DCEU: What’s Right With The DC Extended Universe
September 5th, 2016 | by Dusty Haynes
The DC Extended Universe (DCEU) has generated no end of intense fan debate, much of it occurring here on ComiConverse. Here, our own Duty Haynes take a look at all of the things going right with the big-screen portrayals of some of our favourite DC Comics characters.
The impassioned conversation concerning the DCEU continues in every corner of the internet with countless fans taking both sides. In my last article, I advocated for a few small changes in the DCEU that would, in my opinion, fix it’s biggest problems. However, inspired by T. Kyle King’s recent post The Triumph Of Hope In The DCEU, I thought it fair to offer my thoughts on what Warner Brothers and DC are doing right with the franchise.
I have to admit that when the news originally came out that Ben Affleck would be donning the cape and the cowl, I was skeptical. Okay, maybe the right word would be outraged. I couldn’t believe that so actors who I felt were great choices were overlooked in favour of the guy from Goodwill Hunting!
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It wasn’t until I saw the first and now iconic image of Affleck as Batman that I started to think this could work. After seeing Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, I was instantly sold. Affleck’s Batman is scary; dangerous in a way that no other on-screen Caped Crusader has been, but is completely true to the character. Not only is he more physically imposing than previous iterations, Affleck’s Batman captures the mental instability and fragility found in the best Batman comics.
Plus, Batman is arguably the most popular superhero on the planet so if they continue getting him right, the DCEU will be just fine for years to come.
The Legacy of Superman:
After the events of Man of Steel, the world was struggling with how it felt about Superman. We see this struggle play out dramatically in Batman v Superman until finally the Man of Tomorrow makes the ultimate sacrifice in order to defeat Doomsday, proving once and for all his devotion to his adopted homeworld. Next, we see the world mourning his death, having finally recognized him for the hero he was, and accepting him fully. Even Batman has been deeply affected by Kal-El’s actions, vowing to honour him in death as he failed to do in life.
Now, of course, we all know Superman is not going to stay dead, but it’s what his death means that is important here. The world, and the rest of its heroes, now look up to Superman as a hero of the highest order. They admire him and his actions have inspired others. This is a huge step toward making Superman the character we have in the comics: a beloved protector, a mentor for newer heroes, and a respected ally of the Bat. It’s Superman’s sacrifice that will inspire the Justice League to rise up and defend the earth against Darkseid and his forces.
The New Gods:
When you pitch a Justice League film, there are plenty of villains you could throw out that make for excellent foils for DC’s heaviest hitting heroes. Brainiac. The Crime Syndicate. Even Starro! But if you want to do it right, you go straight to the biggest bad – Darkseid.
Legendary comics creator Jack Kirby began The Fourth World saga in the early 1970s and out of that saga came a slew of great new and weird characters including Darkseid himself. While I don’t necessarily think the DCEU will delve super deep into New Gods lore, bringing in any part of these excellent stories is a no brainer for WB and DC and a win for movie-goers.
Like all of the DCEU so far, the Suicide Squad movie has drawn lots of love and lots of hate. While I had some major problems with the movie, overall I felt it was a fun romp with a good group of characters. Not only that, it’s now proven that it is a profitable movie so odds are good we’ll get a sequel.
Just this week it was announced by DC that in the comics, we’ll soon be getting a Justice League vs. Suicide Squad event. Furthermore, depending on how you interpreted that Suicide Squad mid-credit scene, the DCEU might also be hinting at a similar event in the movies. That’s something I want to watch.
So far, the only two directors that have released DCEU films are Zack Snyder and David Ayer and Snyder will be offering at least one more entry when Justice League comes out. On deck, though, are some award-winning, critically acclaimed directors eager to take a crack at these iconic characters. Patty Jenkins (Monster), James Wan (Saw, The Conjuring and the Sinister films), and Rick Famuyiwa (Dope) are all in various stages of production on DC projects.
Oh, and let’s not forget that Ben Affleck himself (Argo, The Town) will be directing the stand-alone Batman films.
So there you have it. All the ways in which DC and Warner Bros. are knocking it out of the park with the DCEU. These aspects of the franchise keep me going to the cineplex for each and every release.
What do you guys think?
Am I way off base with these or did I miss anything?
Let me know all about in the comments below!
Dusty Haynes is Contributor to ComiConverse: Follow him on Twitter: @DustyHaynes