A long time ago when I was banging out shit on Tumblr (yes, I do like WordPress better, but there are simply too many freedoms I want for a free account…it’s funny, back in the day, if you knew how to hard-code you had a major advantage; if you didn’t know shit, you had to pay for all the features. Nowadays it’s like I have to pay to have the freedom to hard-code my own stuff. Ahh…anyone ever remember coding up sites on Notepad and them FTPing them to the server…?) I made several lists of Character Cars that I felt we “needed.” (You can view that post here!) This post is a little different…not so much me saying “we need him and him and her and that would be cool!” but more like, “why in the hell have they not made him and her and him yet!?” Of all the characters I listed in the previous entry, Hot Wheels did actually turn one of them into a car – Cyborg, who I was very emphatic about!
For some reason, the Hot Wheels subcommittee on Marvel Character Cars (I just made that shit up) has decided to release Marvel characters at a hero to villain ratio of 753:1. Including all the Marvel cars released, we have I think 9 villains, and 2 of them are quite recent. And three of them are like the same thing: Ultron, Ultron Prime, and Ultimate Ultron. Spidey has the best representation with Venom, Rhino, Green Goblin, and Doc Ock. There’s also Red Skull and the random-ass Red Hulk. So yeah Marvel, or Hot Wheels, like, wtf dudes…
Oh and I want to quickly point out that although Thanos certainly belongs on this list, I don’t want to jump ahead too far. It’s obvious that he’ll be playing a large role in the near future of the MCU, so we’ll worry about him when the time comes.
Loki – Can anyone find a good reason why Loki hasn’t been given the Character Car treatment yet? I mean he’s been pretty much the toughest, most fleshed-out villain that the Avengers have had thus far. His weird-ass long-horn helmet is the perfect design element to build from, and his regal background could be construed as anything from a high-tech military vehicle to a slick supercar. I definitely consider this to be the biggest oversight (blunder?) in the Marvel camp.
Deadpool – Ever since Ryan Reynolds donned the uniform of wanna-be-Wolverine, Deathstroke-rip-off, Spidey-tactical-suit, anti-hero Deadpool, the world fell the fuck in love…hard. Fucking hard. People are still losing their damn minds over this movie. Mad props to being the highest grossing R-rated movie of all time though; that’s a major achievement in this last 15 years or so where hardly any R-rated films are released theatrically. I liked the movie…it was entertaining and competently made…but I dunno that it hit “masterpiece” status with me. But that doesn’t really matter – what does matter is that it was a HUGE hit despite its promotion and release existing sort of on the fringe of other X-Men properties, and you’d think that this success would be honored with a car!
Nick Fury – For Hot Wheels to have dug so deep into the Avengers mythos and Fury’s endless appearances in those earlier Avengers and Avengers-adjacent films, you think he’d get his own car. I guess he is a little mundane when it comes to powers and skills, but freakin’ Hawkeye and Black Widow got cars… In the end, he definitely seems like a big enough part of the popular perception of Marvel to be more than worthy of a character car.
Ronan – We need Marvel villains, right? No one knows who the hell Ronan is…until they saw Guardians of the Galaxy of course! I have serious trouble remembering this movie – let alone what Ronan did or didn’t do – but he does have a bad-ass look that’s more than unique enough to base a character car off of. Besides, all 5 Guardians got their own car, would it kill us to get at least one villain out of it!?
Whiplash – I’ve read plenty about how badly the MCU has butchered Iron Man’s villains. Honestly I don’t know enough ’bout Whiplash one way or the other, but he does have a pretty bad-ass scene where he tears up those moving race cars. Surely there’s an awesome character car wrapped up somewhere in the concept of plasma-cutter-whip-things. Right…?
Carnage – Alright, this may lean a little more towards “want” territory, but as long as Hot Wheels is plucking up some of Spidey’s biggest villains anyway, why not Carnage? Just think of all the possibilities inherent to Carnage’s bloody, shape-shifting composition. Hell, Carnage is one of the most awesome Marvel villains in existence (and he’s not tangled up in a bunch of uber-cosmic shit) and the film studios have slept on this unique adversary far too long.
Abomination – Yeah I know, too many people be like “who dis” and it’s an utter failure…unless he’d been released back when Hulk was in people’s consciousness. (“Character Cars” may not even be that old…) Anyway, so yeah, no one knows or gives a shit about Abomination, but we’d get a Hulk villain out of it and a what should be a great looking car.
Crossbones – Although perhaps one of the weaker candidates for inclusion, fans of the MCU at least know who he is, and like I’ve been saying all along – we need more villains! Honestly I’d be pleased with pretty much any villain that Hot Wheels deemed “worthy”…there’s too few to be picky at this point.
Scarlet Witch – I am freakin’ appalled that this lovely lady has thus far been excluded. See, back when the cars were numbered, Civil War was around the peak of its popularity. I still remember the night we found Vision and Winter Soldier – I think they were numbers 31 and 30. Number 33 – brown and yellow Wolverine – had already been out for some time. With the release of Vision and Winter Soldier, that meant that all 12 principal heroes involved in Civil War could be accounted for…except for one: Scarlet Witch. Extrapolating what we could, my son and I were all but convinced that the upcoming #32 would have to be Scarlet Witch. It wasn’t. A few weeks later Punisher dropped, and that was pretty much the end of our immediate hopes for Scarlet Witch. I get that cars, traditionally a boy’s toy, don’t sell as well when fashioned after “girl things,” but I feel like this is an unnecessary letdown. Why not stick her in a multi-pack or something? Maybe we’ll get one when the next ensemble film rolls around…
Yellowjacket – Seriously, this suit is cool as shit. And isn’t he basically just an upgraded version of Ant-Man with an added metric fuckload of offensive capabilities? C’mon! Yellowjacket is practically screaming for a chance to join the inner Character Car circle!
Iron Patriot – Oh come on, why the hell not? It just has to be a repaint of Iron Man…er…another repaint of Iron Man. For the record though, War Machine’s Character Car should’ve definitely included a feature analogous to War Machine’s shoulder cannons.
It felt like the DCU line had stalled up until recently, when it received a welcome burst of new characters. Although it doesn’t suffer from a lack of villains like Marvel, DC has its own problems, namely that it’s Batman-centric with some Justice League characters on the periphery. I guess the advantage here is that the group is a little more tight-knit and cohesive than the sprawling world of Marvel. Note that I will be talking about the DC Super Hero Girls as essentially a separate series.
Doomsday – This is my foremost candidate for next DCU character car, if nothing else because of his prominent role in the third act of last year’s Batman v Superman. Such a monster could make for an awesome vehicle with lots of room for creativity.
Lex Luthor – Although I was both confused and put-off by the latest live-action iteration of Lex Luthor – that’d be Eisenberg’s abysmal portrayal – he is one of the most iconic villains in DC’s repertoire. I’m sure they’d want to put him into some sort of super-suit to at least withstand Superman’s power but I can dig it.
General Zod – Superman has what I would consider a strangely unmemorable rogue’s gallery, probably because the only believable threats to Superman are mega-powerful beings who can both withstand Superman’s attacks and wield enough power to somehow hurt him. Zod pretty much fits this definition to a tee but it’s not through a bunch of contrived plot lines, it’s because Zod “receives” his powers in exactly the same way that Superman does – Sup’s familiarity and experience with these powers is pitted against Zod’s flawless military adaptability. Honestly I wouldn’t have all this to say about General Zod if not for Man of Steel. Zod was the very antithesis for Superman, and if that doesn’t warrant a character car, I don’t know what does!
Darkseid – This one could be leaning a little more towards my “want” column, but I feel like we need someone massive and galactic in scope and supremely evil. And when it comes to vehicle designs for something so big, bad, and otherworldly, the possibilities are virtually endless!
Deathstroke – Deadshot may be getting all the attention these days via Will Smith and Suicide Squad, but ask any real DC fan who the universe’s greatest assassin really is, and Deathstroke is the only answer! He’d make a great addition to the cast in some kinda stealth-enabled, suped-up, tactical military kinda thing.
Nightwing – I know one of my issues is that the DCU line has perhaps rested too heavily on the Bat-family, but regardless, I think Nightwing deserves a car. They could give him just enough of that “Bat-flavor” to make him recognizable, but enough of his own edge to set him apart….does that kinda make sense…?
Azrael – Yeah yeah, more honing in on the Bat-family, but I can’t help but think about what an awesome car Azrael could inspire – a darker, more medieval, more macabre version of Batman himself!
DC Super Hero Girls
This list is pretty simple – I guess I just want to see everyone who’s appeared thus far in Super Hero Girls. There’s the remaining “core 6,” a few new-ish ones, and 2 villains who I only even know thanks to the LEGO sets. There are some male characters floating around, but I’m not sure how “essential” I’d consider them just yet. A little more time will help us determine who’s truly needed and who could stand to wait on the sidelines. Anyway, subtract out the 5 Super Hero Girls Character Cars we already have, and we’re left with:
- Poison Ivy
- Lena Luthor
This is a tough realm to get into, mostly because the official Star Wars canon is currently split into 2 animated series, the original trilogy, the prequel trilogy, Episode VII, and Rogue One. To be fair, I haven’t followed either of the animated series, and I think that, for now at least, Hot Wheels is ignoring the earlier TV show The Clone War yet seems to be giving Rebels ample attention. I can understand it being a lot of work to keep up with so many avenues, yet it seems like it would make the most sense to concentrate on certain movies or eras. The erratic nature of releases makes it really confusing and difficult to look forward to anything.
Admittedly, Hot Wheels has scrubbed over Force Awakens pretty well. Rogue One is close behind, although Krennic and Bodhi have been suspiciously left behind; there’s still time though. Hell, we got Sidon and Maz from Force Awakens, so would it be a stretch to think that smaller Rogue One characters like Saw or Moroff might make the cut?
The original trilogy has been fairly well-covered, though there are a couple of glaring holes I could point to. Still, these things continue to steadily trickle out, so all hope is not lost. What I have a real problem with is how crappily the prequel trilogy has been handled. Yeah yeah, it ain’t everyone’s favorite, but it’s a very, very big reason why Star Wars has remained in the public consciousness. Hot Wheels has cherry-picked some of the more important characters, yet randomly left out others who are just as important. I really want Hot Wheels to focus on these prequel gaps, and then we can look forward to new installments and/or character cars of more obscure or lesser known entities.
Oh, and apologies for the lack of pictures. I was damn tired at this point; inserting a dozen images nor splicing a dozen together sounded very appealing at this point!
The Prequel Trilogy
- Qui-Gon Jinn – Seriously, important Jedi alert, why the hell has he been forgotten?
- Padme / Princess Amidala – Luke and Leia’s mother, the fire of Anakin’s loins, and massively important in all 3 prequel flicks. Plus all those ornate outfits could make for an amazing character car!
- Mace Windu – Although he was more of a supporting character, he’s definitely one of the most distinctive recurring characters in the prequel trilogy. It’s Samuel L. Jackson as a Jedi! With a purple lightsaber! I mean even if you didn’t give a shit, it’s hard not to at least notice him. And he did have a few pivotal seconds there with the Emperor when the shit went down. As for the car itself? Two words: purple lightsaber.
- Jar Jar Binks – Don’t worry, Jar Jar Binks makes me just as nauseous as he does everyone else…but c’mon, as bad as he is, that doesn’t negate his “importance” in the prequel trilogy, particularly the first movie. (If nothing else, he’s one of the bumbling morons responsible for pushing Palpatine into his position of supreme authority.) He’s definitely annoying, though he does play into the somewhat child-like atmosphere of Anakin and even Padme during their early years. He also helps mobilize the Gungans, which is a pretty significant piece of Naboo’s resistance against the Trade Federation. I think the right designer could make a very cool looking car based on Jar Jar’s looks.
- Count Dooku – Arguably the least important of the Dark Lords of the Sith that we meet throughout the saga, Dooku’s status gets kinda shoved under the rug since he looks normal. The prequel trilogy implies a lot more about Dooku’s activities than it actually shows, but if you stare closely enough at this political mess aimed at pre-pubescents, you’ll realize that Dooku actually does a lot more to further Palpatine’s ends whereas Darth Maul is little more than Sith muscle. Even if Hot Wheels struggles with making Dooku into a great looking car, I at least wish they’d acknowledge his existence!
- Viceroy Nute Gunray – This may be a little bit of stretch – wait, actually, against the likes of Bossk and Sidon and Jango and a fucking Shock Trooper this really isn’t a stretch – but I feel like this is the closest thing we have to an identifiable villain in Phantom Menace. The whole thing is convoluted and the political stuff isn’t intricate enough for hardcore adults and yet way way way over the heads of pre-teen, but I guess I can at least appreciate what Lucas was trying to accomplish. The whole trilogy is a reasonably competent attempt at explaining Palpatine’s rise through power right under everyone’s noses (it also, whether expertly or accidentally, undermines the effectiveness of the Jedi) and Gunray is an all-important first cog in the machine of Palpatine’s ascension.
- Commander Cody / Orange/Yellow Clone Trooper – Now I don’t really give a damn about Commander Cody or the Orange/Yellow Troopers themselves, but what’s weird is that we have a car of the 501st Clone Trooper (Blue) and the Clone Shock Trooper (Red), but nothing in the way of the most common clone troopers we see, those yellow (or orange) guys. Whether they just want to do a simple repaint and call it a 212 Attack Battalion Clone Trooper or do a slightly more fanciful version and call it Commander Cody doesn’t matter – let’s just get the most visible of the Clone Troopers some damn representation!
- Others – I would consider the above to be more or less critical as it pertains to the prequel trilogy, though there are several lesser characters that I think would be acceptable as well, including: Padwan Obi-Wan, Master Obi-Wan, “Ani” Anakin, Kit Fisto, Sebulba, Senator/Chancellor Palpatine, Destroyer Droids, and…maybe that’s it? I think so.
The Original Trilogy
- Lando Calrissian – I mean damn why don’t we have a Lando car? Yeah yeah, I realize there’s an illustration of what looks to be a Lando car in the works, but it has been a really really long time sans Lando.
- Bib Fortuna – Alright…not the biggest or brightest star from Return of the Jedi but his look is totally memorable. Plus we need a few more critters from Jabba’s camp, and who better than Bib? Maybe the skiff guards, Weequay, Nikto, Barada…that would be pretty cool.
I guess that’s about it. Everyone else I think of I feel like I have to dig down a further tier. What I’d really like is some damn Shadows of the Empire Character Cars: remember Prince Xizor, Dash Rendar, Guri…I think also the bounty hunters from Empire Strikes Back play a large role, some of them at least. Ah yes, if only they’d bring Shadows back…but unfortunately Disney threw it in the non-canon corner with everything else back when they decided to remake A New Hope and call it “Episode VII.”
Whew, that was long as hell, and I think that sums it up! Hopefully we’ll see some of these…I mean Marvel and DC are essentially up in the air, probably owing somewhat to what’s popular in the cinematic and TV spheres, especially in Marvel’s case. But when it comes to Star Wars, well, we’re dealing with a much more finite amount of material. I’ll tell you what though, nothing short of seeing a car is gonna get me to cool off about all the Episodes 1 through 3 bullshit and I will be sorely disappointed if Krennic doesn’t live on in car-form.
Let me know your thoughts! Are you as peeved as me about the prequel trilogy? Or are you the type that would rather see every obscure background character plucked out of the original trilogy first? And what about the animated series? Is Rebels fairly represented? Why no love for The Clone Wars? Stick around, ‘cuz once I’m done here I’ve got just a bit of actual news to share!