Friday, June 3, 2016

Top 5 Fridays: Top 5 DC Comics Characters Greg Berlanti Can and Should Exploit

In an interview with The Mirror last week, Willa Holland aka Thea Queen from the WB’s Arrow expressed frustration that they had to kill off the Suicide Squad in their television show in acquiescence to the Suicide Squad film coming out this summer. She further went on to say that Warner Bros. should pattern themselves more like Marvel Studios and have more synergy between the movies and television programs, but I tuned most of the rest of the interview out because I started thinking of all the great DC Comics characters and concepts that have yet to be exploited on the small screen. I never thought I would live to see a day when the multiverse was handled correctly—which is to say insanely—on prime-time television, but we can push the envelope, can’t we? There are lots of things the cinematic universe will never use, which makes them ripe for Greg Berlanti’s picking! And here’s five of ‘em!

5. G’nort
We will never, ever see G’nort on the silver screen. Even if the forthcoming Green Lanterns movie ends up being the most successful movie of all time, spawning four sequels and three spin-offs and its own television series, they will not use G’nort. Unless Keith Giffen is writing any of it, then they might use G’nort. The best part is that you can dust off John Candy’s Barf suit from Spaceballs, slap some green pajamas and a vest on the guy and you’re pretty much good to go. G’nort is inept so he won’t be able to use his Lantern Ring correctly most of the time, which cuts down on the special effects cost. I think that this fairly unlikable comic book character could make a annoyingly compelling television personality, a sort of furry Jar Jar Binks, only less heroic. Not sold yet? What if I told you his cousin is Larfleeze? Hey wait a minute, where are you going?

4. The Newsboy Legion (and sure, the Guardian too. Why not?)
Aww, you lost your Suicide Squad, huh? Well how about you use a comic book team invented by the greatest comics creators of all time? I’m talking of course, about Joe Simon’s and Jack Kirby’s Newsboy Legion, that plucky bunch of Lower East Side orphans who sold papers to make a living and got into all kinds of crazy adventures, including hanging around and being cloned by Cadmus Laboratories in later continuity! Their chaperone of sorts was the Captain America rip-off the Guardian, who actually did hang around in the Justice Society of America and has a more dedicated fan base than what really amounted to a bunch of smelly, uneducated homeless children. But they got heart! And you can probably cast actual orphans as a cost-cutting measure.

3. Fireman Farrell
Fireman Farrell is a fascinating character, created by the Doom Patrol’s Arnold Drake and Rip Kirby’s John Prentice for the very first issue of DC’s famous Showcase magazine way back in 1956! Seems his name is Fred Farrell, Jr., son of Fred Farrell, Sr., who was a fireman that died in the line of duty. So his son decided to take up fighting fires to honor him! And that’s about it. He’s a fireman, and his last name is Farrell. He patrols fictional Central City, which isn’t even the same fictional Central City that the Flash lives in. Though I suppose it could be, it’s not like the Flash would necessarily know every city firefighter by name. By the time the Flash knows about a raging tenement fire, it’s already extinguished and all the residents relocated to new housing, then the Flash is off to punch a turtle man or something. And there’s Fireman Farrell, dick in his hand, wondering why he even bothered to join the local Hook and Ladder in the first place. With nothing to do, he and several other members of his firehouse turn to heroin.

2. Super-Hip
Okay, I know what you’re saying: “C’maan Reggie, enough with the stupid obscure DC Comics characters. Give us something with teen appeal that Berlanti can use!” First off, I think you should know that I can’t actually hear you when you talk to your computer monitor. Secondly, how about a teenager so cool, that he’s Bob Hope’s nephew? Tadwallader Jutefruce is a typical bowtie-wearing high school nerd, but when he loses his temper he becomes Super-Hip, the hippest teen to make the scene! Even though his clothes and hairstyle were fairly well out of date by the time his character was introduced…but it’s wrong to assume teenagers are merely vain, and they will be enthralled by Super-Hip’s ability to fly. Oh yes! And when he plays guitar, people in the vicinity dance uncontrollably. And did I mention he can shape shift into any form? He’s the teen dream, pops, and if you don’t dig his rig, then you flipped your wig!

1. Secret Six

This is the one I’ve actually been clamoring for in some of my reviews of the comic book over the last several months. I know the other picks sound silly, but this one makes a lot of sense! In Gail Simone’s version, they’re basically a bunch of killers brought together due to reasons, and they fight injustices using their special creepy abilities and the power of best friendship! You could organize ‘em under A.R.G.U.S. just like the Suicide Squad, or have then roam around the WB Berlantiverse doing good deeds like the A-Team. The best part is that this is basically a group of characters that no one else wants to use! Heck, Gail Simone created half of ‘em. Which reminds me, you’ll need her input on this, because one of the great hallmarks of the Secret Six is that they’re funny. Funny in a way that would work really well on television. And also, Catman’s butt.

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