The past decade has been pretty good to movie-loving comic book nerds. Superman and Batman movies have been around for decades, but now Spider-Man, Iron Man, Hellboy, the X-men, the Hulk, Captain America, and even Green Lantern and Thor have made their way to the big screen. Hell, there’s a Watchmen movie, and nobody even thought that would be filmable!
The thing is, Hollywood is running out of cool comic book heroes to put on the silver screen. Recently, we learned that a long-rumored Ant-Man movie may actually happen – Ant-Man! Seriously! Once the Avengers and the final Dark Knight films premiere, what superheroes are going to be left? Here are a few that we can’t see carrying a franchise, no matter how hard to studio execs try to make it work.
For the uninitiated, the original Ant-Man was a scientist named Hank Pym who discovered a chemical substance that could alter a person’s size, and used to fight crime and solve mysteries by shrinking himself down. He also had a helmet that could control ants and often rode them around. And he’s a member of the Avengers in the comic books.
So how weird would a movie version of this guy be? Pretty weird, we’re betting — like Honey, I Shrunk the Kids but with spandex. Still, Edgar Wright is the director attached to the project, so it might not be all bad. He won’t be as cool as Iron Man, but if anyone could pull it off, it’s the guy who directed Shaun of the Dead, right?
Matter-Eater Lad (DC)
Tenzil Kem is an alien from the planet Bismoll who can eat anything. Anything. Steel, granite, whatever you can think of, he’s eaten it. That’s his power. It even got him into the Legion of Superheroes. We’re guessing a movie where the hero does nothing but eat inedible things probably wouldn’t be that interesting. Then again, people did go to see Super Size Me…
Phone Ranger (Marvel)
Originally meant to be a joke character, Phone Ranger is a totally normal guy who found some alien technology that allows him to connect to any telecommunications system, and make it into a costume – namely this costume above, which looks like a giant phone. Call us crazy, but we’re not so sure this hero would excite a modern audience. Do kids even know that this is what phones used to look like before Apple got a hold of them?
Booster Gold (DC)
Friend to Superman and member of the Justice League, Booster Gold is a quarterback from the future who speaks Esperanto as a first language and stole a bunch of superhero gadgets from a museum so he could travel back in time and be famous. He’s only interested in becoming a celebrity, and at first all the other heroes are annoyed with him. Hollywood has Tony Stark for that, so why does it need ol’ Booster? And how would his origin story possibly work on the big screen? They couldn’t even get Thor’s weird reincarnation/alter ego thing right and decided to make him an alien instead, so a kid from the future who speaks Esperanto is just not going to fly.
Mr. Immortal (Marvel)
Mr. Immortal’s power is that he comes back to life after he dies. We guess that’s cool, but if we wanted to see a dude try to off himself a bunch of times, we could just watch Groundhog’s Day again. Plus, his superhero team, the Great Lakes Avenger, is definitely not as cool as the real Avengers: it consists of an alien pterodactyl lady, a guy called “Doorman,” a woman with the power to make herself fatter, and a dude who’s essentially Flat Stanley. No wonder the Starks sued them in the comic book universe for using the Avenger name. We wouldn’t want to be associated with them, either.
Madam Fatal (DC)
Have you ever seen that Monty Python sketch in which roving gangs of old ladies take over a town? Madam Fatal is sort of like that – he (yes, he) is a former actor who dresses up like somebody’s grandma to fight for justice after his family is attacked by criminals. We’ll pass on the full-length version of that superhero Tootsie story, thanks.
Wonder Twins (DC)
Zan and Jayna are aliens from the planet Exxor (apparently in the DC universe, all the superhero jobs are outsourced to non-human life forms) who can turn into different things when they activate their twin powers. Jayna can turn into any animal ever imagined, and Zan can turn into… water. How do you make that interesting? He can only slip under door cracks and hide in glasses so many times before it gets stale.
The Falcon was Marvel’s second-ever black superhero, the first being this badass dude from a fictitious African nation who will probably also never get his own movie made because he’s called the Black Panther.
Though Snap Wilson is the first black hero not to have the word “black” in his title, he’s also one of the lamest superheroes to date, because his powers essentially consist of flying and hanging out with birds. Pretty boring, if you ask us.
Speaking of boring guys with weird bird-flying powers, Hawkman is a thing. So is Hawkgirl. They’re either reincarnations of an Ancient Egyptian prince and princess, or they’re refugees from the planet Tharangar, depending on which canon you consult. They can also fly and have super healing and super strength, just like literally every other superhero. If people couldn’t get on board for Green Lantern, they’re never going to be happy with Hawks, especially if they can’t even keep their origin story straight.
You know who people definitely aren’t going to get on board with? Aquaman. Really, though, we know he’s the butt of literally every joke made about superheroes, but it’s for good reason — his power is talking to fish. No one will watch two hours of that, not even if they do it exactly the way Entourage did and get James Cameron, Adrien Grenier, and Mandy Moore. It will not break any actual box office records, period. Make another Batman instead.