Given Iron Man’s projected $175 000 000+ domestic two-week take, it’s safe to assume that the superhero genre is alive and well in Hollywood. In fact, just last week, Marvel announced a development slate that includes the following feature film projects: Ant-Man, Captain America, Thor, and The Avengers. Meanwhile, The Punisher and The Hulk are returning to the big screen (hopefully with a better effort than the first go-round), while Wolverine gets his very own solo adventure. On the DC Comics side, we can look forward to the upcoming Dark Knight while development continues on Shazam and The Justice League. And then there’s the hotly anticipated Watchmen, movie. Yep, life is good for superheroes (though much less so for anime heroes. Sorry, Speed Racer) and I couldn’t be happier. As someone who grew up reading comic books, it’s great to see the characters whose adventures I so enjoyed following those many years ago (approximately three if I’m doing the math right) finally come to life. Of course, for every Iron Man, Spiderman, and Batman Begins, there’s a Daredevil, Elektra, Ghost Rider, and Fantastic Four. You can’t expect them all to be winners (case in point: Batman, Batman Returns, Batman Forever, Batman and Robin, and – Lord have mercy on our souls! – Howard the Duck), but a fan can dream. And this particular fan looks forward to the day that some of his favorite comic book characters (perhaps lesser known but no less entertaining) get the big screen treatment as well.
Deathlock the Demolisher: Following an injury that nearly claims his life, Colonel Luthor Manning awakens to find himself wholly transformed. Now a cyborg living in a post-apocalyptic future, his every day is a fight for survival and a struggle to hold onto what tiny shred of humanity that still resides within him.
Dr. Midnite: After being blinded in an underworld attack, surgeon Charles McNider discovers he actually possesses the ability to see in perfect darkness. Armed with black-out bombs (designed to blind his opponents and give him the edge) and assisted by, appropriately enough, an owl, he fights crime as Dr. Midnite.
Green Lantern: When test pilot Hal Jordan investigates the wreckage of an alien spaceship, he comes across the craft’s injured pilot, Abin Sur. Mortally wounded, the dying alien gives Hal his power ring and battery, passing on the mantel of Green Lantern.
Hawkeye: Circus performer Clint Barton is a crack shot with a bow and arrow, but his unwitting association with some criminal elements puts him on the run. Alone with only his circus skills to rely on, Clint assumes the persona of the trick-shot shooting superhero Hawkeye in a desperate bid to clear his name.
Hourman: While experimenting as part of his research position at Bannermain Chemicals, scientist Rex Tyler discovers a “vitamin” that grants him superhuman abilities for a limited amount of time (approximately one hour). Dubbing his discovery “Miraclo”, Rex uses it to transform himself into a formidable crime fighter – and, in time, an addict to the very pill that grants him his powers.
The Vision: Created by the robot Ultron as a weapon against The Mighty Avengers, the synthezoid Vision boasts optic heat beams, flight, and the ability to control his density, capable of shifting his body from diamond hard to intangible with the merest thought. Possessed of the synthetic brain patterns of deceased former hero Simon Williams (aka Wonder Man), however, Vision turns against his creator. Ultimately, he must learn to adjust to his new life as a hero.
Those were some of my favorites. So what about yours? Who do you want to see get the big screen treatment? Brother Voodoo? Matter Eater Lad? Infectious Lass?