1: Balance light and dark tones
There is a common misconception that D.C comics are generally dark and depressing. This is not true. There is actually a lot of hopeful themes found in the D.C universe. Superman, whose symbol literally means hope, is a beacon for humanity to look to in times of crisis. Two of the Flashes, Barry Allen and Wally West, are some of the most optimistic characters in all of the comics. Brightest Day, a popular story arc in 2010, was an event which was about rejuvenating hope after a calamity. The main reason that people believe D.C comics is that, unlike Marvel, D.C balances the light and the darkness. For every Brightest Day in D.C, there is the darkest night. Since the human mind tends to notice negativity more than positivity, readers tend to ignore the happier factors of D.C. Nonetheless, D.C comics have learned to balance both gleeful and sad themes. The DCEU has not.
The DCEU is a bleak place where the negativity overwhelms the positivity. Even the cinematography is dark. Man of Steel, a movie one of most jubilant heroes of all time, was just comfortless as was Batman vs Superman. Suicide Squad, for all of its flaws, at least tried out some humor. Superman was not a symbol of hope. He is someone who lets innocent people die and spends most of his time sitting around with a scowl on his face. If the DCEU is going to survive, it needs to balance the moodiness with lighter tones. Not everything has to be dark and edgy; it’s okay to light and goofy. The audience wants to laugh as much as they want to cry. This isn’t to say that we need Batman making one liners like Tony Stark. However, while Batman is being dark and moody, Flash or Superman, should be light and happier.
2: Tone down the amount of Bruce Wayne
Bruce Wayne is the most popular character in D.C. Thus he has been the protagonist in a majority of video games, films, and cartoons from D.C. Due to this, his story has been rehashed time and time again. I have lost track of a number of times I’ve seen Thomas and Martha Wayne get killed. With Wayne, being the one who forms the justice league in the DCEU, he has become the center of the DCEU. D.C has been focusing on Batman for the last 50 years. We do not need the DCEU to do so as well. Wayne has been depicting in some many forms of media over and over again. People are tired of seeing his story. There are other characters who are more interesting who deserve screen time. The DCEU has the opportunity to give it to them It’s my personal hope that after the next Batman movie(which needs to be Under the Red Hood) and they should either kill or retire Wayne.
Then Dick Grayson should take over as Batman. There are a plethora of stories with Grayson as Batman instead of Wayne. It is also something which is rarely seen outside of comics. It would be much more interesting and novel to see Grayson as Batman than to redo another Bruce Wayne story. Also, Dick Grayson is Romani, thus he should be played by a Romani actor. DO NOT WHITEWASH HIM.
3: Quality over Quantity
Man of Steel is currently the best movie in the DCEU. That is nothing to brag about since Man of Steel is just barely over the average summer action movie. The reason that Man of Steel stands out is that it’s the only DCEU that felt like the producers at least took some time to create. The same cannot be said about the other movies. Batman vs Superman and Suicide Squad resembled the last minute paper of a college freshman who didn’t even remember what the assignment was. They were both rushed productions with slapstick plots and scenes and writing on a high school level. D.C and Warner Brothers are currently attempting to catch up with MCU. This has led them to focus more on the amount movies they produce than the level which these movies are produced with and that needs to stop. The reason that Marvel has such a loyal fanbase is that fact that they take their time( mostly) to make good movies. Even Marvel’s most rushed movies are still better written than the entire DCEU. D.C needs to take their time with their movies. They are not Marvel and should not try to be. If they can only make one good movie a year, then so be it. If they have to delay Justice League to fix it, so be it. Fans would much rather a good product later than a bad product sooner.
4: Add more people of color, Queer, and Trans characters.
The MCU, with the exception of Luke Cage and Agents of Shield, has failed people of color. Most of the POC in Marvel are either a sidekick or have a limited amount of screentime. There has been only one queer character(Joey from Agents of Shield) in Marvel and he hasn’t appeared for over half a year. Even when he did appear, the audience barely saw him and his sexuality was only mentioned. The DCEU is still fairly young and though it is currently filled with mostly white and straight actors, there is still time to change that. There is no reason that Hal Jordan has to be a white man; there are a multitude of actors of color who deserve a chance to play the role. John Stewart could be gay or bisexual; it would an excellent way to deconstruction stigmas about the sexuality and masculinity of black men. Catwoman should be Cuban again and never should have had her ethnicity erased in the first place. We have yet to see a Transgender character in any media regarding comics and that is not okay. Actors of color, queer, and Trans actors and actresses deserve inclusion in this universe. Trans POC and queer audiences deserve to see characters who represent then. The DCEU is in a position to make that happen.
Hopefully, someone either at Warner Brothers or D.C is reading this.
Author: Jaylen Pearson
Editor: Han Angus
Keshav Kant, aka Mx. KantEven, is a neuroscience nerd turned Creative Consultant and Executive Director of Off Colour!
You’ve probably seen her on TikTok or caught her work on Off Colour's many channels. From consulting on films & shows, manuscript review, conducting interviews, or hosting podcasts & panels, if there is some way to bring sensitivity and authenticity to diversity, inclusion and equity conversations, Keshav will be there.