The DCEU has had setbacks, no one is denying that. However with films such as James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad, Patty Jenkin’s Wonder Woman ‘84, and Matt Reeves’ The Batman on the horizon their future is looking up. Still there is still something lacking from these live-action films. Representation. Only now are female superheroes coming into their own, and while Black Panther was a record-smashing hit, there is still a lack of black superheroes on the big screen. Take a look at this list of 10 black DC heroes deserving of their own live-action film.
John Stewart – Green Lantern
John Stewart is arguably the most popular Green Lantern and rightfully so. Ever since his first appearance in 1971, he has stood as a symbol of inclusion and progress. In fact, John Stewart was DC’s first African-American superhero. His power and charisma is truly electrifying. In recent years there have been countless rumors of his possible live-action debut. Yet somehow it still has not happened. Supposedly, a Green Lantern Corps was in the works at Warner Bros that will feature Hal Jordan and John Stewart as buddy cops. However, there has been little more discussed on this film and its current state is unknown. Whatever happens with this film, John Stewart deserves his time to shine, as it is long overdue.
This character is no stranger to television having appeared on Arrow, Legends of Tomorrow, as well as her own animated series on CW Seed. Vixen possesses a mystical artifact known as the “Tantu Totem.” This totem allows her to harness the power of any animal, alive or extinct. Consequently, she has access to the strength of a guerilla or the flight of an eagle. DC is missing an opportunity if they do not feature Vixen in a live-action film. She would be the first female African-American hero to receive her own film. This would be a monumental achievement for representation on film.
If you’re a fan of CW’s Arrowverse you are familiar with Curtis Holt, Mr. Terrific. This character, whose name is Michael Holt in the comics, has a genius-level intellect, only surpassed by Lex Luthor and Batman. First appearing in 1997, he is an expert fighter and has highly developed “T-Spheres.” These spheres serve multiple functions from tech support to attack maneuvers. Though rarely seen as an “A-List” character, he possesses the skills and abilities to carry a film of his own. A film could see him face villains such as Psycho-Pirate, Wizard, or any members of the Injustice Society. Mr. Terrific would be a great addition to DC’s cinematic universe, while serving as a back-door for the Injustice Society.
Rocket is a little known character initially appearing in 1993 as Icon’s partner and friend. Her powers are an extension of an inertia belt she wears around her waist. This belt was crafted from Icon’s alien spaceship. This belt allows her to fly, produce kinetic forcefields, trap villains in inertialess zones, and control objects in motion. She can throw rocks at the speed of bullets. Rocket is an exciting character, outspoken on her beliefs and unafraid to ruffle a few feathers.
Jefferson Pierce is a powerful character whose drive for a better world influences his every decision. His ability to control and manipulate the electrical currents that surround him make him a powerful ally. Most recently, Black Lightning has taken to the screen on the CW played by Cress Williams. This fantastic addition to the Arrowverse brought much needed diversity to the world of superheroes. Which was a win for the CW and their mission of inclusivity. As DC looks to revamp their extended universe, hopefully they will not pass on this exciting and powerful character.
Thunder and Lightning
This version of Thunder and Lightning are the daughters of Jefferson Pierce, Black Lightning. Annissa and Jennifer, respectively, are a powerful team. Annissa is able to increase her body’s density, rendering her bulletproof, and create powerful shockwaves when stomping on the ground. Her sister, Jennifer has powers more closely aligned to her father, allowing her to generate and manipulate electricity. These characters appear alongside Black Lightning on the CW show of the same name. If you are not familiar with these characters check out the show and you will agree they are deserving of their own film.
Static is an incredible character that has been around since the early ‘90s and grew to new levels of popularity with the hit animated series Static Shock. This series featured a young Virgil Hawkins coming into his own as a superhero while navigating his life as a normal teenager. Aside from being featured in his own comic titles and popping up in popular animated series such as Young Justice, he has not had the opportunity to shine on the big screen. Moreover, in terms of film franchises, Static could be DC’s answer to Spider-Man, as he is a young hero with a lot to learn and could be mentored by another big time hero, Black Lightning.
Depending on the continuity, Bumblebee is either a human who developed a tech based super-suit, much like Marvel’s Wasp, or is a metahuman possessing innate superpowers. Created in the ‘70s, Bumblebee became a member of the Teen Titans and possessed the abilities of flight, shrinking, sonic blasts, and electrical stings. This character appears in Teen Titans Go!, Young Justice, and has become a popular character on the DC web-series DC Super Hero Girls. Bumblebee is a fun and intelligent character who could be expanded on to support a feature film, as well as serving as a tie-in to a Teen Titans franchise.
If you’ve seen Legends of Tomorrow you most likely recognize Firestorm. On the CW, Firestorm was composed of Martin Stein and Jefferson Jackson. Though Jefferson Jackson does not exist in the comics, Jason Rusch does. Jason became Firestorm in 2011 after a run-in with Ronnie Raymond and a “God Particle.” Again this gives DC an opportunity to introduce another young hero that audiences could relate to as he figures out his place in a world of heroes. DC would be wise to include Firestorm in an upcoming franchise, as his powers host limitless possibilities.
This version of Gabrielle Dou or Violet Harper first appeared in season three of Young Justice as a Qurarci refugee whose DNA is altered by a Mother Box, similar to Cyborg’s symbiotic relationship to the Apokolips tech. Halo’s powers are based on the light spectrum, each color giving her a specific ability. These abilities include: regeneration/resurrection, force fields, flight, energy blasts, holograms, and access to Boom Tubes. This modern version of Halo is interesting and relevant to our modern political atmosphere and would give DC the opportunity to use its IP for good.
Think someone’s missing from this list? Let us know in the comments below who you would like to see get their shot on the big screen.