• Jake Wright

8 DC Characters That Deserve A Black Label Series

DC Comics has often been the home for the more mature content from the "Big Two" within comic books giving many adult readers some of the best R-rated stories in fiction. For a long time, most of these stories were published through the use of their Vertigo imprint but now, many of them are now used through their popular Black Label line.


The imprint allows creators to come in and craft R-rated stories set outside of the main continuity within DC Comics with many fan favourite DC characters such as Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman & the Joker all receiving their fair share of fantastic Black Label stories. But why stop there? Hundreds of DC characters have the capability of leading their own comic book title, so here’s eight character we believe deserve their own run on a DC Black Label book.



Cheetah

(via: DC Comics)


Barbara Minerva is possibly Wonder Woman’s most iconic villain to date. With a compelling and sympathetic backstory, Cheetah headlining her own title could supply Wonder Woman & comic book fans in general with a brutal yet gripping storyline featuring the infamous DC villain.


Equipped with her razor-sharp claws, teeth and possessing speed on par with some of the fastest characters within DC Comics, Cheetah’s title could take advantage of the R-rated violence that the Black Label imprint allows and enable Barbara Minerva to cause chaos throughout the DC universe.



Black Manta

(via: DC Comics)


Having just received a mini-series written by Chuck Brown with art by Valentine De Landro and featuring heavily in the current Aquamen comic series, Black Manta is perhaps at the height of his popularity within the DC Comics publishing line. However, in the aforementioned series’, Black Manta hasn’t been the ruthless and violent supervillain we all came to know and love.


Using the Black Label imprint would be a fantastic way to bring the villain right back to his core of supervillain antics by displaying his ruthless and despicable nature fans of the character are more familiar with. Taking advantage of Manta’s treasure hunting routes would be a great decision and allow for a story sending Manta on a worldwide adventure fighting off modern day pirates & perhaps even Aquaman himself.


Considering Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom is set to release in early 2023, that may be the perfect time for a Black Manta maxiseries for DC Black Label to hit comic shelves.



Raven

(via: DC Comics)


Originally debuting as part of the New Teen Titans, by Marv Wolfman & George Perez, in the early 80s, Raven hasn’t often had the solo spotlight away for her Titans counterparts. The daughter of the demon, Trigon, Raven’s backstory is both mysterious and complex, full of dark truths, intense emotions and split by two worlds of peace and chaos. And giving her a solo title on DC’s Black Label imprint could be a fantastic opportunity to bring in more fans for everyone’s favourite gothic hero to enjoy.


Exploring more of her demonic family history across different dimensions or taking our Titan on a fresh new adventure would make for an incredible sci-fi/mystical journey that highlights all of her awesome mystical powers and with good writing and fittingly dark artwork, we believe a Raven Black Label comic would be much more captivating than you’d think.



Black Adam

(via: DC Comics)


Before his more recent anti-hero turn, Black Adam was perhaps one of the most violent comic characters DC had on their roster. Acts such as ripping off arms, tearing people in half and pulling out hearts is just a taste of Black Adam’s violent nature so as you can probably already tell, Black Adam is tailor made for the Black Label line of comics.


Black Adam is versatile enough to deal with multiple aspects of storytelling. Want a horror flick? Use the Seven Deadly Sins, an action-adventure flick about his ruling of Kahndaq? Set the story before he was trapped in his tomb for thousands of years, or wanting a mystical brawl between heroes/villains? Include Shazam, Dr Sivana or even the Justice League Dark to battle it out with Black Adam.


With a new ongoing series by Christopher Priest just announced and the Black Adam movie releasing in November, there’s perhaps no better time to give new and old fans alike, a taste of the more villainous Black Adam many comic book fans have grown to love over the years.



Red Hood

(via: DC Comics)


Possibly the most popular anti-hero within the DC universe, Jason Todd is the perfect candidate for a Black Label book. Whether it be his time as Robin, his resurrection as Red Hood, or maybe even his time as Batman during the infamous “Battle for the Cowl” storyline, the possibilities for more Jason Todd stories are endless.


Red Hood is perhaps one of the most complex characters within the Bat Family, intense trauma, a tragic upbringing, and a willingness to kill criminals, Jason Todd’s potential is unlimited. With a common theme in recent times revolving around Jason wanting to feel accepted by Batman without Batman actually doing anything himself to mend their sometimes-broken relationship, the creative team would have to craft a whole new arc for Jason to create a truly captivating Red Hood story.


A Red Hood Black Label solo title is a guaranteed seller with the story being able to fit in multiple eras of Jason’s history. And we feel no other street level character within the DC universe is more suited to this format of more mature rated comic books.



Zatanna

(via: DC Comics)


Not every Black Label comic book has to be a gory, R-rated flick full of profanity and Zatanna is the perfect character to break this mould on our list. Having not had her own solo book in years, a maxi-series under the Black Label publication could bring Zee back amongst the DC Comics A-listers where she belongs.


Zatanna has worked well within horror-like comics before, such as the Justice League Dark, so having her star in her own Vertigo-styled Black Label book would allow the character to be taken to new heights and considering how powerful she is, it would certainly make way for some remarkable magical battles with beautiful artwork.



Peacemaker

(via: DC Comics)


After the success of James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad & Peacemaker, both starring John Cena as Christopher Smith aka Peacemaker, it would make complete sense for DC to be pushing that rendition of the obscure DC character. With a recent Peacemaker one-shot published by the Black Label imprint, why stop there? Writing a mature Peacemaker comic in the style of how he’s been characterised by director/writer James Gunn would work a treat for DC to capitalise on his current popularity.


Having the freedom of a comic book series would allow Peacemaker to interact with any character within DC’s multiverse and prove for some hilarious humour mixed with gut-wrenching violence that we know the character is capable of.


Because the DC’s Black Label features out of continuity stories, it means we could even see a Peacemaker comic set within the DCEU timeline, but whether that’s the case or not, we can never say no to more Peacemaker content.



Big Barda

(via: DC Comics)


A character who deserves so much more recognition, Big Barda has a rich history that hasn’t truly been explored to the fullest. Unlike her husband, Scott Free aka Mister Miracle, Barda is yet to receive the same care and attention by creators, despite being part of the Justice League, Birds of Prey and the Female Furies in her long comic book history.


Barda has a similar upbringing to her beloved on Apokolips, and was raised by Darkseid’s evil commander, Granny Goodness. But where Barda has missed out on is a rich tale being told of her full, fleshed out journey she undertook to become the strong, independent woman we know and love today. Though part of her trauma was covered in Tom King’s Mister Miracle maxi-series, Big Barda has so much potential to headline her own title to explore all the challenges she has had to overcome in her life, and how it helped her transition into the do-gooding superhero we know and love.




Which character(s) would you like to see receive their own DC Black Label comic book? Let us know in the comments below.


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