James Gunn has teased several DC characters who do not currently have a spot in the DC Universe Chapter 1 plan, but they all could have places in announced projects. Months after being named co-CEOs of DC Studios, James Gunn and Peter Safran unveiled their earliest projects in the DC Universe in early 2023. This included confirming the development of 10 movies and shows that audiences will see in the next several years, with Superman: Legacy truly kicking off the shared universe story in 2025. Gunn’s plans include using major characters like Superman, Batman, Green Lantern, Amanda Waller, and more.
The DC Universe Chapter 1 announcements provided a general blueprint for where the franchise will go after The Flash resets the universe. Thanks to James Gunn’s various interviews and social media posts since taking the job, some of the plan was generally expected. He confirmed interest in using the likes of Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, and Harley Quinn in future projects. However, Gunn’s social media posts also teased a handful of DC characters that do not have confirmed futures. While some could have been innocent posts of comic panels he likes, the DC Universe Chapter 1 plan can include many of James Gunn’s teased characters.
Mister Terrific Can Appear In Amanda Waller’s Show
James Gunn teased his interest in Mister Terrific with a social media post of a Modern Age version of the character featured on the cover of JSA #76 done by Alex Ross. Michael Holt a.k.a. Mister Terrific is one of the smartest people in DC Comics thanks to eidetic memory and natural aptitude for learning. He also happens to be an Olympian-level athlete, which helps make him a formidable fighter. Mister Terrific is a brilliant inventor thanks to his genius-level intellect that allowed him to create his power T Spheres. James Gunn’s interest in Mister Terrific is notable as he eventually joins the Justice League.
Although Mister Terrific was not confirmed as part of James Gunn’s DC Universe Chapter 1 plans, he could easily appear in Waller, the HBO Max series starring Viola Davis’ Amanda Waller. The series will build on the events of Peacemaker season 1, which saw Waller outed as the leader of Task Force X. The result could be her creating a new program known as Checkmate just as she does in the comics. Mister Terrific eventually becomes a member of Checkmate, where he earns a high-ranking spot as White King. Waller could introduce Mister Terrific to the DC Universe in a similar capacity and put a super-genius on Waller’s new team.
Lobo Could Be Superman: Legacy’s Villain
James Gunn also teased Lobo as a possible character for the DC Universe with a vague social media post of the character’s variant cover from Dark Knights: Death Metal #2. Lobo is an intergalactic bounty hunter from the planet Czarnia and is practically invulnerable. He possesses a wide range of superpowers that includes super strength and rapid regeneration on the rare occasion that he does sustain some injury. Gunn’s tease for Lobo created plenty of excitement that the character would be part of the DC Universe, especially amidst speculation that Jason Momoa could play the character in the future.
While a new Lobo movie or another project involving the character was not announced as part of the DC Universe Chapter 1 slate, Lobo could be the villain of Superman: Legacy. Lobo and Superman have fought several times in the comics, as the ruthless and selfish bounty hunter creates a great dichotomy with the hopeful and heroic son of Krypton. James Gunn has not revealed who Superman: Legacy‘s villain will be, but his interest in more obscure characters and potential desire to not rehash the same few Superman villains audiences know could lead to Lobo taking that coveted spot.
Deadman Can Set Up Justice League Dark In Swamp Thing
Deadman is another DC character teased by James Gunn for DC Universe’s Chapter 1. Boston Brand a.k.a. Deadman is a former circus performer who came from a home filled with abuse and dies after being shot during a performance. He is given a new life mission before he completely passes into the land of the dead, as Rama Kushna asks him to atone for his sins by helping people in the mortal world. Deadman is a ghost who can possess anyone, travel between dimensions, and is part of the Justice League Dark team. That makes the Swamp Thing movie a perfect spot for him in the DC Universe Chapter 1.
With reports that James Mangold could direct Swamp Thing, DC Studios is still very early on in the process of developing the film. It could be a largely standalone adventure in the franchise, but it will work as an introduction to the supernatural corner of the universe no matter how big of a scope it has. There is a world where Deadman appears in Swamp Thing, as the two characters have been members of Justice League Dark at the same time in the comics. Since Chapter 1 is titled Gods and Monsters, Swamp Thing bringing a monster like Swamp Thing and ghost like Deadman into the DC Universe could work.
Jonah Hex Could Appear In Booster Gold
Jonah Hex is one of the more surprising DC characters James Gunn teased for the DC Universe. The legendary outlaw and bounty hunter comes from the 19th century traditionally in the comics, giving him a separate corner of the universe to explore as compared to the main Justice League-style heroes. Jonah Hex has still played a role in various comic crossovers and encountered the Justice League thanks to time travel, but he is not a character who is likely to play a role in any main DC Universe story based on the limitations that come with when he is alive.
Thankfully, the DC Universe Chapter 1 slate does include a Booster Gold series, which will bring the time-traveling, fame-seeking hero to the franchise. There are not many details about what Booster Gold’s show will look like or what time periods he will visit. However, it is possible that a trip to the 19th century will happen as Booster Gold can explore various time periods through his time-traveling technology. Since Jonah Hex is a legendary figure for being the deadliest man alive, Michael Carter could have an interest in meeting him to see if the legend lives up to the hype.
Nightwing Should Be In Brave & The Bold
James Gunn might have teased his plans to use Nightwing in the DC Universe too. After he announced the slate, he responded to a few lists online that shared characters that could be introduced. This included noting that half of the selections made by IGN and Bleeding Cool are set to appear, and Nightwing is the only character who appeared in both lists. While he could count toward the half of the characters from both lists who are not part of the immediate plan, James Gunn’s teases about The Brave and the Bold make a Nightwing appearance highly likely.
It is known that The Brave and the Bold is a father/son story that revolves around Bruce Wayne and his son Damian Wayne. However, Gunn also teased that other Bat Family members will be included in the film. While he’s teased his interest in various versions of Batgirl and already has Damian Wayne set to be Robin, Dick Grayson appearing as Nightwing also fits. The film’s title connects to comics where Dick Grayson became Batman, so having Nightwing appear in The Brave and the Bold could be a way to tease that future potentially.
Martian Manhunter Might Be In The Green Lantern Show
Martian Manhunter has not been explicitly teased by James Gunn to appear in the DC Universe, but he was also a commonality among the aforementioned lists that the DC Studios co-CEO responded to. Lists done by IGN and Collider included J’onn J’onzz as someone the DC Universe needs. This is far from confirmation that Martian Manhunter will appear, but the intergalactic hero could fit into a few upcoming projects. A Superman: Legacy appearance could make sense for J’onn as a means of setting up the next Justice League team, although Lanterns might be the better option.
From what Gunn revealed about Lanterns, the Green Lantern-led HBO Max series will feature Hal Jordan and John Stewart in a detective-style story that primarily takes place on Earth. However, the Green Lanterns have direct connections to space, and the ancient evil they encounter could also have cosmic ties. Martian Manhunter appearing in Lanterns would be a way to bring another Earth-based cosmic hero into the mix. And since J’onn J’onzz has shape-shifting powers, his presence in the series could be saved for a big reveal later on in the series, setting up a place for him in the DC Universe Chapter 1 future story.