Co-written by RoAnna Sylver
Hello there, super fans! We know you love heroes, and lucky us, we’ve been getting a metric (crapton!) of super-films with DC and Marvel’s continuous release comic book films. We already know Batman and the Avengers are box-office gold! Wolverine will definitely be on the big screen whether you want him there or not. Hey, don’t you wish we could see some new (or familiar) faces who typically take a back seat or supporting role STAR in the next parade of blockbuster epics? Of course you do! We can recommend a bunch of characters who deserve a prominent presence for their stories to be told on the silver screen.
So here you go - Part 3 of the series dedicated to obscure awesomeness!
Starfire and Raven (Teen Titans)
First up, some ladies you might be familiar with on glossy comic pages. More likely, you learned about them as a kid while watching Teen Titans on Saturday mornings. A lot more teen-friendly than their book counterparts, the animated Raven and Starfire kicked a hell of a lot of bad-guy asses with the powers of darkness and starbolts, respectively. Plus, they did it with a ton of cooperative girl power and showcasing different kinds of strength, both of which rock! Being an outgoing, emotion-driven, fiery personality with the power of ultraviolet radiation and pure energy? Hell yes! Keeping your demons (literally) on a tight leash and embracing the darkness that permeates your very soul. Also - hell yes! We’re not sure which versions we want to see, comics or something more inspired by the animated show, but anything with these ladies is bound to be awesome.
XO-Manowar is so under-loved that this co-writer actually hadn’t heard of him! She had to take a walk to Wikipedia and some other terribly reputable comic information databases. To keep it short, she liked what she saw! He’s had his own books and one video game, but has never actually made it to the big screen or even TV. This is a shame, because he’s a really neat guy.
In a nutshell, his actual name is Aric of Dacia, a Visigoth - as in the guys you heard about in your high-school history class, who lived under oppressive Roman occupation. This would have been bad/exciting enough, but then some freaking aliens - yep, aliens - called the Vine decided to get involved - they abducted him and a bunch of his friends. Fortunately, Aric manages to get a hold of some badass alien technology in the form of a souped-up suit of armor, and becomes the heroic XO-Manowar. He hurries back to Earth to keep fighting the Vine (who have to be tougher than the Romans, let’s be real) and finds himself 1600 years in the future. Things have changed, A LOT... and we think watching him deal with all this craziness (no longer in his era, coupled with super powers...) sounds like a great movie. We’d totally watch that!
Tomar-Re (Green Lantern)
Here’s a guy who actually has been on the big screen relatively recently co-starring in the Green Lantern movie. He’s a Green Lantern, but not THE Green Lantern. Still, his stories are cool enough to get an animated movie or a Green Lantern Corps movie? What you might not know about this sort of bird, sort of fish, flying, alien - guy, is that he actually goes way back with none other than Superman! Remember Superman’s deal, what happened to planet Krypton? Yeah, you’d think somebody would notice that, right?
Well, they did and the Green Lanterns sent out one of their own to save Krypton. He didn’t quite make it there, because he ended up getting blinded in a freak accident involving a solar flare. Krypton went up in flames and we all know what happened after that. In a weird way, if Tomar-Re hadn’t been attacked and had been able to save Krypton like he meant to (he tried, he really did), we wouldn’t have Superman. If nothing else, having him in a scene with Clark and have them talk about this would be really interesting. This would give them both some closure and resolution. It might be nice to see some of his other adventures with the Green Lantern Corps aside from the one that ended up going straight to hell.
You probably remember this guy (or don’t, if you’re a young whippersnapper) as a funny talk-show host, interviewing cartoon characters in his 90’s TV show Space Ghost: Coast To Coast. If you’re even older than we are, you might actually remember him from his original show in the 1960’s, from Hanna-Barbera (the folks who did the Flintstones, Scooby Doo, and lots of other classic cartoons). Space Ghost, along with his teenage (and a semi-intelligent monkey) sidekicks, fought super villains in outer space. It could be pretty campy and unintentionally hilarious at times (especially when seen with modern eyes) - but his actual story told more in the comics than the show is pretty cool. His name is Thaddeus Bach and he’s a Peacekeeper, an organization of heroes who keep the peace.
He works his way up the ranks and is inducted into a super-elite group called the Wraith - which, as it sounds, is pretty scary and ruthless. Thaddeus has a problem with this and takes his pregnant wife, Eula to runaway. Which the Wraith is having none of! They kill his wife and unborn child, leaving him for dead on a “ghost” planet. An alien named Solomon saves his life, and eventually gives him the artifacts he needs (the golden power bands around his wrists) to become Space Ghost. He strikes back against the Wraith's, but soon gets caught up fighting the evil Zorak’s that plan on universe domination. Jan and Jace (the teenage sidekicks) are actually his adopted children. Together they’re trying to survive and strike blows against these two forces of evil!
Now, given the dark tone of his actual story, and the light, campy one of the TV show (both of them), a movie could really go either way. Sure, we’ve seen a lot of grim-dark movies (like a lot, A lot, A LOT!) - but this could actually be really well-done. Of course, it might also be fun to go whole-hog campy and breathe some fun into the increasingly dark-and-gritty superhero genre… or hell, a little of both. Either way, there’s some undercover badassery at work here!
The Scarlet Witch (X-Men)
Another lady we haven’t seen much of, despite her kickass powers and backstory. We saw Magneto’s son, Pietro Maximoff (or “Peter” in that version) on the big screen in the recent X-Men: Days of Future Past, but sadly, the movie never mentioned that he had a twin sister. Wanda, also known as the Scarlet Witch, is a mutant whose powers live up to her name. She can cast hexes, shoot bolts of sheer chaos magic, make things fly around the room, explode, and rewrite freaking reality. In “House of M” alone, she changes the fabric of the X-Mens’ universe - several times - coming to a head when she speaks three little words: “No More Mutants.”
The fallout from her re-weaving the threads of time was huge, and given that her father is none other than Magneto (with whom she has a… complicated relationship), it would be a relatively natural step for this lady to get a lot more attention than she has so far. Plus, did we mention she’s a freaking Avenger? That’s TWO movie franchises she could easily pop up in, or have her own stand-alone, and hasn’t yet. She’s been left out of the spotlight for long enough - like the rest of our Undercover Badasses, the Scarlet Witch deserves some time in the limelight.
That’s all for this time - Stay tuned for the next installment of Undercover Badasses part 4!
Cover art by Jerome-K-Moore