James Gunn's upcoming Superman: Legacy will not feature Superman as a hobo.
With James Gunn firing Henry Cavill from the Superman franchise, we only know four things about the next Superman movie: that it is called Superman: Legacy, that Gunn himself is writing and directing it, that it will focus on a younger Clark Kent, and that it is set to release in July 2025. Now we can add a fifth tidbit of knowledge about the movie: that this version of Clark Kent will not, in fact, be a wandering hobo who shirks his duties as a superhero.
This hard-hitting, late-breaking news comes as James Gunn posted an image of what appeared to be a Silver Age Superman comic cover, with the comment “No current plans to adapt.” The cover shows Superman appearing like a stereotypical hobo, complete with busted shoes, a patched-up cape, a top hat, and a spotted bindle. In true Silver Age comic cover fashion, Superman is choosing to ignore an immediate crisis, in this case, Jimmy Olsen hanging from a steel beam, in danger of falling to his death.
Of course, those with a keen eye will notice that the old-school DC Comics logo has been replaced by a Comics Alliance logo, and the old Comics Code Authority stamp instead reads “Approved by Comics Alliance Audacity.” Knowingly or not, James Gunn promoted a parody cover for a 2010 Superman storyline, created by artist Kerry Callen for Comics Alliance.
The storyline being parodied, Superman: Grounded, does not, in fact, feature an unshaven Man of Steel sneaking onto trains to cross the country in search of work. Instead, it features Superman walking across U.S. cities in hopes of reconnecting with the people living in his adopted home. Of course, James Gunn seems unlikely to adapt this more-serious story either, since Superman: Legacy will take place early in Superman’s career and he probably hasn’t spent enough time as a superhero needed to disconnect from the world he grew up in.
Despite being a fake, the absurdity of the comic cover would feel right at home in the Silver Age of comic books, which lasted from the late 1950s to the early 1970s — soon after the comics industry began policing its own comics via the now-infamous Comics Code Authority. Absurd covers from that long-forgotten time period include Superman forcefully marrying Jimmy Olsen to an Ape, Superman taking up the role of King Kong at the top of the Empire State Building, and Superman becoming so fat that he can’t fit in a phone booth. James Gunn has not yet confirmed or denied that he’ll be covering those storylines.
James Gunn will be using Superman: Legacy to begin a larger event in the DC Universe called “Gods & Monsters,” which will feature two movies and two TV shows each year. Future films include The Authority, The Brave and the Bold, Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow, and Swamp Thing. However, with that much content coming down the pipeline, there may just be room for a storyline that features Jimmy Olsen turning into a human porcupine.