The DCEU has struggled to find a good plan for the future, but looking at DC comics, there are many stories that would make perfect potential movies.
Since it first started in 2013, the DCEU has struggled to establish itself properly. While it has many fans, it has also fallen short in many ways. This, combined with its cast's controversies, keeps putting Warner Bros. in difficult positions. However, the fandom is hopeful that the DCEU will recover and become a core cinematographic universe, and there are still many paths it can take to get better.
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A great way for the DCEU to improve is to expand its set of characters and approach new storylines. DC Comics has been active since 1934, meaning thousands of comics are waiting to become a DCEU film. Even with a few examples of the best candidates, many more comics could make fantastic DCEU live-action adaptations in the future.
Following the events of Forever Evil, Dick Grayson is forced to fake his own death. Grayson, by Tom King and Tim Seeley, follows Dick as he uses this time to investigate a clandestine organization called Spyral by going undercover. This puts him in the middle of a dangerous conspiracy with many layers of truth.
Since Batman was first introduced to the DCEU, fans were eager to see Dick Grayson. However, their hopes were crushed when Zack Snyder confirmed that Grayson was the Robin who died in the Joker's hands. This could be easily retconned by introducing Grayson's storyline to the movies. Additionally, it would treat the fans to an enthralling spy thriller.
Dark Knights of Steel, by Tom Taylor and Yasmine Putri, is set in an alternate Earth where DC's most iconic heroes coexist as medieval archetypes. In a time when Batman is a knight with Alfred as his loyal squire, Kal-El is the prince of the alien House of El, and Jefferson Pierce rules the Kingdom of Storms, a superpowered war brews between two realms.
As one of DC's newest Elseworlds, Dark Knights of Steel isn't anything like the current DCEU films. However, it's still a very entertaining story that includes everyone's favorite characters. Given the DCEU failed attempts to craft a proper universe, maybe a change of setting is the way to go.
Originally created by Dave Wood and Carmine Infantino, Animal Man was reimagined by Grant Morrison in the late '80s. The series tackled many important issues, such as animal rights and ecology. Additionally, it was a metafictional comic, featuring Buddy as he talked with the author and manipulated the page's panels.
Grant Morrison is one of the best comic authors of the modern era. Their name is a synonym for quality. But additionally, Animal Man's bizarre nature makes it an excellent option for the DCEU to stand out. Its metafictional streak, combined with the right director, would make it a cult film from the first moment.
Created by Geoff Johns, Jason Fabok, and Brad Anderson, Batman: Three Jokers serves as a character study for the Prince Clown of Crime. This comic features Batman as he investigates three different Jokers. Each of these villains has his own personality that reminds the fans of past iterations of the villain.
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Everyone loves the Joker. Unfortunately, Jader Leto's iteration in the DCEU has been particularly underwhelming. The Batman: Three Jokers storyline is dark enough that it would allow the DCEU to give Leto a second chance while also being the perfect opportunity to bring new iterations of this villain to this universe's continuity.
After Hal Jordan, a former pilot turned mining worker, ends up on an alien spaceship inside an asteroid, he finds a ring that blasts him into outer space to the planet Bolovax Vik. Here, an alien named Kilowog teaches him how to use the ring so that he can become a Green Lantern.
So far, Green Lantern is the only main Justice League member missing from the DCEU, which is a shame. Green Lantern: Earth One is a solid origin story for this character, full of lore and deep enough to make Hal Jordan a compelling character. Definitely a good option to introduce him to the DCEU.
DC Bombshells, by Marguerite Bennet, is a comic series inspired by Ant Lucia's 1940 retro designs on several DC heroines. This series follows Batwoman, Wonder Woman, Supergirl, Zatanna, and many other heroes as they battle as allies during World War II.
DC Bombshells is very different from what the DCEU has shown so far, so it's unlikely a film adaptation would succeed as the axis of this universe. However, this is one of the most complete DC alternate universes. Warner Bros. shouldn't miss the chance to adapt one of the best alternate worlds in the DC comics so far.
Batman: Dark Knight, Dark City, by Peter Milligan and Kieron Dwyer, pits Batman against one of the darkest iterations of the Riddler. In this series, the villain prepares Batman to become the sacrificial goat of an ancient ritual to summon a demon. For this, he forces him to bathe in human blood, kill a dog in cold blood and slit a baby's throat.
If Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is the MCU's dabble in the horror genre, Batman: Dark Knight, Dark City could be the DCEU's version. This story messes with very disturbing topics, such as demonology and child murder. After The Batman's Riddler, it would be interesting to see if the DCEU can create a darker version of this villain.
In 1999, Warren Ellis and Bryan Hitch created The Authority, a superhero team composed of Stormwatch characters. This rogue team, full of superpowered beings, has a machiavellian approach to justice. They aim to ensure it by any means necessary. Given this ideology, their stories are darker than other DC comics.
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The Authority is a team full of interesting characters, such as Midnighter, a bioengineered vigilante, and his husband Apollo, the Sun God. A live-action adaptation of The Authority would provide new LGBTQ+ representation for the DCEU while also expanding this universe far from a Justice League-centric optic. Peacemaker already confirmed fans want to see more mature stories.
In 1996, Mark Waid and Alex Ross created Kingdom Come, one of the most famous DC Elseworlds. This story is set in a dystopic future where most superheroes are amoral vigilantes without proper training or ethics. The battle between Magog, one of these new superheroes, and the traditional ones sets Earth up for a tragedy.
Kingdom Come is one of the darkest, most hopeless universes in the DC Multiverse. However, it still ends on a hopeful note. This comic depicts DC's superheroes as complex and emotional beings while also giving the reader a fair share of action-packed scenes. It has everything a person wants to see in a film.
Dark Nights: Metal, by Scott Snyder, Greg Capullo, Jonathan Glapion, and FCO Plascencia, marks the revelation of a dark multiverse existing beneath DC's known multiverse. After releasing seven evil versions of himself to wreak havoc, Batman will have to fix this mistake with the help of other superheroes. All this with a kick-ass heavy metal soundtrack.
Dark Nights: Metal is quite a fun read, but additionally, it messes with the DC multiverse as fans know it. This series opens the door for Dark Nights: Death Metal, allowing for the Future State and Infinite Frontier relaunch. Maybe, a relaunch is exactly what the DCEU needs right now.
NEXT: 8 DC Characters That Have Been Left Out Of The DCEU
Mayra García is a Comic Lists Writer for CBR. Her main interests include linguistics, superheroes, and food.