If I asked you to name a half-dozen Marvel characters besides Spider-Man, Wolverine, and The Hulk, you'd probably have no problem. But if I asked you to rattle off six DC Comics superheroes besides Superman and Batman, your response might sound a little like this: "Well, The Flash, of course. And Wonder Woman. Oh, Aquaman! Um ... Green Arrow and Green Lantern, I suppose..." and then I'd rudely interrupt you with mentions of Hawkman and Martian Manhunter before you started shaking your head in either confusion or disbelief in my nerdiness. (I can never tell which is which.)
I know all about the Justice League movie problems and the inability to get Wonder Woman flying, but really: After seeing how well-received Iron Man was -- and after hearing about Marvel's plans regarding The Incredible Hulk, Thor, Captain America, and The Avengers -- I'm starting to feel a little bad for DC Comics' movie division. But here's the thing: As a character of popular culture, Iron Man (born 1963) is not exactly a Spider-Man or even close to a Superman -- and still Marvel and Paramount were able to bang a really excellent blockbuster out of the guy. (And let's not forget that a relatively obscure Marvel character called Blade pretty much kick-started this comic-flick renaissance.) Does anyone doubt that a character like The Flash could have similar results? Given the right cast and crew, I'm thinking The Flash could be one hell of a fun flick. So let's get moving already!
It would take a crack team of very clever screenwriters to turn Aquaman into a successful film. (You'd pretty much have to go for a slightly comedic approach, wouldn't you?) I'm not sure why Wonder Woman is proving so difficult -- especially when you consider that the character once inspired a 58-episode TV series -- but there's another potential smash right there: Boys like action and pretty ladies, while girls like action and the idea of (wow!) a female superhero. C'mon people, get the movie made already. And while I don't remember all that much about the characters, don't Green Arrow and Green Lantern seem like they'd be perfect as cinema's first Gay Superduo? (Neither character is gay in the comic books, but that's what we have screenwriters for! It could be an artsy action drama called The Lantern and the Arrow.) Hell, we could give Dick Grayson his own movie and call it Boy Wonder: How Robin Got His Groove Back. And to whatever invisible force is out there keeping Plastic Man from becoming a movie, all I can say is "Thank You."
Beyond these guys, I just don't see DC Comics being able to keep up with Marvel. Hearty praise is due to the DC moviemakers for taking such good care of Batman and Superman (well, most of the time, anyway, but the stink of Superman 4 and Batman & Robin still lingers inside my nostrils), but they simply don't have that "second tier" hero list that Marvel does. Skeptics should feel free to rent Steel, Supergirl, and Swamp Thing and then get back to me. Then again ... Hawkman Meets The Martian Manhunter could be pretty awesome. And a Catwoman flick would certainly be fantastic. (Oh, wait....)