With blockbusters like The Avengers: Age of Ultron, Captain America: The Winter Soldier already here, and upcoming blockbusters like Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice or X-Men: Apocalypse coming out, we nerds are being saturated with all of our favorite superheroes. We are getting plenty of representations for the heroes we hold closest to our hearts. But while all of this is great, we sometimes forget about some of the lesser known characters who can be just as interesting and worth our time.
With a universe as rich and expansive, cosmic and grounded, and dark and flamboyant as the DC universe, there are a plethora of heroes just waiting to get their time in the sun. However, these characters aren’t just waiting on the sidelines waiting to be called on; many of them deserve a spot in the limelight.
With the DCEU getting bigger and bigger everyday, let's take a look at 10 Underrated DC Superheroes That Deserve Their Own Movie.
11 Plastic Man
You might be thinking, “Isn’t Plastic Man just DC’s answer to Marvel’s Mr. Fantastic?” Well, you, my friend, would be sorely mistaken. Plastic Man is one of DC’s most underrated powerhouses. He possesses immense strength and regenerative abilities. What makes Patrick “Eel” O’Brian such a great character is not his level of physical power or abilities, but his actions and motivations.
Plastic Man is often rejected by members of the Justice League because he is so unpredictable and unconventional. With these traits combined with his physical potential, he’d be one interesting addition to the DCEU, along with Cavill’s god-like Superman, Gal Gadot’s royal Wonder Woman, and Ben Affleck’s beastly Batman. With the recent additions of Blue Beetle and Booster Gold into the DCEU, Plastic Man’s humor and demeanor wouldn’t even feel too out of place.
The only real problem with Plastic Man being portrayed on the big screen is displaying his powers without making them look too campy. DC is known for trying to ground their universe in reality as much as possible, so this could create a dis-junction between the other films. But surely they could find a way to adjust the tones so that all the films seem symbiotic.
10 Black Lightning
Despite Black Lightning’s different iterations, he has had amazing collaborations with other first-tier heroes for years. Black Lightning has stood as a symbol of success and honor for decades and has been used to help bring diversity into the Justice League. Making a movie about Black Lightning would be a great way to keep the DCEU grounded, since he is an amazing street-level hero who often fights against corporate aggressions towards the underprivileged.
With amazing powers such as flight, super speed (he can move at the speed of light), energy absorption, electrokinesis, and the ability to perform well on a team, Black Lightning could make a great addition to the on-screen Justice League. He is well-equipped and able to aid in taking down villains of extreme strength and has done so alongside not only the Justice League, but the Outsiders as well.
It would be great for DC to keep leading the way for superhero franchises by continuing to add diversity to the whitewashed world of comic book heroes. Black Lightning has earned his spot as a respected member of the Justice League and deserves a live-action spot playing alongside his longtime comic book allies Batman and Superman.
There are those of us who grew up watching the amazing animated Teen Titans show that will recognize Starfire as the bubbly love interest to Dick Grayson’s Robin. However, she is not always the outgoing and flamboyant alien we know from the show. In the comics, Starfire is a heroine who holds her own alongside some of DC’s heaviest hitters. She helps other heroes in a lot of major story arcs and even serves as a member of the Outlaws with Jason Todd and Red Arrow.
Even though she is associated with the Teen Titans and sometimes judged by her age, she is one tough alien princess. Some of her powers include: super-strength, invulnerability, flight, energy blasts, omnilingualism, and her ability to absorb radiation, which she uses to power her array of abilities. Along with these, she has a berserker rage that increases her power and makes her practically immune to physical harm.
With powers as intense as these, paired with her intricate character motivations and relationships, she could be both a powerhouse that fights alongside Superman against villains such as Black Adam, while also serving as a love interest for (the hopefully present) Dick Grayson in the DCEU.
Huntress has already made her live-action debut in Arrow, and her animated debut in the widely acclaimed Justice League animated show, but there is still so much left to explore with her character. With the current iteration of Batman, she would be a natural fit to have in the universe.
Helena Bertinelli has always been known for the harsh punishments she bestows upon criminals that she either captures or kills. She has also had a close relationship with the Bat-Family, even serving as Bat-girl for a short period of time in the comics. With the absense of Batman in Arrow, we could finally see her interact with Ben Affleck’s Dark Knight since Huntress usually has a lot of interaction with Batman.
With DC looking to add diversity, Huntress could serve as a great way to introduce even more strong female characters into their universe, such as Oracle or Black Canary. She could even lead a Birds of Prey spin-off alongside Oracle and Black Canary (if both are introduced into the universe).
7 The Phantom Stranger
With the DCEU already known for its dark and dreary tone, who better to appear in the universe than the Phantom Stranger? The Stranger is known for his dark and enigmatic presence throughout the DCU’s existence. Even though he is an eternal being from unknown origins, he has claimed a membership position in the Justice League and would be an amazing addition to the ever expanding DCEU.
With the movies building what Zack Snyder calls a “mythological universe,” it would be smart of them to add characters who bring a cosmological background to the table. The Phantom Stranger often appears and aids our heroes in times of great need and when something threatens the universe or world as a whole. Since he is an eternal being, he could give each hero in the Justice League the same feeling of insecurity that Batman will be feeling towards Superman in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.
There have also been great instances in which The Phantom Stranger has been shown to influence and observe the lives of heroes like Batman, Deadman, and Jim Corrigan. His introduction could really open up the movie universe and allow for truly large events to occur in these upcoming films.
6 Captain Atom
One of the most criminally underutilized characters in all of DC, Captain Atom is a character who can be used as a versatile storytelling device. With Captain Atom’s allegiance and affiliation with the Air Force, he could be introduced through the army officials we previously met in Man of Steel. With Captain Atom’s ability to combat Superman, it’d be great to see him being initially used as a tool by the government, only to then earn his seat among the other heroes of the Justice League.
Captain Atom is often overlooked as a character and many often complain that he’s too much of a boy scout, but it's possible that his introduction to the DCEU could help shape Superman’s identity, as well as give Atom’s character a chance to become more nuanced.
The internal conflict of loyalty that he battles when choosing between serving the government and the Justice League is an organic storytelling device for the universe we’re being given in the films. He could also be of great use, considering his ability to absorb huge amounts of radiation and energy.
5 Etrigan (Jason Blood)
Who doesn’t love a demon? Etrigan is one ugly, good-doing demon who is controlled by Jason Blood. The demon Etrigan is the physical embodiment of the two when Jason uses him to fight crime and magical enemies. Even though Etrigan is a long-shot when it comes to characters appearing in the DCEU, his character is absolutely worthy of big-screen treatment.
He is an amazingly layered character who has helped in many heroes’ endeavors to conquer evil throughout decades of heroism. Etrigan could be a character used to further Enchantress’ storyline in subsequent movies after Suicide Squad and could even be used in a Justice League movie if the team were to ever face a supernatural enemy. Etrigan has demonstrated his power and importance for years in the comics and become a friend to some of the Justice League members as well as becoming a member himself.
4 The Spectre (Jim Corrigan)
The Spectre is often a combination of a human host and an eternal being. The most common host of the entity is Jim Corrigan, a detective who is killed in the line of duty. This is when his soul is intercepted and The Spectre takes him as his host. Together they take vengeance on evil men of the world.
With Jim’s experience as a detective, a movie could focus on his transition from day to day detective to an extremely powerful cosmic being. They could delve into why the Spectre chose Jim as his host and his alliance with the Justice League. A story where we get to learn of Jim’s rough childhood and the rage that attracts The Spectre to his soul would be a compelling and humanizing way to introduce one of the most powerful entities in the entire DC universe.
3 Robin (Tim Drake)
The third Robin may seem like an unlikely choice to get his own movie, but Tim Drake has played a vital role in the DC universe for some time. He has been a longstanding member of the Teen Titans and one of The Dark Knight’s most useful protégés. Tim even grows up to later adopt his own superhero identity, Red Robin. Although many prefer Dick Grayson’s Nightwing, Tim is a Robin that has held his own with the likes of Nightwing, Batgirl, Jason Todd, and other members of the Bat-Family. During the story arc, Battle For the Cowl, Tim Drake even earned the nickname “Detective” by Ra’s al Ghul while fighting him.
Beyond Tim being a phenomenal crime-fighter and apprentice to Bruce, he is incredibly smart and persistent. He has traveled to the ends of the earth to find Bruce when he was lost in time, and has often protected the Bat-Family when Bruce was not able to. Tim would be a great way to lead into a Teen Titans film, earning his credibility as a leader in a Batman film. It would also make sense that Tim Drake would be Robin or even Red Robin at this point in the movie universe, since Bruce is much older and has even been retired for some time.
Once a member of the Wildstorm universe, Grifter was one of the many heroes brought into the DC universe after the events of Flashpoint. Now, Grifter is a Daemonite hunter who has been selected as the chosen one to lead the resistance against the alien race. He is a master marksman and ex-soldier who uses his training to go up against some of the strongest or skilled members of the DC universe. Recently, Grifter was able to catch one of Green Arrow’s arrows with nothing but his bare hands, showcasing his amazing combat skills. He even possesses telekinesis and telepathy that allow him to hunt the Daemonites and enhance his physical strength.
Despite Grifter sometimes being portrayed as a bit of an antihero for some of the crimes he has committed, Cole Cash is very much on the right side of justice. If the DC universe were to utilize Deathstroke in their movies, Grifter would be a great hero to counter his villainous ways. Also, bringing Grifter into the universe would open the door to other Wildstorm characters and team-ups.
Hopefully you enjoyed reading about some of these supporting characters and possible ways they could enter the DCEU. It would be lovely to hear about the character you wish to see introduced into the DCEU that hasn’t been previously announced, and be sure to leave your favorite choice from this list in the comments below! Thanks for reading!