Andrew & Ben React to The DCU Slate (UPDATED 2/1/2023)
This is a compilation of videos made by Andrew and Ben, now released as a mini episode, rather than separate videos like before.
Andrew's reactions to the DCU slate were on TikTok.
The first minute of Ben's live reaction was uploaded to Instagram stories (hence the vertical video). IG, however, did not allow the full thing. The full video is included in the mini episode.
Ben's Other Thoughts on The Batman Part II and The Brave and the Bold announcement:
- The Batman Part II as the official title obviously evokes The Godfather Part II, since the first film was influential on The Batman. See here for a breakdown how:
A part of me had hoped for one of two scenarios:
Matt Reeves and Robert Pattinson would finish out their trilogy and their series of HBO Max spinoffs, with the door open for Pattinson to become the DCU Batman and join the new Superman. After all, we had just gotten a new Batman reboot with a solid young actor and good reception. It would seem weird to reboot again. But this merging also seemed unlikely given the comments from James Gunn and Matt Reeves in shooting these rumors down. Plus, I reasoned in a $10 Patreon episode that if Superman is in his mid-20s, I'd imagine Batman would be a similar age and they wouldn't do the age gap between them like in the Snyder films (there's obviously an irony about this). By the time Pattinson finished out the trilogy, he'd be in his late 30s, already a good ten years older than his Superman (more on this later).
The DCU Batman would be separate but arrive after Reeves and Pattinson were done and after some of the first DCU movies were off the ground and showing that the universe didn't need to rely on Batman to be a hit. (Similar to how, due to rights issues, we didn't get Spider-Man in the MCU until Phase 3.) After all, we predicted (accurately) that the soonest we'd get the next Reeves Batman movie and the Superman reboot would be 2025. I thought they would hold off on bringing Batman into the DCU until Reeves and Pattinson were done to not risk Batman fatigue.
Well, obviously I was wrong on both counts. We have a ton of different Batman universes out there on film alone (not to mention animated shows, live action shows, video games, and three different scripted podcasts so far. There's also bound to be a new Joker in this DCU.).
This year, we'll get Affleck and Keaton in presumably their final outings as Batman in The Flash, then Joker II next year with The Penguin series, then The Batman Part II in 2025 and presumably The Brave and the Bold in 2026 or 2027.
- The Brave and the Bold title is a great choice. It obviously hasn't been used for a live action film before. Its title indicates a lighter tone with the association to the animated series, but it's also likely due to the original comic series, where Batman would team up with a different superhero each issue. By calling it the Brave and the Bold, it feels like the DCU is further putting its stamp on how this is a Batman who's a full on superhero, who can go toe to toe with aliens and be part of the Justice League; a contrast to the current version with Robert Pattinson. It is ironically what Christopher Nolan supposedly vetoed against back in 2008, where there was a trilogy featuring a young Batman in a realistic crime drama setting while there would hypothetically be a more experienced Batman (though ironically played by a younger actor) existing alongside DC superheroes in Justice League Mortal.
More on that here:
This also likely means that our hopes for a more comic book-y evolution from The Batman are likely not happening, with the more comic book-y version existing in the DCU while the Reeves Batman universe remains grounded. Still, it's cool that we're likely going to get that somewhere, if not in the Reeves version.
As comic book fans have pointed out, the promo image that they've been using for The Brave and the Bold is actually from the time period that Dick Grayson was Batman. This, however, does not mean that Dick will be Batman. (I wish they used a different comic cover to remove this confusion, like one of the covers during the New 52 where Batman and Robin were Bruce and Damian).
We're all sure it's still going to be Bruce, just a different version from the multiple ones we've been getting onscreen lately. While I think having Dick become Batman would be cool to see eventually, it shouldn't be in the very first movie of the universe, it should be something we evolve into.
As for Damian being Robin, I know Andrew hates him, but it's the smartest choice out of the Robins when I think about it.
To many of the general public, Robin is still Burt Ward from the 60s show. Damian Wayne is by far the polar opposite to that type of Robin, having been raised by the League of Assassins. And putting him in this introduces the idea of multiple Robins. We've seen it in animated form, live action TV, video games, etc., but putting it in a major film will bring a ton of awareness to this concept alone.
On top of that, we get an automatic Batman family. Especially with Safran's comments on the DC site:
"Left out of the Batman stories in the theater for far too long" indicates Dick Grayson and Barbara Gordon to me. It really wouldn't make sense for them to jump straight into Damian and not at least hint at the other members existing yet.
I would presume that we'll see Dick as Nightwing and Babs as Batgirl or Oracle in this (and if WB wants to repair some PR and talent relations, I'd support the idea of Leslie Grace coming back to be in this one. This time, she'd have an actual Bat family to interact with, along with a younger Batman than Keaton).
I think Jason Todd and Tim Drake could make things overcrowded in the first go, since you already have to explain the multiple Robins thing to the general audience, but the door could be left open to introduce Jason as Red Hood and Tim Drake as Red Robin (though I've always thought he needed a different name than the one of a burger restaurant) in future films.
Another reason why Damian is smart is simply getting to the Bat family quicker.
Let's say Pattinson was the actual DCU Batman and they gave him a Robin in The Batman Part II or III. To build up to the full Batman family, you'd have to evolve Dick into Nightwing, go into Barbara's story in at least becoming Batgirl if not Oracle, introduce Jason Todd as Robin, do A Death in the Family to kill him off, do A Lonely Place of Dying to bring Tim in, do Under the Red Hood to resurrect Jason...at the very least, you're looking at six or seven films just to get to Damian in the first place.
By starting with Damian, you get the full fledged Bat family, with room for more (such as a more comic book accurate Cassandra Cain/Batgirl or Kate Kane/Batwoman now that the Batwoman show is gone). People can also pick up current comic books with Damian as Robin in them along with the other Bat family members, rather than discover how far behind the movies are. There's just a better synchronicity between the comics and movies at that point.
As for the plot of this movie, all that's known is that it's Batman and the Damian Robin, but surely if Damian's introduced, they have to bring in his mother, Talia, and the League of Assassins.
One could even hope for a new Ra's al Ghul (is it too much to ask for an Arabic actor as Ra's who actually started the League of Assassins, who has a Lazarus Pit, and whose name isn't a title to be passed down?) and, to keep it true to Batman and Son, we might even get the ninja Man-Bats! These aspects would all make it as different from The Batman universe as possible, since we likely won't get Ra's, the League of Assassins, Man-Bats, or any form of Damian (or potentially any form of Robin for that matter) in there.
I also find it VERY unlikely that The Brave and the Bold will adapt the FULL Grant Morrison run, which would take up a multi-season TV show just for that alone. It'll likely be just the Batman and Son arc, with room to adapt elements of the later arcs for future movies. Think the Son of Batman movie, except probably not with Deathstroke.
If you're interested in some of our dives into the Morrison Batman run, we have a couple in our $5 Patreon here.
Son of Batman vs. The Comics: https://www.patreon.com/posts/son-of-batman-vs-53660361
The Grant Morrison Batman Career Timeline: https://www.patreon.com/posts/grant-morrisons-72335558
It's a great time to be a Batman fan.
Thanks for watching and reading!
In terms of source material for The Brave and the Bold, yes, start with reading the Batman and Son comic.
What's confusing is that Damian meets Batman for the first time there and dons a Robin suit, but doesn't take the mantle from Tim Drake.
Several issues later in Morrison's run, we get Batman and Robin, where the promo image comes from, where Damian is officially Robin...but he's Robin to Dick Grayson's Batman, not Bruce!
A closer approximation of how stories would work with Bruce as Batman and Damian as Robin would be in the New 52's Batman and Robin (though I'm sure some elements from Morrison's Batman and Robin will make it in), starting with the Born to Kill arc. Just keep in mind that Morrison is already done with their arc at this point.
Also, I overlooked that James Gunn's Creature Commandos features Dr. Phosphorus, whom we discussed when covering the Englehart-Rogers comic arc:
Will Phosphorus indicate that he got arrested by Batman, making him the first Batman villain we meet in the new DCU? Or will it be like The Suicide Squad where neither Ratcatcher had encountered a Batman before? We'll see.
Lastly one gripe that's been around the Internet is that it's weird for Batman to already be at a point where Damian Wayne is Robin when Superman is now in his mid-20s and likely Nightwing's age. Now to be fair, we did get a Batman who had experienced some form of A Death in the Family before Clark even became Superman in the Snyderverse.
My speculation is that Superman Legacy will be different from other superhero films in a major way. Most of the films, outside of origin stories, take place over the course of a few days or months. I wonder if Superman Legacy isn't just a Year Two Superman, it could be about a Year Two through Year Six Superman. Think The Godfather or Goodfellas that take place over several years. An epic covering Superman's evolution in his career, rather than a single story that only takes place over the course of a week as usual.
This could also be a reason why Cavill wouldn't work as we've already seen him evolve in his career in his own way. We saw him save the world, fight Doomsday, die, get resurrected, and then join the Justice League. Obviously Legacy shouldn't follow the same beats, but Cavill's Superman has clearly evolved through his career whereas Legacy's whole take could be about showing Superman's overall evolution and his early career in one movie.
It'd be like if, in a hypothetical situation, Bale was out after The Dark Knight and Reeves wants to do The Batman. Bale's Batman is Year Two, but too evolved compared to the version that Reeves has in mind. Like I've said before, Bale's Batman is pretty much Batman when he dons the suit in Batman Begins while Pattinson's Batman is someone who's learning to be Batman. That could be the same difference here between Cavill's Superman and the new one.
Cast an actor in his late twenties or early thirties and he can pull off playing a 25-30 year old Clark for this. Then you've got a Superman who's around 30 by the time we're caught up in the timeline and a Batman who's potentially 35 (who'd be in Year Ten, having started out at 25 like in the opening of Batman Year One.). You'd still have a younger Superman who's less experienced than Batman, but it now feels less weird and less dramatic of a difference, with a Year Six or Seven Superman with a Year Ten Batman instead of a Year Two Superman and a Year Ten Batman.
Of course, I could be wrong. But as usual, I encourage everyone to have a "wait and see" attitude and wait to condemn these movies until we've actually seen them.