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Wait, Did James Gunn Just Tease That The DC Universe Will Introduce A Popular Supernatural Character?

 DC Comics artwork of the Justice League Dark fighting.
DC Comics artwork of the Justice League Dark fighting.

Although the DC Universe Chapter One slate will bring back a few familiar DCEU faces, including John Cena’s Peacemaker, Viola Davis’ Amanda Waller and Xolo Maridueña’s Blue Beetle, this new shared continuity is otherwise starting fresh. In addition to familiar heroes like Superman and Batman being recast, characters like Mr. Terrific, Hawkgirl and Metamorpho are set to make their cinematic debut. Now it seems as though James Gunn, who runs DC Studios with Peter Safran, has teased that one of DC Comics’ most popular supernatural characters is also on the way.

Taking to his Instagram page, Gunn, who kicked off his run at DC helming 2021’s The Suicide Squad and is the filmmaker behind the David Corenswet-led Superman reboot, shared an image of Boston Brand, a.k.a. Deadman, specifically him on the cover of DC Universe Presents #2 from the New 52 era. Take a look!

A post shared by James Gunn

A photo posted by jamesgunn on

For those unfamiliar with Deadman, the character was created by writer Arnold Drake and artist Carmine Infantino for 1967’s Strange Adventures #205. Boston Brand was originally a circus trapeze artist who used Deadman as his stage persona and was murdered while giving one of his high-flying performances. Rather than moving onto the afterlife, he stuck around as a spirit and was given the ability to possess any living being by the deity Rama Kushna. Initially Boston was tasked with finding his murdered and uncovering the reason for why he was killed, but even after doing so, he continues to linger as a spirit and use his powers to help people, be it solo or as a member of teams like the Justice League Dark.

So far Deadman’s film and TV appearances have all been animated, with that lineup of projects including Justice League Unlimited, Batman: The Brave and the Bold and the direct-to-video Justice League Dark. There were also once plans to make a live-action Deadman TV series for The CW, but that obviously didn’t end up happening. So if James Gunn is indeed teasing that Deadman will appear in the DC Universe, this will mark the character’s first live-action appearance… assuming, of course, he’s not set to appear in the animated TV show Creature Commandos, which will premiere to Max subscribers later this year.

Assuming we are getting a live-action Deadman, then where could he appear? Right now, my money’s on the Swamp Thing movie that James Mangold is directing. Swamp Thing is another supernatural DC character who, like Deadman, chiefly combats threats on the more magical side. Similar to how Marvel movies like Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Thor: Ragnarok had other heroes from the MCU acting as supporting characters to those title protagonists, perhaps Deadman will lend assistance to Swamp Thing in this feature. Going a step further, maybe Swamp Thing is being used as a platform to introduce the Justice League Dark, meaning we could also see folks like John Constantine and Zatanna.

We’ll let you know if James Gunn or anyone else at DC Studios confirms if Deadman is set to appear in the DC Universe. For now, the other upcoming DC movies set for this franchise include The Brave and the Bold, The Authority, Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow and reportedly Teen Titans, as of last week. The other upcoming DC TV shows in this franchise include Waller, Booster Gold, Lanterns, Paradise Lost and an untitled Arkham Asylum series.