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Warners Screwed Batman (And Thus, Their Movie Universe)

| October 21, 2014 | 1 Comment

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It’s a terrible thing when people who get paid gobs of money to make smart decisions get it extremely wrong.

DC’s been getting it wrong for decades.

Multiple Crises and tinkering with the history of their universe, culminating in the New 52 where the entire slate was wiped clean–and even then, all the pieces weren’t put in place. To me, that says there isn’t one person with a singular, long-term vision. DC, as an entire universe, has lurched hither and yon, continually changing its vision and not staying any course. While the New 52 raised all ships, it did so because someone finally had the chutzpah to say “fuck it”, and start anew. That got lots of people interested to see what was going on. It worked, but it shouldn’t have had to been necessary.

Marvel knows that it needs to do soft adjustments of their universe from time to time. Professor X can’t have lost his legs during Korea, and Iron Man couldn’t have been created during that same timeframe. That ages the characters a whole lot in the eyes of today’s readers. So, while adjustments are made in order to make the characters more relevant in time to contemporary readers, there isn’t wholesale change going on. There’s a singular vision, and that vision is followed with little deviation. It’s about longevity.

The same thing can be said about the Marvel Cinematic Universe. There’s a singular vision, and the movies are enjoying unprecedented success. Fox and Sony, as movie studios, wish they could do what Marvel is doing. A singular vision works, as long as that visionary knows what they want and how to implement it.

Where is that singular vision for DC?

Their slate is clean, with a single movie making up its shared universe so far: Man of Steel. We have the debut of Superman, and then we have two more movies slated to have Superman in it: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, and then Justice League. There isn’t another standalone movie for Superman on the schedule at the moment, although there should be. But that’s okay. Superman has had his standalone movie. He’s starting the shared universe, which he should be as the world’s first really true superhero.

Now, there are standalone movies for Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Green Lantern, The Flash, and Shazam. Most of these characters will either have a cameo in Batman v Superman, or will have their own place in Justice League.

Where’s Batman’s standalone film?

I understand that the Chris Nolan Batman films are still extremely fresh in people’s minds. I understand some people will be confused by the fact that there’s going to be an entirely different tone to this new “Batman” movie. However, they’re doing it wrong by having an older Batman under the cowl for the start of their new universe.

Where do you go with having an older Batman? Let’s say that the new movie does monster business. Let’s say it does a billion dollars. Where does Ben Affleck go after that? Let’s say he’s in Justice League. He’s not getting any younger, and having an older Batman at the outset puts the other characters into a weird state, as well.

If Batman is strong enough to carry his own movie (and there’s no denying that he is–a new set of movies can be done showing him to be an actual detective instead of detective-lite), then why is he older in this upcoming film? With this being the “dawn” of the Justice League, you can’t de-age him for the next movie. It shows piss poor planning on someone’s part.

You can’t kill Bruce Wayne in the film, because it doesn’t reflect the comics. You can’t retire him permanently, because that isn’t reflected in the comics. De-aging him is stupid, and no one in a position like that wants to admit they’re stupid and made a huge blunder.

I didn’t think it was a good idea when I first heard about the older Superman, and I think it’s a worse idea now.

Batman has a solo movie that’s announced (meaning they’re going to do it), but it doesn’t have a date. How do you reconcile an older Batman with a new shared universe? Not saying that he has to be young, but old and grizzled isn’t going to go over too well for a standalone movie. Where or how it fits in the timeline is anyone’s guess.

Please follow this train of logic:

Dawn of Justice is the second movie in the shared universe. It’s the precursor to the Justice League movie. We have an older Batman here.

We then have the Suicide Squad in 2016 (I don’t know if it will be part of the universe, but it should be), Wonder Woman in 2017, and then Justice League. We should have an older Batman here. Then in 2018 we have The Flash, Aquaman, and then in 2019, Shazam and Justice League 2. 2020 brings us Cyborg and Green Lantern. Somewhere in there is another standalone Superman movie and a standalone Batman movie.

For this universe, as long as Batman is Bruce Wayne, Batman will forever be old. Different actors can portray him, but he’s always going to be about the same age or older.

Warners screwed Batman, and they’re going to pay for it in the long run of their shared universe.

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About the Author ()

Steven is an editor/writer with such credits as Fallen Justice, the award nominated The Standard, and Bullet Time under his belt, as well as work published by DC Comics. Between he and his wife, there are 10 kids (!), so there is a lot of creativity all around him. Steven is also the editor in chief and co-creator of ComixTribe, whose mission statement is Creators Helping Creators Make Better Comics. If you're looking for editing, contact him at for rate inquiries.

Comments (1)

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  1. Frav says:

    I honestly don’t think DC/WB thought this far ahead, but it’d be great if an older Bruce Wayne was chosen in order to set up a Batman Beyond franchise.

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