After DCCU’s Dawn, What’s Next?1 of 12We think we can safely say this - many people had a very strong reaction to Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.
Now we can also safely say that critics were largely unimpressed, but quantifying how comic book fans are embracing the film is more difficult to measure. Any comic book social media site will demonstrate wildly disparate opinions, from fans who side with the consensus of the critics to fans who think BvS is the bee’s knees.
Why the film is so divisive is a subject we can (and just may) explore at length, but one of the reasons is certainly because while Man of Steel was more of a preface to a shared DC Comic Cinematic Universe, BvS is the true beginning ... the tone-setter, a prospect that both excites and horrifies fans respectively in copious measures.
Now we know a lot of some of our readers still haven’t seen it yet, but we figured a week into release was sufficient time to let some things sink in and take a completely, new, fresh look at the Top 10, lingering, new questions about the future of the DCCU.
How Much Does Lex Know About Earth’s Meta-Human Population?2 of 12If Lex Luthor (controversially) knows who Wonder Woman, the Flash, Cyborg and Aquaman are, what about el Diablo, Killer Croc, the Enchantress and the other possible meta-human characters of Suicide Squad, as opposed to just the highly trained/highly specialized and just plan crazy operatives like Deadshot, Boomerang, Harley Quinn and the Joker?
Did those meta-humans slip under Luthor’s notice, or did he simply discount them knowing they were criminals already locked up in prison? Or do they become meta-human after the events of BvS?
WTF Was up with the 'Knightmare"?3 of 12Warner Bros. is getting a lot of flack from fans and critics in seemingly inserting what was a Marvel-like post-credits teaser into the middle of BvS rather than after it with that “Knightmare” sequence, but we’re assuming a teaser is exactly what it was, and regarding it as such.
Was it weird? Certainly. Was it confusing? Definitely… intentionally so, we suspect. But we’re reserving judgment as to exactly what it was, what it means and how it happened for later films.
Our best guess, the Flash and Cyborg combining Barry’s speed and a Boom Tube (the “New 52” /Mother Box aspect of Cyborg’s origin seems to have carried over) to somehow implant something in Bruce’s head. We know they warn him that Bruce was right about “him” all along (the name Superman is never actually uttered), and then they (they being the “we” that contacted him) think they went too far back in the past, and that “Lois is the key,” presumably meaning she is Superman’s tether to humanity.
But unanswered is the exact relationship between Bruce’s more complete vision of a dystopian future where Superman rules with an iron fist (and heat vision) because he believes Batman took Lois from him, and the enigmatic warning from who appears to be the Flash.
All of which of course leads to the question…
What Prevents the "Knightmare" From Coming True?4 of 12Zack Snyder has been roundly criticized for the amount of “destruction porn” in Man of Steel and took measures to guard against similar criticism for the bombastic third act of BvS. So we don’t think Batman’s "Knightmare" in which humanity is essentially laid to waste will actually come to pass. Justice League Part 1 will seemingly be about how Batman, Wonder Woman, the Flash, Cyborg and Aquaman prevent that from occurring, or did the third act of BvS do that already?
Being that Superman is currently “dead” (but not really) that leaves the actual structure of Justice League Part 1 a complete mystery. Is it about their formation in his absence? Does Darkseid come and and Superman’s grave, a la the “New 52”’s Earth 2, and will the whole “Lois in the key” play out before or after his resurrection? Could this be combining elements of Earth 2 in which Superman is resurrected as Darkseid’s enforcer and Injustice: Gods Among Us where Superman conquers the world after the death of Lois Lane – at the hands of the Joker, no less?
The sequence certainly raises more questions than provides answers, but in this world of big screen shared universes, this sort of thing is becoming more and more inevitable.
When Will the Green Lantern Corps Debut?5 of 12Now most of us know Hal Jordan and/or any Green Lantern or potential Green Lantern are absent from BvS. Warner Bros. has gone so far as to say they won’t be a presence in next November’s Justice League Part 1 either. So when will they first appear?
Our best guess is Justice League Part 2. Two-part epics have certain structures, and the same way Newsarama is convinced the Guardians of the Galaxy will act as the cavalry to tip the balance of power in Avengers: Infinity War Part 2, we suspect a similar dynamic to play out in Justice League Part 2. When things look bleak in for the League in their battle with Darkseid, help arrives from the stars in the form of the Corps, or at least a ring and the coronation of the first Earthbound Green Lantern.
Which of course leads to the next question…
Brightest Day for Which Green Lantern?6 of 12Again, the question is, will Green Lantern be introduced as the full-on Corps, leading into their 2020 film, or will a specific, solo Green Lantern debut first, leading into the Corps film, and if so, who will it be?
We’ve already gotten into details on one theory, but DC’s Rebirth has enough meat on the bone to fuel theories in several directions. Jessica Cruz and Simon Baz will serve as both stars of the eponymous Green Lanterns series and as Justice League members, but Hal Jordan will also headline a title, and all of the other well-known Green Lanterns will seemingly have a presence.
Hal is certainly the iconic choice, and again we’ve detailed our reasoning on why Jessica, Simon or John make better demographic sense for the DCCU. If you asked us at this moment, we’d rank their likelihood in this order – Jessica, Hal, John, Simon, Guy and Kyle. But again, that’s assuming one and not all of them make the scene first.
Will We Get BATMAN v JOKER?7 of 12It is hard to believe Warner Bros. cast Jared Leto as the Joker to be “very special guest star” in Suicide Squad, and even harder to believe they’re leaving the story about how he apparently killed a Robin to background flavor.
While we haven’t heard much in the way of follow-up to those rumors of a Ben Affleck directed and co-written-with-Geoff Johns solo Batman movie, a standalone Batman film makes way too much sense to dismiss.
Despite the critical drubbing, fans do seem to be responding fairly positively to Affleck as Batman (and Jeremy Irons as Alfred) and we don’t believe J.K. Simmons was cast as Jim Gordon just for a small Perry White-like role in Justice League either.
Warner Bros. revisiting the dynamic that fueled their most successful DC adaptation to date is a no-brainer if there ever was one, particularly if it’s something of an adaption of “A Death in the Family” and/or The Killing Joke, but the question is, when? Most key dates for the next four years are already reserved by Disney/Marvel, 20th Century Fox and Warner Bros. themselves and Affleck will be busy with the Justice Leagues.
2021 seems a looong ways away, particularly considering Affleck is no longer a 30-something.
Who Did Jenna Malone Play?8 of 12And speaking of a solo Batman film, there is still that business of who Jenna Malone reportedly was cast as but apparently edited out of BvS. There was some speculation it might be a Robin-type character -- a protégé of Batman, perhaps -- but if Warner Bros. eventually does want to go full-of Joker by adapting “A Death in the Family” or The Killing Joke, could Barbara Gordon/Batgirl/Oracle be a possibility?
Of course, Snyder said himself that Malone is “definitely not Robin or Batgirl,” but he didn’t discount Barbara Gordon herself or that Oracle identity.
Batman does do a fair amount of digital espionage in the film; could Malone have done a cameo of a wheelchair-bound Oracle, assisting Batman and Alfred in tracking down the ‘White Portuguese’ and later hacking into Luthor’s computer?
Will SUICIDE SQUAD & WONDER WOMAN Turn the Tide?9 of 12There is some early evidence to suggest BvS is having a better first week(days) than anticipated, but its upcoming second weekend will paint a clearer picture. But in the same way fans and the media now anticipate Marvel Studios’ first real clunker before every new film, the flipside of that is that Warner Bros. has their next two films, August’s Suicide Squad and next June’s Wonder Woman to rehab the DCCU brand, assuming that’s necessary.
David Ayer’s Suicide Squad looks to be a completely different animal than BvS, and Wonder Woman’s debut is perhaps the consensus’s best thing BvS has going.
Now that’s not going to change the fact that unless something extraordinary happens, Zack Snyder is directing Justice League despite having a very vocal, very passionate opposite-of-a-fan base. But the tide of public opinion can certainly be in a different place next November than it was this past weekend.
If Wonder Woman can garner a Winter Soldier-type reception and Suicide Squad can just be an Ant-Man (if not a Guardians of the Galaxy), Warner Bros.’s grand experiment will be on a lot safer ground 18 months from now.
Okay, So Who IS the DCCU Superman Anyway?10 of 12This may be the crux of why many comic book fans have issues with the current movie version of Superman. We can answer that he isn’t the morally-solidified, confident, unshakable, “positive” hero so many people associate with Superman, particularly from their youth.
Since Crisis On Infinite Earths and later “Death of Superman,” DC Comics has themselves struggled with building conflict and dramatic uncertainty around who was essentially an unflappable, undefeatable god. Man of Steel and Dawn of Justice instead present a reflection of DC’s more contemporary take on the character – a character who isn’t (yet) the happiest guy in town, who hasn’t quite figured out his place in the world and who humanity hasn’t yet accepted with open, unquestioning arms.
Henry Cavill’s Superman seems to be a Superman in the middle of his origin story, again reflecting modern storytelling sensibilities. Whereas in the past superhero origin stories were told from beginning to end in sometimes 10, 14 or 22 pages, over the last couple of decades those stories have been retold over 6 and 12-issue limited series. So as to the question of who is the DCCU Superman, the answer seems to be an unfinished product - a character who hasn’t yet arrived at being the Superman so many remember so fondly.
Are The New Gods the Secret McGuffin to the Whole DCCU?11 of 12Since the second Suicide Squad trailer, we’ve kind of wondered exactly what threat they’ll be facing. There’s what looks to be a downed plane that was melted through in the middle of a street (the threat comes from above?), some undistinguishable character slicing open a subway car, and enough light shows and pyrotechnics to suggest advanced technology comes into play.
Given the numerous footprints that the Fourth World had in BvS (and the one so-far released cut scene), and some other obscure clues, could someone or something from New Gods canon also be the main antagonist and thereby catalyst for the formation of Task Force X, a.k.a. the Suicide Squad?
Expanding upon that, could the extraterrestrial threats from Apokolips be the unifying lynchpin of the DC Comics Cinematic Universe in the same way the extraterrestrial Infinity Stones are the lynchpin of the Marvel Cinematic Universe?
That’s a bigger question than we have the space for in this countdown, so we decided to explore that possibility in much greater depth right here.
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