DC COMICS’ ROSTER HAS HAD A LONG TERM ISSUE THAT IS CATCHING UP TO IT.
In thinking about the upcoming slate of DC Entertainment Universe movies, I came across a serious problem with their roster that will hang with them for a while unless someone makes a major shift in the near future.
DC takes a lot fewer chances than Marvel does when it comes to giving other characters the spotlight. The only character I can think of DC taking a chance on lately is Cyborg, an they have cancelled his series (then uncancelled it). There have been other characters that have moved around team books. However, I do not know of many characters that have been elevated in stories or standings.
Meanwhile, when I think about Marvel, they have tried putting a number of different characters in more prominent roles and elevating them to main event players. That list includes the Moon Knight, Monica Rambeau, Kitty Pryde, Luke Cage, Ms. Marvel Kamala Khan, and others. Marvel’s willingness to put other characters in the center of attention has a side-effect that affects their films.
We know that Marvel has their first woman-led film coming this March with Captain Marvel. There is indication that they are making a Black Widow film. There is also consideration for an all women team film being explored, possibly A-Force.
With that in mind, I thought about DC’s Wonder Woman film and wondered which heroine they would do next. It then occurred to me-
I cannot think of another unattached major heroine in DC Comics.
What I mean by unattached is, yes, there is Supergirl and Batgirl, but any film starring them will have immediate call to involve Superman or Batman. Mera connects to Aquaman. Hawkwoman has Hawkman and has not been elevated in any story. There is a number of Green Lanterns, however, there are no major players in the ranks of their women.
Meanwhile, the closest to an original heroine DC has is Harley Quinn who is, at best, an anti-hero and is starring in Gotham City Sirens, possibly connecting her to both Batman and the Joker.
WHAT CAN BE DONE?
I know it will sound over-simple. DC needs to have a new story, possibly an event, that doesn’t require the usual players in the Justice League and their teams to solve it. Other characters need to be brought to the fore to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the big league. Here is a short list of characters that should get a chance to be big stars with some work.
Power Girl. I know she is a different version of Supergirl. Moreover, she has grown up struggling to define herself without Superman. She is also the owner of a bioresearch firm. She doesn’t just have physical power, she has corporate power, making her name mean more than the obvious and she could make an interesting movie just trying to get past people’s
Katana. With the Suicide Squad film, more people are aware she exists. The problem is that most people know her power, not her background. A film starring her can have a martial-arts-epic feel and be very different from other superhero movies.
Scandal Savage. She is the daughter of supervillain Vandal Savage and is trying to make a better world in her own way. She is a talented fighter and an LBGTQ character sparingly used since the New 52 era of DC Comics.
Grace Choi. This is a personal pick. Grace debuted with the early 2000’s Outsiders roster. She is an Amazon from a different tribe than Wonder Woman, pansexual, and a very self-assured woman. A version of this character is in the Black Lightning TV show, but not as bombastic as her comic book counterpart.
I do hope that DC takes some chances. They have the history and the roster depth to be able to have other characters save the world instead of the usual 10 people involved. It’s up to us fans to read stories with different characters and let them know we are interested.
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