When the new co-CEO of DC Studios unveiled some of the cinematic projects that would be featured in an upcoming slate titled Gods and Monsters, a major hint as to the overall direction of this universe was also carefully teased within the synopsis for a new show called Lanterns that nobody seemed to catch.
Through a video released on DC's official YouTube channel, James Gunn himself claims that this space-based show will be inspired by HBO's True Detective and feature characters from the Green Lantern Corps but (and most importantly) birth a terrifying mystery that ties into the larger story of this new DCU.
Combining this looming and mysterious crisis with the plot descriptions for other upcoming DC Studios titles and the numerous character reveals for Superman: Legacy, all of these elements do really make it seem like we are in store for an earth-shattering onslaught from some very dangerous outer space creatures. We shouldn't be surprised since James Gunn has already fused science fiction and fantasy from working on the Guardians of the Galaxy for so long.
Over thirty years ago, DC Comics released Invasion, a three-part crossover event that saw an alien alliance (created from nine different factions) come to Earth in hopes of eliminating every single meta-human (whom they saw as a threat to their own success).
While the singular climactic event only lasted for three giant-sized issues, the entire saga, on the other hand, affected thirty other DC characters and publications, including the Green Lantern Corps, Superman, Hawkgirl, Wonder Woman (and Themyscira), Suicide Squad's Amanda Waller, Booster Gold, Metamorpho and Swamp Thing – just to name a few. Let's look into all of this and see if we are indeed headed into an alien invasion.
The Green Lantern Corps Are the First to Fall
Within the very first pages of the premiere issue of Invasion, which was published in January 1989, two of these terrifying alien factions (the Dominators and the Khunds) outright assassinate three different former Green Lanterns who try to naturally drum up a formal resistance against joining this terrestrial alliance.
Because of these demises within their ranks, Guy Gardner and Hal Jordan instantly become part of defense squadrons early on but also enormously step up later in order to lead a counterstrike along with Superman into the invader's home world in order to find the cure for a gene bomb the aliens are about to set off.
Interestingly enough, the Dominators were also reportedly set to become a main antagonistic factor in the canceled Green Lantern HBO series (headed by Marc Guggenheim) before James Gunn stepped in. Along with Jon Stewart (another Green Lantern officer set to be in the upcoming series), it would certainly make sense for the Corp to be the first ones alarmed by such an ever-expansive and dangerous conspiracy.
Minor Characters Hold Major Parts Throughout Invasion
Comic readers are surely asking why names like Hawkgirl, Booster Gold, and Metamorpho are being featured by James Gunn when they are not relevant in modern stories. Putting aside his love for the obscure, these are very notable names within the Invasion arc. Since Thanagar was a fascist police state at the time of this event, Hawkgirl's home planet was one of the nine that was actually invading Earth.
Hawkman and Hawkgirl end up fighting against their own planet to protect Earth. When Superman undoubtedly meets her in Legacy, her backstory could involve escaping a totalitarian regime. Speaking of the Son of Krypton, Metamorpho is another who is set to make his debut.
While he doesn't play a part a significant part in the epic battle, he ironically comes back to life after a terrible explosion occurs. While that doesn't necessarily have to be the case in a theatrical adaptation, he could sacrifice himself to save other heroes.
As for Booster Gold entering the fray, his time-traveling antics are actually the reason for the Invasion in the first place! In a series called The Dominator War that was released in March 2007, an alien soldier recounts how Gold suddenly appeared through a rip in time over a thousand years ago, stole a weapon from the aliens, and quickly left.
The menacing aliens mistakenly understand the few words he says and immediately think that Earth has allied with fifty-two other planets to destroy their own world. This is what set them on a path of insane hostility, and this scene could fit into the closing of Booster Gold, teasing fans even more about the future of the DCU. The sequence also seamlessly ties in with the description given by Gunn and Safran about the novice hero not really knowing what time-traveling technology is capable of.
Everything In Gods and Monsters Plays a Part
Two more upcoming projects that also factor into Invasion are Paradise Lost and Waller. Even though they are vastly different properties, Themyscira (the setting of Paradise Lost) is raided by both Thanagarians and Khund. Hesitantly working together, this hidden city is defended by Wonder Woman, Guy Gardner, and a Russian-based hero called Rocket Red.
If a supposed cloaked city is stormed by an otherworldly civilization, no wonder there is so much political upheaval in the upcoming show. Best known for being the leader of The Suicide Squad, Amanda Waller protects the Earth during the events of Invasion valiantly by being a part of every meeting, coordinating defense strategies, and leading the charge in the final counter-assault.
The explicit connections between the Invasion arc and future DCU titles do not stop. Of all characters, Swamp Thing seems to be the Dominator's weakness since all their weapons are plant-based. Knowing this, they immediately charge him and throw the protector of all plant life through time so they are not bothered by their ultimate adversary.
When traveling through Hell sometime later, he comes across many of those same aliens who are now trapped in the worst part of the afterlife. A cataclysmic confrontation with Dominators could create an excellent cliffhanger for his movie.
Last but not least, a single reference made by James Gunn when responding to a fan question about spotlighting Guy Gardner has fans abuzz with hope. When asked why he picked this specific lantern, the co-CEO answered by saying that he not only enjoys this character from Justice League International but that he also fits into the story of Superman: Legacy.
The JLI are an integral part of the Invasion storyline, helping to defend Australia and the South Pacific Islands. They also help out Wonder Woman in her homeland, team up with Batman during this arc, and join Superman in the last attack. Considering four members of this team are confirmed, the JLI would fit right in when it's time to kick some alien butt.
To conclude, many massive events can be plucked from print to showcase on the big screen. With all the information at our fingertips already, Invasion is a very good contender in terms of story for this new DC cinematic universe.