You might think that at some point we're going to run out of comic book superheroes. Fortunately, you would be super wrong, because there's a hell of a lot more in the world of comics than the Avengers and Justice League. And just in the last couple of weeks projects based on Rob Leifeld's "Prophet" and Scott Lodbell's "Ball and Chain" were announced. So here are 13 heroes we think are long overdue for the live action film treatment, from fan favorites to cult classics. Hollywood, use your COVID-19 free time and get on this now.
1. Richard Rider (Nova)
Rider is the most famous member of Nova Corps, the intergalactic cops seen in 2014's "Guardians of the Galaxy" -- think of them as Marvel's version of the Green Lanterns. In comics he's crossed paths with the Guardians, Captain Marvel and Thor over the years -- in other words he'd be a perfect fit for the increasingly space-focused Marvel Cinematic Universe.
2. Deathstroke Deathstroke/Slade Wilson -- originally known as Deathstroke the Terminator -- is normally one of DC Comics' baddest bad guys, a mercenary and assassin who serves as Dick Grayson's (Nightwing) arch enemy. But he finally got to do the hero thing in the new series "DCeased: Unkillables," in which DC villains lead the fight against a worldwide zombie apocalypse. Plus, there's already a great actor for the part: Joe Manganiello, who briefly played him in the post-credit scene of "Justice League." Yeah, we know the deal for a standalone movie fell apart after that movie's tepid reception but people have overcome worse obstacles before -- just ask Ryan Reynolds and "Deadpool."
3. Ninjak Coming from the same Valiant universe which recently gave us Bloodshot starring Vin Diesel. Ninjak centers on a Ninja spy for MI6 whose alter ego is British aristocrat Colin King. Paging Henry Golding.
4. Squirrel Girl (Doreen Allene Green)
That's Unbeatable Squirrel Girl to you, one of greatest obscure characters in the Marvel universe who, by the way, was co-created by the legendary Steve Ditko.. As a ten year old, Doreen Green discovered that she can communicate with squirrels. She eventually developed other powers which include a lot of optimism and a little invincibility (plus the ability to command an army of, well, you can read). All you need to know is that she once kicked the s--- out of Thanos without breaking a sweat. Hurry up with this one, Marvel.
5. Magog From Kingdom Come In the 4-issue miniseries by Mark Waid and Alex Ross, Magog (named after one of the marauding nations who serve Satan in the Book of Revelation) is the world's premiere hero after Superman and his generation age out of the job. Alas, Supes, Wonder Woman and the rest are called back into action when Magog's lack of restraint has cataclysmic consequences. Anyway, read "Kingdom Come," it's good. Also, DC, hurry up and do this movie.
6. Static Created by Dwayne McDuffie, Denys Cowan, Michael Davis and Derek T. Dingle, African-American teenager Virgil Ovid Hawkins becomes a new kind of hero after exposure to a radioactive chemical renders him capable of electromagnetic control and generation.
7. Dreadstar From "Thanos" creator Jim Starlin for Marvel's short-lived Epic imprint, Dreadstar is the comos-spanning tale of Vanth Dreadstar, a powerful warrior and the lone survivor of the Milky Way Galaxy. Joined by his crewmates Oedi, Syzygy Darklock, Willow, and Skeevo, the team finds themselves in the middle of an ancient stalemate war between two forces of evil: The Church of Instrumentality, led by the all-powerful and misguided Lord Papal, and The Monarchy.
8. Nemesis Mark Millar's excellent limited series which asked "What if Batman became the Joker," almost became a movie with Tony Scott and then Matthew Vaughn being attached to direct. The project still holds up and is currently set up at Warner Bros.
Created by Jim Lee with writer Brandon Choi during the early 90's comic book boom, Wildcats centered around the centuries-long war between aliens called Kherubim and Daemonites. Kherubims, a nearly immortal, human-looking alien race with exceptional powers and skills, traveled to Earth and, by breeding with humans, populated the planet with "Half-Breeds". Daemonites, besides having a fearsome appearance, also possessed various superhuman abilities, including body possession and mental control over human beings.
10. Martian Manhunter
Currently a fan favorite on The CW's "Supergirl," J'onn J'onzz is a former Martian cop stranded on Earth -- and in some stories, the only surviving member of his race. Created by Joseph Samachson and Joe Certa, he's founding member of the Justice League, and one of the most powerful characters in the DC Universe, thanks in part to his ability to shape-shift. He's also one of the nicest DC heroes of all time; just don't get between him and his "Choco" cookies.
11. (Pick Any Character From) "Astro City"
Another one that's really more of a whole bag of heroes, Kurt Busiek's decades-spanning epic focuses on the personal and professional lives of the people who live in a city known for having the world's biggest concentration of superpowered people. Acclaimed for rich characters and for sometimes touching, sometimes hilarious, sometimes thrilling homages to everything from Golden age comics, pulp sci-fi and even "Gi-Joe," Astro City features a wealth of incredible characters any of whom -- say, Samaritan, Winged Victory, The Confessor, Jack in the Box, The First Family -- could lead an incredible movie.
12. Nexus Set 500 years in the future, this 1980s-90s series focuses on Horatio Hellpop, a human who receives fantastic powers from an alien entity and is tasked with meting out capital punishment to mass murderers who escaped justice. That's the jumping off point for a galaxy-spanning epic that satirizes both sides of the cold war, consumer-driven society, the cult of celebrity and even pop culture. Truly one of the weirdest comics of all time -- and long overdue for a movie.
13. Miracleman/Marvelman Created by Mick Anglo in 1954 to serve as a UK-based counterpart for Fawcett Comics Captain Marvel/Shazam, the character was revived and reinterpreted in 1982 by "Watchmen" creator Alan Moore and later in the decade by "Sandman" creator Neil Gaiman. Moore's run in particular was widely acclaimed, and influenced generations of comics -- and movies.