TOP 5 DC CHARACTERS FOR NETFLIX
Originally I had Deadman as my opening choice. I still think he would be a great choice for a Netflix series or as an addition to the Arrowverse. But I just think the episodic nature of Boston Brand inhabiting a different body each episode would wear thin after a while, even if done well. Now I have to admit I don’t no a great deal about Adam Strange I just love his costume particularly when rendered by Darwyn Cooke. With Star Wars back in the big time and with Marvel having major success with Guardians of The Galaxy DC can beat them both to the jump and get a space series on Netflix. People continue to be fascinated by space adventures. Like when I chose Fantastic Four for my Marvel picks this series will need a big budget. There is no reason to hold back on this as a spectacle. Forget basing it in reality have fun with sci-fi. Make all the tech and science totally off the hook. A jet pack and helmet that allows for space travel, ray guns and zeta beams, go big! In short the story of Adam Strange is that of an archaeologist transported to the planet Rann via a zeta beam accidentally by Sardath a scientist. Here he discovers a suit he uses to be a hero back on Earth. Now they could play with this idea that the suit makes him a hero on Earth but on Rann he’s just another space man. A dual life of differing excitement and adventure. I previously mentioned Darwyn Cooke. In his seminal New Frontier he has Adam Strange in Arkham Asylum. People think he is insane for claiming to have travelled to Rann. In reality the government are keeping a close eye on him by having him locked up and eventually release him to be a hero. This too would make for an excellent story arc. I have no qualms with him being in and out of an insane asylum every episode. At first the viewer would believe the space travel to be nothing more than dreams until all the pieces came together and Adam Strange straps on his jet pack on Earth to save the day.
Now don’t get me wrong I love Legends of Tomorrow. But if there season 2 finale is heading towards a Kamandi appearance I don’t feel they will give the character full justice. Like Adam Strange this will probably need a big budget. It could be effects heavy for the purposes of creating Kamandi’s world and the exotic and deadly animals that inhabit it. For characters like Dr Canus who would be appearing my regularly high end prosthetics will do the job and play homage to Planet of The Apes which was a big influence on this Jack Kirby creation. If they use prosthetics it would allow the budget to go on landscapes and when hordes of animals go to into battle. If they really wanted to blow the budget they could have one person playing Kamandi so he ages in real time. Basically the first season would take five years to make! There are lots of ways to attack the narrative of this series. Maybe you could start with an aged Kamandi telling his story, or have the narration by Dr. Canus about Kamandi’s arrival and subsequent adventures. I think it will be key to hold back for as long as possible on revealing details of ‘The Great Disaster’. Make the focus the action happening now, exploring the world as it is to Kamandi and all the animals he encounters. We don’t need the whys and hows of the past just have fun. The focus of the story is Kamandi The Last Boy on Earth becoming a man on his own. There won’t be another show like this on Netflix or anywhere. There is a comic currently running called Kamandi Challenge. Each issue is by a different creative team so it is a action packed way of exploring this world. The Netflix series would do well to borrow from this. If each episode was a done in one with Kamandi meeting different species each episode. First he meets canines like Dr. Canus, then tigers Great Caesar and his son Tuftan, then mutants, then aliens. It would be part comic book show, part nature documentary of sorts! My understanding is Jack Kirby never finished his tale but there is still plenty of source material to take from. What better reason is there to make this than it comes with Jack Kirbys name on it!
This makes sense, perfect sense. I was reading an article the other day that said DC’s recent animated output wasn’t giving its female characters the respect they deserve. At times merely being portrayed as objects of sexual desire. Zatanna has been around a lot longer than I realised so there is plenty of stories to pull from. I think its fair to say she is a character with a huge cult following without ever breaking main stream. To give Zatanna full respect I would advise steering away from an flashbacks involving her father John Zatara. This will help keep Zatanna strongly front and centre. Why stop with a strong female lead? This is DC’s chance to match Marvels output with Jessica Jones by having an all round strong female cast. Make the main antagonist for the first season Allura. Yes to date she only has eight comic appearances to her name, but DC need to start bringing fresh blood to the table. The first season would be the classic good versus evil. Then add into the mix Misty Kilgore. A younger character with magic powers who would have to choose between siding with Zatanna or Allura. Also to break up the use of magic powers it would in my opinion a good move to throw Lady Shiva into the mix. She is DC’s premier female assassin and adding her to the mystical element would make for a good blend. Zatanna is a character who in her time has firmly established herself in the DC universe as well as crossing over into the Vertigo lines. I think a big part of the fondness for her stems from her solitary appearance in Batman The Animated Series. As Batman seems to be off limits for TV we can only dream of a live action version of this story arc. Instead I suggest a smart move that would make people very happy. Bring back Matt Ryan as John Constantine as a love interest further down the line Together then in a second season they could face of against Etrigan The Demon.
I wanted a team series and it would have been way to easy to pick Teen Titans. There is a lot of elements they are tied up else where for Titans to work. Deathstroke is potentially tied up in a Batman movie, Cyborg is part of the DCEU’s JLA and soon Nightwing will be flying solo. Now you might say you can’t have The Outsiders without Batman but why not? Admittedly it would cool to see how far they can push the enigmatic character who assembled the team without ushering his name. There has been a big enough roster of Outsiders over the years to tell stories without the Dark Knight in tow. If they really wanted to tie it to Batmans world without using the man himself, how about Batwoman or Red Hood? So who would make the roster? Katana is definitely in after the short hand she was dealt in Suicide Squad. I would potentially place her as leader too. It would be safe to go with the other founding members Metamorpho, Halo, Black Lightning and Geo-Force. Black Lightning is currently already in development so he is probably off the table. Without him and Batman the team is female heavy which isn’t bad but would lack team dynamics. Later members of The Outsiders who could replace him include Technocrat or Eradicator. Looker the female vampire is another potential character to add to the cast. As for villains well The Outsiders formed in the fictitious country of Markovia which comes complete with its own Baron in the shape of Baron Bedlam! He comes complete with his own team of villainy The Masters of Disaster! Okay this might sound cheesy so some name tweaking wouldn’t be out of the question but they are all elements of success. Think of it as being like a live action version of X-Men The Animated Series. Remember how the opening credits had the two teams charging towards each other, The Outsiders on Netflix would be like that every week but with a better budget. I admit it is brave to pick this over Teen Titans which is a huge fan favourite. But there is potential for good stories in The Outsiders. Maybe it would be beneficial to the series if the team wasn’t already together. It could be a slow build, perhaps with each member having a whole episode dedicated to their origin before the team. I’d certainly like to see more of Katana using Soultaker and the tragic beginnings of Metamorpho.
Gotham Central/ The Question
I’m going all out with my number one choice. Two (three) shows in one series. I’ll explain as I go along. At first it might not seem like a great selection with the existence of Gotham. When Gotham was first announced we thought we were getting Gotham Central. Sadly as we all know we didn’t. Netflix provides the perfect platform to finally give fans what they want. This also goes hand in hand with my previous complaint that when cops are in Batman films they are never ones we know. They can right all the wrongs with by adapting Gotham Central. Give us Renee Montoya, Crispus Allen, Marcus Driver, Jim Corrigan, Maggie Sawyer and the rest. Can you make this without Jim Gordon? I reckon so. For the majority of Gotham Central the Commissioner was Michael Akins. If you add old time Detective Comics character Jason Bard they would act as your Gordon/Bullock equivalents. There are plenty of Batman villains more grounded in reality that could be utilized for this series. Start by giving Rupert Thorne his live action debut as the head honcho in Gothams underworld. Then there is Calender Man, Victor Zsasz, Dollmaker, Professor Pyg? All valid choices. The main villain of the piece in an on going story arc would be Jim Corrigan the corrupt cop. Now here is the fun part. With Renee Montoya in the cast you could quite easily introduce her as The Question and she would fill the role of Batman who obviously wouldn’t appear. She would be under the tutelage of OG Question Vic Sage. They could play with flashbacks of him back in his prime and to tie it all together his world would be populated by older Gotham Cop characters like Sarah Essen, Stan Merkel and Clancy O’Hara bringing ever thing full circle. Equally excited would be to introduce Kate Kane as Maggie Sawyers lover and eventually have her become Batwoman! Which ever route they choose to go again it gives them a strong female character. Once either or both masked heroes are introduced this series would play out like a cross between The Wire and Arrow. As a police procedural with a difference there are plenty of stories to tell but most important is the characterization of the Officers in their working environment and the dark humour of the work place.
About Ian Wells
Ian currently runs the THEBLOGOFCOMICSHOTTOPICS blog. Check him out on Twitter @IanWells87.
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Together Richard and Shawn formed the podcast The Language of Bromance and from there it has been nothing but fun. The duo laugh about things they go through, stories in the news and even getting serious discussing net neutrality along with other issues. Every so often their friendship turns to a bitter rivalry with their nerdiest creation the draft episodes. An original take on a best of or a top 10 list. The draft episodes are done like an NFL Draft 7 rounds where Richard and Shawn flip-flop picks on various topics.
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