When all is said and done, and we look back on the DC Extended Universe not everyone will see eye to eye. So far through nine films the powers that be, Warner and DC have put out several divisive films. Critics scores and audiences scores on sites like Rotten Tomatoes may not reflect how you or I see these films and they shouldn’t stop anyone from watching any singular film (maybe Suicide Squad, kidding). There has been controversy on sets, behind the scenes mishaps, a change in leadership and direction of the universe and no real present overlord in the likes of a Kevin Feige with Marvel Studios and Disney.
In the beginning of the DCEU, there was a ton of promise given the sheer popularity of its individual heroes and group. These are the greatest heroes ever created in comics and graphic novels – how could this possibly fail? Come on, its Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, the Flash, Aquaman and Cyborg with several key Justice League members riding the bench, waiting for their time to shine in the spotlight. As the universe started to get its footing, it’s clear the lack of a Kevin Feige type at DC or Warner has hurt its chances to succeed on that same level and it’s also clear that there is no real plan – no rhyme or reason to the releases and connectivity.
With all that said, here is my subjective rating on the DC Extended Universe starting from the bottom:
9) Justice League (2017)
8) Suicide Squad (2016)
7) Harley Quinn: Birds of Prey (2020)
6) Wonder Woman 1984 (2020)
5) Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016)
4) Aquaman (2018)
3) Wonder Woman (2017)
2) Shazam! (2019)
1) Man of Steel (2013)
A lot has changed since 2013’s Man of Steel was released. There are no talks of a sequel, which is mind blowing yet a second Suicide Squad film is set to release this year. It’s an unorthodox method and there are several puzzling questions that have yet to be answered or addressed. The main one being the controversies surrounding Ezra Miller and Amber Heard. What’s also intriguing is the situation with Joss Whedon and Ray Fisher on the Justice League set after Zack Snyder stepped down. Even with the issues that come from each film (no film is perfect), there is still a sense of hope on the horizon.
The Suicide Squad directed by James Gunn promises an entirely different experience with Task Force X and Zack Snyder’s Justice League (which just got an official rating of R) is right around the corner as well. Copying the Marvel formula has proved to be something that other studios have attempted and failed to duplicate. There are several ways the DCEU can be improved, the major thing is to introduce each character in their own separate films regardless of how many times that character has been portrayed on screen before. Have a concrete plan, something that makes sense that doesn’t need an extended edition with vital information that was cut from the theatrical version.
Regardless, what’s done is done and the next wave of films are set to be either released or start production. There is so much hope for what’s to come now that the focus is on the individual story that is being told instead of the wider universe at hand. Bring on Black Adam! It’s been about a decade since that film was announced.
So, tell me guys, have you seen the current DCEU films and if so, what do you think about it? Do you agree with my final ranking or disagree with me? What does your rank look like? Comment below or send me an email and let me know what you think. Each film can be streamed on HBO Max.