Warner Brothers has not been able to get a toe hold on their DC Comics cinematic universe. Their attempts have been all over the place from the good (Wonder Woman), the bad (Suicide Squad) and the ugly (Batman vs. Superman). Plus, how many times are we going to see these character’s origin stories! I know Bruce Wayne’s childhood better than I know my own! How many more times are we going to have to see Kal-El crash land and destroy the poor Kent crops for the season! What I’m getting at is that a lot of DC Comic’s characters have become pretty well known throughout the years, especially now with the newer CW shows. How about if DC concentrates on just making great comics, TV and animated movies? But if they must dabble in theatrical released motion pictures, go a different route than Marvel. Don’t do an interconnected universe. How about introducing fans to the Elseworld universe!
Elseworlds are comic book limited series or one shots that DC Comics has been putting out for decades and have been pretty successful at it too! They’ve also gotten some of the Comic Book world’s top talent to write and draw some of these. They don’t have any rhyme or reason nor are they cannon or connected to the main continuity at all. They’re just a fun retelling of our favorite hero’s origins and/or circumstances. So instead of seeing poor Martha Wayne lose her lovely pearls all over Park Row again, how would you like to see Batman go toe to toe against Count Dracula? Or see how Superman lived in medieval England and came to forge the sword Excalibur! Well, these stories actually did happen in Batman & Dracula: Red Rain (1991) and Superman: Kal (1995). Below are some of the Elseworlds comics I think would make for some pretty cool movies!
Justice Riders (1997) written by Chuck Dixon with art by J.H. Williams III. Imagine the Justice League in the Wild West! U.S. Marshall Diana Prince must go after an unbeatable gunslinger by the name of Wally West for the murder of Barry Allen!
Green Lantern: 1001 Emerald Nights (2001) written by Terry laBan with art by Rebecca Guay. Taking place during the Golden Age of Islam in the Middle East a young Al Jhor Dan (Hal Jordan if you’re slow) finds a magic lamp with a jade genie inside!
Superman: Red Son (2003) written by Mark Millar with art by Dave Johnson and Killian Plunkett. Instead of The Last Son of Krypton landing on the Kent Family Farm in the good ol’ US of A, he lands on a state run plantation in the Soviet Union! Superman now the exclusive property of Mother Russia!
Wonder Woman: Amazonia (1997) written by William Messer-Loebs with art by Phil Winslade. It’s London, 1888 and Diana the Amazon is kidnapped from Paradise Island by Steve Trevor, Captain of the Royal marines! Now she must face the menace of haughty British society and Jack The Ripper!
Batman: Haunted Gotham (1999/2000) Written by Doug Moench, with art by Kelly Jones and John Beatty. Gotham City is taken over by supernatural villains and Bruce Wayne must become a Van Helsing type of hero to rid the streets of Werewolves, ghosts, demons and zombies!
As you can probably tell, these movies will never win an Oscar or have the critics at Variety and Village Voice piddling themselves. They’re just something different and fun in the same vein as Pride & Prejudice & Zombies or Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. But let’s face it, even if DC doesn’t do Elseworlds movies I think we all agree they need to stop trying to match Marvel in the movie race. They’ll never catch up and Marvel has pretty much already won and DC is now getting lapped. Besides, the Elseworlds movies can’t possibly be any worse than Green Lantern!