Ten DC Characters Who Will Never Be Seen in Live-Action

By Eric Diaz in Comics, Daily Lists
Thursday, September 19, 2013 at 6:00 am


With the recent announcement of not only a Superman/Batman movie, but also Warner Brother's president Kevin Tsujihara dropping hints at a much larger slate of DC Comics based movies and shows coming our way, DC fanboys finally have hope of seeing other characters make it to the big (and small) screens after years of waiting.

And while this all might be true, there are still some characters from the DCU, many whom are very beloved, who probably won't make it to live-action in any forseeable future. I should point out, this list is not an exclusively "they're so lame, they don't deserve a movie" list; many of these characters are flat-out great, in fact, but for various reasons they have a snowball's chance in hell of making it to live-action glory.

Although one or two really are just that lame.

10. Power Girl


I've always been a big Power Girl fan ever since I was a kid, so it's been a real pleasure for me to see her rise up the ranks at DC to, if not A-List status, then a list a solid B-lister. Having said that, there is a slim to none chance that Superman's cousin from an alternate universe will ever make it to live action, for multiple reasons. Now, if Smallville were still on the air, this would be a whole different story, as that show seemed to have every DC superhero show up at least once to help "inspire" Clark to become Superman. And since Kal-El's cousin Kara was already introduced on that show, in the form of actress Laura Vandervoort, there wouldn't have been much to stop the producers from giving her a shorter haircut and introducing an alternate universe version of her, probably dressed in all white, and almost certainly with bigger boobs.

Alas, Smallville is no more, so if and when we see Superman's cousin Kara again in live-action, it'll be in a movie starring Henry Cavill's Superman. And no doubt that version will be the classic Supergirl version, because that's what's expected from the general audience. Maybe it's all for the best, because were Power Girl to be introduced, chances are certain aspects of her characterization and costuming would be different, or totally changed. (yes, I'm talking about the boob window) She'd be Power Girl in name only, and who wants that?

9. The Elongated Man


Possibly the only classic era member of the Justice League that I can almost 100% guarantee will not be in the future live action Justice League movie, or any future League movie for that matter. Ralph Dibny, who had the power to stretch his body due to drinking a compound of the drink "Gingold," was first introduced in the early '60s in an issue of Flash, before eventually joining the League at the Flash's behest. Ralph Dibny and his wife Sue were kind of a Nick and Nora Charles/husband and wife detective team, just one where one member of the team happens to have had weird stretchy powers. On the subject of stretchy powers, they are just inherently goofy, and if Reed Richards from the Fantastic Four had received different powers from the cosmic rays, I'd think there would have been less inclination from movie studios to turn the Fantastic Four movies into something more sitcomy like they did.

But I digress. If Warner Brothers ever decided to make a movie about a stretchy hero, which would probably be a comedy,it would likely be Plastic Man, who is more famous and would therefore be their stretchy hero of choice. Even if Plastic Man weren't more famous, truth be told, Elongated Man doesn't really roll off the tongue and is a lame name.

The one clause I put in this entry is this; that while I highly doubt Elongated Man would ever appear in live-action, his non super powered identity of Ralph Dibny just might, even if it is just a wink and a nod to the character. Why have a generic detective appear in some future DCU adaptation, when you can just use Ralph? Regular audiences would be none the wiser, but long time comics fans would get a kick out of it. Just don't expect him to be stretching his nose and saying "I smell a mystery!" at any point.

8. Metamorpho, the Element Man


Like a lot of the Silver Age characters on this list, Metamorpho, the Element Man is just too visually wacky and his power set just too... out there to ever really work in any live action setting. Originally appearing in 1965, Rex Mason was an Indiana Jones style adventurer who was hired by millionaire Simon Stagg to retrieve an ancient Egyptian artifact, the Orb of Ra. In one of the pyramids, Rex Mason was exposed to a radioactive meteorite from which the Orb of Ra was originally created, and he gained the ability to shapeshift and change himself into any element, or any combinations of elements. So he could make his hand into a mace made out of metal, and the other one a giant rock, for example. Unlike other DC shape-shifters like the Martian Manhunter, poor Rex couldn't turn back into a normal human form, making him a full-time freak, Marvel style.

Metamorpho's visual design is either totally genius or totally insane; he's got one leg made of mud, another of crystal or liquid crystal, and his torso is half orange with scales and the other half a purple...something, perfectly symmetrical, and a chalk white head that looks like Boris Karloff as the Mummy (which I imagine was intentional). Metamorpho was popular enough to get his own series, and even a catchy theme song on a Justice League record album from the late sixties that was oh-so groovy. But it was all short lived, and in later years, Rex found himself wandering from team to team, never quite making it to the big leagues. He most recently appeared on an episode of the new animated show Beware the Batman, but even in animation his origin and look was heavily re-worked to make him more menacing and less cheesy. Almost everything about poor Rex seems untranslatable to live-action in our modern, cynical age, but it's good to know he's at least not forgotten, and appearing in cartoons still. The new "bad ass" Metamorpho might seem cooler to today's kids, but he still doesn't have an awesome theme song like sixties Metamorpho did.

7. The "New Blood" Heroes


Not everything on this list is from the Silver Age; the "New Blood" heroes, as they were collectively called, were all DC's attempt at introducing a new breed of dark, hip and "edgy" heroes to the line, in a direct effort to capitalize on the heroes of Image Comics. This was back in 1993, during the height of the original Image Comics boom, and each of these characters was introduced in the crossover series Bloodlines. The bad guys in the Bloodlines series were a race of xenomorph style creatures, very much a rip-off of the movie Aliens, who killed humans for their spinal fluid. A small fraction of the alien's victims survived and become super-heroes due to their ordeal. This storyline introduced a wave of "New Blood" super-heroes into the DC Universe, and seven ongoing series were spun out of the event: Blood Pack, Razorsharp and the Psyba-Rats, Hitman, Anima, Loose Cannon, Argus and Gunfire.

Of these seven, only Hitman, written by then up-and-coming writer Garth Ennis, had any staying power beyond a year. Within a couple of years, even characters within the DCU joked about just how lame the New Blood heroes were. Most of the Blood Pack were killed off in Infinite Crisis a decade later, used as cannon fodder in one of the giant battle scenes. With so many DC characters at their disposal, it is highly unlikely that DC would resort to using these ones again, who were bad cliches even in their own time.

6. Crazy Quilt


Batman has the best villains in the comic book medium; this is almost an inarguable fact. But that doesn't mean some really lame nemeses haven't made their way to print in the Batman titles over the years, all in the hopes of being the next Joker or Mr. Freeze. Crazy Quilt is a perfect example of one of these lame Bat-villains who just barely works in the comics, and would be seen as totally lame in a live-action adaptation, except maybe in the old sixties television series and they missed their chance.

Crazy Quilt was originally created not as a Batman villain actually, but as a bad guy for World War II heroes the Boy Commandos in 1946, and he was created by none other than Jack "King" Kirby. (Everyone has their off days, people. Don't judge.) Eventually he was moved over to the Batman titles, where his back story was fleshed out. According to his origin story, Crazy Quilt was a famous painter who led a double-life as a criminal mastermind. He gave the plans for his crimes to his henchmen through clues left in his artwork. At one point, one of his henchmen double-crossed him and shot him, and he was blinded by a gunshot wound. He then volunteered for an experimental procedure that restored his vision, but left him unable to see anything but bright colors. For some reason, this made him go totally insane, although seeing the world in bright primary colors sounds kind of fun if you ask me. It would just make everything look like that movie version of Dick Tracy. Actually, I take it back - that would probably drive me insane too.

Crazy Quilt made a few more sporadic appearances over the next several decades, before the creators at DC decided that he was ultimately just too cheesy of a character to make work in the comics, which almost certainly means that the live-action universe will never use him either. A side note; a female version of Crazy Quilt was created for the comic Secret Six, but it seems that she was sent to comic book limbo by the New 52 reboot.

Email Print

Sponsor Content