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6 Signs the DCEU is Relying Too Much on Batman Characters

Before I get metaphorical stuff thrown at me, I love Batman and the Batfamily as much as the next person. However, I think that Batman and his surrounding cast members have oversaturated everything from movies to cartoons to video games. There are plenty of other DC characters (namely one Billy/Cap/Shazam or the old school JLA or something) that can be profitable and have great storylines. Batman sells. Slap a bat-symbol on someone and bam, you got instant pay dirt.

What is this fascination with Batman and the Batfamily? Perhaps, it can be attributed to the fact of the 1960s Batman TV Show with Adam West or the Tim Burton Batman movies or Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns live in the hearts and minds of many who now write comics and produce movies. Maybe it’s just straight up fantasy—who doesn’t want to be a super-rich high society person who moonlights as a brooding, dark, brilliant vigilante to protect the city at night?

The DCEU has taken the extreme route with Batman and Batman related characters (heroes and villains alike).  You can’t turn anywhere in the DCEU without running into a Bat, a Bat villain or Wayne Enterprises.  Here are the reason why the DCEU is relying too much on Batman and related characters.

6. Batgirl

There’s so much hype about the upcoming Batgirl project, which will be directed and written by Joss Whedon, that I have serious doubts about it. I love Batgirl. I love all the Batgirls. But most people see as her as another Batman sidekick. And that’s it. No one but hardcore fans of Batgirl/Batgirls really see her more as that. Barbara is a competent detective and hacker. Cassandra is the best hand-to-hand combat fighter. Stephanie has bravery and determination to spare. Need I go on?

5. Nightwing, Red Hood and Robins

Nightwing will be getting his own movie eventually, sometime, maybe. And the ghost of a Robin lives on in Batman’s mind. The shrine to a dead Robin in the Batcave in BvS is evident. Robin is mentioned in Suicide Squad, as Harley had a role in murdering one, along with the Joker.

Now that the DCEU apparently is going to go in a different direction now that Zack Snyder is gone, the colorful sidekick will show up. Naturally, there are allusions to the dead Robin, which is always poor Jason Todd, and that Nightwing (Dick Grayson) probably exists in the universe. Apparently, Tim Drake going to be in the Batgirl movie. I’m sensing that Damian Wayne Robin is going to be appearing in one form or another. Damian will match the DCEU’s Batman in every way that I’m truly concerned for the criminals of Gotham.

4. Something Bat-related Everywhere

Batman is everywhere in the DCEU, except maybe the Man of Steel (but I can’t remember since I only watched the movie once in the theaters when it came out, but I’m sure that there was some reference to Batman somewhere, somehow in it). Batman held a title role in BvS. He was mentioned and cameoed in Suicide Squad. He was even in Wonder Woman, being the one sending the picture of her and her friends from WWI trigging Diana’s memories. Can we not get away from this? And of course, Justice League is Batman pretends to be Nick Fury and assemble the Avengers…wait, I mean, the Justice League.

3. Harley Quinn

Margot Robbie with mallet

Margot Robbie demonstrating the correct technique

Sigh. Oh, Harley.

Harley Quinn was created by Bruce Timm and Paul Dini for the Batman: The Animated Series (the DCAU) and long since translated into canon continuity of the comics in 1999. Harley is one of the most popular characters in the Bat-franchise, despite the character being problematic with her whole abusive relationship with the Joker. Her relationship with the Joker is constantly romanticized—it’s not. In BTAS, a show aimed at kids, Joker punched and slapped Harley. He threw Harley out windows, while also constantly belittling her. Then, when she was done with him, he reeled her back by sending her flowers and wooing her.

She was arguably the main character of the Suicide Squad alongside Deadshot (which was Will Smith playing Will Smith play Deadshot, meh). The character will be featured in Gotham City Sirens, Suicide Squad 2, and a Harley and Joker movie. That’s a lot of movies for a character to be in. Even though I like her, she’s just everywhere.

2. Joker

Flipping Joker. Where do I start with the Clown Prince of Crime? Unlike all the other characters on the list…I…don’t particularly care for Joker.

(Please no one kill me)

Joker is an overrated a$$hat, who actually has no purpose in anything but to create chaos. Like… why? His backstory is so convoluted and retconned and multiple choice, it makes Deadpool and Wolverine’s comic stories simple in comparison. The idea of Joker is interesting, but in comparison with other villains of Batman and the other heroes, he’s not compelling.

And let’s just say that the DCEU Joker is not comparable to the Tim Burton Joker or the Dark Knight Trilogy‘s Joker. I mean, Joker really didn’t need to be in Suicide Squad. He was completely unnecessary to the plot. And now, he’ll be in a Harley and Joker movie and in his own solo movie.

You read that right the DCEU Joker will most likely be getting a solo movie…before all of the other deserving good and heroic characters and hell, there are other villains that should get an origin movie before him. I wouldn’t even mind a Black Adam movie.

Joker is everywhere and so intertwined with Batman in the DCEU. Joker is the specter of Batman’s career.

1. Batman/Bruce Wayne

Again, I love Batman. But the DCEU Batman is…hard to like or root for or care what happens to him. Batman is everywhere. If not him, like I mentioned earlier, his symbol, both his names, and his company.

Let’s just think about it this way. The first DCEU movie was Man of Steel, a Superman film that was not bad but not good either. The second DCEU movie introduced its version of Batman in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Even over Superman, DC’s other golden good old boy, Batman gets first billing. We couldn’t even escape Batman/Bruce Wayne in Wonder Woman, the only DC movie that I truly loved. And he was in Suicide Squad and will be in Justice League, The Batman, probably Flashpoint, probably Batgirl, probably Gotham City Sirens, and so on and so forth. You see a pattern, right?

The DCEU is relying too much on Batman characters. The fact is that a Bat is everywhere, if not a Bat, a Bat’s villain. I get it. They are out to make money, but can’t the studio just shake it up a bit and give us other characters. Batman needs to be move over and let some new blood in.

What do you think? Does DC rely too much on Batman characters in the DCEU? Sound off in the comments or send us your thoughts on Facebook or Twitter!

About the author

Dara Berkey

Superhero nerd. History nerd. Favorite personal hero--Shazam/The Original Captain Marvel. Favorite female hero--Any of the Batgirls. Favorite male hero, other than Shazam--Any of the Robins.