Brightburn is a long-awaited take on a classic “what if” scenario – what if the Man of Steel was actually a psychopathic serial killer that liked to torture people and murdering innocents was his favorite past time? James Gunn scored a home run with Brightburn, the movie that gave us a concrete answer to that question with a (Man of) Steely resolve. But the possibilities for the Evil Superhero universe that was started by Brightburn do not just end with an evil Superman. The movie had already teased the existence of an Evil Aquaman and Wonder Woman within its continuity. But we say why stop there? Why not go all out and introduce more superheroes and tell us their “what if they were evil, bloodthirsty maniacs” question?? Presenting – 10 Superheroes that could star in James Gunn’s Evil Superhero Universe after Brightburn!!
The idea of an evil Thor is so non-existent that there is literally just one tale of him going the evil route. When Thor was Old King Thor in another timeline, he took on the Avengers, defeated them all and became the ruler of Planet Earth. But the Brightburn universe is not meant to tell such an extravagant storyline. Let us just focus on an evil origin story. Remember Thor has been portrayed as a malevolent entity in quite a few different media. He is actually the villain in the 2018 God of War movie, responsible for the extinction of an entire race of Giants. Maybe instead of introducing Thor as a person, we could just introduce his hammer. The protagonist could become Thor every time he uses the hammer, only to realize that the power of Thor is slowly corrupting him, turning him into an evil entity.
There have been so many evil Batman storylines in the comic books in recent years. The one that truly stood out was the Batman who laughs. The story of Bruce Wayne is also perfect for an evil origin story. Seeing your parents being murdered right before your eyes is enough to unhinge any child. That is a traumatic childhood memory. Far less grave memories have turned children into psychopaths. Batman could become this shadowy serial killer who likes to kill people for pure enjoyment and torture them in front of their loved ones as he kills them, just the way his parents were right before they were killed. It would be a perfect premise. An evil Batman would be the perfect psychopath.
What is to guarantee that the Hulk would always stay on the good side? What is to guarantee that the Hulk entity that was born out of the Bruce Banner’s Gamma radiation exposure would even have a flicker of humanity in him? A mindless beast can never be reasoned with. The Hulk is not an original concept. In Doctor Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, the Hyde persona turns out to be corrupting force that turns Doctor Jekyll, an originally well-hearted man, evil. An evil Hulk movie would be akin to a monster movie. There are dozens of them out there and many of them have gone on to become blockbusters like Aliens, An American Werewolf in London and Tremors.
A shape-shifting alien from outer space that can turn invisible and control people’s minds – that is the perfect ingredient for an alien horror movie. Like Aliens, Martian Manhunter could fill up the outer space segment of the Brightburn Universe. Martian Manhunter’s origin story could be changed a bit. In the comics, he was the only survivor of a civil war in Mars that wiped out his race –the Green Martians. The White Martians won the war. But the movie could completely turn that origin story inside out, making Martian Manhunter the sole survivor of the White Martian Race who has fled to Earth.
After literally doing a deal with the devil, Johnny Blaze gains the power of the Ghost Rider. He gains those powers by becoming the medium for a spirit of Vengeance called Zarathos. Johnny Blaze becomes Zarathos’ vessel and in return, Zarathos gives Johnny Blaze demonic superpowers. The fact that demons and the devil itself could be involved is just too loud an alarm to ignore. An Evil Ghost Rider would also look so damn cool. And they would not even have to change the appearance too much. What is there is good enough for him to be seen as an evil being.
Once a brilliant scientist that was trying to find the cure to World Hunger, Alec Holland meets with an accident that forces him into being drenched in the same formula he is working on. The fire destroys everything and Alec is presumed dead. Then sometime later, Alec rises from the swamp as a living, breathing mass of vegetable matter, his formula having saved his life (well sort of). The thing about Swamp Thing is that his allegiance does not lie with anyone. He does what he thinks is the best course of action. He may be the protector of the green but he does have a terribly freaky looking face and physique. If the recently aired TV Series is of any indication, fans are actually opening up to the superhero-horror genre.
It is really hard to portray Spider-Man as evil. The guy is just too much of a friendly neighborhood Mr. Goody Two shoes kind of a superhero to be ever seen as Evil. But it is because he was woven into the storylines like that. Given that freakishly disturbing origin story, Peter Parker is just one bad mutation away from being regarded as a grotesque monster with eight legs. Remember The Fly – the 1986 movie starring Jeff Goldblum. An evil Spider-Man storyline could also start out similarly and then the story could take a darker turn where Peter Parker turns into a human spider monster and terror ensues.
One of the most underrated superheroes ever, Cyborg is not just a huge asset to the Justice League but could also be the same to the Brightburn universe. Many do not know but Cyborg already has an evil counterpart called Grid, a malevolent A.I construct that was once just some software within Cyborg’s body. Cyborg’s greatest fear is succumbing to his technological aspect and let the machine take over his body entirely. That could be the subject matter of the movie as well. What happens when a desperate father fuses advanced technology to his dying sun, only to realize that he lost his son a long time ago and now what was once his son is just an evil machine??
If you have seen Don’t Breathe, you know what we mean by an evil Daredevil movie. Fans of Don’t Breathe had no idea that blind people could be this scary. Daredevil aka Matt Murdock met with an accident where unknown chemicals were spilled on his eyes. It took away his eyesight but gave him another form of supervision and enhanced his other senses. Imagine yourself in a dark room with no lights, you have no weapons and a murderous, highly trained blind guy who does not even need lights to slash you into little pieces is after you. Scared?!?!
While we see the Flash as a savior figure, we know that his powers could be very well used for evil. The biggest example is Reverse Flash – a guy just as fast as the Flash and is a full-time murderer. An evil Flash movie would work so well for the Brightburn Universe because the Flash already has an evil counterpart in the form of the Reverse Flash aka Eobard Thawne and he is one of the scariest villains alive. The Flash’s evil story could begin just like another movie regarding kids gaining superpowers – Chronicle. The Protagonist in Chronicle turned evil after he realized he could use his powers for his own selfish benefits without worrying about collateral damage. What is to stop the Flash from going the same path?
Do I really look like a guy with a plan? You know what I am? I’m a dog chasing cars. I wouldn’t know what to do with one if I caught it! You know, I just… do things