Ok DC, it’s time for Nightwing

nightwing-buildingImage via DC Comics

With all of the buzz around Deathstroke in the past few days basically confirming his presence in the DCEU, fans around the world are overjoyed at the idea that the mercenary is finally coming to the big screen.  While I am as excited as anyone about the inclusion of Deathstroke in the DCEU, it is time for DC and Warner Bros. to include a character that has received no love in live action movies: Nightwing.

Yes Nightwing, and not Dick Grayson Robin.  There are reasons for this, which I will get into.  But seeing how DC has made no official plans regarding the character, it is time that we make them talk about it.

Dick Grayson is one of DC’s most iconic characters

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Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern…Robin, am I right? When discussing the most important and iconic DC characters, Dick Grayson is top 10 if not top five, easily.  He was the first Robin, the Boy Wonder.  After he outgrew the Robin mantle, he took up the persona of Nightwing.  Heck, he has even taken up the mantle of Batman.  Dick Grayson deserves a spot in the DCEU.  Plus, he is a fan favorite, having been included in nearly all Batman properties- we see Dick as Robin in Teen Titans and Teen Titans Go, as Nightwing in Batman: Under the Red Hood, as well as his appearances in the Batman: Arkham video game series.  In all of those, he has gotten pretty decent treatment.  Speaking of which…

Dick’s last outing on the Silver Screen wasn’t too good

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Maybe “wasn’t too good” is mincing words.  Chris O’Donnell and Joel Schumacher brought the character to life in  Batman Forver  and Batman and Robin, which killed the franchise and almost comic book movies as we know them.  We know now that O’Donnell and the studio had plans for Nightwing, as shown by the costume change and a planned spin-off for the character.  But just as we got to see Deadpool have a shot at big-screen redemption, we need the same for Dick Grayson/ Nightwing.

Why not have Dick Grayson as Robin? Why Nightwing?   batman killing robin death

Image via Warner Bros

That is an excellent question.  As shown in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice,we know there is a dead Robin somewhere in the DCEU, which was confirmed by Warner Bros to be Jason Todd.  Assuming the films are keeping somewhat the same timeline as the comic books, Jason Todd was the second Robin, and became the second Boy Wonder after Dick had grown too old to be Batman’s sidekick.  This point also leads to another plea to DC and Warner Bros: please include the Death in the Family and Under the Red Hood story lines in the DCEU somehow.  You’ve already teased us by showing us the dead Robin costume, as well as throwing the curveball of Harley being an accomplice in the murder.  David Ayer gave us part of this story, but to many fans, myself included, this doesn’t mean anything until we see it for real.

He’s got his own story lines, too

bludhaven nightwing DceuImage via Warner Bros

People tend to forget that after fighting side by side with the Dark Knight in Gotham, Dick took up his crime-fighting residency in Bludhaven, not that that is the only place where Nightwing has been in action.  But he isn’t just part of the Bat-family, and should be treated as such.  Plus, Bludhaven is another setting that would add to the DCEU.  With Gotham and Metropolis not going away anytime soon, a new city would be a welcome change of pace.  Introducing Nightwing in a more ensemble-focused DCEU film and then introducing Bludhaven after the introduction of Nightwing would be the way to go.

That pretty much wraps up the case that I have for Nightwing/Dick Grayson’s inclusion in the DCEU.  I hope you have found it compelling.

What do you think of Nightwing’s place in the DCEU?  Should there be other characters in the DCEU that haven’t been? Let me know in the comments!

No Rules: DC and Zack Snyder Refuse to be Beholden to the Comic Books

harley quinn dceu.jpgImage via Warner Bros

We are only two films into the DC Extended Universe, but one thing is clear already: DC and Zack Snyder will not play by the rules of the comics, or other superhero movies.  They are out to create their own unique world, and have already shown us that they aren’t messing around.  Spoilers for Man of Steel and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice to follow.

Batman is a killer

ben affleck batman.jpegImage via Warner Bros

The DCEU version of Batman is a killer, which goes against pretty much everything comic book Batman stands for.  We still don’t know all that much about Batfleck, other than the fact that he’s been around the block a couple of times.  Zack Snyder isn’t preoccupied with playing by the rules of comic books, he’s trying to make is own universe, for better or worse.

Superman dies before Justice League

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OK, so Henry Cavill has already been confirmed to be playing Superman in Justice League, and let’s face it, nobody ever really dies in a superhero movie.  But Snyder making the decision to kill Superman before his resurrection tells us that nobody is safe in the DCEU, unless of course they’ve already been confirmed for more solo movies… But the DCEU has taken risks that the Marvel Cinematic Universe hasn’t.  Imagine if they killed off Iron Man before The Avengers?  That is what this is like.  I’m really disappointed that Marvel didn’t kill anyone in Captain America: Civil War, and it just goes to show that DC takes risks two films in whereas the MCU is still trying to play it safe (just forget about the fact that Civil War mopped the floor with Batman v Superman as a movie for a second).

Suicide Squad is all sorts of crazy

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And not just  because the Joker and Harley Quinn are the stars.  Suicide Squad is for many reasons one of the more interesting films to ever enter the superhero genre.  Between focusing on a group of villains and having the Joker in it, DC is signifying that the rules do not apply to them.  I hate the continued MCU comparisons, but just imagine if Marvel tried to make a movie centered around their villains.  It would not work, because their villains flat out suck compared to DC’s.  Part of it is lack of characterization for a lot of them.  One thing that DC has to be given credit for is that they have already characterized their two villains  (General Zod and Lex Luthor) pretty well, whereas Marvel has only done that with Loki.  Plus, Lex Luthor might be in Suicide Squad– my prediction is that the DCEU will feel like more of a cohesive universe than the MCU will, and you can thank Zack Snyder for that.

The DCEU isn’t preoccupied with origin stories

batman killing robin deathImage via Warner Bros

Sure, we saw Superman’s origin in Man of Steel.  But almost no time was wasted on Batman’s, and we’ve already been introduced to most of the Justice League.  What is even more important, is that this is a universe that has already experienced a lot.  As I said before, Batman has been around the block a couple of times, and the best piece of evidence for this is the dead Robin’s costume.  Unlike Marvel, which created their universe from scratch, DC has already seen action in theirs.  What is more important for DC is what happens to these characters in the universe, rather than how they got there.

What do you think of these choices DC and Zack Snyder have made so far in the DCEU?  Tell me in the comments!

 

Why Batman Killing is Important

ben-affleck-batman.jpgImage via Warner Bros

By now, you’ve probably seen the video that shows Batman killing 21 people in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, or, you noticed the level of aggression that Ben Affleck’s Batman had when you watched the film yourself.  Batman never kills, or so we are told.  But Batman killing this many people in Batman v Superman is not only important for the arc of the character, but it informs us of some things that we should expect in Justice League and future DC Extended Universe films featuring Batfleck.  Spoilers for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Ultimate Edition are contained in this post.

This isn’t you grandfather’s Batman

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The DCEU offers us a more modern version of the classic DC characters that we all know and love.  The visual style shows a maturity that previous adaptations of the characters have not had- such as Superman’s new suit lacking underwear over it and toning down the color saturation on Wonder Woman’s costume.  Not only is the visual style more mature, but so are the characters themselves.  As you can see above, we’ve come along way from Adam West holding a bowling-ball-with-a-wick type bomb and running around panicking with it.  Two films in, and the threats in the DCEU are the biggest we’ve seen in any DC movie, and they’re only going to get bigger.  So what Batman never killed in the comics? This isn’t the comics, and Batman killing is the perfect way to tell audiences that it’s a different story being told on screen.

We may know what drove Batman to kill

batman killing robin deathImage via Warner Bros

Of course you remember the Robin costume with graffiti over it from inside the Batcave in Batman v Superman.   This has led to many theories of who Robin could have been, and after months of speculating, we know it is Jason Todd, who is deceased (some rumors and fan theories have suggested we may find out more about this through Jared Leto in Suicide Squad).  Perhaps the death of his trusted sidekick drove him over the edge.  We know that Affleck isn’t an idealized version of Batman who is going to do the right thing in every situation; he’s been around the block a few times, and he knows what’s up.  He is a more broken down, desperate Batman, which could lead to him killing.  Maybe all of those years of doing the ‘right thing’ and sparing the lives of Gotham’s worst only led to the death of Jason Todd, and Batman turns to killing, as he sees it is the only way to make change permanent in Gotham.

The Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Ultimate Edition shows us more of this grizzled Batman

clark kent batman superman deathImage via Warner Bros

Batman v Superman did a good job by mostly skipping Batman’s familiar backstory; what we could have used instead was a little bit more behind Batfleck, such as his motivations.  Luckily, the Ultimate Edition of the film gives us a little bit of insight into this.  While Clark is supposed to be investigating football in Gotham, he is at an apartment where he runs into some residents of Gotham, who tell him firsthand how brutal Batman has become, warning Clark to leave the city before dark.  It is clear that Batman is tired, which could be one of the reasons he kills.

Clearly, Batman has a lot on his mind, and he also kills.  It will definitely be interesting to see where this updated, darker, older, and more desperate version of Batman goes in the next few films.

What do you think of DC’s choice to have Batman be a killer in the DCEU? Let me know in the comments!