DC Studios has unveiled its first batch of TV and movie projects: the first half of “DC Universe Chapter 1,” as described by studio heads James Gunn and Peter Safran. 10 titles were revealed by Gunn and Safran (5 movies, 5 TV series) featuring a mix of both new and old, iconic and obscure characters.
More interesting, though, are the kinds of comic books James Gunn and Safran seem to be drawing from for this new take on the DC Universe franchise. Even the most famous characters in DC (Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman) seem to be getting new adaptations based on some of the groundbreaking and/or unique DC comic books out there – many of them from the franchise’s modern day.
Below is a list of some of the more interesting comic book source materials that inspired DCU Chapter 1. REMARK: Obviously there are decades worth of comics and storylines in each of these projects (and people make those big lists); we’re just focusing on some of the key influences that seem worth noting and explaining – especially for fans who may not have read them on the page.
…But once you know, make sure you read these DC comics!
- 1 Superman: Legacy/All Star Superman
- 2 Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow
- 3 The Brave and the Bold / Batman by Grant Morrison
- 4 The Authority / Stormwatch / Superman and the Authority
- 5 Swamp Thing / Moore and Morrison
- 6 Booster Gold / Various DC Comics
- 7 Paradise Lost / Wonder Woman Historia: The Amazons
- 8 Waller / DC Infinite Frontier
- 9 Lanterns / Green Lantern: Earth One
- 10 Creature Commandos / Frankenstein Agents of SHADE / Seven Soldiers
Superman: Legacy/All Star Superman
You’ll hear the name Grant Morrison more than once on this list – and rightly so, as their work has been influential in shaping so many of the 21st century DC AND Marvel universes. Including the greatest superhero of them all: Superman.
All Star Superman is Morrison’s grand opus about Superman and his effect on the world. The 12-chapter series just follows a loose storyline about Superman facing the end of his life and the miracles he performs before his time is up. Each issue highlighted a different part of Superman’s world and experience, while also offering deeper insights into the character, his relationships, and his impact, than just about any other Superman story that’s been done.
Superman: Legacy has been described as a reboot with Clark Kent coming to Metropolis for the first time – which is not the same as All Star Superman’s storyline. Still, one of artist Frank Quigley’s iconic sketches is of All Star Superman was the only image James Gunn shared with the announcement Superman: Legacyso Morrison’s work on the series clearly heavily influences Gunn’s take on the character.
Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow
Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow was a critically acclaimed comic book – so acclaimed that DC Studios won’t even bother changing its title for the DCU feature film adaptation.
Woman of Tomorrow was a deep, modern character study of Supergirl (Kara Zor-El), written by none other than Tom King, one of the comic creators James Gunn credits with being part of the “DC Studios Brain Trust.” It was a sci-fi heavy intergalactic adventure, with some definite dark undertones.
That said, the goal of helping differentiate Supergirl from Superman was well accomplished by the comic – and hopefully the movie, too.
The Brave and the Bold / Batman by Grant Morrison
DC fans knew DC Studios was getting on the Grant Morrison bandwagon when the collected volumes of their Batman comics were spotted on James Gunn’s table. The first part of Grant Morrison’s Batman saga was “Batman & Son”, which introduced the character Damian Wayne to the main DC Universe continuity. Damian was Bruce Wayne’s son with Talia al Ghul, daughter of Ra’s al Ghul; growing up and being trained by the League of Assassins, Damian had a very different take on crime fighting than Bruce, making for an uneasy father-son relationship early on.
James Gunn’s reveal that The Brave and the Bold will be a story about Bruce and Damian Wayne is the only confirmation you’ll need that Grant Morrison’s Batman will be the DCU counterpart to a version of Superman also created by Morrison. affected.
Now DC fans are hoping that The Brave and the Bold gets the DCU ready for other beloved Morrison Batman stories – most notably the arcs surrounding Bruce Wayne’s apparent death; Dick Grayson and Damian become the new Batman and Robin; a living Bruce who must fight his way through time back to the present; and Bruce using his wealth and status to launch a global crime-fighting operation, Batman Inc.
The Authority / Stormwatch / Superman and the Authority
The authority is the first team film announced by DC Studios – and is perhaps the most disappointing. That’s because virtually no mainstream moviegoer knows the name or the team – something Jame Gunn acknowledged and compared to when moviegoers had no idea who Marvel’s protectors of the universe neither were.
The Authority is unique in that it grew out of a very different comic (Stormwatch), whose surviving members formed their own team, with much more morally grizzled views of superhero justice. After going through every major creator of the 2000s era (including Grant Morrison), The Authority series came to an end. However, DC fans think a more recent limited series, Superman and the Authority – also from the mind of Grant Morrison – could also be mixed into the DC Studios movie.
Superman and the Authority saw Superman recruit anti-hero psychic punk rebel Manchester Black to form a new Authority team, to tackle jobs that weren’t exactly righteous enough for the Justice League. If there was a sure way to bind The authority movie in the DCU, an equivalent version of that concept would do.
Swamp Thing / Moore and Morrison
It’s hard to know exactly where the creative influence falls on the Swamp Thing movie without knowing more about the storyline. As it stands, the stakes are on creators like Alan Moore, as well as Grant Morrison and Mark Millar’s taking the character to the forefront (as an elemental being who gains consciousness from a dying man – a character who eventually breaks). , given the obvious inclination towards Morrison’s work.
Booster Gold / Various DC Comics
Booster Gold is another character with a rich creative history for DC Studios to draw from. The 80s version of the character (reimagined by creators like Keith Giffen and JM DeMatteis) who was part of a Justice League with pal Blue Beetle will certainly be a point of reference. The 2000s iteration from Geoff Johns, Mark Waid, (creator) Dan Jurgens and others could also be a staple of the DC Studios TV series.
For example, in the “52 Pick-Up” and “Blue and Gold” storylines, Johns took Booster Gold on a mission to stop villains from using anomalies in the DC timeline to erase heroes from existence. Booster also took on a personal mission to save his best friend Ted Kord (Blue Beetle) from being killed at the hands of villain Maxwell Lord, causing new temporal problems.
That all seems like perfect material for one Booster Gold TV series that also gives us a bigger picture of the DCU and its (possible) history and future – as well as other DC organizations like Rip Hunter and the Time Masters.
Paradise Lost / Wonder Woman Historia: The Amazons
The spin-off series Wonder Woman Paradise lost is described by James Gunn as Game of Thrones set on Paradis Island (Themyscira), but in that premise DC fans saw another major comic book connection at work.
Wonder Woman Historia: The Amazons was a groundbreaking and Eisner award-winning limited series that began in 2021. The three-part epic told the story of how Queen Hera and the other goddesses of Olympus grew tired of the male gods and devised a secret plan to create their own master race of women: the Amazons. The saga expanded to explain the shocking story of how a human woman named Hippolyta founded her own tribe of Amazons, prospered them, and eventually fought a war against Zeus and the gods of Olympus – a war that would change the fate of the Amazons forever. determined, and led to the creation of their champion: Princess Diana, aka Wonder Woman.
History: The Amazons was a true mythological fantasy epic. And if half of the drafts that writer Kelly Sue DeConnick and artists Nicola Scott, Phil Jimenez, and Gene Ha have made it to the page make it to the screen, DC and HBO Max will create a female-led show similar to American Gods meets Game of Thronesand unlike anything else on TV.
Waller / DC Infinite Frontier
Viola Davis’s Amanda Waller is the MVP survivor of the changing tides at Warner Bros. and its DC Universe franchise, and her reward is finally her own HBO Max series. There’s a lot of DC Comics history out there Waller to draw from – including filling in important backstories that we’ve never really seen on a page or screen.
However, knowing how wildly James Gunn handled it Peacekeeper With the Season 1 storyline, we’d rather swing the speculation fences and say that the recent DC “Infinite Frontier” stories featuring Waller could play a role. During that iteration of the Suicide Squad series, Waller began conducting cross-dimensional operations throughout the DC Multiverse – including supervillain-controlled Earth-3. She also used Lazarus Resin to resurrect dead villains as a new kind of Suicide Squad. Working group Z.
That all seems like James Gunn’s ally – and a great way to sync Peacekeeper and Gunn’s The suicide squad with this new DC Universe.
Lanterns / Green Lantern: Earth One
Based on the artwork James Gunn shared, fans are speculating that Green Lantern: Earth One will have a major impact on the Lanterns TV serials. Described as Real detective starring space agents Hal Jordan and Jon Stewart, Lanterns is able to borrow much of the reimagined lore and aesthetic from the Green Lantern: Earth One comics – probably the most inventive book of that line.
… Of course, don’t be surprised if some of Grant Morrison’s recent work on Green Lantern isn’t also included – like the story of Hal Jordan going undercover to wipe out a double agent in the Lantern Corps.
Creature Commandos / Frankenstein Agents of SHADE / Seven Soldiers
by Jeff Lemire Frankenstein agent from SHADE was one of the bright spots of the DC New 52 reboot in the 2010s – and of the concept art for the Commands from creatures animated series, it sure looks like James Gunn was a fan! In that series, DC’s Frankenstein monster went back to the Seven Soldiers concept that Grant Morrison worked on in the 2000s – only in a more fun, comic-book kind of way. Creature Commandos will do well to adapt that source material.
- Batman by Grant Morrison sold out online, tops DC bestseller list
- DC Studios’ James Gunn confirms the comic strips that inspire DCU Chapter One movies
- Batman and Robin from the DCU, explained
- Is The New DC Studios Batman Reboot Based on Grant Morrison Comics?
- Superman Legacy & Brave and the Bold set up a Super Sons Crossover