After writing the Eisner-winning Mister Miracle miniseries, it’s fair to say that DC Comics has confidence in writer Tom King’s knowledge of Jack Kirby’s Fourth World. That became even more obvious this week when The Wrap, and a tweet by director Ava DuVernay confirmed that Tom King will be co-writing the script to DuVernay’s New Gods movie, which is currently in development at Warner Bros.
— Ava DuVernay (@ava) May 29, 2019
Created by Kirby in 1971, the New Gods is both a comic series and a collection of characters—literal new gods living on the planets of New Genesis and Apokolips who are almost perpetually at war with each other. In their most famous story, the leaders of both worlds—Highfather and Darkseid, respectively—exchanged sons in an attempt to end their ongoing dispute. Darkseid’s son, Orion, was raised in the peaceful realm of New Genesis, while Highfather’s boy, Scott, would struggle to survive among the fire pits of the cruel Apokolips. Ultimately, Scott escaped from Apokolips with the aid of Barda and the war was reignited, something that was secretly planned for by Darkseid.
Not much is known about DuVernay’s big-screen take on the classic Jack Kirby characters, including when or if the film will even make it to theaters (it’s not yet in production), but this is potentially positive news for anyone who enjoyed King and artist Mitch Gerads’ satiric, emotional take on Scott Free and his life and marriage to Big Barda.
Some New Gods characters were shown in 2017’s Justice League movie, but DuVernay’s film is the first attempt to bring Kirby’s richly imagined world fully to theaters. We can only hope it performs better than her last fantasy outing, A Wrinkle in Time, which was a box office failure for Walt Disney Studios while the director herself regular has demonstrated divisive and controversial political viewpoints on her social media. And speaking of divisive and controversial, writer Tom King’s latest DC Comics event, Heroes in Crisis, has not been embraced by many fans and critics due to the fact that he turned fan-favorite Wally (The Flash) West into a murderer who tried to frame other super heroes for his crimes. This was shortly after Wally had been brought back into the DC Universe as a new hope for a “rebirth” in the comics publisher. Other DC fans have been displeased with his depressing and sometimes out of character run on Batman as well, while that top selling DC Comic is seeing some of its lowest sales in almost a decade.
Let’s hope King and DuVernay both will respect Kirby’s legacy as they handle The New Gods.