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After decades of waiting, DC Comics is finally fully exploring the big screen potential of the superhero characters other than Superman and Batman. In an attempt to compete with Marvel Studio’s Marvel Cinematic Universe, the next few years are expected to fill up with movie about superheroes who have never gotten a live action feature adaptation before – from Shazam to Aquaman. But while we here at Cinema Blend spend a lot of time thinking about the huge lead characters that will make up DC Comics’ big screen future, we shouldn’t forget to look back at the small, supporting characters who helped build DC Comics’ big screen past.
Below and across the next few pages you’ll find our latest quiz, testing just how well all of you know the not-so-famous players in the history of DC Comics based films. Read our hints, guess the name, check your answers, and be sure to take our poll at the end to see how well you did compared to others!
START ROUND 1
Closest Main Character Associate: Edward Blake a.k.a. Comedian
From The Comics: Along with the likes of costumed vigilantes like The Comedian, Nite Owl I, Captain Metropolis, Dollar Bill and more, this character was part of the original heroes in the 1950s team known as the Minutemen. Most of the story, however, is set years after this and focuses more on this character’s daughter, who took on her mother’s hero name.
In The Movies: Zack Snyder played it pretty close to Alan Moore’s source material of the same name for his adaptation, so everything you need to know about the character is above. It might help to know that she was played in the film by Carla Gugino.
"Things are tough all over, cupcake. It rains on the just and unjust alike. The Comedian was a little bit of both."
ROUND 1 ANSWER
Sally Jupiter a.k.a. Silk Spectre I
START ROUND 2
Closest Main Character Associate: James Gordon
From The Comics: While he will eventually become one of Batman’s greatest foes, this character started his existence as a great ally for the Caped Crusader thanks to his stature in an elected position and his desire to do good in Gotham.
In The Movies: The fact that this character was played by Billy Dee Williams for what amounted to very little screen time suggested that there were plans for him somewhere in the future of the franchise, but that never actually ended up happening. Instead, pop culture is left with an interesting cameo and much speculation about what could have been.
"We've received a letter from Batman this morning. 'Please inform the citizens of Gotham that Gotham City has earned a rest from crime. But if the forces of evil should rise again, to cast a shadow on the heart of the city, call me.'"
ROUND 2 ANSWER
START ROUND 3
Closest Main Character Associate: Tomar-Re
From The Comics: Created by Steve Englehart and Joe Staton, this towering hulk of an alien was first introduced to DC Comics in 1986 as a member of the Green Lantern Corps. It's his job to take all of the new recruits and get them into shape to fight the forces of evil in their individual sectors of the universe.
In The Movies: Adapted as a CGI character with the voice of the dearly departed Michael Clarke Duncan, this Green Lantern’s responsibility in Martin Campbell’s 2011 film was exactly what we’ve classically seen in the comics: he turns Ryan Reynold’s Hal Jordan from a scared, weak-minded pilot to a focused villain-fighting machine.
"Feel that? It's the gravitational pull of your average sun. Makes flying through space very dangerous. The bigger you are, the faster you burn. Gravity's a bitch."
ROUND 3 ANSWER
START ROUND 4
Closest Main Character Associate: Quentin Turnbull
From The Comics: Sorry, folks. No hints from the comics on this one. This guy was created directly for the big screen.
In The Movies: Before Michael Fassbender donned his anti-telepath helmet to play Magneto in the X-Men franchise, he was instead sporting a bowler hat in Jonah Hex. This character was the right-hand-man of John Malkovich’s evil Quentin Turnbull and basically existed to do all the dirty work (something he definitely didn’t mind).
"Jonah bloody Hex! I'd know that half-baked piehole anywhere!"
ROUND 4 ANSWER
START ROUND 5
Closest Main Character Associate: Two-Face
From The Comics: There are characters in DC Comics history who share a name with her, but this is once again a case where the big screen appearance is the first appearance.
In The Movies: Back before Drew Barrymore got her career back in order, she was playing one of Two-Face’s girlfriends, representing the villain’s good side. She doesn’t get to see too much action in the movie, but she does get a night out on the town with The Riddler at a fancy ball.
"Oh, you can call me anything you want."
ROUND 5 ANSWER
START ROUND 6
Closest Main Character Associate: James Gordon
From The Comics: Introduced in Frank Miller’s classic Batman: Year One, this character was James Gordon’s first partner when the latter first moved to Gotham. Unfortunately, like many other cops on the force, he is seriously corrupt and isn’t above taking any kind of bribe.
In The Movies: He may not be Gordon’s first partner, but he is Gordon’s partner when we first meet him in Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins. He’s terrified of the Dark Knight and enjoys Middle Eastern food.
"What, they don't like falafel?"
ROUND 6 ANSWER
Det. Arnold Flass
START ROUND 7
Closest Main Character Associate: Superman
From The Comics: No comic book help with this one! He was created specifically for the big screen
In The Movies: So what happens within the growing DC Cinematic Universe when you learn that there is an alien living in the United States? If you’re the military, apparently you call in this guy. Played by Harry Lennix, this character is the head of United States Northern Command and winds up being one of the key diplomatic characters when it comes to humanity’s relationship with Superman.
"We have legitimate security concerns. Now, you revealed your identity to Miss Lane over there. Why won't you do the same with us?"
ROUND 7 ANSWER
START ROUND 8
Closest Main Character Associate: Vicki Vale
From The Comics: While he would eventually find his way into the comics thanks to the adaptation from writers Sam Hamm and Dennis O'Neil and artist Jerry Ordway, this character was originally created for Tim Burton’s movie.
In The Movies: Comic book history is filled with journalist characters working tirelessly to root out the truth, and this Robert Wuhl character is among those ranks... kinda sorta. A close associate of Kim Basinger’s Vicki Vale, he is one of the few reporters who actually believes in the Batman. Sadly, his sleaziness makes him a bit hard to take seriously.
"You know what they say? They say he can't be killed. They say he drinks blood. They say..."
ROUND 8 ANSWER
START ROUND 9
Closest Main Character Associate: Batman
From The Comics: This is a tricky one. For most of the movie we are lead to believe that he is a character specifically created for Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy, but at the very end we learn that he had actually been a part of a long legacy comic book all along.
In The Movies: Like James Gordon was, this character is introduced as a smart, honest street cop who knows to stand up for what is right and stand against corruption. At the end of the movie its revealed that he is actually to be Batman’s successor following Bruce Wayne’s retirement.
"I don't know why you took the fall for Dent's murder, but I'm still a believer in the Batman."
ROUND 9 ANSWER
John ‘Robin’ Blake
START ROUND 10
Closest Main Character Associate: Rorschach
From The Comics: Within the pages of Alan Moore’s classic comic, this character began life as a simple stage magician, but was also a criminal mastermind who was seen as one of the main foes of the 1950s superhero team, the Minutemen.
In The Movies: Played by Matt Frewer in Zack Snyder’s adaptation, this character has a short-lived but certainly rough time on screen. He suffers a breaking-and-entering on behalf of the Comedian, is diagnosed with cancer, and gets roughed up by Rorschach. Oh, and then he’s assassinated.
"I woke up in my bedroom and there he was."
ROUND 10 ANSWER
Edgar Jacobi a.k.a. Moloch
START ROUND 11
Closest Main Character Associate: Harvey Dent
From The Comics: You ever wonder how Harvey Dent turned into Two-Face? You can blame this guy right here. While in court, this crime boss character got his hands on a bottle of acid and threw it in the district attorney’s face, scarring him for life
In The Movies: In The Dark Knight, where this this character is played by Eric Roberts, he isn’t the man responsible for the creation of Two-Face, but we do see him stand trial for his crimes early in the movie and get fully embroiled in all of the madness and chaos that comes about thanks to the emergence of The Joker.
"[about The Joker] Friends? Have you met this guy?"
ROUND 11 ANSWER
START ROUND 12
Closest Main Character Associate: Lex Luthor
From The Comics: This is another example of comic book movies inspiring the medium they are based on, as this character wasn’t actually part of the Superman canon until Richard Donner’s feature, but has since been integrated into the illustrated world.
In The Movies: While we tend to take superhero films a bit more seriously these days, bumbling sidekicks weren’t out of place in the late 1970s, and that was exactly the role this guy played in Superman: The Movie. While he does become a bit more responsible in Superman II, I think we will always remember this Ned Beatty character for his silly little mistakes and hampering Lex Luthor’s plans.
"Right away, Mr. Luthor!"
ROUND 12 ANSWER
START ROUND 13
Closest Main Character Associate: Mr. Freeze
From The Comics: Another character created solely for the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
In The Movies: As campy and stupid as Batman Forever was, director Joel Schumacher turned it up to 11 making Batman & Robin, and this character is a direct result of that. It’s hard not to watch this movie and cringe/feel bad for Vivica A. Fox – particularly when she delivers the following line…
"Ooh. Talk about your cold shoulder."
ROUND 13 ANSWER
Miss B Haven
START ROUND 14
Closest Main Character Associate: James Gordon
From The Comics: Gotham is somewhat known for its massively corrupt police department, and for years it was this character sitting at the top not only allowing it to happen, but also fully participating. He is an important part of James Gordon’s origin story, namely the one crafted in Frank Miller’s "Batman: Year One."
In The Movies: This character was originally drawn as a white guy, but Christopher Nolan changed that up for his Batman movies, casting Colin McFarlane. He is featured in both Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, and meets a rather grim demise in the latter.
"You're unlikely to discover this for yourself, so take my word, the police commissioner gets a lot of threats. I found the appropriate response to these situations a long time ago."
ROUND 14 ANSWER
Commissioner Gillian B Loeb
START ROUND 15
Closest Main Character Associate: Dr. Hector Hammond
From The Comics: Often drawn as a physically massive, this character is a high ranking member of the U.S. Government and someone you really don’t want to coming knocking at your door. She is perhaps best known for organizing and running the Suicide Squad – a team of supervillains who run operatives for the government in exchange for reduced sentences.
In The Movies: Played by Angela Bassett, Green Lantern introduces this character to the world of comic book movies as the leader of a top secret government organization that is put in charge of handling extraterrestrial threats. Abin Sur’s ship crash landing on Earth is what moves her into action and eventually connects her with the strange but brilliant Dr. Hector Hammond (Peter Sarsgaard).
"An alien life form, doctor. The first that mankind has ever encountered despite what the conspiracy theorists would have you believe."
ROUND 15 ANSWER
Dr. Amanda Waller
START ROUND 16
Closest Main Character Associate: Bane
From The Comics: While this character didn’t exist in the pages of DC Comics prior to being in The Dark Knight Rises, a character with a very similar name and motivations was first introduced in the brilliant Batman: The Animated Series from the ‘90s. He is a businessman who isn’t happy that Wayne Enterprises is the biggest company in Gotham, and will take it down by any means necessary.
In The Movies: While it is Bane who ends up breaking Batman’s back and holding all of Gotham hostage with a gigantic bomb, this guy is almost just as responsible for the terror that is featured in The Dark Knight Rises. In his desire for more money and power, he funds Bane and his group of mercenaries, but doesn’t realize the can of worms he opens. It doesn’t end well for him.
"What are you?"
ROUND 16 ANSWER
START ROUND 17
Closest Main Character Associate: General Zod
From The Comics: Introduced in 2011, this character is a Kryptonian and loyal follower of General Zod – which, naturally, makes her an opponent of Superman. Just like the Man of Steel, the rays of Earth’s yellow sun do wondrous things for her and give her power beyond anything a human can possess.
In The Movies: Fans of the Richard Donner Superman movies will remember a character named Ursa who fits the description above almost perfectly, she is not featured in Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel. Instead, actress Antje Traue played a very similar role, but with a completely different name. The question is, can you remember it?
"A good death is its own reward."
ROUND 17 ANSWER
START ROUND 18
Closest Main Character Associate: Bruce Wayne
From The Comics: Frank Miller’s Batman comics introduced us to a whole host of criminal and corrupt figures embedded in the Gotham infrastructure, and this man is a key figure in it all. In the early days of Batman’s presence in the city, it was this guy who was running all of the illegal activity behind the scenes.
In The Movies: Brilliant character actor Tom Wilkinson brought this notorious kingpin to life in Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins and winds up playing an incredibly important role in the main story (not a huge surprise given the influence of Frank Miller’s Batman: Year One). He not only delivers one of the most memorable monologues in the film, but is also part one of the most terrifying sequences - his first encounter with "the Scarecrow."
"Don't come down here with your anger, trying to prove something to yourself. This is a world you'll never understand. And you always fear what you don't understand."
ROUND 18 ANSWER
START ROUND 19
Closest Main Character Associate: Lois Lane
From The Comics: As the nephew of the Editor in Chief of the Daily Planet (giving you his name would be cheating), this character has familial connections to characters who have been palling around with Superman since 1940. Outside of that, however, he was made for the silver screen
In The Movies: While it’s certainly interesting that he is a reporter for the Daily Planet, it is far more interesting to note that this James Marsden character is the husband of Lois Lane – who has been forced to move on with her life after Superman’s departure from the planet. They have a kid together, but there is a great deal of questioning regarding who the child’s father is.
"It's great to finally meet you, I've heard so much."
ROUND 19 ANSWER
START ROUND 20
Closest Main Character Associate: Poison Ivy
From The Comics: This super villain has gone by many titles in the history of DC comics (first being introduced all the way back in 1962), but what has stayed consistent is his particular way with plants. He was actually originally created as an enemy for the Atom, but eventually found a home in Swamp Thing thanks to the great Alan Moore.
In The Movies: He only has a cameo at the beginning of Joel Schumacher’s Batman & Robin, played by John Glover, and doesn’t have the mutated appearance he has in the comics. Instead, he is portrayed as a mad scientist who is using plants to make super soldiers. These experiments lead not only to the world’s worst adaptation of Bane, but also the creation of Poison Ivy.
"Well, I can respect your opinion, Sadly I'm not good at rejection, I'm afraid you'll have to die!"
ROUND 20 ANSWER
Dr. Jason Woodrue
How Many Did You Get?