The New Gods are one of the craziest, grandest, and greatest collection of characters in the DC canon. Most fans will only know of them through a few of their more prominent members like Darkseid. But, they are an enormous cast of characters that are worthy enough of their own immense cinematic world.
It was just announced via Deadline that Ava DuVernay (A Wrinkle in Time) will be directing New Gods. That’s got more than a few fans excited, including yours truly:
So, who are the New Gods and why is it so awesome that Ava DuVernay will be bringing them to the big screen?
Game of Thrones With Space Gods
The New Gods were created by comic book legend Jack Kirby in 1971. They are a group of powerful beings that inhabit twin planets: New Genesis and Apokolips. One is a paradise of technology and social harmony while the other is a hellish dystopia of industrial nightmares. The names of each planet probably hint at which one is which.
Kirby blended together ideas from the Bible and science fiction to craft a pantheon of superpowered deities that inhabited these worlds and played out the intrigue and war between these two societies. It was a shockingly mature and heady idea for comics at the time and the characters have maintained a presence in the DC universe even though Kirby intended his story to be a limited series.
The pantheon of New gods includes such fascinating characters as Mister Miracle, Big Barda, Metron, Orion, and even the villain of 2017’s Justice League, Steppenwolf. It’s a gigantic cast of characters that fans have always wanted to see brought to the big screen.
And now, Ava DuVernay is going to do just that. And that’s so perfect that it hurts.
Keep DC Weird
While A Wrinkle in Time wasn’t quite the weirdo science fiction flick it wanted to be (read FANDOM’s review), the moments that it did break out of its Disney comfort zone felt exciting and bizarre. With DuVernay’s decision to pass on the Star Wars franchise, it’s clear now that she had her eyes set on a project that might allow her more wiggle room to really get strange.
New Gods is a fantastic choice for that. It’s an entire world for DuVernay to play in without nearly as much familiarity and scrutiny that she’d have to confront if she was playing in the Star Wars sandbox. It gives her a lot more freedom to experiment and help bring the concept of the New Gods to a brand new generation of fans.
Plus, even though this film will connect up with the rest of the DC Extended Universe, it still has the opportunity to forge its own path and present something truly epic in scale and scope that we haven’t seen in a comic book film. DuVernay has shown that she has the skills and the desire to shape something truly grandiose at the blockbuster level. New Gods is such an appropriate choice for that.
And to get a little personal, this means Ava DuVernay might get to showcase one of the greatest romances in all of comics history…
Big Barda and Mister Miracle
It’s hard to summarize everything that makes this couple so amazing, but here’s the insanely short version: Scott Free a.k.a. Mister Miracle grew up tortured by the tyrannical Granny Goodness on Apokolips. He escaped and eventually fell in love with Big Barda, a fierce warrior who was under the command of Apokolips’ evil leader, Darkseid. Once Barda saw how unbelievably good and positive Scott was despite his horrific upbringing, she fell in love with him.
Scott and Barda’s relationship was actually modeled after Jack Kirby’s relationship with his wife, Roz. It’s a pairing where the female superhero is actually the more physically powerful one and the male is the scrawnier, less violent one. That’s one of the reasons they make such a great pairing. Scott is an escape artist who tries to get out of problems or find a way around them. Barda is a fighter who faces her problems head-on and tears through them. It’s a great dichotomy that also leads to one of the most supportive, equal, and passionate romances in the DC canon.
If DuVernay gets to bring this romance to the screen and do it justice, it will be a triumph. These are two lesser known characters to general audiences who deserve to be as famous as any A-list heroes.
Here’s hoping that this project stays on the rails and DuVernay gets to bring her uncompromised vision of Jack Kirby’s New Gods to the big screen. If that happens, this has the potential to be the best DC Extended Universe film by a wide margin.
Drew Dietsch has written for CHUD.com, the News-Press, WhatCulture, and releases a weekly film review podcast at his website, The Drew Reviews. He’ll yak your ear off about horror movies, Jaws, RoboCop, and/or Batman if you let him.
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