James Gunn’s DCU has started to take shape. Casting for the universe started with Gunn’s Superman: Legacy. Having his Superman and Lois Lane cast, Gunn has included more eclectic and obscure DC characters. Those confirmed characters include Angela Spice/The Engineer, Hawkgirl, Michael Holt/Mister Terrific, and Rex Mason/Metamorpho.
DC Comics lore has more than just those few lesser-known heroes. The potential for obscure characters that could enter the DCU remains quite vast. With the vastness of lore, the twenty obscure DC characters listed below deserve a chance in the spotlight.
1. Grifter/Cole Cash
Like The Authority, Grifter/Cole Cash is one of DC’s darker comic heroes. His origins should come from the New 52 era of comics to make him effective in the DCU. Grifter served as a Special Ops member and eventual US Army deserter. After his desertion, Grifter became a con artist until one of his cons went bad. When captured by the villainous Daemonites, he gained telepathic abilities.
With his abilities, Grifter becomes an ally to heroes like Superman. He could once again become a friend within Superman: Legacy. His vigilante-inspired origins would contrast well against someone like Superman. The film does not need to showcase his origin since he could already be an operating hero in the DCU. His more violent nature could be an introduction to the darker corners of the universe. Those elements could create a Punisher-like character for the DCU.
2. The Viking Commando/Valoric
Valoric, or Viking Commando, could play an interesting DCU role.
As a son of Odin, Valoric becomes lost in time, ending up in World War II. He served as one of the most physically effective and dangerous men in the war. Apart from his appearance in the “Weird War Tales” corner of DC Comics, Valoric could appear in one upcoming DCU property. The Viking Commando would perfectly fit the upcoming Creature Commandos television series. His military, soldier-at-the-ready mentality could work best in Amanda Waller’s team.
Valoric’s barbarian instincts could work in one unique way for Creature Commandos. He could be the first “villain” the team faces, eventually turning into an ally throughout the series. This would allow him a chance to turn into a DCU herowithin the universe.
3. Detective Chimp
Detective Chimp serves as a street detective in DC Comics originating from the 1950s. He succeeded as a detective until 1953, when Rex the Wonder Dog took him to the fountain of youth, giving him the ability to speak. Eventually, the character began to solve crimes until the death of his owner.
While the origin does not regularly intersect with other DC characters, Detective Chimp could play a new kind of role in DCU. He could cross paths in the confirmed Batman The Brave & The Bold film. Amanda Waller could use him as a potential asset to gain information on Batman, which could introduce the caped crusader to other obscure DC characters.
4. Deadman/Boston Brand
Deadman/Boston Brand becomes a superhero after his death by an assassin. Deadman’s powers allow him to haunt the mortal world by possessing bodies. Throughout his history in DC, he joined many different superhero teams often comprised of obscure DC characters. He could connect to the DCU in the new Green Lantern series, Lanterns. Deadman could be a villain in the series and possibly the overarching villain our Lanterns face. Such supernatural abilities could help amplify the mystery the Lantern Corps have to solve. His power could elevate the horror and thriller-like aspect, making him one of the universe's scariest characters.
Equinox serves to link the evil Lords of Chaos and Order. In DC Comics, Equinox fought characters like Batman and Dr. Fate. His powers of magic made him a threat to every existing set of heroes in the DC world. The character looks to restore the balance his overlords, Chaos and Order, hope to achieve.
Equinox’s cosmic history could let him appear in various DCU projects. He could be a villain in The Lanterns, the new Batman, or possibly Superman: Legacy. Equinox could force the DCU’s heroes to unite against a Thanos-like threat, The Lords of Chaos and Order.
Midnighter plays the role of a violent enforcer in The Authority. With The Authority member The Engineer confirmed in Superman: Legacy, Midnighter could appear too. The character's brutal actions could become a wake-up call to Clark Kent. His role in the team could show Clark that the world needs true heroes through the character's more violent, anti-hero-like nature.
Like Midnighter, Apollo plays another role in The Authority. The character holds the mantle of one of the first openly gay superheroes in print, having a relationship with Midnighter. This could give him a role (or cameo) in Superman: Legacy. With powers similar to Superman's, Apollo could be the only one to match his powerset. While technically a “hero,” the character could act as more of a brutish presence in this universe. Superman could similarly inspire him to become a better hero by the end of their face-off. This interaction could establish Apollo as one of the DCU's strongest heroes.
8. The Human Bomb
The Human Bomb can emit massive explosions from his body. Fighting in the All-Star Squadron of World War II (a whole band of obscure DC characters), he became one of the universe's first truly patriotic heroes. Like The Viking Commando, he could bridge the past and present DCU.
The character’s brutal skill set could make him a villain or ally, most likely appearing first in The Creature Commandos. Amanda Waller could use his powers as a last resort, especially if his path crosses with someone like Superman. His role could be an attempt to control Superman, deeming him as a threat to America.
9. Knight & Squire
A pair of obscure DC characters, Knight and Squire exist as the British Batman & Robin. The duo has their own barrage of villains, allowing them to partake in their own set of adventures across the pond.
Regarding the DCU, the character's role could be as allies to Batman & Robin. Whatever the plot of the new Batman: The Brave & The Bold, they can works as teammates. The mystery of the new Batman could extend to Knight & Squire, calling the obscure DC characters to intersect. With the historical comic similarities, it would be an exciting combination to see in fight sequences on screen. It would also give the chance to expand the numerous variants of classic, obscure DC characters.
10. Starman/Thom Kaller
Starman existed as another obscure hero in DC lore. The “One Year Later” comic line-up of the Justice Society had the strangest version of Starman. Thom Kaller existed as a schizophrenic version of the character, having voices haunt him through his time and space adventures. This damaged, cosmic character could appear in the Lanterns. Instead of a villain, Kallor could be an ally to the Green Lantern Corps. His powers might be uncontrollable, but end up beneficial to the investigation. That could make the character one of the DCU’s best new heroes. His “insanity” could give the Lanterns their needed answers.
11. Matter-Eater Lad
Matter-Eater Lad has an already-referenced past with a DCU character. In the television show Peacemaker, he briefly mentions teaming up with Matter-Eater Lad. The character's history throughout comics remains limited. Tenzil Kim, from the planet Bismoll, developed the ability to eat anything. This makes his history in DC vary from vigilante to political figure within the government. To fit in the DCU, the character has a very unique position and film he could appear in. Keeping in the vein of monsters, Matter-Eater Lad could be a political figure in the upcoming Swamp Thing. While having never crossed paths with the character, their mutual monstrous appetites could be an asset. Matter-Eater Lad could become an ally to Swamp Thing, helping him eat away his enemies. It could also connect the larger Justice League to this darker, monstrous side of the universe.
12. Vic Sage/the Question
Like Detective Chimp, The Question would make a great addition to the roster of classic DC detectives. A member of The Justice League in the past and protector of Hub City, Victor Sage has had an active comic history. He has commonly teamed up with Batwoman, which could connect him to another DCU character. With the DCU’s Batman The Brave & The Bold, The Question could cameo in the film. His detective abilities could connect to whatever case the “bat family” (which will most likely include Batwoman) participates in. Batman could help introduce the universe to another lesser-known DC detective.
Per the comics, the character embodies God’s Wrath. As a disembodied spirit, he delivers justice in the name of the Almighty. Such a spiritual backstory gives the character a demented past, and could make him fit in one place. Spectre could appear in something like the upcoming film The Authority. With The Authority dealing in brutality, the characters' balance of physical and spiritual actions could prove deeper discussions in the DCU. His role could help ask audiences if violence and brutality help heroes defeat evil.
14. Mister Miracle/Scott Free
Much like The Viking Commando, Scott Free/Mister Miracle existed as the god of escape. His powers made him a Justice League of America member when not moonlighting as an escape artist. The character could connect to another circus performer, Robin, to fit within the DCU. His performing past could help ingratiate him within Gotham City and join the yet-to-form Justice League.
15. The Creeper/Jack Ryder
The Creeper adds to the cavalcade of darker, obscure DC characters. Gaining his powers from experimentation, Jack Ryder lives in Gotham City. A talk show host by day, his powers give him superhuman abilities to become a vigilante by night. He regularly teams up with Batman, making a pairing in the DCU inevitable. This hero could introduce the demented side of Gotham to Batman, while also showing that not all of the “crazies” end up as villains.
16. Red Tornado
Red Tornado exists as DC’s equivalent to Vision in the Marvel universe. He joined the JSA (Justice Society of America) in the comics and proved himself a valued team member. The JSA could already exist in this DCU as the first primary superhero group, even if made up of obscure DC characters. He could be the essence of “good” vs. the Authority's roles as the “bad” in the DCU's starting stages.
17. Dr. Light/Arthur Light, Jacob Finlay
Dr. Light serves as both a superhero and supervillain in the DCU. Both versions involve Arthur Light (the villain) and Jacob Finlay (the hero). How both characters could appear in the DCU remains unclear. Their separate comic histories have them crossing paths with groups like The Justice League and The Suicide Squad. With his power of light manipulation, Jacob Finlay could join the ranks of heroes. This could happen in any superhero DCU project, even something like Superman: Legacy as a hero or Creature Commandos (in the Arthur Light persona) as a villain.
18. The Atomic Knight
The Atomic Knight earned the title of one of the most powerful forces who led an army in DC comics and one of the most obscure DC characters. The Knights earned the name from their futuristic armor. While the comic connections with DC heroes remained limited, the DCU has a perfect title to introduce them. The team can appear in the Paradise Lost TV series. While designed as a prequel, the time-traveling group can connect the past and present. Their futuristic abilities vs. the Amazonians' medieval ones could make for an action-packed combination.
19. Ragman/Rory Regan
Ragman/Rory Regan earned himself the nickname “tattered tatterdemalion of justice.” Like Spectre, Ragman lived as a magic user in DC. He helps control the other magic users in the world, making him a hero who has joined forces with overtime with the Justice League. His role in the DCU could help define other magic users and inform his superhero cohorts (Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman) about the magical threats on the horizon. Such a role could make him a Dr. Strange-like figure in the growing world.
20. Wild Dog/Jack Wheeler
Wild Dog/Jack Wheeler resembles a Punisher-like hero. After losing the love of his life to the mob, Jack becomes a vigilante protecting the streets. While not directly tied into the larger universe, Wild Dog has dealt with characters like Lobo, the intergalactic bounty hunter. Dealing with those characters could help introduce him to the DCU. Wild Dog can be shown as a street-level hero, handling the things Batman can not.