DC Comics Characters Who Were Done Dirty In The DCEU
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.
- 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.
- Photo: Suicide Squad / Warner Bros. Pictures
Suicide Squad's version of Killer Croc may have helped the film win an Academy Award for Best Makeup and Hairstyling, but it didn't do much for fans of the character. From comics to video games, Killer Croc is depicted as a massive hulking beast. Audiences used to portrayals like that were naturally a little disappointed when they showed up to the theater and were given a fairly muscular man with a skin condition.
Beyond his appearance, he wasn't used much in the film, serving as more of a background character to leave room for the more developed characters like Will Smith's Deadshot and Margot Robbie's Harley Quinn. Croc in the film doesn't even show the depth he has in Batman: The Animated Series, where he goes from circus freak to professional wrestler to the head of his own organized crime operation, and back to a circus freak.
- 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.
- 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.
- 572 VOTES
Batgirl Had Her Solo Showcase Cancelled Before It Was Even ReleasedPhoto: Warner Bros. Pictures
In the comics, Barbara Gordon is an integral member of the Bat Family who has supported the heroes of the DC universe behind the scenes as Oracle, taken on crime as Batgirl, and teamed up in the Birds of Prey. While her most well-known moment comes as collateral damage in The Killing Joke, Gordon is a notable hero on her own and fixture in any comic involving Gotham City.
Outside of the comics, she may go down as the most public failure of the DCEU. In a decision that stunned most fans, Warner Bros. cancelled Batgirl while it was in post-production after already spending $90 million to film most of the project. The character's solo entry was part of an initiative to drive attention and subscription to the HBOMax streaming app rather than theaters, and a corporate change in strategy made cancelling the project more palatable as a tax write-off than following through and releasing the finished film.
- 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.