Which DC Comics inspire the new DC Movies revealed by James Gunn?

Which DC Comics inspire the new DC Movies revealed by James Gunn?

In October 2022, Director James Gunn and producer Peter Safran were named co-chairs and co-CEOs of DC Studios. It is a newly formed division that replaced DC Films. Gunn made the fans know at the time that he and Safran would deliver their plans for the future of the DC Universe (DCU) in January 2023.

On January 31, he delivered on that promise. From Superman: Legacy to Swamp Thing, this new franchise will explore all the corners of the DC Universe in something of a soft reboot. Gunn has already confirmed he has been working with the comics side to develop some sense of coordination.

Let’s get into further details.

1. Which DC Comics have been confirmed as the inspiration for the new DC Movies by James Gunn?

The five books in question are Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow, Grant Morrison-written All-Star Superman and Batman Vol. 1, The Authority Omnibus by Warren Ellis, and Alan Moore’s Absolute Swamp Thing Vol.1.

Gunn clarified that these comics won’t necessarily have their storylines adapted for the DCU, but rather “the feel, the look, or the tone” will influence the team:

We’ve talked a lot about Woman of Tomorrow, but these are more of the comics inspiring DC Studios and the new DCU in these early days. That doesn’t mean we’re adapting all these comics, but that the feel, the look, or the tone of them are touchstones for our team. Check ’em out!”

2. Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow (Tom King)

James Gunn was clear from the get-go that Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow would be inspired by Tom King’s 2021-2022 run of the same name. King himself has been involved closely in some of the early writing work at DC Studios. 

The unique sci-fi take on Supergirl features Kara Zor-El, who, unlike her cousin Kal-El, grew up on a chunk of Krypton. She spent the early years of her life watching everyone around her perish in terrible ways.

Which DC Comics inspire the new DC Movies revealed by James Gunn?
Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow

Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow (2021—2022) | DC Database | Fandom

3. The Authority (Warren Ellis)

Warren Ellis’ The Authority saw a new team of heroes rise from the ashes of the government-controlled team Stormwatch to defend Earth from global threat.

But this new group now operated outside the bounds of government control, and as their name implies, now answer to their authority. This take on the team had a drastically different approach to crimefighting from other superhero teams, having a more cynical approach to the world. 

The Authority was violent and brutal, doing things as they pleased.

Which DC Comics inspire the new DC Movies revealed by James Gunn?
The Authority

The Authority (1999—2002) | DC Database | Fandom

4. Batman (Grant Morrison)

Grant Morrison had a seven-year run with the Dark Knight that will now inspire The Brave and the Bold. Perhaps the most influential moments from this series will come from his Batman and Son era. The era was the one to finally introduce Bruce Wayne’s son Damian into the main continuity. 

Morrison’s comics also included the Batman RIP storyline which saw the Dark Knight believed to be dead. During this time when Wayne was thought to be gone, certain members of the Bat Family pushed them to become the next Batman. The mantle eventually went to Dick Grayson.

The DCU could try to replicate this storyline in some way to set up a new Batman that isn’t Bruce Wayne. This would help to differentiate it from Robert Pattinson’s franchise. Although, since Wayne eventually turned out to be alive in that story he could still return down the line.

5. All-Star Superman (Grant Morrison)

All-Star Superman may be among the Man of Steel’s most famous runs ever, and now it seems placed to influence Superman: Legacy. This story saw an older Superman dying due to overexposure to the Sun. With the DCU’s Superman expected to be younger, its influence will likely be strictly in tone.\

Writer Grant Morrison’s approach to the 12-issue series was to create a new and universal take on Superman. 

Which DC Comics inspire the new DC Movies revealed by James Gunn?
All-Star Superman

All-Star Superman (2006—2008) | DC Database | Fandom 

6. Swamp Thing (Alan Moore)

Alan Moore’s Swamp Thing threw aside much of the character’s past to turn him into a true monster and leaned into the horror aspects. This is something the DCU flick is soon expected to do- and it may have even already found the director to do so.

7. How Comics will influence the DCU?

The new age for DC has started, with the new direction for the DCU being the most cohesive, the comics giant has ever been. Gunn has further explained how movies, TV shows, animation, and games will be interconnected in the new DCU. 

This sounds like a great improvement over the less connected and more confusing continuity in the previous iteration of DC.  All of those different types of mediums will look back to the comics for inspiration. 

Even further than that, Gunn’s doing something he never did at Marvel. He is coordinating with DC Comics’ Chief Creative Officer Jim Lee to have comics featuring characters that are part of the DCU’s live-action plan.

Most comic readers will ultimately agree that these four DC comics are regarded among the greatest to come from the superhero giant in recent years. So, this undoubtedly sets a good precedent for the stories that the DCU team will take queues from in the years to come.

Gunn has rarely been one to lean too heavily into comic accuracy, as can be seen by his unique versions of Guardians of the Galaxyand The Suicide Squad. But while his scripts may stray further from the comics, that doesn’t mean he won’t allow other creatives to stay closer to the source.

The DCU will properly kickstart with Superman: Legacywhich hits theatres on July 11, 2025.