The DC Extended Universe is about to become the Marvel Universe.
James Gunn and Peter Safran finally unveiled the plans for the DC Extended Universe, which will now be more of the DC Unified Universe and very much a copy of the foundation of what has made the Marvel Universe successful. The so-called Chapter 1 (instead of Phases, like Marvel) is made up of ten titles that include the films “Superman: Legacy”, “The Authority”, “The Brave and the Bold”, “Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow” and “ Swamp Thing” and the series “Creature Commandos”, “Waller”, “Lanterns”, “Paradise Lost” and “Booster Gold”.
The plans include a main line of the story that will take the opportunity to “reset” or start again with “The Flash” this 2023. Hence, the first of the titles with a release date is “Superman: Legay”, which could indicate that 2024 will be free of DC titles, unless one of those mentioned arrives before. Apparently that title will be “Creature Commandos”, an animated series that will follow the vein of “What if…?” as for the characters that appear in said version will have the look and voice of those who interpret them in live action. Of the other titles that premiere in 2023. “Shazam! Fury of the Gods”, “Blue Beetle” and “Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom”, only the latter has been mentioned as part of the new story, but Gunn and Safran are being careful; could be included, it will depend on the box office. In relation to the sequels of “The Batman” and “Joker” they will happen and will be part of a kind of “special events” that will allow the universe to play with certain properties outside the main story (as it happens with the comics). Those cases will be few.
Now, the roster of titles from Chapter 1 shows on the one hand that DC seeks to no longer depend on its best-known titles or on the “holy trinity” (Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman). That is, Superman and Batman are present, but not yet in a clear or substantial way. Whether there will be a third Wonder Woman or a new one is unclear, but her homeland of Themyscira will feature in the “Paradise Lost” series. Moreover, this “new universe” will no longer be distinguished from Marvel’s by its dark tone, but will have, just like the former, a variety of genres (“Booster Gold” will be a comedy, “Swamp Thing” will be Horror and “Lanterns” Mystery This seeks that each title has its own personality and that the genre responds more naturally to the characteristics of characters and stories.
The new set of characters either don’t fit or seem to at first glance. There are iconic characters, others less known like Supergirl and others completely unknown like the aforementioned “Creature Commandos” or “The Authority”, something similar to what Marvel did, for example, when they decided to introduce titles like “Guardians of the Galaxy” or even more basically playing at the beginning with characters like Iron-Man who were far from being the most popular along with Spider-Man or the Hulk and to whom he did not have or have all the rights. In the end, what the strategy does is present “random” pieces of a puzzle that come together in a great event such as “Avengers” and later “Endgame”. DC has not yet let us know what theirs will be. However, since the universe is unified and the announcement barely reveals the tip of the iceberg, the order in which the titles appear and the appearances of characters from one story to another will help, as a product line, the universe in general. It is a matter of marketing that is generated around the characters themselves, the story and the cast involved.
In favor of the DC Universe there is also the one that will go where it has not gone before with the well-known characters. For example, recent Batman stories have focused on the 1980s comics. “The Brave and the Bold” will do it with the version of Grant Morrison that is from the 2000’s, which implies a totally different dynamic for Batman. In that version, he is the father of Damian Wayne, aka Robin. Likewise, the announcement reveals a universe that may be “daring” than Marvel’s, which is ultimately under the umbrella of Disney. “The Authority” sounds like something that could be in the vein of “The Boys” series or, for that matter, James Gunn’s own “Suicide Squad”. Likewise, a gay romance between the protagonists, Apollo and Midnighter, is central to the story. This helps what Marvel has been doing with its latest titles, expanding the diversity of its characters and thereby appealing to more market segments. DC will look for the same. It is very simple, the universes will not leave anyone out. The community of color joined with “Black Panther”, the Asian with “Shang-Chi”, the Indian with “Ms. Mavel”, women stopped being included with the arrival of several heroines and in “Eternas” there are already gay and disabled characters.
What will set the DC Universe apart is still unclear. For the moment, they will be their characters, perhaps the one that is “more daring”. However, the structure on which it is built learns and takes advantage of the strategy that has made Marvel’s company so successful. oh! And they will also bet on talent, behind and in front of the cameras.