Batman And Superman Should Have Their Own Entire Movie Universes

By Jacob VanGundy | Published

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The DCEU has come to a close and later this year Creature Commandos will kick off the new DCU followed by Superman next year. While there’s something to be said for a shared universe, iconic characters like Superman and Batman don’t need a shared universe to thrive. In fact, characters with such rich histories, deep rogue galleries, and strong supporting casts would be better off in their own stand-alone universes. 

Batman And Superman Are Too Big For A Shared Universe

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Batman and Superman are undeniably two of the most iconic superheroes in all of popular culture–their iconography, core themes, and origin stories are burned into the public consciousness. While other comic book heroes benefit from the structure of an interconnected universe to introduce audiences to new characters, that isn’t necessary for DC’s biggest heroes. Instead, the shared universe structure tends to water the characters down and dilute what made them so iconic in the first place. 

They Did It Before, Why Not Now?

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The best evidence that Batman and Superman in particular don’t need a shared universe to lean on is basic film history–both characters have had their own stand-alone franchises in the past which were incredibly successful. The Christopher Reeve Superman movies were huge in the 70s and 80s before superhero movies were a staple genre. Batman has an even bigger silver screen imprint, with two successful Batman movie franchises between the Batman movies of the 80s and 90s and then the Dark Knight trilogy. 

The Batman

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The Batman and its upcoming sequel seek to repeat this success, making compelling character-driven Batman movies without setting up a larger DC universe. Superman should follow suit, if not literally at least figuratively focusing on developing Metropolis and Superman himself rather than attempting to set up the DCU. DC should treat their most popular characters like independent properties and focus on exploring what makes them interesting rather than trying to connect them to a massive universe. 

The DCU Is Not As Exciting As The MCU

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The simple truth is that while Marvel has established its universe as bigger than any individual character, with the possible exception of Spider-Man, very few fans are excited about DC as a brand or a universe. However, Superman and Batman are huge names with multiple successful films, animated adaptations, live-action TV shows, and merchandise creating a reputation that overshadows the rest of DC.

Engaging Supporting Casts

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Another advantage Batman and Superman have over some lesser-known heroes is that they have their own extended casts to build up around them and develop. Batman has the Bat family–a whole host of superheroes directly tied to him that can be developed–while Superman has his own super spinoffs like Supergirl and Superboy, along with great supporting characters like Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen that wouldn’t be able to shine in a larger DCU. These side characters, as well as both heroes’ extensive list of villains, are an important part of what makes them work, and writing them off to introduce more unrelated DC characters is a mistake.