With the DC Extended Universe nearly upon us, now is a prime time to look forward and speculate on what stories these films may mine from the vast history of DC Comics. Below, there is a list of five stories which would be excellent choices to adapt in future DCEU films.
5. The Court Of Owls
Precious little is known about the inevitable Batman DCEU solo film. As such, it is currently unknown which, if any, of the numerous Batman comic storylines screenwriters Ben Affleck and Geoff Johns intend to adapt. One story that should be high on their list is Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo’s excellent opening arc to their New 52 run, The Court Of Owls. Telling the tale of The Dark Knight as he comes into conflict with the titular cabal, Batman discovers devastating secrets to the history of his family & Gotham City as a whole, while being forced to accept his vigilance over the city he calls home may not be as omniscient as he thinks. Packed with excellent character development and imagery which would be a joy to see brought to life, Court Of Owls likely ranks high on any DC fan’s movie wish-list.
4. Sinestro Corps War
While the Green Lantern character and mythos received unfortunately poor treatment in the 2011 film, a failure which has clearly had consequences on the character’s role in the DCEU,
a disappointing start should not disqualify the franchise from further big screen outings. If WB intends to redeem the Green Lantern name in the eyes of the public, one of their best options would be to adapt the arguably best arc from Geoff Johns’ magnum opus of a run, Sinestro Corps War. The story follows the Green Lantern Corps as they are pulled into an intergalactic conflict with Corps leader Hal Jordan’s arch enemy, Thaal Sinestro, who has founded his own eponymous corps who channel the yellow energy of fear with their rings. Offering the opportunity to showcase the entire Green Lantern corps and one of the greatest villains DC has in their arsenal, Sinestro Corps War would make an excellent opening act to the DCEU’s Green Lantern series.
3. Rock Of Ages
Justice League, featuring the icons of the DC universe finally united in the cinematic world, is undoubtedly one of the most anticipated upcoming superhero movies. A character consistently rumored to appear is Darkseid, one of the New Gods, ruler of planet Apokolips, and a most persistent enemy of the League (particularly Superman). As such, an eventual big screen appearance by the villain seems inevitable, and the story arc Rock of Ages from Grant Morrison’s JLA run would make for a spectacular cinematic introduction to Darkseid. In the midst of a skirmish with the Injustice League, Aquaman, Flash, & Green Lantern find themselves transported to the future where Darkseid, having finally discovered the Anti-Life Equation, has conquered Earth. Rock Of Ages would offer a chance to spotlight lesser known members of the League and a powerful display for possibly their most powerful adversary, and if cryptic hints of Darkseid’s presence in the apocalyptic “Knightmare” sequence of Batman V Superman amount to anything, we may indeed see a version of the story translated to the world of cinema.
2. Tower Of Babel
If Batman V Superman is any indication, the DCEU incarnation of Bruce Wayne clearly fears the destructive potential of super-humans; Tower Of Babel (the partial namesake of this very website) would be a prime opportunity to capitalize on this character trait. As the story goes, Ra’s Al Ghul is the midst of his latest scheme aimed at “purifying” the Earth, the Justice League finds themselves under attack by weapons/strategies specifically designed with intimate knowledge of their weaknesses. The Demon’s Head is behind these attacks of course, but in a twist, it is revealed he did not create these weapons, but merely stole them from the true architect; Bruce Wayne. Batman justifies his actions by stating an entity such as the Justice League is too powerful to operate without having some sort of contingency in place to use against them, but the rest of the League, their faith in Batman shattered, vote to dismiss him from the League. With a highly flexible story molding (Ra’s Al Ghul was replaced by Vandal Savage in the animated adaptation Justice League Doom, and a similar change can be made for a potential DCEU version), the potential for truly unique action/visuals, and excellent insight into how Batman’s mind ticks, Tower Of Babel would make for a spectacular blockbuster, and might sow the seeds for a finale to the Justice League trilogy in the form of…
1. Kingdom Come
Widely considered one of the greatest graphic novels in both the DC pantheon and the medium as a whole, Kingdom Come is a story that practically begs for cinematic translation. Quite biblical in scope and narrative, Kingdom Come features a dystopian future (a concept admittedly not terribly uncommon in comics) where most of the familiar heroes of the DC pantheon have retired into seclusion, replace by a new breed of anti-heroes where the line between good & evil has become increasingly blurred. Tragedy strikes due to the failure of one of these new heroes, Magog, forcing Superman (at Wonder Woman’s prompting) to reassemble the Justice League in order to provide the world’s ever-expanding superhuman population with guidance. The near-crippled Bruce Wayne, having left the guarding of Gotham to a fleet of automated Batman-style drones, believing the reformed League to be a threat, assembles his own task force, allying with former super-villain Lex Luthor in the process. While the finer details of how this conflict play out will be left unsaid, a Kingdom Come film would offer a sprawling, reverent, and emotionally-charged finale to the DCEU, should the series ever reach such a stage.
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