The DCEU, for many, are hit or miss. Its world is enormous and its stakes are high. Just take a look at the films we’ve gotten so far. Man of Steel had Henry Cavill’s Superman saving the world from destruction and rebirth via Zod’s army. In Batman v. Superman, Lex Luthor and a twisted Doomsday now sought control and/or destruction. Suicide Squad had Task Force X secretly saving the world from an ancient evil. To cap it off, even 2017’s incredible Wonder Woman had a villain that basically wanted war all the time. Need more convincing? We’re sure this year’s Justice League will drive the point even further home with its apocalyptic scenario.
But for some, the high stakes and extremely powerful heroes and villains at the forefront of them seem to push some others under the radar. Longtime DC mainstays are relegated to support decisions, never truly finding their full comic-based potential, crushed under the pressure of heroes like Superman and Wonder Woman. That being said, the characters and heroes of the cinematic DC Universe are big and bold, with some characters seemingly god-like, with others seeming small in comparison. We take a look at eight characters that are overpowered in the DCEU and seven who are weaker.
15. OVERPOWERED: ENCHANTRESS
Enchantress’s role in Suicide Squad was characterized by her ability to wreak complete and utter havoc onto the world. Sure, there was a sort of romance subplot in there, but most of the time was spent on how dangerous Enchantress is and how her possession could basically end life as we know it.
As far as villains in the DC films go, she’s right in line what with the whole world-ending evil thing. While the plot of Suicide Squad cracked under the pressure of the power of most of its characters, we still got the idea that Enchantress was wicked powerful. It sure didn’t hurt that we saw her taking down plenty of people and basically wiping the floor with the other members of Task Force X.
14. WEAKER: ARES
This one we were a bit surprised about. While the entirety of Wonder Woman was an incredible period piece and superhero movie, Ares’ ultimate reveal as the villain felt incredibly underwhelming, and despite all of his talk, he quickly fell to the might of Diana of Themyscira in her quest to end war and protect humanity.
And don’t get us wrong, that’s absolutely how it should have gone down, but we’re left a little unimpressed by Ares’ showing. The fight scenes were stellar, but for the God of War, we could have used a bit more running time on this master of destruction. After all, the entire background plot of the film had us guessing who he was, yet it was right there the whole time.
13. OVERPOWERED: GENERAL ZOD
General Zod’s arrival on Earth was more than terrifying, to say the least. While his political brutality is seen in the flashback scenes of the final days of Krypton, his true power is in physical strength and using Superman’s weaknesses against him.
During the battle between Zod’s armies, Zod and Superman in Metropolis, the two of them wreck the city, with Zod’s heat vision and powerful hits bringing down buildings and scorching land. They fly all over, trading punches like the best of the Saiyans from Dragon Ball Z. It’s an incredible sight to see, and the power of Zod captured on film is pretty great, even if the film itself didn’t hold up that well. His psychological menace even comes out, as he pressures Superman to do the unthinkable at the end of the film. Pretty rough, huh?
12. WEAKER: EL DIABLO
While El Diablo’s appearances in the comics aren’t anything to call home about, the character sure spent a lot of time feeling pretty grim about his powers. Throughout Suicide Squad, El Diablo refuses to unleash this power, often at the cost of his team. This pacifism puts a hold on someone who might be the trump card that Task Force X needs — and that help comes too little too late.
Of course, when we finally get to see El Diablo’s pretty incredible power, he… dies, literally exploding under the pressure of fighting with the film’s big bad. It’s a shame, too, because we would have liked to have seen more of what El Diablo can do. We guess he could always come back, right? Comic books.
11. OVERPOWERED: AQUAMAN
OK, so we really haven’t seen much of Jason Momoa’s Aquaman outside of a brief scene in Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice and promotional trailers and images from Justice League. But what we have seen leads us to believe that the live-action Aquaman will be a far cry from his comic book counterpart.
Of course, Aquaman from the comics is incredibly powerful in his own right what with his command of the ocean and aqua-kinetic power, but so far we’ve seen a guy that seemingly freefalls around, tosses his trident without fear of losing it, guts some Parademons and then lands on the Batmobile or in Cyborg’s arms like it’s just another day. We’re actually half expecting Aquaman to be the one that says “Boo yah!” at some point in Justice League.
10. WEAKER: DOOMSDAY
Yes, Doomsday was still able to kill Superman in Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that he’s essentially a glorified Bizarro clone in the films, co-opting the powers of General Zod and the calculated fear of Lex Luthor to produce a more monstrous, ultimately less threatening beast of a villain.
And Superman only really falls to Doomsday because of weird plot work and one ill-placed spike on Doomsday’s body, drawing bits and pieces from “The Death of Superman” comic book arc. This Doomsday is less motivated and more of a scared child forced to come to blows with Superman, Wonder Woman and Batman fairly shortly after his creation. Will we eventually get a comics-accurate Doomsday? The world may never know.
9. OVERPOWERED: HARLEY QUINN
Harley Quinn’s role in Suicide Squad may be one of the best parts of a movie bogged down by its character overload. While her comic book counterpart has her sporting fourth-wall breaking like DC’s own Deadpool, the movie version truly shows the wild and twisted power of Harley Quinn — and her nigh indestructibility.
In addition to having some pretty intense brute force strength (especially on a team rounded out by Killer Croc), Harley Quinn is confident and calculated, often building on her own past to motivate her actions for the future. Even a mid-film conflict of feelings from her character toward The Joker leads her on a path of redemption. Of all of the characters introduced in Suicide Squad, Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn is the one we most want to see more of.
8. WEAKER: DEADSHOT
While we were a pretty big fan of Will Smith’s portrayal of Deadshot in Suicide Squad, we were left a little underwhelmed with the showing of his marksman abilities. Sure, he was one of the most fleshed out characters in the film plot wise, but Deadshot’s accuracy is supposed to put fear into the hearts of men, not be used as a party trick.
This may have been an effect of the film’s battle for screen time, but if we do get to see Smith’s Deadshot again, here’s hoping he does a bit more with his incredible power. If Marvel can do wondrous things with Hawkeye in film, DC’s got their own marksman to save face with. Plus, his not-so-trusting relationship with Amanda Waller is a standout in the comics.
7. OVERPOWERED: BATMAN
Now, this is not us saying that Batman is weaker outside of the DC film universe, but it is us saying that Batman is sort of a maniac when it comes to showing off in Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice. Not only do we get some insane combos from him that look like they’re straight out of the Batman: Arkham series of games, but we get an impressive showing of his monetary prowess, gadgets and charisma.
Bruce is even willing to go toe-to-toe with Superman on his first time meeting him. And, addressing the elephant in the room, the Batman in this universe has killed a good amount of people. And we all know that a Batman without his moral code is a much more dangerous Batman.
6. WEAKER: LEX LUTHOR
Despite Lex Luthor’s terrorist tendencies in Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, his execution is extremely messy, leading us to believe that he’s significantly weaker than his poised comic book counterpart. In the films, Lex Luthor is young, lanky and mad with potential power. His comic book counterpart is a top businessman, one that goes on to do everything from run for president to subbing in as Superman.
He creates Doomsday, sure, but less out of an obsession of Superman and more out of a religious yearning for alien discovery. It’s less calculated and more creepy, and despite his setup, Lex Luthor is taken down fairly easily following the defeat of Doomsday and the death of Superman. He did blow up that boardroom though, and that was pretty bad.
5. OVERPOWERED: AMANDA WALLER
Amanda Waller in Suicide Squad might be the closest we’ve come in not only comic book casting, but in direct portrayal of a comic book character. Viola Davis as Amanda Waller is encapsulating, and her political prowess is only trumped by her military pull, tactical mind and straight up ruthlessness when it comes to the lives of her Task Force X. If it was up to us, she’d be the villain behind the scenes in every DC film from here to forever.
Amanda Waller pulls all of the strings, and despite having any meta-human abilities herself, she strikes fear into the hearts of plenty powered people, and even some that think themselves gods without powers — like Batman. That Amanda Waller/Batman showdown better be coming sooner rather than later.
4. WEAKER: LOIS LANE
In the comics, Lois Lane is a strong, independent, award-winning journalist who just happens to be dating Superman. Her identity isn’t defined by him though, and she’s carried arcs and solo series almost as long as Superman and his supporting cast have. In the film’s Amy Adams’ Lois Lane attempts to come off this way, but ends up playing a damsel in distress, minimizing Lane’s accomplishments in the comics.
That being said, the film universe does play with the idea of having her stand on her own, whether it’s recoiling from the death of Superman, to her willingness to take assignments at The Daily Planet, like embedding in the Middle East with a gun-crazy warlord. The potential is there, but we haven’t seen it yet.
3. OVERPOWERED: SUPERMAN
While the DC films have a long way to go as far as nailing Superman’s personality and characterization, they do get one thing right — Superman is incredibly powerful. From the moment we see him take flight in Man of Steel, we know we’re witnessing a human jet plane. And this flight is the first to sell us on the idea of Superman, only added to by his fighting spirit.
When Superman fights General Zod and Doomsday in their respective films, he punches with the power of the gods. Every breaking of the sound barrier or shattered window proves to us that we’re witnessing the strongest depiction of Superman ever on-screen. Let’s just hope his return can live up to the other parts of the mythology.
2. WEAKER: THE JOKER
The Joker has a long way to go in the DC film universe. When he’s introduced in Suicide Squad, we see little more than a deranged gangbanger, one that is covered in ironic tattoos and has an obsession with guns and knives and an eye for arranging them in circular patterns. We see him as abusive and strange, not threatening and proud.
While Jared Leto surely has the potential to pull of The Joker, what we’ve gotten so far is merely a far cry from the Jack Nicholson and Heath Ledger portrayals of the past. We don’t need The Joker to look unsettling, but we need him to be unsettling in everything from his walk to his ability to command the underworld of Gotham. We’re just not there yet.
1. OVERPOWERED: WONDER WOMAN
Wonder Woman is the crown jewel of the DC film universe. And don’t think that because we’re calling her “OP,” that means we’re saying she should be less powerful. No way, Diana of Themyscira is just what the DC films need, and her brute power is only championed by her confidence, charm and passion for the fate of humanity.
In Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, we see her go toe-to-toe with Doomsday and stand among the other members of the trinity. In Wonder Woman, we get so much more as she learns about the trials of Earth and brings her fierce warrior spirit to World War II and across No Man’s Land. She’s incredible, powerful and the keystone to these films, and it can only get better.
Which DCEU character do you think is the most OP? Let us know in the comments!
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