in Barbara Gordon, but not as Batgirl. Oracle may be a shout though.

4. Jason Todd.

Film?: It's Batfleck again.

Who?: Batman's biggest failure. aka the second Robin

Why?: To kill him of course. Like with Babs, he is the integral person in one of the finest moments in Batman and the Joker's relationship. Even if they kill him before the film (which I bet someone is going to tell me that they mention Robin having died in Batman vs. Superman in the comments) he needs to get killed off. And they can't kill Dick because.... well, we'll get to that.

Likelihood Of It Happening?: Well, you guys tell me. Did they mention anything like that in BvS? If not, umm 3/10. They'd either go no Robin or Dick Greyson.

3. Mongul

Film: The Justice League

Who: A powerful alien tyrant who rules over Warworld. An enemy to Superman and the Justice League its self.

Why?: Ok, so we need a powerful alien tyrant to fight the Justice League, bearing in mind that Marvel have already beaten DC to the punch by having Thanos regularly show his face. Who do we go to. Darkseid obviously. But is that the best move? Do DC really want to blow Darkseid straight away. Because out of DC's entire pantheon of villains there is only one villain who is more powerful and that's the Anti-Monitor (oh, we'll get to him). Are they really going to use him straight away in their fifth film? Using a similar, but less powerful villain in Mongul makes much more sense, he's still a legitimate threat that would require the formation of the Justice League, but he would only need the guys like Wonder Woman, Flash, Aquaman to take him down, with the help of Superman of course, rather than the entire cavalry, which Darkseid always does in the comics. Save Darkseid for a later date and just have the New Gods cameo every so often.

Likelihood Of It Happening?: 1/10. Just because they should doesn't mean they will. They're going to blow the New Gods straight away and it's going to suck because Warner Bros. don't know how to make superhero movies.

2. Martian Manhunter

Film: His own preferably. Or a future Justice League film.

Who?: The guy who was a founding member of the Justice League instead of Superman or Batman. Also he's the last surviving green martian.

Why?: Because it's the Martian Manhunter. He's the guy regularly described as the heart/ soul of the Justice League. He's also in the same boat as Aquaman in that he's one of the most underrated superheroes of all time. It's quite disappointing that they aren't including him in the Justice League to begin with, but hey, you can't have everything.

Likelihood Of It Happening?: Again, I would be very surprised if he didn't end up in a film at some point. He's still one of DC's most recognisable faces, one of the classic 7 Justice League line up. So they've got to at some point, just not soon enough.

1. Nightwing

Film: Batfleck? Nah, lets just go full on fantasy and say A TEEN TITANS MOVIE!!!! DO IT DC/ WARNER BROS.

Who?: ........ It's freakin Dick Greyson ok. Actual best comics character in DC history, sorry Batfanboys, OG Robin is better than Brucie.

Why?: Because Nightwing. Reasons enough.

Ok but being serious. If you place Nightwing in a Batman film, you have a HUUUUUUGE part of the Batman mythos into the film with the first Robin having grown up and moved on from Batman, coming back to help his mentor. If you have Dick Greyson in the film, you've got Robin's growing up story. If you have either in a Teen Titans movie, the internet immediately goes into meltdown as the world nerdgasms. You've already got Deathstroke guys and Cyborg is in the Justice League. Please give Nightwing, Raven, Starfire et al their moment. The cartoons are great, their comics were great (until you ruined them. Damn you New 52) the characters are great.

Likelihood Of It Happening?: Until it's a dead cert, it's never going to be a high enough likelihood.


Ok, now for the fun part. Those characters I don't want to see.

5. Hawkman

Why?: Ok, stop me when this gets confusing for you. So, this guy is an alien from the planet Thangar, who travelled to Earth through a dimensional rift and ended up in ancient Egypt with his true love. They are then killed and spend the next couple of millennia being reincarnated and killed until they end up as museum curators who discover their heritage and decide to become superheroes. You didn't stop me? Well that's just the modern origin, which is an amalgamation of his golden age origin, where a museum curator discovers he is the reincarnation of an ancient Egyptian prince, and his 90's origin as an alien. How exactly do they transfer this to the big screen without over half the audience just going "what?". Plus he's famous for hitting people with a mace. That'll be good onscreen won't it, all the brains and limbs flying everywhere.

4. Captain Marvel aka Shazam

Why?: He's a kid. A kid who transforms into a fully grown man through saying a magic word. But he's still a kid guys. Not only is the premise stupid, they're going to have to age up the character to adulthood to get around the fact that, that guy right there, the guy with monstrous power who's beating up/ getting beaten up by Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson (in all probability), yeah he was a 10 year old a few seconds ago. Anyone else see the problem with this?

3. The Sandman

Why?: I might have done a list on how DC/ Warner Bros. could make this movie, that doesn't mean I want it to happen. Invariably DC properties don't translate well to films, Batman being the only exception really. And The Sandman is such a classic of the medium, even an "alright" translation would be bad. Plus they'll undoubtedly mess it up anyway because Warner Bros.

2. Etrigan The Demon

Why?: Ok, let's lay out why this guy isn't suitable for a screen adaptation, and I'm talking for TV, let alone a film. 1. The rhyming. That is going to catch on isn't it. Your casual audience is not going to get the rhyming at all, not one bit. 2. The costume. Long sleeves with Superman trunks, mmmmm, classy. That's going to need some major changes if anyone is going to take this guy seriously as a threat. And he's a demon, from hell, so he should be a threat no matter how many Jason Bloods he is bound to. 3. If they don't go all out it will be cheesy as..... I want to say hell but that just seems too punny. But seriously, the whole fall of Canterlot, Merlin's demon, rhyming transformation, demons, sorcery thing is going to come across with all of the finesse of an 80's dungeons and dragons movie. If they did it right, made it dark or just aimed for it to be cheesy it could be great. But if they did it even slightly wrong, it will be horrifically cringe-worthy. And do you want to take that chance?

1. The Anti-Monitor

Why?: No, bad DC, Bad. I see what you're doing, saying that your TV shows and your movies are part of a "multiverse". You're trying to go down a route that eventually leads to a Crisis film/ TV tie in aren't you. No, please no. We don't want it, you don't want to do it, it will ruin you, piss off the fans and you'll make everybody hate you. Keep the TV and films separate if you aren't going to directly link them, because if you start doing Crisises (Crises? What's the plural of Crisis?) you'll do what you always do and mess it up. Have you learnt nothing from Zero Hour? Or Infinite Crisis? Or The New 52? Or whatever universe reboot you're planning for next week, or the week after that, or the week after that? STOP REBOOTING EVERYTHING AND GIVE US A TEEN TITANS MOVIE!

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13 Responses to The List: Characters I Want To See In The DC Expanded Universe (and those I don’t)

  1. Worf says:

    Oh JR, you are a hoot! Some considerations below.

    On your Mongul comments, I’ll just leave this: One of the biggest screw ups with the GL movie was burning Parallax in such a stupid way. I don’t dislike the league vs Darkseid, but I wish they would use someone else too. Heck, even Starro or the Apallatians would be a a fun outing (yes, I know Starro would probably look completely stupid on the big screen).

    In BvS they show a robin costume in a case (like in the Dark Knight Graphic Novel) with the writing “Ha ha ha Joke’s on you Batman” on it. Take from that what you will…

    Nightwing and Martian Manhunter: TOTAL NERDGASM!!!

  2. JR19759 says:

    @Worf- Totally agree on Parallax. It definitely was one of the biggest screw ups of that film, alongside the script, the fact the actors weren’t at all invested in the roles, the fact Ryan Reynolds wasn’t actually playing Hal Jordan (instead he was playing Ryan Reynolds), the fact they cut out half the plot in the edit, the terrible sfx costumes, the terrible sfx in general, the waste of talent, the weird melding of Parallax and Krona’s origins for no apparent reason and the complete waste of Sinestro turning to the dark side in a mid-credits scene for no reason. WHAT WAS HIS REASONING? Hal showed him up a tiny bit infront of his bosses. Sinestro would take it as a slight offence yes, but that being the main motive for the film version of one of the greatest villains in comic book history? WHAT THE ACTUAL???
    And I think I will take from that a whole heap of “oh well, they’ve wasted A Death In The Family Already” but hey, so long as Ben is right royally pissed, Leto can play a good Joker (not Leager or Hamill good, that’s not possible, but Nicholson good will do) and they don’t mess up the script then we could, conceivably, have a good Warner Bros. superhero film (read- one that actually makes the sort of money they expect and gets generally good reviews). And on that day the Earth will open up and swallow us all.
    TBH, I always wanted them to use the White Martians for a Justice League film, because a) I quite liked that JLA story and b) it’s a good/ convenient way to introduce the Martian Manhunter, like in the cartoons (which were in every way, shape and form utterly perfect and should be DC’s go to source for how to bring their biggest characters to the screen. That and all the Batman cartoons and the Nolan trilogy). And the fact they haven’t even optioned a Teen Titans movie is an abomination, they’ve had more classic stories than any other team DC have, except maybe Legion Of Superheroes. And I’ve now just realised that I’ve made a horrible mistake with this list. Why did I leave Legion of exactly? Just write Superboy out because that obviously won’t work with DCEU continuity and focus on the guys from the 30th century, have Nemesis Kid or the Fatal Five as the villains, and then for the sequel do The Great Darkness Saga so you can introduce the New Gods before using Darkseid for the Justice League.

  3. Brons says:

    So far, about the only interest that I have in the DC Extended Universe is the Wonder Woman film. Man of Steel was an adequate film with a decent cast, and at least 3 things about it that I really hated: the dark desaturated Dark-Knight-inspire cinematography and the obvious issues with Jonathan Kent and Zod’s deaths, not to be too spoilerish about it, and several things I merely disliked. Batman v Superman was a decently done picture, given the horrible albatrosses it had hanging around its neck from the previous film. Beyond the Man of Steel baggage, I was (I know this is heresy) never fond of the Frank Miller Dark Knight. Given all that, I had very low expectations of the film, and I’ll have to admit that given all that, they did a decent job. There was one, and only one really excellent thing about the flick: Wonder Woman. Excellent. I want to see her movie.

    As to Suicide Squad, everything I see about it makes me want to see it even less than the last. So far I have no interest in seeing it and my expectations are going down from there.

    Given all that, and the fact that I am very much enjoying all of the CW/CBS DC TV shows: Arrow, Flash, Legends of Tomorrow and Supergirl, and to a lesser extent Gotham, my only wish for the DCEU is that it have zero effect upon the TV universe, that they avoid all of the actors, the story lines, and even the characters to the extent possible, of the TV shows.

    For the TV show, there are a whole bunch of characters I’d like to see expanded or brought on board and several of them are on their way, from what we can tell.

  4. The Atomic Punk says:

    Yes to Batgirl, Jason Todd, and Teen Titans. DC is in the works for “The Green Lantern Corps” (2020). It will need to do more than deliver. Completely agree with using more villains from Batman’s Rogues Gallery. Good picks with Ares and Ocean Master.

    Etrigan would still be cool with the caveat of “being done right.” Etrigan would have to be dark and moody. The movie would need someone like David Lynch at the helm. Alas, we would probably be cursed with Brett Ratner.

    I agree with Brons. The more that I see of “Suicide Squad,” the less I want to watch. With apologies to djuby. My understanding is that he actually worked on the set!

    DC’s strong suit as of late has been the CW. While DC has its heavies and legends, they are not likely going to get the huge financial backing that Marvel enjoys. The small-screen DC gives fans what they want: a continuum.

    Unfortunately, we can already see that The Flash, Arrow, and Supergirl are all leading up to Crisis on Infinite Earths. It would be a great way to bring it all to an end. Has anyone ever attempted such a feat? Taking overlapping TV series and cancelling them in one epic finale. It would be way more satisfying than simply burning through a “52” style reboot. You know, taking an omelet and turning it into runny eggs.

  5. JR19759 says:

    @Brons & Atomic Punk- DC’s strong suit has always been the small screen. The 60’s Batman series is a classic, Smallville wasn’t all that bad to start off with (until they had it go on for a decade, which is tooooooooo long) and they are kings of superhero cartoons. And lets just say, it’s a good time for live action supers because both Marvel and DC seem to have got it mostly right (still not sold on Supergirl, but Flash is *squees hard*). But on AP’s last point, it would be epic if they did do that and just left it at that, but this is DC we’re talking about, they’ll screw it up. Plus there’s money to be made and people are watching and liking the series, so I can’t see them being cancelled for a while. But either way, it’ll be interesting to see. I mean, if they manage to get Flashpoint to actually work (which will be a miracle), well I would say I’d have a bit of faith in DC, but I already have faith in the guys who make the TV shows, it’s the films that need to impress and that’s a whole other department.

  6. Jake says:

    Decent list, but I completely disagree about Captain Marvel. He’s such a fun character and it’s not like the (in universe) world knows Billy’s a superhero. Heck, he has the absolute best secret identity in existence. With that said, I wouldn’t want them to do it the way that they’ve been doing their movies. Captain Marvel isn’t moody, he’s fun. Where people have trouble wrapping their minds around Superman, Captain Marvel has a child’s naivete that we can remember, making him relatable.

    As for the premise? Come on. Is it really any more stupid than an alien baby that gets powers from the sun?

  7. JR19759 says:

    @Jake- Think of Captain Marvel in terms of what the audience are seeing, not in universe. The audience will see a kid transform into a grown man and go off to fight evil, and (this being DC) probably cause a lot of destruction and take a good beating along the way, but they’ll still remember that he’s still just a kid at the end of the day and that’s probably going to leave a bit of a sour taste in some peoples mouths. He might have the wisdom of Solomon and the strength of Hercules, but there’s no getting around the fact that Captain Marvel is essentially a man with a child’s mind. Which is why aging Billy up in the movie would make sense, but even then, like you say, Captain Marvel doesn’t feel like a good fit for the world DC are building with the DCEU because of a) the magic (almost all of what has happened so far is science based, although Wonder Woman could/should change that) and b) his outlook, his naiveté as you put it, would need to change, like with Superman, and it will just take away a huge amount of the characters appeal. Black Adam would be a good fit for the DCEU though, but not Captain Marvel.

  8. William Peterson says:

    Tsk…tsk…tsk… Really, JR?
    They have to screw up Captain Marvel BECAUSE they screwed up Superman?
    And they DID screw up Superman, and badly!
    This is NOT the 1990s anymore, and even back then, Kurt Busiek was showing us the way back ‘home’ with Astro City, long before Marvel FINALLY managed to get it right…
    Grim and Moody might fit Batman. It does NOT fit anyone dressed like a Circus Acrobat!
    Does Captain Marvel fit in with the current DC Cinematic Crap-e-verse?
    No, and Captain America doesn’t fit in with the ranks of Hydra!
    “All progress depends on the unreasonable man”, and Superheroes are the most ‘unreasonable’ beings there are. You say that no one can fly without assistance?
    “Look! Up in the sky! It’s a Bird! It’s a Plane! No, it’s Superman!”
    The man is SO unreasonable, he doesn’t even argue with the force of gravity…
    He just defies it, frequently, and gets away with it! 😉

  9. JR19759 says:

    @William Peterson- I have absolutely no idea what you are saying there. Are you saying Captain Marvel should be in the DCEU or he should?

  10. The Atomic Punk says:

    @JR: I am loving DC on the CW. Supergirl has been pretty “meh.” Maybe switching networks is what she needed. We’ll find out. I am totally digging iZombie (Vertigo). Makes me want to speed off in the Millennial Falcon (props if you get the reference). I hope all the shows are around for a decent run. Yeah, 10 years might be stretching it.

    Captain Marvel could be fun. I get your point about what the audience sees. But wasn’t Harry Potter like 10 when he started fighting warlocks and demons?

  11. William A. Peterson says:

    Honestly, JR, I have no problem with Billy/Cap being on screen somewhere. Anyone who gets too confused by seeing a boy transform into a Man, really shouldn’t be reading comics, OR watching Movies. On the other hand, from what I hear, it is the DC Cinematic Universe that needs to go away, hide for long enough to let people forget it ever existed, and then try again, with competent help. Does that clear things up a bit?

  12. JR19759 says:

    @William A. Peterson- Yep, that’s definitely clearer and I couldn’t agree more.

  13. Jake says:

    @Jake- Think of Captain Marvel in terms of what the audience are seeing, not in universe. The audience will see a kid transform into a grown man and go off to fight evil, and (this being DC) probably cause a lot of destruction and take a good beating along the way, but they’ll still remember that he’s still just a kid at the end of the day and that’s probably going to leave a bit of a sour taste in some peoples mouths. He might have the wisdom of Solomon and the strength of Hercules, but there’s no getting around the fact that Captain Marvel is essentially a man with a child’s mind. Which is why aging Billy up in the movie would make sense, but even then, like you say, Captain Marvel doesn’t feel like a good fit for the world DC are building with the DCEU because of a) the magic (almost all of what has happened so far is science based, although Wonder Woman could/should change that) and b) his outlook, his naiveté as you put it, would need to change, like with Superman, and it will just take away a huge amount of the characters appeal. Black Adam would be a good fit for the DCEU though, but not Captain Marvel.

    I still don’t see the problem with doing a Captain Marvel movie. I’d much prefer an upbeat tone and style than what DC has put out so far. Judging from audience reactions, I don’t think I’m alone in this. Aging Billy up would be a terrible decision, sacrificing one of the more interesting and unique aspects of the character. All they’d have to do is not have him accidentally (or intentionally -_-) kill anyone.

    Also, the MCU has proven that you don’t have to be consistent as far as tone goes across the board. Like does Daredevil and Guardians of the Galaxy work together? No, but they’re both really good, so no one cares.