People tend to view the DC Extended Universe as Marvel’s kid brother. It doesn’t matter what it does – people will always compare it to Marvel movies. It’s a fair comparison, too. After all, Marvel is the only shared-universe comic book series out there. You can’t really compare the DCEU to anything else that’s been made.
In this comparison, the DCEU comes in a distant second. Marvel has been building their world for a decade, and DC has only been doing it for a few years. Still, there are several things that fans get wrong when it comes to the DC Extended Universe.
The DCEU isn’t as bad as many people claim. There were a couple duds in there, but Marvel isn’t immune to sub-par movies either. The more time we give DC, the more it will work out its kinks and become a successful franchise. For every moment fans dislike, there are several that are worth celebrating.
Marvel fans will always think DC films aren’t as good. They came out after Marvel, so people will always claim they’re playing catch-up. We’re here to tell you that this criticism might not always be warranted.
Here are 15 Things Everyone Gets Wrong About The DCEU.
15. The DCEU is Rushed
One of the biggest critiques facing the DCEU is that WB is rushing the franchise. It’s a popular opinion, but that doesn’t mean it’s entirely correct.
One of the only reasons this opinion exists is because of the comparison to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Marvel decided to develop its characters individually before bringing them all together, but that doesn’t mean it’s the only way to do it.
The Justice League movie makes sense where it is in DC’s line-up. Aquaman, The Flash, and Cyborg will need their own movies – which are coming – but that doesn’t mean the DCEU needs to copy the MCU format to be successful. This brings us to our next point of contention.
14. They’re Copying Marvel
It’s easy to understand why someone would think that the DCEU is copying the MCU. Marvel is crushing it with its film franchises, and Warner Bros. wanted a taste of the action. The fact is, though, that DC is widely considered an innovator when it comes to comic book characters. In many ways, fans have a better argument that Marvel borrowed some characters and themes from DC.
What Marvel did with its cinematic story is proof that audiences could handle a massive world draped across multiple films. Marvel was extremely ambitious with its films, but the idea of intertwined superhero stories have been in comic books all along. DC is starting to bring them to the big screen alongside Marvel, but all you have to do is watch a DC movie to realize that the tone is completely different.
13. Wonder Woman Is the Only Good One
Wonder Woman certainly helped to instill more confidence in DC fans, but that doesn’t mean it’s the only good DCEU movie in existence. Batman v Superman was too long, with an admittedly ridiculous reason for Batman to give up his beef with Superman, but it served its purpose. Remember, not all Marvel movies were hits with the fans (looking at you early Thor movies).
Man of Steel wasn’t a critical success, but fans enjoyed it for the most part. It has a 75% fan score on Rotten Tomatoes, and Suicide Squad has a 60%. These aren’t blockbuster numbers, but there’s a significant disconnect from what fans and critics think when it comes to the DCEU. Justice League has a similar discrepancy, with a 40% critic score and 77% audience score.
12. Affleck’s Batman Stinks
One of the complaints of DC’s extended universe involves the centerpiece of the franchise: Batman. Many audiences were thrilled with the dark portrayal of Christian Bale’s iteration of the character, fueled partly by Heath Ledger’s fantastic Joker.
Most movie fans are taking this bias with them to the theater and expecting Ben Affleck to give his best Christian Bale impression. Well, that’s not what we got, but that’s a good thing! Affleck is bringing Batman into the next generation of DC movies.
Affleck’s Batman is the closest comic book Batman we’ve seen, even down to the suit. His muscles threaten to burst through his suit, and he even embodies Bruce Wayne’s character better than we’ve seen in the past.
11. Dawn of Justice Was Terrible
Admittedly, Dawn of Justice wasn’t the best movie we’ve ever seen. There were some plot holes, and it went on far too long. Audiences were left waiting for Batman and Superman to finally fight, get over their differences and face a greater threat. It took too long to get there, which was the film’s major flaw.
Apart from that, Dawn of Justice was essential for the world-building of the franchise. We got to see Wonder Woman for the first time, as well as hinting at the other heroes we saw in Justice League and beyond. Dawn of Justice brought the comic book Batman to life in a way that Christopher Nolan’s movies never did. In a way, it showed us the best representation of Batman and Superman that audiences have ever seen.
10. They’re All Box Office Flops
Even if you didn’t like some of the DC Extended Universe movies, it’s impossible to say that they weren’t successful. Because critics didn’t like movies in the series, such as Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad, people tend to think they didn’t make money.
On the contrary, they made tons of money. Justice League made the least amount of money in the series, and it still broke $200 million domestically. Wonder Woman made over $400 million and the aforementioned Suicide Squad and Dawn of ?Justice combined made almost $700 million.
Even if you don’t like the direction that these movies are going, you can’t deny the fact that they’re profitable. Studios like profits more than anything, so expect the DCEU to keep chugging along, regardless of reviews.
9. Nobody Can Match Heath Ledger’s Joker
Heath Ledger’s Joker was amazing. It will go down in history as one of the best villains to ever grace the big screen. Unfortunately, Heath Ledger’s passing meant that we’d never see this iteration of the character again.
Although everyone was disappointed at how little we saw of Jared Leto’s Joker in Suicide Squad, some act as though he can’t hold a candle to Heath Ledger’s version. In reality, Jared Leto’s character is superior in a few ways.
First and foremost, he’s a more sustainable villain. This Joker can appear through a variety of films, as Heath Ledger’s character seemed to have an expiration date. This Joker is also far more clever – able to outsmart some of the wisest characters in the DCU. This makes him a far more formidable villain.
8. Superman is Too Powerful to Be Interesting
Casual superhero fans will sometimes argue that Superman is too powerful to be interesting. Unless he’s fighting someone with kryptonite, there isn’t much doubt that Superman is going to win. It’s hard to make a character interesting when he can basically do anything he wants.
Well, Zack Snyder and the DCEU made the decision to exploit Superman’s weakness early-on, and have presented cosmic foes that can stand up to Superman so he’s not running through all of the villains. Superman is powerful, yes, but he’s not completely invincible.
Superman is defined by not being human, but he was raised as a human after all. He still has the internal conflict associated with being human, which is something that these movies have illustrated well. It’s not all about saving the day – he has to decide what he thinks is right, as we see in Dawn of Justice.
7. Man of Steel Was Terrible
The DC Extended Universe was kicked-off in 2013 with the release of Man of Steel. This movie set the stage for the DCEU, but critics didn’t love the representation of Superman. It has only a 55% on Rotten Tomatoes, but fans seemed to have a little more forgiveness when it came to this movie.
The fan score on RT is 75%, meaning most of the fans who responded actually liked this movie. It gave us a Superman origin story that makes sense, as so many of them failed to do. Clark Kent is a nomad, trying to hide his powers by moving around any time he does something heroic.
6. The Movies Are Too Dark
While DC has focused on making dark, gritty portrayals of superheroes, many fans compare then to their lighthearted Marvel counterparts. Most will even say that DC films are too dark and take themselves too seriously.
There’s some logic behind this, but DC doesn’t want to become Marvel’s kid brother in the movie space. WB is doing something different with their movies, and that should be celebrated. It isn’t copying Marvel’s format or the tone of the MCU movies.
That said, the DC Extended Universe is lightening up with recent releases. Suicide Squad tried to lift the mood, and Justice League did the same. Many fans thought that the jokes in Suicide Squad were forced, but it shows DC’s willingness to lighten the mood within their dark, gritty space.
5. It’s Not Even Called DCEU
The “DC Extended Universe” name makes sense, especially when considering the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Fans have adopted it as the unofficial name of the series, but it’s just that: unofficial.
Warner Bros. doesn’t use the DCEU name internally. In fact, they don’t have any official name for the franchise – which makes the DCEU name as good as any. One reporter tracked down the origin of the “DC Extended Universe,” and it turns out it was originally created in 2015. The first person to use the name was Entertainment Weekly writer Keith Staskiewicz while writing about the release of Dawn of Justice. Since then, fans took it and ran with it, making it the popular way to refer to the franchise.
4. They Wasted Superman’s Death
When Superman originally died at the end of Dawn of Justice, some fans thought it was too easy. Many expected him to only be pretending, but we found out otherwise in Justice League. Superman had, in fact, sacrificed himself to save the city.
Still, some critics thought that the death of Superman was wasted in this movie. His death came far too early, and no one believed he’d stay dead. Superman coming back to life in Justice League was the most predictable element in any superhero movie.
Still, Justice League did it right. They used story elements to bring Superman back, and it didn’t feel like a cop-out when they did it. His death might have had more impact down the line, but there always would have been a feeling that he’d come back to life. It worked here as well as it ever would.
3. Zack Snyder is to Blame for Dawn of Justice
Zack Snyder gets a lot of the blame for the disappointment of the DC Extended Universe. The tone and pacing of the films garner fair criticism, but there’s one thing you can’t blame him for: the creation of Dawn of Justice.
Dawn of Justice was always in the cards. Warner Bros. were considering it when Christian Bale was still playing Batman. They put it on the back-burner, but at some point, Batman was always going to face Superman.
Batman’s inclusion was never up to Snyder. The studio was disappointed with the reception of Man of Steel and decided they need to make Batman the focal character of their universe. Who knows how the series would have unfolded if Snyder had his way, but it’s not fair to lay the failure of Dawn of Justice at Snyder’s feet.
2. Snyder is Done With the DCEU
Since fans seem to put the disappointment of some of the DC movies on Zack Snyder’s shoulders, they rejoiced that he is no longer directing any more DCEU movies. Whether the blame is fair or not, it’s there, so moving on from Snyder was good news for many DC fans.
Not so fast, though. Snyder is still going to be part of the DCEU going forward. He’s still on as a producer for Wonder Woman 2 and Aquaman, and may be involved in more movies going forward.
DC’s shared universe was always part of Snyder’s plans. While he can be blamed for some of the failures, much of the disappointment came in the form of studio intervention rather than Snyder’s vision. Hopefully, he’ll still be involved in some way since he was the driving force behind the series in the first place.
1. WB Keeps Churning Them Out
Another misconception is that Warner Bros. keeps churning the movies out to get more and more money. It may seem the studio is prioritizing profits over substance, but that just isn’t true.
Warner Bros. wants the DCEU to succeed, and despite popular opinion, the studio is taking its time making these movies. There are plans for the next two years of development, and we know about a handful of upcoming releases. The DCEU is following about the same schedule as the MCU, and nobody is accusing Marvel of rushing to make movies.
We can’t blame the DCEU for making movies. The DC Extended Universe is still getting there, and is establishing itself with each release. We look forward to seeing what they DCEU has in store for us next.
What else do people get wrong about the DCEU? Let us know in the comments!
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