How popular are the rest of the JLA?

#1 Edited by Gambit1024 (9890 posts) - - Show Bio

I've been thinking about the potential JLA movie that we'll eventually be getting, and it made me think about the JL's members and just how popular they actually are. No doubt, Superman, Batman, and Green Lantern are out there and the public recognizes them by name. Batman's Batman, Superman's popularity and fame are on par with that of Mickey Mouse or Santa Claus, and GL's recent (sucky) movie was showcased everywhere through different media (commercials, toys, etc.) But what about the other characters? Specifically, I'm talking about Wonder Woman, Flash, Aquaman, and Martian Manhunter.

Now I know what some of you are thinking: "Gambit! Wonder Woman is part of the holy DC Trinity! How dare you?!"

Let's take a step back, though. Diana is no doubt a comic book icon, as well as a spokeswoman for women everywhere, but when was the last time she was relevant outside the books? The 70's live-action show? It seems people of that generation are familiar with that character, but that was way back in the 70's, man. What about Bruce Timm's JL cartoon? Was the character even popular when she was on that cartoon? If I had to make a guess, I'd say that she was among the least popular on that show. The Timm cartoons were generally marketed towards the boys, and the boys aren't going to identify with an Amazon who fights crime in what is essentially a swimsuit and tiara. Even if they did, would they have been embarrassed by it? I know when I was younger, I was a big fan of The Powerpuff Girls, but if my friends ever found that out, they'd make fun of me. Is it possible that that could have been the case about WW? Just something to think about.

Then there's Flash, a character that's really only been introduced in two mediums: the live-action TV series (which I really wouldn't consider a success), and the Timm JL series. Flash (in this case, Wally West) was probably the most liked on the cartoon after Batman because of his comic relief, but when the show ended, nobody was asking about what was up with the character. It's like all the people who watched the show sort of forgot about the character. Sure, you'll maybe see a reference to the character's speed in a Family Guy cut scene or something, but after the Timm series was done, the fans appeared to leave with it.

Martian Manhunter is a character that the general audience had no idea even existed before the Timm series. I actually don't even recall the character being used in any media (outside the books) period, including the Super Friends back in the 70's. As far as his popularity in the Timm show was concerned, I would also say that he wasn't very popular on it. I know that when I was a kid, I disliked the character because all it seemed that he was good for was telepathy, and getting his ass whooped telepathically (which was basically every other episode). Of course, after doing some reading and having an open mind, I have a huge respect for the character, and am among the few who demand his presence in a JL film. But that's just me, though. What about the other kids who grew up on the show? Was anyone a fan of the character? Does today's general audience even recognize him?

And then there's the character that continuously gets bashed upon by the general public: Aquaman. Yes, I'm aware that the New 52 was excellent to him, but to the non-comic book readers... Well, let me quote something I saw on Facebook:

Aquaman is a nobody. Nobody cares about him, not even DC.
As of right now, that comment was made about two hours ago, and in that time, it also received 20 "likes." Is that really how the general audience perceives the character? A nobody? I know the Super Friends show was a joke, and the continuing gags on shows like Family Guy aren't helping the character at all. But is that what Arthur has become to the non-comic readers? A nobody? I would agree that the general consensus as far as the public goes is that he's a joke, but the term "nobody" seems very harsh, in my opinion.

So what do you think? We know that Superman, Batman, and Green Lantern are in today's audiences' heads and will likely remain there as long as the superhero movie is popular, but just what about the rest of the League? Do people remember Wonder Woman? Are there still Flash fans out there? Do people even know who Martian Manhunter is? Will Aquaman ever be more than a "nobody?" Where do you stand, and where do you think the public stands?
#2 Posted by Twentyfive (2845 posts) - - Show Bio

I will tell you one thing. If DC REALLY cared about their characters beyond the comics, we would have seen that Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Flash movie by now. They don't care about their characters having their own movies. They care about green. Look at Catwoman.

#3 Posted by Mediumguy (166 posts) - - Show Bio

@Twentyfive said:

I will tell you one thing. If DC REALLY cared about their characters beyond the comics, we would have seen that Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Flash movie by now. They don't care about their characters having their own movies. They care about green. Look at Catwoman.

We don't talk about Catwoman here.

#4 Posted by SmashBrawler (5732 posts) - - Show Bio

Dude, you have stop reading comments in Facebook. They're almost as bad as the ones in YouTube. Plus, I've heard they emit a special kind of radiation that kills neurons. How do you think that comment got 20 likes?

Now seriously (well, that was kind of serious, Facebook and YouTube commenters do suck):

@Gambit1024 said:

Do people remember Wonder Woman? Are there still Flash fans out there? Do people even know who Martian Manhunter is? Will Aquaman ever be more than a "nobody?" Where do you stand, CV?

I know some people remember WW, but mostly as a pop culture character from decades ago. Flash is kind of known, but his popularity is obviously decreasing. People don't know who J'onn is, and yes, Aquaman can be more than a "nobody". That's why DC needs movies for some of these characters, and that's the problem with the "DC doesn't need to follow the Marvel formula" theory, they kinda do, since their characters haven't been relevant in years. Marvel didn't make Thor or Captain America only as build-up for The Avengers, they also did it so people knew and remembered who these characters were (Iron Man was practically an unknown for the non-reader folk before his first movie), and cared enough to see them team up in one big, epic movie.

#5 Edited by Gambit1024 (9890 posts) - - Show Bio

@Twentyfive: Is that really a DC decision, or is that a WB decision? From 2001 to 2011, WB's main summertime focus was the Harry Potter franchise. Could it be that WB just wants to focus on one thing at a time? I mean, just now we're getting a Superman film taken seriously, a Green Lantern movie (it failed, but they still did it), and a Batman franchise that (in my opinion) is one of the best stories about the character ever told. By 2015, they were talking about the JLA movie finally seeing the light of day, so maybe the guys at WB were the ones holding the characters back.

#6 Posted by Gambit1024 (9890 posts) - - Show Bio

@SmashBrawler: I know Facebook comments are filled with morons, but as much as I hate to admit it, this is the general audience. There's a reason why sh*t movies like Saw VII or Grown Ups or Zookeeper made the cash they made. I hate it as much as you do, but I really think that there's something to the facebook and youtube communities, as idiotic as they are.

#7 Posted by SmashBrawler (5732 posts) - - Show Bio

@Gambit1024: Oh, of course, but the point is there's always going to be idiots in the Internet. Always. Way too much people get access to a PC. You can't release an awesome movie and expect everyone to think Aquaman is badass now.

Back on topic, the other problem with WB/DC ATM is that they don't have their own Marvel Studios to coordinate all this stuff. That's why Marvel doesn't have epic failures like Jonah Hex and Cathurl. They have people who care about this characters in charge. For WB execs the Justice League, John Constantine and Ambush Bug are all the same thing.

#8 Posted by PowerHerc (83679 posts) - - Show Bio

Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman are all household names and instantly recognizable icons. All must be in any JLA movie

Green Lantern and the Flash are both known mainly to comic book/superhero fans but not to the general population at large. Both should be in any movie but could conceivably be omitted.

Ironically, due to the "Super Friends"cartoon, Aquaman is probably more well-known than all JLA members except for the Big Three. His presence in a movie would make sense to fans but he might be a hard character to fit into any non-aquatic plot.

Neither Martian Manhunter nor Cyborg are well known outside comic fan circles and either could easily omitted or replaced in a JLA movie in favor of Zatanna, Dr. Fate, Hawkman, Green Arrow, Black Canary or the Atom.

#9 Posted by cameron83 (7302 posts) - - Show Bio

Agreed,but maybe it can be different now since,not only can this be the straw that broke the camels back for many fans,but will have an effect on how people see DC.Avengers set the bar high,DC had their chance to make a justice league movie long ago,but didn't (the lawsuits are an exception).Now that avengers is a success,they decide to make a move.I hope that this justice league movie meets my expectations,and then I/everyone will be pleased,and it will make things alot easier on DC.Especially for their movie universe....But I like the comics much better.I don't really like anything from marvel except their key characters/concepts (daredevil,captain america,black panther,cyclops,thor,etc)......others I don't give a crap about.And some of their key charaters I don't really like (like iron man).

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#10 Posted by Gambit1024 (9890 posts) - - Show Bio

@SmashBrawler: I agree. If DC had it's own version of Marvel Studios, we'd have definitely seen something better than what we've been getting. The executives at WB must either be blind or stupid to not see the path they should've been taking since 2008. Yes, The Dark Knight was a monster at the box-office, but why did it take what seemed like forever to get a fair-chanced Superman film off the ground? It could've easily been made two years ago, not to mention your Wonder Woman and good GL film, and we probably could have been a good film or two away from a JLA film by now.

#11 Posted by cameron83 (7302 posts) - - Show Bio

@Gambit1024 said:

@SmashBrawler: I agree. If DC had it's own version of Marvel Studios, we'd have definitely seen something better than what we've been getting. The executives at WB must either be blind or stupid to not see the path they should've been taking since 2008. Yes, The Dark Knight was a monster at the box-office, but why did it take what seemed like forever to get a fair-chanced Superman film off the ground? It could've easily been made two years ago, not to mention your Wonder Woman and good GL film, and we probably could have been a good film or two away from a JLA film by now.

EXACTLY!!!!

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#12 Posted by SmashBrawler (5732 posts) - - Show Bio

@Gambit1024: Indeed. Too bad we're just a bunch of people on the Internet who can't change anything about this :/

We can only hope Man of Steel means:

  1. The return to popularity for the Man of Steel himself.
  2. The introduction of a good DC Cinematic Universe.

We can only hope (jeez, maybe we should be wearing blue rings).

#13 Posted by turoksonofstone (13199 posts) - - Show Bio

@Twentyfive said:

I will tell you one thing. If DC REALLY cared about their characters beyond the comics, we would have seen that Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Flash movie by now. They don't care about their characters having their own movies. They care about green. Look at Catwoman.

Ha, Wonder Woman, Batman, Superman. DC has them and that is all. the remainder are largely unknown outside comics.

#14 Edited by Superdork (917 posts) - - Show Bio

Sorry, but I don't think Martian Manhunter will be in the film.

Can you see DC's/Warner's hints in their multimedia synergy campaign to promote the Justice League?

I bet you can see the movie cast. I'll even put it all in order for you.

Jim Lee DCUO Wallpaper
New52 Founders
Justice League Doom
Lego Batman 2
Justice League Earth's Final Defense
Injustice
Sports Illustrated Cover
#15 Posted by colonyofcells (2038 posts) - - Show Bio

You cannot have a large cast for the first Justice League movie. Transformers started with just 5 Autobots. Avengers had 4 solo stars and threw in 2 more to promote the 2 who were less popular. Dc's icons are just 5 : Superman, Batman, WW, Green Lantern and Flash. The movie can be used to promote maybe 1 more character such as Cyborg and to also have 1 african american. In the Smallville tv show Justice League, there were 2 african americans : Cyborg and Martian Manhunter. Martian Manhunter is too similar to Superman.

#16 Edited by Gambit1024 (9890 posts) - - Show Bio

I think people are missing the point of this thread. It's not about who will be in the JLA movie. That's a whole other topic that's been done on this forum a hundred times. This is just questioning the popularity of the characters themselves, specifically the main seven. The only reason I brought up the movie is because that's the spark that made me think about the team's popularity outside Superman, Batman, and Green Lantern.

#17 Posted by colonyofcells (2038 posts) - - Show Bio

Dc's icons were more well known than the Marvel icons before the Marvel movies came out. People are familiar with the dc icons from tv shows like cartoons and the Smallville tv show, theme parks, past movies, etc. Dc needs to do more revamps so that the less popular properties can be useful in tv shows and movies. Dc has a lot of lame properties which need more revamps.

#18 Posted by cameron83 (7302 posts) - - Show Bio

@colonyofcells: (for old universe) completely agreed.But it's also because of marvel's movies (like you said).ALL DC NEEDS is a good justice league movie,and there you go...

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#19 Posted by Superdork (917 posts) - - Show Bio

@Gambit1024: To that point, they are clearly still being featured outside of comics. They were on Sports Illustrated this month. I'm not worried about their popularity or name recognition.

#20 Posted by colonyofcells (2038 posts) - - Show Bio

People do know about the dc properties and some do have negative opinions on the lame dc properties like Aquaman or Martian Manhunter. Dc also has too many similar characters so being recognized does not really help much in terms of popularity. Superman from krypton, WW from paradise island, Aquaman from atlantis, Martian Manhunter from Mars, Hawkman from Thanagar, etc.

#21 Edited by SUNMAN (7239 posts) - - Show Bio

-Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman are pop-culture icons. And Superman and Batman get a lot of exposure.

-Aquaman and Flash are pop-culture icons to a lesser extent but still pop-culture icons and relatively known.

-Despite some comic fan beliefs, Green Lantern was not a pop-culture icon, even if he may have been known from the super friends cartoon. His movie albeit widely panned gives him a big recognition boost, because it was so recent.

-Martian Manhunter is pretty much unknown, and wasn't used outside of comics until the Bruce Timm Justice League cartoon. Over the last 8 years DC tends to use him more with Justice League related cartoons but that's about it. So fans of the Justice League cartoon should be aware of Martian Manhunter, but he is not very popular in general.

-Green Arrow was known by older fans, but in recent years has had minor cartoon appearances and played supporting on Smallville. Those instances didn't seem to do much for his character outside of comics. His new CW show however, is recieving good rating and has certainly bumped up his popularity. To what extent it is unclear as of yet.

-Cyborg has always been more of a B-list team character, however he is always a character DC tried to push in animated projects. He was a member of the Justice League in the original Galactic Guardians cartoons. Appeared in old Teen Titans commercials, and finally made it onto the Teen Titans Go cartoon. I wouldn't say Cyborg's as popular as the others (excluding Martian Manhunter), but his exposure is ever increasing. WB even stuck him in the Justice League a few years ago for a fisher price toy line:

DC's been doing a full court press multimedia marketing campaign with the Justice League brand, and since Flashpoint last year Cyborg's been front and center: http://www.comicvine.com/justice-league-of-america/65-31815/dcwarner-justice-league-movie-multimedia-synergy-campaign/92-715058/#3

From: comics- Flashpoint to Justice League, to free cross market comics, animated features- Justice League: Doom, the upcoming Justice League Flashpoint, video games: Injustice Gods Among Us other stuff: Justice League: Alien Invasion 3D ride, KIA's new Justice League cars

-DC's been in the process of pushing the Justice LEague brand across several fronts for at least a year now. Characters involved in the push: Batman, Superman, Aquaman, Green Lantern, Wonder Woman, Cyborg, Flash. These characters will continue to get exposure, they are part of DC's longterm plan for the brand.

-Green Arrow can probably also be included in this assessment, from his tv-show, to videogame appearance and his new A-list comic team. He is a character DC is taking seriously.

#22 Posted by KZR (487 posts) - - Show Bio

I live in London and I can tell you the British folk aren't exposed to characters like Aquaman or Flash or Cyborg etc. Wonder Woman is kind of known because of the old TV series but comic book readers in this country under the age of 20 are extremely rare. Walk around London and ask if they've heard of or read The Killing Joke and they will not know. People know Superman and Batman because they're so popular but personally I've read comics and studied them for a few years and I'm one of very few readers here.

#23 Posted by Bludhaven (32 posts) - - Show Bio

As much as it pains me to say, I think The Flash's greatest exposure, in recent years, has come from The Big Bang Theory. Whenever I mention Flash around my friends they always reference a time one of the characters dresses as The Flash. But even though you still see the lesser known characters in comics, animated films and games, they will still remain largely unknown to the general audience unless they are pushed into bigger media formats. For example take Thor and Wonder Woman, two very similar characters, most people will still be able to tell you more about Thor than Wonder Woman despite the fact Wonder Woman has been present in nearly all depictions of the Justice League in all of their different media pushes.

#24 Posted by SUNMAN (7239 posts) - - Show Bio

Exposure and popularity aren't that big of a deal at teh end of the day. If a studio makes a good movie and markets it well that is often enough.

The Avengers or X-men were not super popular around the world before their movies.

#25 Edited by Gambit1024 (9890 posts) - - Show Bio

@SUNMAN: The X-Men were. At least in the US anyway. The 90's was very good to them

#26 Edited by colonyofcells (2038 posts) - - Show Bio

Dc properties will be more popular if they are not silly. Superman still looks like a male ballet dancer with a dumb disguise and silly weakness like kryptonite. Wonder Woman costume still looks like a bathing suit. Many dc characters like Superman and Green Lantern are also too powerful and the other Justice League members really have nothing to do.

#27 Posted by Superdork (917 posts) - - Show Bio

@colonyofcells said:

Dc properties will be more popular if they are not silly. Superman still looks like a male ballet dancer with a dumb disguise and silly weakness like kryptonite. Wonder Woman costume still looks like a bathing suit. Many dc characters like Superman and Green Lantern are also too powerful and the other Justice League members really have nothing to do.

For looks, the costume departments in movie studios can be relied on to make them look good.

Wonder Woman can have a gladiator skirt

And power levels are guranteed to be nerfed. It worked on the Justice League cartoon, and it can work in live action. I mean, the Avengers nerfed Thor, Iron Man, and Hulk A LOT.

#28 Posted by SUNMAN (7239 posts) - - Show Bio

@Gambit1024: not as much as you might think for general audiences, a few members were, but the whole team and its villains not so much

#29 Posted by Gambit1024 (9890 posts) - - Show Bio

@SUNMAN: I'm not saying the whole team (that was well over 30 characters at the time, at least), but the main members were in the public mindset. Professor X, Wolverine, Cyclops, Storm, and Magneto automatically come to mind. Besides, Jim Lee's X-Men #1 in the 90's was a gigantic seller (one of the biggest of all time), and half of the people that bought copies weren't even comic book fans, let alone readers. They were just in it for the potential value those comics would have later on.

#30 Posted by Bludhaven (32 posts) - - Show Bio

@colonyofcells: Sorry but that age-old argument of characters being too powerful is just ridiculous. Any story that features a powerful protagonist will feature a more powerful antagonist. This is just a way of adapting a story or situation to better suit the characters. In the case of the Justice League, characters will always have something to do, writers will always find some way making them useful. If you've ever read a Justice League comic you would see that, and honestly 99% of the time it seems very naturalistic and not at all forced.

#31 Edited by SUNMAN (7239 posts) - - Show Bio

@Gambit1024: the X-men were known and had a fanbase, but there are still significant number of demographics unfamiliar with them prior to the movies. I'm talking about general audiences here, comic fans even in the 90's doesn't translate into a large percentage of the general audience today. It's a noticeable percentage maybe but not a large one. I do recognize that they had significantly more exposure than say the Avengers or the Justice League characters prior to 2004.

I think the cartoon show was one medium that helped, but if we are talking about the general world wide movie audience. Many would be unfamiliar or vaguely familiar with the X-men prior to the movies. Even the current movies were really just a platform for Wolverine and a handful of others.

And don't get me wrong X-men were around in a lot of mediums outside of comics, so that really helped boost there popularity and is why they use to be much popular than the Avengers. They had cartoon shows, video games, merchandise etc. X-men were just crazy popular as far as superheroes and comics went. I think the Avengers have taken up that mantle for the moment though.

What Justice League heroes have going for them is age. They've been around since the 40's. Well the big 3 anyway. The team was the 2nd big main stream super team to ever form and the mos tpopular one at the time. But what really boosted these characters was the superfriends shows and old Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman shows. These shows are forever embedded in popculture. These were the first heroes at the rodeo. Over the years this means less and less with teh marketing of other heroes and big blockbuster movies, but older generations and to an extent younger generations still recognize these characters.

For Avengers, marvel just had a very effective marketing strategy and has been dumping Avengers related movie after avengers related movie each year since 2008

#32 Edited by Cyclops4ever (40 posts) - - Show Bio

@colonyofcells: I always thought that as well, I love the JL but for example, in the games like mk vs dc and the upcoming gods among us, they have the DC heroes fighting eachother and that always raises the question, wouldnt supes and green lantern dominate all? Batman is cool obviously but stands no chance against those two without kryptonite and some crazy gadget etc. Also Flash being super fast could win against all except supes and gl. I say some DC HEROES belong in their own books only like Bats and Aquaman

#33 Posted by desmond006 (596 posts) - - Show Bio

the genera public doesn't know anything about the justice league, other than Superman and Bats. They barely know WW and GL.

#34 Posted by Jack Donaghy (1026 posts) - - Show Bio

@desmond006 said:

the genera public doesn't know anything about the justice league, other than Superman and Bats. They barely know WW and GL.

They know Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman, and most people are at least vaguely familiar with the JL. Whether it be older people who know of the Super Friends or younger people who know of them from JL or JLU, Smallville or other media appearances. People also know of Aquaman he's a household name because of Super Friends and being a pop culture joke for decades, Green Lantern even if they didn't see the movie they saw commercials for it, kids watch the cartoon, they know of Flash like someone earlier mentioned Sheldon was him for Halloween and wears his shirt often on the Big Bang Theory.

#35 Posted by desmond006 (596 posts) - - Show Bio

@Jack Donaghy: Really? they know what the characters look like but thats about it. If I asked some one a question about those characters origin, powers, or power source most people wouldn't be able to answer all three questions. probably not even two of them.

#36 Posted by SupBatz (1734 posts) - - Show Bio

@SUNMAN said:

Exposure and popularity aren't that big of a deal at the end of the day. If a studio makes a good movie and markets it well that is often enough.

The Avengers or X-men were not super popular around the world before their movies.

Agreed. The general public (myself included) didn't know Iron Man or Thor before their movies. Now pretty much everybody knows of them (at least vaguely).

All it takes is a good movie that is marketed well to make a character popular or well known.

#37 Posted by Superdork (917 posts) - - Show Bio

@desmond006 said:

@Jack Donaghy: Really? they know what the characters look like but thats about it. If I asked some one a question about those characters origin, powers, or power source most people wouldn't be able to answer all three questions. probably not even two of them.

You don't need to know their origins or power source etc. Look at the Justice League cartoon. In the first episode they introduce 3 characters without origins: Green Lanter, Flash, and Hawkgirl. As the series progressed, major characters never had their backgrounds show: Vixen, Vigilante, Shining Knight, Green Arrow, Stargirl, etc. People just knew that they were heroes, and that was enough. The Incredible never showed origins or power sources either. It was NBD.

The Justice League movie will be like Brightest Day, in that it will be an introduction and sampler to 6 heroes, so that audiences will start to like all 6 heroes before they even get their own films. It will rejuvenate some franchises and restart others. Then Warner has 7 franchises to profit from.

#38 Posted by desmond006 (596 posts) - - Show Bio

@Superdork: @Superdork said:

@desmond006 said:

@Jack Donaghy: Really? they know what the characters look like but thats about it. If I asked some one a question about those characters origin, powers, or power source most people wouldn't be able to answer all three questions. probably not even two of them.

You don't need to know their origins or power source etc. Look at the Justice League cartoon. In the first episode they introduce 3 characters without origins: Green Lanter, Flash, and Hawkgirl. As the series progressed, major characters never had their backgrounds show: Vixen, Vigilante, Shining Knight, Green Arrow, Stargirl, etc. People just knew that they were heroes, and that was enough. The Incredible never showed origins or power sources either. It was NBD.

The Justice League movie will be like Brightest Day, in that it will be an introduction and sampler to 6 heroes, so that audiences will start to like all 6 heroes before they even get their own films. It will rejuvenate some franchises and restart others. Then Warner has 7 franchises to profit from.

Good thing I never said they did need to know them. I just said the general public didn't know the characters origin, i did not say anything aboout the success of the movie in relation to the characters popularity. My point was people don't know the characters, not that they need to know them.

#39 Edited by WildStyle (331 posts) - - Show Bio

@desmond006 said:

@Jack Donaghy: Really? they know what the characters look like but thats about it. If I asked some one a question about those characters origin, powers, or power source most people wouldn't be able to answer all three questions. probably not even two of them.

Now this is the truth. The only two JL members that have that type of clout are Batman and Superman . You can't say that about the others.

#40 Posted by cameron83 (7302 posts) - - Show Bio

@colonyofcells: agreed

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#41 Posted by colonyofcells (2038 posts) - - Show Bio

I have to agree that only Superman and Batman are really popular. Green Lantern movie was a flop and the Green Lantern cartoon was also a flop. The main purpose of a Justice League movie is to advertise Green Lantern, Flash and Wonder Woman for more solo movies.

#42 Posted by BlackWind (6341 posts) - - Show Bio

Funnily ernough, once I asked a friend if he knew anything about Wonder Woman, and he said he doesn't keep track of the C-List characters.

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