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DC Comics Characters Who Were Done Dirty In The DCEU

November 3, 2020 597 votes 81 voters 2.3k views12 items

List RulesVote up the DC characters who deserved better.

With only eight films currently released, there are naturally still many missing DC Comics characters in the DCEU. The company dates back to 1934, so that's a lot of ground for the films to cover. Even if the comic book universe has already united the biggest heroes in Justice League, there are still plenty of powerhouse characters that have been left out of DC cinematic output. 

For the characters that did make it in, DC has decided to stick with a gritty aesthetic in regards to its films. That grim and grounded style of Zack Snyder and Christopher Nolan works with some characters, while others have been clearly underserved. The company's cinematic failures before the DCEU seem to be affecting their decisions, as well, as neither Robin nor Hal Jordan has gotten a fair shot onscreen since their failures in Batman and Robin and Green Lantern, respectively. Regardless of the reasoning, the DCEU has done a number of characters dirty and needs to make it up to them.

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  • Photo: Green Lantern / Warner Bros. Pictures

    Hal Jordan as the Green Lantern - or John Stewart for fans of the Justice League cartoons - is an integral member of the Justice League. To do a Justice League film without a Green Lantern (likely due to the Green Lantern solo film's failure) just isn't the right decision. 

    From the very beginning of the team to almost every incarnation thereafter, one of the members has been carrying the famous green ring. It's not even just comic book interpretations either, the Super Friends cartoon that the older generations remember featured Hal Jordan, and as previously stated, John Stewart was a fan favorite as the Green Lantern on both Justice League and Justice League Unlimited.

    When it comes to the DC Universe, there's a collective known as the "Big 7." These are the characters who are almost always featured in the various incarnations of the Justice League. While Martian Manhunter and Cyborg's inclusion on the Big 7 is occasionally debatable, Green Lantern's never is. He should have been in Justice League

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  • Photo: Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice / Warner Bros. Pictures

    The Lex Luthor of comics is a severe, intimidating businessman. In his various animated appearances, he's normally depicted with a deep voice and a stoic demeanor. Batman v Superman threw this template out the window completely. Jesse Eisenberg portrayed the villain as an eccentric Mark Zuckerberg knock-off taking over his father's company. The deep-seated hatred for Superman was still there, but little else remained.

    The character was also basically turned into a lackey for Steppenwolf, which is just about the most out-of-character decision you could make with Lex. Luthor serves no man or New God. 

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  • Photo: Suicide Squad / Warner Bros. Pictures

    The Joker is one of the most iconic villains in entertainment history. He's Batman's arch-nemesis and made his first appearance back in Batman #1. Since then, his constant attacks on Gotham and Batman have left a lasting impact on the Bat-Family as a whole. Most notably, he confined Barbara Gordon to a wheelchair after shooting her in the spine and took out the second Robin, Jason Todd (although it wasn't permanent). 

    Throughout his tenure in Batman's rogues gallery, the Clown Prince has gone through his fair share of transformations. With so many different versions of the Joker in the comics, fans are willing to forgive a lot regarding variations on the character. Cesar Romero's, Jack Nicholson's, Heath Ledger's, and Joaquin Pheonix's interpretations of the character are all vastly different, but still beloved by fans. So, what makes the DCEU's version so different? 

    Fan ire for the character initially grew when his appearance was first shown in promotional images. This version of the Joker had a metal grill and a tattoo on his head simply stating "Damaged." From this point forward, turning this version of the Joker into something fans would actually like in the film was already an uphill battle. His portrayal in the film is similarly on the nose, and Leto's behind-the-scenes shenanigans didn't help. 

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  • Photo: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice / Warner Bros. Pictures

    Jimmy Olsen is a truly beloved DC character. He's a photographer for the Daily Planet who befriends Lois Lane and Clark Kent. From 1954 to 1974, he starred in Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen, a comedic take on what it would be like to be an average Joe constantly mixed up in the daily life of Superman. 

    Olsen's fan-favorite status made his brief appearance in Batman v Superman all the more confusing. Reading this, you might not remember he was even in the film. Olsen is the photographer (just about the only similarity to the comics) who travels to a war-torn region with Lois Lane. While there, it's revealed that he is really a CIA operative, and a warlord then shoots him. Zack Snyder explained that he used Olsen in that way because, "Hopefully, as they die off, they give us something, they teach us something as they go. And that's kind of what their role is." 

    It's unclear what exactly an unnamed photographer perishing (who only the most dedicated fans who pore over the credits would recognize as Olsen) teaches the audience. Maybe it would have done more for the film to have a young man with no powers befriend the terrifying god Snyder turned Superman into. But, alas, there is no room for a cheery Olsen in Snyder's universe. 

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