In June DC supervillain Magog will become part of CW/DC’s Arrowverse canon, but whether he and/or Kingdom Come, the acclaimed 1996 storyline of his origin, are adapted to the CW TV shows remains to be seen.
But there’s a case to be made, and if you haven’t guessed, we’re gonna make it.
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DC has revealed the character will appear as the surprise villain in the sixth and final issue of the DC comic book limited series Earth-Prime, set in Arrowverse continuity. Each issue of the series focuses on one of the CW’s current shows. Earth-Prime #1: Batwoman (opens in new tab) went on sale April 5 and will be followed by issues focusing on Superman & Lois (opens in new tab) (April 19), Legends of Tomorrow (May 3), Stargirl (May 17), The Flash (June 7), and then finally a crossover issue Earth-Prime #6: Hero’s Twilight on June 21 which reveals Magog as the villain.
DC and Warner Bros. television has made it clear the storyline is set in the canon of the TV shows, the specials are written by creators involved in the shows, and approved by the CW’s television show producers. But what they haven’t done is given any indication the comic book series will be anything more than a fun print adventure for fans of the shows. But by setting it in canon, the timing of the series, and the fact Kingdom Come would make for a logical fit for an Arrowverse live-action crossover, the question has to be asked.
Created by illustrator Alex Ross and writer Mark Waid, Kingdom Come (opens in new tab) is one of DC’s most acclaimed and best-selling comic books in its long history.[Newsarama explains Kingdom Come]
An ‘Elseworlds’ tale set in an alternate future, the story stars older versions of all of DC’s iconic characters like Wonder Woman, Batman, and Superman, in a world that has seemingly passed their moral brand of superheroic do-gooding behind.
Magog was both the antagonist and the catalyst of the story. He was a more ‘extreme’ anti-hero, as was in fashion in the mid-’90s, whose violent methods were embraced by the public and led to conflict between him and the new breed of heroes that followed him with the old school Justice League generation of heroes.
The Arrowverse/Earth-Prime version of Magog has slightly different motivations, but his antagonism toward the current generation of superheroes remains in place.
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In Earth-Prime, Magog believes that all superheroes do is bring pain and destruction everywhere they go, solve no problems, and bring the world no peace. So he and some supervillain allies plan to free humanity of its dependence on superheroes by bringing them to their knees and thereby helping society reach its full, true potential.
The storyline seems ripe for continuation in live-action, and Kingdom Come checks several boxes for a TV crossover candidate.
First, like 2019-2020’s ‘Crisis on Infinite Earths,’ the CW’s biggest and most ambitious Arrowverse crossover, the title ‘Kingdom Come’ has instant credibility in the genre community and likely a fair amount of mainstream recognition, not just for its popularity but for its critical acclaim.
For its last five annual crossovers, ‘Invasion’, ‘Crisis on Earth-X,’ ‘Elseworlds,’ ‘Crisis on Infinite Earths,’ and ‘Armageddon,’ the CW has culled DC comic book event storylines with built-in brand recognition. Next season’s will likely follow that pattern.
And it doesn’t hurt that because of its huge scope, Kingdom Come has never been adapted in another medium before.
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Finally, it has to be noted the Arrowverse has already dipped its toes into the Kingdom Come future. In ‘Crisis on Infinite Earths,’ Brandon Routh, who formerly played Ray Palmer/the Atom, double-dipped and also reprised his 2006 big-screen role as Superman, but an older Man of Steel inspired by the Kingdom Come version of the character. An expansion of that world in live-action featuring older versions of DC’s iconic heroes (can anyone say Lynda Carter as Wonder Woman … finally?) is ripe with possibilities for the Arrowverse.
Again, it should be reiterated that DC has made no indication its Earth-Prime comic book series is a hint towards or a precursor to a live-action adaptation, much less its next one. However, the timing of the series (to be concluded and collected weeks before the start of the fall TV season), the participation of the CW/DC creators and producers, and its now-revealed villain certainly do make it seem like a perfect candidate.
We’ll be keeping our eyes open.
Newsarama’s DC readers voted Kingdom Come the best DC story of all time.