Comic books fans have spent close to a decade enjoying cinematic gold. Superheroes are headlining blockbusters everywhere, as Marvel and DC Comics bring their legends to the big screen. Fans saw the freedom and demand for superheroes in film, TV, and streaming services, something which seemed impossible once. However, because of this, both Marvel and DC have already brought their big name heroes (Iron Man, Thor, Wonder Woman, Superman, etc.) to life.

This meant smaller heroes had to start making their big screen debuts. The process has worked (look at ANT-MAN and DR. STRANGE), but that does not mean it always will. Some characters, while fine on paper, simply do not work as the focus of a film. In the wake of critical bombs like IRON FIST and INHUMANS, perhaps Marvel and DC should turn off their movie machines and consider that some heroes should stay put.

DC COMICS Superheroes


DC Superheroes Booster Gold
Courtesy of DC Comics

Booster Gold has a unique backstory. 25th-century college expelled him for throwing sporting events. He decided to travel back in time to become a hero. It isn’t a bad story, but it is somewhat familiar. It doesn’t help that Booster initially was a shameless self-promoter, who used heroics to become rich and famous. Modern-day Booster grew and shed those selfish elements, but a film would have to reintegrate them into an origin story.

Booster would be another arrogant, smart-mouthed hero, who has to learn responsibility and true heroism. DC gets enough flack for its movies. Imitating IRON MAN or 2000’s era GREEN LANTERN film (you can imagine that version of Ryan Reynolds playing another arrogant hero) about a jerk in a CGI suit is the last thing they need.


DC Superheroes Detective Chimp
Courtesy of DC Comics

Detective Chimp, aka Bobo T. Chimpanzee, is exactly what he sounds like. He is a chimp with the intelligence of a human who solves crimes, often while wearing a bowler hat. While Chimp has appeared in animated form (BATMAN: THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD, TEEN TITANS GO!) it is hard to imagine moviegoers paying money to see a talking chimp be a detective.

At best, it would probably seem like another bad talking animal movie in the spirit of UNDERDOG or even AIR BUDDIES. Critics attack DC for being too serious, but this would be a step too far in the other direction from its current superheroes.


DC Superheroes The Haunted Tank
Courtesy of DC Comics

The Haunted Tank is one of DC’s oldest tales, dating back to WWII. The premise is that the ghost of an American Civil War general occupies a tank, and guides the soldiers inside to victory. It sounds like a unique horror comedy, but there is one glaring problem.

Said Civil War general was a Confederate officer. Imagine a group of American soldiers rolling into battle on a haunted tank… possessed by a general that fought for slavery and bearing a flag that has more or less become a white supremacist symbol.

Well, This is Awkward!
Yes, it is doggy.


DC Superheroes Doll-Man
Courtesy of DC Comics

Doll Man came to be in 1939 and is considered the first hero with shrinking powers. Darrel Dane used a formula to become six inches tall while retaining his normal strength. The problem becomes apparent immediately.

Marvel made this type of movie — ANT-MAN. Doll-Man coming to the movies now would be seen as the worst kind of copy-cat filmmaking. He does not even have an army of bugs!


DC Superheroes Cyborg
Courtesy of DC Comics

Yes, I’m aware DC is already making a Cyborg film, but hear me out. Cyborg stands as the character closest to deserving a film on the DC side of this article. His origin story of losing his human body is tragic, and he is one of DC’s most well-known African-American heroes.

However, the problem with making a Cyborg movie is that, for most of his career, Cyborg has been a team player, not a solo hero. His current series notwithstanding, Cyborg’s entire comics history is rooted in him either being a member of the Teen Titans or being a part of the Justice League. To be faithful to the character, a Cyborg film would have to show his origin, rise through the Teen Titans, and then his Justice League membership. His film debut as a teammate in JUSTICE LEAGUE doesn’t help either.

Cyborg is a good character, but the length of his story and team player status will be problems for his movie.



Marvel Superheroes Silver Surfer
Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

The Silver Surfer stands as one of Jack Kirby’s most endearing superheroes — a cosmic wanderer, surfing the cosmos in search of a purpose. A film could be entertaining, but the problem lies in the Surfer’s cosmic nature. The Surfer is famous for long-winded talks on the complexity of space, and a film would likely lack the humor Marvel films are famous for.

His origin includes being the Herald of Galactus as well. A film showing its hero leading a planet killer to multiple worlds would be hard to get behind. The Surfer has had many epic adventures, and his positive status among comic fans is well established. It’s bringing that scope to a two-hour film and selling mainstream fans on a story about a hero that helped destroy planets makes the Surfer a hard sell.


Marvel Superheroes Movies Morbius
Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

Morbius sounds like a unique hero at first. A scientifically created vampire, Morbius has shifted between hero and villain while dealing with his hunger for blood.

His dark nature and abilities coupled with science seem like a good horror based film. However, Marvel went that route already with the BLADE films, which contained similar elements. Morbius would simply seem like a retread.


Marvel Superheroes Movies Hercules
Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

Like Morbius, the problem with Hercules is his similarity to another character. The son of Zeus is one of Marvel’s mightiest heroes, fighting men and monsters from modern day and mythology.

Unfortunately, Marvel superheroes already went this route with the Thor movies. While Hercules is a fine hero on his own, a film would seem like re-heated Norse god at this point.


Marvel Superheroes movies Howard the Duck
Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

While Howard the Duck is a Marvel mainstay, he is largely remembered for how horrible his first movie was. Marvel has no plans to make a new film as of this writing, but the character was reintroduced in GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY.

With Marvel looking for new heroes to film, I will refer both the studio and readers to what happened the last time.

That is all.


Marvel Superheroes Movies Cyclops
Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

On paper, Cyclops could deserve a solo film. Like Cyborg, he is a long-standing character and well established in his respective universe. Various things hamper a movie though. FOX owns Cyclops and the X-Men, for one. Cyke functions largely as a team player as well. He led various X-Teams, and his stories always tie back into the team.

Character-wise, he has many negative traits and decisions that made fans sour on him. His history with Jean Grey has led to many great moments, but also saw him cheat on her, and during her ‘death,’ date a woman that looks exactly like her. His leadership skills led to him often moping about the responsibility (but refusing to step down), showing a serious, self-righteous streak.

Fans have debated Cyclops for years, and many comic fans still support him. Even the existing X-Men films paint him as a solid team player though, and often antagonistic to the more popular Wolverine. Both comic and film history make Cyclops a hard sell for a mainstream solo film.

Final Thoughts On Comic Movie Superheroes

In conclusion, the only way comic book films will continue is if both studios choose wisely and carefully. Heroes need to be ready for a movie, not thrown in because the studio got impatient. This list demonstrates the danger of choosing heroes without being careful.

It’s not all-encompassing, but it highlights points Marvel and DC should think on before selecting characters to film. After almost a decade of superhero movies, selecting the right heroes is a good way to keep it going.

One Comment

  1. comicbooktalkblog

    September 18, 2017 at 2:51 pm

    Totally agree with you on the Cyborg part even though Justice League hasn’t come out yet a solo Cyborg film may bomb on the box office. There just isn’t that much interest amongst casual fans about the character.


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