When superhero comics first started getting published during the Golden Age of comics, it was a very difficult proposition for any character to get their own title. Only the very biggest names like Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman and Green Lantern got their own books. Most other characters had to settle for features within the many anthology titles that were published at the time. Aquaman was around for a couple of decades before getting his first solo series and Green Arrow even waited 40 years before he got his own solo comic (which was only a mini-series!)!
It was during the 1980s, when mini-series and one-shots became more commonplace, that more and more characters got their first solo titles, like the aforementioned Green Arrow, but also Martian Manhunter, Doctor Fate, Red Tornado and Catwoman (just to name a few). Even now that comic companies have given more and more characters chances at their own solo books, there still exists a lot of great characters who have never had their own titles. And we mean never: not a mini-series and not even a one-shot. Here, then, are 15 DC Comics heroes who have never had a solo series but should be given the chance!
15. Big Barda
When it comes to powerful women in the DC Comics Universe, few are more powerful than Big Barda. Over the years, Barda has mostly been seen as simply “Mister Miracle’s wife,” but she can be a lot more than that. As noted, she is one of the strongest female heroes in the DC Universe, but even beyond that, her back story is compelling.
Scott Free was sent to Apokolips specifically so he would escape to New Genesis and break “The Pact” between Highfather and Darkseid. That was always Scott Free’s lot in life. But for Barda to rise to the head of the Female Furies on Apokolips and give it all up for her love? That was not foretold and makes for a great series hook. A woman who was raised as a warrior on a desolate planet of chaos gives up her role for love and then has to adjust to a life outside of war. She comes complete with her own Rogues Gallery, as the Female Furies are not ones to take rejection kindly.
14. Bronze Tiger
Ben Turner was already a fascinating character when he was just Richard Dragon’s best friend and fellow martial arts expert. However, things took an even more interesting turn when Turner was brainwashed into becoming the Bronze Tiger. It was as the Bronze Tiger that Turner worked for the League of Assassins and murdered a close friend of Batman’s. He was able to break free from the League’s programming, but the end result was that he had committed a number of murders while under their spell.
That would be the driving force of a Bronze Tiger series, as it could follow his attempts to make up for the evil that he caused while working for the League. Plus, he has an awesome costume, don’t you think? On top of all that, he has also succeeded in battling Batman to a stalemate in the past, so he’s certainly capable of having a lot of entertaining fights with bad guys.
Introduced early on in the pages of “Justice League International,” G’Nort soon found himself so loved by the fans that he kept on popping up in the series for the rest of Keith Giffen and J.M. DeMatteis’ “Justice League” run. G’Nort was a Green Lantern who got the gig through nepotism, as his uncle was a popular member of the Green Lantern Corps. This was later retconned into being that G’Nort and his uncle were victims of a scam, but in the end, G’Nort still proved himself worth of a Green Lantern ring.
G’Nort is a hilarious character and a G’Nort series could be like “Ambush Bug,” only on a cosmic level. He has already proven to be a good comedic presence in titles like “Larfleeze” and “Justice League 3000,” so he would be interesting to see having adventures of his own, traveling the universe and exploring strange (and hilarious) new worlds. We envision Giffen and DeMatteis as the writers on the series, of course.
The most mysterious of the New Gods, Metron is one of the more fascinating characters because you never truly know where you stand with him. At the end of the day, his number one interest is learning more about he universe(s). He would sell his own mother out if it meant him having access to more information. This was proven when he traded Darkseid the New Gods’ Boom Tube teleportation technology in exchange for enough Element X to build his Mobius Chair.
Metron travels not just the universe in his powerful chair, but other universes, as well. That would be the basis of the series, as we would follow Metron on his journeys across this and other dimensions, discovering fascinating new places and leaving us not knowing how he will choose to exploit the situations he ends up in. He’s so unpredictable that a writer could get good use of seeing how he manipulates the new beings he encounters.
Geo-Force is unique among superheroes in that he is not just a superhero, but also he is the king of a country. It’s exactly that fact that would be the driving force of his standalone comic book series. Geo-Force’s powers put him in control with the Earth and he is therefore powered by the forces of the planet. Primarily, Geo-Force makes use of Earth’s massive gravitational force to make things heavier or lighter, as well as to give himself super-strength. His powers put him almost on par with characters like Superman and Wonder Woman in terms of raw strength.
However, since he is also the head of a government, his series could be split between seeing him fight supervillains and seeing him fight off political adversaries. Think “West Wing,” but only if President Bartlett could also shoot lava blasts from his hands. In addition, his relationship with his long-lost sister, Terra, could also be good fodder for future stories, especially if she is once again revealed to be evil.
Rex Tyler, Hourman, has one of the greatest superhero hooks. He takes a drug called Miraclo and it gives him super-powers, but only for a single hour. Just that original concept alone is a fascinating one, as it could lead to a series of stories where each issue takes place in just a single hour. However, the whole concept of using a drug to fight crime is an even more fascinating setup on its own.
Over the years, writers have explored how Miraclo is addictive and how, in a lot of ways, fighting crime in of itself can be addicting. Both of these facts make for fruitful areas of exploration for an “Hourman” series. What does it mean to be a hero when being a hero means taking an addictive drug? What if it were revealed that Miraclo had harmful side effects? At what point is it too much to keep going on as Hourman?
A longstanding tradition in comic books (heck, in all fiction) is that the more brooding a protagonist is, the more interesting people find the character to be. Thus, it comes as no surprise that the breakout character of “New Gods” was Orion, the son of Darkseid who was sent to live on New Genesis and to do good in the universe, all while constantly fighting against the violent urges that come from his Apokoliptian background.
Because of Orion’s fame, though, his best friend Lightray has been lost in the background a bit and that’s a shame. Imagine the idea of an ongoing series featuring a powerful hero who is genuinely likeable and kind. That’s a weird premise that would take a very skilled writer to make work, but it could turn out to be a fascinating approach to a comic book series. Lightray is incredibly powerful, so his adventures could involve some heavy duty bad guys, but it’s a matter of can a writer make his personality work on an ongoing basis. We’d love to see someone give it a try.
It is clear that one of the hardest things to do in the DC Universe is grow up as a child of Slade “Deathstroke” Wilson. One son, Grant, became a super-villain and died young, while the other, Joseph, was badly injured due to Slade’s recklessness and grew up to become a hero, then a villain, then a hero again, then a villain again, and finally a hero (he also died a few times along the way). And those are the sons who grew up in a wealthy traditional household! What if they had grown up in a brothel? That was the case for Rose Wilson, daughter of Deathstroke and Lillian “Sweet Lil” Worth, a former Cambodian princess who later ran a successful brothel.
Rose has an interesting power set. Besides being a strong fighter, she has precognitive abilities that allow her to see events before they occur, allowing her to plan accordingly. She has incredible combat skills like her father, and although she tries to use them differently, she keeps getting sucked into her father’s orbit. Seeing her use her abilities for good would make for an interesting ongoing series, especially with the popularity of “Deathstroke” these days.
7. Jakeem Thunder
Imagine that you were a typical, ordinary teenager. Now imagine that you suddenly had your own personal genie. What would you do with it? The possibilities are endless and that’s just what the setup would be for an ongoing series starring Jakeem Thunder. Thunder is a teenager who has access to a mystical Thunderbolt who answers only to Jakeem. The Thunderbolt is basically like a genie in that it can do all sorts of magical things at Jakeem’s behest.
That premise leaves a lot of room open for writers to play with not just the fun things that come with handling borderline omnipotent power, but also the side effects and downsides. Like how lottery winners sometimes end up being miserable, so too can it be difficult for a teenager to come to terms with having this much power at his fingertips. It would be interesting to see that explored.
There are a number of things that make Obsidian an interesting character to follow in an ongoing series. For starters, he is one of the most famously out gay characters in the DC Universe. Secondly, he and his sister, Jade, are both children of an older superhero, giving them a very special take on the world of superheroics. Thirdly, his powers are almost inherently dark in nature, making his career as a superhero doubly impressive.
The driving force of the series would be similar to the original take on “Spawn,” namely, how do you do good when your powers come from a bad place? That’s the issue with Obsidian’s darkforce powers, which allow him to merge with shadows and use that darkness to attack people. However, the darkness also constantly tries to draw Obsidian in, so he has to constantly fight the urge to give into it and to his figurative inner demons. Watching that struggle play out would make for a strong comic book series.
5. Doctor Light
Kimiyo Hoshi, the second character to go by the name Doctor Light, is another superhero who stands out in the DC Universe. She is both Japanese and a female superhero, both of which are areas where DC is a bit lacking in terms of representation, hero-wise (they really don’t have very many Japanese heroes at all, actually). She is also a single mother, which sets her even further apart from the rest of the typical DC Universe heroes.
Light is also an interesting character due to her personality, which began as a bit standoffish. She is a renowned scientist, so she holds herself to such a high standard that she ends up treating others in a similarly harsh manner. As she became a superhero and was inspired by the selfless acts of others, though, her personality began to lighten up. That would be an interesting character arc to follow in an ongoing series, to see someone’s career as a superhero lead to them becoming a better person overall.
4. Fire and Ice
This is a bit of a cheat, so if you want to split these two characters up and bump everyone else down a spot, then fair enough. However, when you come to paired heroes, “solo” is a bit of an odd term, as you would never want to have a “Hawk” or “Dove” solo, or a “Cloak” or “Dagger” solo, because both duos are basically two halves working as one. Therefore, we think that Fire and Ice qualify for that approach, as well.
The two heroines became friends when Ice (then called Ice Maiden) joined the Global Guardians where Fire was known as Green Flame. Soon, they sought out glory by becoming members of Justice League International. The two heroes work so well together because where Fire is outgoing, Ice is reserved. There’s a great dichotomy to them – a yin and yang, a dark side and light side. However, their disparate personalities can also create conflicts with each other, which would be strong areas to pursue if they were to get an ongoing series together.
Soon to be one of the main characters in both the upcoming “Justice League” and “Aquaman” films, Mera is getting a major increase in attention from the world. Naturally, this would be the perfect time for her to receive her own solo series. Mera’s background is a great one. Basically, she was sent to Atlantis to infiltrate their society and betray them, but instead ended up falling in love with Aquaman and turning on her own people.
Thus, Mera is in a unique situation where she is not just a stranger to one world (like how Aquaman has trouble fitting in on land), but rather a stranger in two worlds, both Atlantis and on the surface. Her personality is a lot less willing to accept her own awkwardness in the surface world, which leads to some great scenes as her outrage causes her to make rash decisions at times. Her unique powers (she can force water to harden and be used as a weapon) really help to make her stand out as well.
When it comes to superpowers, Ted Grant, Wildcat, has perhaps the best superpower of all: he’s just too stubborn to give up. A trained boxer, Ted takes his skills in the ring to the streets as Wildcat. The only other hook he has, though, is a great one – somewhere along the line, he was granted nine lives. And not just nine lives in total, but a refillable collection of nine lives, so if you want to kill him, you would have to do so nine times in short succession. Grant already lived life on the edge, but with this additional part to his life, he takes things one step further.
The nine lives hook allows Wildcat to be an intriguing hero, as you can see him pull off things no one would normally try, because he’d know he has a super special safety net. Thus, the sorts of adventures that he can go on have pretty much no limit, as his sheer determination (and nine lives backup) sees him taking on over-sized challenges that would be a blast to read.
1. Jesse Quick
Even before she became a character on the “Flash” TV series, and thus increased her profile significantly, Jesse Quick was one of the top characters in the DC Universe. The daughter of two Golden Age heroes, Liberty Belle and Johnny Quick, Jesse followed in her parents’ footsteps as a superhero. The interesting thing about her heroic journey is that she started slow, so we were able to get to know her gradually before she even took on a superhero identity.
Once she was Jesse Quick, though, Mark Waid integrated her into the “Flash” ongoing series beautifully, making her one of the major supporting cast members in the book. One of the other cast members, Impulse, soon got his own book that lasted for years.
Jesse was a strong businesswoman outside of her superhero endeavors, making her one of the most well-rounded superheroes around. Over time, she also gained her mothers’ super-strength, so she was in the unique position of inheriting superpowers from both parents, since she gained her super speed from her father. Jesse eventually married Rick Tyler, the son and superhero successor of Rex Tyler, the original Hourman.
Jesse has yet to appear in the DC Universe Post-New-52, but given her TV appearances, the timing is right to add her to the DCU and give her her own ongoing series!
Which DC Comics hero would you like to see get their own solo series that hasn’t had one yet? Let us know in the comments!
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