Now that we finally know more about the DCEU and what characters and stories may be involved, a lot of comparisons have been drawn to the DC TV universe. And really many of the comparisons look at DCTV unfavourably, which isn’t necessarily fair.
DCTV have already touched on a lot of the characters that will be appearing in the DCEU, and are starting to bring new characters in that are already in the DCEU. With that comes the inevitable comparison of the DCEU vs DCTV.
Let’s look at a recent example, the reveal of Deathstroke in the DCEU. First of all, cool and surprising reveal (thanks Ben). We have seen basically nothing from this character however, merely a glimpse at how his character looks. We don’t know what role he will play or how he will be characterised, we know nothing. Yet people are quick to dismiss the TV version of the character, and call this one superior.
Now obviously budgets are very different on CW shows compared to movies. So obviously the DCEU has a better looking Deathstroke. But let’s not take away from the great character Deathstroke was in Arrow (well in season 1 and 2 anyways). Now I may not watch Arrow anymore and I’ll agree it’s quality right now is pretty low, but season 2 was genuinely great television. And that had a lot to do with Deathstroke.
Deathstroke was frightening and shocking. He was emotionally driven but his actions showcased how ruthless he was and the lack of humanity he possessed. The scene where he kills Moira was such an amazing villainous moment. Seeing him go from Ollie’s friend to the man who murders his mother, that was a great character arc.
And it’s great that we get to see Deathstroke in the DCEU as well, but just because he’s in the movies doesn’t mean that we have to choose one or the other. They can both be great Deathstrokes.
I see the same thing is happening with The Flash. The DCEU Flash has had a bit of visibility this year with his cameos in Batman v Superman and Suicide Squad, along with the Justice League trailer and costume reveal. Again, budgets are different. The fact that the DCEU suit looks better is not surprising.
So again with that we see people flock to hate The Flash TV show because we have a Flash in the movies. Now obviously it’s fine if you’ve watched The Flash TV show and didn’t like it. But I’m seeing a lot of people who don’t even really watch it, quick to trash talk it.
Why does there need to be a competition? The Flash TV show has done amazing things. Sure it gets frustrating when we see some beats constantly recur (Barry needing to run faster to solve a problem), but the show has brought comic book panels to life. From the Speed Force to King Shark and Gorilla Grodd, there have been a lot of cool moments in the show and a lot of genuinely emotionally moving moments.
Not to mention how much of a good villain Reverse Flash was. We get introduced to this surrogate father figure for Barry, someone who understands and helps him. Only to find out that he’s been playing Barry the whole time, that he’s responsible for irrevocably changing the entire course of Barry’s life. Again, another truly terrifying villain.
And I’m excited to see what The Flash movie does. To see what sides of The Flash mythology they’ll explore. Because it doesn’t have to be one or the other. The DCEU and DCTV universe can co-exist.
Soon we’ll see Superman in Supergirl, which will be interesting. I’m sure we’ll see hate coming from both ends. Those who will hate the DCTV Superman because he’s not the DCEU Superman, and those who will bash the DCEU Superman because he’s not like the DCTV universe Superman, who apparently will be a lot more “traditional” in character.
Personally, I love the DCEU Superman. I have loved his character arc so far. From being this lost boy, to someone confident enough who understands his place in the world. I like that it’s been a tough journey and that we weren’t instantly given the happy, confident Superman.
But I’m still interested to see what Supergirl does with their Superman (also I’m happy we’re moving away from silly IM chats) even if he will be more like Christopher Reeve/traditional Superman.
DCTV has covered a lot of ground, and sure there’s been plenty of blunders, but there’s also been a lot of success. Right now I’m really enjoying The Flash, Legends, Gotham etc. and I’m excited to see how the DCEU will handle those worlds and characters. So instead of hating one aspect of the DC live action universe because it’s not like the other, why don’t we just appreciate how lucky we are!