Marvel has a pretty good record in creating Netflix series so far, with both Jessica Jones and the first season of Daredevil receiving high critical praise and getting both pre-existing fans and people new to the characters to binge watch hours of fresh superhero(ish) content. With the next season of Daredevil almost here, it’s safe to say that Marvel will likely have another hit on their hands.
While it’s unlikely that DC and Warner Bros. would be able to produce an original series for Netflix, given what Netflix already has worked out with Disney and Marvel, it’s fun to imagine that characters they could bring to the platform, characters that most of the public may not know and that aren’t exactly in line to be stars of blockbusters. Characters that reflect the street-level, “R-Rated” tone of the Netflix Marvel series.
With that in mind, here are 13 DC Characters Who Need A Netflix Series.
13. The Question
What’s the scariest thing that can walk down an alley towards you if you’re up to no good? Well, a man without a face is pretty high on the list.
The Question, alter ego of Vic Sage, is part detective, part crime fighter, part investigative journalist. Using a fake skin covering known as Psuedoderm to cover his face and render him featureless, Sage uses the Question to go where he can’t. A show that centers on The Question could be something of a crime procedural, but taken in interesting directions, examining Sage’s own personal beliefs, which mirrored Objectivism or some Zen-like philosophy, depending on the incarnation, and his own personal feelings on killing people to get the information he needs.
12. Dick Grayson/Nightwing
After his time as Robin, Dick Grayson stepped out of Batman’s shadow and became Nightwing. A Nightwing Netflix show could be something like DC’s answer to Daredevil. He’s a young, physical hero who operates mostly at street level. You could have those great looking fight scenes and relatively grounded settings and characters like Daredevil had, but have it be in the DC Extended Universe, with reference Ben Affleck’s Batman here and there.
Or, if they really want to do something different and avoid the Daredevil comparisons, they go with Grayson’s current comic incarnation in Grayson, that of a spy rather than superhero, and turn the show into a spy thriller.
This, like Nightwing, could be a way for DC to name check their most popular characters while leaving them on the big screen. A Superboy show could be very interesting if they were to go with the angle of him being a clone of Superman, as he was originally created.
Watching Connor Kent try to figure out his place in the world that already has a Superman, while trying to learn more about his creation and fighting evil in the process, could make for a quality binge watch. As a comic character, Superboy has had his ups and downs, but a quality show with a good take on the character and his story could introduce the character to a whole new audience.
Ted Grant was a champion boxer, but then he was framed for the murder of his mentor by his managers. When the cops arresting Grant were accidentally killed by Grant’s managers as they attempted to completely cover up the crime, Grant went on the run.
Donning the Wildcat costume, he would hunt down the men that framed him and brought him to justice. In the comics, Grant has a magical “nine lives” spell that has kept him strong and agile even into his old age, leading to him training many of the finest superheroes in the DC Universe, including Batman, Superman, and Black Canary. Given the revenge aspect of his storyline, he could easily fit in with the darker milieu that an unrated Netflix series could provide.
The son of Belial and the half brother of Merlin, Etrigan is a demon of Hell who is bound to the mortal Jason Blood when he refuses to reveal his secrets to Merlin. Over the ensuing centuries, Etrigan and Jason Blood use their combined powers to both clash and aid Earth’s heroes, often battling with one another over their individual desires.
With Etrigan’s strength letting him go toe to toe with Superman and a powerful command of magic, coupled with Blood’s centuries of life and telepathy, Etrigan could make for a show that touches on both the magical planes of the DC Universe and the more mundane, along with providing the opportunity to set some of his stories in the Middle Ages.
Katherine Kane is a lot like Bruce Wayne, a rich heiress who uses her fortune to fight crime after being inspired by Batman. A Batwoman show could be a great way to use a lot of the familiar Batman imagery and storylines, while keeping Batman for the big screen, as DC and Warner Bros are likely to want to do.
You could even have Batwoman meet up with Nightwing, teaming up to stop a menace that may be too great for either of them alone. She’s also one of DC’s more diverse female characters, being both Jewish and a lesbian, something that superhero shows have pretty much avoided with leads. We’ve already seen with CBS’s Supergirl that even if a female superhero seems like an unoriginal spin on a male counterpart, she can very much prove herself otherwise of the course of a series.
7. Wild Dog
Former college football player and former Marine, Jack Wheeler was a pretty normal guy until his girlfriend was killed as part of a mob hit. Now armed with a gun, shock gloves, and a hockey mask, Jack begins to wage a one-man war on crime as the antihero Wild Dog.
In his earliest incarnations, Wild Dog was largely interested with combatting domestic terrorists, but would also get into some fights with the likes of Lobo. Wild Dog is a character that DC doesn’t use that often, but, given the right touch and direction with the story, could really be an interesting character. He could even be an answer to the Punisher’s appearance on Daredevil.
While Constantine wasn’t a success on network television, there is still room for a show to explore the more magical side of the DC Universe, perhaps in the more forgiving climes of online streaming. One of the prime characters to do it, and one that may be enough of an unknown character to surprise viewers, would be Zatanna.
Being both a stage magician and a real magician, Zatanna mixes both practical magic and real magic into her repertoire. Her storyline involving the search for her wizard father could make for a decent first season. The magic effects and the fact that Zatanna generally uses her magic by speaking words backwards could lead to the show being just a little tricky, but with a few tweaks, it could still prove to be a solid concept.
Deadman, the alter ego of Boston Brand, is (depending on the incarnation) either a trapeze artist who gains the ability to possess any living being as a way to solve murders and gain justice, or a man who lived a sinful live and must now take possession of living beings to help solve problems in their own lives.
Either could work as a show that involves supernatural elements with crime elements, with Brand either being an outright hero or something of an antihero. It would also be a good way to again explore some of the magical or mystical aspects of the DC Universe, not unlike Doctor Strange might do for Marvel in November.
4. Animal Man
After being near an exploding alien spaceship, Buddy Baker is given the ability to “borrow” the abilities of animals (flight of a bird, proportionate strength of an ant, etc). In his most recent incarnation, he’s an environmental activist and actor, who also happens to do some heroics on the side.
A show centering on a hero actively trying to balance a family, an acting career, and his life as a superhero and all that that entails could be very interesting, showing a side of superheroes that generally aren’t always seen. If they really wanted to go weird with it, the show could even incorporate the Grant Morrison storyline where Buddy realizes he’s in a comic book and meets his writer.
Midnigher might be the best version of Batman, if Batman truly enjoyed beating the snot out of people. First created in conjunction with his husband Apollo as an LGBT Superman/Batman riff, Midnighter has since gone solo in the comics.
Midnighter sports various biological enhancements that give him powers that include enhanced strength, enhanced speed, enhanced healing, and the ability to predict the outcome of a fight before it has even started. Described by his creator Warren Ellis as “The Shadow by way of John Woo,” Midnighter is an antihero that loves fighting, and loves it even more because he knows he’ll win.
2. The Outsiders
The Outsiders are sort of the black ops version of the Justice League, a team of superheroes from outside the norm of superhero society that actively search for super villains instead of waiting for them to do something to draw attention. Initially founded by Batman after a strained relationship with the Justice League, The Outsiders go through various incarnations over time, both with and without Batman.
Given that the team has gone through various incarnations and featured members like Martian Manhunter, Catwoman, Arsenal, Katana, and more means that DC has a lot of heroes that it can draw into the team if they so choose.
1. Jonah Hex
Yeah, we know. The Jonah Hex movie was pretty terrible. But there’s a lot of potential for this character and concept. At its core, the show would be a fairly typical Western, which are already pretty fun. It can be played as a straight Western, following those storylines where Jonah has to avenge a mentor or fights some ex-Confederate soldiers who’ve come looking for his head. AMC’s Hell on Wheels has already proved that a Western series can work on cable.
Or you can imbue it with some of that magic from the comics and have their new robot gunslingers and appearances from some of the Old West superheroes like Bat Lash or Scalphunter. Ideally, it would be a mix of the two.
Can you think of any other DC heroes that would have a heckuva time in a series on Netflix? Let us know in the comments!