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James Gunn's Terrifics Tease Suggests the DCU May One-up Marvel

CBR 3/31/2023 Timothy Donohoo
© Provided by CBR

James Gunn's Twitter account has become a permanent home for rumors and potential news concerning the DC Universe movies. Though the creative director mostly plays things close to the chest, many of the images and books he makes references to seem to influence future DCU projects. And if that's the case with one recent tweet, a "Marvel" team could be coming to an upcoming DC movie.

The Terrifics were a superhero group from a still somewhat recent comic led by Mister Terrific, though their influences were more of the fantastic variety. Inspired by Marvel's First Family, the team may end up facing off with Mister Terrific's Marvel Cinematic Universe counterpart. And while it might seem like they're late to the party, the lack of baggage for The Terrifics could work in their favor.

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James Gunn's DCU May Involve His Own Fantastic Four

One recent tweet from James Gunn that has DC fans speculating is an image from the cover of the second issue of The Terrifics. This title focused on an impromptu superhero team comprised of the Justice Society's Mr. Terrific, Phantom Girl, Metamorpho and Plastic Man. Like other books released under the "New Age of DC Heroes" banner, the premise was rather obviously based on a property from rival publisher Marvel Comics. In the case of The Terrifics, they were essentially DC's version of The Fantastic Four, even containing members who were super-intelligent, intangible, elemental and able to stretch. Though ultimately cut short by the COVID-19 pandemic, The Terrifics was a very well-received book and easily the best in what became known as a failed lineup of books.

The image in the tweet has numerous other DC characters shown, which could mean that it's supposed to represent more of the DC Universe as a whole in Gunn's mind. This would be similar to his using a contemplative image from Kingdom Come without necessarily intending to adapt said story. Still, the fact that a cover picture from The Terrifics was chosen as to be at least a little bit intentional. If so, it means that the MCU and the DCU will go head-to-head like never before.

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The DCU's Terrifics Movie Could Be Better Than the MCU's Fantastic Four

So far, a lot is unknown about how the MCU will handle The Fantastic Four. Thus, many fans are incredibly anxious, especially given the poor treatment of the team in previous adaptations. None of the Fantastic Four movies have been particularly well-received, with the outright hatred toward the 2015 film making the team into something of a punchline. Thus, there is a lot riding on the MCU version being able to get the property right, and even the slightest of changes could be detrimental to fan reception. Thankfully for DC's version of the team, there will be no such expectations.

Due to their recent formation, The Terrifics are far from a mainstream superhero team. Even leader Mister Terrific has rarely gotten his deserved shine outside the comics, with an Arrowverse adaptation almost completely changing the character. Thus, a DC Universe movie would be their biggest push yet, and they'd hopefully be able to make a great first impression. On top of that, The Terrifics comics would act as a great narrative beginning point, even for those who've never heard of the comedic Plastic Man or the others. That is the perfect recipe for a fun standalone flick, which is the exact opposite of what Fantastic Four will end up being.

In simply focusing on a dysfunctional found family of heroes, The Terrifics can provide the First Family's fun for a completely different company. Likewise, it would set it up as a nice alternative if the MCU's movie ends up being a disappointment to fans. But, of course, that all depends on it actually being made, with Gunn's tweet currently just egging on speculation. Given his penchant for obscure teams, however, DC's Fantastic Four could become the DC version of Gunn's breakout hit Guardians of the Galaxy.

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