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DC Comics We Want To See Adapted Into TV Series

While DC Comics properties have had decidedly mixed results at the movies, they've met with huge success on the small screen. From "Arrow" and "Flash" to "Black Lightning" and "Gotham" to "Stargirl" and "Superman & Lois," the DC TV multiverse is ever-expanding and increasingly ambitious. Lacking Marvel's concern for keeping every TV series and movie in one big continuity, DC has really been at the forefront of superhero action on television.

Of course, there are still far more DC stories and properties from the comics than have made it anywhere close to television so far. With The CW and HBO Max as dedicated homes for these Warner-owned characters, we can only assume that there are many more DC series to come. So with that in mind, here's a list of some stories and concepts from DC Comics which we think would make fantastic television series, whether limited or ongoing. We may not know exactly what's coming, but here's what we'd like to see.

Kingdom Come

"Kingdom Come," originally a 1996 series by Mark Waid and Alex Ross, is the closest you can get to Amazon's "The Boys" while still using the actual superheroes everyone remembers from their childhood. It takes place in a near-future DC universe where the heroes we know have been overtaken by a new generation of super-people who fight viciously and with little regard for who's on which side of the law. Superman has retired into seclusion after the death of Lois Lane, feeling that old-school heroes such as himself are no longer what the public wants.

After a superhuman battle leads to a nuclear disaster in the American Heartland, Superman comes out of retirement and re-forms the Justice League, hoping to restore some peace and order. Not everyone welcomes this return, however. Batman leads another group of heroes who object to the League's hard-line tactics. And then there's Shazam, who's been brainwashed by Lex Luthor as a weapon against Superman. The U.S. government also has their own set of concerns and plan of action for dealing with these heroes who've put themselves above the law. Naturally, this all leads to a literally Earth-shaking climax.

A "Kingdom Come" series would be a great mix of superhero action and apocalyptic storytelling, and the future setting would also make it easier to ease the audience into a completely different set of actors playing the Justice League — imagine James Purefoy or another actor in his late 50s playing a self-doubting Superman. With drama, action, legendary characters, and big explosions, "Kingdom Come" would be a surefire hit.

Major Bummer

"Major Bummer" is another DC series from the late '90s, but it's not nearly as well-remembered. Written by John Arcudi with art by Doug Mahnke, it tells the humorous story of Lou Martin, an exceptionally lazy 19-year-old who gains super-strength (and a hulking physique to match) as well as super-intelligence from a botched alien experiment. It's a classic superhero origin, except that Lou has no interest whatsoever in being a superhero. All he wants to do is watch TV, play video games, and eat junk food, but superhero weirdness keeps getting in his way.

Bringing "Major Bummer" to TV would take a bit of finesse in the adaptation, both to make sure Lou is at least somewhat likable and to sand off the very 1990s "slacker" vibes in favor of a more Gen Z protagonist. Nineteen-year-olds are still generally known for being lazy, though, so it would probably still work. He probably just wants to vape and watch TikTok videos now, but in every episode, he'll have to deal with some super-threat that deep down, he wants no part of. With a good comedic writer's room, it could be a really fun show.

Superman Red/Superman Blue

If one Superman is good, two Supermen must be great, right? There was a time when Superman found himself split into two beings, Superman Red and Superman Blue. It wasn't a matter of Superman and his clone — both of these Supermen were essentially the original, just separated into two people. Naturally, this made him twice as effective as a superhero, but it also made his life (their lives, really) that much more complicated to navigate.

There are two versions of this story, one from 1963 and one from 1998. The first was an "Imaginary Story" (meaning it wasn't in-continuity) in "Superman" #162, and the second ("Superman Red/Superman Blue" #1) was the final act of the "Electric Superman" saga of the late '90s, when Supes gained an entirely new set of superpowers. A TV adaptation could draw on both versions, and if it incorporated some of the ways the 1963 Supermen attempted (and mostly succeeded) in accomplishing all their long-term goals and make the world a utopia, that could create some fascinating story moments through a modern lens. Either way, it would probably have to be a limited series, but it would be an interesting one.

The Death of Superman

If you're going to adapt Superman stories from the 1990s, you've got to do the most famous one: the story where he dies. A version of this storyline could be done with Tyler Hoechlin on The CW's "Superman & Lois," although it would be even sadder if Superman had two kids when he died. On the other hand, it could also work as its own miniseries. After all, DC, unlike Marvel, doesn't seem reluctant to add as many universes and continuities as they have stories to tell. The important thing is that this is a dramatic story about Superman facing a threat that matches him in power as few have before and coming to realize the only way to stop Doomsday from wreaking endless destruction across the Earth is to sacrifice himself.

Of course, the story doesn't end there. The most interesting part of the original "Death of Superman" is the "Funeral for a Friend" arc, in which Superman's friends, family, and allies react to his death and try to navigate a world without its greatest hero. It's not exactly upbeat, but it would make for compelling drama.

Reign of the Supermen

If you brought "The Death of Superman" to TV, you'd pretty much have to include what came after Supe's untimely demise, "Reign of the Supermen." Months after Superman's death, four new Supermen arrive on the scene, each incorporating some of his recognizable traits but not all of them. There's an emotionless Kryptonian Superman who has no mercy for criminals, a teenage clone in a leather jacket, a seemingly amnesiac cyborg Superman, and John Henry Irons, a normal man in steel armor who makes no claim to be the original but wants to carry on his legacy.

Naturally, not all of the faux-Supermen turn out to be heroes, and none of them turns out to be the original. When the real Superman does return to life, it leads to a Super-battle like none that's come before, as the five Supermen take sides and Green Lantern and Mongul get involved, too. The complexity of the storyline and the number of characters (heck, just the number of Supermen alone) would make for a fantastic season of TV, with each Superman getting an intro episode of his own before their stories begin to weave together.

Batman: Knightfall

"Bane breaking Batman's back?" you may be thinking, "Didn't 'The Dark Knight Rises' already cover that?" Well, kind of. The original comics saga from the 1990s, however, is extremely different from the 2012 film and could easily support a ten-episode series. This version of Bane isn't out to destroy Gotham — he's out to destroy Batman. And he doesn't do it directly, at least not at first. In "Batman" #491, he releases all of Batman's imprisoned villains, so the Dark Knight subsequently has to fight basically everyone he's ever fought, one after the other. It's a situation the brings Batman to his wits' end, which is where Bane finds him and destroys him physically in "Batman" #497.

This, of course, leads to the character Azrael taking on the mantle of Batman while Bruce Wayne recovers from his injuries. Ultimately, Azrael proves to be too harsh and violent a vigilante, and Bruce has to confront and stop him once he's back on his feet ("Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight" Vol. 1 #63). That chapter of the story hasn't been adapted at all and could be a whole second season of this series.


DC has a history of making TV shows about where their biggest heroes come from, without really including the hero (at least not in adult form). First there was "Smallville," about a teenage Clark Kent and the small town he grew up in. Then came "Gotham," doing basically the same thing with Batman. After that came "Krypton," which takes place on the planet of Superman's origin before he was even born. So the obvious question is, where is this concept for Wonder Woman? After all, she comes from a whole island of powerful Amazon warriors, who could surely be the focus of some rolicking adventures.

A "Themyscira" series could star any number of Amazons, whether it focused on Queen Hippolyta and her right-hand woman Philippus or on a group of previously unknown Amazons having adventures in the background. You could even come up with reasons for them to have missions off the island, which wouldn't break continuity as long as they went undercover and kept their home secret. It would be a great chance to tell some female-centric adventure stories, which is something there's definitely an appetite for these days, and the Wonder Woman connection would give it a built-in audience.

Green Lantern Corps

Everybody likes cop shows, even most people who don't like cops. A "Green Lantern Corps" series would be like a sci-fi cop show set in space, with cases of the week that take the Lanterns to exotic locations all across the universe. With a "Star Trek"-esque special effects budget, it could be unlike anything we've really seen on TV before. It probably wouldn't focus on Earth's top Green Lantern Hal Jordan, although it might feature John Stewart, Guy Gardner, or Kyle Rayner, depending on who's getting the most use in future movies. This series would be set in a kind of "precinct" where a group of Lanterns, featuring both humans and aliens, would be assigned missions of the week, while longer arcs build in the background.

The "Green Lantern" comics provide a large and fascinating cast to draw from. In addition to the various human Green Lanterns, there's the surprisingly smart alien bruiser Kilowog, wise and experienced veteran Tomar-Re, werewolf-esque Arkkis Chummuck, naïve young Arisia, passionate warrior woman Boodikka, and so on. A series could basically choose whatever core cast it wanted and leave the rest in the background to potentially bring in later. It would make for a great ensemble who could tell a wide variety of stories.

Justice Society of America

The Justice Society, DC's original super team, has appeared on TV more than once already. In fact, they're a major factor on DC's current "Stargirl" series. They've also been an element of "Legends of Tomorrow" and, before that, "Smallville." Their position as the DC Universe's first super team makes them a perfect fit for stories about legacy and tradition in the superhero world. However, they also had lots of great adventures in their own right and could totally carry a series of their own.

A "Justice Society of America" series would work best as a period piece, featuring the elder heroes in their prime. It could be set in World War II, with the team stopping saboteurs and spies as well as supervillains, or it could be set just after the war, as the heroes navigate where they fit into a rapidly changing world. Keep the vintage costumes and low-tech aesthetic intact, and the series would have an aesthetic unlike other superhero projects, giving it a fun, old-school, pulpy feel. Down-to-Earth two-fisted heroes like Wildcat, Hourman, and the Atom would work without special effects, so the show could save that budget for guys like Hawkman, Doctor Fate, and the Spectre. Inject some modern drama into their 1940s setting, and you'd have a really fun show.

Legion of Super-Heroes

On the far end of the timeline from the JSA is the young super team of the 31st century, the Legion of Super-Heroes. Some of them have already appeared on "Supergirl," but rather than making a spin-off, it makes the most sense to start fresh with younger versions of the characters. Part of their appeal is that they're all teenagers, and the best version of this show would feature actual teens and be welcoming to teen viewers. With a whole clubhouse full of teenage heroes, some of them from other planets, the drama would write itself, and fighting crime in a high-tech future would make the perfect backdrop for that.

The show would obviously focus, at least initially, on the three founding members: Saturn Girl, Cosmic Boy, and Lightning Lad. Then there's resident scientist Brainiac-5, shape-shifting Chameleon Boy, three-in-one Triplicate Girl, roughneck Ultra Boy, and so on. Even Bouncing Boy could play a role as the comic relief that eventually gets the chance to prove himself. With a futuristic aesthetic, colorful costumes, and a diverse cast, the Legion of Super-Heroes could be a major sci-fi hit.

Secret Society of Super-Villains

We've covered superhero teams, but a series about a supervillain team could also be a lot of fun. Think about your favorite show that focuses on criminals, whether it's "The Sopranos" or "Ozark" or whatever, and then imagine a superpowered version of that. The Secret Society of Super-Villains is a team that first appeared in 1976, in a story by Gerry Conway and Pablo Marcos appropriately titled "Secret Society of Super-Villains" #1, and they stayed together through the '80s and have been revived more recently.

But really, what you call the team — it could just as easily be "Legion of Doom," like the old "Super-Friends" cartoons — and who's on the roster doesn't matter that much. What's fun is getting to see a bunch of supervillains team up, not because they're forced to take on government missions like in "The Suicide Squad" but for more nefarious purposes. And if you can make characters like the Wizard, Killer Frost, and Ultra-Humanite seem complex, interesting, and maybe even sympathetic, the show will be even better.