This year has been hit and miss when it comes to movies based on comic books. Sure we’ve had solid hits such as Avengers: Age of Ultron and Ant-Man. But we’ve also had the Fantastic Four reboot that has turned out to be a dud. However, there appears to be no slowdown in the number of comic book movies being cranked out by studios. Next year (2016) will see a slew of new and interesting movies based on comic book characters, including Deadpool, Suicide Squad, Doctor Strange and Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice. There are also movies in the works based on Aquaman, Wonder Woman, Black Panther and even Captain Marvel. Shazam! However, we thought it would be cool to look at 10 comic book movies that aren’t in the works, but that we think would be awesome to see on the big screen.
10. The New Mutants
Forget the X-Men Origins stuff and rebooting the series with younger versions of Professor X and Magneto, it’s time to breathe some new life into this franchise. And a great way to do it would be to develop a film based on The New Mutants. A comic book series that ran from 1983 to 1991, The New Mutants focuses on a group of preteen and teenage kids that are too young to be X-men but old enough to start their training at Professor X’s school. The original group featured characters such as Cannonball, who demolishes things while flying through the air; Sunspot, who gained superhuman strength from sunlight; and Wolfsbane, who could transform into a wolf. The New Mutants comic also introduced the character of Deadpool. And it wouldn’t be a stretch to do some nice tie-ins with the X-men characters and films. In their 100th issue, The New Mutants morphed into a new superhero team called X-Force and were led by Cable and Wolverine.
9. Plastic Man
If we can film Reed Richards, aka Mr. Fantastic, elongating his body, then we can also film Plastic Man—a character with essentially the same superpowers as Mr. Fantastic but who is a lot funnier and more interesting. Originally published by Quality Comics starting in 1941, Plastic Man has more recently appeared in the DC Comics universe and is known for his outrageous and bizarre situations and slapstick humour. This works given the fact that Plastic Man can contort his body into any shape imaginable. Most recently, Plastic Man appeared in a comic book revival of The Justice League, and writer/artist Frank Miller used him in his comic Batman: The Dark Knight Strikes Again. We think the filmgoing world is sophisticated enough now to appreciate the offbeat antics of Plastic Man. Although like other quirky characters, such as Deadpool and The Guardians of the Galaxy, a Plastic Man film will have to be true to the character’s quirks.
8. Alpha Flight
Is the world ready for a team of Canadian superheroes? If they are, then we encourage a movie about Alpha Flight, the all-Canadian superhero team that was created by comic book legend John Byrne in 1979 and made their debut in X-Men issue #120. Described in the Marvel Universe as “Canada’s answer to the Avengers,” Alpha Flight is comprised of superheroes such as Northstar, who can travel at super speeds; Shaman, a First Nation sorcerer and medicine man; Snowbird, who can transform into animals commonly found in Canada’s Arctic region; and Sasquatch, who is a mystical, er, Sasquatch. The original Alpha Flight series lasted 130 issues and ended in 1994. However, the comic book has been resurrected several times in various miniseries and continues to be closely linked to the X-Men. Fellow Canadian, Wolverine, is a honourary member of the group.
7. Teen Titans
Given that there’s a Suicide Squad film coming out next year, it is a bit surprising that there has yet to be a live action big screen movie featuring the Teen Titans. With several comic book series, animated television shows and cartoon movies under its belt, it seems only natural that there would be a movie of the superhero team that features Nightwing (aka Robin), Cyborg, Starfire, Beast Boy and Raven. And while a live action television series is reportedly in the works at TNT, we think the Teen Titans are a strong enough group and brand to warrant their own movie. Developed in the popular mold of teenage superheroes, the Teen Titans have proven to be among the most popular superhero teams in the DC Universe. Other members over the years have included Superboy, Kid Flash and Wonder Girl. This is a movie that would appeal to a wide audience of preteens and their parents. And the special effects could be awesome.
6. The Sub-Mariner
The Prince of Atlantis, Namor, aka the Sub-Mariner, is actually one of Marvel Comics’ oldest characters, having appeared in Marvel Comics #1 way back in 1939. In the 1940s, Marvel’s two most popular characters were Captain America and the Sub-Mariner. Over the years, the Sub-Mariner has appeared in comics ranging from the Avengers and The X-Men to Fantastic Four and the Defenders. And with Aquaman set to make his big screen debut, why not a movie about the Sub-Mariner? The underwater sets would be amazing and there are huge tie-in potentials with other Marvel properties and superhero teams. Namor could even help to join together various superhero teams in films such as The X-Men and Avengers, or the Avengers and Fantastic Four. The possibilities are endless. So why not give the Atlantean his own movie already?
5. The Silver Surfer
Yes, the character of Silver Surfer was featured in the 2007 movie Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, but to date there has been no standalone movie about the metallic-skinned space traveler. And that’s a shame because he’s a really cool character. Unfortunately, the inability to make a decent Fantastic Four film (the latest reboot included) has doomed the prospects of a movie studio taking a gamble on the intergalactic Silver Surfer. But with cool powers and today’s special effects, we think there could be a great Silver Surfer movie just waiting to be made—especially if it features the Surfer’s arch nemesis, the planet destroying Galactus. The cosmic possibilities are really endless. Here’s hoping that movie studios will come around and see the potential of giving this popular character his own shot at big screen success.
The Marvel Universe’s “Man With No Name,” Cable is a gun toting tough guy who also happens to be a mutant armed with telepathic and telekinetic powers. Think The Punisher crossed with Professor X. The son of X-Men Scott Summers, aka Cyclops, Cable has been a fan favorite since he made his debut in X-Men comic #201 in 1986. Over the years, Cable has appeared in multiple X-Men titles and spinoff series, as well as his own comic book series that ran from 1993 to 2002. After that, the character appeared in the series Cable & Deadpool where he was paired up with the “Merc with a Mouth.” Yet so far, the kickass character has not appeared on the big screen. With Deadpool headed to theatres in 2016, we think it is only natural that a Cable movie follow. For fans of darker comic books, a Cable movie has the potential to deliver in spades.
3. Green Arrow
Following the critical acclaim and widespread popularity of The Flash television series, DC Comics is now in the process of producing a live action movie of The Flash. So why not do the same thing with the character Green Arrow? The TV series Arrow is great, so why not make the leap to the big screen with Oliver Queen and his alter ego Green Arrow? The character has been a mainstay in the DC Universe since 1973, and has appeared in numerous animated films and other television shows such as Smallville. Not surprising given that almost everyone likes archery and cool bow and arrow action. While a few movie scripts have been penned for a Green Arrow film, to date no movie has been scheduled. This is a shame, especially since the character has some darker, grittier elements that could translate well to the movies.
Dick Grayson, the original Robin sidekick to Batman, grows up to become Nightwing, and a founding member/leader of The Teen Titans superhero group. However, the Nightwing character is strong enough that he could merit his own movie. In fact, this was teased at the end of director Christopher Nolan’s 2012 film The Dark Knight Rises with the character portrayed by actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt discovering the Bat Cave at the film’s conclusion. However, with Batman going in a new direction under the helm of movie director Zack Snyder, whose film Batman v. Superman is due out next March, it appears that a Nightwing movie has been put on the backburner, which is unfortunate given the character’s deep roots in the DC Universe. But you never know, a Nightwing, or even Robin, movie could still one day happen. Let’s just hope it’s better than the way the character was portrayed in the awful 1997 movie Batman & Robin.
1. Martian Manhunter
There are rumors that the character of Martian Manhunter will appear in the upcoming Justice League movie. However, given his history and pedigree in the DC Comics universe, as well as his many superpowers, we feel this character deserves his own summer blockbuster. First appearing in comic books in 1955, Martian Manhunter has been a staple of the DC brand ever since. The character’s many super powers include superhuman strength, regeneration, shape shifting, invisibility, telepathy, telekinesis, the ability to fly and optic blasts (laser beams from his eyes). With a cool backstory that has him teleported and stranded on Earth from his home planet of Mars, this is one character that could have plenty of mileage on the big screen. Relaunched by DC Comics in 2011 as part of its “New 52” event, the publisher has taken the character in a darker direction recently, which could be pretty cool inside a darkened movie theater.