12 Comic Book Badasses Who Deserve Their Own Movie

Wednesday, September 9, 2009 at 5:31 pm
By Shane Rivers

If you’ve ever seen a comic book, cartoon or movie featuring Wolverine, then you know one simple truth: he’s a badass. Sure, some of it can be attributed to his healing factor and lethal claws (snickety snick), but our favorite Canucklehead also has plenty of take-no-prisoners attitude to go around. With the release of X-Men Origins: Wolverine just around the corner, I started wondering which other comic book badasses out there were deserving of the Hollywood treatment. Frankly, I’ll be happy if even one of these gets made.

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Deadpool – Known as the “Merc with a Mouth,” you’d be hard-pressed to find a bigger wiseacre in all of comics. Coming out of the Weapon X program like Wolverine, Wade Wilson possesses incredible fighting abilities, a massive healing factor, and the ability to completely throw off opponents with his constant prattle. Deadpool Comic Book BadassesHis “cosmic awareness” also allows him to realize that he’s inside a comic book, leading to countless in-jokes and commentaries on the state of the industry. During his colorful career, he’s been a hero, anti-hero and villain, but comic book fans love him regardless of his current moral stance. He’s scheduled to be played by Ryan Reynolds in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, but his classic red costume isn’t even present. If he ever gets his own feature film, here’s hoping (a) he’s in costume, and (b) it’s full of the same absurdist humor that fans of Deadpool have come to expect. But don’t hold your breath.

Comic Book Badass SpectreThe Spectre – Bonded to a human host, The Spectre is an old-school powerhouse responsible for punishing evildoers. Originally a fallen angel who repented, he’s merged with dead men such as Jim Corrigan (cop), Hal Jordan (superhero) and Crispus Allen (cop). Along the way, he’s wiped entire nations off the map, grown to the size of Earth, fought the Anti-Monitor on equal terms, and generally shown himself to be the biggest badass in the DC Universe. The original storyline seems a no-brainer for a movie: a cop is murdered and then comes back as an avenging spirit. How could Hollywood screw that one up? Uh, disregard that last question.

Lady Shiva Comic BookLady Shiva – Arguably the greatest hand-to-hand fighter in the DC Universe, Lady Shiva is also the mother of Cassandra Cain (Batgirl). She’s trained everyone from Tim Drake to Black Canary, and she mostly seems to wander around the globe in search of master fighters to defeat (and sometimes kill). Since she’s a villain, a solo film might be out of the question, but she should at least be considered as a future opponent for Christian Bale’s Dark Knight. Just check out this quote, and you’ll get a pretty good idea of what Lady Shiva is made of: “If you ever touch me again, I shall shatter three bones in your arm: the humerus, the radius, and the ulna. I shall shatter them in such a way that shards will protrude into the nerves, casing intense pain! I shall shatter them in such a way that no Western doctor will be able to repair them. Your arm will thereafter dangle from your shoulder like a dead fish. Do you understand?”

Alucard Comic Book BadassAlucard – In case you haven’t noticed, that’s Dracula spelled backwards. Created in the pages of a Japanese manga (Hellsing), Alucard is the baddest vampire around. He’s virtually unstoppable, can rip people apart with ease, pass through solid objects, read minds, control the weather, and that’s all just the tip of the iceberg. He serves the Hellsing organization, assisting the always-cranky Integra Hellsing with ridding the world of various supernatural dangers. There’s great movie potential in this character, and a quick look at the manga or anime versions will show you exactly what I mean. While he’s indeed vicious and refers to himself as a “monster,” it’s hard not to root for Alucard as he wiles away the centuries looking for a worthy opponent (and possibly his own death).

Jackie Estacado BadassJackie Estacado (The Darkness) – A mob hitman, Jackie Estacado was born with the ability to manipulate The Darkness, a cosmic force of chaos and destruction. With it, he can create objects (including imp-like servants and body armor), control shadows and increase his own strength. Since the comic debuted in 1996, Jackie has taken control of the New York mob, battled the forces of Heaven, and even established his own drug cartel (and he’s the hero of the story). While he’s rarely a good role model, he does protect those he loves, and his tragic lot in life would make for an excellent, albeit dark, feature film.

The Midnighter – He may be gay, but that doesn’t mean that the Midnighter can’t fight like the dickens. In fact, he’s been engineered to be the biggest ass-kicker on this or any planet. Not only can he predict the moves of his opponent, but he’s even got a back-up heart (especially handy considering some of the opponents he’s taken on in the pages of The Authority). Would Batman have the stones to sodomize a super villain to death with a jackhammer? I don’t think so.

Hitman Comic Book BadassesHitman – A veteran of the Gulf War turned hitman, Tommy Monaghan gained telepathy and x-ray vision during the godawful Bloodlines crossover. With his newfound powers (and a limber trigger finger), he decided to specialize in taking contracts on superhumans and the supernatural, and creator Garth Ennis managed to parlay it all into a blood-and-alcohol-soaked romp. Surrounded by eclectic characters, this wise-ass killer from Gotham rubbed elbows with everyone from Superman to Lobo. He even applied for membership to the JLA, later admitting that he only did it to get a look at Wonder Woman’s hot bod with his x-ray vision. While his last appearance had him riddled with bullets, a return is never out of the question in the world of comics. Hopefully, a big-screen appearance isn’t out of the question, either.

Comic Badass - Wonder WomanWonder Woman – Some of you might not consider Wonder Woman a badass, but go ask Maxwell Lord what he thinks. Whoops, you can’t ask him, because Wonder Buns snapped his freakin’ neck. Forget about the silly invisible plane, this Amazonian princess is super strong, super tough and super fast. She’ll kill if her hand is forced, but she still looks good doing it. Hollywood will eventually give her a movie, and let’s all say a collective prayer that they don’t screw it up (but you just know they will). My personal pick to play Wonder Woman: Rhona Mitra, the gorgeous British actress who showed she had the chops in the otherwise awful Doomsday.

Luke Cage – Sweet Christmas! While he started out with a bright yellow shirt, metal headband, and well-groomed afro, Luke Cage now sports a more contemporary bald head. Comic Book Bad Ass Luke CageBorn and raised on the mean streets of Harlem, Cage gets sent to prison for a crime he didn’t commit. There, he volunteers for a scientific experiment, but the whole thing goes wrong thanks to a racist guard nicknamed Billy Bob (not making this up). On the bright side, Cage escapes from prison and finds that he’s got super-strength, a healing factor, and heightened stamina. Combine that with fighting skills to rival Dolemite, and you’ve got one of the toughest cats to ever fight crime. No wonder he’s a member of the New Avengers.

Lobo Comic Book BadassLobo – He killed his entire race, wiped out Santa Clause, and even forced God to kick him out of Heaven. I’m talking, of course, about Lobo, the greatest bounty hunter in the DC Universe. While his power level has fluctuated depending on the writer, Lobo has absolutely trashed Superman (while drunk) and fought entire super teams with ease. He loves space dolphins, and I pity the fool who harms one (especially since he’s also the galaxy’s greatest tracker). If Hollywood is ever looking for an irreverent psychopath with off-the-charts power, Lobo is definitely their main man.

Deathstroke Comic Book BadassesDeathstroke – Slade Wilson only has one eye (the other one was shot out by his wife), but that’s more than enough. He’s beaten the likes of The Flash, Black Canary, the Atom and Hawkman, and he’s also sent more than a few heroes and villains to the happy hunting grounds. While he’s tried his hand at being a hero, Deathstroke the Terminator always seems to end up back on the wrong side of the law. Since he’s fought Batman to a draw, why not bring this white-haired assassin/mercenary aboard for the next Dark Knight flick?

Lady Death – This big-breasted beauty with chalk-white skin used to be all the rage amongst amorous fanboys. Lady Death ComicAfter all, what’s not to like about a woman who routinely battles the forces of Hell but also seeks to kill all life on Earth? Now that’s what I call a complicated lady! Her origin has underwent some modifications in recent years, but the core elements of the story remain those of a young girl desperately trying to thwart her evil father and rescue her pious mother. Lady Death has received an animated movie, but she deserves more. Unfortunately, the devilish themes of the story will no doubt scare away any Hollywood exec, so don’t count on this one ever getting made.