James Gunn Teases Five DC Comics Fans Should Read To Get Ready For The DC Universe

James Gunn walking with The Suicide Squad actors
(Image credit: Warner Bros. Pictures)

Big changes are coming to the DC Universe in film and television. Earlier this week, DC Studios heads James Gunn and Peter Safran announced five movies and five TV shows that are slated for what’s being called Chapter 1, a.k.a. “Gods and Monsters.” It’ll a while until the first projects for this soft reboot of the DC Extended Universe franchise are released to the public, but until then, Gunn has shared five DC comics that fans should read so they can get ready for what’s to come in the DC Universe.

With one of the upcoming DC movies being titled Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow, James Gunn recognized on Twitter that there have already been a lot of suggestions to read the same-named comic book miniseries written by Tom King and illustrated by Bilquis Evely. Gunn then suggested four other comics that are inspiring some of the projects coming out:

Starting off, we have All-Star Superman, which had previously been suspected to be a source of inspiration for the now-titled Superman: Legacy. Written by Grant Morrison and illustrated by Frank Quitely, this miniseries took place outside of the main DC Comics continuity and followed Superman performing as many heroic feats as possible before dying from overexposure to the Sun. This story was previously adapted into an animated movie starring James Denton, Christina Hendricks and Anthony LaPaglia, and Russell Crowe’s Jor-El delivers a monologue in Man of Steel that’s almost word-to-word what the superhero’s Kryptonian father said in this comic.

Next there’s The Authority, with writer Warren Ellis and artist Bryan Hitch writing the team’s 12-issue introduction in the late 1990s under the Wildstorm imprint, and then writer Mark Millar and and Frank Quitely succeeded them (writer Tom Peyer and artist Dustin Nguyen tackled a four-issue arc during that period). As James Gunn mentioned in the DC Universe slate announcement, The Authority is comprised of superheroes who are “basically good-intentioned,” but are willing to do things like kill people and overthrow governments to improve the world. Notable members include Jenny Sparks, Midnight and Apollo.

Then there’s Grant Morrison’s run on Batman, which unfolded in the main Batman comic book series and titles like Batman and Robin and Batman Incorporated. Since The Brave and the Bold will feature Damian Wayne as its Robin (which hopefully won’t prevent The Batman franchise from including The Boy Wonder), Morrison’s run is definitely worth checking out if you’re interested in the character since Morrison created Damian with artist Andy Kubert. This Batman run also introduced villains like Professor Pyg and Simon Hurt.

Finally, we have the Swamp Thing run that writer Alan Moore tackled with illustrators Stephen R. Bissette and John Totleben, with the latter handling the inking. Although Swamp Thing was created by Len Wein and Bernie Wrightson in 1971, the Moore era redefined the character and introduced new elements to his mythology that remain to this day, like the Parliament of Trees and John Constantine, who arguably became an even bigger deal on his own. James Mangold is in talks to direct the new Swamp Thing movie.

So if you’re looking for some reading material to prepare for what the DC Universe will deliver, these five comics are a good place to start. Along with being available in physical collections, they can also be read digitally by subscribing to DC Universe Infinite. You can also pass the time by streaming plenty of DC movies and TV shows with an HBO Max subscription.

Adam Holmes
Senior Content Producer

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore, Adam is a Senior Content Producer at CinemaBlend. He started working for the site back in late 2014 writing exclusively comic book movie and TV-related articles, and along with branching out into other genres, he also made the jump to editing. Along with his writing and editing duties, as well as interviewing creative talent from time to time, he also oversees the assignment of movie-related features. He graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in Journalism, and he’s been sourced numerous times on Wikipedia. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.