The bombastic feature films offered up by the DCEU have generated mixed results both critically and fiscally. Recently, films based on the comic book giant’s properties haven’t fared so well. Black Adam, Shazam! Fury of the Gods, and The Flash, which even had the added draw of Michael Keaton returning to the bat cowl, have all failed to reel in the masses and live up to the studio’s expectations. As such, the trend doesn’t bode well for young Jaime Reyes portrayed by Xolo Maridueña (Cobra Kai) as he dons the alien-originated Blue Beetle suit to save the day.
In the pages of DC’s colorful comics, Blue Beetle has an incredibly vast history. While he isn’t exactly a mainstream hero yet, at least not one that can stand against the likes of Wonder Woman, Superman, or Batman, that doesn’t mean he along with other more obscure DC characters can’t have some time in the spotlight. So, that begs the question: what other heroes on Blue Beetle’s level deserve a cinematic adventure of their own?
Given the relationship he has with Blue Beetle, Booster Gold is an obvious choice. This seemingly cookie-cutter hero is actually anything but. Booster Gold hails from the distant future. In the early days of his career, he was nothing more than an attention-seeking show-off. He utilized time-travel technology to insert himself into history’s most perilous moments in an effort to create a legacy for himself. He is a DC hero with a penchant for comic relief considering he does have a big heart underneath his superficial exterior. Booster Gold eventually finds his true heroic calling as a member of the Justice League.
When it comes to Blue Beetle, Booster is heavily tied to Jaime Reyes’ origins as a superhero – at least in the comics. However, the movie is already opting for a somewhat different origin story given that Jaime is tasked with being a courier for the mystery alien item whereas his comic counterpart is depicted finding the Scarab in the streets of El Paso. Booster Gold later finds Jaime and, having a knowledge of the future explains his abilities to him while informing Batman that Jaime has the ability to locate a nefarious AI known as Brother Eye. While the film version of the universe will operate differently, having Booster Gold and his time-traveling, comical ways join the DCU would be a welcome addition to the cinematic pantheon.
The Scarab of Blue Beetle fame is a weaponized artifact from an alien civilization. In keeping with the extra-terrestrial motif, Green Lantern is a hero who joins forces with an interstellar police force known as the Green Lantern Corps. While there are plenty of alien Green Lanterns from different worlds, humans like Guy Gardener, Hal Jordan, and John Stewart are the first among our kind to join the alien collective. Outfitted with a ring of alien origins and a power battery to charge it with, Green Lanterns harness the energy of “willpower” to form weaponized constructs to combat their foes.
Of course, Green Lantern once had his moment on the silver screen. Ryan Reynolds famously portrayed the hero in DC’s biggest dud of a film. Green Lantern has been the subject of countless jokes in the superhero fan community including Ryan Reynolds himself. In his two Deadpool movies, Reynolds has poked fun at his failed attempt as the Green Lantern mercilessly. So, now it’s time to see Green Lantern receive a bit of cinematic justice. Whether it’s Hal Jordan or any one of the other notable Lanterns in the Corps, we desperately need a live-action epic centered around this space-faring alien force.
Nothing screams power like the wrath of a Tamaranean. This race of orange-colored beings were ultimately slaughtered and oppressed on their war-ravaged homeworld despite their desires for peace. Like all Tamaraneans, Starfire is deeply in touch with her emotions and they ultimately fuel her power. After escaping enslavement and finding her way to Earth, she became an essential member of the Teen Titans — a club that has included the likes of Robin, Cyborg, Blue Beetle, and many other heroes in the past.
Her real name is Koriand’r and she is technically royalty on her homeworld. As a hero, she is capable of holding and wielding stored energy. This enables her to fly and cast damaging or lethal blasts at her enemies. While Starfire is most popular for her contribution to the Teen Titans, giving this more obscure alien princess a special solo cinematic adventure may be the fresh superhero take DC needs to interest moviegoers.
This superhero might look like a single person, but Firestorm is actually made up of two individuals. Over the years, there have been several different combinations. But the most famous incarnation is that of young Ronnie Raymond and the aged physicist, Dr. Martin Stein. After suffering the effects of a radioactive accident, the two have the power to fuse together as one being known as Firestorm. Firestorm has appeared in the Arrowverse’s Legends of Tomorrow series as well as the fighting video game Injustice 2.
The hero’s visual appearance takes on Ronnie’s traits and is physically controlled by Ronnie. Martin is merely a voice in Ronnie’s head. However, he’s clearly the brains of this partnership offering Ronnie the best course of action in all situations. The super-powered being harnesses nuclear energy and is able to attack with said power. Firestorm can fly at supersonic speeds and are even capable of rearranging the molecular structures of physical objects. As a being, Firestorm is a force to be reckoned with. The partnership between a young man and an elderly physicist equally give off Marty and Doc Brown vibes. There would be plenty of buddy cop banter in a film centered around this hero and could offer something different to the superhero genre.
The former Robin is now best known as Nightwing in modern comics lore. Dick Grayson hasn’t donned the Robin costume for decades. He’s long been a protector of the fictional DC town of Blüdhaven using a pair of eskrima sticks to overpower dangerous criminals. Nightwing might be a fan favorite simply for his Batman connection; however, the hero truly has created a name for himself in the pages of comic books. He’s had a longstanding rivalry with the DC villain, Deathstroke. We were once teased with the idea of seeing the famous Terminator come to life in Zack Snyder’s version of the DCEU with Joe Manganiello portraying the role in a Justice League post-credits scene and in an apocalyptic future scene in Zack Snyder’s Justice League.
Having Nightwing and Deathstroke’s feud brought to life in the newly-branded DCU would be a killer way to reintroduce the villain to live-action and bring Nightwing to the big screen. Nightwing also has plenty of associations across the DC Universe aside from the Teen Titans or the Bat family. So, there’s always plenty of opportunities for heroic collaborations in a Nightwing film.
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