Whilst Marvel has been light years ahead of DC when it comes to their live action cinematic outings over the last decade, there’s no denying that the former can’t hold a candle to the latter when it comes to animated movies. For over 2 decades now, DC have been converting many of their classic story arcs into superb animated movies such as The Dark Knight Returns and All Star Superman and show no sign of slowing down. With Superman: Red Son due to release later this year, DC can tick off yet another great story arc that’s made it to their animated movie collection. With that being said, no matter how many stories they use, there’s always hundreds upon hundreds left out there waiting to be next. To pass time waiting for Superman: Red Son to come out, I’ve decided to write about 5 other DC stories that I want to see as animated movies in the near future.
5. Batman: The Man Who Laughs.
A one shot special written by Ed Brubaker in 2005, The Man Who Laughs shares Batman’s very first encounter with The Joker. The clown prince of crime reveals himself for the first time to the people of Gotham through television appearances, announcing his intentions to kill well known Gotham public figures. After initially succeeding, poisoning the first few of his targets, Joker makes the mistake of targeting Bruce Wayne who, after succumbing to the poison, is saved by Alfred and deduces that the poison is coming from the water supply. Eventually the two finally come face to face and Batman puts an end to The Joker’s plan having him imprisoned in the newly reopened Arkham Asylum. I personally can’t believe we’ve somehow gone this long without an animated movie focusing on the first encounter of these two iconic comic book characters and this is something that definitely needs to change!
4. Batman: Knightfall.
Written by the team of Chuck Dixon, Jo Duffy, Alan Grant, Dennis O’neil and Doug Moench between April 1993 and August 1994, Knightfall is the story of how Bane broke the bat. After releasing all of the maximum security criminals from Arkham Asylum, some of which include The Joker and Scarecrow, Bane waited in the wings as Batman fought each of the escapees. Once he’d bested each villain and returned them to Arkham, Batman returned to the Wayne Manor only to be confronted by Bane who went on to break Batman’s back. This lead to Batman becoming paraplegic and having to give up the cape whilst Bane took over Gotham’s crime underworld. Eventually Jean-Paul Valley donned the famous mask and cape and after defeating Bane, continued to protect Gotham whilst he grew more and more unstable in the role. As well as showing how intelligent and brutal Bane can be, Knightfall reminded us all how beneath the mask, Bruce Wayne was just a man and one who was very much capable of suffering such an injury unlike fellow Justice League members, Superman or Wonder Woman. I think the iconic story would translate perfectly into an animated movie and watching Batman suffer such a setback before recovering to return to his role as Batman would make for a very compelling viewing. Plus, who doesn’t want to see Azrael in an animated movie?
The most recent comic book in my list, Tom Taylor’s DCeased took a tired all zombie apocalypse trope and put an entirely new and interesting spin on it. Caused by Darkseid and the Anti-Life Equation, the entire planet Earth is hit by a devastating techno-virus infecting 600 million people in a matter of minutes. The movie would probably be unsuitable for younger audiences with all of the graphic violence that we get in the book, but it would make for one hell of a movie. As an else world story, Taylor wasn’t afraid to really push the boundaries and no superhero was safe from the ongoing virus. We get shocking superhero deaths, heart felt emotional moments and even the crowning of a surprising new Green Lantern. This book had it all and would make a great new addition to the DC animated movie collection.
2. Batman: Death of the Family.
Written by Scott Snyder between October 2012 and February 2013, Death of the Family was the third story arc in Snyder’s New 52 Batman run and arguably one of the best stories to come out of the New 52. After disappearing for over a year, The Joker returns to Gotham with a twisted new agenda, no longer targeting Batman, but the rest of the bat family instead. More twisted than ever before, The Joker shows why he’s undeniably Batman’s greatest ever foe throughout this story and his relationship with Batman is shown perfectly. Kidnapping each member of the bat family, Joker really pushes Batman to his limits in this series and with his fantastic performances in the past, I could really see Mark Hamill relishing in the role. The book also does an excellent job of highlighting how the bat family is just that, a family and how much they all mean to each other. To me, this is one of the definitive Batman vs Joker stories and one I’d love to see play out in animated movie form!
1. Kingdom Come.
Written by Mark Waid and Alex Ross in 1996, Kingdom Come is an else world story set in a future where most of DC’s most famous heroes have retired after the rise of public support for a new superhero, Magog. Replaced by a much younger, dangerously irresponsible and largely amoral set of heroes, Superman is forced to come out of retirement and reform the Justice League when the younger set of heroes cause the death of millions in a fight with the Parasite. This leads to a brewing conflict between the 2 sides with Superman recruiting many older and even some new heroes to his side. Most notably, though is the absence of Batman by Superman’s side as Batman stands in the middle of the 2 sides and tries to prevent the oncoming war. Featuring Lex Luthor, an adult Billy Batson and even The Spectre, I think Kingdom Come would be one hell of an interesting animated movie and the battle scenes featuring Superman’s Justice League and the new wave of heroes could be really fun to watch. The biggest challenge would be to try and remain faithful to the art style which could prove incredibly difficult as it was painted in Gouache by Alex Ross, but if anyone can get around that, it’s the DC team.
Well, that’s 5 DC stories I’d love to see as animated movies. There’s many many more I could have included like The Batman who Laughs or Blackest Night, but I’d be here forever if I went through them all so I just went through the 5 I want to see the most!
Hope you enjoyed reading this and if there’s any other stories I haven’t included that you’d like to see made into animated movies feel free to hit me up! There’s nothing I like more than talking comics!