DC has a treasure trove of characters who have fallen by the wayside for one reason or another. Some of them need an update, some of them are saddled down by certain stories, but all of them have one thing in common: the ability to be rejuvenated by a relaunch. Here are a few favorites of mine that I'd like to see get a fresh start.
It only takes one glance to tell you Amethyst was a product from the 80's. From her name to her costume to her title, the Princess of Gemworld, the character is woefully dated. But the premise of her character- a young girl who discovers she is from another world and has incredible powers- is a sound one, and a fantasy adventure series aimed at young girls could be exactly what DC needs right now. The relaunch is the perfect time to revamp the character and introduce her to a new, younger audience.
For a peek at what an updated Amethyst might look like, check out these penciled pages from Last Unicorn artist Renae De Liz.
When Empress was introduced in Young Justice, she had all the makings of a character who'd stick around. Her combination of Vodou and melee fighting gave writers a lot to work with, and her secret agent dad added an extra degree of intrigue to the character. However, near the end of Young Justice's run, she was left raising her magically de-aged parents, a stumbling block most writers couldn't get past. To their credit, several writers tried to use her, but she'd show up only in a single story and then disappear back to obscurity.
Now that the DCU is relaunched, Empress can get a fresh start- one that doesn't involve changing her parent's diapers. She'd fit in great with the current cast of the Teen Titans, or on a new team made up of magic using teens. Here's hoping some writers still remember she's around.
Doctor Thirteen, a paranormal investigator who denies the existence the supernatural, has always been a lot of fun. Seeing him come up with "reasonable" explanations for his frequent partner The Phantom Stranger, his former flame Zatanna, or even his own daughter's magic powers was wonderfully entertaining. However, the more stories that were told with Doctor Thirteen, the less plausible his skepticism became. Most writers lost interest in coming up with new ways for him to deny what was right in front of him, and the character's last notable appearance was in a comic where he was fighting the DC architects for his continued existence.
Giving Doctor Thirteen a cleaner slate makes it easier for writers to use him effectively, and makes his skepticism easier for readers to buy in the process. As long as writers can resist the urge to put him in fantastical situations over and over again, he should be able to entertain readers for years to come.
There are many interesting Milestone characters DC isn't using, and Iron Butterfly is one of them. A Palestinian woman with the power to control metal, Iron Butterfly has potential that wasn't fully explored even in the Milestone universe. A good writer could handle her largely as if she was a new character while exploring all the interesting elements that her creator, Dwayne McDuffie, introduced. And her kick-ass and unique costume doesn't hurt. She'd be perfect for an international team like the JLI, or for a relaunched version of Shadow Cabinet. In the hands of someone like John Rozum, she could even carry her own solo title.
Grant Morrison's take on the classic Kirby character The Guardian was probably my favorite part of Seven Soldiers. From the Newsboy Army to the Subway Pirates to killer animatronics, The Manhattan Guardian's world was wonderfully weird, in spite of its NYC setting. The idea of a newspaper spokeshero is a terrific one with an enormous amount of potential, and it was saddening to see that the character was largely forgotten after Seven Soldiers concluded.
The greatest thing about The Manhattan Guardian is that in spite of the strange and fantastic world around him, he's a relatable, everyman character with a simple background. He has the beginnings of a strong supporting cast, and both his home life and the newspaper setting leave plenty of room for writers to expand it. In a perfect world, The Manhattan Guardian would get his own solo title, but I'd settle for seeing him show up on the pages of Static.