The 10 Coolest Comic Book Heroes Who Need To Be in a Movie

May 11, 2010

Hollywood has finally discovered that superhero comic books make pretty good movies. But instead of exploring the thousands of characters created for comic books over the last hundred years, Hollywood is content to crank out sequel after reboot of the same old characters doing the same old things. How about giving some other spandex-clad heroes a chance?

Source: Marvel Comics

By Geoff Shakespeare

 

10. Luke Cage

When he made his debut back in the seventies in Marvel Comics, Luke Cage was just about the most embarrassing comic book character ever created. A black, streetwise hero obviously created by people who had never met a black person or walked on a street, Powerman (as he was then boringly known) was borderline offensive, had a terrible yellow costume, and generally stunk up the joint with real-life "ghetto" expressions like "Sweet Christmas!" until he was quietly shuffled off to the side of the Marvel Universe with all the other also-rans.

Rescued from the comic closet of shame by modern creators like Brian Michael Bendis, Luke Cage has become just about the coolest hero on the block. His basic story is the same. He's a streetwise superstrong tough guy with unbreakable skin- but gone are the awful pseudo-ebonics and the Dolomite stereotypes. The guy doesn't even wear spandex anymore! Arguably the most popular superhero not to wear a costume, a movie featuring him would avoid the inherent silliness of a grown man wearing tights to fight crime and focus on the inherent silliness of a grown man fighting crime in regular clothes.

 

9. Spider-Woman

Source: Marvel Comics

Just like Luke Cage, Spider-Woman was a seventies hero pulled from the loser bin and pressed back into crime-fighting service. Originally just Spiderman with boobs (albeit nice ones), Spider-Woman has morphed into a superpowered sci-fi superspy who plays all the angles, gets in bed with everyone, and double and triplecrosses good guys and bad guys alike. With boobs. Since Sam Raimi's trio of Spider-Man films basically lead the current wave of mega-grossing comic book movies, the Spider brand is a household name. Rather than the recently announced reboot of Spider-Man, why not try something a little more feminine? Isn't it about time we see how being poisoned by a radioactive spider and developing amazing abilities feels like for a woman? Add to that Spider-Woman's cooler powers, way cooler costume, and total lack of Spider-Man's teen angst, and a movie featuring her is a no-brainer. With boobs.

 

8. Black Panther

Source: Marvel Comics

One of the first black superheroes in mainstream comics, Black Panther is the superhuman leader of a technologically advanced African kingdom who fights crime between cabinet meetings and public appearances. Besides the fact that he just looks cool, Black Panther could add some much needed diversity to the superhero movie world. Instead of rich, bored white billionaires like Tony Stark and Bruce Wayne putting on cool costumes and battling evil, a Black Panther movie would feature a rich, bored, black billionaire putting on a cool costume and fighting crime. Wesley Snipes has talked for years about making a Black Panther movie, but in between not paying his taxes, getting arrested, and another Marvel character (Blade), he's never found the time to do the Black Panther justice. The character is currently appearing in an animated series on BET played by Djimon Hounsou. When that flames out, maybe Hollywood will give him another try. Lord knows Wesley Snipes could use the work.

 

7. Lobo

Source: DC Comics

For the most part, Hollywood has stuck with the heroic types when it comes to comic book movies. Your Supermans, your Batmans. The good guys. But there are a lot of great anti-heroes in the funny books as well. It's not like there haven't been a ton of movies about heroes with shaky morals. Hollywood has a long history of churning out great flicks with kill-hungry leading characters. People love Dirty Harry, Charles Bronson, Snake Plissken, and the like. And who doesn't secretly root for Jason to slice those jerky campers in the Friday The 13th movies? Enter the biggest anti-hero of all time. Lobo.

Lobo's story is pretty simple. He's an unstoppable, heavily armed alien bounty hunter with an insatiable thirst for wanton destruction, hard alcohol, and ladies of ill repute. And that's it. His comics usually feature him going after an equally evil S.O.B. and causing all kinds of nasty havoc in the process. He looks like a cross between a Hell's Angel and a vampire, and he has more guns than a Michigan militiaman. Maybe that's the problem. He's too crazy and evil to be a leading character. But make him the villain in the next Superman movie and we guarantee a hit. Even if it flops at least he'll be better than Kevin Spacey. Was anybody ever really afraid of K-Pax beating the Man of Steel?

 

6. Plastic Man

Source: DC Comics

This is the character that CGI was made for. With the power to change into any shape or object he can imagine, Plastic Man is just waiting to stretch and contort his stuff on the big screen. The character is also famous for being a bit of a goof who cracks wise just as much as he fights crime. From his original appearances in the '30s until the modern day, Plastic Man has been one of the comic book world's best funnymen. A superhero movie about a lovable nut who can change into wild and crazy shapes might be a nice change from all the "grim and gritty" ultraviolence of the modern superhero movie.

A big screen version of the character would have been a perfect role for Jim Carrey, if he hadn't gone all "serious." There have been rumors floating around for a few years that the sometimes awesome/sometimes awful Wachowskis were interested in making a Plastic Man flick and even wrote a screenplay. Unfortunately, they want Keanu Reeves to play the lead role. Dudes, he's supposed to be made of plastic, not wood.

 

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5. Power Girl

Source: DC Comics

A female superhero with the same powers as Superman, Power Girl isn't all that original. She's got all the standard powers. She's superstrong, nearly invulnerable, and can fly faster than a speeding something or other. Taken at face value, Power Girl doesn't seem to have enough going on to even warrant her own Saturday morning cartoon, let alone a big screen summer movie. Lucky for her, nobody's looking at her face.

Yes, fortunately for Power Girl and slobbering perverts everywhere, there are two big reasons a movie featuring her would be a huge success. We don't want to sound like pigs here, but Power Girl is the most stacked superheroine in comics. And that's saying something considering the only woman in the comics who isn't at least a Double D is Peter Parker's little old Aunt May. Some of you may be thinking sure, she's got big hooters, but you can't fill the theaters with jugs alone. First of all, shame on you, and second of all, Power Girl has a lot more going on than just her twins. In the right creative hands, she could be a role model for women everywhere. A strong, powerful hero who saves the world while celebrating her beauty and sexuality in a healthy, positive way.

Okay, that sounds a little creepy, but don't worry. They'll get it right. It's not like Hollywood has ever gone cheap and exploitive.

 

4. The Creeper

Source: DC Comics

The Creeper has never been an A-list character, but now more than ever he's a hero for our times. By day, he's a reactionary TV pundit known for making outlandish claims and incendiary comments. By night he's a crazy freak who jumps from roof to roof fighting crime in a fright wig.  Not only do you get all the lovable psychopathology of a character like the Joker, but his alter ego is basically a thinner, more muscular Glenn Beck. Who coincidentally also makes his living being a charming mental case. As The Dark Knight has shown, people are into watching a crazy dude act crazy as long as he gets some good zingers in. And as Glenn Beck has shown, people love watching guys in ties make bizarre claims about current events.

A Creeper movie could combine the Joker's anarchic charm with some good ol' fashioned reactionary fear-mongering. Finally, the Left and the Right would have a movie they could both cheer for! A Creeper movie might be the very thing we need to heal our fractured nation. Or, it could just be a really fun movie to see baked. Either way is cool.

 

3. Metamorpho

Source: DC Comics

Another shape-changer, but this one can take on the properties of any element. Metamorpho looks great and has powers that would look awesome onscreen. Imagine a guy who can turn any part of his body into any shape made of any element known to man. Hell, the porno possibilities alone boggle the mind. But a Metamorpho movie doesn't just have to be a CGI wank job. Metamorpho has one other thing going for him. Unlike just about every other superhero out there, Metamorpho's a regular schlub like the rest of us. Metamorpho is the working man's superhero. It's about time we had a superpowered crimefighter we could relate to. Enough of the lonely billionaires with tortured souls and kick-ass underground hideouts. It's about time we had a superhero who knows the difference between kielbasa and bratwurst. A hero who'd rather use his hideout to throw Super Bowl parties than as a place to hang out with his preteen "ward."

Metamorpho may be an impossible being capable of fundamentally altering his very physical composition and transcending human existence on a whim, but he's still a guy. And that's just what we need in the superhero movie world.

 

2. Green Arrow and Black Canary

Source: DC Comics

In most comic book movies, women are usually relegated to being the sexy bait that the villain uses to lure the hero into his badly designed, easy-to-escape deathtrap. Sure, they'll chuck in a love scene here or there to keep the girlfriends happy, but none has had the stones to make a superhero movie where the romance is the story. That's where Green Arrow and Black Canary come in. A world class archer with a bag of trick arrows and a sexy martial artist who has a sonic scream, Green Arrow and Black Canary have all the toughness of your regular superheroes, but with a nice love story to bring in the ladies. Think Mr. and Mrs. Smith crossed with X-Men. You get all the pulse-pounding action of a superhero movie combined with all the heart-racing romance of a chick flick. Throw in a sexy guy as Green Arrow and a sexier girl as Black Canary and the rest writes itself.

Almost every movie in the top 10 these days is either a comic book movie or a romantic comedy anyways. Put the two together and just try to keep the public out of the cineplex.

 

1. The Doom Patrol

Source: DC Comics

Like the X-Men, but weirder, The Doom Patrol is a classic superhero team, with all the action and drama that goes along with it. Made up of the tough-as-nails, regular Joe, Robotman, pretty, stretchy former model Elasti-Girl, the surprisingly upbeat Negative Man, and their wheelchair-bound, Professor-X-with-a-beard leader the Chief, the Doom Patrol is a superhero team made for the movies. With their sexy outsider's angst and impossible powers, they're custom designed to appeal to every moody, power-fantasy-tripping teenager on the planet. Plus, they have some of the most unique enemies in the history of comics. Their chief villains were a talking French mercenary gorilla, a brain in a jar, and a dude called the Animal-Vegetable-Mineral Man.

Still not convinced? Consider this. A Doom Patrol movie would feature scenes of a super-powered robot with a human brain fighting a superintelligent talking monkey with a machine gun. If you wouldn't step over your own grandmother to be first in line to see that, then you have no business calling yourself a lover of the cinematic arts.

 

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