At the New York Comic Con, Warner Brothers announced that the next DC Comics animated movies for 2013 will be Batman: The Dark Knight Returns Part 2, Superman: Unbound, and Justice League: Flashback. The lineup takes after this year’s films, but in reverse order. I’ve been a fan of the animated DC films from the beginning since Superman: Doomsday was first released, and from what I’m seeing this franchise is beginning to lose some steam with this repetition. How can this problem be fixed? Here I’ll offer five ideas to improve the DC Comics Animated Original Movie franchise from its current state.
1. Give the big 3 a rest: To many of us, this has got to be the most important idea. When it comes to DC Comics, the big 3 are Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman. However, when it comes to the animated DC films, the big 3 are Superman, Batman, and the Justice League. During the entire run, only 2 heroes outside the big 3 got their own films: Wonder Woman and Green Lantern (with Green Lantern getting 2 films). What Bruce Timm & company needs to do is listen to us, the fans, insisting that they should make films that feature characters and groups outside the big 3. Our forum members (which are the best) want to see films featuring Aquaman, the Atom, the Flash, Hawkman or Green Arrow. I myself am a big Shazam! fan and I want to see a film with Captain Marvel.
2. Make the Showcases as a separate thing: I’m one of a few people who like the Showcase shorts, but I would think they should run them as a separate faction to be part of the list of films. If they would consider bringing the Showcase shorts, they need to have a specific theme. For example: A Showcase dealing with war that features The Haunted Tank, Enemy Ace, the Blackhawks and Sgt. Rock would be a good concept.
3. Reinstate “The Judas Contract“: When Warner started making the animated DC films in 2007, the first 3 announced were Superman: Doomsday, Justice League: The New Frontier, and an adaptation of The New Teen Titans story called “The Judas Contract.” However, when they were getting ready to start production, it was cancelled to the frustration of Titans fans. Nowadays, the Teen Titans are getting to be hot once again thanks to Young Justice as well as the DC Nation shorts. Now with a new Teen Titans cartoon being made next year, it’s an opportune time to bring “The Judas Contract” back.
4. A sense of Vertigo?: If Timm could make films based on DC Comics characters, why not films based on Vertigo characters? Characters like Sandman and Swamp Thing and anthology series like The House of Mystery or The House of Secrets would have a good chance being made. But the big question is: Would Warner Brothers ever consider an R-rated cartoon even though Vertigo comics are for mature readers? The only person who would know about that would be Bruce Timm.
5. Let Hamill voice Joker for once: If there is one voice actor that fans want to see doing voicework in a DC Comics Animated Film, it would have to be Mark Hamill. And with several actors from past DC animated shows do voicework in some of the films, the only actor we would love to see in one is Mark Hamill playing as The Joker. Even though he said he would retire voicing the Clown Prince of Crime, the one film we would be interested in him playing Joker is the one we would love to see made, The Killing Joke. Because in this reporter’s opinion, this story is custom made for Hamill. And the way I would see it is to have Hamill team up with Kevin Conroy to reprise Joker and Batman respectively.
Well there you have it, five ways to improve the DC Comics animated movie franchise. I just hope that Timm would embrace these concepts, and that the franchise can continue for years to come. For as long as they make them, we’ll be happy to watch them.