With Wonder Woman making her way into cinemas and early reports declaring it an incredible movie, we can only hope that DC are smart enough to branch out and make movies with some of the other amazing female characters in their stories. With that in mind, we’ve chosen ten that we would like to see given the $200 million movie treatment.
Poison Ivy has, alas, been portrayed on screen before by Uma Thurman in 1997’s Batman and Robin. However, that performance failed to capture some of the nuance of Pamela Isley’s alter ego. In the modern world where we’re facing environmental catastrophe and not really doing anything about it, a story about Poison Ivy and her murderous form of conservationism might be something that we all need. Able to control plants and the minds of weak men, Poison Ivy has very cool powers that translate into interesting visuals and fun plots. Also, much like Catwoman, you can tweak Poison Ivy into an anti-hero role very easily, especially if you bring in her long-time partner in crime and sorta girlfriend, Harley Quinn, in a move that screams road trip movie.
Death, sister of Dream from Neil Gaiman’s Sandman series, is an iconic character even if you haven’t read her stories. The initial design by Mike Dringenberg is a perfect summation of cool Goth, and a look I’ve seen imitated quite a lot. A movie about Death is hard to pin down. There have been such movies before that usually focus on Death taking a holiday or falling in love. Death in Sandman isn’t really that kind of character. She’s all business but deals with her charges with a lot of love and understanding. She’s definitely a character I want to see on the big screen but in a story that gives her something new and interesting to do that’s also full of mad designs and wild, gothic imagery. The other thing is that a movie about Death could have a really killer soundtrack.
One of the better recent Marvel movies was Doctor Strange, mainly for the wild visuals working in the world of magic allowed them to employ. Zatanna is one of a few magic DC characters and the one who is probably the most down to Earth. She was also born magic as she’s the daughter of another magician, John Zatara, so an origin story would need to focus more on her learning to use the magic for heroism rather than long training sequences towards an inevitable conclusion. Her supporting characters are also some of the most interesting as she regularly has adventures with Swamp Thing, John Constantine, and Deadman, three characters who would act as interesting foils to our female lead.
DC doesn’t really have its own Guardians of the Galaxy-type team ready to have galaxy-spanning adventures full of weird aliens, space battles, and mad technology. It does have some cool alien characters though that, if used well, could provide those kind of intergalactic thrills. Starfire is an alien from the planet Tamaran who comes to Earth after escaping from her enslaved home planet. She eventually joins the Teen Titans and becomes a superhero. A movie about her having adventures in space would be great as Starfire is an incredibly interesting character with a very visual power set. My only hope is that whoever they put in charge of the movie isn’t a fan of the New-52’s portrayal of her, which was one of the more offensive character reboots during that period.
I have mentioned in these pages before that we need, more than any other character, a movie about Lois Lane. Right now we’ve got one of the best actresses in Hollywood playing Lois Lane (Amy Adams) and it would be a travesty to not give her a starring role in a standalone adventure. Lois’s investigative journalist character lends itself to a myriad of plots. Make it a gangster movie, make it a globe-trotting adventure, or have her get in too deep in some sort of metahuman crime drama. Lane is a character who has been on the cusp of the spotlight for decades but always ends up being overshadowed by her superpowered beau. Having her, a character with no powers except her wits, lead a movie in this superhero universe would be both amazing and a shot in the arm for the whole genre as it would hopefully lead to more stories from the people on the ground rather than more superpowered drama.
The weekly comic by Marguerite Bennet and a slew of various, awesome artists repositions the women of DC into the ’40s where they kick ass, take names, have excellently written same-sex relationships, and make everything that DC is releasing look old-fashioned and prudish. Part of the fun of these stories is that the art is incredible with each redesigned character looking instantly iconic from their first panel. Also, Bennet’s scripts are her usual blend of funny and mature, as always, she is blisteringly good at making her point without sugar coating anything or delivering it with the subtlety of an anvil. Bombshells is a wonderfully fun, socially conscious story that should be read by everyone and, if it becomes a movie, watched by everyone too.
The Question/Renee Montoya
Renee Montoya was already an awesome character before she put on the mask and became the Question. A GCPD cop, Montoya was the best part of the seminal Gotham Central series and the issue in which she was outed as gay by Two-Face is an incredibly effective piece of work. A movie could be about being a gay Latina working as a cop in one of the most dangerous cities in America or it could be about her becoming freak private detective superhero, the Question, or both. A lot of origin stories tend to be arrogant guy learns humility or normal guy learns to be extraordinary, so it would be a breath of fresh air to have a character with a lot going on to start with and then add in the metahuman stuff.
Catwoman is one of the few comic book characters who can play on both sides of the fence without having to be pinned down as a hero or a villain. She also plays in a genre that cinema-goers love: the heist movie. Depending on the filmmaker, you can make Catwoman an opportunist who wants to steal something shiny or you can have her working for gangsters who double-cross her forcing her to have to double cross her double-crossers, or any of those classic heist movie tropes. Her stories always have danger, fun, a little rooftop romance, and, because she doesn’t take herself so seriously, a lot more cool than Batman.
Maggie Sawyer, like Lois Lane, isn’t a metahuman. She is the captain of the GCPD. A movie about the rigors of running of a police department in a city that has Batman in it would be pretty amazing, especially if they dip into the previously mentioned Gotham Central. Also, a movie about being a woman in charge of a police station has a lot of legs, and a story about a lesbian being in charge of a police station has so many legs it’s a centipede. There’s a lot that a filmmaker can say in a movie like this and they can put it up there alongside an interesting story about a city full of villains and the people who try to keep the citizens safe without having the luxury of putting on Bat-themed armour and beating criminals to a pulp.
Featured Image: Darick Robertson (DC Comics)