Superhero What-Ifs: 5 Universes That Need A Movie

“For want of nail, the shoe was lost
For want of a shoe, the horse was lost
For want of a horse, the knight was lost
For want of a knight, the battle was lost
So it was a kingdom was lost – all for want of a nail.”

– Justice League of America: The Nail

What if? People constantly ask that question, wondering what might have been if things had gone differently. What if the Beatles had never formed? What if the Nazis had won World War II? What if cats were the planet’s dominant species? More than they already are?

Countless superhero stories have been written asking what if things were different. Different places, different events, but all centered around the same heroes you know and love. These stories are making their way into movies with the upcoming Batman: Gotham by Gaslight and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. So what alternate superheroes deserve a movie? Let’s find out.

Alternate Universe List Criteria: No stories that are already on film or video games

5. Marvel Zombies

Zombie Hawkeye: “I’m freakin’ hungry. I need food. And by food, I mean one thing, flesh!”
Spider-Man: “Are, are these the Deadites you were talking about?”
Ash Williams: “Well, not any Deadites I’ve ever seen. Then again I’ve never been in a world of spandex-wearing super-chumps either.”

– Marvel Zombies vs Army of Darkness

Marvel created the Marvel Zombies in 2005 to cash in on the zombie fad 2004’s Dawn of the Dead popularized. Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman was brought on to tell the story of Earth’s Mightiest Cannibals.

A zombified version of The Sentry appeared in New York and infected The Avengers. The undead heroes swarm the globe as the uninfected desperately try to stop the ravenous horde. The tide is turned when a zombified Quicksilver spreads the virus throughout the world, leading to humanity’s last stand. And somewhere in the middle of it all, Ash from the Evil Dead film series shows up for a crossover. Because why not?

Fox is marketing 2019’s New Mutants as a horror movie starring superheroes. If you really want a horror movie based around superheroes, don’t worry. The Marvel Zombies got your back. Besides, don’t you want to see Zombie Spider-Man fight Bruce Campbell?

4. Batman: Red Rain

Batman: “Bruce Wayne may be gone… but the Batman will go on… forever.”

– Batman: Red Rain

Bruce Wayne fights the original bat man, Count Dracula, in this infamous trilogy. Despite the Count’s famous weaknesses, Batman struggles against Dracula until a friendly vampire turns Batman into a vampire. Batman kills Dracula, but learns that he is doomed to be a blood sucking monster forever because there is no cure.

Vampire Batman attempts to use his powers for good, but slowly succumbs to his blood lust. Commissioner Gordon and Alfred recruit Batman’s rogues gallery to slay the fallen hero and finally end their dark night.

This story inspired a loosely adapted animated movie called The Batman vs. Dracula. This had a happier ending where all the vampires were cured, Dracula was destroyed, and Batman never became a vampire. We did get a vampire Joker though, so that’s pretty cool.

3.) Marvel 1602

Queen Elizabeth I: “We live in a time of miracles and wonders, and I cannot say that it pleases me.”

– Marvel 1602

Well, would you look at that? No undead heroes here!

England is in peril. Strange weather seems to herald the end times as super-powered beings start appearing. King James of Scotland and Count Von Doom engage in political intrigue. Sir Nicholas Fury and royal physician Stephen Strange investigate the cause of these marvels, and find that the answer may be related to new arrivals from the colonies.

They eventually learn that a ‘progenitor’ has been sent backwards through time, causing an age of heroes to start centuries ahead of schedule. But with the world on the edge of war and the universe falling apart, can the heroes find the progenitor and save their world? Meh. But it would be like a madcap episode of Doctor Who, so I’m good with it.

2. Superman: Red Son

Superman: “I could take care of everyone’s problems if I ran this place and to tell you the truth, there’s no good reason why I shouldn’t. Tell your friends they don’t need to be scared or hungry anymore, comrade. Superman is here to rescue them.”

Superman: Red Son

We all know Superman’s backstory. How he was sent from the planet Krypton and landed in Ukraine. How he fights a never-ending battle for Stalin, Communism, and the international expansion of the Warsaw Pact. And we know about his legendary battles against the evil U.S. President Lex Luthor.

Like Marvel 1602, Red Son explores a historical era rather than an alternate universeThe premises focuses on what would happen if Superman landed in the Soviet Union instead of America. Superman becomes a hero and leads the Communist Party. As the Soviet Union becomes a tyrannical utopia under Superman’s leadership, he is opposed by the Russian revolutionary Batman and U.S. President Luthor.

1. Kingdom Come

Norman McCay: “According to the word of God, the meek would someday inherit the earth. Someday. But God never accounted for the mighty.”

– Kingdom Come

The Joker goes on a killing spree in the Daily Planet’s offices, killing all of Superman’s friends. While the League searches for Joker, a new hero called Magog kills him. Heartbroken at his friends’ deaths and disappointed by peoples’ reverence for Magog, Superman retires.

Years later, The Spectre recruits a preacher named Norman McCay to judge the human race. The Spectre also warns that an apocalyptic war is imminent. A team led by Magog accidentally destroys Kansas during a fight, causing Superman to reassemble the Justice League to return the world to peace. Unfortunately, events lead to a three way war between Superman’s Justice League, Batman’s Outsiders, and Luthor’s Mankind Liberation Front. It’s messier than Game of Thrones.

That’s the list. What alternate superhero universe do you think would make a good movie? Leave a comment

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