Did James Gunn Just Secretly Announce DC's Avengers: Endgame-Type Event?

By Pierre Chanliau Updated:
DC superhero Avengers Endgame

Some fans are already beginning to attempt piecing together the grand plan for the DCU's first slate, called Chapter One: Gods and Monsters.

While DC Studios Co-CEO James Gunn made clear that not every project in this slate would be revealed, it will likely lead to another crack at the Justice League.

Gunn definitely won't be continuing Zack Snyder's original plan with Darkseid. It's also unlikely he'd be willing to adapt "Crisis on Infinite Earths," which was Warner Bros.' Avengers: Endgame-inspired plan for its DC Extended Universe before Gunn and fellow co-CEO Peter Safran took over.

So, what will cause the Justice League to reform on the big screen?

Justice League: The New Frontier

Fans noticed that Gunn had re-shared a post in his Instagram Stories from Paul Scheer which showed a hardcover of Darwyn Cooke's DC: The New Frontier. An Elseworld story about the superheroes of Earth banding together to fight The Centre, an ancient horror.

The Centre, The New Frontier, DC, Comic Page
"DC: The New Frontier" - Issue #5

Scheer commented on his post, noting how, after Gunn's announcement, "something tells [him]" that he should reread Cooke's classic story:

"After [James Gunn's] big [DC] announcement something tells me maybe it's a good time to revisit this..."

Now, could Gunn have only re-shared this post because DC: The New Frontier is a fantastic read or perhaps suggesting something more?

James Gunn, Instagram Stories, New Frontier, Justice League, DC

Regardless, many fans have already begun piecing together potential clues that could support the idea of Gunn adapting this formation of the Justice League, perhaps leading to an Avengers: Endgame-like crossover event.


Surprisingly, the biggest clue is from the Green Lantern show called Laterns. What was originally a space opera spanning decades has been transformed into a detective story starring Hal Jordon and John Stewart.

Justice League, New Frontier, DC Comics, Batman, Manhunter
"DC: The New Frontier" - Issue #3

Safran described the show as a "terrestrial-based investigation story" inspired by the likes of True Detective, which could see them looking into out-of-the-ordinary crimes.

A subplot in Cooke's story led by Martian "J'onn J'onzz" Manhunter and Batman saw them tracking strings of suicides and violent crimes connected by mass delusions and people hearing voices. Perhaps this subplot could be integrated into Lanterns with Jordon and Stewart as the ones on the case.

It's even possible that J'onzz and Batman could still be involved, as Gunn mentioned that one strategy they're using is to "take our diamond characters" and "prop up other characters that people don’t know."

Justice League, The Centre, Book
"DC: The New Frontier" - Issue #3

However, the most important quote that supports The Centre's involvement is how Gunn said that Jordon and Stewart would "find this ancient horror on Earth" in this investigation. In The New Frontier, Green Lantern Abin Sur even "[came] to [Earth] on a mission of great import," which is highly suggested to involve The Centre.

None of the other announced projects connect nearly as clearly, but there are still some big potential ways these projects could help lead to The Centre.

Creature Commandos

As crazy as it sounds, Creature Commandos could be one of the bigger lead-ins to a theoretical adaptation of The New Frontier due to the involvement of Rick Flagg Sr., his pseudo-Suicide Squad, and dinosaurs.

Creature Commandos, DC, Dinosaurs
"Weird War Tales" - Issue #100

One of the many stories that involved the Creature Commandos was when they were tasked to investigate the fabled Dinosaur Island in issue #100 of Weird War Tales. The same island that The Losers landed on to save Rick Flagg at the beginning of The New Frontier, which was The Centre itself.

After all, Gunn did describe the animated series as being able to “tell stories that are gigantic, but without spending, you know, $50 million an episode.” Including a bunch of dinosaurs would have certainly ballooned a live-action television budget.

DC, The New Frontier, Dinosaur Island, The Centre
"DC: The New Frontier" - Issue #6

It's possible that, like Cooke's story, this could be the first proper introduction to The Centre, albeit indirectly. However, this series could also involve the occult, considering it's a team of Universal Monster-inspired characters.

DC, The New Frontier, Book
"DC: The New Frontier" - Issue #3

It could be that one mission they have to go on is retrieving a book about The Centre from a spooky and murderous cult. But, on the other hand, it could be innocuous enough that general audiences wouldn't even realize its importance.

Booster Gold

Upon reading The New Frontier again for this article, it is amazing how naturally Booster Gold and Ted Kord (the original Blue Beetle) would fit into the roles of Adam Strange and Ray Palmer.

DC: The New Frontier, Adam Strange, Ray Palmer
"DC: The New Frontier" - Issue #6

In Cooke's book, Strange was imprisoned in Arkham for his claims that he could transport to an alien world "by way of light beams," which Arkham said was "both a sensitive and complex psychosis in and of itself" along with "visions of a coming armageddon." 

What if Booster Gold is committed at the end of his series for claiming to be a time traveler instead? Perhaps even attempting to relay the doomed future to anyone, but to no avail.

DC, Adam Strange, Arkham, The New Frontier
"DC: The New Frontier" - Issue #4

As for Ray Palmer, his role in The New Frontier was using his faulty shrinking device to help kill The Centre. However, Blue Beetle could potentially introduce Ted Kord, an equally brilliant scientist who could come up with something else to help save the world.

Plus, it'd be a missed opportunity not to unite two of the best friends in comics into live-action.

Swamp Thing

Another project and character that could click surprisingly well with the story of The New Frontier and the nature of The Centre. To give some context, Swamp Thing is deeply connected to The Green, one of the elemental forces in the universe that is connected to all plant life.

The Centre, Earth, DC, New Frontier
"DC: The New Frontier" - Issue #5

The Centre is as old as the Earth itself and even described the planet as "our idyllic sphere" before the asteroid that killed the dinosaurs plunged it into "a chaotic garden of death." It even laments man's rise and how "its clever mind was quick to find new ways to control the sphere."

DC, The New Frontier, Man, The Centre, Comic Panels
"DC: The New Frontier" - Issue #5

In a way, Swamp Thing might even agree with The Centre and how it views humanity. However, what would bring both to conflict is how The Centre truly views its "idyllic sphere" as nothing more than a resource and a stepping stone for "other spheres."

The Centre, DC, The New Frontier, Comic Panels
"DC: The New Frontier" - Issue #5

As the Avatar of The Green, Swamp Thing would eventually see The Centre as a threat to all plant life on Earth and aid in defeating the island-sized parasite. His connection to The Green could even be used against the living horror.

A Better Tomorrow

Besides those four projects, nothing else in the announced slate jumps out as directly relevant to this theory. However, perhaps the themes of The New Frontier could blend into some of them, like Superman: Legacy.

In Cooke's story, Superman has an ongoing struggle with following the whims of the United States government after signing a loyalty pact with them. He also contends with the new normal in the aftermath of the Korean War.

The synopsis described how Legacy would have Superman "balancing his Kryptonian heritage with his human upbringing," but perhaps it's also about reconciling whether his loyalties lie with just the United States or the world. But no matter what Gunn's plan might end up being, it's exciting that no one can be quite certain.

Fans will likely find out where this chapter of the DCU will lead - and if an Avengers: Endgame-style crossover will cap it - by the time Superman: Legacy is released in theaters on July 11, 2025.

- In This Article: Swamp Thing
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- About The Author: Pierre Chanliau
Pierre Chanliau began as a news & feature writer for The Direct at the site's launch in 2020. As a longtime reader of superhero comic books, Pierre's knowledge of Marvel and DC is extensive, informing his reporting and editorial pieces regarding the MCU and DCU.