If you liked BATMAN V SUPERMAN or not, I think just about everyone agrees that the best thing in the movie is Wonder Woman. Part of it is that, of the three heroes, she has the least amount of screen time, so there is less time for Zack Snyder to have fucked the character up. The other thing about her in the movie is that she is the only character who seems to be having fun.
I imagine Warner Brothers is happy that people liked Gal Gadot as the character, since she’ll have her own movie out next year. We’re also seeing people getting real excited about Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn in SUICIDE SQUAD. Apparently, Robbie also loves the character – she went to Warner execs with her how idea for a Harley solo film, and word is Warner is all for it.
This, I think, will be the real way the DC movies are able to break Marvel’s stranglehold at the box office – DC has a wealth of great female characters, and Warner Brothers is looking to use them to their full advantage. From Wonder Woman to Harley Quinn, DC has a near 80 year history of women characters to pull from. Today, I’d like to focus on five of them…
That we’ve never had a movie or TV series just about Lois Lane is insane to me. Lois had her own comic that ran for 137 issues. To put that in perspective, Doctor Strange, who has his own movie coming out this fall, has never had a series that made it to issue 90.
Everyone knows Lois Lane. Everyone can tell you her story – reporter for the Daily Planet who always find herself in the middle of some really crazy stories, and often needs to be saved by Superman. Luckily, as time has passed, Lois has needed Superman’s saving less and less. Lane has gone from a constant damsel in distress to a tough as nails reporter who will just as easily beat up a mugger as she will take down LexCorp in a front page article.
A Lois Lane movie can fit into the greater DC Cinematic Universe without needing Superman to show up. As it is, Warners has a fantastic actress already in the role, so why not let Amy Adams shine? Give us a fun, exciting, mystery movie about Lois on her own. She sure as hell deserves a chance to step outside of the shadow of the Man of Steel.
Courtney Whitmore was a normal teenaged girl growing up in Blue Valley, Nebraska when she accidentally stumbled across her step-father’s cosmic converter belt. Turns out that, back when he was a kid, he was the superhero Star-Spangled Kid – the only hero to have a sidekick who was an adult! Courtney takes on the mantle of Star-Spangled Kid, with her step-dad stepping into the role of the adult sidekick, Stripes.
There are two things that make Star-Spangled Kid perfect for the silver screen. For one, there are few teenage superheroes who are women and not sidekicks or part of a team. Second, the story of Courtney and her step-dad, Sylvester, is great. As most teens would be in this situation, Courtney isn’t exactly excited that her mom has remarried, but she and her new pops are able to bond through some sweet superhero battles. When so many superhero origins revolve around tragedy, it’s nice to see one that is all about family.
Like Lois Lane, I am amazed that we have never seen a Zatanna TV series. A superhero who, when she isn’t fighting evil, uses her abilities to put on magic shows in Las Vegas, Zatanna is a perfect candidate for something unlike any other movie we’ve seen.
In the comics, Zatanna learns of her magic powers when her father, Zatara (also a stage magician and also a crime fighter) goes missing. Zatanna can cast spells by speaking backwards, which I think is way more fun than chanting in Latin. In her search for her father, Zatanna found herself getting caught up in adventures with Hawkman, Batman, Atom, and various other DC heroes.
Zatanna is also one of the few comic characters who is a legacy – her father appeared in comics long before she did – who has become better known than the character she is based on.
Helena Bertinelli had a pretty good life. Her family was super rich. Her mom and dad loved her. She was young and smart and the world was hers for the taking.
Then her whole family was killed in a mob hit. The Bertinelli Family was one of the most powerful mob families in Gotham, but now they were destroyed. Helena, learning the true evil of her family, vowed to end organized crime in Gotham by becoming the Huntress.
Huntress is a rare character that is connected to better known characters (in this case, Batman) but can still stand on their own. You don’t need Batman to tell her story, but she could easily fit into the Batman movies. She also has a pretty great gimmick – a crossbow.
In the comics, Huntress fights crime against Batman’s wishes – the Bats isn’t a fan of her methods – Huntress has no issue killing people. This also creates a great aspect to her for film – she’s a hero who is hunting criminals while being hunted by Batman herself.
Kate Spencer is a single mother who has one goal – to see those who are evil punished. As a federal prosecutor, Kate spends too much time seeing the scummiest scumbags on the planet walk free. When the cannibal super villain Copperhead escaped from custody, Kate took it on herself to find him. Snagging high-tech equipment from the evidence room, Kate tracked down Copperhead and killed him. Feeling good about her actions, Kate takes on the mantle of Manhunter.
What I really like about the Kate Spencer version of Manhunter is the single mother angle. We don’t see many heroes who have kids, and even fewer of them have shown up in the films (Ant-Man is the only one so far). Manhunter also works well as a detective story, and making a film about her could be done on a lower, safer budget.
I’ve been reading comics for most of my life, and I honestly have trouble thinking of five female Marvel characters that could work in a solo film. It is made even harder for Marvel that the film rights of many of their best female characters are controlled by other studios. Storm, for example, could hold her own movie easy, but considering how little work Fox puts into the X-Men movies, I doubt we’ll be seeing one.
This is where DC can really make a move and show audiences what separates them from Marvel. Give characters like Zatanna her own shot at the big time, let the world meet Courtney Whitmore. Hell, pull an AVENGERS and use Huntress to open the way to a BIRDS OF PREY movie. Just don’t waste these great characters, leaving them in the toybox or, even worse, having them show up as little more than a cameo in another hero’s movie.
*All Images: DC Comics