By AUDRIE FORD
Marvel and DC have dominated the superhero film industry for years. Hollywood has finally starting to dive into the storylines of lesser-known heroes such as Aquaman, who will be featured in an upcoming movie.
But there are still heroes lurking in the comic book archives who deserve a solo movie. Here are my choices for the top 10:
The X-Men are a popular branch of Marvel’s movies and Storm is one of the characters with an interesting origin story. Like Wolverine, a Storm movie would give audiences a chance to get to know one of the professors at Xavier’s academy. It would also give Halle Berry a chance to do a better film than the Catwoman movie of which no one wants to speak.
Though Hawkeye has been featured in other Marvel movies, he has yet to make a solo debut. Not only would this give actor Jeremy Renner a chance to dive into the character he’s invested in, it provides an opportunity for diversity if Marvel Studios incorporates Hawkeye’s comic book deafness.
A character from the gritty Daredevil universe, Echo provides a plethora of opportunities for filmmakers. She’s Native American, deaf-mute and badass. She’s worked with the likes of Wolverine in her comic book runs and is an all-around interesting character.
7. Black Canary
With the Justice League movie looming on the horizon, it’s high time for DC to embrace its leading ladies. Black Canary has been a part of numerous bestselling comics, is a central member of the Justice League and would make a killer leading lady.
6. Cloak and Dagger
This dynamic duo first appeared in Marvel comics during the ‘80s and the story provides opportunity for a movie about the gritty side of mutations. Creator Bill Mantlo has said Cloak and Dagger “came in the night, when all was silent and my mind was blank. They came completely conceived as to their powers and attributes, their origin and motivation. They embodied between them all that fear and misery, hunger and longing that had haunted me on Ellis Island.”
Marvel fans were introduced to Vision in the latest Avengers film. Thankfully, that means Paul Bettany’s voice talents are going to stick around. However, this synthetic being has many comic book adventures worthy of exploring. This would develop a character that is different from the usual Thor and Iron Man, while inviting Scarlet Witch and the New Avengers into theaters.
Aliens are popular, and exploring their fascinating planets is a surefire way to catch audience attention. That’s why Starfire, a Teen Titan, renegade and beloved DC character, deserves her own movie. She’s been a powerful presence since the ‘80s and it’s high time she got some mainstream recognition beyond cute cartoons. Her planet is beautiful and she has connections with other well-loved characters that have yet to be introduced to DC films.
3. Martian Manhunter
Again, aliens are popular. The Martian Manhunter embodies many controversial themes that DC could capitalize on while masquerading social issues as a key Justice League member’s story. If Aquaman can get a title film, the Martian Manhunter certainly deserves one as well. He’s been a key figurehead in many comic verses and animated films.
2. Black Widow
Everyone should have seen the redheaded spy’s name coming. As the main female Avenger in the movie world for years, Black Widow lends herself to her own story. Enough background has already been given to audiences that solidify Black Widow as a critical character. She would be interesting, fast-paced and action packed. Marvel needs to capitalize on its leading lady.
The first boy wonder is already a beloved subject at small comic con film festivals. Pretending the “Robin” teaser never happened in Nolan’s Batman movies, Nightwing is beyond worthy of his own film. He’s been a leading DC character for years and has many interesting storylines that could be pursued in a movie. He has Deadpool’s wit, Batman’s detective cunning and a cool costume.
If you still need a superhero fix, consider checking out the Phoenix Comicon. The four-day event – which will run June 2-5 at Phoenix Convention Center – is one of the largest comic-book and pop-culture “cons” in the West. It features a film festival, cosplaying, photo opportunities and special presentations by comic-book and graphic-novel illustrators, authors, scriptwriters and others. More info at: phoenixcomicon.com.