With the news coming last week that WB Montreal is making (at least) two video games based on DC Comics properties, I feel now is the perfect opportunity list the top five DC characters I believe deserve their own video game franchise. To make things easier, I am going to give a brief rundown of the origin of each character, just so everyone understands my reasoning for listing these specific
Origin: The Flying Grayson’s are apart of Haly’s Circus. The ringmaster was constantly harassed by a mobster named Tony Zucco. Who demanded the use of their truck to transport drugs. When the ringmaster refuses to give in to their threats, Zucco sabotaged the trapezes of the Circus’ most popular act, the Flying Grayson’s, This causes the death of John and Marry Grayson, and leaves their son Dick orphaned. Bruce Wayne just so happened to witness this first hand, as he was in the audience. This reminds him of the night he watched his own parents murder. Bruce takes the young boy in like his own son and gives him a choice, either use the Wayne fortune as he pleases, or fight for justice in honor of his parents. Dick decides to join Bruce in his fight against evil, and becomes Robin “The Boy Wonder“. After years of training and fighting crime as Robin. Dick grew tired of being in Batman’s shadow, so he decided to leave the Robin identity behind and become a new hero, named Nightwing. Using the skills he learned from his parents and from Batman, Dick not only went on to become Nightwing and protect Bludhaven and Gotham City. Dick created the Teen Titans, became Batman when Bruce went “missing” and eventually joined the Justice League.
Why Nightwing?: Nightwing is probably the most underused and underdeveloped character in the Batman Arkham series, he never said a single word in Arkham City and was stuck chasing Penguin in Arkham Knight – so what makes Nightwing the perfect character to have his own solo title? Well, he has one of the best backstories in all of comics. What makes Nightwing such a good character for a game is that he can carry a story on his own, or he can be tied to the Arkhamverse. With Batman “dying” in ‘Batman: Arkham Knight’ you can easily tell a story of Nightwing (and the Bat-Family) dealing with Batman’s death, and him having to take on the mantle of Batman. He can also have a solo adventure in the city of Bludhaven. Nightwing also has the potential to be a prequel story, telling a coming of age story with his transition from Boy Wonder to Justice Leaguer.
Origin: Tom Curry (a lighthouse keeper) was at sea when a raging storm came and left him for dead until an Atlantean princess named Atlanna came to his rescue. The two fell in love and had a son named Arthur Curry. When Atlanna had to go back to Atlantis to fulfill her duties as Queen – she was forced to marry a suitor for her (The captain of the Atlantean guard) and she had another son named Orm. To make a long story short, Arthur’s mother was killed and Arthur (eventually) has to take his rightful place as king of Atlantis. While also becoming a founding member of the Justice League.
Why Aquaman?: Imagine a game that is open world set in Atlantis and having to fight villains like Black Manta, The Trench etc. Using Aquaman’s trident, strength, and ability to communicate with underwater life gives players something completely different from what we have ever seen before. Aquaman is an amazing character that just needs a chance to show the world how awesome he really is. This is definitely the most challenging character on the list to create a game for, but if done right it can be amazing. With side character’s like Mera, Aqualad, Aquagirl and more – Aquaman has all the tools needed to fill Batman’s shoes as the main superhero video game franchise.
Origin: Terry McGinnis is a teenage troublemaker who comes from a divorced family, staying with his father and visiting his mother. One day Terry saves a passage on a rail from being attacked by one of the Jokerz (a gang that pays homage to the Joker.), and later Terry single-handedly took on an entire gang of them to defend his girlfriend (Dana Tan), ultimately resulting in a high-speed motorcycle chase through Neo-Gotham, the chase ended with Terry cornered at Wayne Manor nowhere to run, until an elderly Bruce Wayne comes and aids Terry in his fight against the Jokerz. After the fight, Bruce aggravates a heart condition and needs Terry to Take him inside. While in Wayne Manor Terry finds his way into the Batcave and discovers Bruce’s secrets, only to be chased out by an angered Bruce Wayne. Terry returns home to discover his father has been killed by the Jokerz. Later on, Terry discovers that his father had stumbled onto information about the production of illegal chemical weapons by Derek Powers. Terry goes to Bruce for help but he refuses, leading to Terry stealing the Batsuit. Bruce initially opposes all of Terry’s efforts and demands he returns the Batsuit right away. Terry eventually convinces Bruce to let him take on the Batman mantle. After stopping Powers, Bruce offers Terry the chance to assume the role of Batman. Bruce mentors Terry and guides him to become the hero Gotham deserves.
Why Batman Beyond?: Batman Beyond is the logical next step for WB Montreal after Batman: Arkham Knight. If they want to continue telling stories set in the Batman Arkham universe, this is how you do it! The futuristic style of Gotham City and the new abilities the batman beyond suit gives you will make the gameplay feel fresh and new while still keeping the core elements of the Arkham series. Bringing Kevin Conroy back to play an older Bruce Wayne and Will Friedle as Terry McGinnis would also be perfect. They can adapt a story like ‘The Return of The Joker’ making callbacks to Arkham Asylum, Arkham City, and Arkham Origins. Creating a franchise that stands on its own while still being an ‘Arkham’ game.
Origin: Oliver Queen was a cocky billionaire playboy who only thought about himself. Until one day Oliver (accidently?) fell off his cruise ship. After drifting onto a desert island (Starfish Island) Oliver learned to survive by any means necessary. Created a make-shift bow and arrows, Oliver developed primitive trick arrows as advanced methods of hunting for food. He also created a green suit for camouflage. Eventually, a commercial freighter stopped by the island and Ollie swam out to sea thinking they might rescue him. Little did he know that they were in a mutiny and had to liberate the crew from pirates. Making a small mask to hide his face, Oliver took the pirates down using the skills he developed on the island. Now going by the name Green Arrow, Oliver now realizes that he could use his abilities to serve society for the greater good.
Why Green Arrow?: Green Arrow is an easy choice to bring to gamers. He can have a game that takes place on the island like an Uncharted or Tomb Raider game, or you can have it set in present day with him fighting villains like Merlyn, Count Vertigo, and Deathstroke. I personally believe you can mix both, telling the story thru time jumps as the player progresses through the main campaign. You can also have a ton of different “trick arrows” just like Batman’s gadgets. Mixing the gameplay mechanics of Batman and Tomb Raider would be the perfect Green Arrow game. Add characters like Black Canary and Speedy and you can have amazing Dual-Play opportunities. Green Arrow definitely has the most potential out of all the characters on this list.
Origin: Diana Prince was a warrior Amazonian princess from a paradise island named Themyscira. The Amazon’s parted from Greece because of “the evilness of man”. Guided by the goddess Aphrodite, the Amazon’s sailed to their island of peace and protection. Once at the island they built a city that no man can enter. unlike the other Amazonians Diana was not born, she was formed out of clay by her mother Hippolyta and brought to life by the Olympian gods, making her stronger and faster than any other Amazonian. One day an American Intelligence Officer named Steve Trevor crashed landed on Themyscira – Diana discovered this and nursed him back to health, and after spending time with Steve, Diana fell in love with him. Soon after Diana learned of World War II – she informed Aphrodite who then declared that an Amazonian warrior would be chosen to travel to Man’s World and defeat the Nazis and other forces of evil. To determine who would complete this daring task, a tournament was held. (of course, Diana won) After winning the tournament Diana was given news powers and was also given a new identity, Wonder Woman. Now as Wonder Woman, Diana was able to draw upon the blessings of the gods giving her even more strength, immunity, and speed. Once Wonder Woman returned Steve Trevor to the United States, she began working as a spy gaining information for the U.S. and helping end WWII.
Why Wonder Woman?: Wonder Woman is one of the most well-known comic book characters of all-time. She is a founding member of the Justice League and the first female superhero. She is also one of the few heroes that can go toe-to-toe with Superman. What makes Wonder Woman special is that she can be set in the 1940s or present day. With powers like, super strength and increased speed Wonder Woman has the powers that can translate pretty well to a video game. With weapons like a magic sword, shield, bracelets of victory and the lasso of truth – Diana has just as many tools in her arsenal just like Green Arrow and Batman. She also has villains with the power to make things challenging, villains like Cheetah and Ares. I personally would love a story where Wonder Woman and the Amazon’s have to go to battle against Ares The Greek god of War. Think ‘God of War’ mixed with ‘Batman: Arkham Knight’ when trying to imagine (my version of) a Wonder Woman game.
Who would you like to see have their own video game series? We’d love to hear your thoughts at @WachtowerBabel on Twitter. I personally think The Flash, Superman and Green Lantern would also make great games, but maybe we’ll save that for another article. For more news and editorials on all things, DC Comics keep coming back to Watchtower of Babel.