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James Gunn's Superman movie reboot is banking on the legacy of the comic books - and DC is responding

Superman: Legacy appears to be raising up the best Superman comics with it

All-Star Superman
Image credit: Frank Quitely/Jamie Grant (DC)

It's a rarity. It only comes once in a generation. But when it's good, it's great. I'm talking about a first Superman movie.

On July 11, 2025, DC Studios will release Superman: Legacy - the much-heralded formal start of an all-new era in DC superheroes - written and directed by James Gunn, taking the pole position as part of his dayjob as the head of DC Studios itself.

And as I write this we're 20 months away from that theatrical experience; if you look closely you can begin to see the building blocks coming into play. One of the first is the repackaging of arguably (I'll argue with you) the best modern Superman comic ever, All-Star Superman by Grant Morrison, Frank Quitely, and James Grant. Originally published back in 2005-2008, it quickly became the quintessential story for the Man of Steel - and its thorough dismissal by the movie Man of Steel caused an almost allergic reaction that some fans are still stewing about.

DC Compact Comics
Image credit: DC

But this time it's different. Truly.

The announcement of James Gunn's Superman: Legacy wasn't just the announcement of a new movie, but for the first time in decades Warner Bros. and DC distinctly used art from actual Superman comics to give people an idea of what to expect. What comic did they pull from? All-Star Superman.

And now, roughly one year ahead of Superman: Legacy's release, DC is launching a bold (but risky) new line of comics reprints called DC Compact Comics that will be smaller in size like manga and prose novels you see in mainstream stores, with a lower price point. These books will also be pushed to just more than comic stores and bookstores, and find their way to the broader mass market retailers. Look for DC Compact Comics everywhere from your local Walmarts to those Hudson stores you see in nearly every airport and train station.

And yes, All-Star SUperman is one of the flagship launches of DC's Compact Comics program.

As James Gunn and Peter Safran's bold new era of DC filmmaking comes into focus, look for tighter integration with the source material of comic books much the same way its been on Gunn's Twitter/X feed. And look for DC to be aligning everything it can on its end to be ready for Superman: Legacy in 2025, just like this bold, new, smaller, more accessible version of All-Star Superman.

I've been writing about comics and superhero movies through three reboots of Superman in live action, and have read about the fervor surrounding 1978's Superman: The Movie. And from the looks of it, DC is taking advantage of 2025's Superman: Legacy in ways it hasn't nearly 50 years - and it's going to be glorious.


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