There is an imaginary "wall" at the front of a stage in a traditional three-walled set, through which the audience sees the actions of a play. It is a thin line that exists between a story and reality. Otherwise known as... THE FOURTH WALL! But on this Valentines Day you can kiss that imaginary concept goodbye because Deadpool doesn't give a $#!% about walls! In all honesty, the idea of breaking the fourth wall is not entirely original. For example you got Wiley Coyote, Annie Hall, Ferris Bueller, even Francis Underwood have taken advantage of the technique, but Deadpool could be a pioneer as the first superhero to address the audience in a comic book related film (that's if you don't count Superman smirking at the camera, or Bluntman and Chronic). Regardless, Deadpool will be giving something to fans that they have been dying to get for years, a little attention. With jabs at X-Men Origins and Green Lantern, Deadpool will be roasting everything in his path, which makes you wonder (in the nerd world), how is DC going to respond? If this question has been weighing on you tremendously, you've come to the right place! Here are a few tricks (or risks) DC should consider pulling out of their sleeve...
#1 ... Deathstroke
Deathstroke has nothing to do with the fourth wall, and is not even the least bit comedic, but he might be the sole reason why Deadpool exists. One of Deadpool's creators, Rob Liefeld, was a fan of Teen Titans where Slade Wilson (Deathstroke) played a significant role. He drew a concept for a his fellow creator Fabian Nicieza that was very similar to Deathstroke, and as an inside joke they came up with Wade Wilson (Deadpool). By creating a Deathstroke franchise, DC could offer the same high-octane ultra-violent action movie while sticking to the dark and gritty style they love so much. This is actually a likely option since Slade is slated to make an appearance in the upcoming Suicide Squad later this year, and has deep roots in the Batman universe itself. He's a well developed character that constantly toes the line of villain or vigilante which is also DC's current MO. I wouldn't be surprised if he begins to make more appearances throughout the expanding DCU, and could even snag a solo film.
#2 ... The Multiverse
Currently, DC has a lot of film properties with entirely separate continuities. To the point where it has almost become confusing for fans, and will only grow more detached as we see the Justice League develop on both TV and the big screen. So far they have done a decent job of steering clear from comparisons (although Arrow is basically Batman for the CW), but The Flash is set to appear in Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice as a completely different Barry Allen than the current one played wonderfully by Grant Gustin. Will it be too much to balance multiple versions of the same story? Well, DC has a storyline that could completely change the game and acknowledge the existence of all these vastly different incarnations... CRISIS! In the comics this story was used to flatten the continuity as DC kept going in different directions with different creators and needed a way to wrap it into one epic storyline. This could work almost perfectly with how they've built their film universe, and would be more of a metaphoric wink at the audience as a way to address a new approach to onscreen storytelling. It might be farfetched, but would be legendary if executed properly.
#3 ... Plastic Man
The last, and certainly not least option for DC is... PLASTIC MAN!!! Possibly the most underrated and maybe misunderstood hero of all time. Originally created in the 1940's with the likes of Batman, Plastic Man was fabricated by Jack Cole as a comedic response to all of the over serious detective comics of its time. He's a bit little goofy so it might be a stretch (no pun intended), but he is the perfect character to compete with Deadpool. Having had a flirtation with the fourth wall himself, DC could use him in a similar light to poke fun at the industry and give another glimpse at the superhero genre. He also has the undertone of a much darker story, with a background in crime he was left for dead by the mob after a freak accident which gave him the power to mold his body into any shape imaginable. He uses this power to seek revenge on his old friends, but realizes he likes the attention of crime fighting and sticks with it. This would be an all out comedy, which has never really been explored by DC (though I'm not sure what you'd call Batman and Robin), and it's time that they start expanding their horizons. Come on DC, give peace a chance... I'm mean, Plastic Man!
Now I know that Deadpool is actually being controlled by Fox Studios with a lot of creative freedom, but I still can't help but think this will be a huge win for Marvel. Not that I don't want them find success or take incredible risks, but it would be nice to see it even out a bit, especially if DC has the potential properties to make it work. Overall I hope this will be a revolutionary year for comic book films, and most likely Deadpool will be the one to thank.