EDITORIAL: A Unique Way DC's Cinematic Universe Could Have Deviated From Marvel's

The subject of DC's new cinematic universe is quite controversial for one reason or another, so if you are one of the people who hasn't shunned DC (yet?), check out my idea for how they could have done something that even Marvel didn't do.

Editorial Opinion

I think most can agree that Marvel changed cinema forever, whether that be for the best or for the worst. Ever since the success of The Avengers, every studio wants to make a cinematic universe, from Transformers to Universal's Monsters. Now, DC has finally gotten into the game, and regardless of if Marvel's success is what pushed DC to finally do this, comic book fans finally get to see Batman and Superman stand next to each other on the big screen.

But it doesn't matter how much or how little DC reveals about their upcoming cinematic universe, there's always three groups of people. The ones that look forward to the "DCCU" as it's dubbed, the ones that remain sceptical, and the ones that outright bash DC and everyone that likes them. That last group of people are partly comprised of fans that were disappointed with DC's past efforts to assemble the Justice League and believe that they haven't learned from their past mistakes.

Now, at this point, it's impossible to say if they've learned. The only film we've seen in their new movie universe is Man Of Steel, and at the time of that movie's production, they most likely had little to no plans of bringing in Batman and countless other Justice League members in the film's sequel. Avengers had not even been released back when this movie was filming for its original December 2012 release date, and everyone at DC expected The Dark Knight Rises to triumph over The Avengers in summer 2012.

Again, we can't be certain that this is what made DC to decide to introduce the Justice League in the sequel to Man Of Steel, but The Avengers' success no doubt caught their attention, and I personally believe that gave DC gained confidence in doing a cinematic universe. Before The Avengers was released, most other films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe made a pretty average amount of money for a summer blockbuster.

Now that DC is trying to make their own cinematic universe, it's safe to say that Marvel influenced them at least a little bit. How do we know this? Well, as we can see from DC's upcoming film slate, each Justice League member is getting their own solo movie, something that Marvel has also done. And we know that DC is taking inspiration from Marvel here because when DC last tried to make a Justice League movie, there were no plans for solo movies. I'm of course talking about George Miller's planned Justice League film which was canned shortly before filming was set to begin.

I'm not siding against one studio or another, but what I am saying is that, even if it's not in a significant way, Marvel's success has seemed to influence everyone in Hollywood, including DC. Nothing about DC's upcoming film slate is bad, and I feel that they will of course differentiate themselves from Marvel in many ways, and we know for a fact already that one way in which they'll be different is that they'll have a more serious tone, while Marvel focuses on making their movies fun and silly.

These are both really different concepts, and not one is better than the other. Take for example, Guardians Of The Galaxy and The Dark Knight, two films about superheroes from two different studios that could not be any more different. Both of these movies are amazing in their own way, and not one of these two are good for the same reason as the other.

But, hypothetically, what if DC wanted to be even MORE different. What can DC do with their cinematic universe to truly take it in a separate route? Well, I came up with an idea that I think might work. What if DC essentially made one to two Justice League films a year? Now, before you start rage-commenting, hear me out.


Now, this is all a What If scenario, as there is a large chance this won't happen, but who knows? Maybe DC is secretly doing something along these lines. And this idea can work out well given their current film slate. My idea would actually work quite well with their line-up of films, which, in case you forgot, are in the following order (including release year):

2016: Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice

2016: Suicide Squad 

2017: Wonder Woman 

2017: Justice League Part One 

2018: The Flash 

2018: Aquaman

2019: Shazam 

2019: Justice League Part Two 

2020: Cyborg 

2020: Green Lantern


Usually when a film sets a release date many years in advance, the release date shifts slightly, whether that be by a year, or by a week or two. But even if a couple release dates are changed, I think that the schedule will still look like this, or at least look very similar to this. It doesn't matter if a film or two is changed though, as this is just a general idea that will still work regardless of exactly what film is released at a certain time.

So, my plan, in short, would be for the members of the Justice League to appear in each character's solo movies. One thing I found that people criticize Marvel for is the fact that other members of the Avengers should be present in another member's solo movie if the character is needed. For example, why isn't S.H.I.E.L.D. and Captain America brought in to help Iron Man save the president in Iron Man 3? Well, this would be an interesting way for DC to connect their films in a way even Marvel failed to do.

Now, let's go more in-depth. Let's start with every film leading up to Justice League in 2017. Man Of Steel is the film that started things by introducing this new world, but that movie just focused on Superman entering this world full of superheroes. He had the spotlight in Man Of Steel, and the point of Batman v Superman is to show that he's not the only one with great powers. This is going to be the movie that introduces more people with extraordinary abilities, such as Aquaman and The Flash, among others.

Suicide Squad simply expands on the concept of there being other people with superhuman powers out there. And you can say that Task Force X is comprised of just regular criminals, but that's not true. Take Killer Croc for example. It's unreasonable to say that he's the first villain to gain powers. He's one of many. Even before Clark Kent fought General Zod and saved Metropolis, heroes such as Batman rid the streets of regular criminals such as The Joker, as well as more gifted criminals such as Killer Croc.

And if Batman existed before Superman, it's safe to say that he wasn't the only one. Maybe The Flash was out there too. If you've seen the first season of the CW's The Flash, you'd know that he wasn't noticed by the public for quite some time after Barry Allen gained his powers. He was this blur that ran around and rescued people, and maybe this same thing happened in the film universe. Sure, Superman was the first superhero with godlike powers to gain the attention of the world, but heroes like Batman and The Flash were out there too, battling enemies on a lower scale than General Zod.

The way I took Man Of Steel was that Clark was now entering this world full of the strange and impossible, and Batman v Superman, being the spiritual sequel to Man Of Steel, is showing Clark that he's truly not alone. He's meeting new enemies and allies, and this is the movie that shows him that he was not the first person on Earth with superhuman abilities, he was just the first to get public attention.

Batman's point of view is that he's beginning to see stranger things, and he must deal with it before it gets out of hand. As I mentioned previously, at this point, Batman probably encountered bizarre enemies with even more bizarre abilities, and maybe he's well aware of heroes such as The Flash when even the public doesn’t know. Now that he's seen an alien with indestructible skin and the ability to fly, he's realizing that the world is changing, and that he must prevent things from getting worse.

By the end of Batman v Superman, the two heroes will form a truce, and they will recruit other heroes to form an alliance to protect the world from dangerous threats. But what event causes them to come to this agreement? I would think it's a powerful enemy that does a significant amount of damage. And that enemy will be Doomsday, who's been long rumored to appear in the film.

Now that the Justice League is formed, the team sets out to bring peace to Earth. With Suicide Squad, considering that the team is run by the government, the Justice League is unaware of their existence. This allows them to complete missions for the government in secrecy. At this point, the Justice League are either not known to the world or they are not trusted.

For Wonder Woman’s solo movie, I'd imagine the team being of importance seeing as how they just assembled at this point in the DC Cinematic Universe. The film would open with her and the rest of the team on a mission, before she leaves the team temporarily to deal with a crisis from her own world. The Justice League would allow her to leave and deal with it alone, until the crisis escalated to the point where the team must come together for the climax of the film, which would establish them as a functional team, setting up the Justice League film later that year.

Then, in Justice League Part One, a larger enemy threatens Earth, and this is the first time we see the Justice League work together for an entire film to stop a villain. By the time the film closes, we see the villain defeated, and the team returns to stop other threats. With every character's solo film following Justice League, the film would largely focus on that solo character, with the Justice League playing a part in the film in some form. Whether that be in a larger way or a small, almost insignificant way, their presence will be known. This just furthers the overall Justice League plot.


Let's look at one animated film that DC released; Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox. I watched this film recently and this is what gave me this idea. This animated film is under the Justice League name, but it focuses mainly on The Flash. What if the plot for The Flashpoint Paradox was the plot for The Flash's solo movie? We see the Justice League together for the first part of the movie, before we get an introduction to Reverse-Flash.

Now that he's introduced, this will kick-off the rest of the movie, in which The Flash gets sent to an alternate timeline and must assemble the alternate Justice League members to defeat Reverse-Flash and send The Flash back to his timeline. We would see the Justice League play a part in the film, but it still focuses primarily on The Flash as he tries to get back to his world.

I won't give my thoughts on every solo movie, but let's just say this trend continues up until Justice League Part Two. Given the "Part Two," I think this will be a half-continuation from the first, in that the plot continues on where it last left off, but it's not set immediately after. That way, we can see the team focus on other issues until the villain from the first returns with bigger plans. What do I have planned here?

I think for the first part, we should see Brainiac, with the end of the movie leading to Darkseid being summoned, where he'll be the villain for the second movie and use Brainiac as his pawn. However, the exact plot of these movies aren't important yet. Regardless of who the villains are for either of these movies, this idea works, and that's what I like about it. This isn't me sitting here and typing up a detailed plot synopsis of every film in the DC Cinematic Universe. This is just me giving you a rough idea of how I think these films should connect, and how DC can introduce a new concept that would be quite interesting to see.

After Justice League Part Two, DC can go literally anywhere. With this idea there's an endless supply of stories. We can see iconic characters like Batman, Superman, and The Flash on screen twice a year, and since they're only appearing in other characters' solo movies briefly, the actors could film a year's worth of footage all at once. We're not going to see these characters be main cast members in everyone's solo films, but we would have this sense of connection where the team has this big presence that can be seen in every film.

But that's just what I would like to see. Do I think this will happen? Well, no, not exactly, but it's reasonable that DC will have characters crossover frequently, considering Ben Affleck was reportedly spotted on the set of Suicide Squad not too long ago. So who knows, maybe it's possible that something like this might happen. It's not like we'd see a new Justice League movie every year, we'd just see brief moments in each film that acknowledges their presence. It may not seem big, but it helps establish a close connection that Marvel doesn't do too much of.

In the end though, it doesn't really matter. I'm sure that DC has a plan, and I for one am looking forward to seeing what they have in store for some of our favorite superheroes. What do you expect DC to do with their cinematic universe? Leave a comment below, and drop a like if you enjoyed my article.
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