2016 was Geoff Johns's year. The fan-favorite comic book writer was the mastermind of DC's tremendously popular "Rebirth" initiative, taking comic book sales to a 20-year-high. Meanwhile, the controversy over Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice led Warner Bros. to choose a safe pair of hands for the future of the DCEU, and they chose Geoff Johns!
As that successful year came to an end, Johns looked forward to the DC delights that 2017 has in store, sharing five highlights on Twitter and giving us some tantalizing hints about the future of DC:
1. A New DCTV Show
DC's movies may have had a controversial reception this year, but most fans will admit that #DCTV is ruling the small screen! 2016 saw Supergirl transition over to The CW, and the year ended with a successful crossover that gave the character the potential to interact more easily with the wider DCTV universe. Meanwhile, Arrow goes from strength to strength, celebrating a milestone 100th episode, and both Flash and Legends of Tomorrow are performing well. Although Gotham and Lucifer are separate from the others, airing on Fox, both shows are real successes.
And, according to Geoff Johns, we're about to get another DCTV show announced. Given that it's already been announced, he can't be referring to Powerless, which we recently learned will air in February 2017, meaning there's another new show about to enter the mix. It's worth noting that this probably won't be tied to The CW's shows either, given that back in August CW President, Mark Pedowitz explained that he wasn't planning to expand the superhero world further:
"There are no real discussions about any more superhero characters. We have built a universe where we get to see all of these characters interact with each other and we're proud of that. But at this time, there aren't any discussions for adding anything else to that."
Of course, that statement was made back in August, and a lot's changed since then; still, I can't help suspecting that we really are about to learn of a whole new DCTV project!
2. The release of Injustice 2
Injustice: Gods Among Us is DC's tremendously popular superhero/supervillain combat game. It featured Mortal-Kombat-style functionality, and pits players against iconic versions of both heroes and villains. Injustice is only strengthened by a fascinatingly complex and disturbingly dark world, it's set in a reality where Superman went rogue after he was tricked into killing Lois Lane!
We're already seeing hints of just what to expect from Injustice 2, and Geoff Johns's tweet is a reminder: the best DC games may be yet to come!
3. Justice League - and Mera!
This year will see the #DCEU expand like never before, with the heroes uniting as the Justice League! Naturally, fan excitement is intense as this movie will be DC's boldest move to date, drawing together their iconic characters for an interplanetary adventure. For Geoff Johns, Justice League will be an amazing experience for a very different reason. He's a world-builder and he realizes that we're about to see live-action versions of characters only comic book fans know exist. I mean, how many non-DC fans have heard of Steppenwolf?
In this case, though, Johns focuses in on the live-action Mera, played by Amber Heard. This isn't the first time he's expressed real excitement about this secondary character, and it's pretty clear that for Johns this world-building is a highlight of the film.
4. The release of Wonder Woman
The pressure is really on Patty Jenkins's #WonderWoman; after the mixed reception of both Batman v Superman and Suicide Squad, the DCEU needs an outright hit. The good news is, so far, Wonder Woman looks set to be just that hit! The first trailer was absolutely gorgeous, with Jenkins giving us hints that we'll see a beautiful portrayal of DC's iconic superhero. This is the first female-led superhero film since 2004's Catwoman, and it looks set to be a genre classic.
5. Geoff Johns Returns to Comics
In perhaps his most tantalizing hint, Geoff Johns also revealed that he'll be returning to comics! The last comic he wrote, DC Universe - Rebirth #1, relaunched DC's entire range to critical and popular acclaim. The "Rebirth" range has a pretty intriguing metanarrative, the overarching concept is that, for unknown reasons, the characters from Watchmen have damaged the fabric of the DC universe. Five years have been erased, relationships have been rewritten and backgrounds have been changed. So far, we have no hint as to the 'why,' but Johns has indicated that he's got a long-term plan in mind.
This tweet is tremendously exciting, not just because Johns is returning to the comics, but because he included an image of Doctor Manhattan, a character from Watchmen. That suggests that 2017 will see Geoff Johns return to progress the overarching narrative he launched last year, and I for one couldn't be more excited!
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The truth is that, although DC catches a lot of flak for the critical response to their movies, the wider DC brand has never been healthier. DC is thriving on the small screen, the comics have been successfully relaunched, and their games are top-rate. If Geoff Johns's New Year tweets are anything to go by, 2017 is set to be even better!
Which of these are you most excited about?
(Poll Image Credit: Warner Bros.)