The new DC Animated Universe film Batman and Harley Quinn is here, and fans of the '90s Batman: The Animated Series love it. But while it's awesome to hear Kevin Conroy back in the role, I have to ask: did Batman really need another animated movie?
For more than 25 years, an overwhelming majority of DC's animated films have focused on the Caped Crusader. Some of these films are total classics — Mask of the Phantasm, Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker and Under the Red Hood — but there are a couple dozen more. Plus, DC is currently working on Batman: Hush, Batman by Gaslight and Batman: A Death In The Family.
These movies receive plenty of hype, but as Batman: The Killing Joke proved, they're just not as exciting as they used to be. Why? Too much of a good thing can diminish what made it so good.
Batman is DC's biggest selling point, even when he only appears for a few minutes like in Batman: Assault On Arkham (which nevertheless gave him a huge spot on the cover). Fans who feel fatigued from too much of the Dark Knight want something else from DC animation — so here are other heroes who deserve some more attention in the future:
One of the founding members of the Teen Titans, Victor Stone a.k.a. Cyborg has blossomed in popularity thanks to his animated appearances in both shows and films, but he's never had a solo adventure before. With Ray Fisher about to portray him in the upcoming Justice League live-action film, Cyborg's popularity will more than likely skyrocket, thus giving DC the perfect opportunity for an animated film.
Shazam is a character who speaks to all of us who've ever dreamed of being just like our favorite hero. Billy Batson, a boy who loves Superman, transforms into an adult hero upon saying the word "SHAZAM!" He fights for justice while bringing smiles and laughs to audiences. He's only appeared in a short film and shows, so Shazam deserves to have his own animated movies on the fun aspect alone.
3. Blue Beetle
The name alone used to sway people away from this character, but after he was heavily showcased in Young Justice, general audiences became fascinated. Blue Beetle a.k.a. Jaime Reyes has appeared many times in a supporting role, but just like with Cyborg, perhaps it's time to jump to a leading role in an animated film.
The character brings so much fun to his adventures, along with tons of heartwarming stuff with his family. There's so much potential here for an animated classic.
4. Green Arrow
An immensely popular character thanks to The CW's live-action show, you might be surprised to hear that Green Arrow has never had his own solo animated film before. The closest thing we ever got was an amazing short film starring Neal McDonough titled DC Showcase: Green Arrow. Hey, DC? I think you know what to do.
5. The Flash
Another hero with a hit CW series, the Flash has only had a single animated solo movie, the fan-favorite Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox. The Flash is slowly becoming just as popular as Batman and Superman, so making an animated franchise based on the character is something that I am shocked hasn't happened yet — especially with the number of potential spinoff characters like his nephew Kid Flash and grandson Impulse.
6. Wonder Woman
Diana of Themyscira has made countless appearances in animated movies and shows, but usually as a member of the Justice League. Like the Flash, she only has a single animated solo film, an origin story from 2009. Of course, Patty Jenkins's live-action, critically acclaimed Wonder Woman just dominated the global box office, so it's a no-brainer to give the Amazon Princess her own animated franchise.
The DC animated world is definitely in need of more female leads, so why not make an animated film about one of the best that comics have ever given us?
Barbara Gordon has solidified herself as not just one of the best characters in the Batman mythos but in the entire DC universe, merging the darkness of Gotham City with her positive attitude, spirit and kick-assery. Her character also deserves her own story after the controversy from her depiction in Batman: The Killing Joke.
Incorporating comic writer Gail Simone's work on the character is the logical choice here; the last animated film based on her work, Wonder Woman (2009), was well-received by both critics and fans alike. Either way, Batgirl deserves more attention ... and a nice break from the multitude of Batman movies could freshen things up!
Do you agree that DC should focus on other animated characters, or do you think they should keep going with Batman? Let me know in the comments below!