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Posted by k4tzm4n (41736 posts) - - Show Bio

This year, DC is releasing one animated team-up movie (Justice League: Throne of Atlantis), one animated Batman movie (Batman vs. Robin) and one animated non-canon movie (Justice League: Gods and Monsters). Seeing as Batman's animated features tend to make a good amount of money and there's so many great Bruce Wayne stories to pull from, we had some fun and wrote an article about what we'd like to see in Batman's animated future. It was especially fitting since Damian Wayne, a.k.a. Robin, was our Character of the Month at the time. The objective was to say why the Death of Robin and Robin Rises could be quite awesome as a 2-part feature (the approach certainly worked for The Dark Knight Returns), and, if you're not a fan of the idea, we wanted to know which other Dark Knight stories you'd like to see serve as inspiration for future projects. While some discussed the idea and presented other Batman stories, a number of readers said they're tired of seeing Batman getting so much attention. While discussing the subject with several Viners, I had an epiphany: DC Animated projects are trying to offer more variety. It may not be as fast as some of you would like, but it seems like they're attempting to explore the universe and all that is has to offer. Justice League: Throne of Atlantis is proof of this.

Batman doesn't look very happy about someone else getting the spotlight. Then again, he doesn't look happy very often, does he?
Batman doesn't look very happy about someone else getting the spotlight. Then again, he doesn't look happy very often, does he?

The limited amount of movies per year means we won't get a flood of non-Batman movies, but based on this month's upcoming movie, Justice League: Throne of Atlantis, and the past few years of animated movies, it looks like they're at least trying to show us more of the DC universe. Yes, they'll continue to give us more Batman and understandably so (not only does he sell, but there's so many excellent stories to draw from, especially now that Damian Wayne is in the universe), but there's hope the future of DC's animated projects will become more and more diverse. Last year, the Suicide Squad -- a team that has appeared in Arrow and now has a movie on the way -- received their own feature. Yeah, Batman was on the cover and his name was in the title, but having a movie in the Arkham franchise's world without Batman would be a little odd. That said, this wasn't Batman's story. He plays a role and gets a fair amount of time, but this one was all about the Suicide Squad. Deadshot received more love than the others and popular characters like Harley Quinn and Joker were present, but this was a great way to introduce casual fans to more characters and maybe -- just maybe -- motivate them to do more research about these villains or pick up one of their must read stories. It's important to keep in mind this movie was released before the Suicide Squad movie was announced, so once again, they took a risk featuring a team that isn't well-known to many casual fans and has only been lightly featured over in Arrow. Before that, they turned Flashpoint into an animated feature. This was well before general audiences knew Barry Allen would get his own CW show, so interest in the character outside of the comic book community wasn't exactly at an all-time high. It's important to remember these movies need to appeal to us, but it also has to hook the casual fans who only see movies or occasionally watch some of the TV shows. With that in mind, they still went forward with these projects and I'd say that's a bit of a risk, especially when even Superman's animated movies don't always sell well compared to the others (according to The Numbers, Superman: Unbound made less money than 2013's other movies).

As comic book fans, we know Aquaman isn't a joke. He isn't some lame guy with silly powers who is jealous of the other heroes. He's formidable and he's most definitely someone his fellow Justice Leaguers don't disrespect. However, not everyone is a fan of the comics and it seems a fair number of casual fans, a.k.a. the ones limited to movies and occasionally shows, still enjoy a good joke about Aquaman and don't know all that much about him. In 2018, an Aquaman movie on the big screen may win over non-comic fans and make them realize the dude's a badass. Maybe that'll even happen in next year's Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, but the point is, nothing big has happened to win over non-comic book readers and make them interested in this guy. Yet that didn't stop them from making Arthur Curry the focal point in one of this year's three animated features. Maybe they think the news of an Aquaman movie with Jason Momoa is enough to pique the curiosity of some people, but the fact remains that Aquaman just isn't a popular character among casual fans. He's technically one of DC's bigger names, but when compared to Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman, you don't see too many casual fans sporting an Aquaman shirt or thinking he's an immensely powerful hero. Comic fans give the guy respect (or at least they should), but non-comic fans who watch the movies or have a slight interest in popular superheroes -- which is a group that's bigger than us and must be appealed to on some level -- don't appear to be demanding more Aquaman content. Yet DC/WB Animation is taking a risk and giving comic fans what they want to see and hoping it's enough to win over the casual fans, too.

No Caption Provided

Yes, the Justice League is on the cover and yes, "Justice League" is slapped on the title, but to be fair, they were a part of Geoff Johns'Throne of Atlantis. Additionally, this movie is being promoted as an Aquaman movie, not a Justice League movie which happens to also include the King of the Seven Seas. The trailers make it clear the iconic team is present, but a substantial amount of time will be spent focusing on Arthur and his world. Whether that's what actually happens in the movie has yet to be seen, but they're definitely not promoting it as "Batman teams up with Aquaman. Buy it, Bat fans!" Instead, it's saying, "Do you want to know more about Aquaman and see why his world is pretty cool? We'll show you. Oh yeah, some other heroes are in here as well, so there's that." If they're giving Aquaman, Flash and the Suicide Squad movies well before they get a popularity boost from trailers for their upcoming big screen movies, who's to say Diana won't be the main character in one of 2016's projects or Hal Jordan in one of 2017's? The need to put "Justice League" on these movies may be off-putting to some, but I'd say what matters is the quality of the movie and not the title. If they deliver a stunning Wonder Woman adventure and it just happens to have Justice League on the cover and incorporate other characters, I don't think many of us will mind as long as Diana is the focal point and the quality of the animated feature is up there. Sure, it's a bummer we have to wait so long, but at least we have comic books every single week to help ease the wait, right? Also, as the DC Cinematic Universe begins to expand and give other characters solo movies, it wouldn't surprise me if the animated movies take advantage of this and continue to put each of these characters front and center. Maybe if we're lucky enough they'll begin to set the stage for one of Johns' excellent Green Lantern events. That probably wouldn't be for quite some time, but as long as these stories are worth the wait, a good number of us won't mind waiting.

If you enjoy DC's animated projects but want more diversity from them, speaking with your money is a pretty effective way of letting them know. Buy this and, if you're really against Batman getting more solo movies (I'm not, but to each their own), don't buy Batman vs. Robin. If this sells well, it shows they can take a risk on a character that isn't very popular among casual fans and they can continue to give heroes other than Batman and Superman the lead role. We may see only one of these stories a year, but based on the last few years' movies (Flash, Task Force X and now Aquaman stories before they receive a popularity boost from their live-action films), it definitely looks like they want to expand this world and show us why each character has the potential to lead the way. Here's hoping they continue to do just that and use the non-canon movies as an opportunity to branch out even further. Don't be shocked if next year's Justice League movie finds a way to focus on Wonder Woman and Themyscira and then they shift to Green Lantern (or maybe Flash again) in the year after that one!

What say you, readers? Do you agree DC's trying to slowly branch out and offer more variety with its animated projects or are you feeling pessimistic about the variety of movies they'll offer in the upcoming years? Justice League: Throne of Atlantis goes on sale January 27 and we'll have a review posted either the night before or the morning of its release.

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#1 Edited by Dark_Stranger (372 posts) - - Show Bio

This film will most likely be a sinker :P

But hopefully Fishsticks, get's some shine on for a change.

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#2 Posted by Jonny_Anonymous (45774 posts) - - Show Bio

I hope this is good. They last few DCAU films have been pretty bad.

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#3 Posted by Guru_Crack (11568 posts) - - Show Bio

Loved the TPB's for throne of Atlantis as long as the exchange between Aquaman & Orm isn't ruined because of a different direction I don't mind.

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#4 Edited by Gracetrack (4678 posts) - - Show Bio
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Seriously though... Good article, K4. :)

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#5 Posted by Claymore1998 (16541 posts) - - Show Bio

Interesting read as always Greg ^_^

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#6 Posted by eamon542000 (336 posts) - - Show Bio

Past AOA last few have been a little lack luster, hoping this does well would like to see focus on lesser known characters. Would love to see Rotworld story get a movie.

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#7 Posted by CaptainMarvel4Ever (9890 posts) - - Show Bio

I hope they start bringing back the shorts they use to include soon, I'd love one for Firestorm or Hawkman.

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#8 Posted by cattlebattle (17729 posts) - - Show Bio

Dc animated films, despite which character(s) are centric, have to be marketed as either Batman, Superman, or Justice League films. The only ventures outside of that criteria were Wonder Woman and two Green Lantern films, all of which had the lowest sales of all the DTV movies.

When James Tucker took the reigns of as supervising producer from Bruce Timm he looked to hopefully go beyond the restraints set in place. I feel even if this movie does well, it will be accredited to other JL members being in it, which is unfortunate.

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#9 Edited by timelord (920 posts) - - Show Bio

I did not realize this was so soon pre ordered it.

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#10 Posted by RoTheKid (259 posts) - - Show Bio

Great article, man. I personally can't wait to check this film out. I really love the DC animated movies and I'm sure that this one will be superb! :)

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#11 Posted by _ANDY_CAN (381 posts) - - Show Bio

After Aquaman I hope Green Arrow gets his own movie.

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#12 Posted by Zearing (1534 posts) - - Show Bio

I'm looking forward to this.

Bit of a side question. Do we actually have a name for the shared animated movie universe that DC's building yet? I mean, DC Animated Universe is already taken for the animated TV show universe, so...

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#13 Posted by CaptainMarvel4Ever (9890 posts) - - Show Bio

@zearing: It doesn't really need a name, and if you have to call it something call it the animated movie continuity.

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#14 Posted by MadeinBangladesh (12493 posts) - - Show Bio

AQUAMAN FTW!!!

<SWAG>

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#15 Posted by CaptainMarvel4Ever (9890 posts) - - Show Bio

@jonny_anonymous: Not really, Flashpoint was amazing, War had some issues but it was still good, Son of Batman was pretty good, and even though I personally didn't like Assault on Arkham I still admit it was well made and overall good.

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#16 Edited by the_stegman (40241 posts) - - Show Bio

JL:War was meh, and the Damian Wayne one sucked. Please make this one good.

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#17 Edited by Jonny_Anonymous (45774 posts) - - Show Bio

@captainmarvel4ever: The only good one out of any of them was Assault on Arkham.. Son of Batman was beyond bad.

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#18 Posted by CaptainMarvel4Ever (9890 posts) - - Show Bio

@jonny_anonymous: With all the effort and quality we see in these animated films I'd say none of them are bad, some are less enjoyable then others but none are bad. Granted Son of Batman had one big problem, and that was having Deathstroke as the villain, but other then that it was a great adaptation.

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#19 Posted by Outside_85 (23518 posts) - - Show Bio

Sadly the big problem seems to be:

  • Batman sells automatically, so he's on track and nothing needs to be said or done for him to make his features be a success.
  • Nearly everyone else has to justify their own and each others existence. "Do you want a Wonder Woman animated feature again? Buy Aquaman and maybe we will make one!"

And thats a really irritating thing for people like me who have zero interest in this version of Aquaman and zero interest in seing more of Johns garbage get animated and therefore is zero likelyhood of me spending money on it. Because of all that, then I may never see a animated feature that actually does interest me.

Even worse, this could be exactly what DC/WB Animation wants, a proof that no one cares so they dont have to try. Which is kinda the same line of logic you dread the big studioes are using when they dont want to make big money blockbusters with female leads since Elektra and Catwoman sucked and no one wanted to watch them.

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#20 Posted by amazing_webhead (9878 posts) - - Show Bio

Honestly I hadn't realized how important this was. I guess I was just being skeptical.

I hope they start bringing back the shorts they use to include soon, I'd love one for Firestorm or Hawkman.

I know, right? I miss those.

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#21 Posted by johnny_blaze (1357 posts) - - Show Bio

DC will never branch out. I just learned to accept that. My own girlfriend switched to Marvel & Valiant, because DC doesn't offer any kind of variety.

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#22 Posted by EdBlank (1480 posts) - - Show Bio

Damn Superman's costume looks stupid (without the red drawls). The worst part is: him and Aqua have the same collar and too-long sleeves. I believe flash and GL have the same collar (and sleeves?). What? do they all go to the same suit guy?

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#23 Posted by StormShadow_X (16772 posts) - - Show Bio

Wooh!

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#24 Posted by illmatic4177 (429 posts) - - Show Bio

I have not watched any animated films, Marvel or DC. But Aquaman is my favorite DC character, and I loved Throne of Atlantis. The trailer didn't blow me away, but I'm gonna remain optimistic and pick this up.

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#25 Posted by saoakden (1285 posts) - - Show Bio

I was just thinking of about having other movies being made about having other characters take the spotlight aside from Batman and Justice League. Don't get me wrong I like the movies but I like a little variety too. Here's at least 5 characters I want see with their own animated movies.

  1. Green Arrow: I think he deserves to have his own animated movie.
  2. Green Lantern: I know he already has a couple animated mvoies but I think he deserves to get another movie to himself.
  3. The Flash: Flash was the main focus of Flashpoint Paradox and I think he deserves to have his own movie with just his name like The Flash: City of Apes or The Flash: Rogues' Revenge
  4. Shazam: He was a part of Justice League War I think it's time he got his own movie. Base it off of the back-up stories in Justice League to give people an idea how Shazam became Shazam.
  5. Wonder Woman: The lady deserves another movie to herself. She has one. Batman has a lot and Superman has a good number under his belt. Give the lady her own movie!

As far as teams go I think Teen Titans could be interesting. Team-up movies could be interesting too. Here's one I would like to see. A team up movie between either Green Lantern and Flash or Green Lantern and Green Arrow or maybe do a movie with Green Lantern, The Flash, and Green Arrow. Could be interesting.

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#26 Edited by Guru_Crack (11568 posts) - - Show Bio

Was going to pre-order until I saw it was only available in Blu-Ray. while I have nothing against blue-ray the rest of my DVD collection are just that DVDs so probably going to wait for a DVD release and have to watch it online.

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#27 Posted by johnny_blaze (1357 posts) - - Show Bio

@saoakden: There was an interview on here and they said that they've given a Green Arrow movie some thought.

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#28 Posted by jdp180 (174 posts) - - Show Bio

I just hope Wonder Woman isn't waving her sword around like a lunatic as she did in JL: War.

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#29 Posted by Superguy1591 (7539 posts) - - Show Bio

Aquaman is cool.

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#30 Edited by w0nd (6803 posts) - - Show Bio

@edblank said:

Damn Superman's costume looks stupid (without the red drawls). The worst part is: him and Aqua have the same collar and too-long sleeves. I believe flash and GL have the same collar (and sleeves?). What? do they all go to the same suit guy?

flash and GL don't . They have different panel line patterns and flash is an entire body suit.

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#31 Posted by medulaoblaganda (2363 posts) - - Show Bio
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#32 Edited by Harryvine (80 posts) - - Show Bio

DC's biggest problem with most of their animated movies is the lack of loyalty to the source material (The Dark Knight Returns and Under the Red Hood are main examples of loyalty). Take a wild guess why we buy the DVD? Because we want to see the awesomeness we've been reading come to life.

Son of Batman had the audacity to make Deathstroke equal to Damien. It is very obvious nobody at DC knows who Deathstroke is. He's not Bane part 2. Can someone over there read Identity Crisis!

Arkham was pretty cool but it took place in a video game world. Who gives a rip about the Arkham universe. The habit of making a comic for every video game/movie/show is a waste of company time and resources. Plus it's ultra freaking lame. Focus on the singular universe that you desperately need to succeed in order to catch up to the movie BILLIONS Marvel is making.

Take an awesome storyline and make it a movie. I don't want to hear the director's little spin on things or character swaps so he can put his stamp on it. Make a solid product and you will be stamped as great.

STOP MAKING SUPERMAN FILMS! I have downloaded everything DC has ever animated. Ever notice the first 5 minutes of every Super-movie starts with a cocky Lois getting saved in a helicopter over Metropolis? Metallo, Parasite and Bizarro are not worthy villains. Make them go away. Lobo sucks, period. Give me a good pre-52 Zod story like war of the Supermen or whatever that was called. The best part of every Supe movie is Lex. I LOVE the animated Lex. Make his villains cool like Batman so we don't yawn our way to the conclusion.

Stop making Batman a stubborn 9 year old when he's with the league. Ever see JL: Doom? It's all possible because they make Batman act like a b-leaguer in the first 10 minutes. Ever notice how much of a jobber Batman is when he's with the league?

They should animate the entire Geoff Johns GL run. Amazon loves me this holiday ordering the majority of his run. Sinestro Wars, Blackest Night and War of the Green Lanterns were A+++ reads. They should do Knightfall, all three Crisis movies, more earth 3, Salvation Run, Return of Bruce Wayne, ya know...big stories that rocked. What about Kingdom Come or Villains United or Forever Evil!? Please please please make a movie that involves every member of the Bat-family, not eternal. Batman Eternal is a great read but it's just another Batman story with 48 ziggity zags along the way.

If I ran DC, I'd be pumping out more at least 5 DVD's a year. 1 Batman, 1 JL and 3 others (2 Pre-52 and 1 New 52).

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#33 Posted by mak13131313 (1601 posts) - - Show Bio

I'm definitely excited for this. Hopefully it sells well and DC does branch out more with their movies.

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#34 Posted by Dernman (26042 posts) - - Show Bio

Stay behind me my sideburns will protect you.

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#35 Posted by saoakden (1285 posts) - - Show Bio
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#36 Posted by Deathstroke02 (3369 posts) - - Show Bio

I'm excited for this.

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#37 Posted by NightFang3 (12363 posts) - - Show Bio

@mak13131313 said:

I'm definitely excited for this. Hopefully it sells well and DC does branch out more with their movies.

We can only hope.

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#38 Posted by jayc1324 (26431 posts) - - Show Bio

It has to be labeled "justice league" because otherwise people will not buy an aquaman movie.

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#39 Posted by Dark_Stranger (372 posts) - - Show Bio

Dc animated films, despite which character(s) are centric, have to be marketed as either Batman, Superman, or Justice League films. The only ventures outside of that criteria were Wonder Woman and two Green Lantern films, all of which had the lowest sales of all the DTV movies.

But isn't Wonder Woman and the first Green Lantern film, currently among their top ten selling DTV's thus far? If so, then not sure how that's bad

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#40 Posted by vandinejd_1991 (508 posts) - - Show Bio

@k4tzm4n: Great article as always. Im also hoping this selling well also encourage DC to give Aquaman more love. Ive been reading his new 52 comics since hes been made Character of the Month, and Aquaman is pretty awesome. I would love to see him get an animated movie or TV series, live action movie and TV series, and video game series.

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#41 Edited by thewalkingdeadpool18 (410 posts) - - Show Bio

@captainmarvel4ever No Jus because they had good animation and had work put in them is crap I didn't see Assault on Arkham but War and Son of Batman are both terrible movies that don't deserve to be considered DC, animated movies was the one thing we could always rely on for DC.

@jonny_anonymous Flashpoint was amazing but since then they've been crap animated movies.

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#42 Posted by CaptainMarvel4Ever (9890 posts) - - Show Bio

@thewalkingdeadpool18: Haven't seen you in a while. War was good, it had it's problems, but it also had enough good in it to even it out and make it an enjoyable watch, while Son of Batman was better and quite enjoyable, but Deathstroke did take a lot away from the film.

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#43 Edited by The_Titan_Lord (9367 posts) - - Show Bio

This is a nice exposure for Aquaman.

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#44 Edited by Enrique31 (12 posts) - - Show Bio

I have always wanted DC to reach out to it's lesser characters. I think an amazing animated movie idea would be something staring Raven and Zatanna. They could include other less important mystic/magic users like (I know raven really isn't magic nor is her father) Doctor Fate, Nabu, Trigon, Ali-ka-Zoom, Captain Marvel - Shazam, Black Adam, Spectre, Amethyst, etc. It could be like the one young justice with the witchboy thing but a completely different plot. I know this would never happen though, lol.

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#45 Edited by Lurkero (507 posts) - - Show Bio

I definitely want to see other DC characters get animated features. Hoping for Static Shock and the Question at some point.

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#46 Posted by StMichalofWilson (5631 posts) - - Show Bio

You don't have to tell me to watch this. I AM going to watch this!

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#47 Edited by Surza7 (353 posts) - - Show Bio

DC has been killing it with the animated films. Suicide Squad,Justice League War,Superman Unbound and the others they have made have been fantastic and just enjoyable.Can't wait to own this film!

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#48 Posted by Dedpool (692 posts) - - Show Bio

I own them all. ALL!!! And will keep buying them all. As bad as people say they are, they're actually pretty damned good. They vary to degrees but they have all been entertaining. I think they need to start doing the Showcase Shorts again as well. And release the DC Nation shorts on DVD as well. Their animated flicks are leaps and bounds above Marvel, and their shows have been great. Keep them coming!!

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#49 Edited by black_wreath (13557 posts) - - Show Bio

I really hope this is released in Australia. Justice League: War was not - and yet I saw copies of Son of Batman available at grocery stores. Of the post-Flashpoint releases I loved Assault on Arkham but would consider Son of Batman to be possibly the weakest film DC has released. I can't comment on War because like I said I still haven't !@#*ing seen it!

@cattlebattle said:

Dc animated films, despite which character(s) are centric, have to be marketed as either Batman, Superman, or Justice League films. The only ventures outside of that criteria were Wonder Woman and two Green Lantern films, all of which had the lowest sales of all the DTV movies.

But isn't Wonder Woman and the first Green Lantern film, currently among their top ten selling DTV's thus far? If so, then not sure how that's bad

From what I've read they bombed on release but are now amongst the biggest selling titles meanwhile Batman: Year One is one of the lowest.

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#50 Posted by kilowog52 (858 posts) - - Show Bio

I won't believe Aquaman will be any more important to this story than Batman and other characters until I see it.