Despite what the internet might tell you, it isn’t all doom and gloom with DC movies. We’ve received some extraordinary films and we’ve seen bad ones over the years. It’s no different than any other franchise out there (and don’t you dare say that Thor: The Dark World was good, you heathens). One thing that we can all agree on is, DC has never been shy of going all out with its designs and concepts. Sure, not everything has been well-received by the audience or critics, but at least Warner Bros. and DC are trying to do something different and thinking out of the box with the properties. Isn’t that the very definition of creativity?
Nonetheless, you can count on the fans to provide their input at every turn and opportunity. But not everyone is a loudmouth online; some people actually provide valuable feedback and their own interpretations. In some rare cases, they’ve even been able to improve on something that was incredible in the first place. Heck, what’s even more surprising is when they’ve managed to polish a more divisive design into a piece of gold, despite everyone deeming it impossible. Sharing fan designs has become the rage over the years, and social media would be boring if we didn’t have all this cool content to discuss with each other. In celebration, we’ve ventured off into the wilds of the web to find the best DC movie fan designs. You better put a helmet on, because these talented fan creations are about to blow your mind.
Before the Shazam! trailer dropped and convinced everyone about the bubbling potential of the film, a lot of people were fairly meh on the casting of Zachary Levi as the lead. For many, he wasn’t the big star name they wanted. Plus, he wasn’t jacked like some of the other actors playing superheroes.
Artist BossLogic believed in him, though. He whipped up an image of Levi as the hero, which made a few non-believers question their trollish behavior. In fact, the artwork itself – inspired by the New 52 version of the character – outshined the first behind-the-scenes photo that we saw of Levi in the suit. Thankfully, the official images were much better in comparison.
19. GOODBYE, JUGGALO JOKER
Jared Leto’s Joker was a mixed bag in 2016’s Suicide Squad. From the get-go, fans weren’t happy with his tattoos and general Y2K rapper look. You weren’t sure if he was the Clown Prince of Crime or the Clown of Bad Rhymes. Additionally, it didn’t help that his personality was just plain weird in the film.
Kaethor did what we all wanted to do to Leto’s Mr. J: put some clothes on him. The artist kept Ayer’s choice of aesthetics, with the tattoos and slicked back hair, but put the Joker back in his traditional purple getup. The best part is this Clown Prince would’ve fit in with Suicide Squad‘s colorful tone as well.
18. BATFLECK BEGINS
Say what you want about Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, but one thing you cannot say is that Ben Affleck’s Batman was ugly. It was one of the most comic-accurate costumes ever made, and Affleck looked the part as the menacing and brooding Caped Crusader. It was perfect in so many ways.
Ben Wilsonham peered into the future as he imagined a costume that came to be close to what the final product looked like in the movie. If anything, his cowl and cape choices were superior to what we ended up seeing. Additionally, the white eyes will always make our knees go weak.
Recently, Ray Fisher spoke about the state of a Cyborg film at the Heroes & Villains FanFest. “It would be a very, very costly movie to make because it is so CGI heavy with Cyborg, because I’m the only member of the League that’s not in a practical costume. You’re going to be looking at $200 million just to make it. So it’s one of those things you have to take into consideration.”
BossLogic actually whipped up a solution a while back: Give Cyborg some more human elements like he had in Marv Wolfman and George Pérez’s New Teen Titans run. It would certainly lower the CGI budget.
16. THE UPGRADED BATMOBILE
There’s no snazzier vehicle than the Batmobile. In fact, statistics show that children under 10 (and grown adults, too) will pick Batman’s wheels over any other car 100% of the time. Fortunately, we’ve been blessed with several stylish Bat vehicles in the films – from Adam West’s sleek convertible to Affleck’s war machine on wheels.
One of the best-looking cars was Michael Keaton’s in Batman and Batman Returns. Dan McKim did something that no one expected and made it even more gorgeous than before. It isn’t a radical redesign, but it certainly adds a bit more personality and menace to the Dark Knight’s favorite mode of transport.
15. WONDER WARRIOR
While Gal Gadot’s initial casting as Wonder Woman was questioned by a group of fans, people warmed up to the idea once they saw the first official image of her as the Amazonian princess. Fast-forward a few years later and she’s universally praised and beloved by everyone.
Surprisingly, there haven’t been many complaints about her costume, which is rare for anything comics-related. (Although, some audience members have mentioned that they’d like to see her costume switched up a bit like the character in the comic books.) David Paget played around with the warrior concept and adapted it to match her look in the latest DC animated films. The result is astounding.
14. THE REAL STEPPENWOLF
You have to feel sorry for Steppenwolf. In the Batman V Superman: Ultimate Edition, we saw him looking like a cross between a hammerhead shark and alien. Then, in Justice League, he looked like a pixelated PlayStation 2 character. He might not be as big or memorable a villain as Darkseid, but he deserved better than what he got.
Well, Warner should’ve hired Reddit user Rekdit159 to do the mock-ups for Steppenwolf, because the fan-made edit is spectacular. The design blends the character’s classic comic book look with what Zack Snyder originally envisioned for him. It doesn’t reinvent the wheel, but it certainly makes the ride a whole lot smoother.
13. SLAY WILSON
From the little bit we saw at the end of Justice League, Joe Manganiello looked the part as Slade Wilson. (He’s come a long way since he was Flash Thompson in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man.) While he was rumored to play a major role in The Batman, when Affleck was still involved as director and writer, his continuation as DC’s fabled assassin is up in the air at the moment.
Illustrator Daniel Kamarudin pulled off quite the feat with his artwork. It’s so distinctively Slade that it makes us pine for Affleck’s rumored Batman film. Seriously, why does Warner keep tearing our hearts out and putting them in a blender?
12. SWEET BANE O’ MINE
As much as it pains us to say, Batman & Robin‘s Bane looked more like the comic book character than Tom Hardy’s version in The Dark Knight Rises. That isn’t to say that Hardy’s interpretation was weaker, because that would be a bigger lie than a pop star saying the next album is his/her best work.
Still, when you look at Saad Irfan‘s Bane design, you realize that Warner has a long way to go in making this Venom-addicted villain as comic book-accurate as possible. The rogue is absolutely petrifying in this image and like he’d break Batman’s back and use his spine as a toothpick.
11. MULLET OF STEEL
The biggest disappointment about Justice League (well, aside from everything) was the fact that Superman’s black suit was nowhere to be found. For heaven’s sake, he didn’t even sport a mullet. We were robbed of the Mullet of Steel and fed some CGI Frankenstein instead.
Fortunately, some talented artists, such as Aiko Aiham, played around with Superman photos and created the Man of Steel we deserved – including the black suit, mullet, and beard. This particular image is a pretty good depiction of what Cavill would’ve looked like had Warner pulled the trigger. Plus, it would’ve made the issue of his mustache a whole lot easier to handle if he’d just grown out a beard.
10. IN THE DARKEST NIGHT…
Before Justice League‘s release, there was a rumor doing the rounds that the Green Lantern (Hal Jordan) would appear in the movie. Then, Armie Hammer’s name was attached to the part and fans lost their minds as they tried to prove he was involved. Naturally, mock-ups were done of Hammer as Hal.
Reddit user Rekdit159 created an intriguing piece; however, this Green Lantern looked more like Ryan Reynold’s Hal from the 2011 film. Truth be told, the design was rather good and far better than the CGI suit used for the character. If only, Reynolds would shock the world and return to play Hal in another film.
9. BATMAN V SUPERMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES
When the audience saw Affleck as Bruce Wayne/Batman, they were convinced he was the live-action embodiment of the character from Batman: The Animated Series. There were several side-by-side comparisons done of Affleck’s Dark Knight and the animated version, and someone went and reinvented a scene from Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice in the same style as The New Batman Adventures.
JTSEntertainment recreated the emotional scene where Bruce looks up at the Robin memorial and ponders his greatest failure. The animated version lends itself really well here, as you feel the anger and sadness of Bruce. Would anyone be averse to seeing more of this?
8. NO MORE LANTERNS
The “no more Lanterns” line in the Justice League trailer got people talking. In fairness, the film did deliver, as we saw the Corps do battle with Steppenwolf in a flashback scene. However, we didn’t see Hal or John Stewart join up with the League, which was a tad bit disappointing.
BossLogic, though, reimagined the scene in a way only he could. He mashed up a picture where Steppenwolf looks way scarier than he did in the movie, as Hal prepares to do battle against him. The strength of the design is that it shows Steppenwolf as a larger-than-life monster and Hal as the courageous hero who won’t back down.
7. HAMMER TIME
As mentioned before, the internet really wanted Hammer to be Green Lantern in Justice League. It didn’t help that he and Henry Cavill teased us with social media posts and purposely led us on. While it didn’t happen, there’s always the possibility that it could in the future – maybe in the Green Lantern Corps film?
The Justice League characters all got some stylized posters in the lead-up to the film, and BossLogic decided to do one for Hammer, too. His looks perfect and like Hammer actually went for an official photoshoot. Hopefully, Warner took note of the reaction and listens to what the fans want when casting the role.
6. OCEAN MASTERFUL
Ocean Master is an odd character. While his appearance in the comics is appropriate for the medium, it could prove a little tricky to adapt for the big screen. Judging by what we’ve seen from the Aquaman trailer and promo images, James Wan has managed to do so with aplomb.
Nonetheless, BossLogic doesn’t do things by half measures. He goes all the way and pulled off one of the coolest-looking Ocean Master pieces we’ve ever seen. While the film will undoubtedly take it down a notch, this design embraces the source material and actually improves on it. Who wouldn’t want to see Patrick Wilson in this getup?
When Jason Momoa was unveiled as Aquaman, a lot of people pointed out that he looked more like Lobo than the Atlantean superhero. Look, make no mistake: Momoa brings a different – and cool – approach to the character, but he doesn’t really look like Arthur Curry – no matter how much you try to spin it.
LamboMan7 believed it possible to make Momoa more comic book-accurate and whipped up a detailed mock-up. In this photo, Momoa wears Arthur’s classic gear and shows off shorter and blonder hair. No one would ever mistake Arthur for the Main Man again had Warner decided to go with this aesthetic instead.
4. SHADES OF BLUE AND GREY
Affleck’s tactical suit in Justice League was something else. Even though some naysayers didn’t like the goggles, the whole outfit could’ve been pulled straight out of the Arkham games, as it captured the Dark Knight’s affinity for different suits and toys. In short, it was simply gorgeous.
Artist Dave Franciosa did something that shouldn’t have worked but did. He tweaked the colors to give us the classic blue and grey suit that Batman wore in his earlier years. The goggles made way for the traditional white eyes and Affleck’s scowl made this look stand out as a definitive Batman shot. You don’t get much better than this, folks.
3. THE ROGUES’ GALLERY
What Christopher Nolan did with the Dark Knight trilogy cannot be understated. If it wasn’t for his efforts, we doubt we’d even be discussing this topic today. Through his films, he brought DC Comics’ beloved characters back to the mainstream’s consciousness – even if he did ground them more in reality.
In the case of Batman Begins, Ra’s al Ghul, Scarecrow, and Victor Zsasz looked a little different from what we’re used to – not too much, though, but just enough. Bubbagump8 animated the characters and made them look more like the animated series. They’re certainly a lot more colorful than how they appeared in Nolan’s movie.
Anne Hathaway’s casting as Selina Kyle/Catwoman in The Dark Knight Rises caught a lot of fans off guard. At that stage of her career, most movie fans were used to her as the girl next door and not the sultry seductress of crime. Yet, once again, Nolan showed us that we need to put trust in his choices because he’s knows what he’s doing.
Perhaps the only thing that could’ve been improved on was Catwoman’s overall outfit. There are numerous iconic costumes to pick from, but Nolan decided to do his own thing. Tapaidh applied a more modern aesthetic to Hathaway’s Catwoman and the results were jaw-dropping.
Right now, it looks like Henry Cavill will no longer be suiting up as Superman ever again. It’s sad for everyone as he truly was a remarkable Man of Steel, even if his last appearance in Justice League was marred by corporate meddling and the infamous mustache-gate.
In hindsight, Warner should’ve let him rock the mustache in Justice League. Heck, at that point, the film was so messed up that it should’ve just let it be iconic for allowing Supes to look like Tom Selleck. Many people have manipulated images to show Superman rocking the ‘stache, and this one, courtesy of io9, is one of the best.
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