The world of DC Comics, as well as that of Marvel, has been brought to life in recent years through a series of films, games, and television shows.
The characters who once adorned only the pages of comic books have been fleshed out, given numerous incarnations, stories, and spin-offs. Even the villains have morphed into anti-heroes of sorts, none more so than the Joker, who has been played by a succession of actors such as Heath Ledger, Joaquin Phoenix, and Jack Nicholson and is as recognizable and popular as the hero he once battled.
The move into pop culture has been steady with Batman perhaps one of the first DC characters to move into the mainstream. Aided by a great roster of villains, the Caped Crusader has also benefitted from films and games in raising his profile. Gotham is a game developer’s dream and has played host to hit console titles such as Arkham Asylum, which was a huge commercial success.
That has led to other heroes getting their own games which further enhance their brand. Wonder Woman is a perfect example, a great female character and role model currently experiencing a resurgence due to the Gal Gadot portrayal of the character. This has even permeated online platforms with Foxy Bingo hosting two titles loosely dedicated to the hero also-commonly known as Diana Prince, which are Wonder Woman: Bullets and Bracelets and Wonder Woman. Both lean heavily on her branding and imagery, helping to build a more prominent persona for her in pop culture. It will surely only be a matter of time before a video game developer takes her to an even wider audience.
A good way to flesh out characters and locations is a TV series, which gives directors more time to play on personality and emotion, rather than rely on big-budget special effects and time limitations. TV streaming platforms such as Netflix are packed with binge-worthy shows which perfectly fit with 2020’s restrictions on movement, giving people lots to watch and get involved in, enhancing their DC universe experience.
Indeed, Netflix has several series based on DC characters you may want to check out, some of which even stray away from the obvious protagonists to flesh out the wider roster.
The Batman story has always had a sizeable gap missing, certainly for filmgoers. Bruce Wayne’s parents are murdered and two decades later, Batman arrives on the scene fighting crime. Obviously, the canon is not quite as straightforward, and this six-season romp fills in those gaps. Long before he became Commissioner Gordon, he was a rookie cop by the same name. The story follows his rise through the ranks as he takes on Gotham’s crime and corruption to avenge the murder of the Waynes.
The central city might not be the most iconic of superhero locations, but for six series now it has hosted the Flash, also known as Barry Allen. The Flash is a great tale of good against evil and, because some fans are new to the character they do not have the same preconceptions as they do with a hero like Batman, it also feels fresh and original, rather than a rework of a tired formula or theme.
Superman is one of the original DC comic heroes to make it to the big screen, with Christopher Reeve bringing him to life in the late seventies and early eighties. Since then there have been many series and films, with Supergirl the latest to take ideas from Krypton’s most famous son. Melissa Benoist is the female protagonist, a great role model for young women. Sadly, the show’s viewing figures have tumbled since it started and it may not have long left, which would be a huge shame as it is a hidden gem amongst the ocean of superhero series out there.