Convoluted is a word that fans associate with Warner Bros. DC Extended Universe. This confusion is understandable given news like the upcoming movie slate that will include two Jokers and a Flashpoint that may or may not reboot the DCEU.
The #DCEU was on the right track to start with. The idea of having connected universes with heroes who stand alone in their worlds makes comic books exciting, and it is a formula that has made the DCEU unique.
Heroes Of One Universe In A World Of Their Own
The talking point will be DC’s darker heroes, who have a universe to themselves. No, This includes characters like Doctor Fate, Constantine, Spectre, and Zatanna. They were members of a damaged hero band known as the Justice League Dark and were expected to be part of DC Extended Universe. There is no need to look into the future now.
DC has proven that standalone approaches work with Man of Steel, where Superman was introduced. Some argue that Superman’s depiction wasn’t that great, but the movie receives a lot of favorable reviews. The commercial and financial success of the movie was because Zack Snyder told his story without a burden of building towards a common movie. The second DCEU film did the opposite. What had appeared to be a sequel to MoS, Batman v Superman, had disrupted the formula by forcing a story just to set up Justice League.
The latter movies were able to incorporate the standalone feel. Critics may have bumped heads over Suicide Squad, but it felt unique. The origin of Task Force X was told without worrying about the Justice League or any DCEU connection. Like Suicide Squad, #WonderWoman and director Patty Jenkins had reaped the benefits of being able to tell a story of her own.
Instead of making movies that forced a connection between characters, WB/DC had allowed Jenkins to have her hero story. The result was a great step in the right direction and received praise from fans and critics with a record-breaking box office run. The success of WW has cemented DC’s approach.
“Some of the movies do connect the characters together, like Justice League. But, like with Aquaman, our goal is not to connect Aquaman to every movie.”
Aquaman will release in December 2018. Director James Wan’s flick will be the first that will connect to a larger universe. The king of Atlantis is similar to Wonder Woman before him in that he is ideal for creative freedom, as he exists in a world of his own. Aquaman’s story has depth, from his love, Mera, to villains like Ocean Master and Black Manta.
Shazam And His Magical, Outdated World
Shazam had been announced as part of the DCEU future lineup with Lights Out director David Sandberg at the helm. Shazam is kindhearted, an orphan teenager whose powers have been bestowed by the wizard Merlin. These powers grant him the ability to turn into a superpowered adult hero. Shazam has a dark side, but the fact that he is a child masquerading as an adult allows for levity.
If one considers day-to-day issues Billy faces as a kid along with his adult problems, one could imagine that the is comedic gold waiting to be explored.
Flash And The Alternative World: ‘Flashpoint’
Barry Allen is in a world that is modernized by technology and skyscrapers: Central City. Unlike most Justice League members who work with the police, Barry has been working in the Central City Police Department Scientific Detection Bureau since graduating high school. Barry has idolized Jay Garrick, the first Flash. There is no mention of Garrick in #JusticeLeague, but Allen’s (Ezra Miller) geekiness will be on full display.
In the world of Flash, there are elements like his love for Iris West and his sidekick, Wally West. Another story has an alternate world that he has created: Flashpoint. Flashpoint is a world created by Barry after he races back in time to stop his mother from being murdered. In this timeline, DC is flipped, and many of heroes are depicted differently.
The weird, war-torn world of Flashpoint is something that fans will see soon, thanks to WB/DC as DCEU continues on the path of more standalone movies.
The Batman Universe: Batverse?
Batman’s world of Gotham is dark with a style that mixes modern-day tech with the ’40s and ’50s fashion and architecture from the ’30s. It is a world that fans have seen being depicted quite a bit, but there are lots to explore like immortals, secret societies, asylums and corrupt police. Bruce Wayne can be done 100 times and still feel fresh in the DCEU. The version has been battle tested and damaged and yet he is the beacon of hope.
Reeves’s approach is what will help make DCEU feel different. Batman’s history is rich, and he can have a universe of his on. This is why the studio will go full force in creating a Batman universe with movies like a Joker and Harley Quinn love story.
Along with many Bat-villains, the Caped Crusader has a family outside of Martha and Thomas Wayne. They are his sidekicks, often teenagers including: a murdering vigilante, daughter of a police commissioner, the daughter of DC’s greatest fighter, and his assassin son. The famous sidekick was Dick Grayson, who became his own man as Nightwing. Grayson’s popularity is why the DCEU has taped The LEGO Batman director Chris McKay to direct a movie about #Nightwing.
The story within a story is the tip of the DC iceberg. Whether it is the villains they face, the city they protect or everything in between, heroes of DC have always existed in a world of their own. It turns out that those behind the DCEU, Geoff Johns, and Jon Berg had it right from the start.