The Nathan Fillion Superhero Comedy DC Fans Must Revisit Before Superman

By Jacob VanGundy | Updated

Nathan Fillion is set to appear in James Gunn’s Superman next year, in which he’ll be playing Guy Gardner. If you have any doubts about this casting, you should watch the 2008 web series Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog. As a superhero parody, his character, Captain Hammer, is every bit as crass and flawed of a hero as Gardner. 

Dr. Horrible’s Sing-A-Long Blog

Nathan Fillion plays the antagonist in Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog, acting against its supervillain protagonist, played by Neil Patrick Harris. With invulnerability and super strength, Captain Hammer spends most of the web series easily stopping Dr. Horrible, mocking him, and posing vainly as he does. As the series progresses, he’s revealed to be a self-centered, arrogant misogynist who is unlikable despite being a seemingly competent superhero. 

Guy Gardner And The Hammer

It’s unlikely Nathan Fillion will be an antagonist in Superman, but his flaws as Captain Hammer mirror many of Guy Gardner’s flaws. Though he originally appeared in 1968, in the 1980s, Steve Engelhart and Joe Staton turned him into a parody of hypermasculinity, which has been Gardner’s role ever since. He’s consistently written as a self-obsessed jerk prone to fits of rage and occasionally as openly sexist. 

While there are many different versions of Guy Gardner, his flaws are his consistent, defining features. There have been overtly villainous arcs for the characters, such as his time as a Red Lantern, but he’s usually a member of the Green Lantern Corp who works with other heroes who despise him. Nathan Fillion will likely play this unlikeable but still heroic version of the character in Superman, which could see him working with Clark.

The Song Isn’t About A Hammer

Both Guy and Captain Hammer occupy the same space, as a parody of the stereotypical macho superhero, but both still function as heroes. Unlike Homelander from The Boys or Invincible’s Omni-Man, Guy Gardner and Captain Hammer aren’t evil, they’re just superheroes who happen to be dicks. Nathan Fillion is the perfect actor to bring that comically obnoxious energy to Superman. 

Jerk With A Heart Of Gold

nathan fillion

While his role as Captain Hammer alone would be enough to make Nathan Fillion the perfect Guy Gardner, he’s proven himself capable of playing heroic jerks in plenty of other roles. His most well-known role as Malcolm Reynolds in Firefly is presented as a more undeniably heroic figure than Captain Hammer, but he presents many of the same character flaws. Playing Guy Gardner in Superman will likely continue his tradition of playing loveable jerks, using his undeniable charm to sell his slimy character. 

Long-Time Collaborator Of James Gunn

In Superman, Nathan Fillion will reunite with his long-time collaborator James Gunn. After starring in Gunn’s directorial debut, Slither, Fillion appeared in every movie Gunn directed, usually in a small comedic role. This relationship has been a productive one, and this could be another creative homerun for the duo, leaning into the actor’s strengths and evoking one of his best characters.

Nathan Fillion Is The Perfect Guy Gardner

While David Corenswet’s casting as Superman will inevitably be questioned, there’s no denying that Nathan Fillion is the perfect Guy Gardner. If he can tap into the same energy he brought to Captain Hammer, he’ll nail the controversial Green Lantern’s characterization. Rewatching Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog is the perfect way to get excited for the upcoming performance.