The Dark Side of Superman - James Gunn's Brightburn adds an Evil Twist to DC’s Most Powerful Superhero

What if Superman – the most powerful superhero turns evil? What if the symbol of hope becomes the messenger of doom? What if his superpowers are hacked? The idea of an evil Superman is old but there are no movies till now that thoroughly explores the concept. 


Zack Snyder did try to give a dark shade to his character in the Justice League. The re-incarnated Superman looked utterly dangerous in the movie but there are no full-fledged film made on the dark side of Superman. There are many alternate versions of Superman in comics. Kon-Ei or Conner Kent, also known as modern Superboy created from the combined genes of Lex Luthor and Man of Steel is an evil representation of Superman. Another immoral version of Superman is Bizarro who is a fictional supervillain and a mirror image of Superman.

From ramming his fist through the Joker to strangling Salaak, from crushing Batman’s spine to burning down Martian Manhunter, there are numerous instances of Superman going crazy. Red Son is considered to be the deadliest comic version of an evil Superman where he was born and raised in the Soviet Union instead of the United States. The Red Son Superman was used by the Soviet Union to spread its dominance across the globe. There are many other versions of dark Superman in Comics like the Injustice Superman, Superdoom, Cyborg Superman etc. 

The dark side of Man of Steel is an idea that could easily create more space for critics, filmmakers and fans to delve deeper into the world of endless possibilities. From the greatest pop culture icon to an indestructible enemy of the nation, an evil Superman can be something more interesting source material to explore and movies can be made to generate a massive impact on the entire generation. 

Lately, the trailer of James Gunn’s most anticipated project Brightburn is out and people are going insane over his take on DC’s superhero Superman as an evil one. Unlike the regular Superman, James Gunn’s Superman is dark. He stalks people, torments them and creates a ruckus with his superpowers. James Gunn’s Brightburn looks like a horror film in the superhero space. Brightburn is an origin story with a twist. 

Brightburn looks similar to Man of Steel’s trailer however it starts getting bizarre after few scenes. Zack Snyder added a few shades of darkness to Superman’s character in his movies but James Gunn goes full circle to create a completely evil character to make Superman more interesting than ever. 

According to Stan Lee, Superman is a boring character because he is no human with past crisis or disabilities and all powerful but James Gunn’s Superman surely adds more spice to the age-old comic book character. The evil Superman is what the present generation wants. It’s all about the demand hence adding a horror twist is surely a welcome change in the DC Universe. Directed by David Yarovesky and produced by James Gunn, Brightburn is releasing on Memorial Day 2019. 

This is surely the golden age of Superhero movies. From Avengers: Endgame to Joker, from Shazam to Captain Marvel, the comic book films are gearing up to send all the cinephiles for the ride of their life to their respective universes. Comic book movies are not only popular among kids and teenagers but it's also wooing the adults across the globe.

The recent success of Aquaman, Avengers: Infinity War and Black Panther at the box office and Black Panther now having Golden Globe nominations testifies the advent of comic book movies into the mainstream. There are many superhero movies lined up for next year however James Gunn’s BrightBurn will be special as it’s based on Superman, which is evil.



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