The past few weeks have seen a shrinking presence for DC Comics in the live-action television world. "Smallville" concluded its 10-year run with a two-hour series finale on The CW, Fox canceled "Human Target," and NBC passed on the "Wonder Woman" series.
However, comics seem more popular than ever on the big screen, with DC’s "Green Lantern" hitting theaters next month, and the next installment of Christopher Nolan's live-action Batman films, "The Dark Knight Rises," beginning production last week.
With all of that in mind, we decided to take a look at some of the DC properties that might make for good live-action television down the road — and hopefully good ratings, too!
Booster Gold comes to us from the future with no purpose more noble than garnering fame and fortune. But in his most recent comic book series, he assumed the mantle of chronological repairman, journeying to key moments in time to “fix” things that have gone wrong. This could make for compelling episodic television, as each week Booster would have a new motivation and new setting to contend with. Think "Quantum Leap," but with superheroes.
Could Hourman be the “24” of superheroes? Rex Tyler is one of the rare superheroes who finds himself dependent on the use of a drug for his powers. His pills grant him superhuman strength and speed for 60 minutes only, and the level of tension and suspense this creates could translate well to series television, with the hero having to complete the mission before time — and his powers — run out. Possible issues of drug dependency would also provide some real human drama.
Usually we hold our breath and hope the hero makes it out of an episode alive… but it’s too late for Deadman. The most unique thing about this deceased do-gooder is his ability to “possess” the body of whomever he chooses. Spiritual possession isn’t usually a good thing, but Deadman is able to make heroic use of it in the comics, and just think of the opportunities it would create for guest stars!
THE MARTIAN MANHUNTER
We’ve seen one strange visitor from another planet on television, but Superman is ultimately one of us. So what about a visitor from a truly alien culture who tries to use his powers to fit in? Enter J’onn J’onnz, the Martian Manhunter. This could be a great fish-out-of-water series, and his shape-shifting powers would allow clever writers to throw us some real twists.
HAWK & DOVE
In this politically super-charged era, what could be more relevant than a pair of crime-fighting siblings who are diametrically opposed on just about every major issue of the day? One’s a flag-waving arch-conservative, the other a bleeding-heart who constantly questions whether the ends justify the means. They can’t agree on anything, yet are held together by the bonds of blood, a situation many families can identify with. This would be a great vehicle both for action and exploring the controversial issues of our day.
There aren’t too many live-action adventure shows aimed at kids these days, but Billy Batson, a.k.a. Captain Marvel, would fit the bill perfectly. As the ultimate wish-fulfillment, a kid who transforms into an adult superhero, Captain Marvel would be sure to appeal to the younger set. Furthermore, the supporting characters from his comics that seem out of place to older comics readers (including talking tigers and evil genius worms), would be right at home in a kids’ show.
Which DC properties do you think would make for good live-action television? Let us know what you think in the comment section or on Twitter!