Saturday, June 17, 2017


Well . . . I'm old, aren't I? Eh, not really depending on who you ask. But here's the thing - when a movie you love reaches a milestone, it brings on the nostalgia BIG TIME. Batman Returns was released on June 19, 1992. Compared to the original, groundbreaking Batman of 1989 it was met with mixed results. 25 years later and there is still debate on the film. Some call it a masterpiece, others call it a disaster. That could be said of a lot of superhero films . . .

Ahem . . . 

Times were different back then and the film that was released was one that Tim Burton was excited about. He was able to take the characters in bold, new, unique directions and that's what he always wants from his films/projects. After a quarter of a century and hundreds of views, I've critiqued this film front to back. I'd like to share with you my favorite parts and the things that I think still hold up with this film so many years later. 


No one will ever say that Pfeiffer is a bad actress. She's fantastic and gives her all to every role she's in. Selina Kyle is no exception. Her version of Kyle has a great arc throughout the film. She starts off a mousy, meek, underrated secretary (assistant) to corporate tycoon Max Shreck. When she digs too deep, she's cast aside, Shreck thinking that she'll never be missed. Not only does she come back, but she comes back with a vengeance. She gets her revenge on Shreck, goes after the men she wants (Batman and Bruce Wayne), and stands up straight for the things she believes in. Although she's considered a villain in the story, one could argue she's an antihero looking to right the wrongs that have been done to her in her life. She's not just a love interest to Bruce Wayne. Their attraction is mutual and believable but it doesn't define her. She doesn't hate all men, either. She's just trying to get revenge on the ones that she feels wronged her, which just happen to be all the male leads . . . 

Pfeiffer brings a tortured soul to life in a realistic, tragic way. When we first meet Selina we get the feeling she's very unfulfilled in her life. From a guy that rejects her because his psychiatrist suggests it, to an overbearing mother, to a boss that makes her work too hard for too little, she's finally had enough and takes control of her life. And when she has that control? Boy, you better watch out! 

And can you really even call it a love story? Either way, it doesn't come into the film like a studio mandated contract stipulation. Batman and Catwoman have always had a love/hate relationship throughout their comic book history. My favorite Batman/Catwoman story is Batman: Hush. I've always been of the mindset that Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle belong together. Maybe in another universe, they find each other without all the tragedy and live happily ever after. However, given both people have an inherent self-destructive nature, they can't help but constantly hurt each other and themselves along the way. 

In this film, the characters first truly interact when Selina has embraced her true self and meets Bruce at Shreck's office. Bruce is instantly infatuated with her. On their first date in Wayne Manor (where Bruce has all his first dates, apparently), she starts to fall for him as well. I think they recognize kindred spirits in each other. Even the next scene shows Selina frantically trying to put on her Catwoman suit while Bruce calmly chooses his Batman armor.  They are two sides of the same coin. At the end of the film, Bruce desperately pleads with Selina to come home with him and he'll look after her. She's at first enamored with the idea then rejects it. As much as the other might want it, they can't be together. Selina knows this to be the truth while Bruce has to sadly come to terms with her decision. Hey we've all been there, right? #relationshipssuck


To this day, DeVito's portrayal remains my favorite version of the character. Like Bruce and Selina, Oswald Cobblepot is yet another tortured soul. I mean, hell, all the Batman villains are in some way, shape or form! In Batman Returns, we learn that the wealthy Cobblepot family gave birth to a hideous creature instead of a beautiful baby. They decide to throw this child into the sewer rather than, ya know, raise him and teach him to be a good man. Cobblepot is then raised by the Red Triangle Circus Gang and somehow or another, it's never really explained, turns them into a criminal organization bent on destroying Gotham City. As the film progresses, we learn that Oswald wants to reconnect with society, but only because he wants them to suffer the way he suffered. 

Penguin has a great arc throughout the film. While he never really changes per se, he shows himself to the audience as a great manipulator and puppet master. Penguin emerges as a hero to Gotham City, having "saved" the Mayor's baby and then wanting to run as Mayor to clean up the streets of Gotham City. Of course, he's the one dirtying them up, but the citizens don't realize that right away. Once he's exposed as a fraud, he retreats back to the sewers and tries to exact his revenge on Gotham City. 

DeVito plays the character so well. Just when you're starting to sympathize with him, you realize he's just playing you and you hate him again. It almost works even on Batman! When he's first introduced he says, "I want to find my mom and dad and try to understand why they did what I guess they felt they had to do!" Bruce looks at him and feels sorry for him. Bruce knows what it's like not to grow up with parents. Then he sees Penguin standing next to Max Shreck and then he immediately realizes something is up. While on patrol, Alfred asks him, "Are you concerned with that strange, heroic, Penguin-person?" Batman replies, "I think he knows who his parents are . . . There's something else . . ." Bruce sees through Cobblepot's BS in a heartbeat. It takes some time, but he's able to show the citizens of Gotham that Penguin doesn't just look like a monster - he IS a monster. 

I could go on all day about that greatness! But I'll leave it at that. DeVito nails the character. From cunning manipulator to deranged psychopath and everything in between, he's a villain to remember in the Bat-films. 


If there's one thing lots of superhero films are guilty of, it's putting too many villains in one film. Luckily, and maybe I'm in the minority here, I think all the Bat-films have done it in a very unique way. Batman definitely has the best rogues gallery in all of comic bookdom. Any villain that you think can't be redeemed I guarantee some writer somewhere has found a way to make them cool. Every writer/artist has had their own interpretation of the characters. Burton realized that these extreme people would have extreme personalities and capitalized on it. Both are unhinged, but they are still smart people. If they want to defeat Batman, they're gonna have to work together. While their alliance is (believably) fragile, it is real. The film does a good job of setting up why the other hates Batman. In Penguin's case, he's running for mayor and realizes Batman can expose his true nature at any time. With Catwoman, she recognizes that Batman will stop her from wanting to get her revenge on Shreck so she needs an ally to stop him. Also there was the whole . . . throwing her off a building thing. 

Saved by kitty litter . . .

These characters may not have interacted much in the comics, but their alliance in the film doesn't feel forced or studio mandated. They're both weird, tortured people looking to stop Batman. And really, that's all the motivation they need . . . 


I've mentioned this before but it's worth repeating - Danny Elfman knows how to make a memorable fucking movie score. Every scene in the film is heightened and given new energy by Elfman's brilliant compositions. The music is written in such a way that it's recognizable as Danny Elfman, but it fits each individual character. Batman's theme is instantly recognizable as a dark, brooding, yet heroic theme. Penguin's music sounds like a tragic Circus symphony, and Catwoman's theme is playful, mysterious, and dangerous. When the music comes on, it's a sign that either the hero is coming to save the day or the villain is coming to wreck it. When the music needs to be softer, it is, when it needs to convey an emotion, it does. The music never overpowers the film, it enhances it in every possible way. Movies these days don't do that anymore. I bet you'll instantly recognize Elfman's Batman score but will have a hard time remembering what Iron Man's theme sounded like. It's a sad truth about movies these days. Hopefully, with Elfman doing the Justice League score, we'll start to remedy this oversight. 


One of the major complaints about this film is this: "It feels like a Tim Burton movie that just happen to have Batman characters in it." My counter-argument is, "That's a bad thing?" Tim Burton has made some of the weirdest films you've ever seen, yet they stand apart from other filmmakers. He has a really unique vision for his films and it's noticeable in every single frame. Characters like Batman, Catwoman, and the Penguin are head to toe in black and white while the rest of Gotham City is in bright colors. Each of the main characters is shrouded in darkness while the rest of the world is bright, shiny, and fun. However, these "dark" characters are far more interesting. Their worlds have been turned upside down in one way or another. It could be the death of their parents, being rejected by their parents, or being overlooked by the whole world, their worlds are all scary, tragic, and painful. Therefore, their worlds are far more interesting. The only color on Batman's costume is the yellow oval around his chest piece. Catwoman and Penguin have no color on their costumes. Batman retains a little bit of Gotham City with him wherever he goes, but Catwoman and Penguin have none. By the way . . . 


It's easy to dismiss Christopher Walken as a walking meme or an easy impression to show your drunk friends (I've done it). But here's a little bit of truth for ya - Christopher Walken is an Academy Award winning actor (Deer Hunter 1979). Nothing against DeVito, Pfeiffer, or even Keaton, but Walken brings some gravitas to this wacky movie. He's the only main character not dressed in a ridiculous costume or make up. His portrayal of Max Shreck is meticulous, conniving, and downright evil. He doesn't care for the citizens of Gotham City. He doesn't even really care about his bottom line. All he cares about is himself. He's going to preserve his own life at all costs. At the beginning of the film, the Red Triangle Circus Gang is looking to kidnap him and he doesn't put up much of a fight when his son steps in on his behalf. Later in the film, he's happy to team up with the Penguin if it means his reputation won't be tarnished (although he's trying to further his own agenda). He kills his secretary (assistant) without a second thought. He drops Penguin as soon as the public turns on him without a shred of remorse. In fact, he just shrugs, "them's the breaks" he's saying with his actions. He's one of the best parts of the film but he's often overlooked because he's not in a garish costume. Which is a shame because he plays arguably the most important role in the film. He's the one that ties all the main Bat-characters together. He's Selina's boss, Penguin's associate, and Bruce Wayne's rival. And he does it without being the Walken stereotype we love to joke about at parties! 


Here's the tough one. How do I accurately describe my feelings toward Michael Keaton as Batman without sounding like a raving lunatic and in only a few short sentences. I'll give it a shot! 

As an actor myself, I recognize the want to put on a show. When the audience is eating up your performance you want to give them more, more, more like a Rebel Yell. However, that's not always the way to go. As an actor, you're slaved to your character. Michael Keaton, coming from a comedy background and likely being a "more-more-more" type of performer, understood this. However, he fights against it and gives a performance that can only be described as "less is more". Don't get me wrong - that is in NO WAY an insult. It's probably the highest compliment I can give to him. No offense to the other Bat-actors. They all give great performances in the films that they are in, but in Burton's Bat-films, Keaton is basically playing the "straight" man to the "wacky ensemble." 

His Batman is a silent guardian. He doesn't say much, his actions speak louder than words. In most scenes, he doesn't speak unless provoked. However, with his eyes and his body language, Keaton says a lot without having to say anything at all. Every situation he's in, he seems to have it under control. Even if he is in over his head, it doesn't show. This is the Batman I grew up with. He could get out of any situation with sheer confidence and willpower alone. By the end of the film, he's the figure that the Circus Gang fears most. He's re-established himself as Gotham's protector. Penguin may have put up a good fight, but Batman is the champion.

It's interesting looking back on this film. I think as a kid I watched it and loved it because it was Batman. Now as an adult, I can watch it knowing who made it, what their motivations were, and what the end product looked like and judge it from there. Based on nostalgia alone, this will remain one of the best Bat-memories I have. But given that I've had 25 years to watch it and love it, I'll this - Batman Returns has aged well and I'll always love it as a weird, unique, exciting Bat-film. 

Till Next Time!

JJ - The Comic Junkie! 

Sunday, June 11, 2017


When you hear "Batman" what's the first thing that comes into your mind? For me, it's Danny Elfman's theme and Michael Keaton spreading his wings to take down two punks.

Yeah! That's the stuff!

As I've gotten older, I've come to appreciate almost every single incarnation of Batman in some way, shape or form. Whether it's in the comic books, animation, live action, video games, cosplay, etc I can appreciate the love that everyone has for Batman. 

Confession time - I never considered Adam West to be MY Batman. Michael Keaton and Kevin Conroy will always hold the crown in that regard. Now, having said that, I will say that I used to watch Batman: the Movie from 1966 over and over and over again. I remember being really little and seeing a couple of the original episodes on TV. However, they didn't do reruns of that after a while (I'm pretty sure it was on ABC) and I only had the movie to watch. I wasn't a big fan of the campy tone but I loved any and all things Batman as a kid so I gobbled it up. 

After Batman and Robin, it seemed like demand for Batman was at an all time low. Batman Beyond was on TV and there were reruns of Batman: the Animated Series on Cartoon Network. I felt like I was the only kid that watched the original Batman movies and cartoons. It seemed like none of my friends liked Batman because he wasn't as popular anymore. Then I got to high school and I met a lot of people that loved Batman like I did! I couldn't believe it! We could talk about the movies, the cartoons, and all that jazz. Then Batman Begins came out in 2005 and EVERYONE started to see how awesome Batman was! It was an awesome experience. 

I'm getting a little off track here . . . Let's go back to Mr. West. 

One of my favorite episodes of B:TAS is "Beware the Grey Ghost." In this episode, Gotham City is being terrorized by someone calling himself "the Mad Bomber." Bruce remembers a TV show he watched as a kid called The Grey Ghost. One of the episodes featured a criminal calling himself the Mad Bomber. Bruce can't find any episodes on VHS (it was a different time) so he tracks down the actor, Simon Trent (played by Adam West). Bruce enlists Trent's help in catching the Mad Bomber. Trent is at first afraid and angry with Batman for tracking him down. He later teams up with him, wanting to help stop the Mad Bomber. 

I love acting. I especially love actors that step outside of their comfort zones. Simon Trent / The Grey Ghost is a much different character than Bruce Wayne. If anything, he's probably closer to the real Adam West than anything. He's an out of work, depressed actor. He can't get any roles because every casting director in town thinks of him as The Grey Ghost. He's incredibly frustrated. When Batman approaches him, it annoys him thinking that Batman would come to him. What good can he do? He's just an actor! Trent eventually gives Batman a copy of "the Mad Bomber" episode to get rid of him. Batman, clearly disappointed says, "I used to admire what the Grey Ghost stood for." Trent angrily replies, "I'm not the Grey Ghost!" Batman retorts, "I can see that now."

Jeez . . . never meet your heroes kids. Anyway! Later in the episode, Batman is in trouble and is rescued by THE GREY GHOST! 


Batman takes Trent back to the Batcave. Trent mentions how it looks like The Grey Ghost's lair. Batman admits that it was by design. He then shows Trent a secret room with lots of Grey Ghost memorabilia. He confesses, "As a kid, I used to watch you with my father. The Grey Ghost was my hero." Trent says, "So it wasn't all for nothing." 

At the end of the episode, The Grey Ghost is back on the public radar and the series is released on home video. Trent is in costume, signing copies of the videos for fans. Bruce Wayne is one of those fans. He has a goofy smile on his face and says, "Please make it out to Bruce." Trent takes the video and signs it casually. Bruce starts to walk away but he turns and says, "You know as a kid I used to watch you with my father. The Grey Ghost was my hero." Trent smiles, obviously recognizing the quote, "Really?" Bruce uses his Batman voice to respond, "And he still is." 

Ok . . . I'm literally choking up saying all this. This episode means a lot to me because as a kid, I was introduced to Batman through my parents. I remember my dad taking my whole family to see Batman Forever and Batman and Robin when they came out. I had big Batman birthdays. My mom loved going to those movies with me and watching them with me on video.  

In a strange way, I think this episode was almost biographical for Adam West. Here he probably thought playing Batman was this one time thing that was fun, profitable, and he could leave it behind. Little did he know that his portrayal of Batman inspired millions of people around the world, some would go on to be famous actors, writers, directors, animators, etc. Batman means so much to so many people. Actors come and go, but the best ones leave behind a legacy. Mr. West was and always will be Batman for an entire generation.

Over the years, I've come to respect and love what his series did for Batman and his allies and enemies. I bought the series when it was released on Blu Ray and laughed and cheered at every episode. It saddens me so much that Mr. West has left us, but it brings me joy knowing that he'll never be forgotten. 

RIP, old chum. You've earned the rest.

Till Next Time!

JJ - the Comic Junkie! 

Tuesday, May 23, 2017


It's been reported that Zack Snyder has stepped down as director of the upcoming Justice League film following a family tragedy. His daughter, Autumn, committed suicide and Snyder is taking much needed time with his family away from work to heal. My heart goes out to Mr. Snyder. I'm lucky enough to admit that I've never lost a parent, sibling, or child in my lifetime. I can't imagine the pain that comes with that. It's tragic and heart breaking. My thoughts and prayers are with the Snyders at this difficult time. I'm not sure what happened to Autumn, and maybe I don't want to know, but I'd like to share something here that maybe could help someone in the future.

I'm someone that has suffered from Depression my whole life. Some days it's as mild as just being kind of bummed out for no reason. Other days, it's as severe as not wanting to get out of bed. I know lots of people that suffer from depression, anxiety, and other mental illnesses. Sometimes it's utterly terrifying. Truthfully, the best medicine is laughter. Learning to laugh and make yourself happy. It's exhausting but usually worth it to get through a tough day.

My depression was at it's worst several years ago when I first moved to North Carolina. I was in a brand new city, a brand new state, a job I had no previous experience with, and worst of all I lived all by myself. At first I was excited to start my new life. Little did I know that a new life is super challenging and more often than not I was completely alone. I had very little money despite working two jobs, all my friends lived 600 miles away, and I was single. My parents lived in the same town and my dad worked in the same office, but it wasn't the same as having peers my age to hang out with, drink with, laugh with, etc. It was a scary time for me.

Since I didn't have much money, I couldn't afford to get my comics every week. I was upset till I realized I could ask for subscriptions for Christmas! I didn't want to be greedy so I only asked for three (one from each family member) - Batman, Green Lantern, and Justice League. When I had more cash living at home I was getting 10-15 comics a month. I was bummed that I was missing out on other comics but I was happy to get these. Batman was just starting the R.I.P. storyline and Green Lantern was leading up to Blackest Night. I don't remember what happened in Justice League because the quality of that comic kind of went down with changing writers and artists and it wasn't as good. That was a bummer. Nevertheless, I was still happy.

It was so good!

Don't worry he didn't really die! 

After about a year, when I was finally making a little more money at my office job and paid off some of my debts, I decided to go back to buying comics on a weekly basis. I was able to get more than just the three in the mail. I was able to catch up on what the other DC heroes were doing as well as the Marvel ones. I was getting New Avengers, Dark Avengers (which I really miss by the way), Ultimate Spider-Man, Action Comics, The Flash, and a few others that I would pick up randomly. As much as I liked comics when I lived in Erie, I think I fell even more in love with them while I lived in North Carolina. The comics made me feel less lonely and gave me something to look forward to every week. Every Wednesday on my lunch break I would drive to my local store, get my books, and read as many as I could before I had to go back to work. It became a weekly ritual for me. Something to keep me happy and excited.

It was during this time I started to kind of get to know (so to speak) the different writers and artists on my favorite comics. It was how I figured out that Geoff Johns was my favorite DC writer and Brian Michael Bendis was my favorite Marvel writer. I grew to appreciate their different styles and the different artists that they worked with. I was able to attend Comic Cons in New York City as more than just a passing fan. I could bring books for them to sign, sit through their panels, and even talk to them and gush over their work. As I said, my oldest sister was able to join me at other Cons and we could enjoy the experience even though most of it is just standing in lines for like a year! But I digress . . .

So what am I trying to say here? What is this about? Well, at a time in my life when I was all alone, scared, depressed, and homesick while trying to make this new place my home, I found hope in comic books. Every week I could dive into new adventures of Batman, Superman, the Avengers, or whoever. Every week I had something to look forward to and be excited about. Every week seemed less sad and more optimistic. Over time, I was making more money at work, went on several dates, made lots of friends, and my outlook on life was better. What helped get me to that better place was my favorite superheroes. I can honestly tell you that those comic books saved my life. Granted, they may not be anything special but having something to look forward to every week was a big step in getting better.

Maybe I sound like a crazy person with all of that, but it's the truth. It's something I've never really shared with anyone before to be perfectly honest. I know what it's like to feel like there's no reason to live. I know what it's like to feel like no one cares for you and it would be easier just to fade away. It's an awful, all consuming feeling and sometimes it feels like it will never end. But you know what? It does end. It's never too late to make a change, find a new hobby, make new friends, find a new lover, find a new religion or whatever may help you. For me, comic books were companions I had every week to keep me happy when I was sad.

I hope this post finds someone that needs it. This was my story how I overcame a difficult time in my life with comic books and superheroes. I don't know what your story is but I hope you find it. Because when you look back, you'll be so grateful to whoever or whatever helped pull you out of that funk.

To anyone that may need it here are a couple of websites dedicated to helping people thinking about suicide and suffering from depression:

Please get help if you need it. Those comics not only helped save me but they inspired me to be a better person. To be a hero just like Batman, Spider-Man, Superman, etc.

Now you know a little bit more about me! It's hard to talk about this stuff sometimes but I like to share it here because this blog means a lot to me and I like putting my thoughts and feelings out there for the world to see! I hope this helps someone who may need it!

Till Next Time!

JJ - The Comic Junkie!

Tuesday, February 21, 2017


One thing about The Flash that's undeniable is that, for a TV budget, the special effects are outstanding. Between Barry, Kid Flash, Gorilla Grodd, King Shark, and the other various speedsters, villains, etc the show proves that no villain is too big or too small. One area of expertise that the VFX guys have nailed is the speedsters. It started with Barry then we got the Reverse Flash, Zoom, Jay Garrick, Trajectory, Kid Flash, Rival, Jesse Quick, Savitar and others I'm probably forgetting. I probably named them all . . .

Anyway! DC Comics is not short of any speedsters. There's ones from the future, the past, alternate Earths, I mean it's crazy! The Flash hasn't been shy about using these characters and tweaking their stories as they see fit.

 Case in point . . . 

As I've mentioned before, I rarely stop thinking about these shows on the CW. Mainly because I think they're wonderful and it's the type of stuff I wish I had had as a kid. There are still tons of stories that can be told and many more speedsters that can be introduced on the show. I'd like to run through (pun intended) a list of my favorite speedsters that have not yet made an appearance. 


He's one of the more recent additions to the canon, and might actually be retconned with Rebirth now that I think about it, but he was a great character. Daniel West was the son of William West, brother to Iris and uncle to Wally.  His mother died during childbirth and his father never let him forget it. He grew up under the abusive nature of his father. While Iris grew up and rose above that trauma, Daniel did not. He grew up angry and spent most of his adult life in prison. After an accident gave him super speed, he decided to go back in time and kill his father to prevent the trauma that turned him into a criminal. 

While Daniel is a great character, there's no denying that he has a great visual. His costume seems to be morphing around him and can even come off as projectiles to hurt the Flash. Granted, it's too late to tell a "long lost brother" story with Daniel, since that arc was given to Wally, but there's still room for this particular West family member. He could be Wally's doppelganger from another Earth, perhaps Earth 2? He could be Joe's brother which could work because we don't know much about Joe's parents or family. Or maybe if the writers are lazy enough he could just be another long lost brother, but I wouldn't bet on that considering the writers are better than that on The Flash. Either way, this version of the Reverse Flash offers a much different visual style than we've seen before. He's got the tragic backstory, now we just need him to come wreak havoc on Central City! 


The most recent addition to Barry's Rogues Gallery, even though he's not a Rogue . . . It's complicated, Godspeed is really August Heart, a detective with the Central City Police. He has one of the most interesting backstories of any of the Barry's villains. He was the only witness to the accident that made Barry into the Flash. He was in Barry's lab trying to obtain evidence of his brother's murder. Unfortunately, the lightning strike destroyed all of the evidence and the suspected killer was set free. Years later, a Speed Force storm hit Central City and August was one of the people affected by it. At first, he posed himself as an ally to the Flash but was secretly the dark vigilante known as Godspeed. He got revenge on his brother's killer but it did little to satiate his new bloodlust. He ended up killing several other people affected by the Speed Force. 

Godspeed was the first new Rogue Barry fought during DC's Rebirth launch last summer. Again, he's another character with a great visual that would look really cool racing next to the Flash on TV. Plus, assuming the producers and writers don't change his story too much, he has the added benefit of being connected to Barry right from the beginning. Although sometimes this type of story is hard to swallow, if done right it could be interesting. They could easily make August a part of Barry's past. Let's say he was in a coma but instead of just nine months like Barry, he's actually been in the coma for years. He comes out of it, realizes his brother's murderer has gotten away with it, and snaps. That's definitely within the realm of possible storylines we could see on the show. In fact, I'm hoping it's what they go with for season 4! 


Bart Allen is Barry Allen's grandson from the future. There's no real back story other than that! He came back from the future to fight alongside his grandpa in the present. He started off as Impulse but later became Kid Flash when Wally became the Flash and then eventually the Flash, then he died, then he came back to life as Kid Flash again. COMIC BOOKS!

My fondest memories of Bart Allen were from Geoff Johns's run on Teen Titans. By then he had graduated to Kid Flash. He was a great character and a lot of fun to read. When he was killed off I was very upset. Luckily, Johns must have felt the same way and brought him back. His origin seems to have been changed somewhat since the New 52 which bugs me. However, that may get rectified soon enough with Rebirth making changes like bringing back characters and, at least somewhat, retconning their origins.

I'm hoping he'll come into the Flash in the near future. I have a sneaking suspicion that due to Barry seeing his own future, albeit only six months from now, that we're on the way to him seeing much further on and possibly even encountering Bart. I think that would be a great story and hilarious to see a young Bart calling 26-27 year old Barry "grandpa." With season 4 officially announced I'm sure we'll see Bart sometime in the future (pun intended).


I've been banging this particular drum for quite a while now so I won't get super into all the details but I will say it again - THIS NEEDS TO HAPPEN.

Johnny Quick is an evil Barry Allen from an alternate Earth. He's just as fast as the Flash but for as good as the Flash is Johnny is bad. I truly think that this character needs to end up on the show and I can't stress enough that Grant Gustin should play him. With the characters travelling through the multiverse like all the fuckin time, this story is not out of the realm of possibilities. Maybe the next crossover could include the Crime Syndicate with evil versions of each of our heroes. Or Johnny could find his way to Earth 1 and mess up Barry's reputation. A similar story was done on Smallville with Clark switching places with Ultraman. It was one of my favorite stories from Smallville and I'm a little surprised it hasn't happened yet on any of the Arrowverse shows. However . . . I'm sure it will . . . Maybe . . . Hopefully. 

By the way, in the Smallville version Tom Welling played the evil Clark and was believably a very different version of the character. I have no doubt Grant Gustin is capable of doing the same thing :) 


But JJ, you may be thinking, the Flash already has a Wally West! What on Earth would they need another one for? I hear you but I have a pitch here:

During last summer's DC Universe Rebirth story, it was revealed that the original Wally West was trapped in the Speed Force and was desperate to escape and warn the heroes of Earth that a great threat was coming. We assume this great threat is Dr. Manhattan and/or the other characters from the Watchmen universe. Barry was able to pull Wally out of the Speed Force and Wally was finally able to warn someone and reveal that time had been taken away from them. Basically, after Flashpoint, some unknown force (again probably Dr. Manhattan) had meddled with time in an attempt to weaken the heroes of Earth. Wally is one of the few characters that actually remembers the DC Universe pre-new 52. 

OK, here's the pitch:

As was revealed during the season finale of The Flash in season 1, the characters were all living in an alternate reality due to the Reverse Flash killing Barry's mom. We've never heard of that story ever again. The only glimpses of it were from the holographic future newspaper the fake Wells (real Eobard Thawne) used to look at in his Time Vault.

That paper was from April 2024, ten years after the season started. Let's say something similar happened where everything is now changed in the Arrowverse and there's another Wally West lost to the Speed Force. He finally finds a way to communicate with Barry and Barry starts to remember his life where his father was never sent to prison and his mother wasn't murdered. With hints like "Red skies vanish" and talk of a "Queen Consolidated-Wayne Tech" merger in the paper, there's clearly some story opportunities there. I would love to see this revisited as opposed to just referred to as a future event. Because let's face it, it comes from a future where Barry as the Flash vanished chasing Eobard Thawne. I know that technically that Barry was erased from the timeline, per the aforementioned season 1 finale, but so was Eobard and look at him! He's causing trouble for the Legends on their show! It might sound like a long shot but I truly think that this particular story and that timeline should be revisited. 

These are my suggestions for my favorite speedsters making their way to The Flash. The show so far has done an excellent job of telling great stories with these characters. I have no doubt that most, if not all, of the characters I mentioned here will be included at some point during the show's run (pun intended). Hopefully they'll take my suggestions and let me write an episode or two! Ya never know . . . 

Till Next Time!

JJ - the Comic Junkie! 

Wednesday, February 15, 2017


On the CW, four DC superhero shows are out there telling really cool stories. On Arrow, there is the gritty crime drama, The Flash deals with metahumans and meta-threats, Legends of Tomorrow is the wacky time travel show, and Supergirl deals with aliens and strange visitors from other planets. Basically, we get the best of all these different comic book stories on a weekly basis. It's pretty exciting! The best part, at least to me, is that for as much as these shows have done, there is still a lot more that they can cover. We've seen the Multiverse, the future, the past, alternate timelines, and even the big man himself:

So dreamy . . . 

These are all things I thought I'd never get to see during a live action TV series. All of these shows, while crafting their own stories, have remained true to the spirit of the DC Comics that inspired them. Since this has been going on, it's made me wonder - what's next? There are unconfirmed, but probably true, reports of Booster Gold being the next DC hero on TV along with the usual crop of lesser known heroes and villains popping up across all the shows on right now. 

Recently, I reread one of my favorite comics written by my main man Geoff Johns, Infinite Crisis. When the story opens, the Trinity of Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman are barely speaking to each other, the Justice League and Society have disbanded, Superboy unwillingly turned against the Teen Titans, Magic is in disarray, there's an intergalactic war, and the villains seem more unified than the heroes! It's total chaos man! 

There were five characters that were at the center of this event - Superman and Lois Lane from Earth 2, Alexander Luthor from Earth 3, Superboy from Earth Prime, and Power Girl from our Earth, later revealed to be the Supergirl from Earth 2. They were all survivors from Crisis on Infinite Earths. They lived in a safe space created by Alexander to protect them from being erased from existence. After seeing how disparate the world has become, Superman decides to break them out and try to bring his Earth back. It's later revealed that Alex and Superboy have been secretly sneaking out of their sanctuary to rearrange the universe so that they create their own perfect Earth. It's a pretty wacky, out there type of story but it's also super awesome and a little trippy. I highly recommend it to anyone that loves to read stories where the heroes are forced to rise above tragedy.

While I was reading the comic I couldn't help but think about Supergirl. It occurred to me that she has traveled through different dimensions like the Phantom Zone and to Earth 1 during the last crossover.

It was awesome!

While it may be a bit of a stretch, I think it would be really cool to incorporate elements of Infinite Crisis on Supergirl. We've had their version of Superman, but it would be really cool to see what would happen with different versions of each character. An older, wiser Superman, a seemingly friendly but still manipulative Alex Luthor, a rash, impulsive, and dangerous Superboy, and Power Girl, Kara's doppelganger from another Earth. I'd love to see these characters make their way to Supergirl season 3 or maybe even the next crossover. Let's examine each character and what they could bring to Supergirl and the DC-CWverse in general.


On Earth 2, Superman was the first and best of all the heroes. His story is just like the Superman story we know - hailed from Krypton, raised by the Kents, fights for Truth, Justice, yadda yadda yadda. At the beginning of Infinite Crisis, Kal believes that during the last Crisis they rescued the wrong Earth and wants to work to save his Earth, He also believes that if he saves his Earth that Lois's health will be restored. He's later convinced by Earth 1's Trinity that there is no such thing as a perfect Earth because a perfect Earth wouldn't need a Superman. He decides to fight with the Justice League against a rogue Superboy-Prime. He dies stopping Superboy and is able to rest in peace with his beloved Lois. 

I think an older Superman with a mysterious agenda would be the perfect way to surprise the characters and the audience. Earth 2 Superman was my favorite character during Infinite Crisis because he represented the old DC Comics but he didn't feel outdated. His arc was really well done in the story. As with most portrayals of Superman, he wants nothing more than to save the world and bring the light to those in darkness. He learns that darkness is a part of life and that sometimes the darkness wins. However, it's never too late to find the light again. That's what Superman is all about.

Plus, it's hard to see in the image I shared, but his costume is hilarious. The sleeves look like my grandpa's sweater. Ha ha . . . I love it.


For many years, DC didn't know how to explain Power Girl's presence in the comics. She seemed to have all of Superman's powers but Kryptonite didn't really affect her. She was given a few different origin stories but none of them seemed to stick. It wasn't until Infinite Crisis that she was finally given a backstory. She was actually one of the few survivors of the original Crisis on Infinite Earths. She had literally fallen through the cracks in reality and therefore her memories were wiped. Kal comes to her and shows her the truth - she's Kara Zor L, his cousin from their version of Krypton. He and Lois had raised her like a daughter and she became a hero on Earth 2. She finally figured out where she belonged and wanted to work with Superman to save his Earth and hers. However, she was betrayed by Alex and Superboy-Prime and used to bring back the multiverse for Alex's weird experiments. I mean it's cool, it's comic book stuff, but it was weird. Alex is weird.

Power Girl is a character that I was always hoping to see on the CW at some point. The producers said that they had thought of introducing her, played by Melissa Benoist, during one of the shows while Supergirl was on CBS. I think now that Supergirl is on the CW where she belongs, there is still room for his idea. It's not out of the realm of story ideas that Power Girl is the Supergirl of a different Earth that either Kara or even the Flash could travel to. Heck, the Justice Society was in Legends of Tomorrow! What's to say she wasn't a member on our Earth back in the 40s? Either way, I think she's a great character that should make an appearance and meet her doppelganger.  


Alexander Luthor, Jr. is the son of Alexander Luthor, the only hero on Earth 3. Earth 3 is run by the Crime Syndicate of America, evil versions of the Justice League. When the original Crisis on Infinite Earths happened, Earth 3 was destroyed but Alexander was saved by his parents to help fight the Anti Monitor. He was the one that created the safe "heaven" (pocket dimension) that Kal, Lois, Superboy-Prime, and himself lived in before the events of Infinite Crisis. He seemed to be a friend to Kal and Power Girl but later revealed that his plan was not to bring back Earth 2, but to create his own perfect world. He says that while Lois and Kal were very kind to him he felt that when a Luthor stands next to a Superman they would "always be at odds." 

Alexander didn't survive the events of Infinite Crisis, which was a real shame because he was actually one of the best characters in it. True he shared a lot of similarities with our version of Lex but he was far more powerful and arguably, much smarter. I think if Supergirl were to introduce this version of Lex they could have their cake and eat it too. They could have an actual Lex Luthor on the series but it wouldn't necessarily be the "real" Lex Luthor. In the same way that Tyler Hoechlin's Superman could give fans the Superman they knew and loved if they were disappointed with the film version, Alex Luthor could do that for those fans as well. That gold armor might be tough to replicate on their budget, but then again it could be really awesome! Either way, I'd love to see Alexander cross over to the real world instead of just the comics. 


Ah, Superboy-Prime . . . one of DC's best characters if for no other reason than he's a parody of angry fans and 90s themed over the top villains. He's originally Clark Kent from Earth-Prime where there are no superheroes. All the superheroes we know exist in comic books but there are no real life heroes. He grows up as Clark Kent, a normal boy that grew up reading those comics. One day, his powers are activated and he becomes Superboy, the only hero on Earth-Prime. After the Anti-Monitor's attack he's the only survivor of Earth-Prime. He also grows increasingly frustrated and restless at the state of the world he and the other heroes decided to save. He decides to confront Earth's new Superboy, Conner Kent, and ends up attacking him and killing a few Teen Titans. He's then trapped in the Speed Force by Wally West, Bart Allen, Jay Garrick, and even a few speedsters from the past. Eventually, he escapes and tries to set off a new Big Bang by blowing a hole through the planet Oa. He's stopped by Kal and Superman and the Green Lantern Corps. Before the New 52, Superboy-Prime came back a few times, usually under Geoff Johns pen like in Sinestro Corps War and Final Crisis: Legion of Three Worlds

While the character isn't exactly my favorite, I would love to see him on Supergirl. We've seen rogue Kryptonians but we've never see an out of control Superboy with all the powers of Superman and Supergirl but none of their morals. It's a life lesson we all know well, "With great power comes great responsibility." I'd love to see that type of story unfold on Supergirl. It would give the writers an excuse to troll their fans a little bit by poking fun at them but also it would be a fun character to see brought to life in all his obnoxious glory. 

Infinite Crisis was the first DC event book I ever read. I learned so much about the history of the characters and the multiverse in general. The story blew my mind and rereading it so many years later as made me excited to know that DC is attempting to bring back that sense of legacy that was lost during the New 52. These four characters were so important to the story and I think they definitely have a place on the CW with Supergirl

Till Next Time!

JJ - the Comic Junkie! 

Wednesday, February 8, 2017


You know what's great about Supergirl? It's not afraid to be progressive in a time when the world seems to hate progress. I don't like discussing politics on this forum because it's not my area of expertise but also because I prefer to keep this blog positive and fun.

In my opinion, it certainly feels like America might be taking a few backwards steps in terms of progress. When I think about what we're going through as a country I think about Supergirl. Supergirl is able to hide touchy topics under the banner of outer space aliens and fun adventures, but it's tackling them nonetheless.

Just cuz it looks like a monster doesn't mean it IS a monster
(Although this one actually is)

One of the things that Supergirl does so well is tell the story of being a hero in difficult times. It's one of the things that Superman has always stood for. It's encouraging to see that the Supergirl TV series is equally as interested in building up a quality hero in trying times rather than deconstructing the hero. The hero is challenged each and every week, but a lot of the stories that have been done this year have felt much more topical than ever before. I'd like to throw out some specific examples I noticed that struck a chord with me.


America has always been a country of immigrants. People from all over the world have come to our country hoping to start a new life or build a better life than where they came from. That's how America was founded in the first place. It's a wonderful dream and America has always been synonymous with immigration. Supergirl took that real world notion just a step further and included immigrants from other planets and other galaxies. Most of these immigrants want nothing more than to just live on Earth peacefully and go about their business unnoticed, such as the case with M'Gann M'Orzz (Miss Martian). 

However, just like in real life, there are people that come to this country that want to start trouble. They either want to spread fear and hate or prove that they are the superior race. Their logic is flawed and dangerous, but it's loud. Unfortunately, what one group of radicals does tends to override the quiet or otherwise good that the other immigrants are doing. Like I said, they're loud and therefore get more attention. Fear spreads fast and then it turns into hate. We see it every day on the news and social media. These are hot button topics in today's world. There's talk of a ban, a wall, and general hate crimes just because a handful of a certain people are causing trouble. 

In Supergirl, the President, played by Lynda Carter, understands that a few radicals does not mean an entire race is bad. She recognizes that there are more good aliens than there are bad ones. There's a great conversation where J'Onn talks about understanding fear and hate not only as a Martian but as an African American. It was a line that might get over looked but truthfully it struck a chord with me. I liked that the show was willing to discuss real life racism. These characters are not immune to real life problems outside of fighting alien threats and crossing different dimensions. It shows that the producers and writers, just like the comic books have always done, are willing to tackle real life issues thinly disguised as fantastic adventures. 

In the show, the President is going to sign a bill allowing for alien immigrants to come to Earth peacefully, but she's opposed by a radical group of humans, Cadmus, that believe all aliens are dangerous and shouldn't be allowed on Earth. It's similar to what's happening in America right now, except it's our real life President that is less accepting and wants to close off borders. One could argue that he's just looking out for American safety and security, a noble notion, another could argue he's going about it the wrong way. Either way, it's interesting to me that Supergirl is willing to have a similar discussion in a very positive, respectful way. 


Homosexuality has always been a hot button topic. Truthfully, I don't know why. I've met many gay, lesbian, bisexual people in my life, some in my family, and it's never impacted how I thought of them as a person. I've met nice, mean, annoying, friendly, quiet, angry, happy, etc gay people just like I've known straight people that were nice, mean, annoying, friendly, quiet, angry, happy, etc. The simple truth of the matter is that their lifestyle is not much different from anyone else's. The difference is that they are a minority and therefore suffer unwarranted hate and discrimination. As I said, I don't understand the hate/discrimination, I'm not offended by their lifestyle, but people like to make other people's choices and lives their business (especially when it has no effect on them). 

Supergirl has been praised for its depiction of a woman coming out of the closet in a very realistic, respectful way. Kara's adopted sister Alex, met a NCPD detective named Maggie Sawyer, an out of the closet lesbian, and started to develop feelings for her. This led Alex down an emotional and painful journey inside herself where she started to come to terms with the fact that she wasn't "weird" or "wrong" for never focusing on a relationship, but on work instead, she just wasn't being honest with herself about who she really was. I was very impressed by the decision to have Alex come out of the closet. While it's not a new concept to have a main character have a major revelation like this (think Willow from Buffy the Vampire Slayer), it is still a hot button topic and a brave decision from the producers and the actor, Chyler Leigh, to go through with it. 

To me, the important part of the revelation was Kara's reaction. For a moment, she saw her sister as a totally different person and that scared her. Kara had to come to terms with Alex's struggle and learn to accept that her sister was the same person she's always been, gay or straight. Alex has accepted who she is now and is a much happier person. Kara sees that and it's made their relationship stronger.  This particular story has given the characters a stronger arc and more to do rather than discuss Kara's love life, the alien of the week, or how much their mother bugs Alex sometimes. Alex has much more dimension to her now and it's strengthened the overall show.


I mentioned before about how easily hate and fear can be spread by a few radicals. In the case of J'Onn J'Onnz and the other Green Martians, the radicals are the majority and have all but wiped out the Green Martians. J'Onn finds a young woman claiming to be a Green Martian named M'Gann M'Orrz. It's not until a few episodes later he discovers the truth that she is actually a White Martian that has defected from her people. She's come to Earth to start over and repent for her crimes. J'Onn is furious when he discovers who she really is, claiming that all White Martians are monsters and killers. He locks her up in the DEO simply because she's a White Martian and refuses to acknowledge her as anything but a monster. In the most recent episodes, M'Gann was under psychic attack and fell into a coma. Alex was able to convince J'Onn to enter her mind and rescue her. Once he saw her for who she really was, he began to accept her and even love her like he loved his family back on Mars. She helped him realize that not all the White Martians were evil. This past episode, The Martian Chronicles, she decided to leave Earth and find other White Martians that were compassionate to the Green like herself. 

Comic books have always tackled social commentary in the most colorful way possible. Luckily the TV shows and films lately have followed that trend. Whether it's a corrupt, deranged man running for political office like in Gotham or the racial tension shown in Supergirl, these shows aren't afraid to hold up a mirror to real life. J'Onn is quick to dismiss M'Gann simply because she's a different Martian from himself and his experience with White Martians was never pleasant. He's never known a White Martian to be kind and compassionate. He assumes they are all evil and will always be his enemy. It's not until he literally steps inside her mind that he realizes she's a good person. If only we could all be so lucky to have that experience in real life. 

I found J'Onn and M'Gann's story very touching. In fact, it was my favorite subplot from this season so far. Although it's being told with alien characters, you can't deny that there is truth to the story. How many Muslims, African Americans, Latinos are the victims of hate crimes and wrongful persecutions simply because they are not white? It's a sad fact. And yes, there is racism toward white people as well, but it's nothing compared to what other ethnicities suffer on a regular basis. In J'Onn's case he believes his racism is justified, after all he literally watched his family die at the hands of White Martians. There are similar stories in our real world. Look at 9/11! A radical group of terrorists were responsible for death and destruction. However, those men do not represent all of Islam. Just like in the show where J'Onn learns to accept a White Martian as his friend, there were reports of New Yorkers rallying against President Trump's ban at JFK international airport. These were the people most affected by 9/11 and those Islamic radicals but they know the difference between the radicals and the men and women that only want to spread peace. That's heartwarming to me because it shows that there are good people in our world that understand the difference between labeling an entire religion and race as dangerous and the good people that are negatively affected by the racism. 

Politics is not my strong suit. I admitted that up front. However, I do see America in a decline due to hate and fear. My goal here is to spread positivity, excitement, and fun to my readers. I do believe that love trumps hate, but it's a lot harder to love. Don't get me wrong, I get where the fear comes from but it doesn't excuse violence and hate being spread across the world. That's one of the reasons I love Supergirl so much. The show is all about hope and courage in the face of trying times. Kara Zor El is an excellent role model for all of us to look up to. She's brave, kind, compassionate, but most of all she's a woman that is tested time and time again. She could easily turn to hate but she chooses to love and protect everyone that needs her. She's the hero that we all need right now and I can't wait to see where the show goes next! 

Till Next Time!

JJ - the Comic Junkie! 

Thursday, January 19, 2017


Whether we like it or not, Warner Bros and DC Entertainment plan to make a boatload more films. While we've had some surprises like Gotham City Sirens, a Deadshot spin off, and most recently a Black Adam solo film there have been the usual suspects like Aquaman, the Batman, and of course Justice League 2 to keep fans excited.

Everyone has their opinion on who would make a great Batman or Superman or Joker or whatever. I've written a couple of articles giving my two cents on who would be great in a Batman film and a Justice League Dark film. Today, I'm going to throw out just some random thoughts on different characters that could appear throughout the DCEU. Let's dive right in, shall we?


There are a lot of beautiful young women out there in Hollywood and let's face it, that's sort of the number one quality one would be looking for with Poison Ivy. Ivy has to be the most beautiful, sexiest, deadliest woman in the room. Her whole reputation is built around trying to defeat men and allow plants to rule the world. While it would be easy to cast a Megan Fox, who is very attractive, but I think Ivy demands a certain gravitas that Fox couldn't provide. Ivy's not only beautiful, she's a genius. She doesn't even need to use her pheromones to trick men to do her bidding. She can manipulate them herself. 

I think Roberts is an actor that could easily own any room she's in. Yes, Roberts is very beautiful but she's also very smart and has the ride shade of darkness in her that could make her a formidable opponent to Ben Affleck's Dark Knight. From Scream 4 to American Horror Story I have no doubt she would be an amazing Poison Ivy. 


Bane is not only one of Batman's toughest opponents, he's also been a member of the Secret Six and the Suicide Squad. His intellect is rivaled only by Batman. He's a master strategist as well as fierce fighter. He came to Gotham with the sole purpose of wearing Batman down and beating him and he did exactly that. I'd love to see more of the classic Bane in an upcoming DCEU film and I think Luna would be a good fit. 

Luna impressed the hell out of me during Rogue One. He had to play leader, follower, rebel, as well as a man willing to do anything to get the job done. I think Bane could showcase a little more than what we were given in Rogue One. Luna would have to be a leader and a rebel but also, if he were to be cast in a Suicide Squad sequel, he'd have to be a follower and a team player. He played that role well in Star Wars but with Bane he'd be able to have more of a reluctant antihero. I think he could definitely pull it off. 


Here's a fact that will blow your mind - there hasn't been a live action Barbara Gordon/Batgirl since the 1960s Adam West Batman series. Think about it! There's been cartoons but the last time we got Batgirl in a live action Batman film was Batman and Robin and that was Barbara Wilson (for some reason). 

The less said about it the better . . . 

Barbara is one of the absolute best superheroes in all of comics. She was never Batman's sidekick. She started out a crimefighter in her own way, not trying to impress Batman or anyone else. She's a great fighter, brilliant detective, and believes in making Gotham City safe for everyone. When she was unable to be Batgirl, she became Oracle and became an invaluable member to the Justice League and heroes around the world. Once she was able to be Batgirl, she immediately took back to the streets of Gotham to keep her neighborhood safe. She's an inspiration to many young women and one of my personal favorite heroes. 

Kendrick joked not too long ago about wanting to play Robin in the upcoming solo Batman film. While she would be a great Carrie Kelly, I personally think she'd be a much better Barbara Gordon. Kendrick has the right amount of spunk, attitude, and wit to stand up to not only Ben Affleck's Batman but JK Simmons' Jim Gordon. I think Batgirl is a strong enough character to anchor her own film, otherwise I'd love to see her debut in the Gotham City Sirens film fighting Poison Ivy, Catwoman, and Harley Quinn. Kendrick definitely has my vote for Barbara Gordon. 

Ok that's enough Bat-characters! Moving on!


At this point, it's sort of sacrilegious to think of any actor other than Stephen Amell playing the Green Arrow. However, since Ezra Miller was cast as the movie Flash, I think we've all been wondering when and if WB would cast someone as Green Arrow. 

Truth be told, the Oliver Queen in the comics is a lot different than the one in Arrow. In the comics, Queen's mission is to sort of "stick it to the man." He embraces the Robin Hood role of stealing from the rich to give to the poor. In the comics, he's a loud mouth, right wing conservative, often butting heads with the other DC heroes. He tries to be the voice for the disenfranchised and needy. He works to make sure "the man" doesn't step on the "little guy." Truthfully, he's probably the hero we need to see most.

I think McConaughey would be a great fit for the character. True, he's a bit older, but it's hard to think of another actor that could give Queen the range he needs to embody on film. McConaughey has given some powerhouse performances lately from Interstellar to Dallas Buyers Club. He's not just a pretty face, he's got plenty to offer as an actor. Plus, McConaughey is still in fantastic shape. And not that this is a requirement or anything but damn it if he doesn't LOOK just like that Green Arrow pic above! 


Eobard Thawne is one of DC's absolute best villains. A scientist from the future, he became obsessed with the Flash and wanted desperately to recreate the event that created the Flash. Once he accomplished that, he set out to travel through time and meet his hero. Upon learning that his hero was just an ordinary man named Barry Allen, Thawne kind of lost his mind. He became the Flash's greatest enemy. He went through time torturing Barry and eventually ended up killing Barry's mother! He's one sick mofo! 

On TV, Tom Cavanagh and Matthew Letscher have played Thawne and in my opinion did the character justice. Letscher is currently on Legends of Tomorrow as part of the Legion of Doom. There's been no word yet if the Reverse Flash is going to make an appearance in the Flash movie or a Justice League film, but if he were I would cast Howell in a heartbeat. If you're wondering why, look no further than his guest appearances on Criminal Minds as The Reaper. The Reaper was a serial killer that loved to torture police. His last victim was Hotchner's wife before being beaten to death by Hotch himself. It was one of the best arcs Criminal Minds has ever done. I was hoping that when the Flash series was announced that Howell would be cast. After all, he does have some experience having played the Reverse Flash in the animated Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox. Obviously, he was not cast but he still has my vote for a live action interpretation of the character. 


If there was ever an underrated, criminally underused character in DC's lineup it would definitely be Steel. Now that I think about it, he's a little bit like Luke Cage. He's a hard working, honest man that's looking to make his neighborhood safer. He was rescued by Superman once and decided to dedicate his life to being just like him. He took up the mantle of Steel after Superman's death at the hands of Doomsday. He was one of four men claiming to be the Man of Steel. However, after Superman returned, Irons decided to stick around and inspire his neighborhood just like Superman inspires the world. 

Unfortunately, Steel hasn't been around in the comics much these days. There was an attempt to bring him back after the New 52 started but he didn't stick around. However, I think he's the right character to bring back and shake up the DCEU in a huge way. Like I said, I think he could be DC's answer to Luke Cage. A strong, hard working African American man that takes up the mantle of hero to protect his friends and family. 

Now, I know what you're thinking. No one could ever possibly be better in the role than Shaq.

It's hard to believe he was not nominated for an Oscar . . . 

In all seriousness, I think John Boyega is a hell of an actor and would be a great John Henry Irons. As Finn in The Force Awakens, Boyega made the choice to defect from the First Order and join with the Resistance. While he was clumsy at first, he quickly proved himself to be a hero by standing up to his former Stormtrooper friends and facing Kylo Ren on his own. Now that he's a little older, I'd love to see him in a future DCEU film inspired by Superman's death to defend Metropolis in his honor. That would be a great way to do a Man of Steel sequel now that I think about it . . . Hmmm . . . 


The Cheetah is one of Wonder Woman's enemies. However, she has something of a tragic past (as most comic book villains do). She started off as a friend to Wonder Woman. She was the first non-Amazon to learn their language to try and communicate with Diana. She also helped teach her English so that she could communicate better with her new allies. She became obsessed with mythology and adventure. On one of her expeditions, she discovers the Cult of Urzkartaga and is transformed into the Cheetah. Granted that's from the recent Wonder Woman Rebirth comics. However, her origin is always tied to Wonder Woman and gaining powers from some crazy Indiana Jones-esque adventure. 

Olivia Wilde is not only one of the most beautiful actresses in Hollywood, she's also one of the most talented. During her run on House, M.D., she proved capable of handling comedy, drama, and everything in between. She was tough enough to stand up to House and his craziness but also dealt with her own personal demons. I have no doubt that she could easily slip into the complicated role of the Cheetah. Friend turned to enemy is one of the best arcs that a character can go through and I'd love to see her in a future Wonder Woman or Justice League film. Speaking of actors from House . . . 


Sinestro is definitely one of the absolute best characters in all of DC Comics. He started off as a Green Lantern. Soon, he was called the greatest Green Lantern given that his sector was considered the safest in the universe. However, after Hal Jordan became a Green Lantern, he discovered that Sinestro was actually imposing his will on his homeworld of Korugar. He was discharged from the Green Lantern Corps. It didn't take long for Sinestro to find a new source of power - the Yellow power of Fear. Eventually, he created the Sinestro Corps and went to war with the Green Lanterns. He believes his way is the right way and will stop at nothing until the universe kneels to him. 

Say what you will about the Green Lantern film, but it's undeniable that Mark Strong was the best part about it with his pitch perfect take on Sinestro. While it's unlikely that he'll reprise his role in the upcoming Green Lantern Corps film, I think the character of Sinestro should still be included and Hugh Laurie would be perfect in the role. Throughout his run on House, Laurie demonstrated great comedic timing, powerful dramatic acting, and best of all his range as a tortured, lonely man. Granted, Sinestro is not at all like House, but I still think that with Laurie's talents, he could bring a lot to Sinestro. He'd have to be a leader, charming, malevolent, and most of all, committed. As wonderful a character as Sinestro is, he demands an actor that will bring him to life in a spectacular way. I think Laurie is more than qualified. 


Shazam is one of DC's oldest and best characters. He's actually Billy Batson, an orphan boy granted the power of the gods by the Wizard. By yelling out Shazam, Billy is turned into an adult superhero capable of incredible feats such as super strength, flight, invulnerability, magic, and control over lightning. He's one of DC's best characters. He's true wish fulfillment for a kid. He's a little boy that can become an adult. But with that power is also the responsibility to protect the world from dark forces. 

Ok so . . . JOHN CENA! Sorry, had to get that out of the way first. I actually saw this on a facebook post that my friend shared with me. At first we laughed at the idea of Cena as Shazam. But the more I thought about it, and after seeing his performance on Saturday Night Live, I started to think he'd actually be a good choice. First of all, the dude is BIG. His biceps are twice as big as my head. If he's going to go up against Dwayne Johnson as Black Adam, then he's gonna have to bring the goods! Secondly, after seeing him on SNL and Trainwreck, I realized that he's actually got some talent as an actor. He's been in a few action films, but nothing that's really challenged him yet. There were scenes in Trainwreck that I found myself impressed with his acting. I think he would make a great Shazam, boy trapped in a man's body. Plus - who wouldn't want to see Cena and Johnson go head to head as Shazam vs Black Adam? Shut up and take my money! 


Darkseid is one of DC Comics' most powerful villains. He's the ruler of Apokalips and has made it his mission to conquer the rest of the universe with the Anti Life Equation. In the New 52, his arrival was what brought the Justice League together. They were barely able to fight him off. In the last big Justice League story before Rebirth, Darkseid was killed by the Anti-Monitor only to be brought back to life as a baby. Presumably, he'll be an adult again soon and will start causing more trouble for the Justice League. 

Of all the names I mentioned, I think this is my favorite suggestion. Who wouldn't want to see Walter White as a 10 foot tall alien god with the power to kill the Justice League? Granted, most of the work would be done in post production with CGI, but that didn't stop Joss Whedon from casting James Spader as Ultron! In that same vein, I think Cranston would be absolutely perfect as Darkseid. During Breaking Bad it was clear that his transition from Walter White to Heisenberg was careful and meticulous. In this case, he could start right away as the ultimate DC villain. His voice alone has enough gravitas and menace that he could make Batman and Superman shake in their boots. And that's what's needed from Darkseid. He's not afraid to take on the most powerful heroes on Earth. The odds are against them even when it's just Darkseid standing in front of them. I'd love to see Cranston staring down Superman and trading verbal blows with Batman. Just imagine that Heisenbergian perfomance! Oh my goodness! Someone call Cranston's agent!! 

These are just a few suggestions I had thought of. I'm a pretty big fan of all these actors and even bigger fan of the characters I picked for them. I know the DCEU has had some rough patches so far, but I have high hopes for the future. With any luck, Warner Bros will continue to pick out some great talents. So far, the actors have not disappointed me and I don't expect that to change. Here's hoping to a bright and amazing DC future!

Till Next Time!

JJ - the Comic Junkie