There's a reason why Marvel introduced Tom Holland as the new Spider-Man in Captain America: Civil War without showing us the radioactive spider bite, Uncle Ben's death and so on: we'd already seen it twice in a decade. Same goes for Batman in Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, whom we met as a veteran crimefighter, not as a rookie like in Batman Begins. There have been so many superhero origin stories filmed in recent years, and audiences started to sense a formula.
But there are still heroes and heroines whose life stories have yet to be tapped. Whether through a movie or a television series, some pasts deserve to be told. We may catch glimpses of these characters through their brief appearances on current and past television series or even movies, but the only way to fully immerse ourselves in their lives is to delve deep into their histories with more than just flashbacks.
As for DC's TV shows, through Smallville, we've seen Superman's story. Through Supergirl, we're seeing Kara's. The Flash has shown us Barry Allen's growth from average Joe to the fastest man on Earth, and Arrow has taken us back to a dark island that created the Green Arrow.
Still other movies are unveiling facts we've never learned, the latest being Suicide Squad. Recently, Moviepilot's Kit Simpson Browne wondered if DCEU would dispense with origin stories altogether after the megahit. With a field of superheroes to mine, though, it would be a shame to not delve deeper into the rich surplus of magic, mysticism and muscle of these characters in both the DCEU and DCTV universes.
We've seen him in Batman v. Superman, we'll see him in Justice League, and coming in 2018, we'll see Arthur Curry in his very own Aquaman movie. Though the film's director says that we should expect to see some of the elements of Aquaman's mythology implemented into the movie, it's hard to say exactly how much of it we'll see. It would be a missed opportunity to skip over Atlantis and the life he lived underwater before becoming the hero he is. Although James Wan, the director of Aquaman, says "Aquaman is somewhat the butt of the joke in the superhero world," I disagree and believe his history is too rich to not be explored in depth.
Take a deeper look at these heroes:
- 5 Unexpected Facts You Might Not Know About Aquaman
- The Underrated True Power Of The Martian Manhunter
- Why Hawkman Should Get A Movie
2. Martian Manhunter
Supergirl is just touching on the story of J'onn J'onzz, and as the series is focused mostly on Kara, it's doubtful we'll get more than glimpses of the Martian's historically rich past. He's been around since 1955 and, although we've been told a good portion of his backstory, we've only seen it in glimpses.
As there have been many incarnations of Martian Manhunter, telling J'onn's story would involve the choice of a past. Was he the Martian who lost his home planet and family? Or the one who was teleported to Earth and held captive before being sold to the Russian government? Whichever one is chosen, viewers could immerse themselves in a unique world unlike any on television or in the movies today.
3. Hawkman and Hawkgirl
To clarify when I mention Hawkman and Hawkgirl, I'm not referring to the characters from DC's Legends of Tomorrow. To me, Hawkman and Hawkgirl need to be stronger, both mentally and physically. Wisdom from their years of living should be evident in their eyes. Consider Carter Hall as played by Michael Shanks on Smallville. He appeared to be a much stronger embodiment of 4,000 years of history.
When we see Hawkman or Hawkgirl, we get mere flashbacks to a past that would be incredible on screen if told in full. Instead, we get glimpses of previous lives that only hint at the centuries these two have shared. Even focusing on one millennium of their lives, writers would have a wealth of material to draw from, and we could see tales that would leave us breathless.
Seeing the pasts of heroes helps us to appreciate their stories even more. Without knowing how they came to be, we miss out on the intricate details that have made them heroes and the reasons why they make the decisions and choices that they do.
Yes, we know they have magic, powers, skills and abilities, but we want to know what they were like before the powers or even as they were adjusting to what they were born with. Take us back to the time before they were heroes and show us how they've grown. Then, we will root for them even more.
Do you like origin stories? Which one would you like to see the most? Or should more films take the Spider-Man: Homecoming route and skip the origin?