FEATURE: Ten Characters Who Should Have A Larger Presence In DC’s Animated Movies

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Since 2007, DC has adapted many of its characters and storylines into full length animated features. Most of these films are headlined by Batman, Superman and the Justice League, while Wonder Woman and Green Lantern have gotten movies of their own. However, there’s no doubt that some characters have featured more prominently than others. Fans asking for a Flash movie or another Wonder Woman are often let down by the inclusion of yet another Batman or Superman title. Below, I’ve compiled a list of characters who could star in their own animated DC movie, as well as a handful of villains who should feature in more installments.

The Flash
Despite being one of DC’s most popular characters, the closest Flash has ever come to having his own movie is being the protagonist of last year’s Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox. The Scarlet Speedster has plenty of potential for a solo feature, no doubt. Plus, the character is about to be an even more familiar face in the media. In addition to a new Flash live action series premiering this fall, he is expected to appear in Warner Bros.’ Justice League movie and/or Superman vs. Batman. So, putting out an animated Flash movie within the near future would be a solid marketing strategy. (And WB has done this before, as animated Green Lantern and Superman films released around the same time as Green Lantern and Man of Steel, respectively.) And after his introduction in Justice League: War, a spin-off expanding that Barry Allen’s world is a wise decision.

Aquaman
Despite being noticeably absent from Justice League: War, Aquaman will reportedly be the focus of its sequel. However, a standalone film starring the King of Atlantis could make for an engrossing feature. Like The Flash, Aquaman is expected to make his big screen debut soon, so a tie-in animated movie of sorts isn’t a terrible idea. Perhaps an adaptation of Arthur Curry’s origin is the ideal storyline for this movie. Additionally, Aquaman is said to be a priority character at DC Entertainment, so it’d make sense for that to show in future animated projects.

Green Arrow
Oliver Queen is at the height of his popularity right now, with the success of The CW’s Arrow. Despite this, there appears to be no plans to bring Green Arrow to the big screen. In the meantime, an animated feature film would be ideal. Arrow already starred in an animated short a few years ago, showing how exciting a full length movie would be. This would be a great way to cash in on Arrow‘s success, and incorporating Oliver Queen into the Justice League: War universe would make it even more interesting.
Nightwing
Nightwing recently appeared in Son of Batman. The character was definitely a highlight in the Grant Morrison adaptation, so seeing him in his own spin-off movie would be awesome. While many fans complain about the abundance of Batman in DC’s animated features, it would be interesting to see the world of Gotham expanded beyond the Caped Crusader himself. Nightwing is the most obvious selection for this criteria, as a solo feature could delve into Dick Grayson’s origin as well as why he decided to move on from the Robin mantle. 

Shazam
Shazam was recently featured in Justice League: War, replacing Aquaman in the original JLA lineup. Despite this, the character was a lot of fun to see in action. So, a solo film starring the former Captain Marvel could be an exciting addition to this new animated universe. A spin-off could focus on the hows and whys of Billy Batson becoming Shazam, and the obvious villain would be Black Adam. Considering the amount of potential showcased, a Shazam movie would bring the character out from the shadow of the Justice League and into his own. Also, a live action film starring Shazam is apparently back on the cards at Warner Bros., so again, an animated tie-in movie is an ideal marketing ploy.

Darkseid
Now, onto the villains half of this list. Darkseid was most recently featured as the villain in Justice League: War, bringing the heroes together in an effort to save the planet. However, as he lost both eyes by the end of the movie, it would be a bit complicated to bring him back for any follow-ups. However, since DC is also doing a standalone movie each year separate from the War universe, perhaps Darkseid can be the antagonist in one of these.

Gorilla Grodd
Grodd has been very absent from DC’s animated features, only having a brief cameo in Superman/Batman: Public Enemies. He would be a unique villain in a future title, as telepathic apes are likely to stand out. Perhaps he could be the main villain of a Flash movie, or even pitting the Justice League against his Secret Society/Injustice League (similar to Justice League Unlimited). Grodd is an extremely intelligent villain who can serve as a mental and physical challenge for a superhero.
Bane
Bane is without a doubt one of Batman’s most formidable foes, going as far as breaking his back. Despite this, he has only appeared in a couple of DC’s animated films. He would be an obvious choice to combat the Dark Knight in a future solo feature, and seeing Jason O’Mara’s Batman facing off against this antagonist would be particularly exciting. Also, as he has appeared in every Arkham video game so far, perhaps he could feature in the Assault on Arkham movie? And of course, let’s not forget his surge in popularity following Tom Hardy’s incredible portrayal of Bane in The Dark Knight Rises.

Brainiac
One of Superman’s most well-known villains, it’s rather surprising that Brainiac has had only one major appearance in one of DC’s original animated movies. He was extremely memorable in Superman Unbound, leaving me wanting to see more of the character in future installments. In addition to Lex Luthor, Brainiac would be a clear choice to fight the Man of Steel in a Justice League: War spin-off. He is another physically challenging foe who is also mentally formidable, making him one of Superman’s greatest enemies.

Deathstroke
And finally, we come to Slade Wilson himself. Deathstroke is the main antagonist of the recently released Son of Batman. However, it would be a shame to not see more of the character in future films. While he apparently died in Son of Batman, Deathstroke would be great to see in one of DC’s standalone films. In fact, even though he can easily fight Batman or Green Arrow in one of their movies, Slade can easily headline his own title. Heck, why not have a Deathstroke movie focus on him joining the Suicide Squad? That would be a treat, especially with the Squad being introduced in Batman: Assault on Arkham.
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Which DC character do you wish to see have a bigger presence in future animated movies?
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Founder and Editor-in-Chief of WOBAM! Entertainment.