We’re going to get the next release in the DC Extended Universe in the form of Birds of Prey, which will be another step from DC to expand its cinematic universe. While that does hold promise, DC has already an established universe they can derive from in the DC Animated Universe.
We’ve covered the advantages each of the two universes from DC have over the other, but taking the best bits from the DCAU can only benefit the movies. For this reason, we’ve compiled 10 plot points and angles from the DCAU that will do wonders if transitioned over to the big screen.
10 Joker Turns Robin Into His "Son"
Of all the terrible things the Joker has done, this one was the most unforgivable. Here, Joker abducted Tim Drake and tortured him into believing he was his father. To top it off, the Joker then tried to have the brainwashed Tim kill Batman.
There have been theories that the Joker we’ve seen in the DCEU is actually an adult Tim Drake who’s lost his mind in the years back when he was Robin. This would be in an incredible twist if it were to happen, and would save all the bad reception the Joker got from Suicide Squad.
9 The Justice Lords
After they conquered all of the villains in the universe - and Superman incinerated Lex Luthor - an alternate Justice League turned into the Justice Lords, who ruled the universe in a totalitarian ideology.
The DCEU has just stepped foot in the Justice League’s formation, which is currently in doubt due to the titular film’s failure. However, this Justice Lords scenario would bring back interest in the Justice League, since the DCAU version had both factions lock horns and open up debates over the power the Justice League commanded, and if they deserved this power or not.
8 Superman Controlled By Darkseid
We were close to receiving this angle in the DCEU, that is until Zack Snyder’s storyline was let go. Still, there’s enough time to go back to the drawing board and make Superman evil due to the influence of Darkseid.
In Superman: The Animated Series, the ruler of Apokolips managed to brainwash the Man of Steel into believing he was Darkseid’s son, which led to Superman conquering Earth in tribute to his “father.” This is the best way Darkseid can be introduced in the DCEU, which would also bring Henry Cavill back as Superman in fine form.
7 The Joker And Harley Quinn's True Relationship
No, the Joker doesn’t love Harley like a puppy the way Suicide Squad made fangirls believe, because the true version of this couple came from the DCAU, where Harley debuted in Batman: The Animated Series.
In this continuity, Harley was so blinded by her devotion to Joker that she overlooked how this monster tended to brutalize her and have Harley around to act like his servant. This dynamic worked perfectly because it made the Joker come across as the fiend he truly is, and brought some measure of sympathy for Harley as well. The DCEU version of this couple has been a complete failure so far.
6 The Thanagarian Invasion
The invasion from Apokolips fell flat in Justice League, mainly due to Superman being so powerful that he made short work of everything. The Thanagarians are a supremely qualified race who anticipated and studied every move Earth would make before launching a full scale invasion using intel from Hawkgirl.
This angle would not only bring in quality villains in the Thanagarians, but would also put the Justice League on the back foot, thereby making them more interesting since they would need to rely on their smarts rather than punch their way out of their troubles.
5 Superman And Batman's Bromance
The problem with the friendship between Batman and Superman in Justice League was that it came out of nowhere and Batman forfeited his no-nonsense persona to look like a goof. The DCAU version of this friendship worked so well because both of these guys retained what made them unique, and it was their differences in personality that got them to become the best of friends.
Future Justice League movies in the DCEU should bring in DCAU elements of Batman remaining serious and only slightly shedding his tough exterior for Superman’s boyish charm. The DCAU Batman served as a kind of teacher for Superman at times too, since he was vastly more experienced, something that’s already similar in the DCEU minus the teaching part.
4 Martian Manhunter's Appearance And Full Backstory
The Martian Manhunter is one such character who isn’t mainstream popular, but was the most beloved member of the group because of his fleshed-out backstory.
He wasn’t introduced in an angle that didn’t require much from him; rather, his introduction had to do with him being the reason Earth was saved from invading aliens, with his backstory detailing how he was the last remaining martian. A storyline like this would work wonders in establishing J’onn as a valuable character in the DCEU.
3 Justice League Unlimited
At some point, the DCEU really has to pull the trigger on a full-fledged Justice League in that continuity, as it wouldn’t feel like a complete universe if there wasn’t a fully functioning Justice League out there.
In fact, the DCAU closed out by showing the Justice League completely established, as their numbers went into unlimited levels, which even extended toward different universes, timelines, and into the far future. The execution of this angle in the DCEU would be very simple since all they need to do is follow the formula established by the DCAU.
2 Wonder Woman And Batman's Love Story
Steve Trevor has always been the one that got away for Wonder Woman rather than stick around as her permanent love interest, and Batman fits perfectly as a potential romance. The DCAU threw out moments galore where the two were clearly in love, and it was this continual teasing of their romance that kept the dynamic interesting.
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice already planted the seeds for a Batman and Wonder Woman love story, so all the DCEU needs to do is build on from there. The DCAU had Wonder Woman realize her feelings for Bruce after she accepted Steve was gone, and things are placed quite similarly for the DCEU to replicate this angle.
1 The Source Wall
The Source Wall is essentially the ending barrier to the DC Universe, and stories connected to it are reserved for plots that spell out an endgame in the works. We’re not saying the DCEU has to bring out a finale, but the Source Wall should be the way to go if big-time characters like Batman, Superman, or Wonder Woman were to be written out permanently.
The Source Wall can also work to finish off a threat no hero can fight off - the same was the case for Darkseid in the DCAU - and would easily establish the DCEU’s cosmic landscape, thereby opening up storylines for future villains who could take up the mantle of the Big Bad.