One year ago, DC Studios co-head James Gunn announced an ambitious slate of movies and series. Since then, we’ve learned of many more characters joining the new DCU, like Metamorpho, Mister Terrific, Hawkgirl, and Guy Gardner. But there are a few DC Comics heroes we’re still hoping to see announced for Chapter 1 of Gunn’s DCU, called “Gods and Monsters.” We didn’t include Wonder Woman and Aquaman on our list, as they are almost certain to show up eventually. And we didn’t mention members of the Bat-Family like Nightwing, because it’s implied we’ll meet them in Brave and the Bold. Here are the DC Comics heroes we hope to see in Chapter 1 of the DCU.
Green Arrow (Oliver Queen)
Billionaire Oliver Queen, a.k.a. the vigilante called Green Arrow, became a mainstream hero after starring in the series Arrow for eight seasons. The Emerald Archer of Star City was so popular that he started his own branch of the DC Universe, the “Arrowverse.” But because he was in his own separate corner of live-action DC, we never got to see him suit up on the big screen with the likes of Batman or Green Lantern, his best bud in the comics. Hopefully, James Gunn will remedy that situation in his DCU, and add him in somewhere in Chapter 1. Maybe first as civilian Oliver Queen in the announced Green Lantern streaming series?
The Flash (Wally West)
After nine successful CW seasons and one underperforming solo movie, we think it’s time to put a moratorium on Barry Allen’s version of the Flash. Even if he is arguably the most famous of the Scarlet Speedsters. Gunn’s DCU does need a Flash, though. The character is way too important to leave on the side of the road. So we suggest Barry’s nephew and successor, Wally West, the former Kid Flash, as the DCU’s main Flash. Wally was the sole Flash for over 20 years in the comics, and is the current star of DC Comics’ Flash book. Also, the idea of a former kid sidekick who must inherit a heroic legacy is great source material for a series or movie—one that has yet to be realized in live-action.
Marvel Studios has made a superstar out of the Avengers’ resident sorceress, the Scarlet Witch. But the Justice League’s most famous resident spell caster, Zatanna the Magician, has not appeared in live-action since Smallville. Hopefully, James Gunn corrects this oversight. Before the old DCEU died, a Zatanna project was announced, written by none other than Saltburn writer/director Emerald Fennell. However, it was canceled before production began. The DCU needs its backward-talking mistress of magic, and we hope she shows up somewhere in “Gods and Monsters.” Perhaps in the supernatural-tinged Swamp Thing?
Vixen (Mari McCabe)
The mid-80s Justice League Detroit era was not particularly well-loved. In fact, fans hated it so much, DC killed off several prominent members introduced in that run. However, JL Detroit member Vixen survived and thrived, rejoining the League on several rosters. Supermodel Mari McCabe could summon animal powers via her African Tantu Totem, passed down from her ancestors. It allowed her to channel the speed of a cheetah, or the strength of a rhino, and more. The CW Arrowverse had two versions of Vixen. One in the present, and one as her WWII-era grandmother on Legends of Tomorrow. But hopefully Gunn and co. introduce Mari to the DCU soon. Maybe even played by Zoe Saldana, his old Guardians of the Galaxy pal? We think she’d kill it.
Martian Manhunter (J’onn J’onzz)
One of the founding members of the Justice League of America, the DCEU never really included J’onn J’onzz, the Manhunter from Mars—not until a cameo appearance in Zack Snyder’s Justice League, retconning Man of Steel actor Harry Lennix into the role. The character was a mainstay on the CW Supergirl series, played by David Harewood. For years, J’onn has been called the heart and soul of the Justice League, and the new DCU needs him as an anchor. We’ve been waiting years to see a live-action J’onn fight alongside Superman and Batman. We hope he appears, and a perfect place for him to pop up is in the Green Lantern streaming series.
The Question (Victor Sage/Renee Montoya)
Like Blue Beetle, the mysterious faceless detective the Question originated at publisher Charlton Comics, before transferring to DC in the Crisis on Infinite Earths. Victor Sage was a reporter who took on the faceless identity of the Question, to fight crime and look for the answers to the questions he posed as a journalist. A beloved version of this Question appeared in the Justice League Unlimited cartoon as a conspiracy theorist superhero. In the comics, Vic died of lung cancer, and passed on his superhero mantle to Gotham City detective Renee Montoya. Either version (or both) would make for great additions to the DCU. Maybe first in Peacemaker season two? After all, Peacemaker also started out as a Charlton hero.
Mister Miracle (Scott Free) and Big Barda
Jack Kirby’s New Gods characters almost had a movie of their own, before Warner Bros. pulled the plug on Ava DuVernay’s film. But Kirby’s Fourth World mythology is too rich to not appear in Gunn’s plans for his DCU. We think the best entry point for this mythology is a more Earthbound one—escape artist supreme Mr. Miracle, and his wife, the strong woman Big Barda. Both characters are from Darkseid’s planet of Apokolips; they escaped to Earth seeking refuge. The DCU might downplay those aspects of the characters in favor of a husband and wife team of circus performers and part-time superheroes. We’re not sure where they’d appear in Chapter 1, but both characters are friends and teammates of Booster Gold, who has a series coming.
Static (Virgil Hawkins)
The Milestone Comics heroes need to be introduced into live-action. Before the DC shakeup, there were preliminary plans for the electrically powered teen hero Static to show up. First appearing in 1993, young Virgil Hawkins gained amazing electricity powers after an accident exposed him to radioactive “Quantum Juice.” A comic book geek in real life, Virgil became a hero just like the ones he read about, or saw in video games. Of all the Milestone Comics heroes, Static has the most popularity, thanks to his animated series Static Shock. We’re not sure where he fits into Chapter 1, but we feel he should appear somewhere.
Deathstroke (Slade Wilson)
The superpowered mercenary Deathstroke is one of DC’s most popular antiheroes, and has made live-action appearances in both the Arrowverse, as well as the Titans streaming series. But although DC teased Deathstroke for the DCEU in the theatrical cut of Justice League, with actor Joe Manganiello, we never saw him face DC’s biggest heroes. So, he should appear somewhere in Chapter 1 of James Gunn’s plans. Certainly, The Brave and the Bold makes the most sense, if only because we’d see him take on the Bat-Family, particularly Nightwing. We know Gunn doesn’t want to carry over many former DCEU actors. However, Joe Manganiello only appeared for a few seconds. That shouldn’t count. Let him play Deathstroke for real in the DCU.
Fire and Ice (Beatriz Da Costa and Tora Olafsdotter)
These powerful ladies started from humble beginnings in the pages of DC Comics, in the non-continuity Super Friends series. Back then, they were known as the fire-projecting “Green Flame” and the polar-powered “Icemaiden.” But in the ‘80s, DC reinvented the duo as Fire and Ice, members of the Justice League International. The Brazilian Fire (Beatriz Da Costa) was the hot-tempered firecracker of the team (naturally), while her best friend Tora Olafsdotter was the shy and even-tempered Ice. The two were the perfect counterparts to JLI’s Booster Gold and Blue Beetle. They currently star in their own DC Comics series, and we hope they pop up in the Booster Gold Max series too.