It is said that great art asks great questions. Now, perhaps the greatest art has asked the greatest question: what if the Justice League were dinosaurs? We are set to find the answer in the forthcoming DC Comics limited series The Jurassic League. It is the kind of idea that is both wonderful and ridiculous, and if you think about it, not any weirder than a flying extraterrestrial from Kansas, an immortal demigoddess with a lasso, or a billionaire who has other peoples’ best interests at heart. The six issues of The Jurassic League will be co-written by Daniel Warren Johnson and Juan Gedeon, with art by Gedeon. Check out some of the first looks at the dinosaur superheroes here:
As described by a DC Comics release, the essential nature of the members of the Justice League dinosaurs will remain the same, they’ll just be…dinosaurs. So Superman will be a brachiosaur sent via rocket from a dying world to be raised by humans, it just turns out that they will be prehistoric humans this time around. Batman will be an allosaurus who dresses like a bat to scare other dinosaurs (presumably bats in that reality are much larger), with the Joker analogue being a dilophosaurus, ie, the thing that killed Newman in the original Jurassic Park. The description of Wonder Woman’s dino-equivalent is a bit more vague, but it is confirmed that she will be a triceratops. No further details about her lasso of truth have been released as of yet. It will be interesting to see what other members of the Justice League are brought in as their saurian counterparts, considering the huge roster the DC’s premier superteam has had over the decades. Will we see a stegosaurus Guy Gardner? Pterodactyl Zatanna? Aqua-Ichthyosaurus? The mind boggles at the possibilities.
Of course, there is a lot of precedent for alternate versions of The Justice League. In the long history of comic books, there is no idea too out there or bizarre that has not made it to publication at some point. DC Comics has long had an imprint series called Elseworlds that was explicitly to showcase alternate continuities, their equivalent to Marvel Comics’ What If? Series. There has been a Batman who kills Dracula, only to become a murderous vampire himself. There has been a Superman who crash lands in the Ukraine in the 1930s and grows to be a Communist dictator. There has been a Wonder Woman who essentially exists in a German Expressionist film. Basically, Justice League dinosaurs are fairly tame in comparison.
It goes without saying that it is unlikely we will ever see a film adaptation of the Justice League dinosaurs. Once upon a time, it seemed like a longshot that we would ever get a Justice League at all, and as it turned out, that did not go very well for anyone. But on the other hand, we are in a resurgence of interest in all things Jurassic, so who knows? Maybe the DCEU will take a page from Marvel Studios and greenlit an Elseworlds series. And then we could get some sweet on-screen super-dinos.