All this talk of alternate realities and multiple versions of Batman has lit a fire under the DCEU, and it all could be leading to the Dark Multiverse and the Batman Who Laughs.
COMPETING WITH MARVEL STUDIOS
For seven years, the DCEU has been playing catch up to the MCU. Granted, Marvel Studios set the bar very high with its shared cinematic universe, something that hadn’t been seen in comic book movies. Then came The Avengers and the introduction of Thanos. By the time DC decided it was time to play, the company was already well behind Marvel.
No matter what DC put on screen, it seemed Marvel had beaten them to the punch. When the Justice League fiasco reached movie theaters, most fans viewed it as a second-rate Avengers, which the Joss Wheddon cut was, actually.
Now the tables have turned, and DC has an opportunity to outpace Marvel.
Unless you have been living off the grid for the past couple of weeks, you have undoubtedly heard the big news that ATT/Time-Warner has been courting Michael Keaton to reprise his role as Bruce Wayne for 2022’s The Flash movie. Directly connecting one of DC’s most popular franchises to the modern DCEU is a phenomenal move. The nostalgia alone will bring audiences into theaters, but there’s a bigger picture.
Not much is known about The Flash, but it will reportedly feature time and interdimensional travel with Flash journeying across the Multiverse. It’s not like we haven’t already seen this. Ezra Miller’s Flash made a cameo and met up with Grant Gustin’s version of the character on an episode of the CW’s The Flash. Not only that, but the CW’s Arrowverse established that both Batman ’66 and ’89 were already part of its continuity.
When it comes to the Multiverse, the DCEU is leagues ahead of Marvel. Bringing Keaton into the mix only further solidifies the position.
DARK NIGHTS: METAL
This could very well be the DCEU’s reverse Avengers. It would give movie fans something they have yet to see.
In the comics, the Dark Nights: Metal crossover featured evil versions of Batman meshed with members of the Justice League, Joker, and Doomsday. All of which were pulled from the Dark Multiverse. This served as an introduction for one of the hottest characters in comics, the Batman Who Laughs.
As the movie version of the Flash traverses the Multiverse, it is logical to think that he will discover the Dark Multiverse. Once that door is cracked, it leaves the DCEU exposed to the Batman Who Laughs and his evil counterparts. Instead of copying Marvel’s strategy with Thanos, each Dark Knight could be teased more in an Avengers-style. That would put them out in front of an MCU Dark Avengers.
There have been millings that Marvel Studios eventually wants to have the Dark Avengers in the MCU. Having the BWL’s Dark Justice League would put them years ahead of the competition. DC wouldn’t have to shoehorn all the characters into one movie a la Justice League. There is time to build a slow burn.
DC has been heavily inundating readers with the Dark Multiverse recently. Since the original Dark Nights Metal event, the BWL had his own limited series, and he has brought in other characters from the Dark Multiverse. Now there’s the sequel, Dark Nights: Death Metal, currently going. Now would be the time for the DCEU to establish the key elements needed to bring the Batman Who Laughs and his minions to live-action in a way Marvel hasn’t already done.
FINAL THOUGHTS ON DARK NIGHTS
It’s an exciting time to be a DC fan. The multiverse could give the DCEU its own (and much-needed) identity separate from the MCU. It can carve a different path and forge trails in places Marvel has yet to tread.
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