Out of their (Justice) League
A while back, I ran down the 10 Avengers I thought had the least chance of making it to the big screen despite the onslaught of superhero movies headed to theaters.
With Batman joining the “Man of Steel” sequel and a “Justice League” movie in the cards, now I’m giving you the top 10 characters from that team you probably won’t see, either because of odd powers, bizarre backstories or tremendous obscurity.
This magical ape with which adventurer Congo Bill switches places is the product of an earlier age of comics. Brought back in James Robinson’s traumatic “Cry for Justice” miniseries, he became a brief mainstay of the League prior to the New 52 reboot, but he’d seem out of place alongside Superman and company in a live-action film.
Will McIntyre is a magnetically powered hero who helped form the League, then got wiped out of the timeline so that no one remembered him. If anyone even thinks of putting him in a JLA movie, he’ll probably be similarly removed in a second draft.
8. Manitou Raven
This time-displaced Native American sorcerer was manipulated into battling the League, then wound up joining them. Notable if for no other reason than writer Joe Kelly’s backdoor introduction of an Apache Chief analogue in the DCU proper, his story’s too convoluted and he doesn’t stand out enough to make it a movie roster.
Part of Grant Morrison’s legendary JLA run, this actual angel turned out to be one of the best portrayals of Christianity I’ve seen in a comic. But even if the filmmakers want to delve into religion, the Spectre, the Phantom Stranger or even a rebooted Constantine would probably be ahead of him on that list.
Before joining the League, this alien empress tried to make Superman her mate. While there’s potential for some humor there, between Lois and Wonder Woman, the Man of Steel has enough love interests to occupy his screen time.
5. Blue Beetle (Ted Kord)
The current Blue Beetle, armored teen Jaime Reyes, has already shown up on “Smallville” and some DC cartoons. His predecessor, Ted Kord, was more of a comedic character who was nonetheless killed off in a way even time travel couldn’t undo. Sadly, the push for the new kid will leave Ted buried.
4. Elongated Man
Ralph Dibney, a skilled detective with a great sense of humor, got his elastic abilities from a soft drink ingredient. The more likely stretchy addition to a cinematic League is Plastic Man, with his showier powers and over-the-top comedic potential.
A standard-looking, armored ’90s villain who turned out to be female, Mystek joined the JLA’s farm team, the Justice League Task Force, then promptly died when she freaked out from claustrophobia and blasted her way out of a spaceship. In space.
I only know about this guy from a comic I got in a grab bag. According to Comicvine, his mystical powers came from a gem his enslaved ancestors used to kill the man who “owned” them. If I’ve barely heard of the guy, I doubt a studio’s going to cast him in a multi-gazillion-dollar franchise.
In the 2003 “JLA/Avengers” crossover, Marvel’s Hawkeye is briefly shown as a member of the League when the two universes merge. Most stories like that don’t really “count” in continuity, but this one was referenced in a JLA storyline by Kurt Busiek, who also wrote the crossover. The preceding characters are unlikely to reach the screen, but since Hawkeye’s owned by Marvel, he’s the only one all but guaranteed to never show up in a JLA movie.
Evan Bevins is the writer of the webcomic Support Group, www.supportgroupcomic.com