I'm a huge fan of the Brian Azzarello Wonder Woman, easily one of the top titles of the new 52 relaunch: it hit every note, pitch perfect, and this version of the Amazon, gods and all, is what we need for the big screen!
We know DC put a group of writers together with a stack of comic books and told them to compete with one another, gladiator style, to come up with the best script. Makes sense, I guess, when writing for the God of War...but, for the plot, DC will dig a little deeper into her history...
Post-Infinite Crisis in the mid-1980s, DC rebooted the Wonder Woman title under the direction of George Perez, with great success. John Byrne, seminal Uncanny X-Men artist and the brain behind the influential Man of Steel/Superman relaunch, took over in the 90s, his work a little less even.
One of his plots stands out as worthy of the silver screen, however:
Second Genesis, issues 102-104 of Wonder Woman volume 2: Darkseid and Desaad kidnap and torture Wonder Woman to find the location of Olympus, home of the Gods. In a plan to usurp the Gods and steal their power, Darkseid launches an attack on Themyscira. The war with Darkseid's parademons leaves half the Amazons dead!
Why Second Genesis
As a summer read, Second Genesis is almost too flawed to be enjoyed (for one thing, the main character, Wonder Woman, can never win without help as long as Byrne was writing the script!), but the basic plot is perfect for the DC movie plan. We all know Darkseid will show up eventually, after all. Maybe in the two-part Justice League movie, maybe later. Conventional wisdom suggests Darkseid will not appear until the end of the first Justice League, prompting an all out war in the second part. (My money is on a battle with Cadmus in the first movie, until Darkseid shows up at the end and earth has to join forces to defeat Apokolips).
Darkseid's character would be well-served to appear earlier, as a show of power and planning, in the Wonder Woman movie that will be released summer 2017, before the November release of Justice League.
Currently, the DC movie slate is this:
2016: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Suicide Squad
2017: Wonder Woman, Justice League
2018: The Flash, Aquaman
2019: Shazam, Justice League sequel
BvS: Dawn of Justice will introduce Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman and Flash, at the very least. Suicide Squad will expand on Cadmus and Luthor's legacy, which will launch the first Justice League movie.
However, Wonder Woman could introduce Darkseid as the looming threat and change the status quo for her character from the very beginning, destroying her homeland, forcing her into the world of mortals to warn about the coming destruction that not even her gods could defeat. It would be the perfect story to tell Wonder Woman's past, show her warrior culture in action, and change her entire world so she will be prompted to become a champion for our world. (Given that she is to be centuries old and hidden from our world on Themyscira all this time, it would make sense).
And make no mistake: Darkseid should never show his face in this movie. I'm not advocating a reveal. Darkseid would be more foreboding if the movie showcases Desaad, the parademons and Granny's Furies overrunning Themyscira and Olympus, only to show a glimpse of Darkseid, the most powerful figure of Apokolips, standing in his throne room, hands behind his back, turned away from the battlefield, already contemplating his next conquest, confident Themyscira has fallen as soon as the boom tube opened.
Jamie A. Duncan is author of forthcoming fantasy series Fire of Norea.