The DCU Is Dead On Arrival

By Zack Zagranis | Published

dcu dead

Warner Bros. is all set to soft launch the DCU later this year with the animated series Creature Commandos before breaking out the big guns next year with Superman: Legacy. Unfortunately, given the current cultural backlash against superhero movies and shared cinematic universes in general, it’s hard to see the upcoming DCU as anything other than a dead man walking. Especially since they have a better option.

Burdened By Set-Up

dcu dead

The problem with a shared universe is that it’s hard to focus on telling a good story when you have to make sure that the story includes setups for future projects. Superman: Legacy should be about just that: repairing Superman’s legacy on the big screen while introducing The Man of Steel to a new generation of moviegoers. And while it might still do those things, James Gunn has already announced a slew of other superheroes set to make their debut in Legacy.

That means that the first entry in the DCU will be too busy setting up the rest of the dead-on-arrival cinematic universe to tell a stand-alone story.

The Bat And The Clown Set A New Standard

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Now compare that to the recent DC hit Joker. The movie didn’t waste time setting up a larger world beyond its two-hour runtime; it just told a complete, self-contained story.

Same thing with The Batman. While it’s unrealistic, obviously, to assume a Batman movie won’t have a sequel, The Batman never acts like it’s expecting one. Instead, it focuses on telling a compelling mystery while showing a young Batman’s growth as a character.

Both films exist in their own bubbles, separate from the rest of DC, and both films made a ton of money, proving that audiences don’t require their superheroes to hang out in order to have a good time.

Kicking A Dead Horse

dcu dead

If James Gunn were smart he would have taken the idea of self-contained stories and run with it. Instead, he insisted on taking the failed Marvel clone that was the DCEU and building the DCU on top of its dead, bloated corpse.

It’s genuinely perplexing that DC thought creating another Marvel-style cinematic universe was a good idea. How did DC watch their two non-DCEU movies make billions at the box office while Marvel was struggling to keep its head above water and think we should go with option B? It’s not like we want to see the DCU fail or anything, but at what point do you leave an idea for dead and stop trying to resuscitate it?

A New MCU Based On The Strength Of The Suicide Squad

james gunn dcu

The overwhelming failure of the DCEU should have been all the encouragement Warner Bros. needed to make smaller, stand-alone comic book movies their primary focus. Instead, they poached James Gunn from Marvel, and off of the strength of his DC movie, Guardians of the Galaxy, But This Time, They Say F***k and Murder a Starfish decided to let him set up his own MCU on the Warner lot. Gunn even went as far as to plan out the DCU years in advance despite the very good chance that the superhero genre will be dead soon.

The Death Of The DCU Is Inevitable

dcu dead

Oh well, maybe the DCU will be a little bit looser than Marvel when it comes to having every little thing tied togeth— Wait, what’s that? James Gunn said that everything will be part of the same universe to the point where the voices on Creature Commandos are the same actors who will portray the characters in live action? Jeez, even Marvel lets sound-a-likes voice characters on What if?

Sorry, DC fans, but the DCU is dead before it even begins.

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