January 15, 2014

Batman Villains in New DC Universe

   Batman has one of the most memorable rogues galleries in comic book history. With Man of Steel 2, and Justice League films coming out in the near future, how will this effect the villains of the Batman universe? Villains such as Penguin and Joker are rendered near useless in the grounded realm that Zack Snyder and Christopher Nolan are bringing to the big screen. How will Warner Bros. handle future villains in upcoming Batman films?

Imagine this!

Joker - "I'm gonna lay waste to the Gotham City Bank!"

Batman - "Okay."

Bruce Wayne changes out of his bat suit, into a suave pinstripe suit, walks up to his den and picks up the phone. There's a moment of ringing when, on the other line comes Superman.

Superman - "Hey, Bruce! How's it going? I'm just over here in Korea disarming nukes with my awesome powers. What do you need, pal?"

Batman - "The Joker's claiming to lay waste to Gotham Bank. I was wondering if you can come down here and handle it? Don't kill him, just hurt him."

Superman - "Sure, pal!"

The Joker stands with a barrel full of explosives in the Gotham City Bank, ready to blow the whole place to smithereens, when in comes Superman, bursting through the ceiling. He picks the Joker and his explosives up, takes him to the outskirts of Gotham and burns off the Joker's arm. Maybe a few missing fingers and a tongue. A couple bruises here and there. The end.

Sound like fun? It would be fun to watch for the five minutes it's on screen. Sooner than later, a new Batman film will come along. Now that Man of Steel 2 is coming out, sealing the fate that there will be a Justice League film and there will be many superheroes within this universe, we have to ask: How will future Batman films thrive with such grounded villains?

1.  Detach Batman from the Justice League

Separate Batman canon from Justice League canon. It is an easy resolution to a growing worry, but is it the right move? If DC and Warner Bros. decide to go the direction of detaching Batman from the Justice League, Batman would have no problem with defeating his enemies. This would of course close off Batman with any contact from the Justice League until another Justice League film, but it seemed to work with Marvel and their cinematic universe.

If Warner Bros. decides not to go in this direction then . . .

2.  Bring In Some Justice League Characters

With Man of Steel 2 being an introduction to Justice League, this film might help the audience understand how the DC Cinematic Universe will exactly work. So far, Batman and Wonder Woman have been confirmed to be in Man of Steel 2. As Marvel doesn't bring in other Marvel superheroes in separate Marvel films like Iron Man 3, or Thor 2, maybe DC is planning it the other way around. This can be an open cinematic universe where superheroes come and go as they please. The new Batman might have Superman and the Flash in it for some reason. It will be interesting to watch other superheroes enter Gotham City and interact with Batman's rogues gallery. However, with grounded villains like Penguin, Joker, and Two-Face, how will Justice League members respond to Gotham? Superman would never kill a villain, but there's a good chance that the city would be cleaned up within a matter of weeks.

3.  Bring Out The Supernatural Villains

If Warner Bros. decides to have members of the Justice League in every superhero film they release after Man of Steel 2, then certain villains won't work. Sure, the Joker can cause all the havoc and destruction he wants, but without characters who pose a physical or monumentally intellectual threat to Gotham and our superheroes, then other members of the Justice League will be able to tear to shreds. Here are some great villains for the new DC Cinematic Universe; Solomon Grundy, Ra's al Ghul, Hugo Strange, Clayface, Hush. Each has supernatural abilities and would work within a universe where the Justice League lives. As you watch the Marvel Cinematic Universe pan out, you realize that every film features major devastation to Earth or to the universe. Batman is grounded in reality and grounded in Gotham. Major devastation to Earth is not in his vocabulary unless he banded with the Justice League. Bring a villain who Batman cannot defeat alone.

4.   Make It Personal and Gritty

This is an older Batman. With an older Batman comes a certain grit and personality. Make the film about Bruce Wayne and Batman on a deeper level, like Christopher Nolan did. This might not allow the interceding of superheroes in Gotham City. Maybe, Batman wants to keep Gotham to himself for personal reasons. This is where his parents died and where Batman was born. There would be sense in Bruce Wayne/Batman wanting all other superheroes out of Gotham, because Batman likes crime and with certain god-like figures or amazonian princesses, Gotham's crime rate would plummet. And, without crime there's no Batman.

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