I picked up X-Men: Misfits (Del Rey) yesterday, and it’s… got its ups and downs, but I still like the idea of stripped-down manga variations on super-hero properties, so I started thinking about DC characters who’d suit that kind of treatment. Many are still holding vigil for Tintin Pantoja’s Wonder Woman remake, so I’ll skip over that one, and from everything I’ve heard, Amethyst: Princess of Gemworld was practically manga to begin with, but here are a few others:
Martian Manhunter: The shape-shifting sole survivor of the Martian race comes to Earth and sets himself up as a private investigator. I’m picturing a seinen take on J’onn, with tonally varied mysteries that explore the human condition.
Oracle: A woman with a disability establishes herself as an information broker and creates an anonymous, online identity to help people. My mental image of the series is admittedly kind of similar to the Martian Manhunter take – episodic storytelling featuring a range of guest characters interacting with the protagonist. I don’t think it would need to be entirely crime-driven, if at all. It could be kind of issue-of-the-week, to be honest.
Green Lantern: The whole bring-out-your-dead concept of Blackest Night sounds kind of gross to me, and some of the Care Bear Rainbow Lanterns sound really ridiculous, but the core idea works. An Earth person suddenly finds him- or herself enlisted in an intergalactic police force with a really cool piece of jewelry. As I think of it, giving the ring to a woman might be even more appropriate, what with the rich history of special accessories empowering spunky magic girls. But then I think of Arisia, and I become wary.
Legion of Super-Heroes: Super-powered, futuristic teens form a club to fight crime and protect people from disaster. It writes itself.
Blue Devil: I never read the series during its original run, but it’s a neat idea. A stuntman gets caught in a super-suit, right? Showbiz comedy, hero-with-a-problem drama, shake, pour over ice.