With James Gunn’s big reveal about the DC Studios slate, we are both very excited and have lots of questions about this new cinematic DCU. Although Gunn and Peter Safran have been very open about what their plans are going forward, as well as their DC Comics inspirations, it doesn’t mean we don’t have some thoughts on the new direction. Here are some aspects of the DC comics we hope to see make it into the first chapter now officially known as “Gods and Monsters.”
We already know that James Gunn is a big fan of writer Grant Morrison’s seminal All-Star Superman, and even tweeted a copy of the graphic novel recently. Although we doubt that story will be directly adapted, as it’s a kind of “Death of Superman” story, we think a lot of elements will make it into Superman: Legacy. With a name like Legacy, we expect it to deal with Kal-El’s Kryptonian heritage.
In All-Star Superman, Kal comes face to face with his Kryptonian ancestor Bar-El. Turns out, he was pretty awful, which for Clark was like finding out he was related to Charles Manson. We’d love to see that story in a film. A basic comics concept to play with too is the eternal “is Superman more alien or more human?” We hope this movie tackles this concept, seen in many a comic book, but in a fun and positive way that never dims the Man of Steel’s inner light. We also hope we see Superman’s #2 villain, Brainiac, at long last. He’s overdue.
The Brave and the Bold
We know The Brave and the Bold is going to focus on the Dynamic Duo of Batman and Robin, with Robin being Bruce Wayne’s son Damian Wayne. But Gunn and Safran have also mentioned that this is a “Bat-family” movie. This means we’ll likely see more of the Gotham Knights than just Damian. As Safran said about the Bat-family, “we feel like they’ve been left out of the Batman stories in the theater for far too long.” We heartily concur.
We really hope that The Brave and the Bold also introduces us to Nightwing, a.k.a. Dick Grayson, a.k.a. the first Robin. And we also hope we see Barbara Gordon as Batgirl. They are both pillars of the DC Comics Universe, and need to be on the big screen. It’s unlikely that Matt Reeves’ The Batman universe will ever include the sidekicks. So this is a great way to differentiate the two distinct Caped Crusaders.
One of the best parts of DC’s Green Lantern mythos is the sheer amount of Lanterns actually out there. So it’s smart that our first GL project in the new DCU focuses on more than one space cop, in the form of Hal Jordan and John Stewart. But don’t forget the other Lanterns in this project, please. We hope that this series also introduces other iconic Earth Lanterns, like Guy Gardner, Alan Scott, Simon Baz, and Jessica Cruz. Remember, it’s a Green Lantern Corps. The focus should be on the two leads, but we want to see other ring-slingers too.
An Amazons series that takes place in the distant past is the perfect place to do a true Greek mythology show set in the DC Universe, drawing from versions we’ve seen in DC Comics. Obviously, we’d see famous Amazons from the Wonder Woman mythos like Queen Hippolyta and Antiope. But we’d also want to see them fight things like Gorgons and Minotaurs, and not just each other. The 2017 Wonder Woman movie lightly touched upon the Gods, but besides Ares, we didn’t really see any. Paradise Lost could rectify that. This chapter is called “Gods and Monsters” after all. Live up to that name.
Booster Gold, real name Michael John Carter, is DC’s most lovable loser. But he’s also secretly its biggest asset. One of the cooler aspects of his character introduced in the past several years in the comics was that Booster was made a guardian of the time stream, insuring that history flows properly. Yes, similar to Marvel’s TVA. But because everyone in the world thinks of Booster as a doofus attention-hog hero, it becomes easier for him to hide his true noble mission in plain sight. It’s a great angle for the character, and one we hope the TV series picks up on. And of course, we hope to see Booster interact with his BFF Blue Beetle at least once.
In many ways, the original Wildstorm series The Authority was the template for later “bad superheroes” in pop culture. Think the Seven from The Boys, or Omni-Man from Invincible. Although the characters from the book are less straightforwardly bad than those guys are, and actually have noble intent. They may do terrible things, but they think they’re doing the right thing.
What we really hope for is that DC Studios doesn’t shy away from the Authority’s two gay lead characters, Apollo and Midnighter, and their complex relationship. In the comics, these two are more than just “gay Superman and gay Batman.” Although yes, they did start as just that. They even got their own comic book series eventually, which the filmmakers should definitely look at. Just make sure they stay front and center, and also don’t water them down.
Waller seems to be an extension of Peacemaker, so in a way, we have no notes. Peacemaker was pretty much perfect. Maybe her role in the organization Checkmate from the comics could be explored further? But truly, the one thing we hope to see is a show that doesn’t soften Amanda Waller up. She’s not just a hardass, but a very morally compromised character. And yet, she’s one we still root for. Think Walter White in the early seasons of Breaking Bad, only with a superheroic arsenal at her beck and call. We know that Viola Davis will deliver.
Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow
Tom King’s Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow is one of the most celebrated runs of the character ever, if not the most celebrated run. And it’s not even two years old! So it makes sense for DC Studios to use that outer space adventure as a template. But as James Gunn said in his slate reveal, Supergirl grew up in a different world than her cousin Kal. Kara Zor-El actually remembers Krypton and Kryptonian culture firsthand, unlike Superman. So hopefully, we’ll see a lot of the more out-there aspects of the Superman family/Krypton mythology. We’re talking Bottle Cities, Phantom Zone projectors, and lots of flying pets. We can’t get enough of those super pets.
The relatively recent Swamp Thing show on the short-lived DC Universe streaming service actually did the comics justice, despite airing for only one truncated season. (They really did that show dirty.) But we think the upcoming movie could lean even more heavily into the original Len Wein and Bernie Wrightson comics from the 1970s. Gunn has said that some of the new DCU movies will be R-rated, and we can’t think of a better one to go that route than the horror-infused story of Alec Holland.
The Creature Commandos
The Creature Commandos don’t have a very big amount of comics to draw from in terms of inspiration. The first appeared in Weird War Tales in the early ’80s, as a mash-up of World War II action stories with classic Universal Monster archetypes. Think Dracula, Frankenstein, and the Wolfman as soldiers. Since then, they’ve had a handful of mini-series here and there. So our only wish for this project is to let the unlimited budget animation provides allow for Gunn’s imagination to go wild. Make it as bloody and over-the-top as a cartoon might allow.