How many do you recognize?
Pros: With many of the DC and Marvel characters, you can point at direct comparisons, but DC has an opportunity to look at Marvel's game plan and do something different. Dr. Fate would be a good way of doing something that doesn't really have a corresponding equal in Marvel's universe yet, and introducing him is a way of introducing magic that is very different than the "you call it magic, we call it science" from "Thor." Kevin Feige has said repeatedly that he is a fan of Dr. Strange, and that he wants to do a film with him as soon as it's feasible. I'm curious to see how far Marvel's willing to go with the weird, though. True, they're currently preparing to make a film about a team of space-faring superheroes that has a talking raccoon as a member, but even that seems fairly normal and mainstream compared to the weirdest moments in Dr. Strange's long run. With DC, the use of magic and alternate timelines and aliens is so blatantly strange that I think they should embrace it and go for broke. Dr. Fate has had many different incarnations over the years, but the basics are he's a sorcerer whose power comes from a helmet that contains the spirits of Nabu, an ancient wizard. There have been a number of people who have worn that helmet over the years, with Kent Nelson being one of the main versions of the character. I started reading around the time Doctor Fate was made up of a married couple who would combine into the hero, a seriously strange take on things. In recent years, they've introduced the grandson of the original Kent Nelson to carry on the tradition, and they've continued to tell stories that almost read like possession horror crossed with superhero tropes. When you've got super-strength, the ability to do magic, read minds, convert matter into energy, control over wind, fire, and lightning, immortality, flight, invisibility, and the ability to predict the future, you're pretty much a Justice League in one person, and indispensable to the team.
Cons: DC has never totally figured out what to do with the character, and the constant reinvention of his origins and his identity are emblematic of DC's larger problem as a company. When fans aren't sure who your character is, it makes it hard to pin down which version you use for a film. Still, his powers would make a nice addition to the team, so if DC wants to put him in the film, they have until 2015 to introduce the definitive version to current comics continuity.
- Drew McWeeny