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Last month I wrote about five superheroes who should have gotten movies before Ant-Man, aka five superheroes who aren't Ant-Man. As you'd expect, there were some fantastic comments. Dozens of great comic book fans suggested other heroes who would also make excellent movies, because great fans understand that more people being involved in the thing you like means more fun for everyone.

Hanna-Barbera
With two lavender exceptions.

There were some interesting defenses of Ant-Man, which I answered on my site, and anyone with further superquestions can ask me on Twitter, because spending far too long thinking about superbattles is my actual job.


I would mock both for wearing underwear over their pants, but when working I'm not qualified in either.

In the meantime, nine more movie-perfect superheroes.

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Storm and Black Panther

The X-Men have hundreds of the most diversely powered superheroes in existence, but the only one to get his own movies is identical to every other action hero: unkillable tough guy. Wolverine's powers are wasted on cinema because John McClane could already power through more wounds than the Somme and looked far cooler doing it. The next one of the X-Men to get a movie should be Storm.

Marvel
The most terrifyingly named hero in existence.

Existing metahuman movies are fun but fail to conjure superpowers beyond "hit things REALLY hard." And in the ensemble X-movies, Storm just floated around with a free Taser. Storm should be IMAX incarnate. She's a disaster movie on the side of the angels and should be scarier than seeing both at the same time. Her abilities should make her a single-person superpower, and that's not as in "flying" -- that's as in "the U.S. and China send ambassadors to be nice to her." Forget smart bombs: She's a smart apocalypse that can seek and destroy enemies with the entire sky. She's nothing less than a mutant god. She should be reshaping the world, and we should be blown away by the effects.

Marvel
I would pay all the money to see this fight.

She's also one of the most storied characters in X-history, and the best arc for movies is when she was married to T'Challa, King of Wakanda, Black Panther. He has no overt superpowers. A mystical connection with a panther god gives him Olympic-level abilities, but that's still around human maximum, and kingship grants access to Wakanda's advanced armory. He's who Marvel calls when they want a mere mortal to take down a super. So he's Batman, except he lets everyone know who he is, takes public responsibility for his actions, guards an entire nation instead of a single city, and actively rules that nation instead of embezzling its profits while a board runs it for him. So he's Batman with bigger balls and a cooler animal.

Marvel
"I hold off global superpowers that are jealous of our priceless natural resources. But I'm sure clowns are really hard, too."

The Black Panther movie is definitely coming, but he's been bumped into the next decade by Dr. Strange, and by then we'll need a break from the endless origin stories of "Meet another new hero!" It'll be all kinds of awesome if Ororo can bring T'Challa along. Their asymmetric powers avoid overlap, and unlike other hero-meets-hero movies, you're not left wondering why Superman doesn't just win in one single second. In fact, their whole movie dynamic puts the Batman vs. Superman posturing to shame. It's a superheroic love story that's entirely damsel-free, a movie where romance can happen during the awesome scenes instead of interrupting them, and Hollywood will finally have one man who isn't terrified by the idea of a powerful superheroine headlining a movie.

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Luke Cage and Iron Fist

Are you ready for the most ass-kicking buddy comedy of all time?

Marvel
"From now on we say 'BEGINNING: A NEW ERA OF GREATNESS!' instead of 'Good morning.'"

Power Man and Iron Fist make Riggs and Murtaugh look like twin sedative addicts. Luke Cage doesn't need powers to win a fight, but skin stronger than steel is the only reason his foot hasn't eroded through sheer ass-kicking. His only curse words are "Sweet Christmas," because his actions speak louder than any words about how fucked you are, and because it's as good an estimate as any of when you'll wake up. He once single-handedly invaded Latveria to attack Doctor Doom over an unpaid invoice. He takes less shit than a drip-fed colonectomy patient. He's Marvel's best effort at creating an unpitiable human.

Marvel

Marvel
Spoiler: Doom totally pays up.

Danny Rand is Iron Fist. He's what happens when a billionaire learns so much kung fu that he doesn't need to bother mastering anything else. He gained powers by traveling to an interdimensional monastery town whose only industry, entertainment, and export was a martial arts tournament. His reward for winning was the chance to fight a secret kung fu dragon with his bare hands. When he won that too, he plunged those bare hands into the dragon's molten heart, making them like things of iron. You know what, Hollywood? If you must do another origin story, do that one! Why isn't that a movie? Why isn't that a video game? Why isn't that everything?

Marvel
When I wrestle the dragon, it's a euphemism.

Together they are Power Man and Iron Fist: powerful enough to be kickass, not powerful enough to leave you screaming "Just throw them into the sun/use your shoulder-mounted instant kill guns!" They're already scheduled for a Marvel miniseries in a Netflix deal, but I would have been more excited about that before Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. And Arrow. And Smallville. Honestly, I would never have been excited about that. Most superhero series are documentaries on why you need a bigger budget for superhero stories. But I'm prepared to be extremely wrong (just like I was about the new RoboCop), and here's hoping the series does well enough to get one.

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Booster Gold and Blue Beetle

Superheroes have gotten so gritty that even Superman is whinily killing people. In the comics, that's how you tell you're in an evil alternate universe where everything wonderful has turned to crap. Superman is meant to be about being so awesome that just seeing him makes you a better person. But we can bring back that bright and shiny spirit of adventure with Booster Gold and Blue Beetle.

DC
Also the spirit of "actual reaction to world-ending terror."

They're the superpower parody dream team. Booster Gold is a time-traveling conman cashing in on fame with futuristic gadgets who learns how to be a real hero. Ted Kord is billionaire owner and chief inventor of Kord Industries, a gadget-enabled genius inventor of nonlethal weapons. Together, they fight crime! They're supershiny superfriends, bullshitting and bickering while blasting bad guys into prison. And they're perfect for mocking the endless grit of Superman and Batman. Booster fills in as a flying fake Superman, something he's already done in the comics more than once, while Blue Beetle combines "being just the tiniest bit like Batman" with "being able to enjoy how awesome that is."

DC

This is usually where people object that some heroes aren't A-list enough to get movies. They say that in a world where Kevin Smith got $30 million to make Cop Out. There were no Cop Out comics. Cop Out does not have decades of history. Cop Out is how you beg for a cinematic intervention in projectable form. It had some big names in it, but so do all superhero movies. "Good guy versus bad guy" is made dozens of times every year. Having a history for the characters already written just saves money on screenwriting. There have been rumors of a Booster Gold movie and TV series, but superhero movie rumors are even less reliable than superhero deaths. All I know is that all the ultra-gritty movies urgently need dialysis, and I love Booster Gold.

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Static Shock

DC

Milestone Comics was an attempt to prove that eumelanin doesn't block every single cosmic ray and chemical in the DC universe, and Virgil Ovid Hawkins was their greatest hero. He gains the ability to control electricity and (unlike every other idiot with electrical powers) works out that this means he can control magnetism, too.

Marvel
This doofus could match Magneto if he ever opened a book.

He's an honor roll student, he's popular, he learns to understand his new powers, and he wisecracks as he takes down the superpowered criminals created by the same accident as him. And he already exists as an established trademark, which seems to be the sole requirement for being made as a movie these days.

DC
He's also part of the New 52, but that's much less exciting.

It was a popular cartoon starting in 2000 and has already been rerun multiple times, meaning many of the original fans are now old enough to go to the cinema and take their own kids, too. He's a distinct hero, but still an established wise-cracking superteenager with his own custom cast of villains. Hey, DC: see all those billions of dollars Spider-Man keeps earning? Would you like some?

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Multiple Marvels

Marvel's only job is choosing which hero will earn their next $100 million, so it's weird that they haven't chosen the most obvious ones: the Marvels themselves. They've had enough eponymously empowered heroes to field the world's first interesting baseball team, but they're still nowhere on the screen. Which is a shame, because the best two are in action right now.

Marvel
A combination of Rosie the Riveter and needing gloves for what she's going to do to you.

Carol Danvers was already a highly trained NASA spy (this is what happens when you're a USAF major and want an even higher-flying job) when an exploding alien psyche-magnetron gives her superpowers. She could already kick ass, but now, when enemy fighters shoot down her plane, she can leap out to beat them up personally. She's cinematically perfect: superstrength, fires energy blasts, just enough precognition to survive fights but not to avoid them. She's an established Avenger -- Ant-Man proves that that's enough to get a major motion picture without any decent powers -- and hand-to-hand espionage training means that even the "before" bit of her origin story will rock. And she's still just getting rumors that she maybe might get to join in the Avengers sequel.

She should have her own headline movie. This is a woman who forced Tony Stark and the Incredible Hulk to walk out of Avengers Tower naked. Not Banner -- Hulk. And they still didn't reveal as much as her old costume used to. She spent most of her career as Ms. Marvel before deciding "screw this" and taking a title that doesn't explicitly reveal her gender. And a new costume with the same function.

Marvel
"It turns out you can wear clothes on your legs!"

The name Ms. Marvel didn't stay out of action for long, because staying out of action is the exact opposite of superhero. And Kamala Khan is that rarest of superheroes: a new one. She was empowered by the recent "Inhumanity" comics event, where terrigen mist was released over the world to randomly redistribute superpowers among the human race. It was a bit of a problem in continuity, but is a fantastic idea for comics.

Marvel
If nothing else, it's nice to see at least one famous geek series with a new Khan who isn't white.

Kamala is the first female Muslim to headline a comic. By existing, she's already triumphed over hordes of idiotic racists. Even more importantly, her comic isn't about fighting hordes of idiotic racists. She faces problems you can't punch. Kapowing neo-Nazis is a cheap escape from racism in comic books, because biffing color-coded minions whose evil leader is already 68 years dead is easy mode for superheroes. Instead she struggles with teenage issues, conflicting cultures, and the thoughtless racism of a schizophrenic America that has decided it hates foreigners instead of being them.

Marvel
Not pictured: someone who'll put up with that.

It's a brand new comic and a brand new character, and she's already kicking ass. The first glimpse of her powers sold out Captain Marvel #17 in two days, while the first issue of her own comic was the best-selling Marvel digital comic of the week.

This is where idiots say that a brand new character can't have a movie because she doesn't have an established history. Because when have movies ever told a new story?


Luke has a website, tumbles, and replies to every single tweet.

Find more pure nerd indulgence as Luke explains Why Warhammer 40,000 Is the Most Metal Universe Ever and Why Cyclops Should Be the Best Boyfriend of All Time.

Read more Cracked superanalysis in 5 Superheroes Who Should Have Gotten Movies Before Ant-Man and 6 Realistic Changes That Would Improve Superhero Movies.

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