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The Biggest Superheroes And Villains Who Have Never Appeared In Live-Action

Updated July 13, 2020 14.0k votes 1.5k voters 56.1k views17 items

List RulesVote up the heroes and villains you want to see hit movie or TV screens.

We are clearly living in the Golden Age of comic book-related adaptations - with so many superheroic film and television projects in the works that the list of who isn't in movies is now shorter than the list of those that have appeared somewhere in live action. There aren’t many popular Marvel or DC Comics characters that have yet to make their onscreen debut - but that doesn’t mean there aren’t any.

Comic book adaptations only really began in earnest in the ‘90s, and they didn’t hit their peak until the late 2000s - whereas the stories that inspired them were being published since the ‘30s. As such, there are still countless superheroes and supervillains that have yet to show up in a single Hollywood film or TV series - though one has to think that they’ll all eventually make it there one day. Superhero-related properties are just too profitable for studios to afford leaving any superpowered stone unturned. 

  • John Stewart, The Green Lantern Of An Entire Generation
    Photo: DC Comics

    Hal Jordan was the first Green Lantern of Earth, and he’ll probably always be the most notable individual to wield a Power Ring - but for an entire generation, that person was John Stewart. He’s first selected as Jordan’s backup in Green Lantern #87, but when Hal goes away for a while following the Parallax incident, it’s John who fills in full-time - both on the roster of the Justice League and in the popular Justice League/Unlimited cartoons - which made him the go-to Lantern for almost an entire decade.

    As a Green Lantern, Stewart’s power set is virtually identical to Jordan’s - but their personalities are quite different. As a former Marine, John brings a lot more discipline and martial prowess to the table when wielding a Power Ring - and that’s just one of the many reasons fans have been clamoring for him to appear somewhere in the DCEU. Thus far, he’s been noticeably absent - aside from a few hints in the Arrowverse - but his big-screen debut seems almost inevitable. 

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    Terry McGinnis, The Batman Of The Future

    Terry McGinnis, The Batman Of The Future
    Photo: DC Comics

    Terry McGinnis only recently qualifies as an actual comic book character - being that he was created entirely for the landmark Batman Beyond animated series that brought the story of the Dark Knight into the far-flung future. Taking direct mentorship from an elderly Bruce Wayne and full advantage of the technology of tomorrow, McGinnis represents a new spin on an old classic - and he’s developed a cult following of fans for his trademark spunk.

    McGinnis first appeared in a comic in 2007’s Countdown to Final Crisis #21, but he wasn’t brought into the fold of DC continuity proper until the Futures End event of 2014. His on-page appearances have been few and far between ever since - but that doesn’t mean that audiences won’t burst with enthusiasm the second his slickly designed costume appears onscreen. 

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  • Through three different cinematic iterations, Spider-Man has already faced off with most of his rogues’ gallery on the big screen - but there are still some notable omissions, and Kraven the Hunter is chief on that list. The mystically enhanced super-predator has been pestering Peter Parker since 1964’s Amazing Spider-Man #15, and is a founding member of the Sinister Six - but that still hasn’t earned him a trip to Hollywood. 

    Sergei Kravinoff’s name, costume, and motif may seem too silly for the movies, but he’s also at the center of one of the wall crawler’s most infamous tales - The Last Hunt. During that storyline, Kraven nearly slays Spidey and briefly replaces him - before taking his own life in a fit of madness. Of course, this being comics, he got better - and now he’s waiting in the woods for another crack at the webslinger.

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  • Clayface, A Bat-Baddie Turned Family Member
    Photo: DC Comics

    Clayface is a tough character to pin down - and not just because he’s a shapeshifter. As a former actor turned radioactive mud monster, Basil Karlo became a formidable member of Batman’s rogues’ gallery - perhaps the most notable Bat-villain to never appear in live action. These days, however, Clayface is reformed - and he’s actually made enough of a transition to the side of good that he’s been accepted as an honorary member of the Bat-Family.

    Though he still struggles with his more malicious impulses at times, Karlo now qualifies as a genuine superhero - even masquerading as the Joker as part of Batman’s mission to retake the City of Bane. Whenever he makes it to the big screen, he’s almost certain to use his identity-swapping powers for ill at first - but it will be fascinating to see if the Hollywood version of his character is also able to transition to altruism. 

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