This is the final planned Detective Comics Saturday of 2016.
I often think back to how perfectly the Marvel Cinematic Universe was set up by Marvel Studios. Although superhero films had been popular for a while in 2008, Marvel Studios kickstarted the golden era of comic book movies. DC and Warner Bros. kickstarted their own cinematic universe in 2013 with Man of Steel – when Marvel Studios had already started the second phase of their cinematic universe.
This year – in 2016 – the DC Cinematic Universe continued with Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad. Neither of those films have been met with a lot of love from critics, and some people don’t appreciate the work that has been put into setting up the universe.
I am of the opinion that Warner Bros. and DC rushed their universe. This month, I’m doing a what if-post. I want to show you what I would have done if I had been in charge of setting up the universe. What if I had been DC and Warner Bros.’s creative producer of the DC Cinematic Universe?
Well, so far it doesn’t seem like WB and DC have decided to do the cinematic universe in phases – or stages – like Marvel Studios has. That’s pretty much the first thing I would’ve done. Make the crossover films into events – like Marvel Studios did. Let’s call the first phase of my WB and DC universe ‘Level One.’
DC Cinematic Universe: Level One
- Man of Steel (2013)
- The Flash (2016)
- Aquaman (2017)
- Wonder Woman (2017)
- Justice League (2018)
No real change with the first film. I still think Man of Steel is the best film in the DC Cinematic Universe (so far), and I think Superman is the right character to start of a universe with. There is one thing I would’ve changed: In a post-credits scene, have Clark Kent receive a letter from Wayne Enterprises.
Now, the second film in the DC Cinematic Universe is Batman v Superman. That happened too fast. I want a Batman v Superman-like film at some point, but not in Level One. Instead, after having set up a darker version of Superman in Man of Steel, you go on to introduce a more fun character – a speedster – Barry Allen. Have Allen fight Captain Cold in this film, and say that his cold gun was stolen from LexCorp or Wayne Enterprises. In a post-credits scene, you see Bruce Wayne for the first time as he walks into the Daily Planet building and asks Lois Lane where Clark Kent is.
Now, Aquaman is going to be tough for people unfamiliar with DC Comics to go see. So, in his first solo film you also introduce Diana Prince. Maybe in the ending of the first Aquaman film, Diana Prince – who Arthur Curry could have had a crush on – reveals herself as Wonder Woman and helps him in the final fight. In a post-credits scene, Prince starts to talk about her past to Curry.
And then the Wonder Woman film is basically the story she tells Arthur Curry in the former post-credits scene. Remember how, in Iron Man 3, Tony Stark is actually telling a story to Bruce Banner? Do it like that. Have Diana Prince narrate the story, and, in a post-credits scene, maybe you see Clark Kent introducing himself to Diana.
Now we have the main event – Justice League. At this point, you’ve set up the idea that Clark and Bruce have met. In the first – maybe – 30 minutes or so, you would then have Clark and Bruce recruit the other members. Superman would recruit Barry Allen and Diana Prince, but Bruce Wayne wouldn’t be able to convince Arthur Curry. Then one could have Aquaman return to help the Justice League against some supervillain. Aquaman needs that big Hulk-like moment, seeing as a lot of people aren’t fans of his.
DC Cinematic Universe: Level Two
- Suicide Squad (2019)
- The Batman (2019)
- Man of Steel 2 (2020)
- Justice League: The Killing Joke (2020)
Okay, let’s introduce the Suicide Squad in Level Two. I think most of the story from the film could be the same, maybe just with another villain. Just like in the real Suicide Squad film it would be important to end the film with The Joker breaking out Harley Quinn.
By 2019, it’s been a while since Nolan’s Batman films, and thus it would be right to have a new Batman film. You don’t need to introduce his origin, but maybe have it centered around his ‘family.’ I’m thinking that Batgirl, Nightwing, and maybe Tim Drake could be in the film – but in minor roles. In the film, you could have Batman fight the Scarecrow with the Batfamily.
In Man of Steel 2, I want Superman to fight Doomsday and win. The film should open with Clark and Lois’s wedding, and end with Clark telling Bruce that she is pregnant. In a post-credits scene, you see The Joker and Harley Quinn for the first time since Suicide Squad, and The Joker reveals to Harley that he knows how to end the world.
Now, understand that Justice League: The Killing Joke only borrows the subtitle from the iconic Batman graphic novel. It’s a red herring. ‘The Killing Joke’ in this film is basically what sets up ‘Injustice.’ Readers of the comic know what I’m talking about, but – just in case you don’t – let’s talk about it (spoilers for the comic book): The Joker tricks Superman into thinking he’s fighting Doomsday, when he is really fighting his pregnant wife. It’s really messed up, but The Joker breaks Superman. This changes Clark’s world view, and would be a great way to kick off the second event film.
If you’ve made this far into the post, then thanks for reading! I know that what if-posts can be really difficult to read, seeing as they don’t really matter, per se. But this is really how I think they should’ve set up the universe. If anyone out there has any comments to what I’ve written above, then please sound off in the comments below.
As you may have noticed, I wrote in the introduction that this is the final planned DC Saturday post of 2016. The fact of the matter is that – even though I do think the series has gotten a lot better this year – I am not getting the feedback I am looking for.
This is a good time to stop, seeing as there are no more DC Films for the rest of 2016. I will be back in 2017 with DC Saturday, but it may get a new title, look, or scheduled release date. That being said, if WB and DC release a great trailer for, like, Wonder Woman before the end of 2016, then I’ll probably review it – but not as a part of DC Saturday.
– Jeffrey Rex