BY MATT TUCK
Injustice is coming to the DCEU, and the latest set photos from The Flash may have confirmed it.
The Flash has made plenty of headlines in the past year. It started with the casting of Michael Keaton, which was followed by Ben Affleck joining the upcoming film. Then came word that Sasha Calle will portray a new Supergirl.
Granted the Supergirl casting didn’t exactly upend the DCEU, the pictures of her costume have intrigued fans and sparked theories across the internet.
Over on the CW, Melissa Benoist has suited up as a more traditional Kara Zor-El. That raised the question of what version of Supergirl were the producers of The Flash going with? The recent set photos may have just confirmed it as Lana Lane-Kent, and that has major implications for the future of the DCEU. Here’s why.
WHO IS LANA LANE-KENT?
Like most DC characters, there have been multiple Supergirls throughout the Multiverse. One of those happens to be Lana, who spun out of the pages of the Injustice: Gods Among Us comics. That series expanded on the story from WB Games/Netherrealm’s two-part game series. The plot for the original game saw Superman become emotionally unhinged after the Joker used a nuclear bomb to destroy Metropolis, including Lois Lane. This created an alternate future in which Superman went on a killing spree in his quest to establish his own totalitarian regime that soon controlled the world. Batman then led a team of superheroes into this dark future to dethrone and imprison the twisted version of Superman.
The games were so popular that DC introduced a comic series that connected to - and expanded on - the Injustice story. The comics were such a hit that they spawned multiple volumes. In Injustice: Year Three, an alternate-universe Superman and Lois would have a superpowered daughter, Lois Lane-Kent. She would go on to become the Supergirl of that corner of the Multiverse.
Although Warner Discovery has not named which Supergirl Calle will be portraying in The Flash, the photos of her costume are nearly identical to Lana’s Injustice comics suit as well as Kara’s look from the Injustice 2 game. If she is indeed playing the Lana Lane-Kent Supergirl, that could mean The Flash will be DC’s first step into a live-action version of Injustice.
THE SNYDER-VERSE/INJUSTICE CONNECTION
After the new Discovery leadership was added to WarnerMedia to form Warner Discovery, it has many fans wondering if Zack Snyder’s vision for Justice League could be realized. That would actually make an even stronger case for an Injustice adaptation.
In the closing moments of the Snyder Cut of JL, Batman has a vision of an apocalyptic future in which Darkseid murdered Lois in order to psychologically break Superman and make him susceptible to the Anti-Life Equation. He then used Superman to help take over the Earth as Batman led the last band of superheroes against Superman and Darkseid. Leave Darkseid out of that plot thread, and you get a Superman who is eerily similar to the one from Injustice.
Let’s take things one step further. Although the WarnerMedia executives have repeatedly stated that the Snyder-verse is over and done, it raises eyebrows when two principal actors from JL are cast for roles in a movie that could shape the future of the DCEU. The studio chose not to recast Ezra Miller in his role as Barry Allen/the Flash. Even more interesting is that Ben Affleck also has been signed to play another version of Batman/Bruce Wayne alongside Michael Keaton. It seems clear that as the Flash travels the Multiverse in the new movie, it will establish variant DCEU timelines, and that could be the foothold an Injustice movie needs.
Another development that adds credence to Injustice is the upcoming animated movie. While not much is known about the project, it was announced that a trailer for Injustice will be included with the bonus features of The Long Halloween. What it reveals is that Warner Discovery and DC see dollar signs over the game franchise. After the success of the Mortal Kombat reboot, who’s to say the WB execs aren’t pondering bringing another video game franchise to life?
Could it be that Miller’s Flash and Batfleck will venture into an off-shoot of Batman’s “Knightmare” from the Snyder-verse to find Superman’s daughter from an alternate timeline? If so, that could mean we could see the Injustice world as well since she hails from that universe of characters. With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at three keys that could see a boom in light of the speculation.
INJUSTICE: YEAR THREE #7
At the top of the list is the first appearance of Lana Lane-Kent. The speculation and theories circulating the internet will undoubtedly impact sales of Injustice: Year Three #7 on the chance that she is confirmed for The Flash. Not only do you get her debut in this issue, but she is featured on the cover as a baby, and that is always a boon for collectors.
This issue has been so overlooked to this point that there is no data for any graded sales. Head over to eBay, and you will find raw copies are escalating. The most recent sales have been anywhere from $15 to nearly $50, and one seller’s asking price is close to $80. Imagine what those figures will be if Lana is The Flash’s Supergirl.
INJUSTICE: GODS AMONG US #1
The first comic tie-in to the popular games has been reaching record numbers this year. On March 13, a 9.8 sold for $240. Prior to that, it had never earned more than $130. Since that March sale, it has steadily held in the $100-$140 range, though news of the animated movie should help propel that to new heights.
It would be wise to keep your eye on the second print after a 9.8 sold for $149 in May. There’s also a special edition floating around, and it sold for $150 in March.
The bigger deal will be a live-action announcement. As time has shown, cartoons don’t affect the market nearly as strongly as those live-action adaptations. However, this will definitely be an issue you’ll want to keep your eye on as we wait for confirmation of Sasha Calle’s character.
SUPERMAN: THE 10-CENT ADVENTURE
While Calle’s costume from The Flash appears to be based on Lana Lane-Kent’s, there are other theories surrounding her casting.
Next to Lana, there is a strong possibility that Calle is playing Cir-El. Instead of being Superman’s daughter, Cir-El is a Kryptonian/human hybrid created by Brainiac. Some fans have drawn the connection between Calle and Cir-El because the actress closely resembles this version of Supergirl.
Having first appeared in 2003’s Superman: the 10-Cent Adventure, this issue has largely been ignored by the collecting community. Considering Cir-El died in the comics without making a significant impact, there is not much reason to want this issue unless Calle is confirmed as Cir-El.
At the moment, this is a low-risk investment. The last recorded sale of a 9.8 was in 2019 when one brought $40. Earlier this year, a 9.6 earned $35, so prices are still low.
Unless there is indication that Calle’s Supergirl will star in her own HBO Max series or get a movie franchise, then it is hard to imagine the speculative keys surrounding her casting gaining much traction just yet. That is especially true since we don’t know if she will play Kara Zor-El, Lana Lane-Kent, Cir-El, or even another version of Supergirl. The bigger picture is on Injustice, and fans will clamor for those keys if she is indeed confirmed as Lana.
Matt Tuck is the author of the novel, Lost Bones of the Dead. He is a professional writer, avid comic collector, former teacher, and an international man of mystery. You can follow him on his Facebook page, The Comic Blog.