As the DCEU charges on ahead, with Wonder Woman moving into post-production, Justice League filming, and titles like Batman, The Flash and Man of Steel 2 all going into development, DC fans have begun consider the possibilities this new cinematic universe offers. Though the recent two films of the DCEU have received a good deal of criticism—much of it justly leveled at schizoid tones and rushed plots—the talent involved in upcoming films has given fans hope. Comic book icon Geoff Johns has taken on a supervising role to the upcoming movies, and assured viewers that the forthcoming slate will suffer from less studio interference.
The DC Comics universe, of course, has no shortage of iconic and beloved characters to add to the DCEU, and multiple versions of each character at that! But where to even begin? Given that Warner Bros. has already cast most of the core heroes, or hinted that secondary characters like Green Lantern, Martian Manhunter, and Blue Beetle are all on their way, perhaps fans should consider what other famed allies, sidekicks and second-tier characters deserve the movie treatment.
In no particular order, find here are 15 Sidekicks We Want To See In DC Movies.
Thus far, the only incarnation of Batgirl to hit the big screen came in the form of Alicia Silverstone in 1998’s horrid Batman & Robin. Silverstone went adrift in the role, largely because the script never gave her any function in the story beyond standing about. Silverstone’s career suffered as a result, as did the reputation of Batgirl as a kickass heroine.
The time has come for redemption! Let Batgirl return to the movies, and this time, do her justice! Early rumors around Batman v. Superman had actress Jenna Malone taking on the role of Barbara Gordon/Batgirl, though they eventually proved false. Malone might be out of the running now, but a gaggle of other actresses could take on the iconic part. Besides, though it’s just begun, and though Gal Godot earned almost unanimous raves for her turn in Batman v Superman, women in the DCEU are, for the moment, rather unrepresented. Adding a younger counterpart to Ben Affleck’s middle-aged Batman would be a good step in rectifying the problem.
Speaking of younger sidekicks, we already know the Batman of the DCEU already had one: Robin. In the cinematic universe, Robin died at the hands of the Joker years before the events of Batman v Superman, adding to Batman’s brooding. Presumably if the films follow the comic continuity, that dead Robin is Jason Todd, the second Boy Wonder to fight alongside the Caped Crusader. That would imply that Dick Grayson, the original Robin, is still alive and well.
Assuming Grayson is alive, one character becomes a natural to add to the DCEU: Nightwing! Arguably, Grayson became an even more compelling character after leaving the shadow of the Bat and developing his own superhero persona. Nightwing retains a strong fanbase and, with the past two entries in the DCEU still dividing viewers, adding Nightwing could provide a breath of fresh air to fans and a much-needed boost to PR for the series.
Readers accused DC Comics of a publicity stunt when the publisher announced the addition of Batwoman to the DC roster, becoming one of the first major LGBT characters to get her own title. Critics fell silent as soon as the first issues hit shelves, as Kate Kane, the Jewish lesbian under the cowl, emerged as one of the most interesting and unique characters to come out of comics in years. Batwoman would later sustain her own ongoing series, as well as the Detective Comics title usually reserved for Batman himself.
Besides adding diversity to the DCEU, letting Batwoman join the film series would open up a whole new way to tell stories in the movies. Unlike Batman films, which carry expectations of containing a certain amount of action and mayhem, a Batwoman film could focus more on the mystery/detective elements of Bat-stories. A mid-budget, atmospheric, and director-driven Batwoman movie could become a major hit with audiences, and expand the DCEU into a new kind of genre.
By far, one of the most divisive Bat-stories to ever come out of the comics, the “Knightfall” story arc followed a physically depleted Bruce Wayne suffering a critical back injury at the hands of Bane, and retiring from the cape and cowl. In his place, the former assassin Azrael became Batman, eventually donning a new robotic suit to continue fighting crime around Gotham City. Azrael takes a more brutal approach than Bruce Wayne ever did, and has no problem killing without warning. Eventually he goes bat-guano crazy, and Bruce Wayne has to return to Gotham to take back the mantle of the bat.
More or less, The Dark Knight Rises covered key elements of the “Knightfall” story, so a literal translation of the story arc into a film would feel redundant. Bringing in Azrael, however, could make for an interesting story of its own. Though he is, more or less, the ’90s DC version of Spawn, introducing the brutality of Azrael could force the other DCEU heroes to take a serious look at their vigilante methods, and make for some tension between heroes.
11. Donna Troy
Wonder Girl, Troia, whatever you want to call her, Donna Troy needs a spot in the DCEU. Most commonly thought of as Wonder Woman’s counterpoint to Batman’s Robin, Donna Troy became a popular character following a revival of the Teen Titans book in the 1980s. Though the character has some of the most complicated and contradictory origins in all of comic lore, she nonetheless offers young women an analogue within the DC universe.
Wonder Woman’s backstory will no doubt come into play in the forthcoming Wonder Woman movie and, depending on the nuance of Diana’s own origins, Donna Troy may need yet another origin story. Still, the introduction of Donna would not only inject some youth into the DCEU; it would add another dimension to the character of Wonder Woman—that of a nurturing mentor. One potential that the DCEU has that Marvel doesn’t is its “generations” of heroes—the tradition of each hero having a young sidekick. The DCEU should exploit that to fullest potential, and examine the family dynamic it affords the characters.
Warner Bros. has already announced the introduction of a big screen Green Arrow, much to the chagrin of Arrow fans hoping to see the show folded into the cinematic continuity. So Speedy– or Arsenal, as he’s more likely to be called, is a natural inclusion. Then again, perhaps the studio has something more subversive in mind: what if he is actually a she?
Mia Dearden became Speedy in the early 2000s, taking up the title from Roy Harper. A victim of a childhood prostitution ring, she contracted HIV as a child, and is one of the few characters with the disease in all comics. Resourceful, cunning, and great in a fight, Mia has learned to hold her own against enemies like Red Hood and Granny Goodness.
Introducing Mia to the DCEU would, like with Donna Troy, add a new layer of femininity and allow the films to explore the mentor-student-familial relationship with other superheroes. Moreover, her womanhood would make an interesting exploration with an older, male mentor—specifically Green Arrow. Likewise, her HIV+ status could add a new layer of realism to the films, and a relevant one at that. Because of her status, Mia needs to have extra care in a fight or when sustaining injuries. Awareness by the Justice League of Mia’s status, and its unflinching inclusion of her, would provide a great example to viewers, and a grounded obstacle for the character.
Aquaman has long had the reputation as one of the Justice League’s most antisocial members. Arrogant, egotistical, and openly hostile, Aquaman joins the league less out of a sense of obligation than just to get the surface dwellers to quit bugging him. Years of comic books have allowed the character to show some nuance and dimension, but cramming all that development into 2-hour movies presents a greater challenge. One way around it: let Aquaman have a sidekick—Aqualad! Or Tempest, or whatever moniker he decides to use in the films…
Garth of Atlantis has his own abrasive relationship with Aquaman, though he actually enjoys his out-of-water visits and develops strong friendships with other members of the Justice League and Teen Titans (and let’s face it, if the DCEU introduces any of these characters, a Titans film will likely follow). Further, Garth has, at various points, held ambassador positions with the UN as a representative of Atlantis. Even if his role in the DCEU is a small one, it could be pivotal, and help in establishing the mechanics of a world full of metahumans.
8. Kid Flash (Wally West)
The depiction of the Speed Force is one of the highlights of the newborn DCEU, and actor Ezra Miller looks to make a fine addition to the growing superhero roster as Barry Allen, AKA The Flash. In the comics, of course, the powers of the Speed Force extend to other individuals as well… including junior speedster Kid Flash.
Wally West took on the Flash identity through most of the 1990s and 2000s, becoming the Flash for two generations of readers. The recent reintroduction of Barry Allen as the Flash left the wise-cracking Wally by the wayside. The character recently reemerged as a sort of adult secondary Flash, while his biracial cousin of the same name took on the identity of Kid Flash.
In any incarnation, Wally West deserves a role in the new DCEU. Introducing the biracial Wally as Kid Flash would help diversify the universe, and open the door to a Teen Titans film. Moreover, Wally’s familial ties to the villainous Reverse Flash would add some drama to the saga.
7. Robin (Tim Drake)
Of all the sidekicks mentioned here, perhaps no other is as natural an addition as Robin. In fact, some audience members still have a hard time accepting Batman without Robin, thanks to the popularity of the 1960s TV show. Fans haven’t seen Robin on the big screen since the ungodly Batman & Robin almost 20 years ago, and let’s face it, the character deserves better!
Again, assuming the DECU will operate under a continuity similar to that of the comics, Tim Drake would make a logical addition as Robin. He, of course, took over the role after Dick Grayson became Nightwing and Jason Todd died. Of late, Dick has operated under the name “Red Robin” to make way for Damian Wayne. Since Damian—the son of Bruce Wayne and Talia al Ghul—would require a huge amount of backstory to include in a movie, having Tim Drake return to the role of Robin makes a certain amount of sense. Tim remains popular and arguably even more iconic as Robin than Dick Grayson, and thus becomes the best candidate to operate as the Boy Wonder.
6. Superboy (Connor Kent)
Now here’s a character with real potential! The latter-day Superboy, known by the alias Connor Kent, has an origin that would fit perfectly within the DCEU as it already exists. Connor Kent first appeared during the “Reign of the Supermen” story arc, which revealed him as a clone of Superman. But the plot thickened: further revelations into the cloning process that produced Connor uncovered that he also contained genetic material from Lex Luthor—in a sense, he’s the son of Superman and Lex!
Given that Lex has already mucked about with Kryptonian genetic technology, and that Amanda Waller has also begun researching the subject, the introduction of Connor Kent seems a logical progression. The visions of Krypton as a eugenic-fascist planet, and the injection of Superman with the Kryptonian genetic code were two of the most interesting ideas to come out of Man of Steel. Warner Bros. should carry them to a natural conclusion, and introduce Connor to the DCEU.
Speaking of Superman sidekicks, Krypto the Superdog remains one of the silliest characters to ever come out of DC Comics—and one of the most beloved! Krypto has a number of origin stories: he escaped from a pocket universe, he was an alien creation, or he too originated on Krypton as Jor-El’s dog. Since the Krypton of Man of Steel doesn’t quite look like the place where to find a cuddly white dog, the DCEU would probably have to find their own origin story to make the heroic canine fit with movie continuity.
Still, it would be worth it! Fans grousing that the DECU movies to date haven’t had enough cuteness or optimism would have a hard time resisting a fluffy pup with the ability to fly and fight supervillains! Watching Superman play with his favorite pooch would also melt some hearts, and including Krypto could open the door to other super-pets like Ace the Bat-Hound or Streaky the Supercat. The merchandising possibilities alone should make Warner Bros. consider adopting Krypto!
4. Mary Marvel
A Captain Marvel/Shazam movie has long simmered on the Warner Bros. development burner, with Dwayne Johnson showing interest in taking on a pivotal role (reports differ as to if Johnson would play Captain Marvel or the villain Black Adam). With the DCEU moving into full swing, the film has again come up. Studio representatives have assured fans that Captain Marvel would turn up in a movie soon enough. Once he does, Warner Bros. should also consider adding his female counterpart, Mary Marvel.
In the comics, Mary Marvel has the same powers and abilities as Captain Marvel, though she doesn’t have as prominent a role in the DC universe. Including her in the DCEU, however, could help explain an as-of-yet unexplored force: magic. Suicide Squad already introduced the subject in the form of Enchantress, though the films have yet to address how exactly magic works and who exactly has access to it. Including a character like Mary Marvel could help explain away a few lingering questions if nothing else.
3. The Question
In recent years, The Question has developed something of a cult following, courtesy of his inclusion in the Justice League Unlimited animated series, and the resurgence of Watchmen in pop culture (The Question served as the basis for Rorschach in that book). Rumor has it that Warner Bros. is considering using the character in his own TV series, but he might be better used in the films.
The Question of the comics boarders on psychosis: he prefers to work alone and in secret while doing his detecting. The original Question, Vic Sage, has a habit of getting overly violent with criminals and a history of drug use. Those less-than-cheerful qualities might make The Question difficult to adapt, so Warner Bros. might want to include the Question as something of a plot device. In the comics, Sage eventually dies of lung cancer, passing his identity as The Question off to Gotham City cop Renee Montoya. Which brings us to…
2. Renee Montoya
Over the past decade, Gotham City cop Renee Montoya has become a more prominent character in DC Comics. The tough Latina officer originally became an informant and occasional collaborator of Batman’s. After years of operating as part of the Gotham police force, Montoya finds herself outed as a lesbian. Following a particularly traumatic case, she resigns from the Gotham Police and drifts into depression. Vic Sage, the original Question, recruits her for help in solving a case, and the two form an unlikely friendship. Upon Sage’s death, Montoya reluctantly assumes the identity of The Question, becoming a full-blown superhero. While researching a case, her path crosses with that of Batwoman, and the two begin a passionate affair.
Adding Renee Montoya to the DCEU affords the chance to add both a woman of color and a lesbian to the growing universe. Montoya would make a great addition to the film universe, and the character offers a good deal of possibilities to become a recurring character, or even a lead in a film of her own.
Supergirl last appeared on movie screens in 1984 as embodied by actress Helen Slater. Supergirl attempted to launch the first extended universe, by introducing a new superhero to an existing universe—those of the Christopher Reeve Superman movies—and apply the same approach. Though Slater gave the part her all, the abysmal script and direction made Supergirl into more of a camp film than anything else. Nevertheless, the character has remained popular all these years, and recently scored her own TV series.
Give Supergirl another chance! A brief shot in Man of Steel, according to director Zack Snyder, hints at Supergirl alive and operating in the DCEU. The shot simply shows an empty cryotube, with no other explanation. With Superman ever-intrigued by his alien origins, introducing Supergirl could allow for an exploration of Kryptonian culture, for Superman to take on a mentor role, and afford him a bit of levity in knowing he has a cousin that also survived destruction of their homeworld. Supergirl would also offer a chance to spin-off into her own film, or to explore the futuristic Legion of Superheroes, of which she’s a member.
Did we leave out your favorite sidekick or ally? Tell us in the comments!
Wonder Woman opens in theaters on June 2, 2017, followed by Justice League on November 17, 2017; Aquaman on July 27, 2018; an untitled DC Film on October 5, 2018; Shazam on April 5, 2019; Justice League 2 on June 14, 2019; an untitled DC film on November 1, 2019; Cyborg on April 3, 2020; and Green Lantern Corps on July 24, 2020. The Flash, The Batman solo movie, Dark Universe and Man of Steel 2 are currently without a release dates.