James Gunn Superman Logo Hints At Dark Future For DCU

By Zack Zagranis | Published

James Gunn revealed the logo for his upcoming Superman movie last week, and it should be familiar to hardcore comic fans. Rather than go with the iconic symbol DC perfected in the ’50s, Gunn has instead opted to go with the minimalist “S” of classic DC Elseworlds tale Kingdom Come. Gunn’s decision to go with the new symbol might have been merely a stylistic choice, but there’s also a chance that it signifies something much darker for the fledgling DCU.

The New Logo

james gunn superman

To be fair, Gunn’s new logo still retains the yellow of the classic Superman symbol rather than using black like Kingdom Come. The use of the Elsworld style logo with the traditional colors could mean that Gunn just wanted a new logo to differentiate his Superman movie from all the others. Given the place of reverence Kingdom Come occupies in the DC pantheon, however, we’re more inclined to believe Gunn’s choice holds more significance.

Kingdom Come

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For those not familiar, Kingdom Come is a 1996 4-issue miniseries written by Mark Waid and Alex Ross. The series tells an Elseworlds tale where Superman and all of his aging cohorts retire after witnessing the global acceptance of a new breed of hero willing to kill. The comic is brought to life through Ross’s breathtaking artwork and is mentioned in the same conversations as The Dark Knight Returns and Watchmen.

James Gunn Knows His Comics

james gunn superman

If James Gunn were less of a comic nerd than he is, we might be inclined to think that he thought the Kingdom Come symbol looked cool, and that’s all there was to it. But Gunn is a comic nerd and a pretty big one at that. Given that the director previously shared a picture from Kingdom Come in late 2022 with the caption, “Making plans,” we’re going to go ahead and assume the DCU is going to have more connections to the story than just a logo.

The real question is, is Gunn playing the long game?

The Long Game Or One And Done?

sophie turner

There’s always a chance that the DCU’s chief architect plans on stuffing a Kindom Come-style story in one movie like the DCEU did with the Death of Superman arc or Fox did—twice—with the Dark Phoenix story. We already know that the world of Gunn’s Superman already contains superheroes before Jor-El dons his cape, it wouldn’t take much to bastardize Kingdom Come by starting out with the dark and violent heroes and having Superman arrive and show the world a more compassionate style of crimefighting.

Guardians Fans Know The Deal

Fans of the Guardians of the Galaxy trilogy already know that’s not Gunn’s style, though. Gunn isn’t one to rush things and would rather plant a seed and let it grow organically than try to force it. The more likely possibility is that Gunn will use Phase 1—sorry—Chapter 1 of the DCU to lay the groundwork for a Kingdom Come movie in either the second or third Chapter.

Letting Zack Go

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It’s no secret that Warner Bros. wants the new DCU to be the direct opposite of Zack Snyder’s grimdark DCEU. What better way to show that than to set up a baseline where many of the mainstream heroes like Superman and Batman are shown to be a bit lighter than their more recent live-action counterparts? Then in Chapter 2 introduce new heroes with more violent methods and show the masses accepting them over the boring fuddy-duddy’s like Supes and Bats.

That would set up the DCU Chapter 3 perfectly for an Avengers: Endgame-level ensemble movie based on Kingdom Come. Could that be Gunn’s actual plan? We’ll just have to wait for next year’s Superman to find out.