James Gunn Adapting The Best DC Graphic Novel?

By Jonathan Klotz | Published

Panel from Convergence showing Telos and other heroes.

James Gunn, recently promoted to co-CEO of the DCU, has been remaining fairly quiet on what is next for the film franchise, but a recent Tweet and reporting from Comic Book Resources, seems to hint at Kingdom Come being adapted for the big screen. For those hoping that maybe fans were getting Convergence, sorry for the letdown. Hopefully the rumor of the classic mini-series, which is gorgeously illustrated by the legendary Alex Ross and written by Mark Waid, will be enough to make up for the disappointment.

Gunn’s teaser image, showing an older Superman flanked by other heroes, older and more weathered than usual, is just that, a tease, as no films are confirmed as of yet. Instead, Gunn is currently working on the DC Universe Bible, a master plan for the franchise expanding from movies to tv and even video games. Kingdom Come being part of the future plans for the DCU is incredible news for long-suffering fans that have watched Marvel create a vast, interconnected franchise.

Kingdom Come is an Elseworlds tale, which means it is the DC equivalent to one of Marvel’s “What Ifs?”, and like the frequently depressing series, this one starts off on a depressing note. Taking place in the near-future, the classic DC heroes have been replaced by younger, meaner heroes that believe more in “eye for an eye” than “Truth, Justice, and the American Way.” Led by Mangog, the new crop of heroes accidentally cause most of the American Midwest to become unlivable, touching off a crisis that forces Superman, Wonder Woman, and Batman out of retirement.

Released in 1996, Kingdom Come was a reaction from Ross and Waid to the current state of comic books. Since the late 80’s, superheroes were getting more and more violent, led by Marvel’s Punisher and Venom, though a reader could not go to a comic stand and find countless other titles with dark, gritty stories. As a result, Superman and Magog’s competition in the series is as much philosophical as physical.

One of DC’s gritty, violent characters that Kingdom Come was a response to, is also heavily rumored to be joining the DCU. Lobo, rumored to be played by Aquaman himself, Jason Mamoa, was originally a satire of violent anti-heroes before becoming one himself. In recent years, the character of Lobo has swung back to being openly acknowledged as a satire, with a love for space dolphins and not much else interesting the Main Man.

Now that Henry Cavill is back in tights as Superman, maybe the rest of the DCU will start to fall into place. Projects that went into production before Gunn was given control, including Batgirl and Blue Beetle, were either canceled in the case of the former or rumored to be on the chopping block for the latter. Kingdom Come may never see the light of day, but it remains a fan favorite story nearly 30 years after its initial release.

Other fan favorites that Gunn has mentioned as possibilities or just hinted at as with Kingdom Come, include Booster Gold, the worst hero of the 25th-Century, and the Green Lantern Corps. Confirmed films coming up for DCU are Shazam: Fury of the Gods in February followed by the long-awaited release of the troubled Flash in the Summer. With rumors pointing to Flash resulting in a reset for the DCU, maybe Kingdom Come moves a little closer to reality following the events of the Ezra Miller film.