With the DCnU just a couple of weeks away and Wonder Woman already having a pants fiasco, it made me wonder which heroes DC seems to have missed the boat with the most over the years.  My suggestions below.

 

Wonder Woman - DC seems to have the hardest time getting her right, then, when they seem to get things working well, the next creative team in tends to chuck her supporting cast and ignore her key concepts.

 

Hawkman - King of the (bad) reboot.  Hawkman's probably been rebooted more than any other character and each reboot adds another layer of confusion.  Hard to believe for a character who's key defining trait is that he has wings and can fly.  I wonder how much confusion could have been headed off if Hawkworld had been considered an Elseworlds story instead of a reboot?  The horrible thing is, the 2002 series finally made the character workable in continuity again and they decide to upend the series concept for a One Year Later stunt.

 

Captain Marvel - A lot of people would argue Cap just doesn't fit in well with the DCU but I thought the Power of Shazam series worked just fine, showcasing a hero with a different tone but who still made sense in the universe.  Unfortunately, as Ordway burned out, they didn't switch writers to keep the series going.  Since then, Cap might as well be Captain Carrot for how well they've integrated him with the rest of the DCU.

 

Black Adam - His star turn in 52 wound up screwing him.  Over the course of JSA and the front end of 52, Black Adam was turned into DC's best realized anti-hero.  Unfortunately, at the end of 52, he was revilified in a way he really couldn't come back from.  Yeah, he's a pretty good villain but DC has plenty of those, you'd think they would have protected his anti-hero status.  Ah well, there's always Secret Six, oh wait...

 

Plastic Man - Here's a hero that's had cartoons and been in the public consciousness yet he's almost always just left on the shelf.  I wonder if he'd been created at DC instead of Quality if he'd have been treated better?

 

Uncle Sam - DC's got a gaping hole as far as patriotic heroes go, they have one of the most recognizable patriotic images out there, and he only gets dusted off when they half heartedly put out a Freedom Fighter mini.

 

Black Lightning - Passed over for JLA membership in the 70s, he finally gets added to the prime team under Dwayne McDuffie, then it's back to the Outsiders ghetto with him.

 

Amethyst - I honestly don't know where DC's coming from.  They've watched the manga market grow, they have a property that would likely have crossover appeal, and yet Gemworld is forgotten and Amethyst is only brought back to either be a villain or cannon fodder.

 

Well, that's my list.  Anyone else have some nominees?

 

 

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re: Arisia -- They played it wrong. Should have come up with a backstory that revealed that she had been de-aged during the course of some earlier adventure. Then they could find a way to release her from that spell and restore her to her actual (i.e. legal!!) age.

Problematic characters are the ones that don't fit comfortably with the rest of the heroes because they need to operate in their own particular environments in order to be themselves. Aquaman, of course, needs to be underwater and Plastic Man and Capt. Marvel depend upon worlds tailored for them in order to shine. The Atom can't be a star in a book where he's a speck next to his teammates. In his own book, the 'camera' can focus on him; In JLA he doesn't get that luxury often.

In my private fantasy Aquaman would become a sheriff in an American desert state, with Topo the Wonder Octopus in a water-filled helmet as his deputy.

Craig Boldman said:

re: Arisia -- They played it wrong. Should have come up with a backstory that revealed that she had been de-aged during the course of some earlier adventure. Then they could find a way to release her from that spell and restore her to her actual (i.e. legal!!) age.


Wow. That is brilliant! And so obvious it's amazing they didn't think of it at the time!

But then, a lot of what we're talking about here is one creative team doing something good that is undone by the next creative team ... or, conversely, one creative team being left with a mess to "fix".
Hey, that's gonna be Jon Favreau's next movie!

Luke Blanchard said:

In my private fantasy Aquaman would become a sheriff in an American desert state, with Topo the Wonder Octopus in a water-filled helmet as his deputy.

Mr. SA:

If you are saying in your reply to my last comment on this thread that I have accidentally overlooked the fact that the comic book companies have not been doing much to attract new readers while maintaining the old, then you are absolutely correct.

Hopefully the "new" DC that begins NEXT WEEK will address that issue to an extent.

I suppose I've just never had a problem with "age differences" as more and more people seem to the last couple decades.

 

Steve Englehart sure did a lot of good work on that series (before Alan Gold chased him off with ACTION COMICS WEEKLY, which Steve wanted no part of). Personally, I loved how (with Fred Hembeck's help on research), he was able to look back on Carol Ferris' entire history and make sense out of it all.  Before he finally had Hal DUMP the B****, for good. The ONE thing he did in his entire run of GLC that had me shaking my head in dismay, was revealing that in addition to being Star Saphire, somehow Carol was ALSO The Predator. A real "WTF???" moment if ever there was one.

 

Fortunately, Gerard Jones (less than a year before Kevin Dooley kicked him off the book) "fixed" that by revealing that Steve's revelation had been wrong, and that The Predator was actually an entirely separate entity.  Imagine being possessed by TWO different aliens at the same time!!! (Unless my memory's playing tricks on me.)

 

Possession seems to be a long-running theme in GL... as Geoff Johns (heehee).

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