When it comes to live-action shared universes, DC has had a rough time getting the ball rolling. Whether you love the adaptions or not, their attempt at a cinematic universe has been a wild ride. Each film has felt as if it was a massive departure from the previous, as each one tackled different tones and themes. In the past few years, the restructuring of the universe has been immeasurable. They lost their caped crusader and possibly their Superman. Even with Henry Cavill campaigning for his return, there have been talks of a rebooted Superman franchise within the DCEU, specifically with a Black Superman, Val-Zod, taking the reigns.
The character is a recent addition to the DC Multiverse. Val-Zod got introduced in 2014’s Earth 2 #19 by Tom Taylor, Nicola Scott, and Robson Rocha. The character is, of course, one of the last known surviving Kryptonians in his universe. He joined Kal-El and Kara on their way to Earth, but his pod would continue to travel much longer before it eventually reached the new home planet. Vals time in space would lead him to become agoraphobic, so he spent his time on Earth refusing to step outside. Val would be found by the Wonders of The World, Earth-2’s Justice League, who would help him overcome his fears and eventually have him join up with the team and take up the mantle of Superman.
At this point, I began to see ties for what’s to come in the future of the DC Universe, and of course, it all leads to the eventual solo outing of the Scarlet Speedster. His upcoming solo film will explore the multiverse, as it takes some inspiration from Flashpoint. So far, we know that Michael Keaton returns as Batman and Sasha Calle joined as Supergirl. Now, we believed that these films would introduce the version of Gotham from 1989’s Batman, where Barry would meet the present-day versions of those heroes. While that would be quite the blast from the past, I feel, as if the creatives may be taking a different approach. When Barry first broke the dimensional barriers, he ended up on Earth-2. There he met Jay Garrick, the golden age Flash in Flash #123. So, why wouldn’t they take a similar approach?
So, how does Val-Zod ft into this story? Well, perhaps they are retconning Keaton‘s Batman to be from Earth-2. Barry tries to undo what he has unleashed, similar to Flashpoint, as this version of the Caped Crusader tries to help his new-found friend. This film would act as the introduction to Val-Zod, Earth-2’s version of the Man of Tomorrow. In the comics, Lois Lane’s version of Red Tornado helped him overcome his fears and leave his home. Flash could easily take her place in the story as they uncover the most powerful being in the universe cowering in his apartment. Barry’s insecurities make him the perfect ally to support Val-Zod. When we meet Barry, he isn’t even the Flash, yet he’s just a guy wrapped up in space gear using his speed to help out now and then. The two could help each other come into their own and accept their destiny. By the end of the film. they both proudly wear the emblems of the heroes that came before them.