5 Obscure Comic Characters James Gunn Improved (And 5 He Should Do Next)


James Gunn proved with guardians of the galaxy, The suicide squadand Peacemaker that he could take largely unknown characters from the comics and turn them into great characters. Whether he emphasized their inherent humor, as with The Detachable Kid, or created new depths, as with Bloodsport, James Gunn has made the most of who he put in his films.

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Gunn has a second season of Peacemaker and a spin-off in the works for DC and has two more Guardians projects at Marvel coming out. Fans are waiting to see which characters are next on his roster and how he’ll elevate them beyond the source material.

ten Improved: Rocket Raccoon

Rocket started out as the chief ranger of a planet called Halfworld, where he was one of many animals with human-level intelligence. Rocket Raccoon has always been a fun character in the comics, but he felt a bit whimsical in his original form. Although he had some depth at times, his main appeal was that he was a cute animal who acted gruff and was an expert in weapons.

In guardians of the galaxy, James Gunn preserved Rocket’s original personality but changed him to be more of an outcast. Fans got to see some of Rocket’s insecurities. Guardians 2 taken this theme a step further. A character who started out as a cute gimmick has suddenly become one of the emotional centers of a big-budget movie.

9 Should do: Big Bertha

Big Bertha is often played for laughs, as are the rest of the characters that appear in the Avengers of the Great Lakes books. While there’s nothing wrong with a comedic character, the comedy surrounding Bertha was a bit more mean-spirited and focused on her weight.

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James Gunn’s ability to treat all of his characters with empathy and make them well balanced could help revamp Bertha as a character. Instead of presenting a stereotypical caricature, Gunn could develop a relatable persona that positively represents a group often underrepresented in superhero media.

8 Improved: Peacemaker

Originally published by Charleton Comics, Peacemaker was originally quite a contradictory character. Christopher Smith was a pacifist. Despite this, he designed a variety of different weapons and stored them away, vowing never to use them. When the Peacemaker character was acquired by DC, he was turned into a violent vigilante who openly killed.

In The suicide squad, Gunn leaned into Peacemaker’s inherent contradiction between his methods and his ideology, using him to craft a comedic villain that audiences loved to hate. Next, Gunn surprised fans with a sympathetic look at the character of the Peacemaker series. After learning about Peacmaker’s terrible upbringing, viewers felt sorry and might even root for the character they weren’t supposed to love.

seven To do: the king of condiments

Its massive roster of largely unknown characters helped make 2021 The Suicide Squad refreshing. Not only was it good for a few laughs, but it also created tension when fans realized that any character could die at any time. If Gunn creates a sequel to the movie, Condiment King would fit right into that dynamic.

While this villainous ketchup and mustard shooter has appeared in several animated iterations, Condiment King has always been seen as a joke character. James Gunn has done a great job of taking characters from jokes and giving them surprising depth. He’ll probably relish a chance to tackle this one.

6 Improved: Polka-Dot Man

When Polka-Dot Man first appeared in Detective comics in 1962 he was named Mister Polka-Dot. He was sort of a mean joker who threw peas from his costume which were actually a variety of different weapons. Since the 1960s, the comics have done little to significantly evolve his character.

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While Gunn kept Polka-Dot Man as a comic character in The suicide squad, he also gave viewers more insight into the character’s past and his reasons for being a villain. Audiences were slowly won over to Polka-Dot Man as he began to show more of his heroic side, making the death one of the most tragic in the entire film.

5 Should do: Swashbuckler

A few different DC Comics characters have called themselves Swashbuckler. One of them was a hero and the nephew of one of the many characters named Vigilante. Although not the same Vigilante who appeared in Gunn’s Peacemaker series, this character is obscure enough to reinvent himself.

In Peacemaker, there are some references to Vigilante having an older brother. Knowing how Adrian Chase turns out, chances are his brother shares similar traits. Seeing a Vigilante nephew try out being a superhero would be a great way to continue exploring the impact fathers have on their sons.

4 Improved: Rat Catcher

In DC Comics, Ratcatcher is a rarely used villain who lives in Gotham City and has the power to control rats. He’s merely a gimmick villain, an allusion to the Pied Piper, and never had much of a character. When James Gunn uses Ratcatcher in The suicide squadhe radically changed things.

Ratcatcher fans see in The suicide squad is a completely different character, keeping only the original character’s ability to control rats. Now a young woman named Cleo, Ratcatcher serves as the emotional center of the team. Her love for the rats she controls even underscores one of the film’s most important themes, which is that all life has value.

3 Should do: Kite Man

In HBO Peacemaker, Kite Man has been referenced several times as a villain that Peacemaker has defeated in the past. This has fans excited that the character could make an appearance in the show’s upcoming second season. If true, the character could serve as an interesting foil to Peacemaker.

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In more recent comics, Kite Man has become a villain in revenge for his son’s death. Peacemaker became a villain on the show to try and live up to his father’s expectations and make up for his past. Both characters deal with the theme of fatherhood, a topic that Gunn has often touched on in one way or another in most of his superhero work.

2 Improved: Vigilant

Vigilante was a mantle that was assumed by 9 different characters in the main DC Comics universe. The version Gunn chose to adapt was Adrian Chase, originally a district attorney with ties to the Teen Titans. He became Vigilant after his family was killed.

James Gunn decided to completely revamp the character, mostly keeping his name and costume. This new version of Vigilante had a unique behavior. Acting polite and respectful in some ways, he clearly enjoyed killing others. Gunn took a fairly standard anti-hero and turned him into a character viewers couldn’t stop staring at.

1 Should do: Goodness Silva

Kindness only appeared in 7 issues of Avengers of the Great Lakes in 2017, making her one of the more obscure comic book characters. She is a human girl who has the power to transform into an anthropomorphic male wolf named Good Boy. Its unique design and powers make it an interesting choice for adaptation.

James Gunn is never shy about using characters that people have never heard of, and that gives him the freedom to make the characters his own. Goodness is a conceptually interesting character with very little published history, which gives Gunn a lot of creative freedom to make her a new fan favorite.

NEXT: 10 Peacemaker Season 2 Theories We Hope Come True


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