A solo Joker movie still sounds strange to me — and I'm not alone. When news broke that Batman's greatest enemy was getting an origin story, fans and critics alike had some concerns. One concern that really stuck out was how an origin undermines the essence of Joker's character ─ a character who relies heavily on his convoluted, mysterious past. While the movie has a chance to be a hit, it still doesn't take away from the preconceived notion that he just doesn't need one.
The idea behind creating an origin story for a villain isn't a bad one; in fact, The Dark Knight Trilogy did so very successfully, though it was done within the confines of a Batman movie. #Joker isn't the first #DC villain to have a green light for an origin, he's just not the most ideal.
A while back, Dwayne Johnson dropped a hot take announcing that he would produce a Black Adam origin story, and fans were delighted. The reason was simple: Black Adam has a story worth telling that doesn't take away from who he is. Like Black Adam, there are a number of other DC villains who should have their origin stories told instead of Joker
1. Lobo: The Intergalactic Muscle For Hire
There were some early talks that WB was going to give fans a Lobo movie, allegedly tapping Jason Fuchs to write the script. Even Jason Momoa thought he was going to play the bike-riding bounty hunter, but that was in June 2016. Since then there haven't been any new updates on the supposed #Lobo movie ─ all hope is lost. While the Joker is being featured in three WB/DC projects (one his very own movie), the intergalactic murdering machine hasn't even gotten his one.
Lobo would give DC another excuse to explore the universe and give the studio a character that's equally as foul-mouthed and murderous as Fox's Deadpool. Lobo is the lone survivor of the Velorpian race. His story is one of a killing machine for hire who ends up helping those he once tormented.
2. Deathstroke: Fall Of A Soldier, Rise Of A Mercenary
This has been said more than once, and I'll say it again: Slade Wilson needs his own movie. Thanks to Arrow and the excellent portrayal by Manu Bennett, fans got to see some sort of origin story for one of DC's greatest and most underrated characters. Wilson's tactics have landed him hot water, thus making him a notorious DC villain, most notably of the Teen Titans. However, what makes Slade so compelling (besides his obvious bad assery) is his story. Wilson's story takes place during a time of war; we see him become a war hero and family man until he's broken and reborn as a metahuman.
After running away to join the army at 16, Slade Wilson quickly ascended up the ranks in the US army. When a traumatic experience shakes him up, he's recruited to participate in an experiment that transformed him into a super human. Unwilling to adhere to the rules of the army, he becomes a mercenary. His work comes back to haunt him and a tragic event tears his family apart, ultimately leading to him become the one-eyed bad ass we know today.
3. Ra's Al Ghul: The Murder Of His Wife Births The Demon's Head
There have been a couple of depictions of Ra's al Ghul ─The Dark Knight, Arrow, and, my personal favorite, in Gotham. The Demon's Head is unlike any other Batman villain; not only does he know Batman's true identity, but he wants Bruce Wayne as his successor. Ra's plays a significant role in Batman's life — he raised his former sidekick from the dead and even helped raise Bruce's son (Damian). What's even more interesting about the other immortal bad guy is his origin. His story is one of man seeking revenge for his wife's murder, which lead to his wrongful imprisonment.
Before he became one of DC's most notorious immortals, Ra's was a humbled scientist 600 years before he first appeared in a Batman comic (1971) ─ at least according to 1992's Batman: Birth of a Demon. Ra's was a happily married physician during the nomadic period in Arabia, he left his tribe in order to achieve scientific greatness. Discovering the Lazarus Pit allowed him to rescue a prince who would go on to murder Ra's wife, but it would be Ra's who would be blamed for the murder. In act of vengeance after escaping from prison, Ra's would murder both the prince and the king. With the help of his tribe, they kill everyone in the city and Ra's declares himself the Demon's Head.
4. Amanda Waller: Driven To Justice By The Death Of Her Family
Imagine Annalise Keating (How to Get Away With Murder) fused with Olivia Pope (Scandal) with the Punisher's tragic backstory and you've got Amanda Waller. DC knows what it has in Waller, which is why she's been depicted in a number of DC features. She was played by Pam Grier in Smallville, Cynthia Addai-Robinson on Arrow, and brilliantly by Viola Davis in Suicide Squad. Waller's story is sad, very real for so many of us who grew up in poverty, and even somewhat of an inspiration.
What many people don't know is that Waller was born Amanda Blake from a crime-infested neighborhood in Chicago. She's a widow, whose son and husband were killed by the same man that raped and murdered her daughter. Motivated by the failures of the injustice system, Waller put her two surviving children through college along with herself before quickly rising up the political ranks. Waller would use her power to be the founder of two of DC's most notorious agencies — Checkmate and Task Force X (Suicide Squad) — in her efforts to rid the world of scum.
5. Poison Ivy: A Tortured Victim Of A Lover's Betrayal
Formerly known as Pamela Isley, this Batman rogue is one of the most popular female villains in all of DC. In fact, not only can you find her on Fox's Gotham, but she's set to star in Gotham City Sirens. It took a while, but Poison Ivy even got a solo run in 2016 thanks to Amy Chu and Clay Mann. In her solo comic, Circle of Life and Death, Ivy searches for the person responsible for killing her colleague.
Unlike The Joker, knowing Ivy's story is essential to her character. With Ivy you have a number of elements that work well — her Silver Age story makes for one hell of a revenge movie. Additionally, her tragic story after "Crisis on Infinite Earths" makes for a great horror psychological thriller that follows a tortured victim struggling with her abilities and fighting the darkness inside.
In DC's Silver Age, Ivy's original story saw her as successful botanist who fell in love with a criminal named Marc LeGrande. LeGrande would use her to help him steal an ancient herb from an Egyptian artifact. After their success, LeGrande thought it'd be best if he got rid of Isley, so he poisoned her.
Conversely, "Crisis on Infinite Earths" sees Isley as a young woman born into a wealthy family. While attending college, she would be seduced and used as an experiment by her professor. The effects of the poison caused her to become infertile and mentally unstable. Though she tried to have a normal life that included a boyfriend and returning to college, her mutilation was devastating, both physically and psychologically. Sadly, she would infect her new boyfriend, resulting in his death, and eventually succumb to the mental defects that made her Poison Ivy.
Who did we miss? Are there any other villains you'd like to see get a solo movie instead of Joker? Leave a comment below.