The Batman is widely acknowledged as one of the better on-screen adaptations of the legendary DC hero, and DC’s other heroes would benefit from the same care and attention. DC has given the world a variety of iconic characters with unique personalities and superpowers, many of whom are instantly recognizable to people around the world. However, for the most part, their appearances in cinema have been few and far between. It’s safe to say that DC’s characters deserve better.
One of the big reasons why The Batman was such a success is that Matt Reeves took the character back to basics. Batman has seen a variety of incarnations in comics and live-action alike, including being reimagined as a vampire and a pirate, but his original characterization was as a detective. The world’s greatest detective, to be precise. The Batman was praised for comic accuracy, and this was likely also what made for such a compelling story. What’s more, without the need to tie itself into an expansive cinematic universe, The Batman had more freedom to focus on its central story.
Other DC Characters Would Benefit From Standalone Movies
For the most part, the Detective Comics characters have not had a great record in live-action adaptations. While DC heroes are iconic and instantly recognizable, they often end up as watered-down versions of their original selves, missing much of what makes them unique. Characters like Green Lantern and Supergirl deserve to shine. Giving them standalone movie appearances and staying true to their comic book origins would really help them do so. They may also benefit from space to be themselves without being too quickly shoehorned into a shared universe.
DC feels reluctant to give most of its core heroes their own movie appearances. Wonder Woman, for example, didn’t receive any cinema appearances until 2017, despite her comic book debut being in 1942. As one of the central figures of DC, and an essential member of the Justice League, this feels like an oversight. The 2017 Wonder Woman movie was an excellent adaptation, still celebrated as one of the best DC movies in recent years, but her characterization suffered from being part of the DCEU. When Wonder Woman appears in other DCEU movies, she feels like an entirely different character, paling in comparison to her original movie appearance. While expansive cinematic universes are very much in vogue at the moment, standalone movies for characters like Wonder Woman would do a lot to help cement who they are. On the other hand, forcing them into stories where they don’t really fit has the opposite effect, muddying the waters and making their characterizations feel a lot less solid.
Why The DCU Needs To Still Be A Bit Silly
Some of the most popular entries into the DCEU canon have been less grimdark and more upbeat in tone. The Suicide Squad is a good example, managing to balance a dark and violent environment with genuinely funny moments. While a lot of people are growing tired of the “quippy” style of comedy that Marvel movies are known for, there’s no reason why DC movies need to incorporate the same style. Birds of Prey and Peacemaker have done a lot to show that DC movies can have their own distinctive style of humor.
The Batman not only gave a fine portrayal of its titular caped crusader, but it stands apart from the version of Batman seen in the DCEU. They’re the same character but very different characterizations, working to complement each other rather than compete. This is likely to continue when a new actor is announced to join the DCU. But with 10 live-action Batman movies already, the dark knight has very much been hogging the spotlight. Perhaps it’s high time for the other DC heroes to have their turn by themselves in the cinemas.
Read Next: Things Are Changing in the DCU