10 Characters We Want To See in the New DCU
With James Gunn and Peter Safran taking over the DC Universe (DCU) and retiring much of the old regiment, the franchise is set to introduce many new characters soon. Though the DCU has been around for a decade, it has struggled to expand. While the franchise re-introduced staples like Superman (Henry Cavill) and Batman (Ben Affleck), it’s only scratched the surface of the plethora of characters DC Comics has to offer. Like Marvel, the DC universe literally has thousands of heroes and villains waiting in the wings.
DC Comics has some extraordinarily powerful characters and also some extremely creative, unique, and popular ones to choose from. A lot of the most popular characters in DC, like Robin, have appeared onscreen in some form, but are still waiting to be integrated into the DCU. Then there are the more vulgar and brutal characters, like those associated with the Suicide Squad and Peacemaker (John Cena), that we’d love to see Gunn get his hands on. Here are 10 characters we hope to see in Gunn and Safran’s DCU.
While Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom is likely to be Jason Momoa’s last project as Aquaman, Gunn has hinted he may want Momoa to portray a different DC character—Lobo. Lobo is a Czarnian whose name means “one who devours your entrails and thoroughly enjoys it.” He lived up to that name, committing the gruesome genocide of his own people for no reason other than that he enjoyed killing. He’s virtually immortal, given an amazing healing factor that allows him to regenerate from a single cell, and he also boasts superhuman strength and durability. Lobo ended up finding work as a mercenary and surprisingly held himself to a strict code of honor. As one of the most brutal, foul-mouthed, and powerful characters in the DCU, it’d be interesting to see Gunn and Momoa’s take.
Many iterations of Spectre are present in DC Comics, but the character originated with Jim Corrigan, a cop who was brutally murdered by a group of thugs. Instead of going to the afterlife, Corrigan is sent back to Earth to fight evil and administer vengeance. As the Spectre, he is practically omnipotent, possessing limitless strength, the ability to manipulate reality, and immortality. Later, the Spectre was able to separate himself from Corrigan and function independently. The character is an anti-hero as he tries not to kill the innocent, but has no reservations about unleashing brutal vengeance on those perceived to be evil. A ghostly spirit with a thirst for vengeance and the power of a god would certainly shake things up in the DCU.
Even though Ryan Reynolds and Warner Bros. infamously butchered Hal Jordan’s Green Lantern, the hero is getting a second chance with the DCU’s upcoming live-action series, Lanterns. James Gunn has confirmed Hal Jordan’s Green Lantern and Jon Stewart’s Green Lantern will appear in the series, as well as several other iterations of the character. One iteration of Green Lantern we would especially like to see is Arisia Rrab.
Rrab comes from a long line of Green Lanterns and boasts a pretty interesting story. While she had a brief romance with Jordan, she is better known for being a badass Green Lantern leading her own adventures. She has a few wild stories including aging herself to be in a relationship with Jordan, and dying before being revived while still buried. Rrab is an experienced, powerful, fearless Green Lantern who could give a nice feminine touch to Lanterns.
Even though the DCU canceled the Batgirl film, we definitely still want to see Barbara Gordon’s Batgirl in the DCU. Batgirl hasn’t appeared in a live-action film since 1997’s Batman and Robin (where she was played by Alicia Silverstone), but she’s a character who would flourish onscreen. She boasts a genius-level intellect and impressive martial arts mastery, which makes her a vigilante on par with Batman. While she did team up with Batman, she was an equal partner instead of a submissive sidekick. Batgirl is strong, brilliant, independent, and everything one could hope for in a female hero. It really would be a shame for the DCU to not capitalize on this popular, nearly flawless character.
Rumors have swirled about a potential Zatanna film being developed, though there have been reports that it was scrapped. As with Batgirl, we’re still holding out hope she’ll appear because the DCU can’t just erase all of their female heroes. Zatanna would be a perfect addition to the DCU with her unique magical abilities that manifest when she speaks incantations in reverse. Her magical abilities are so strong that she’s been called the “Sorceress Supreme,” and has teamed up with many other magic users like John Constantine and Doctor Fate. The DCU really hasn’t delved too deep into its magic/supernatural side, so introducing Zatanna would be a step toward remedying that.
James Gunn recently revealed that Batman and his biological son, Damian Wayne, are officially coming to the DCU. While Damian was one of many characters to don the mantle of Robin, there are a couple of other iterations of the character we’d like to see, too—in particular, the Tim Drake iteration of Robin. When Batman was reeling from the loss of his former Robin, Jason Todd, Drake stood up to fill the role and help pull Batman out of his depression. Drake also forged his own identity as Red Robin, became the leader of the Teen Titans, and exhibits genius-level intellect and superior detective and martial arts skills. He recently also became the first Robin to come out as bisexual. If the DCU does capitalize on one of their most iconic characters, Drake would be the best iteration for the big screen.
The DCU could benefit from digging out some of DC’s more obscure characters, like Plastic Man. Patrick “Eel” O’Brian was orphaned at age 10 and lived a life of crime until a heist went wrong, resulting in him being shot and doused in chemicals. He fell unconscious from the gunshot wound but was saved by a kind monk. When he awoke, he found his skin had gained the properties of rubber, and he could stretch/lengthen his body with no defined limits. Touched by the monk’s kindness, he teamed up with his odd sidekick Woozy Winks and became a reformed hero. Plastic Man was meant to provide some comic relief to mainstream comics, and honoring one of DC’s first humorous characters with a superhero comedy would certainly be intriguing.
Basil Karlo’s Clayface would be an interesting supervillain to introduce to the DCU. Clayface has appeared in a couple of different DC adaptions, including the hit HBO Max series Harley Quinn, and is one of Batman’s most popular villains. Karlo was an actor who suffered a mental breakdown when he learned one of his films was being remade and his role had been recast. So he donned the costume of one of the movie villains he played, Clayface, and murdered several of his fellow actors. There have been a few versions of how Clayface came to acquire his clay-like appearance and powers over the years, typically involving the use of a cosmetic substance. Clayface is a unique villain whose shapeshifting ability could create some interesting opportunities for multiple actors to portray the character in the DCU.
Ambush Bug is sometimes called the Deadpool of the DC Universe. However, he may be even more unhinged than Wade Wilson. We think his name is Irwin Schwab, but he’s so unstable that even that detail could just be one of his delusions. Bug’s origins are unknown, but he has teleportation powers which he initially attributed to mechanical bugs. However, when he accidentally caused all his bugs to explode, he learned to teleport without them. Sometimes he was a villain, but other times he decided he was a hero and claimed he was buddies with Superman. He also adopted a doll named Cheeks, the Toy Wonder as his partner. Gunn is known for his work in satire and dark comedy, so he could probably put those skills to use and make something brilliant with this absurd but hilarious character.
Poison Ivy is another popular Batman character we’d like to see make her way into the new DCU. Dr. Pamela Lillian Isley becomes Poison Ivy after being granted powers by an interplanetary force called the Green. As a result, she gains the power to control plants, a poisonous touch, and the ability to release mind-controlling pheromones. These powers make her one of the most powerful female heroes in DC.
Ivy turns to villainy to seek revenge on the people who held her captive and performed experiments on her—and a desire to protect nature from humanity, of course. While her beauty and seductiveness are often emphasized in adaptations, it would be nice to see a deeper live-action take on the character that dives into her love of nature, her brilliance, and the full scale of her powers.
(featured image: DC Comics / The Mary Sue)
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