The news broke today that a new Superman movie is coming, with J.J. Abrams (Star Trek, Lost) producing and Ta-Nehisi Coates (Black Panther’s current comic book series) writing the film.
The addition of Coates has many fans wondering if this is when we get a movie about a Black Superman.
Before too many people get out of sorts with the news, there are two Black Supermen in DC Comics, as there were many different worlds in the DC Multiverse. This isn’t a case of making Clark Kent into a Black man.
This is hopefully about bringing a pre-existing Black Superman to the big screen. It would be either Va-Zod or Calvin Ellis, with Ellis the more likely choice.
Alternate DC Earths, Alternate Characters
For anyone who reads DC Comics, or at least watches the Arrowverse, the DC Comics Universe consists of many different alternate Earths. This is the Multiverse.
For example, the versions of Superman and Batman that hit comics in 1939 are not the Superman and Batman in current DC Comics. These two characters, along with Alan Scott’s Green Lantern and Jay Garrick’s Flash, are Earth-2 characters.
The mainstream characters (Prime Earth) are the Superman and Batman we know now, along with Hal Jordan’s Green Lantern and Barry Allen’s Flash.
With that said, there are many other Earths. There is also an Earth-Three, which was used in the animated movie Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths, where the Crime Syndicate of America came from. The heroes here are villains.
Who is Calvin Ellis, the Black Superman?
Calvin Ellis is Kal-El from Earth-23.
His first appearance came in Final Crisis #7 by Grant Morrison and Doug Mahnke. Calvin Ellis is Superman, and he is also the President of the United States on Earth-23.
Calvin Ellis was a name chosen by Alan Moore in 1985 as an alias and was revived for this character.
Just like Clark Kent, Calvin landed on Earth as a baby after Krypton exploded. He was taken in and raised by a poor couple who raised him to be kind and stand up for himself and what is right in his life.
He became Superman and was an inspiration for all heroes on this Earth, helping form the Justice League and eventually becoming the U.S. President to try to help the country as a politician as well as a superhero.
The reason most believe this might be Calvin Ellis is due to past comments by actor Michael B. Jordan.
When asked if he would play Superman, he hesitated and said he would never try to play Clark Kent but would play a Black Superman if it was Calvin Ellis.
“I’ll be Calvin Ellis,” Jordan said. “There’s another version of Superman in another dimension that is Black already in the comic books that exist, and I think the comic book purists can accept that more than me being Clark Kent from Kansas. That’s a different thing.”