When a superhero movie is announced, everyone hopes for the best. As fans, we all hope that our favorite characters are presented on film in a way that is respectful and faithful to the source material. For the most part, Warner Bros. and DC have done a good job bringing our favorite characters to the big screen. Batman, Superman and, most recently, Wonder Woman have all dazzled in their own films. However, the big-name characters aren’t the only ones to get their moments on the silver screen.
Sadly, in many of the DC films, there seems to be a problem with how they bring secondary characters to life. These characters aren’t the ones that sell the tickets, but each one of them has their own fanbase that has high hopes for their appearances. Sometimes, the character is a parent or love interest of a hero. Other times, they’re heroes themselves, but don’t get their fair share of the spotlight. And in one case in particular, the cast is filled with side characters, but none of them are done well at all. Long story short, this is a list of wasted potential. Let’s take a look at 15 secondary characters that show up in DC films, but are completely ruined.
Let’s be honest, June Moone, aka the Enchantress, isn’t the most beloved DC character of all time. There are probably not many die-hard Enchantress fans out there. However, she is part of Suicide Squad lore, and a character that has shown up in DC comics for decades. With that being said, what happened to her character in the Suicide Squad film is a travesty. Flat out, they took a character that had tons of potential and turned her into a joke.
We’re sure Cara Delevingne is a fine person, but her portrayal of June Moone in the film is horrible. The character was never given a believable backstory, and the acting didn’t help to endear viewers to her. Then, when she’s revealed as the villain, the CGI overshadowed the whole affair. Combined with the hula hoop dancing that Delevingne was doing the whole time, you end up with a disgraceful big screen appearance for what could have been an incredible character.
14. CAROL FERRIS/STAR SAPPHIRE
Carol Ferris has never just been a love interest for Hal Jordan. She’s a capable pilot, and later, is one of the most formidable heroes/villains the DC Universe has seen. So, when the 2011 Green Lantern film was released, fans were anxious and hopeful that actress Blake Lively would be capable of bringing Carol Ferris to the big screen. Unfortunately for fans, she was not up to the task.
In the film, Carol Ferris is shown to be very one-note. She’s stiff and boring. The chemistry between Lively and Ryan Reynolds’ Hal Jordan is almost non-existent. This is odd because the two are now married and have a great relationship off-screen. On-screen, however, Carol is utterly forgettable. If you told a viewer of the film that Blake Lively’s character is actually one of the best Green Lantern characters of all time, they’d probably laugh.
In Suicide Squad, Rick Flag says, “This is Katana. She’s got my back. She can cut all of you in half with one sword stroke, just like mowing the lawn. I would advise not getting killed by her. Her sword traps the souls of its victims.” And with that, you are given the beginning and end of Katana’s characterization on the big screen.
Over the years, Katana has had one of the most interesting stories in the DC Universe. She has been part of multiple big teams, including the Birds of Prey and Justice League. However, in the film, she is introduced so haphazardly that it’s completely jarring. She’s then not given much of anything to do for the rest of the film, with barely any mention of her origin. She looks great, but that’s about it. Worse, that Rick Flag quote is now a meme, with Katana the butt of the joke.
12. JONATHAN KENT
Jonathan “Pa” Kent, is the reason that Superman is who he is. Without Pa Kent, who knows what could have happened to Clark. Pa Kent, along with Martha Kent, is the moral role model that raised this alien baby to become the greatest symbol of hope the Earth has ever seen. Well, that is unless you’ve only seen his appearance in 2012’s Man of Steel, where he’s pretty much the opposite of that.
Kevin Costner’s Pa Kent is a far cry from the Jonathan Kent that readers had grown to love. In Man of Steel, he’s always telling Clark to hide his powers. He goes so far as to tell Clark that he should let other kids die instead of saving them and exposing himself. And in the end, he commits suicide to save a dog, instead of letting Clark save him. Costner’s Pa Kent is selfish, stubborn and a horrible role model to anyone, let alone an alien with immense powers.
11. RICK FLAG
Rick Flag is one of the founders of the Suicide Squad. His first comic book appearance was way back in 1959 in The Brave and the Bold #25. He was consistently shown to be a military war hero and capable leader of Task Force X, aka the Suicide Squad. In the Suicide Squad film, he’s basically Amanda Waller’s puppy dog that can’t lead the team and the entire reason the film’s villain comes into existence.
Seriously, do you believe anything about the love affair between Flag and June Moone? How would the military hero and leader from the comics ever be reduced to a lap dog for Amanda Waller and a lovelorn boyfriend? It’s disgraceful. Not to mention the fact that dialogue that is given to actor Joel Kinnaman is laughable at best. It’s obvious why actors like Jake Gyllenhaal and Tom Hardy ended up passing on the role.
10. TALLULAH BLACK
Unless you’re a big fan of Jonah Hex, it’s highly unlikely you even know who Tallulah Black is. First appearing in 2007’s Jonah Hex #16, Tallulah Black is the definition of survivor. After watching her entire family get murdered, she is assaulted and then shot in the head. She survives and becomes a prostitute, where she survives another brutal incident that leaves her incredibly scarred. From there, she becomes a bounty hunter out for revenge.
With that in mind, why would you cast Megan Fox as Tallulah Black in the 2010 Jonah Hex film? One reason – sex appeal. In the film, Black is reduced to nothing more than a love interest with lots of cleavage. Knowing her history in the comics, it’s incredibly distasteful turning an amazingly complex character like Tallulah into a sex object. We have to guess the filmmakers wanted a love interest for Jonah Hex and saw the name Tallulah Black and barely skimmed her biography.
9. KILLER CROC
Killer Croc is one of Batman’s most recognizable villains. He’s a massive humanoid crocodile that would scare the crap out of just about any superhero. He’s appeared in numerous DC comics, as well as video games and various animated series. In the Suicide Squad film, he should have been the character that wows the audience. Everyone should be in awe of his size and strength.
Instead, he’s an actor under a lot of makeup, that wears a hoodie all the time. He’s not much bigger than the rest of the cast, and his appearance, which is mostly high-quality (Academy Award-winning, in fact) practical effects, is hidden by shabby clothing. Like most of the cast, he’s given very little characterization, and his one “hero” moment draws laughter from the crowd as he awkwardly crawls and swims like a crocodile. If you can’t do it right, why do it at all? That’s all you think when watching Killer Croc on film.
Everyone knows Batgirl. You could poll just about anyone in the world, and they would know about Barbara Gordon, aka Batgirl. Her history is legendary. Her costume is iconic. That’s what makes it hurt so much more when you consider her only live-action film appearance is in the 1997 film Batman & Robin.
Poor Alicia Silverstone. She does her best. It’s just that no matter who they hired to play the character, it would have been a disaster. The character in the film is a bad joke, and not even a good one. She’s not Commissioner Gordon’s daughter, her costume is ridiculous and her dialogue feels written by a child. Also, for some odd reason, they made her a Fast and Furious-style illegal street racer. It’s mind-bogglingly bad.
7. AMANDA WALLER
Amanda Waller is often compared to Marvel’s Nick Fury. They’re both characters that will use less-than-savory means to get what they want. They also both are the brains, and government liaison, behind superhero teams. In the MCU films, Nick Fury is always a step ahead. However, Amanda Waller, in the Suicide Squad film, is shown to be perhaps the dumbest person in the world.
Let’s break it down. She sees Superman tear up Metropolis fighting Zod. She then decides that a team of ruthless murderers could protect humans from Superman, even though most of the team is made up of humans with no powers. Then, she tricks her underpowered team to save her from a character that she created and is 100% responsible for, that is threatening to destroy the world. If you break it down, without Waller, nothing bad would have happened. In the comics, she’s cunning. In the film, she’s a heartless murderer at best, and a complete moron at worst.
6. LUCIFER MORNINGSTAR
Lucifer Morningstar is one of Neil Gaiman’s best creations from his run on The Sandman. He was so beloved by fans, that DC even gave him a long-running solo series that lasted for years. The fallen angel has also gone on to appear in many DC books. Lucifer is also the star of a fairly successful TV series. However, the character was almost completely ruined by his short appearance in 2005’s Constantine film.
Played by Peter Stormare, almost nothing from the comic book translates to the character on the screen. He’s no suave, attractive owner of a piano bar. He’s just an evil, devil-type character. It’s boring and unoriginal. If you didn’t know that Stormare’s Lucifer was from the comics, you would just assume they went with a generic devil character. It’s such a shame because, as the TV series has shown, Lucifer is a rich character, with tons of personality.
5. EL DIABLO
El Diablo’s inclusion on this list isn’t because the character has such a rich history that is ruined on film. As a matter of fact, the character of Chato Santana isn’t one of DC’s more well-known characters. It’s just how he is presented in the Suicide Squad film that takes a character with tons of potential and turns him into something far worse – a stereotype.
The character of El Diablo is supposed to be the most likeable member of the Suicide Squad. He has a tragic backstory, and is not a horrible killer like the rest of the team. However, the filmmakers throw subtlety out the window and make El Diablo an offensive stereotype that is barely part of the film. Then, at the end, he turns out to be the Deus Ex Machina that saves the day. Even if they would have given him no lines, but made him less of a stereotype, that would have been better than what was on screen.
It’s easy to poke fun at 1982’s Swamp Thing film. However, the film’s villain Anton Arcane was halfway decent for most of its running time. In the comics, Arcane has a long history as Swamp Thing’s arch-nemesis, but for most of the character’s history, he’s just been a very mad scientist.
In the film, he’s definitely a mad scientist, so they got that right. Where they go horribly wrong is in the third act, when the character takes a mysterious formula and mutates. Basically, they take Arcane and turn him into a cheesy-looking rubber monster. With the low-budget, they clearly made a generic rubber suit and threw a werewolf mask on top. It’s laughably bad. If they would have come up with some sort of better ending, maybe the character wouldn’t end up on this list. Instead, they completely ruined a character that should have been so easy to adapt.
3. CAPTAIN BOOMERANG
With a name like Captain Boomerang, filmmakers probably worry that viewers would never take the character seriously. For decades, Digger Harkness was always seen as one of Flash’s more silly villains. In recent years, they’ve done a lot to legitimize the character as a worthy adversary, but the truth is, he’s a guy who throws boomerangs; not the most complex character around.
In the Suicide Squad film, Captain Boomerang is just a joke. Honestly, it wouldn’t even be bad if he was a joke, as long as he threw boomerangs. However, Captain Boomerang hardly ever even throws boomerangs. He’s too busy drinking, acting like a fool and carrying around a pink stuffed animal. He’s just another example of a character in Suicide Squad who should have been easy to adapt, but instead, is way worse than anyone could have imagined.
2. TALIA AL GHUL
The relationship between Batman and Talia al Ghul is legendary. In the comics, their relationship is complex. They should naturally hate each other, but they find themselves drawn to each other. They even have a kid that goes on to become Robin! Unfortunately, all that nuance is missing from her lone big screen appearance in The Dark Knight Rises.
The character is a shell of herself in the film, all because director Christopher Nolan wanted a big twist ending. Gone is all the complexity and the great history. Instead, we get a character that is somehow linked to Bane in a weird, almost creepy way, and turns out to be nothing more than a lame James Bond-esque villain. If Nolan would have made her the main villain, and given her the screen time she deserves, it could have been something unique and special. Instead, she joins her father Ra’s al Ghul as reduced to shocking reveals that deserved much, much more.
1. HARLEY QUINN
Harley Quinn is a tricky character. She’s crazy, without a doubt. She’s sexy, in a murderess sort of way. She’s even a capable fighter. On top of all that, she has become one of DC’s most beloved anti-heroes and role models for young women. That’s why it’s such a shame what David Ayer did to the character in Suicide Squad.
If you only look at her on the surface, you might misunderstand the character. Yes, she loved the Joker, but she’s moved on and is a much better person now. Yes, she’s sexy, but you don’t need her to bend over or flash her bra to show us that. However, in the film, she’s reduced to being eye candy and, frankly, an idiot. David Ayer takes all the complexity out of the character, in favor of gratuitous booty shorts. Worst of all, instead of her rebelling against the Joker, the abuse she receives is almost glorified in the film. Here’s hoping they turn it around in the future, and comic fans will maybe get to see the Harley they know and love.
Which characters do you think DC got wrong in film? Let us know in the comments!
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