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5 DC characters who need to be in James Gunn’s DCU movies

It’s the end of an era. The DCEU as we know it is dead. Under the helm and watchful eye of James Gunn and Peter Safran, the DCU is born. A lot of questions still linger regarding which characters from the now-defunct label that is the DCEU will make their way into the new grand plans that Gunn and Safran are cooking up for DC’s biggest heroes on the silver screen. Still, there’s a wealth of DC heroes and villains who have had their shot at the limelight in the decade since the DCEU began.

We know that DC’s holy trinity of Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman will have their place in any major DC universe. But what other characters could possibly be introduced in live-action form that we haven’t seen yet in a theatrical setting? Or maybe, there are characters we have seen but still deserve a second shot at life in the DCU.


Lobo in DC Comics
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This interstellar hunter would give Boba Fett a run for his money. Largely known as a bounty hunter seeking the highest of rewards, Lobo is a burly alien biker with a wicked attitude. He gained popularity among comic fans shortly after his introduction and has since gone on to enjoy his own slice of the DC pie leading his own comic series. There has been chatter that Fast X‘s Jason Momoa would opt to shed his Aquaman mantle in favor of donning the leather duds and chains of Lobo’s grizzled exterior. But, of course, nothing is set in stone.

As a character, Lobo has tangled with the biggest and baddest DC has to offer including the Man of Steel himself, Superman. He often straddles the line between villain and anti-hero. There are storylines where he has aided the heroes. Though, he is ultimately driven by his own career as a bounty hunter first and foremost. While Lobo has had one live-action appearance in the TV series Krypton, he’s a character that is ripe for a big-screen debut in the new and improved DCU.


Darkseid stands over foe in Justice League.
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Let’s be honest, we truly only had one look at the DC baddie and it’s not even considered canon. Zack Snyder’s Justice League gave us a glimpse at what the DC world could be like on screen with Darkseid, ruler of Apokolips, vying to conquer the known universe. We witnessed a horrific post-apocalyptic nightmare where Batman saw no other choice but to take up firearms and partner with the Joker. Furthermore, Superman was afflicted by Darkseid’s brainwashing to the degree of becoming a murdering tyrant. It was pretty bleak stuff that we never got to see come to total fruition.

Truthfully, Darkseid has always posed that level of danger to the DC world in the pages of comic books. And while Zack Snyder’s Justice League teased us with the idea of a clash with the powerful villain, it’s obviously not going to happen, at least on Snyder’s terms. Darkseid deserves a real shot at the Justice League in the new DCU. He is, perhaps, the most formidable villain next to Brainiac that the Justice League has ever encountered. We need to see what he’s truly capable of.

Martian Manhunter

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Like Darkseid, Martian Manhunter made a brief appearance in the non-canonical Zack Snyder’s Justice League. He was revealed to be General Swanwick who has been a character in play since 2013’s Man of Steel. We just never knew he was J’onn J’onzz in disguise. Again, a future with the formidable Martian was a nice but fleeting tease that will never see the light of day.

In DC comics lore, Martian Manhunter rivals Superman in strength and power. He’s also a shapeshifter capable of the most adept level of infiltration when the situation calls for it. His only real weakness is fire — an element that is more readily available than Kryptonite. Martian Manhunter enjoyed a lengthy live-action tenure on the TV series Supergirl. But now it’s time for him to truly engage with the Justice League on an epic level. Let’s hope there’s room for J’onn J’onzz in the DCU’s future.

Etrigan the Demon/Jason Blood

Etrigan the Demon in DC Comics
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This one might be a little more obscure for those who aren’t avid DC comic book readers. Still, Jason Blood and Etrigan would make a spectacular addition to the crime-fighting antics unfolding in the new DCU. For starters, we’d be able to witness the origin of the anti-hero as the demon Etrigan becomes bonded with Jason Blood during the Dark Ages thanks to Merlin. Imagine a DC film set against the backdrop of King Arthur. Because Jason Blood becomes immortal from that point forward, he’ll eventually find a like-minded kinship with modern-day heroes, Batman in particular.

Batman and Jason Blood have partnered on many adventures and can again in The Brave and the Bold or a future sequel to that film. When the moment calls for it, Jason transforms into Etrigan, a demonic being who has typically aligned with heroic forces thanks to Jason Blood’s influence. Etrigan is a formidable combatant and would make an intriguing new ally to stand alongside DC heroes in the new film universe.


Batgirl smiling on the cover of the NEW 52 comics.
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Many DC fans are reeling over the loss of the Batgirl movie when the powers that be pulled the plug on the nearly-finished film. Truthfully, it was an injustice despite the decision having practical business reasons. Still, Barbara Gordon is a standout in the Bat-family because of her fortitude in overcoming even the most challenging adversities including her traumatic encounter with the Joker — one that left her paralyzed from the waist down. But she isn’t defined by that moment. Her real definition lies in the idea that she has harnessed her own pain and suffering, much like Batman, for good.

Furthermore, her familial connection to James Gordon as her father makes the commissioner’s fight against crime unknowingly more personal. Or, perhaps, he does know of Babs’ alter ego if that’s how the story needs to be told. Even still, Batgirl is a force to be reckoned with and is driven by sheer will. While Bruce has become something of a mentor to the entire Bat-family, Batgirl has always made her mark by marching to the beat of her own drum and listening to her own intuition. It’s time that she receives the spotlight she deserves on the big screen.

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Christopher Hinton
Chris is a passionate and creative writer whose abiding fondness for cinema, video games, television, novels, and comic books…
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