Q&A #69: What comic book villain would you like to see in the movies?

In Q & A, a weekly feature of Fantastic Fangirls, we ask our staff to tackle a simple question — then open the floor to comments:

What comic book villain would you like to see in the movies?



Anika

Since I first saw these images of Liam Neeson and Diane Kruger filming Unknown White Male all I can think is:

Talia.

I have always found Talia Al Ghul far more interesting than the rest of Bruce Wayne’s love interests/enemies(/allies) — yes, even Selina. In fact, especially Selina. As I expect you know by now, “little girl raised by a sociopath” is one of my favorite backstories and Talia’s connection to Bruce via her father is simply much more poignant and dramatic to me. Especially in the Nolanverse. It seems almost too obvious for Talia to show up and exact her revenge but then, only to those of us who know who she is. Which I’d venture to guess is not the majority of the crowds who showed up for The Dark Knight. Even if it is obvious, it is what should happen — Bruce chose not to save Ra’s and that choice has consequences. I would dearly love to see them played out through Talia.

And it is worth saying that a woman in the role of primary antagonist, even as she would also be the love interest, would be very welcome and as heir to the leadership of the League of Shadows, Talia has the means to be in that position.

And I’m not saying Diane should play her, but :



Caroline

Some of my favorite comic book villains have been the ones whose strategy involved turning the heroes against themselves. Bad guys who make the good guys project their worst fears and then overcome them. It’s an idea that’s been used over and over, to the point of cliche, but good creators can still get a lot of mileage out of the device. And when you factor in actors in a live action movie setting, there’s even more potential to develop.

That’s why I would love to see an X-Men movie use the character of Proteus. This character had the ability to manipulate and alter reality, and he used it to defeat his victims psychologically, in a classic X-Men story, and more recently in the ongoing X-Men: Legacy series. The point of a villain like that is not the villain himself, but what he reveals about the characters. Some of Marvel’s recent franchises have tended to lose the sense of character and motivation at the expense of bigger, louder fights, and this kind of story might be just what it would take to recenter the X-Men franchise.

Also, I want Joss Whedon to direct it. And I want a pony.



Jennifer

I wasn’t a big fan of Kick-Ass. But despite my distaste, I find myself hoping its relative success with certain demographics will pave the way for more superhero movies adapted from lesser-known, creator-owned properties. Because the comic book villain I would love to see — a villain who is, in many ways, the protagonist — is The Plutonian, star of Mark Waid’s Irredeemable.

In Irredeemable, The Plutonian is a Superman-esque figure who has seemingly had a complete mental breakdown and has begun using his powers to destroy everything in his path. The comic is a fascinating deconstruction of the superhero’s psychology, an analysis of the pressure of being near-omnipotent (but NOT perfect) and the ways it might affect a human being. But unlike the more nihilistic, cynical viewpoints on superheroes found in books like Kick-Ass, Irredeemable also features flawed heroes who still want to make things right for the world, and may have the power to do so. This cast of heroes balances out the villain-protagonist, and it all adds up to multi-layered portrait of what superheroes, and villains, could be. The Plutonian could go down in history as one of the great comic book movie villains, and I’d love to see him get the chance.



Sigrid

Well. I want a Birds of Prey movie — and let us please forget that the appalling television show (which I own on dvd) ever happened — that is set in the new Christopher Nolan Batman universe. And while I want Oracle, Huntress, and Black Canary on the big screen being incredibly awesome, I’d like to see them fighting Calculator, with Creote and Savant working for him.

This sounds like a slightly out-of-left-field call, even to me. I mean, these are not classic villains. But I was thinking over the question and trying to figure out what villains would transfer well to the big screen. I don’t want to see Spiral, from the X-Men titles — I don’t want to see her digitally-added arms looking weird. I’d love to see Dark Phoenix in some upcoming X-Men reboot, but we already had that. Ditto Magneto — and I don’t think I can imagine anyone out-Erik-ing McKellan. A lot of the classic villains have been done already, or are impractical.

Calculator, Savant, and Creote are all human-sized and human-shaped. Their powers are good, but human-scale. They all have larger-than-life personalities that could be memorable and light up the screen. As a trio of villains they could seriously challenge the Birds, which I’d like to see.


So what about you? What comic book villain would you like to see in the movies?

  • Wally East

    Ditto on the Irredeemable movie.

    There’s a huge possibility for getting him wrong but if Gorilla Grodd were done correctly, it would be a lot of fun.

  • Dan

    I’d love to see a suit-and-bowler clad Riddler on the big screen…but, since that would mean exposing myself to another Nolan movie, I may have to wait a bit longer.

    I also held out hope that one day I’d get to see Dylan Baker play the Lizard and Bruce Campbell play Mysterio in a Raimi-helmed Spider-Man sequel. With Raimi gone and the franchise undergoing the dreaded R-word, maybe I’ll finally get a chance to see two of my (inexplicably) favorite Spidey rogues in a feature film.

  • I’m dying to see Hush as a major villain in the third Batman movie– maybe Hush and Talia could double team Bruce. It would be beautiful and amazing! I mean, with Batman basically on the run, we need a villain who can capitalize on the Bruce side of things, as well as giving Batman trouble– and PLEASE can we say goodbye to Rachel Dawes in that franchise? I can’t tell you how not-in-love with her I am.

    Anyway, Hush. Hush is my pick.

    I also think it would be fun to see Mr. Sinister make it to the big screen– Mr. Sinister and his agenda as a villain working against another villain could be its own movie! (Of course, I think some of the purple and red might have to be toned down.) And I’d like to see a REAL Dark Phoenix. I think the way they went with that in the X-movies was kind of a waste, and it made Jean a REALLY unsympathetic character, when I already think she’s kind of annoying.

  • I’m fairly certain we’re not seeing more Rachel in the Bat-movies (though I personally am fond of my head-canon where SHE becomes Two-Face).

    “I think the way they went with that in the X-movies was kind of a waste, and it made Jean a REALLY unsympathetic character, when I already think she’s kind of annoying”

    . . . It’s okay, Amalia. We love you anyway. You’re on notice. No, really, we love you.

  • Anika

    @Caroline and @Amalia — well, I have seen a lot of ‘Rachel comes back as Catwoman’ chatter, but I don’t know if I would want that. I think I like Caroline’s idea better.

  • @Caroline IN THE MOVIES!!! hahahaha! She isn’t my favorite in the comics, either, but I really disliked how she was done in the movies– something about the casting and the writing just took the wind out of the sales of all the strong female characters in those films, imo.

    Also: If Rachel does come back as Catwoman, I hope they find a different actress.

  • @Amalia Not helping! Jean is my favorite everywhere :). (Well, maybe Rogue was a little more in the first movie).

  • Well, some greats picks there.

    I’d love to see a few, namely Galactus (properly) and Doctor Doom (also properly). But, talking about smoe we haven’t seen yet, I’d love to see Black Adam, which seems is about to happen in the form of “The Rock”, and I’d also love to see Darkseid, my favorite DC villain ever.

  • Jesse T

    I have to second Amalia T and go with Hush. I was just thinking how cool it would be to have him in the third Batman movie the other day. Adding Talia though is an even better idea.

    Other than that, I would love to see Doctor Doom in an Iron Man movie. Also another villain in a Superman movie besides Lex Luthor would be nice. Perhaps the Parasite, Metallo, Zod, Brainiac, or Bizarro would work.

  • Deranged Violet

    Harley Quinn for sure. I want to see the darker, more twisted side that the comics – and to a lesser extent, the awful Birds of Prey television show – showed us. There has to be more to her than “OH, I love the Joker!” and I want to see that. But, since the Batman movies are basically just Bruce v. Joker/Penguin – and a little Catwoman romance put in there – I don’t think that’ll happen anytime soon.

    @Jesse T- What about Livewire? I thought she’d be neat to feature in a Superman movie; who doesn’t love chicks that can shock the tar out of you? XD

  • Menshevik

    Taking a cue from Amalia, I’d like to see Mystique in a new X-Men movie. But the Mystique who is Nightcrawler’s biological mom and Rogue’s adoptive momma. The added bonus would be that in that movie we’d also get to see Rogue in her former role as a villain. Hmm, maybe that would be something for a Ms. Marvel movie…

  • Creote and Savant would be fantastic, Sigrid, good call. Calculator hasn’t impressed me so far but I haven’t read everything. I can definitely see the right actor making him very compelling.

  • lilacsigil

    Agreed on “human-sized” villains! I don’t know about Diane Kruger as Talia though – isn’t Talia of Arabic-Chinese-European descent?

  • Anika

    @lilacsigil — She didn’t start out that way, but she is now, yes (in the comics). I’ve pictured Diane in the role (in the movies, as Liam’s daughter) because of those pictures but — and especially with the last one– I was mostly playing (I’ve a well documented adoration of Diane Kruger).

  • Count me in on the Riddler bandwagon, but with a twist: I’d love to see the more modern incarnation of the character, as a gimmicky public investigator whose showboating lands him on the anti-Batwagon we saw beginning at the end of The Dark Knight.

    And I know it’s not movie-related, but my friend Peter Pixie and I recently figured out that Smallville could do with a stret-level superhero to counteract Green Arrow. Having Owlman in the SV universe would be a neat easter egg, we think.

  • aalbatr0ss

    Joss Whedon? Any proper story with proteus as villian should be directed by David Lynch. Just my opinion.