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Lesser Known Comic Book Characters That Could Have A Big Movie Presence

Lesser Known Comic Book Characters That Could Have A Big Movie Presence

Superman-The-Movie-1978

When “Superman: The Movie” came out in 1978, the character was already a household name.

He had been in comics since 1939, had been featured in radio programs, movie serials, and the legendary TV series of the 1950’s. Batman had similar previous media exposure when Tim Burton’s classic film was released in 1989. 2002’s “Spider-Man” by Sam Raimi is another example of a well-known character given a film, and even the X-Men had extensive prior exposure to the general public when their film was released in 2000.

But not every comic book character has decades of exposure to make them instantly recognizable on the silver screen. Blade, Spawn, and Steel were given the big screen treatment, to varying degrees of success. When “Iron Man” was released in 2008, a lot of non-comic book readers were scratching their heads. “Who’s that?” and “I’m not familiar with that character” were heard by die-hard fans everywhere. “Just go see it” they replied. And they did, making Iron Man a huge success, spawning two sequels and jump starting what is now known as the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Even Deadpool, originally a fringe character from the X-Men’s universe, has been featured in a wildly popular film.

So who’s next? There are literally thousands of comic book characters out there, just waiting for their time in the spotlight.  Here are six lesser known heroes and why they could be the next big thing:

Invincible

Invincible-Robert-Kirkman
Invincible is published by Image Comics and was co-created and is written by Robert Kirkman of “The Walking Dead” fame. It is the story of Mark Grayson, who as a young boy learns his father is Omni-Man, one of the Earth’s super-powered defenders. As a teenager, Mark develops his own powers and begins to assist his dad in defending the planet. He chooses the code name Invincible and soon after learns that his father harbors a terrible secret.

Why this could work…
Are you still waiting for a really good Superman movie? Well, it could be Invincible! Invincible would make a great film, and could be done very simply just by following the book. A relatively new character, Invincible doesn’t have almost a century of backstory and meandering storylines. The story has been told in nice tight arcs, each one leading fluidly into the next. For just straight-up superhero battling with a touch of romance and a nice plot twist, Invincible would be a sure-fire hit.

Quasar

Quasar-Marvel-Wendell-Vaughn
Quasar is one of Marvel’s Cosmic Heroes, a la “Guardians of the Galaxy.” Given vast cosmic power through the Quantum Bands he wears on his wrists, Wendell Vaughn protects the universe as Quasar! Having been a member of both S.H.I.E.L.D. and the Avengers, Wendell is a well-established character in the Marvel pantheon of heroes.

Why this could work…
A Quasar film would be Marvel’s chance to show DC where they screwed up with the Green Lantern movie. With a similar power set to the Lanterns, Quasar could easily be a sweeping science fiction epic or an earth-bound hero/villain clash. A solo Quasar film could also serve to introduce another member of the Avengers going into Phase 4.

Captain Carrot

Captain-Carrot-Comic
When mild-mannered cartoonist Rodney Rabbit consumes one of his “Cosmic Carrots,” he transforms in Captain Carrot and gains amazing superlagomorphic powers! With his allies in The Zoo Crew, they keep the world safe from enemies like Frogzilla and Cold Turkey! Published by DC Comics, Captain Carrot is an underused property waiting for an opportunity.

Why this could work…
Did you see “Big Hero 6?” Wasn’t it good? Given a similar treatment, Captain Carrot could be just as good! A funny animal comic, adapted with CGI animation and a script that could appeal to kids and adults, similar to “Lego Batman”, is a successful film formula these days. And the merchandising potential is unlimited!

ROM

Rom-Space-Knight
A cybernetic warrior from space, Rom has come to Earth tracking his enemies, the alien shape-shifters known as the Dire Wraiths! Originally an action figure produced by Parker Brothers (now a part of Hasbro), Rom had a successful comic run with Marvel in the 1980’s and is currently published by IDW.

Why this could work…
With the recent return of Rom to the comic pages and Hasbro’s desire to create a Marvel-esque film franchise (beginning with Transformers and GI Joe), will it be long before Rom graces the silver screen? Rom could be written as either a straight up sci-fi film, or as a sci-fi/horror blend. The title character would need to be motion capture CGI of course, as well as the Dire Wraiths to a lesser extent. I could envision Rom as a trilogy of solo films, as well crossing over with other Hasbro films.

Blue Devil

Blue-Devil-Comics
Dan Cassidy is a special effects artist and stuntman who developed a mechanized body suit to wear during the production of a film. During filming, an actual demon is released and Dan uses the abilities in the costume to force the demon back through it’s portal, but not before being blasted by the demon’s magic. He discovers he has now been bonded with the suit in an unnatural fusion of magic and science. As he searches for a way to remove the suit, he becomes a superhero, although unwillingly.

Why this could work…
Blue Devil would make an excellent action/horror/comedy mash-up for DC and Warner Brothers. It would be lighter in tone than most of the films DC has released recently, similar to “Hellboy” or Sam Raimi’s “Army of Darkness.” In fact, Raimi would be the perfect person to make this film! Blue Devil lends itself to being a franchise, with future films capturing his encounters with supervillains and supernatural threats as he searches for a way to remove the suit.

She-Hulk

She-Hulk-Marvel-Comics
Jennifer Walters is an up-and-coming lawyer as well as the cousin of Bruce Banner, The Hulk. While visiting Jennifer, Banner is attacked and Jen is caught in the crossfire. A blood transfusion from Bruce saves her life, and also leaves her with a similar gamma radiation fueled transformation, the ability to become Marvel’s Sensational She-Hulk!

Why this could work…
She-Hulk initially was written as a straightforward superhero, but her best run in the comic was under the legendary John Byrne, who wrote the character with a more action-comedy bent, with much breaking of the fourth wall, well before Deadpool was every created. This aspect of her character would make an outstanding film, with just the right blend of super heroics and laughs, with maybe some legal drama thrown in. Not to mention that she has been a long-term member of the Avengers, so she could possibly be set up for Phase 4 as well.

With so many characters and stories to take inspiration from, Hollywood could make films based on comic characters for decades without even coming close to scratching the surface. Some of the lesser-known characters could make the best films, because they would have less preconceived notions from the fans. With less baggage, characters like the one listed above could be the next Iron Man or Captain America films.

Tell us your thoughts in the comments below!

About The Author

Tom

Tom is the co-host of the podcast "When Nerds Collide" and longtime comic book aficionado. You can check out his podcast over at When Nerds Collide

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1 Comment on "Lesser Known Comic Book Characters That Could Have A Big Movie Presence"

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Eric
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She-Hulk movie/show needs to happen already!

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