Tue. Aug 4th, 2020

How the DC New Gods movie could be the key to Henry Cavill’s return as Superman

8 min read
How the DC New Gods movie could be the key to Henry Cavill's return as Superman

How the DC New Gods movie could be the key to Henry Cavill’s return as Superman – Great things are happening in the DC Extended Universe, the long continuity of the DC movie, which has been on hiatus since this year’s Birds of Prey, with the upcoming movie, Wonder Woman 1984, delayed until October 2 due to COVID. – 19.

With director Zack Snyder releasing his final vision for the 2017 Justice League movie in some format on HBO Max in 2021 following fan demand, and Henry Cavill claiming he wants to continue in the role of Superman “in the years to come, ”fans speculate on how and where Superman will return after his last appearance in the theatrical version of Justice League.

It’s unclear whether, or how, Zack Snyder’s aforementioned Justice League could affect the continuity of the established DCEU movie, and the planned Flashpoint movie could add its own Multiversal wrinkles to the equation, but there are already plans in the DCEU that They could report exactly where Cavill’s Superman might appear below. And what’s more, a bit of funny comic book history could tell us how it could all happen.

We’re talking, of course, about the New Gods movie being planned by director / co-writer Ava DuVernay, and how Superman’s unlikely story with Jack Kirby’s Fourth World could make that the perfect place for Cavill’s Kryptonian to play the next.

Cosmic Genesis

(Image credit: DC)

In the late 1960s, Jack Kirby was fed up with Marvel Comics. He felt that his lifelong creative partner, Stan Lee, with whom he created the Fantastic Four, Hulk, Thor, the Avengers, the X-Men, and many more iconic Marvel characters, was cutting him off both in credit and creative freedom, as well as his financial debt for having co-created such influential and successful characters (later filed a lawsuit against Marvel Comics in this regard).

Citing these reasons, he turned to Marvel’s ‘Distinguished Competition’ and its closest commercial rivals, DC Comics, who promised the creator of the stars a level of creative freedom and property royalties that Marvel would not offer.

Kirby entered DC with a grand plan: to create a complete mythology of divine and cosmic beings with their own heroes, monsters, villains, and cosmology linked to a cycle of death and rebirth that would inform the relationships of the main characters … New gods.

(Image credit: DC)

Kirby named his little corner of the DC Universe the ‘Fourth World’, the obvious implication being that this would be the story of the fourth incarnation of the reborn universe. But there was a problem with Kirby’s plan: DC insisted that it be included in its greatest myths, a part of the DC Universe itself. As such, they wanted Kirby’s ‘Fourth World’ line, which was planned to include the titles Mister Miracle, The New Gods and The Forever People, to be featured before the release of the three series.

DC initially wanted to cast the ‘Fourth World’ myth in a Showcase anthology, but Kirby didn’t like the plan, so they offered him his choice of existing titles from his line to take over. Not wanting to kick anyone out of a task and cost them a job, Kirby chose to take on DC’s best-selling title at the time, Superman Pal Jimmy Olsen, who didn’t even have a regular creative team.

Kirby immediately took Jimmy Olsen in his own unique direction, making Superman a central part of the title with Jimmy finding new ideas on almost every topic, many of which have remained part of DC’s greatest myths, including InterGang, Guardian, Project Cadmus, and the DNAliens. Apokolips, and even Darkseid himself made their debut on the pages of Jimmy Olsen, who set the stage for the release of what was essentially the first interconnected comic book print within a larger comic book universe.

Although Kirby’s career over Jimmy Olsen was cut short (and DC had artist Al Plastino redraw the faces on Kirby’s Superman to bring it more in the style of the DC house, to Kirby’s objections), it redefined the myth. from Superman forever and led directly to the cosmic conflict that has sparked much of the larger DC Universe for decades since.

War of words

(Image credit: DC)

The Fourth World focused on two alien planets: the utopian New Genesis and its rival / opposite, the infernal Apokolips, which were once a planet that had split in two in a great cataclysm. The two planets, at war for eons, reached a truce when the rulers of New Genesis and Apokolips – Highfather and Darkseid, respectively – traded custody of their younger sons Scott Free and Orion, forging a tenuous peace that lasted until Scott escaped the claws of Darkseid.

At that time, Darkseid’s son Orion, raised in New Genesis, became the ‘War Dog’, the fiercest warrior in New Genesis. However, in Apokolips, Highfather’s son Scott Free was harassed by torture and confined in increasingly draconian prisons, all of which he learned to break free, becoming the best escape artist in the universe. He fell in love with Barda, one of Darkseid’s Female Furies, Apokolips warrior women raised and trained by brutal taskmaster Granny Goodness, and the couple headed from Apokolips to Earth, where the adventures of the Lord Miracle finally brought him to contact with Superman ..

(Image credit: DC)

On the New Genesis side, other important New Gods include Lightray, avatar of light; Fastbak, god of speed; Bug, the best tracker in the universe; and Forever People, five young rebels who unite as Infinity-Man, a superhero with cosmic power. On the Apokolips side, Darkseid surrounds himself with the torturer DeSaad, the assassin Kanto, the hypnotic Glorious Godfrey, the warlord Steppenwolf (seen in the Justice League theatrical cut), his hated son Kalibak, and an army apparently endless of winged Parademons ..

There’s also Metron, a kind of omnipotent cosmic traveler sitting in the Moebius Chair, a timeless artifact that possesses all the knowledge of the universe, and Black Racer, the incarnation of death that inhabits the physical form of a wounded human veteran. And of course there’s the Fourth World technology, some of which they took into account in the 2017 Justice League, more on that later, which mainly includes Mother Boxes (a kind of universal iPhone / Tricorder cubes that They serve numerous functions) and Boom Tubes, which allow the user to teleport at great distances through space. And there’s the Anti-Life equation that ends the universe, and the Source Wall that marks the edge of reality, and a myriad of other enduring ideas that Jack Kirby put on the page.

Man of tomorrow

(Image credit: DC)

As for how Superman fits in, in addition to his role in helping establish the Fourth World in Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen, he was the first Earth hero Scott Free befriended when he escaped from Apokolips, a relationship that continued even after creator Jack Kirby left the Fourth World behind and returned to Marvel. Superman has since been a central character in numerous New Gods stories, and has been the greatest link between the New Gods and the broader DC Universe.

Superman’s relationship with Mister Miracle continued even after the 1985 DC limited series Crisis on Infinite Earths collapsed the DC Multiverse into a single timeline and completely rebooted the Man of Steel story at DCU. Writer / artist John Byrne relaunched Superman’s solo title and re-established his connection to the New Gods, placing Mister Miracle, Barda, and Darkseid front and center as supporting characters in his concurrent Action Comics career. Byrne moved him when he released his own ongoing Fourth World series a few years later, including Superman as the main character.

(Image credit: DC)

Superman was also a central character in writer / artist Jim Starlin’s Death of the New Gods, which wiped out most of the characters and paved the way for writer Grant Morrison to release a ‘Fifth World’ of reincarnated versions of the characters as part of Final Crisis: although it was short lived, since DC was restarted once again a few years later with Flashpoint (more on that here).

In the later ‘New 52’ era, the New Gods first appeared in alternate reality on Earth-2, where the warriors of Apokolips conquered Earth, killing Superman and resurrecting him as Darkseid’s brainwashing executor. . This concept was hinted at in the 2016 Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice ‘cavalry’ sequence, where a sleeping Bruce Wayne dreams of fighting a despotic superman wearing the Darkseid Omega symbol.

Iron Man

(Image credit: DC)

Most of the major players in the Fourth World saga are still a large part of the DC Universe today. Mister Miracle recently anchored an Eisner-winning limited series by artist Mitch Gerads and writer Tom King, who co-wrote the movie New Gods with director Ava DuVernay. Meanwhile, Darkseid and the Anti-Life equation remain ubiquitous threats to DC heroes, with Darkseid considered one of the biggest enemies of Superman and the Justice League (although he also recently worked alongside a space incarnation of the League as part of one of his biggest plans).

Additionally, Fourth World characters have permeated the DC media almost since their debut, appearing in everything from Super Friends to the Super Powers toy line (which featured a derivative comic created by Jack Kirby), to Justice League. Unlimited, up to a large number of DC animated movies and video games.

(Image credit: DC)

Much of this myth is also in place at the DCEU: We mention how Batman v Superman hinted at Fourth World mythology. Mother Boxes, featured in the Justice League, played a key role in the origin of the Cyborg film, as well as in the resurrection of Superman, a signal taken directly from the comics where Kirby’s Project Cadmus was central to the story ‘Death and the Superman Return ‘, which inspired the DCEU Superman Arc. Steppenwolf, the original villain of Justice League, and Darkseid, who will be the main villain of Zack Snyder’s Justice League, are, of course, villains of Apokolips ..

So with the DCEU Superman resurrected by New Gods tech, and fresh out of a fight with the Apokolips warriors, wouldn’t it make sense for him to venture into space and search for the New Genesis for answers, and maybe some clues about Krypton? Taking the idea that Superman could be a minor character in ensemble movies thanks to his cameo (not played by Cavill) in Shazam! (Hulk in Mark Ruffalo’s Thor: Ragnarok), DC movies could follow DC Comics beat by beat and make Superman the character that unites the heroes of two different worlds.

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