With interest in comic book movies, from those who read comics and those who don’t, seemingly higher than ever, Marvel and DC have been rushing to green light projects at a breakneck pace.
Other comic book publishers have emerged on the silver screen as well, with Spawn from Image Comics and Hellboy from Dark Horse being some of the notable additions to the Marvel/DC conglomerate over the past few years.
The more iconic and recognizable characters such as Superman, Batman and Spider-Man established a formidable baseline for future films, but the success of Iron Man, not one of Marvel’s more universal characters, proves that success for lesser-regarded heroes, to the general public at least, is possible.
However, there is caution here! How far should the comic book universes be explored at the local multiplex? If the recent (mostly) failure of Watchmen has taught us anything, it’s that not every character can or should make it to the big screen.
That being said, here are five characters, series, or storylines that should never find themselves asking for admission.
1. Ambush Bug
The DC character was intentionally ridiculous in creation, but any comic potential in a film based around this hero would be quickly squashed. With a bizarre origin story, even by comic book standards, and highly annoying hyper-activity, Ambush Bug would find his welcome quickly worn out. Another strike against his movie persona is the fact that he tends to work best opposite bigger name heroes, and honestly, would DC really want to put him beside Green Lantern in major film?
2. The New Mutants
Nostalgia can be a wonderful thing, but in the case of Marvel’s “future X-Men” the New Mutants, the past should stay the past. While not inherently impossible to film, this group of mid-80’s teens sports some pretty uninteresting powers, for an action franchise; remember Cypher? Throw in a large number of other characters who are mostly absent from the modern X-Men universe and you have a small portion of possible audience members.
3. Booster Gold
While this egotist is a generally quirky character, the “spoiled rich boy becomes a hero” bar has been set pretty high with Iron Man, one strike against DC’s pretty boy from the future. Factor in also Booster’s uncertain position in the DC universe and his perpetual second-string status, film adaptation doesn’t seem likely. He wouldn’t even work in an ensemble movie – his appearance, in comics certainly, a general distraction. Perhaps a buddy movie with Blue Beetle? Hmmm…nah.
4. The Inhumans
Marvel’s first family on the moon certainly has its idiosyncrasies. The super power potential for the movies is there in spades; Medusa with her strong, manipulating hair, Black Bolt has the power to shatter and destroy with his voice, and Crystal who has the power to control the elements. Their adventures could be intriguing to watch, but so much of their staying power has come in relation to other Marvel heroes, namely the Fantastic Four. It’s doubtful that they would have the power to carry a film on their own.
5. Y: The Last Man
This fascinating series from Vertigo is supposedly already in the works to become a film, but at what cost? With an expansive storyline and characters, the tale of Earth’s last male and his monkey may be too much to take on, even over the course of more than one film. Another strike against this intelligent book is the fact that it’s not necessarily action-driven, as most comic book movies are. The questions and mystery of the series are best left to the trade paperbacks it left behind, not the screen.
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