Rogue Ten: Ten Superheroes Who Deserve Their Own Movie

Saturday, 02 April 2011 10:13 Written by  Jordan DeSaulnier
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Rogue Ten: Ten Superheroes Who Deserve Their Own Movie

This week, ascendant Warner Bros Studio President Jeff Robinov revealed that he hopes to have a Justice League movie in theaters by 2013.  This film have different interpretations of Batman and Superman, so new Superman Henry Cavill is going to compete with another actor playing Supes in a whole different franchise.  Rather than overplaying the most famous superheroes, we here at IAR figured it might be a better idea to show some love for lesser-known comic book saviors.  After all, Iron Man proved that you don't need the biggest heroes to make a bona fide box office success.  So check out these ten comic book heroes who deserve the big screen treatment.

10. Green Arrow, aka Oliver Queen

Here's a character who is arguably on the same level as Iron Man in terms of popular recognition.  Like Batman, Oliver Queen has no superpowers, just his own skill, perfected and backed up by billions of dollars, with which he creates unstoppable, specialized arrows.  He's also unique in that the protector of Star City is largely motivated by progressive politics.  A few years ago, Batman Begins writer David Goyer was looking to direct Supermax, in which Queen ends up in a prison for supervillains, but that seems to have fizzled out.  Damn shame.

9. The Great Machine, aka Mitchell Hundred

In Brian K. Vaughan's 'Ex Machina', Mitchell Hundred is a city engineer who gains the ability to commune with machines and grasp seemingly alien technologies.  His brief stint as a two-bit superhero with one major accomplishment leads to his election as Mayor of New York City.  The dense flashback structure of the comic would make the character better suited to a television series, but the right approach could yield a hell of a movie, as well.

8. Moon Knight, aka Mark Spector, aka Steven Grant, aka Jake Lockley

Former mercenary Mark Spector got into some violent shenanigans in Egypt and ends up the avatar of Egyptian god Khonshu.  Returning home to America, he creates several aliases, and fights crime by night to redeem himself for his mercenary ways.  His superstength and speed are tied to a lunar cycle, so he supplants his powers with gadgetry.  The character shares many similarities with Batman, and given the success of the Bat-films, I'm surprised more like-minded heroes haven't made it to the screen.

7. The Escapist, aka Tom Mayflower

The Escapist is a fictitious comic book hero from author Michael Chabon's Pulitzer Prize winning novel 'The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay', who, in a meta twist, ended up with own brief comic book run.  Once a crippled youth, entry into the League of the Golden Key grants Tom Mayflower the uncanny ability to escape any entrapment, and devotes him to a life of liberating oppressed peoples all over the world.  His primary adversary is, of course, Adolf Hitler and his Nazi regime.  If this summer's Captain America: The First Avenger does well, then there might just be a market for WWII era superheroics. 

6. Dr. Strange

In a comics universe that includes world-devouring aliens, mutants as varied as snowflakes, and a dude bit by a radioactive spider, Dr. Stephen Strange stands alone.  Marvel's Sorcerer Supreme was once a selfish, money-grubbing neurosurgeon, until a car accident took away his ability to perform surgery.  Now, he's one of the most powerful beings in the cosmos, capable of time travel, resurrection, and all manner of convenient narrative tricks.  Marvel Studios and Disney are reportedly developing Strange as a smaller-budget feature, and that's cool, but just imagine a Dr Strange movie directed by Guillermo del Toro.  You can't; it's too cool.

5. Zatanna Zatara

Speaking of sorcery, there's no better worker of magic in the DC realm than Zatanna.  Gifted with magical abilities through her father, the magician Giovanni Zatara, Zatanna is known for her time spent with the Justice League, during which she notably used her powers to wipe Batman's memories.  While neither DC or Marvel have had much success at adapting superheroines, Zatanna could be the one.  Her day job as an professional magician provides an excuse for her saucy outfit, and her dabbling in the dark arts with the likes of John Constantine means that she could star in a solid supernatural thriller.

4. Kevin Matchstick

The normal guy at the center of Jeff Wagner's 'Mage' discovers that he is imbued with the powers of Arthurian legend, with a baseball bat as his high-powered Excalibur. The story of mythological heroics in a modern context has bounced around as a movie property for at least a decade, with Zack Snyder interested in directing.  Odds are, Matchstick and his pal Merlin will eventually get a movie or three.

3. Mr. Terrific (Golden Age), aka Terry Sloane

Terry Sloane is a genius and outstanding physical specimen who graduated from college at thirteen and accomplished all his life's goals by his early twenties.  Unlike Batman, who has a serious psychological complex driving him, Mr. Terrific exists because Sloane is so great that he'd simply be too bored if he weren't kicking ass and saving lives.  With his general shallowness and Fair Play Club combating juvenile delinquency, Mr. Terrific could be the protagonist in an action-comedy as perfect as his mind and body.

2. Scud, the Disposable Assassin

As his name suggests, Scud isn't exactly a superhero.  He's weirder than that.  In Rob Schrab's outrageous comic series, the disposable assassin keeps his target on life support in order to keep himself from self destructing.  The lunatic robot's adventures, which include battling a werewolf in space and fighting mobsters in Power Rangers/Voltron-style giant robots, along with  Schrab's unhinged style, are perfectly suited for a bold alternative animated feature.

1. Congorilla, aka William Glenmorgan, aka Congo Bill

Former IRA member William Glenmorgan was given a magic ring by a witch doctor caricature, a ring that transfers his consciousness into the body of a legendary Golden Gorilla.  As Congorilla, Glenmorgan protects his adopted home on the African subcontinent from crime and exploitation.  When his human body eventually dies, Congo Bill lives out the rest of his days as Congorilla.  It's a white savior fantasy like Avatar, only with a gorilla instead of blue cat people.  That's a hit if I've ever heard one.

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