Lesser-known superheroes on TV and screen

Suicide Squad (left) is made up of a group of supervillians.
Suicide Squad (above) is made up of a group of supervillians.PHOTO: WARNER BROS PICTURES


Who: A hero who is more anti than super, Deadpool is one of the rudest and most irreverent characters in the Marvel comics universe, shooting his mouth off and offending people whenever he feels like it. Before he became Deadpool, he was Wade Wilson, a mercenary who gets accelerated healing powers a la The X-Men's Wolverine after being subjected to an experiment gone wrong.

Will be seen in: The movie Deadpool, out in cinemas here on Feb 11. The titular character will be played by Ryan Reynolds, who, hopefully, will make him a more compelling super-person than his Green Lantern (2011).

What people will think: When the Deadpool movie trailer premiered at the San Diego Comic Con last July, fans gave a standing ovation and chanted for an additional screening. Many called it a "palate cleanser" in the world of serious blockbuster superhero flicks, so it looks like this disrespectful superhero will win over critics and fans.


Who: Part of DC Comics' universe, the Suicide Squad is made up of a group of supervillains who are recruited to take on challenging covert operations for the government in exchange for shorter jail sentences. The team includes the sorceress Enchantress, the repti- lian Killer Croc, expert marksman Deadshot and the most famous of all, the psychopathic Joker.

Will be seen in: The movie Suicide Squad, slated to open in cinemas on Aug 4. Joker will be played by Oscar winner Jared Leto, Deadshot by Will Smith, Enchantress by Cara Delevingne and Killer Croc by Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje.

What people will think: Given the starry A-list cast and the striking visuals, there has been much excitement over this, which has been described as the antithesis of The Avengers films.


Who: This Marvel superhero is a top neurosurgeon (Benedict Cumberbatch) who gets into a horrific car accident, loses his ability to perform surgery, goes on an adventure and discovers magical powers.

Will be seen in: The movie Doctor Strange is slated for release here on Nov 3.

What people will think: It is hard to tell how receptive viewers will be to this superhero, who comes off more as a mystical being than as a lean, mean fighting machine. There has also been some criticism of whitewashing in the casting choice of British actress Tilda Swinton for the role of Doctor Strange's mentor Ancient One, who is portrayed as an Asian man in the comics. Given Cumberbatch's popularity, however, this project might get the right buzz regardless.


Who: Marvel's Luke Cage is a former convict who has impenetrable skin and super-human strength, powers he got after a sabotaged experiment. He uses his newfound powers to help fight crime in New York City.

Will be seen in: Netflix's upcoming TV series of the same name, set to premiere later this year. Cage will be played by the relatively unknown Mike Colter.

What people will think: Audiences have seen Cage in the show Jessica Jones as her love interest and have welcomed his presence.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 13, 2016, with the headline 'Lesser-known superheroes on TV and screen'. Print Edition | Subscribe