ByKit Simpson Browne, writer at
Writer-at-large. Bad jokes aplenty. Can be gently prodded on Twitter at @kitsb1
Kit Simpson Browne

So, here's the thing. Whatever we may personally think of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, DC's first full entry in its burgeoning DC Extended Universe - Man of Steel arguably being more of an inadvertent prequel - there are a whole lot of people who loved it, and an even larger group of people who actively disliked it. Wherever we may fall on that spectrum, it's worth bearing in mind that, from critical, fan-response and box office perspectives, Batman v Superman was both highly divisive, and ultimately seen as something of a disappointment.

With the DCEU now in full swing, though, and the flagship Justice League very much on the horizon - Justice League Part One is due in November 2017 - it's perhaps worth asking one of the big questions lurking underneath the surface of DC's newborn cinematic universe:

Can The DCEU Ever Overturn Its Bad First Impression?

After all, while there's something to be said for a massive, record-shattering opening weekend, there's also a pretty solid argument that an equally massive drop off on the second weekend suggests that many fans were unimpressed with what they rushed to see. That, combined with a critical mauling and widespread and vocal fan dissatisfaction, would seem to imply that the DCEU is suffering from something of a bad first impression.

Can the DCEU turn things around before Justice League arrives on our screens, though? Well, let's take a look at the two sides of that particular argument...

First up?

The Downside: It's Possible That Many Fans Will Never Come Back

The logic here is pretty simple. For many fans, the one-two punch of Man of Steel's neck-snapping Superman and Batman v Superman's gun-toting Batman may simply be too much of a shift from their baseline perception of the heroes - and they may simply choose to stay away from the dark and gritty MCU.

Now, of course, there's always the possibility that the arrival of Geoff Johns as the DCEU's new creative go-to-guy could change things - but the arrival of Justice League Part One next year will likely prove decisive in either changing or consolidating public perception of the franchise. DC's recent comic-book quasi-reboot, DC Rebirth, offers a heartening example of the potential of such an approach to change fan opinion - with DC's 'Rebirth' looking set to give the company's comics a major jolt in the right direction - but such a major shift in tone in the DCEU may yet turn out to be too little, too late.

Alternatively, though, there's also...

The Upside: The DCEU Has Two Hugely Promising Projects On The Horizon...And That's Not Counting Justice League...

The logic here? This August's Suicide Squad is about as highly-anticipated as a movie starring a host of C-List Bat-foes (and The Joker) could ever hope to be - and next year's Wonder Woman stars most people's favorite character from Batman v Superman, in a period action pic co-starring Captain Kirk.

Add next November's Justice League, Part One into the mix, and it's not unreasonable to suggest that the DCEU has three giant opportunities to completely alter the consensus opinion regarding its output. Sure, Man of Steel and Batman v Superman may have failed to connect with large chunks of the superhero-movie-going audience - but if the Suicide Squad can draw in some of the Deadpool crowd, while Wonder Woman brings in everyone who loved the Thor movies (and wants to see female heroes actually get their own films), then that may no longer look like too much of a problem. After all, no-one thought that Captain America would end up being everyone's favorite Avenger, either - and his movies are doing OK for themselves these days.

Justice League, Part One, in that scenario, could well be the cherry on top of the DCEU's resurgent sundae - and a DC Rebirth unto itself. At which point, DC will just have to hope that enough fans actually turn up to see them...

The big question now, though?

What do you reckon?


Do you think the DCEU will ever be able to overturn its bad first impression?


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