Where Marvel Comics has seen its pantheon of characters celebrated both in 20 years of X-Men movies and 11 years of interconnected movies featuring the other major characters from the comics, DC Entertainment has limped along on the big screen, choosing to either go darker than the traditional comics in its adaptations or overlooking the core of its characters altogether. It’s had a better run on television. What we all probably want is something getting closer to the heart of why we loved the characters as kids. And if you want reminded of what that was, you’ll be happy to see that all nine seasons of the animated classic series Super Friends aka SuperFriends are streaming right now on DC Universe.
Sleuthing at the Hall of Justice, superheroes that work together to defend the planet, a caped crusader that uses his detective skills to solve problems, a superheroine as tough as everyone else, and stories that feel like decades of DC Comics. Look past the hokey parts and some of the more goofy humor of SuperFriends, and you’ll see why DC’s Shazam! and CW’s Stargirl work better than the rest of DC’s recent ideas. No good guys trying to beat each other (or anyone else) to a pulp. Just the kind of actions you’d expect from great leaders with power and responsibility. And yes, there’s some silly stuff in the animated series, but it has that heart that the 21st century movies have mostly forgotten. For adults and kids that want the darker stuff, you’ve already got years of Zack Snyder and Christopher Nolan movies to re-watch. So how about something else?
In case you missed them, we’ve included the new trailers below for The Batman, Wonder Woman 1984, and the expanded “Snyder cut” of Justice League. Plus, one that actually looks promising because it’s so wacky and full of D-level characters: James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad. We eagerly await the next Shazam movie, newly announced to be titled Shazam! Fury of the Gods, according to the weekend event. It’s a great, appropriate title following up on what we think is the best translation for fans of DC Comics on the big screen–ever. It will again star Zachary Levi and the supporting cast from the first movie (we reviewed it here), which we thought was all fun and full of heart, plus… new addition Sinbad joins the cast. And Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is preparing to star in the Black Adam movie, arising from the same world of characters, once the pandemic gets under control. We also eagerly await Season 2 of CW’s Stargirl–probably tied in our view for the best adaptation of DC Comics on television.
With a weird song track choice and lots of cartoony, slow-motion clips, you’ve got to ask who is this cut of the Justice League movie for?
Here’s the trailer for The Batman. Has the Batman portrayed in most of the the comics over the past 80 years lost his cool like that depicted in this trailer? They didn’t even try this time on the Batmobile, which looks like something dystopian and cheap, pieced together from the set of Mad Max: Fury Road:
And here’s the trailer for Wonder Woman 1984, which looks like it will have all the same beats from the first movie:
And the promising promo, full of all sorts of fan-favorite genre actors as characters from the far corners of DC Comics history, here’s a preview of characters from James Gunn’s sequel to Suicide Squad, the not-so-cleverly titled The Suicide Squad:
Each of these will no doubt have its audience. We won’t even try to guess the actual dates the studio will attempt to release these movies in theaters or streaming at home, but–hey!–you can watch the nine seasons of SuperFriends now on DC Universe (available now with a free trial).
C.J. Bunce / Editor / borg