Last week, DC Comics made a big splash of reintroducing the original Green Lantern – Alan Scott – as a younger gay man (he had previously been straight, in case you missed the hubbub). And that got us thinking: why haven’t more characters been reintroduced with tweaks to their look or background?
Sure, we’ve gotten some supporting characters, like Amanda Waller and Etta Candy returning as skinny African-American women, to closer match their looks in movies and TV. But other than a few high collars, everyone has mostly looked the same. Here’s six suggestions for characters who haven’t returned yet that could use a good tweak when they do:
Okay DC, we get it: you can’t bring Wally back because Barry is younger, Bart is too close to Barry’s age, and given your new timeline, that would make Wally too close to one of them. So, given that ol’ WW has a legion of loyal comic book fans, rather than having to answer the same question at Con after Con, why not come up with a new twist on his look and feel? How about since what we really like about Wally anyway is his sense of humor, and strong ties with his wife and kids, you make him a minority character with a great family life, a good solid job, and a strong sense of heroism? You know, as a role model for kids to look up to? Oh, and don’t call him “Black Flash,” or you’ve bungled it.
Here’s another character DC should bring back just to get fans to stop asking when they’re coming back. Stephanie Brown in the original timeline was The Spoiler, a hero who, er, spoils stuff; then Robin; then Batgirl. Each iteration had its diehard fans, and each time she’s disappeared (or died, even), she’s come back because of said fans. So let’s do that one more time, and figure out a way to get Brown back in the mix, without pissing everyone off, again. Oh, hey, if we want to get a little diversity in there, since Barbara Gordon can now walk, and is Batgirl, why not bring back Brown as a disabled character. That won’t get anyone upset, right? Comics fans?
Ra’s al Ghul
Though most of Batman’s major enemies have shown up in one form or another since the New 52 launched, there’s one guy we’ve been missing: the Demon’s Head, Ra’s al Ghul. We’ve seen his daughter Talia (well, not exactly, as technically her last appearance was pre-New 52, even though it was published after the New 52 began ow my head hurts), but not the main man himself. Bringing him back to perhaps tie into one of his movie appearances, or even Arabian or Chinese – since that’s where he was supposed to be from anyway – instead of “white dude with a weird beard,” might be nice.
The teen girl who took on the mantle of Starman was – and is – one of our favorite characters from DC Comics. And reportedly she’s one of DC Comics honcho Geoff Johns too, which makes sense because he created her (and her robot armored Step-Dad S.T.R.I.P.E.). Still, she’s been totally MIA since the New 52 launched, so we’d love to see her back in any form. Particularly as the team of Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E. aren’t related, there’s a chance to throw multi-ethnicity (or sexuality [or whatever]) into the mix. Honestly, who cares how the come back, as long as we get Courtney Whitmore back in comics, and soon.
The Fourth World
This is a biggie, but given that we’ve already seen Darkseid in Justice League, can Jack Kirby’s Fourth World characters be far behind? And other than the third Mister Miracle – Shiloh Norman – these gods from another planet are shockingly, uniformly white dudes and ladies. Not to destroy Kirby’s brilliant designs, but wouldn’t it be great to get a multi-ethnic mix of gods and heroes from a rebooted New Genesis? If the planet is supposed to represent the best of everything, a veritable paradise, it would be a shame not to let it also represent the hope of a world without prejudice.