How many times has this happened to you? You buy a ticket to see the movie adaptation of your favorite comic book only to learn too late that some of your favorite comic book characters have been left out of the movie altogether. Disappointed, you sulk over your popcorn, imagining how much different the movie would have been had the production team simply included these forgotten comic book characters.
The journey from book to film is a daunting one and avid readers and fans often find themselves mourning characters they really loved before the opening credits to a film even roll. The problem is that movie makers have a few too many restraints.
Sometimes the budget is too low and they can't afford to include your favorite names. Sometimes a star-studded cast requires cutting out entire scenes. Sometimes, your favorites are just outright being ignored. There are probably hundreds of DC comics characters who should've been in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and dozens more Marvel comics characters that would have enhanced Deadpool, not the least of whom is Marvel's Taskmaster. There are whole plotlines that could have gone differently and aspects of the comic book universe that went unexplored as a direct result of such eliminations.
Fear not, though, fans. Here's a list of some of the best comic book characters that didn't quite make the cut, but should have, along with which movies they could have made better.
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice was initially rumored to feature the notoriously popular character Green Lantern. Green Lantern has been down with DC Comics since the 22nd issue of Showcase and he’s never failed to disappoint. His masterful control over hard light constructs would have added a necessary futuristic twist to this otherwise redundant plot line.
Seeing these two heroes, Batman and Superman, teeter on the line between hatred and friendship is always entertaining, but this movie really could have used a trusted character to enhance its momentum and Green Lantern was just the guy to bring that. Sadly, cinema has failed the epic Green Lantern yet again.
Poison Ivy is one of those characters who simply can't catch a break in movies. Her bit part in Batman and Robin should have been a starting point for her in film adaptations of comics, not the end of the road.
Poison Ivy has everything the Suicide Squad needs to be victorious - brains, botany, and the kiss of death. She's also been on the team since issue 33, so why has her magical flower yet to see its cinematic bloom?
At a time when women superheroes are supposed to be trending, cinema's reluctance to cast more than one key female character at a time seems really backward. Casting Harley as the "token girl" instead of the complicated crime machine she is in the comics had her looking like, well, a clown. Adding Ivy to the mix was the move the movie makers missed and it would have put Suicide Squad dead on.
One character that sadly hit the cutting room floor in Deadpool was Taskmaster and his absence left behind a sigh of disappointment. It's not that Deadpool really needed Taskmaster to pull in hundreds of millions of dollars at the box office, but having him around would have certainly added an element of mystery. Taskmaster is a powerful player because he's tied to so many comics, from Spider-Man to Deadpool to the Avengers and it's sometimes difficult to tell which side he's on. In fact, there have been times when Deadpool and Taskmaster have ever-so-reluctantly worked together.
As for his absence, the issue wasn't financial; it was about his movie rights being tied up at the time of production. Movie rights put a real damper on the Deadpool production and Taskmaster is just one of many characters who were tied up in paperwork at the time. All in all, the film was more than acceptable, but Taskmaster would have made it even better.
Christopher Nolan’s Batman films are dark. They’re edgy and they’re arguably the most realistic portrayal of Batman ever. This is super difficult to pull off because Batman has been a comic book and film staple for more than seven decades and growing. Still, these films are missing a key character whose importance in the comics cannot be understated: Robin.
There were numerous times over the years when Batman lost his luster. Times when his comics took him too far and he just wasn’t as relatable as usual (like that time right after the moon landing when he appeared to have left Earth indefinitely). At times like this, his saving grace wasn’t his Batarang or whichever lover he was swooning over at the time. It was Robin. It was always Robin and while at first glance Robin might come across as hokey or overly cartoonish, he could totally fit into the Nolan adaptation if painted with the right brush. Robin’s youth, wit, endurance, and loyalty were sadly missed in Gotham, not just under Christopher Nolan’s direction, but in several other new movies as well.