The DC Comics Writer Shaping James Gunn’s DCU

By Chris Snellgrove | Published

One of the more exciting things about James Gunn’s DCU is that the longtime director and co-CEO of DC Studios is a major comics nerd. That means that not only will the films released under his creative direction be more accurate to the comics, but we might be able to get an idea of what those films will look like by reading stories from DC’s best writers.

Now, Gunn himself has offered fans a valuable clue to the future of the DCU by revealing that veteran DC comics writer Tom King has been a consultant for the upcoming films Superman: Legacy and Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow.

James Gunn Confirms Tom King’s Involvement In The DCU

This answer comes courtesy of the social media app Threads, in which Gunn regularly answers questions from fans. In this case, a fan asked him point-blank if there was any truth to rumors that Tom King had been working with Gunn to bring the DC Supergirl movie to life. Gunn responded by saying that the comic writer has been helping with the Superman and Supergirl films as well as “numerous other projects” for DC.

The Human Target

Sadly, the fan didn’t get an answer to his secondary question of which particular Tom King stories James Gunn would like to bring to future DC films. Gunn didn’t offer an answer, but in a different post on Threads, he previously revealed that his favorite comic of 2023 was King’s The Human Target.

The comic was a 12-issue limited run on DC’s Black Label. Intended for mature audiences, it focuses on a private investigator named Christopher Chance who mimics the identities of clients as a way of drawing out the killers targeting them.

Ifluencing James Gunn’s Vision For Batman?

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So far, Human Target isn’t a part of James Gunn’s opening slate of DCU movies and shows, but that doesn’t mean that the CEO won’t be drawing on other work Tom King has written, especially for Batman.

This includes the niche DC titles Gotham City: Year One (which fleshes out the earlier days of Gotham and provides more lore for Thomas and Martha Wayne) and Grayson (which explored how Dick Grayson became a secret agent after his identity was exposed). 

Interconnected Story Arcs

Most likely, we’ll see the influence of Tom King’s long run on Batman, which has given us everything from a beef between Joker and Riddler to an epic showdown between Batman and a very different Bane to a near-marriage between Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle.

Ironically enough, the most potentially difficult aspect of translating Tom King’s DC comics to the big screen is that his story arcs are very interconnected, making it difficult to insert smaller parts of his stories and characterization into large and otherwise unrelated movies.

A Promising Outlook For The New DCU

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With that being said, James Gunn’s confirmation that he has been working closely with Tom King for future DC movies gives us plenty of hope for the future of this franchise. Not only is Tom King one of the best writers in the comics business, but Gunn’s commitment to consulting with such experts showcases his commitment to giving us a DCU that is far more centered in fan-favorite mythology than the DCEU ever was.

Let’s be real: won’t it be nice for DC fans to get movies that are actually decent instead of box office bombs that only appeal to edge lords who have never picked up a comic?