With the arrival of both writer/director James Gunn and veteran producer Peter Safran at DC Studios, fans are excited for the future of the live-action feature site. While it may need to catch up with Marvel Studios at the box office, the DC Universe runs around the Marvel Cinematic Universe in terms of animation.
Just over a month after DC co-launched its new live-action universe man of Steelthe animated film Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox debuted and launched the DC Animated Movie Universe. Warner Bros. Animation followed with 15 more films over the next seven years, ending the run with the 2020s Justice League Dark: Apokoplis War. Since then, she has helped start the Tomorrowverse Superman: The man of tomorrowand his latest entry is Green Lantern: Beware of my powerwith DC’s live-action Hawkman, Aldis Hodge, as John Stewart.
The studio has also released half a dozen standalone films based on specific comic series, such as Battle of the Super Sons. What makes these animated films even more interesting is that they are not aimed at children. These are adult animated films, and Marvel Studios is only putting money on the table by not making their own.
The DC animated film universe has been a comforting alternative for fans
In 2013, Warner Bros. launched two film series with a common continuity, aimed at adult audiences. Fans disappointed by the big screen effort found the DC Animated Movie Universe to act as a relief. The films adapted DC Comics’ New 52 storyline, which itself was something of a troubled run that was quickly restarted. While the stories may not have worked in the comics, they fit well into this animated series of films. At least twice a year, DC released a film that advanced the overall story while deepening fans’ understanding of each character.
A win for Warner Bros., but also something Marvel Studios doesn’t have an answer for. One of the main criticisms of the MCU is that the series is too family-friendly. Part of what was made daredevil Such a standout series on Netflix was that it was dark, violent, and gory. Storytellers can get away with a lot more animation than live action, so a standalone series of adult animated films could be just what Marvel needs. Fans could get violent stories with characters killing their villains, like Wolverine or Punisher.
DC doesn’t just make animated shared universes, either. It often publishes standalone adaptations of its alternate universe stories, such as Superman: Red Son or Gotham by Gaslight. Marvel could adapt some of its own runs, like the darker elements of the Ultimate universe or something like that Miracle 1602. DC might have a thing or two to learn about live-action movie universes, but Marvel Studios could follow DC’s animation lead.
Marvel Studios’ foray into animation is impressive, but it could be so much more
Besides dozens of shows for kids, Marvel Studios is more focused on animation. His own alternate reality series, What happened if…?, is returning for its second season. Also a series based on Marvel zombies is a work in progress, spun off from his What happened if…? Consequence. It also does a sort of “What if Marvel owned the rights to all Spider-Man characters?” alternate MCU retelling of its origins. However, if it wants to compete with DC on this stage, Marvel needs to step up its adult animation game. The now-defunct Marvel Television was headed in that direction.
Two adult animated series, MODOK and hit monkey, were comedies on Hulu. As a victim of that entity’s merger with actual Marvel Studios, at least the animation styles could be used to encourage that nostalgia market. No matter how cool Avengers: Secret Wars Some fans will inevitably be pissed that they’re not getting the classic story adapted directly from the comics. But what if they could, maybe with one MODOK Stop motion style with characters that look like the classic toy line? Countless classic Marvel Comics runs, even those that inspire the films, could be adapted for animation in a way that is closer to the source material.
Those fans interested in comic book-accurate portrayals of characters would appreciate an adult animated alternative to the MCU. When it comes to animation, the new DC Universe is already miles ahead of its main competitor.