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Time to Talk About DC Comics

James Gunn, the studio executive at Warner Bros (which owns DC Comics) released a video in February discussing the lavish plans for upcoming DC movies and TV shows. The video was loaded with information, and there is too much to discuss in one article, so we won’t here. Instead, we will discuss whether those plans are steps in the right direction for DC Comics, what could go wrong, and what could put them back on top. 

The history of DC’s cinematic and television productions has been riddled with peaks and valleys. People sort of liked the goofy yet entertaining Batman in the 1960’s. They certainly loved Christopher Reeve’s iconic Superman in the 1970’s. Tim Burton came along and took comic-book movies to another level, and Keaton gave us our first “dark” superhero. Then Schumacher destroyed everything DC had built. We had a quiet period, with DC not releasing any big titles other than Superman Returns which was a critical flop, unsurprisingly. But we had our own real superhero, Christopher Nolan, who redefined the genre, and did something no one has been able to replicate. The Dark Knight trilogy set a standard that cannot be reached, and was the apex of DC Comics productions. Followed by the successful, yet actually atrocious, “Arrowverse” on the silver screen. And we then had to endure the horrifying DCU. That is your brief of the rollercoaster that is DC’s cinematic history. But what about their next venture? We recommend watching the video before continuing with this article, as things are about to get saucy. 

Chapter 1: Gods and Monsters. More like who and what?

With letting Ben Affleck and Henry Cavill go as Batman and Superman (which were two of the worst decisions in the history of the world). Those characters are left in purgatory, not really sure what’s going to be made with them. Pattinson’s Batman is separated from the DCU, and we don’t have an idea who might be our next Superman. But we will get back to these two, first, let’s discuss the earlier plans. DC’s strategy is certainly interesting, to say the least. They are not going with big name releases, instead, what seem to be unpopular characters that convey massively intriguing plots are being picked up. But is that, really, the best strategy to a studio that’s cinematic presence is disappointing to say the least? It could be, but it could build on their demise. The issue with these small names such as Creature Command, Waller, and The Authority, how are you going to gain interest from the casual viewer to go watch them? The casual viewer loved The Dark Knight because it was an incredible piece of film. The casual viewer loved the MCU because it was simply too well written and thoroughly planned out. But do they really care about Amanda Waller? I doubt it, but they might be if it was actually good from the start. And this is the biggest struggle of DC’s work, being actually good.

Gunn also mentioned that characters from animated shows will also “move into animation, out of animation. Usually having the same actor play their voice as who plays them in live action”. Is this move really necessary? Or even a good one? Many voice actors can’t act in front of a camera, and vice-versa, which limits casting. And it just adds to the confusion for the audience that wants to keep up. I would argue it’s a risky move that will most likely not pay off.

But what about Superman? We are supposed to get a Superman film called Superman Legacy, but where does that Superman movie lie, in the DCU or the DCEU? This is another possible problem for Warner Bros. If they keep producing movies that belong to the DCEU, it could get confusing, especially for the casual viewer, who may lose interest in all of this mess. I never say no to a Superman movie, even though I have issues with Superman himself as a character. But after Snyder’s take on Kal-El, I believed that Superman can actually be interesting. Yet, we lost that Superman unfortunately. But I digress, we need a Superman that can make the DCU complete again. The Flash, Aquaman, Wonder Woman, Shazam, and Black Adam aren’t exactly the most attractive and lucrative names for the big screen. You need Batman and Superman, just like Marvel needed Iron Man and Captain America. 

Now the big name, perhaps the biggest; Batman. We are getting a Batman movie, but is it really the right one? The Batman in 2022 was the Batman movie we needed, and the one we deserved. It was a new fresh talk for the caped crusader on the big screen, and it was the most “comic-booky” Batman movie to date, which turned out great. But what about bringing back Robin? This I have my doubts on and, in fact, do not like it one bit. The Robin we are getting is the worst of the Robins; Damian Wayne. Bruce’s biological son, Ra’s Al Ghul’s grandson, Damian has the potential to become one of the most interesting characters in all of comic-books, but he’s just a spoiled brat in reality. And doesn’t really make any sense, can a pre-teen really take on fully grown trained men? It’s not just a far-fetched idea, but asinine really. Insubordinate, annoying, a know-it-all, Damian Wayne is just a bad Robin, it’s really that simple. The Robin we want and need is Dick Grayson, who becomes Nightwing and captain of the Titans. Also, is it really the right move to have another Batman movie in a different universe than Pattinson’s? Again, it’s all just a mess. 

We are looking forward to all of these, certainly, but we also convey our doubts especially with the recent history of DC disappointing all of its fans. But if we want to talk about hype, let’s talk about Lanterns. Gunn announced that they will release a TV show revolving around two Green Lanterns; Hal Jordan and John Stewart. We don’t have any details regarding the plot or where in the DCU they stand, but fans have been calling for a Green Lantern movie or TV show for ages, and we are finally getting one. Green Lantern has always been a fan favorite, whether it’s comic-books or animated series, we all love this character and want to see more of him on screen. And DC cannot ruin this, this character is too precious, and a Lantern TV show is a brilliant idea we all want, we only hope it doesn’t go wrong. 

At this point, we don’t know what to expect from DC Comics anymore, but we should expect the worst based on recent history. There are two types of people in this world; those who think hope is a bad thing, and those who think it’s the best of things. So, should we be hopeful with DC? Perhaps, but if you are, be cautiously aware of DC’s fumbles, which are abundant. 

DC are trying to salvage their cinematic prowess, which at one point seemed to reign on top of the helm, but now cascading to a bottomless pit. These projects could reignite interest of lost fans or new ones, or they could distance DC even further from its loyal fans. Lanterns, Superman Legacy, and The Brave and The Bold could put them back on the map for sure. It is a very thin line, that DC haven’t always played well, but hey, the bigger the risk….the bigger the reward.

Do you like what Warner Bros and DC Comics are doing? What project are you most looking forward to? Let us know in the comments below or on our Facebook and Twitter

About the author

Omar Khalil