DC is Striking Out in a New Direction


Claudette Barius

Photographer Selects; Cassandra Cain-ELLA JAY BASCO; Dinah Lance/Black Canary-JURNEE SMOLLETT-BELL; Harley Quinn-MARGOT ROBBIE; Helena Bertinelli/Huntress-MARY ELIZABETH WINSTEAD; Renee Montoya-ROSIE PEREZ

Logan Busbee, Co-Editor In Chief

Superhero movies are one of the biggest movie genres today, with new movies being released almost monthly at this point. The major player in this genre is Marvel, with all of their movies being connected and allowing viewers to witness one large story play out over multiple movies. In an effort to catch up to Marvel, DC tried to create a cinematic universe from nothing in Batman v Superman, instead of building up to it, and it failed miserably. But after that failure DC began to focus on making more unique stories that Marvel couldn’t in their shared universe. Now we see that DC’s correction course is focusing on creating standalone stories. 

When the DC Extended Universe first started, the films were all being made by director Zack Snyder. He supervised three movies: Man of Steel, Batman v Superman, and Justice League. These movies were critically panned citing the dark and edgy stories, and weren’t as financially successful as DC had hoped. Justice League worst in these regards, which was the final nail in the coffin for DC, and the way they went about movies changed. 

The first movie DC released after Justice League was Aquaman, which showed the major change in tone. Aquaman was more focused on comedy and over the top action, which clearly paid off, seeing as it was the most critically acclaimed and financially successful DCEU movie. Shazam! followed the comedic trend set by the previous film making it popular, which can be seen in our review of it as well. 

However, DC has also been focusing on making more mature movies in a way a connected universe wouldn’t be able to. Joker was DC’s first foray into this style, which immensely paid off, earning 11 Oscar nominations. It was a look into a more realistic version of the Joker, and while there was some controversy around it, it was a great success critically and financially. 

Birds of Prey is the newest DC movie, and follows in the more mature audience, but this time with a comedic aspect. The movie follows Harley Quinn after her break up with the Joker, and is similar to Deadpool in its blend of superhero action and comedy. While it’s not the best movie, it’s a fun time, and shows that DC isn’t afraid to test out new ideas. 

Looking to the future of DC, it’s clear that movies are being made to stand on their own first, rather than needing to be tied together. There are some big name movies on the horizon, like Wonder Woman 1984 and The Batman, but some strange movies are also being planned, like New Gods and Green Lantern Corps. Seeing the success of DC’s new approach to movies, it’s clear that unique standalone superhero stories still have their places.