SAMURAI JACK Creator Shares His SUPERMAN Designs From A Cancelled Animated Project

Samurai Jack creator Genndy Tartakovsky has shared some of his unused, vintage designs for a Superman series of animated shorts which sadly never became a reality. Check them out after the jump...

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The creator of Samurai Jack, Genndy Tartakovsky, has shared some of his unused designs from a Superman series of shorts which, for some reason, never became a reality. 

As you can see, this take on the Man of Steel appears to have been inspired by the 1940s Fleischer Studios Superman cartoons which replaced the yellow background on the hero's shield with a black colour scheme. As well as Samurai Jack, Tartakovsky is well-known for his work on the likes of Dexter's Laboratory and The Clone Wars for Cartoon Network. 

This animation style definitely would have been an unusual fit for Superman, but also unlike anything we've seen before. With any luck, he'll one day get chance to return to the DC Universe because those DCAU movies could definitely benefit from an overhauled animation style.

There are still plenty of other Superman projects to look forward to, though, as the iconic DC Comics superhero will soon be seen on The CW in Superman & Lois and in Zack Snyder's Justice League. Unfortunately, the character's big screen future beyond that is a mystery for now, though the hope is that Henry Cavill will be given the chance to reprise the role somewhere down the line. 

Check out Tartakovsky's designs below:

Click on the "Next" button below to check out 10
animated movies we still want to see from the DCAU!

10. Sinestro Corps War

A Green Lantern TV show - titled "Lantern" - is in the works, as is a movie. However, either one of those reboots jumping straight into the Sinestro Corps War (a battle the 2011 movie teased far too soon in its after-credits scene) is unlikely, but it could work nicely in the form of an animated adventure.

The massive crossover event by Geoff Johns followed the Green Lanterns of Earth, along with the rest of the Green Lantern Corps, as they fought an interstellar war against the Sinestro Corps, an army led by the former Green Lantern Sinestro. Armed with yellow power rings, they hoped to create a universe ruled through fear.

If handled the right way, this could be a true two-part epic similar to The Dark Knight Returns.

9. Superman: Birthright

Superman: Birthright is considered the definitive origin story for the Man of Steel by the vast majority of comic book fans, and it’s easy to see why. Following Clark Kent as a young man as he attempts to learn more about his alien heritage, Mark Waid and Leinil Yu go on to explain how Clark Kent found his way to The Daily Planet and into the lives of characters like Lois Lane and Lex Luthor.

The latter serves as the main villain here, though there are plenty of cool twists and turns and a very touching ending which lends something new to the character’s well-known background.

Packed full of iconic imagery, Superman: Birthright could be just what is needed after the much darker version of the Man of Steel that we’ve become accustomed to in the DC Extended Universe; the only issue with this is that we recently got yet another origin story in Superman: Man of Tomorrow.

8. DC One Million

DC One Million wasn’t that great, but the potential for it to be turned into something amazing is definitely there. The basic premise of the massive crossover tale from the late 90s was that it set out to show readers what the DC Universe would look like in the 853rd century.

Superman was still alive, while the solar system was being watched over by the Justice League Alpha, a team made up of future analogues of Wonder Woman, Hourman, Starman, Aquaman, the Flash and Batman.

Solaris and Vandal Savage are the main villains, and while a loose adaptation of the story would probably work best, any sort of glimpse into the future of this world could be really interesting to explore in a movie.

7. Endgame

No, not that Endgame! DC's "Endgame" revolves around the "final" confrontation between Batman and The Joker, and there’s a lot in there which would almost certainly make the Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo tale a hit as an animated feature. For starters, it kicks off with the Dark Knight squaring off with the Justice League after they fall under the control of the Clown Prince of Crime

That action packed sequence would look downright incredible brought to life in an animated film.

"Endgame" also teases The Joker’s history and makes it clear that he’s well aware Batman and Bruce Wayne are one and the same. Hell, he invades the Batcave, chops off Alfred’s hand, and even taunts the hero about the murder of his parents. The story ends with both Batman and The Joker seemingly dying, a potentially powerful conclusion for a standalone feature. 

6. Doomsday Clock

There's no getting around the fact that Doomsday Clock was something of a disappointment, but seeing the worlds of DC and Watchmen combined was an undeniable treat for comic book fans. 

Superman battling Dr. Manhattan in an animated setting would be epic, while everything from the team-up between Batman and Rorschach to Ozymandias taking on The Comedian (in a rematch) could be included here. Honestly, Warner Bros. could find plenty of ways to improve on this tale beyond just bringing some of the comic book's most memorable moments to life on screen.

This could even be used as a way of testing the waters for a live-action version down the line. 

5. Blackest Night

Another massive Green Lantern story (which ran for almost a year) Blackest Night featured the return of Nekron, a personified force of death who re-animated deceased superheroes and set out to eliminate all life and emotion from the universe. To help counter this threat, all of the different Corps were forced to work together, and even Batman and the Flash were granted power rings. 

Blackest Night also featured the resurrection of a several fan-favourite characters including Aquaman, Firestorm, Martian Manhunter, and Professor Zoom. Many of them were obviously alive and well in the DC Animated Universe the last time we saw them, but there’s still the potential here for a massive event which has some serious ramifications for all these films moving forward.

Even if the DCAU will no longer be a shared world, this is worthy of being adapted in some form.

4. Forever Evil

When Earth-1 was invaded by the villainous members of The Crime Syndicate from Earth-3, the Justice League was left trapped and the evil doppelgängers of characters like Batman and Wonder Woman quickly took control of the planet. When it became apparent that this group would ultimately destroy the world, Lex Luthor decided to take action by assembling an "Injustice League."

By the time all was said and done in Forever Evil, Lex was hailed as a hero and actually became a member of the League, but only after revealing that he had discovered Batman's secret identity.

That’s a status quo that would be great to see established in the DC Animated Universe, while this story is definitely epic enough to be told across a ninety-minute feature. It's hard to imagine this ever making it to the big screen, of course, so an animated feature would be the next best thing.

3. Three Jokers

Three Jokers hasn't even ended yet, and it could honestly prove to be a disaster by the time all is said and done. However, we've seen these animated features take plenty of liberties with the source material, so there are no doubt ways Warner Bros. could make up for any not so great moments.

Having Batman, Batgirl, and the Red Hood all come together to battle multiple versions of the Clown Prince of Crime is a fun premise, and one which could see multiple voice actors used. 

Mark Hamill would obviously have to be somewhere at the top of that list, but there's a tonne of potential here. It may just hinge on whether there's an appetite for it by the time all is said and done with the Three Jokers comic book series (which concludes a little later this year barring any future delays).

2. The Darkseid War

"The Darkseid War" revolves around two of the most deadly villains of the DC Multiverse, the Dark God Darkseid and the Anti God the Anti-Monitor, as they take aim at each other with the Justice League and the entire human race caught in the crossfire.

Wonder Woman’s history was also explored in this story as some major revelations about the Amazons were made as we met the deranged daughter of Darkseid. Her mother was an Amazonian warrior who gave birth on the same night Diana was born.

Making Wonder Woman the focus of this story would be a smart move, while the Justice League being present would almost certainly ensure that it’s a hit. We've seen a lot of Darkseid in the DCAU, but this would definitely be a new use of the villain. 

1. Kingdom Come

Why hasn't this happened already?

Kingdom Come is such a well respected classic that the fact it still hasn’t been adapted in any form is genuinely shocking. For those who don’t know, it’s set in a future that deals with a growing conflict between the visibly out-of-touch "traditional" superheroes and a growing population of largely amoral and dangerously irresponsible new vigilantes.

While that’s all taking place, Batman assembles a team in an attempt to contain the escalating disaster, foil the machinations of Lex Luthor and prevent a world-ending superhuman war. This is something which would be amazing to see in live-action, but for now, an animated version would be more than welcome and quite possibly the best way to do this classic any sort of justice.

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