**Welcome to AwardsCircuit’s newest and greatest weekly column, “SUPERHERO FIX,” your place to stop to talk everything about comics, the characters that live and die within the comics, superheroes, villains, and all the nerdy things that are happening on message boards and Comic Cons around the world. All this is analyzed through the lens of film and the television medium. If you have an idea for a topic for us to cover, make sure you leave your suggestions in the comments below!**
As “Aquaman” blows “Justice League’s” box office earnings out of the water (pun intended), it’s hard to ignore the power of the solo superhero movie. It may feel like every hero has had their time on the silver screen, but we’ve only scratched the surface of the comic book world. So, in honor of “Aquaman’s” smashing success, here’s my top ten comic book characters who also deserve their own solo flicks.
Sidenote: This list only includes characters who do not currently have a solo film in development, so you won’t be seeing the likes of Black Widow, Harley Quinn, Booster Gold, Poison Ivy, or Kitty Pryde here.
10Robin…Any Robin, DC
The most famous sidekick of comic book legend just can’t catch a break. I know many DC fans were hoping for Joseph Gordon-Levitt to get his own spinoff after “The Dark Knight” trilogy ended, it’s been far too long for Robin John Blake to don his own cape. Then, we were teased with bits of Robin info in “Batman v Superman” and “Suicide Squad,” but unfortunately for Robin, the latter revealed that Harley Quinn killed him. Technically it was Jason Todd, but as Looper points out, Ben Affleck’s Batman is a “rage-filled loner,” making Robin’s mellowing personality useless there. So, it’s increasingly unlikely he’ll appear in the DCEU anytime soon. But there is hope for a Nightwing solo flick, so…any port in a storm?
9Brawn/Mastermind Excello/Amadeus Cho, Marvel Comics
He may have appeared as a whitewashed version of himself in 2008’s “The Incredible Hulk” (why, Martin Starr, why), Amadeus Cho is Mastermind Excello in the comics, an eventual successor to Hulk. While I don’t see Mark Ruffalo getting a redo solo film, perhaps Amadeus could get a spinoff as his legacy? As a confident, brainiac Korean American teen, one of the eight smartest people on Earth, and Helen Cho’s kid, Amadeus could bring a fresh take to the MCU. Is it likely? No. Do I want it? Hell yes.
8Jubilee, Marvel Comics
Lana Condor’s Jubilee, a Chinese-American mutant with electric powers, was fun but rarely seen X-Men in the MCU’s “X-Men: Apocalypse” world. But in the comics, Jubilee is so much more than a cameo. With several different comic book backstories, including lives as a de-powered mutant who reboots with tech-based powers and, weirdly, a storyline where she turns into a vampire, there’s ample room for Jubilee to stretch her legs in her own solo flick.
7Night Force, DC
Night Force is a fighting team of non-superpowered legacies: aka, the descendants of spooky figures now tapped to fight evil on their own terms. Founded by the mysterious Baron Winters, Night Force is here to fight supernatural threats across time and space. Boasting the likes of Vanessa Van Helsing, psychic granddaughter of Abraham Van Helsing and Zadok Grimm, a warrior from King David’s Time, a solo “Night Force” film could combine folklore and comic books for some magic of their own.
6Aqualad, DC (*spoilers for “Aquaman” ahead*)
Since “Aquaman’s” box office earning guarantee at least one sequel, there’s a good chance Aqualad may come to the DCEU. Jackson Hyde, the son of Black Manta, is half-black, half-Atlantean, inheriting the ability to shape water and make his own water weapons (in his case, swords) from his mother who hails from Mera’s kingdom of Xebel. With Black Manta surviving at the end of “Aquaman,” it’s clear he’ll recur as the big bad in “Aquaman 2.” Could his son appear in “Aquaman 3”?
5Chrysalis/Caroline Sharp, DC
Caroline Sharp could be the darkest anti-heroine currently in DC comics. We follow Caroline a.k.a. Chrysalis, a shape-shifter who just wants to die…but her powers make her immortal. Comic book characters, super or not, often embody a deep-seed emotion, and in Magdalene Visaggio and Sonny Liew’s “Eternity Girl,” that emotion is deep all-consuming sadness. Caroline soon finds herself tempted by villain Madame Atom, who promises her a way to die if she destroys space and time itself. Will she overcome her demons…or succumb to them?
4She-Hulk/Jennifer Walters, Marvel Comics
And her’s my first choice contender for taking over for Hulk: She-Hulk. For a character first created to prevent other companies from making their own Hulk knockoffs, She-Hulk has become one of Stan Lee’s best heroines. Jennifer Walters, the whip-smart lawyer cousin of Bruce Banner, turns into She-Hulk when Banner has to give her an emergency blood transfusion; luckily, Jennifer doesn’t inherit Hulk’s blind rage, even deciding to retain her green form as she loves the confidence it gives her. She was also one of Marvel’s first supers to break the fourth wall with witty lines and comic book covers, years before Deadpool came to be.
While there was an attempt at a She-Hulk solo film starring Brigitte Nielsen in the late ’90s, Marvel couldn’t get enough funding to shoot it; but with Disney now funding the MCU, and She-Hulk’s voice actor Eliza Dushku up for playing her, anything is possible.
3Niobe Ayutami, Stranger Comics
Niobe, Amandla Stenberg, and Sebastian Jones’ fantastical heroine, is a movie just waiting to happen. We follow the black, half human/half-elven hero as she struggles between her duty to the world and her wish to be free. In a world of demons, monsters, and evil knights, Niobe Ayutami is a young pillar of strength in and out of her comic series. The comic is the first to be nationally distributed through the direct market a first black woman protagonist and black women writing and drawing the book, according to Nerdist. Furthermore, her character–a reluctant, badass black heroine with few peers in the comic book world, has a brilliant actor in Stenberg who could easily play her onscreen.
2Ms. Marvel/Kamala Khan, Marvel Comics
Kamala Khan, the Inhuman teenager who can shrink, grow, and stretch to epic proportions, will likely show up in the MCU sooner rather than later. Inspired by Carol Danvers, aka Captain Marvel, the young Pakistani American Muslim headlined her very own comic book series (the first ever for a Muslim superhero) back in Feb. 2014, winning the Hugo Award for the best graphic story, becoming #2 on the The New York Times Best Seller list, and author Sana Amanat gaining recognition from President Obama. The word “embiggen,” Kamala’s term for her shapeshifting power, was even added to the Merriam-Webster dictionary last March. Kevin Feige has also revealed plans for Ms. Marvel to find her way to the silver screen after “Captain Marvel” debuts. Fingers crossed for an awesome solo flick for Kamala sometime soon!
1Hawkeye/Clint Barton, Marvel
Clint Barton is a beautiful dumpster fire who has been treated terribly by the MCU. While Jeremy Renner’s casting as the master marksman was perfect, things veered into the absurd for Hawkeye during “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” where he has a wife, kids and a farm (?). But from his early years in the circus to his apartment building he sort of, maybe, taken from the Russian mob, Barton has a history and personality the MCU has wholeheartedly ignored. Clint Barton is a klutzy smart-mouth with a heart of gold, befriending the Black Widow instead of “shooting to kill,” adopting one-eyed dogs who love pizza and generally being a lovable mess. Oh, and he’s deaf in the comics, another part of his identity randomly cut from the “Avengers” films.
As an original Avenger, he deserves to have his own solo film, just like Black Widow’s new solo prequel. From his circus origin story to fighting alongside the Black Widow, to training the second Hawkeye, Kate Bishop, there’s more than enough history there for a grittier action flick where Hawkeye could truly shine. You still wanna call him the boring Avenger with the pointy sticks? Fight me. I will die on this hill.