Jack Kirby biographer and comic book artist Tom Scioli recently took to Twitter to share a few pieces of concept art from a New Gods movie proposal from the 1990s, illustrated by comic book legend, award-winning artist, and Hellboy creator Mike Mignola.
In the tweet below, Scioli claimed that Neil Gaiman himself was involved as the screenwriter for the movie, but that “unlike the Mignola drawings, the script has never surfaced.”
Gaiman, however, has taken to Twitter to refute that he was connected with the project, saying it was "something I was never involved in":
The images reveal redesigns for DC Comics characters Mister Miracle and his lady love Big Barda, in Mignola’s inimitable style, that would have been featured in the proposed movie centering on the cosmic characters, as well as a look at the villainous Darkseid’s machine-filled homeworld of Apokolips.
Mignola’s notes point to the fact that Mister Miracle is a prince, which is true since he’s the son of Highfather, and that Big Barda’s costume would have been the same color (with a few minor changes) as the Female Furies, a group of female warriors who were fiercely loyal to Darkseid which Barda formerly led before she left for Earth with her love, Mister Miracle.
The New Gods were created and designed by Kirby in 1971 for the pages of New Gods #1. They were immortal superbeings from the twin planets New Genesis and Apokolips who lived outside of the Multiverse in a realm known as the Fourth World. Where New Genesis was a lush, idyllic planet ruled by the Highfather, Apokolips was a nightmarish world ruled by the tyrannical Darkseid.
The two worlds were originally part of the same planet (Urgrund) until it was split in two thousands of years ago after the Old Gods died during Ragnarok. Notable New Gods included (among others): Lightray, Darkseid, Orion, Mister Miracle (aka Scott Free), Metron, Big Barda, Highfather, Steppenwolf, and Infinity-Man.
Mignola (who was also an illustrator on Bram Stoker’s Dracula) previously worked on the New Gods for DC alongside Jim Starlin and was the artist on the four-issue 1988 limited series Cosmic Odyssey, which featured several New Gods but didn’t feature Mister Miracle or Big Barda. You can catch the New Gods in Tom King and Mitch Gerads’ 12-issue miniseries Mister Miracle.
In the comics, Darkseid was the uncle of Steppenwolf (the character first appeared in New Gods #7), who is the main villain of Warner Bros.’ upcoming Justice League. Played by Ciaran Hinds, Steppenwolf will appear alongside Darkseid’s Parademons as they hunt for the Mother Boxes. It's rumored Darkseid may also show up in the superhero team-up movie. Could Justice League finally pave the way to the New Gods in a future DCEU movie?
This story was originally published on Nov. 10 and has been updated.