By Jre Best
The first day of DC FanDome has passed, not a month removed from a massive wave of layoffs at DC Publishing they hold their own online Comic-Con-like show. A handie platform to get people to forget about all the negativity that was whirling around the company just weeks prior. Getting people excited for all the movies, video games and comics DC plans for us to look forward to for the next weeks, months and years. Whatever you may think of that strategy it seems to be largely a success, DC FanDome was an entertaining and watchable livestream full of relevant information to any DC fans. With so many things announced I want to make my list of the things I feel you should be the most excited for! Oh and if you’re expecting to see the trailer for The Snyder Cut on here uh… I’m sorry?
5. Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League
It’s been a long time since the last Rocksteady Batman game. With the Batman Arkham games being well respected and beloved by not just comic fans but the gaming community as a whole, the years of silence from series maker Rocksteady was raising some eyebrows. However a few weeks ago they made their official announcement that they were working on a Suicide Squad game. We got to see our first trailer for the game at FanDome. It was a purely cinematic trailer without even the illusion of gameplay. It shows the four man team of Harley Quinn, Deadshot, Captain Boomerang, and King Shark bickering and fighting enemies in Metropolis which appears to be in the middle of a Brainiac invasion. The trailer ends with Amanda Waller telling the rambunctious team their mission is to kill a seemingly brainwashed Superman justifying the”Kill the Justice League” subtitle. There wasn’t a lot shown for the game but I feel Rocksteady made the most of the time they were given. I enjoyed the character interactions a lot in the trailer and the premise does have potential. Seeing no gameplay is disappointing but considering the game isn’t set for a release until 2022 I think it’s forgivable. Rocksteady is a pretty Rock Solid so Suicide Squad kill the Justice League it’s something you should keep your eye out on.
4. Gotham Knights
But just because Rocksteady is done with Batman doesn’t mean we’re completely done with Arkham. Warner Brothers Montreal the studio behind the divisive pseudo spinoff Batman Arkham Origins is working on a new Gotham adventure but set outside the Arkham universe. What’s the twist this time? Bruce Wayne has died under mysterious circumstances, so the protection of Gotham is entrusted to four of his ward’s. Nightwing, Barbara Gordon Batgirl, Tim Drake Robin, and Red Hood have to step up to protect Gotham City, investigate Bruce’s death and potentially come to blows with the mysterious Court of Owls. The game seems to be a sort of open-world action game similar to the Arkham games but with a higher emphasis on the RPG aspect and multiplayer. Supposedly you can play every mission of the game with another player. As someone who was growing very tired of the Arkham games overly serious Gothic gaudy aesthetic the more vibrant color palette and sleeker costume design is a breath of fresh air to me. And getting a chance to play as some of the underrepresented bat characters is an exciting prospect.
3. The Milestone Imprints Relaunch
There weren’t that many announcements for DC Publishing at FanDome. Like most shows of this kind the actual comic books weren’t given much time at all but the relative silence was especially notable considering the massive wave of layoffs DC Publishing just made. Disregarding that there were few announcements for us comic fans the most notable one to me being the revival of the Milestone inprint. For those of you who don’t know what that is, it was a superhero universe made by a group of black writers, with the goal of creating more diverse characters and stories. This is where characters like Static Shock, Icon and Rocket come from. Milestone ran as an imprint published by DC from 1993 till shutting down in 1997. Since then it’s characters have been integrated into the larger DC universe. Static Shock the Animated Series won awards and is now regarded as a classic to a whole generation of comic book fans. There was an attempt to revitalize the imprint back in 2015 but that stopped due to complications with the late great Dwayne McDuffie’s estate. Those issues seemed to have been resolved and not only is the original run of Milestone going to be available digitally for the first time ever but now DC is planning a full line relaunch. It starts September 12th with a One-Shot called “Milestone Returns Zero.” and next February a Static Shock solo series will be starting, first as a digital-only series but with plans for a physical release later the same year. It’s still unclear if this will see the Milestone characters return to being a completely separate universe from the rest of DC or not. Regardless this has immediately become the project I’m most interested in at DC Comics.
2. The Batman
Yes probably the most high-profile and most anticipated trailer of the whole event first look at The Batman is not number one. Obviously that doesn’t mean I’m not looking forward to this because going off the trailer and The Batman looks like a pretty great film. Matt Reeves has a pretty spotless record as a “smart boy action movie” director and the cast is bursting with talent. We get our first real looks at Robert Pattinson’s Batman suit and gorgeous Batmobile. We get small glimpses of Paul Dano’s Riddler, Colin Farrell’s Penguin and Zoë Kravitz’s Catwoman. The plot seems like it’s going for a more noir Detective vibe than previous Batman films. Even the small bits of action we see look really promising and like they take more than a hint from the Netflix Daredevil. So why isn’t it number one? Well out of any of the major announcements at FanDome this felt the most business as usual. To be frank it looks a little too similar to the Nolan Batman films which is a criticism DC movies only just now starting to escape. With a character as important as Batman finally getting a stand-alone film for the first time since 2012, a brand new cast, brand new director and the entire superhero movie landscape being totally different it should feel like a bigger deal than it does right now. If this trailer was exactly the same but with the Nolan cast it would look like a totally believable trailer for Dark Knight 4. Looking like The Dark Knight isn’t inherently a bad thing, I’m not saying they needed to reinvent the wheel here and again these are all just impressions off a teaser trailer but with it looking so similar to other bat films without showing anything we haven’t seen before, like for example Robin, The Batman’s going to have to settle for a silver metal on this list.
1. The Suicide Squad
My number one is James Gunn Suicide Squad 2 or The Suicide Squad. I was already looking forward to James Gunn’s take on The Suicide Squad since my disappointment with the first film could only be compared with my love for the Guardians movies. Gunn is simply a perfect choice for this team the man’s anarchic sense of humor, experience with low budget grimy troma filmmaking, and underrated action chops frankly I can’t think of a better director for this movie. The cast is just sublime with only a few faces returning from the first movie and great additions like Idris Elba, Pete Davidson, Nathan Fillion, Sean Gunn and even John Cena. As for the characters these actors are playing I pride myself on being a comic know-it-all and even I found myself googling a lot of these names. Seriously who the hell is Bloodsport? And why is Idris Elba playing him? Just like the Suicide Squad comics, they’re using characters that mostly no one has heard about and under any other circumstance would never get a chance to appear in a major Hollywood blockbuster. And if some of the comments made by the cast in the Sneak peek video telling us to “not get too attached” are anything to go on this really could be the perfect Suicide Squad movie. After all the trailers and announcements I saw during DC FanDome the one I was the most genuinely excited about was this movie. The only thing negative I can say about it at this point is the song in the trailer gets grating once it’s stuck in your head for a whole weekend.