Blue Beetle has cosmic elements, definitely, but I'd hesitate to call it anymore sci fi than your typical Superman book. The Marvel and DC universes are built, after all, on that sci fi skeleton, but I wouldn't call any of them real hard sci fi, or anything even approaching it. Anymore than Uncanny X Force or Wolverine and the X Men are sci fi, you know?
Even Green Lantern is only a little more 'cosmic' in nature.
If DC wants to get serious about Sci Fi - and I'm not sure they do - but if DC wants to then they need to start hiring writers who are actually interested in writing sci fi. Europe has a much stronger sci fi component, and getting guys like Rob Williams and Ian Edington (Both of whom have worked extensively at 2000AD) on their books - which they are doing - is a good start. Diggle wouldn't hurt either.
In terms of real characters, Marvel has just a few; the Silver Surfer is one of them, definitely. Quasar held a series. Fine. They are both very, very tough sells. Captain Marvel generally has a series -- but that title has gone now to Carol Danvers, who won't have any more cosmic touches than any standard superhero does, really.
The reality is I think, speaking only in potential, a character like Adam Strange - just a man, an adventurer trapped between two worlds, unrequited love on a scale of mega-lightyears - has as much or more potential as anyone in either universe. There is so much pathos in that set up, there is the clash of cultures, there is the raw adventure, there is the opportunity for action. Speaking just in set up, I have to imagine that is an easier character to write, and write well, then the Silver Surfer or Quasar or any of a number. Perhaps most of all because he isn't so overpowered.
It's an issue of how do you get that book into people's hands? In that regard there has to be some high profile launching point. I suppose something like Justice League, or Green Lantern, is as good a launching pad as any?
Well, it depends on what you call "cosmic." If you define cosmic as simple space adventure sci-fi, I'd say that DC really isn't lacking that department. You have a host of alien heroes and villains in DC, with the Green Lantern Corps, Adam Strange, and the Legion of Superheroes being only a few examples. However, I define cosmic as not only including space elements. My defnition of "cosmic" and what I see Marvel cosmic as is more so the genre that encompasses space elements and certain metaphysical forces and elements (as well as their embodiments). To me, cosmic as a genre denotes the "godly" characters that are beyond this realm of existence and are tied to more than just space. The Spectre would be a good example of a DC character of this kind.
One of the positives that Marvel has over DC is that it has a rather rich and detailed set of alien civilizations including the Kree, the Shi'ar and Inhumans. And in those it has subsets. DC hasn't done much in the way of universe building in quite some time other than in LSH.
I would love to see DC reboot the Omega Men right now with some of the original characters (now that everything else is rebooted.) Bringing back Kalista, Primus, Nimbus, Broot, Demonia, Harpis and all...
Plus, as someone else said above...Adam Strange really really needs to be brought back! I loved the Diggle/Ferry mini series from some time back and woudln't mind seeing them return to the character. Ferry's style is well suited to space faring.
With all of DC's talk of diversity when DCnU came about, one of the arms I was most looking forward to was their Sci-Fi branch. Unfortunately, that division has gone mostly ignored. :(
Not all who wander are lost....
Huh while mon of them are skrull or kree level DC has had quite a few cool aliem races showcased by the lantern series.
Dc: Action Comics/Animal Man/Swamp Thing/Earth-2/Green Arrow/Batman/Threshold/Batwoman/Justice League/Green Lantern/Teen Titans/Superman/Justice League Dark/I,Vampire.
Well, I certainly know that I would like more cosmic DC stuff. I like green lantern and LSH (I love Levitz's world building), Perhaps in a fourth wave we could see adam strange and the new gods. Im not surprised that most of what is going on at DC is more bat-centric, and the horror stuff gets pushed a lot.
Two words that DC could begin with "Spaceeeeee Ghooostttttttttt"
"Wrong does not cease to be wrong because the majority agrees."
Katrina Crane (Sleepy Hollow)
And I think DC has been trying to do "Cosmic" stories.
I blame the READERS for them not selling.
A lot of them have been pretty good but since they don't fall into the more soap opera dramatic of the "Earth" titles. They don't sell.
Whiney Emo Kids don't like the Star Wars stuff cause it dosen't have enough General Hospital elements.
Look for the Omega Men to show up in DEATHSTROKE and then likely HAWKMAN down the line.
Teams due for a New 52 debut