Booster Gold

Speaking of ready-made action/comedy, there's this guy. Michael Jon Carter is a disgraced former football star in the 25th Century. Working as a museum security guard, he comes upon an exhibit on 20th Century superheroes (Superman, Batman, etc.) and has a brainstorm: Travel back in time to that era and use advanced future technology plus knowledge of impending historical events to become a rich and famous costumed crimefighter.

Gee, if he were to subsequently find himself in over his head and have to step up and be a real hero, that'd be sort of like the outline of a pretty-decent movie.

Doctor Strange

Dr. Stephen Strange, a brilliant but self-absorbed surgeon with a bit of a God complex, loses everything when his hands are permanently injured in a car crash. Seeking out a last-ditch cure among Himalayan mystics, he ends up rescuing a sorcerer - "The Ancient One" - from a disciple's treason. As reward, Strange receives instructions in the use of magic, becoming the Sorcerer Supreme in charge of holding dark wizards, demons and other new age nuisances at bay.
Shorter version: Doctor Orpheus from The Venture Bros, only not kidding.

Harry Potter meets Iron Man. Yeah, why would anyone want to make a movie of that?

Animal Man

Here's what I love about this guy: Everything from his name to his origin and power set sounds like something an imaginative six year-old would come up with.

"Buddy" Baker is out hiking in the woods one day when he happens upon a crashed alien spaceship. Extraterrestrial radiation from the ship (in some versions, it blows up) endows him with the psychic ability to temporarily borrow the powers of any animal in close proximity - so, if he's hunting down criminals and happens upon a random dog, he can "borrow" the dog's heightened sense of smell, or a fish's ability to breathe when he jumps into the ocean. Hell, in one story he thwarted some bad guys by borrowing the powers of a germ and divided into a hundred or so copies of himself.

Animal Man largely wandered the DC Universe in obscurity until the late 1980s, when then-newbie scribe Grant Morrison re-invigorated him as (what else?) a crusader for animal rights and a vessel for Morrison's esoteric fixations - including becoming aware of his existence as a fictional character and a now-legendary story positioning Wile E. Coyote as a Christ figure.

Union Jack

Why should Captain America (or America in general) have all the patriotic superhero fun? Handily summed-up as "Captain America but with more weapons and a British flag motif," there've actually been multiple Union Jacks (pictured) - a mantle passed down through family lineage.

Supposedly, one version or another of him is supposed to turn up or be referenced in the Captain America movie, but either way it's a great costume and a ready-made star vehicle for the rather large number of British tough guys currently jostling for Jason Statham's leftovers.

Detective Chimp

It's exactly what it sounds like.

Luke Cage

Also known as Carl Lucas, Power Man and The Hero For Hire, it's actually kind of amazing we haven't already seen this guy onscreen in some capacity.

Among the more successful 1970s attempts by comic publishers to create new heroes of African-American descent, Carl Lucas was a small-time hood from Harlem trying to go straight who gets framed and sent to prison. While there, he volunteers (under the promise of a reduced sentence) for medical experiments that wind up granting him bullet-proof skin and superhuman strength. Escaping from prison, he assumes the identity and goes into business as a Hero for Hire - i.e. a private eye superhero who does his crimefighting on contract.

The Savage Land

Okay, not technically a hero or even a person - in fact, it's a place - but when it comes to things that are this awesome I'll bend my own rules.

A "Lost World" jungle hidden in the Antarctic, The Savage Land provides a single yet vital service in the Marvel Universe: Providing a place where various superheroes and villains can fight, hang out and otherwise mingle with pre-historic beasts.

Why should such a place find it's way into the modern age of comic-inspired films? Hulk fighting a dinosaur, that's why.

Bob Chipman is a film critic and independent filmmaker. If you've heard of him before, you have officially been spending way too much time on the internet.

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