Dear Powers That Be:
While I’m not sure if you want to take the time to read this article, let alone actually consider my proposals, I did want, at least, to bring these ideas forward, if for no other reason than to present to fans of DC comics ideas of what I think would make great shows.
Some have shown excitement over the upcoming Superman And Lois television series. There have also been interest in a few upcoming shows from DC Universe (Bizarro TV, an anthology series that will somehow combine live-action, animation, and puppets to tell stories about some of the strangest and most obscure characters in DC Comics) and the upcoming HBO MAX (Strange Adventures, another anthology series featuring characters from the DC Universe in cautionary tales from a world where super powers exist).
Now, I’m not going to gripe about how some of these shows (not all) seem to be sticking to the mythos of Batman (Batwoman and the upcoming Harley Quinn series, and the Birds Of Prey movie) and Superman (Supergirl and Superman And Lois). As a matter of fact, this isn’t even a column of me complaining about anything. No, I just want to share ideas.
First, yes, there are some characters featured in these shows who really deserve a chance at a series or film, in some cases, some may deserve a second chance or three.
But DC has a huge library of characters that could work well in a series. Some of these, I’ve actually given some thought on in regards to how I would go about adapting these characters to the screen. So, if the CW, DC Universe, HBO MAX, or Warner Brothers is reading this…..some of us here at the station are ready to help you produce these shows (Hey, it doesn’t hurt to try, right? I mean, we do have the talent to pull this off)
Captain Carrot And His Amazing Zoo Crew
Based on the characters featured in the comic created by Roy Thomas and Scott Shaw.
For the uninitiated, here’s the gist. While investigating a strange phenomenon causing people of Metropolis to act like primates, Superman discovers that a beam is coming through a barrier surrounding the Earth. Using a meteor to shield himself from the ray, Superman finds himself on an alternate Earth, Earth-C (Later to be known as Earth 26), a world populated by anthropomorphic animals. The meteor was shattered by the ray, and it’s fragments affected several of this Earth’s citizens, giving them super powers. The team includes:
- Captain Carrot, alter ego, Rodney Rabbit, a rabbit – A comic book artist for Wombat Communications, whose window box of carrots was affected by the meteorite. C.C’s super powers comes from eating one of the cosmic carrots, the only downside being that the effects last only 24 hours.
- Alley-Kat-Abra, alter ego, Felina Furr, a cat – she’s a martial arts instructor who gained her magical powers when a meteor fragment crashed into a pot close by. A stirring stick in the pot was also transformed into a magic wand, or Magic Wanda as Felina named it.
- Yankee Poodle, alter ego, Rova Barkitt, a dog – she’s a journalist who was struck by the meteor fragment and given the powers of “Animal Magnetism”. Using her right hand, blue stars shoot out to repel objects. With her left a red and white stripe which is used to attract objects.
- Rubber Duck, alter ego, Byrd Rentals, a duck – a famous movie star struck by a meteor fragment and given the power of elasticity.
- Fastback, alter ego, Timmy Joe Terrapin – a turtle with the unfortunate habit of being late to work. The meteor fragment hit him, giving him super speed.
- Pig Iron, alter ego, Peter Porkchops, a pig – struck by the meteor, this former steel worker wound up with a body made of steel, literally, giving him super human stamina and strength.
In the original run of the comics, the crew was joined by Little Cheese, aka Chester Cheese, a mouse with the ability to alter his size. Also, later, American Eagle, aka Johnny Jingo, joined the team. He had no powers, but uses gadgets. Their enemies include the evil genius Doctor Hoot, the solar powered Salamandroid, and Cold Turkey, to name a few.
Now, will this work? Yes, why not? Warner Brothers already has a history of funny animal cartoons. If the animation was done right (as in Scott Shaw’s designs), as well as the story, it could very well work out. Of course, Warner Brothers animation hasn’t been lucky with a past attempt on funny animal super heroes (Loonatics Unleashed).
Pilot episode: Pretty much how the first adventure of the crew played out. Extra points if George Newbern can reprise his voice role of Superman from Justice League, unless you want to go the Space Jam route and have Tyler Hoechin guest star in the episode
Based on the comic book created by Joe Simon and Jerry Grandenetti
Prez was a short lived comic book (four issues, with a fifth story later published in the late 70’s) that DC published in 1973. Teenage Prez Rickard (who was named Prez by his mother, who felt that he would one day become the President of the United States) becomes the first teenaged president of the U.S, this is due to an amendment being passed lowering the age of that people can run for public office. His mother is the Vice President, his sister is his secretary, and his Native American friend, Eagle Free, is made director of the FBI. Prez’s nemesis is Boss Smiley, a political boss, who’s head looks like a smiley face button, who wished to use Prez for his own nefarious political gains.
Throughout the short run, Prez faced against, not only Boss Smiley, but a legless vampire and his werewolf henchmen, a militia group led by the great-great-great-great-great-grandnephew of George Washington, and evil chess players. And before you ask, yes, I’m for real. Let’s face it, DC Comics had some weird stuff going on in the 70’s.
After the short run, Prez would be featured in an issue of Vertigo’s Sandman written by Neil Gaiman, which was followed by a one shot from Vertigo. Recently, DC published a miniseries featuring a young girl, Beth Ross, who becomes President after being elected via Twitter, her vice-president was also named Prez Rickard.
Now for the big question: can it work as a TV series? Yes, but not many showrunners are going to be able to take what I just described about the original Prez issues and his adversaries and pull it off. Maybe based on the recent miniseries with Beth, but let’s take Prez Rickard and clean that all up a bit, shall we?
Preston “Prez” Rickard grew up a child genius. At age 17, he had graduated from the Harvard Graduate School, and, due to the said amendment being passed lowering the age of running for public office, runs for Senate, winning the seat. Shortly after, he runs and wins the presidency at age 19, with a little help from Boss Smiley, a rotund looking man, who wears a smiley face button on his lapel, but on this particular Earth, he’s an incarnation of evil. He picks his staff, all of whom are his fellow classmates from Harvard (not teenagers, mid to late 20’s, basically), John Eagle Free is in a similar position as his comic book counterpart. He asks his favorite professor from Harvard, who is an expert on world politics, to be his chief of staff.
The show would be a combination of Aaron Sorkin’s The West Wing and “Name Any Young Adult Series Here”, with a few fantasy elements thrown in.
Pilot episode: After an intro of news footage regarding Prez’s road to the White House, the episode sets up the rest of the series. Featuring a possible romance between two staff members, a bit of political drama, and Boss Smiley confronting Prez near the end of the episode, coming to claim his soul, since Smiley did help Prez win the election, Professor Chief of Staff (Not his real name) intervenes claiming that a President’s term lasts four years, with a possible chance for re-election. Smiley, realizing the loop hole in the contract, leaves in a huff. Professor Chief of Staff then tells Prez, that if he wishes to survive this presidency, he had better take it all serious and act presidential.
Future episodes will include assassination attempts, political intrigue, the professor and Eagle Free working together to thwart the plans of Boss Smiley, the professor’s possible connection with Smiley, and scandal, as Prez and the daughter of the ambassador of Iran fall in love with one another.
Maybe we’ll toss in the legless vampire.
The next two entries, I don’t think much needs changing when bringing them to the screen. A few minor tweakings, perhaps, but on the whole, they’re good as is.
Kamandi, The Last Boy On Earth, was created by Jack Kirby. Set in a post apocalyptic future, after an event known as The Great Disaster, the human race have been reduced to savages. Highly evolved animals now rule the world. The last survivor of a human outpost, Kamandi was found in a bunker, Command D, near what was once New York City. Raised by his elderly grandfather, Kamandi learned of life before the disaster thanks to records and videos kept in the bunker. After the death of his grandfather, Kamandi leaves the bunker and begins to search for surviving humans.
Kamandi’s supporting cast includes Ben Boxer, a mutant genetically engineered to survive the world post Great Disaster, Dr. Canus, a humanoid canine scientist, Great Ceaser, leader of the Tiger Clan and his teenage son, Tuftan. The series would follow the concept of the original comic book series, with Kamandi searching the world in hopes of restoring man’s sentience and civilization.
Night Force, created by Marv Wolfman and Gene Colan, is a group of individuals brought together by Baron Winters and tasked with fighting supernatural forces. They include:
- Baron Winters, a sorcerer with a mysterious background (Don’t all sorcerers have one of those?), who’s tasked with keeping the balance between good and evil. Baron is unable to leave his home, Wintersgate Mansion, and manipulates, sometimes unethically, others to do missions for him. His companion in his home is a pet leopard named Merlin
- Donavon Caine, a professor of parapsychology at Georgetown University. An expert in parapsychology and occultism, his wife, a former student, was killed during a supernatural ritual.
- Jack Gold, a down-on-his-luck reporter for a tabloid newspaper. Jack was recruited by Winters when he was assigned to do an interview with Winters.
- Vanessa Van Helsing. A descendant of Professor VanHelsing. Vanessa possesses the power of telekinesis, which enables her powers in the supernatural. She can also communicate with supernatural beings. These powers have wrecked havoc on her psyche.
Series can be used to, not only feature stories of the supernatural, but also feature other supernatural related characters from the DC Universe. Such as Doctor Occult, Madame Xanadu, and, oh, I dunno …
These are but four properties that I feel have potential as television series, whether it be for the CW, DC Universe, or HBO Max. There are plenty in DC’s library to choose from. They’ve been around since the 1930’s, you could probably take the most obscure character and have a hit.
All of these are merely ideas, you don’t have to consider them. However, should you consider these proposals, an executive producer credit would look very nice on my bare IMDB entry. Hey, like I said, it couldn’t hurt.
C/O SCIFI.radio. SciFi For Your WiFi
Gary DaBaum, SCIFI.radio DJ, writer, and all around nice guy, can be heard on SCIFI.radio. He’s also on Twitter: @GaryDaBaum.