Editorials in the Darke | The DC Animated Universe


I used to be a huge defender of the DC Animated Universe movies. They have, had, put out some of the most consistent quality superhero stories that even dwarfed the Marvel movies for emotional impact with a handful of them.

I’ve been watching some clips from their new Suicide Squad Hell to Pay movie and I’m done.

I forgave them for the Killing Joke and the Batgirl subplot. I could see it while others found this the absolute straw for the back of the camel.

I didn’t initially notice the treatment of Zatanna in Justice League Dark. A friend pointed it out and I can’t unsee it.

Terra in Teen Titans Judas Contract was uncomfortable to watch with DeathStroke. Especially the one scene in which she, ostensibly a teenager, in a babydoll nightgown and overdone makeup tries to seduce Slade and he plays into it.. Don’t give me BS about something similar happened in the comics. Comics written 20+ years ago – you change and alter a dozen other things. This could have and should have been dropped.

Batman and Harley Quinn was just absolutely so tone deaf and male gazey to make me nauseous and thankful that the credits rolled quickly on that one.

Gotham by Gaslight. Again – yay …treatment of women. Especially with Ivy getting butchered in the opening. Why? Sure you are putting a spotlight on the misogyny but you aren’t actually addressing it. You are using a HEROIC character to perpetrate it.

Now with the clips I am seeing from Hell to Pay. I am done.

The DCAU used to be the place to go because the DCEU was a dumpster fire. The fire has spread and I am rethinking a lot of Bruce Timm, Sam Register, Sam Liu, and James Tucker and the rest crew over there.

I cannot stand the teenage boys club it is now. The Zack Snyderish male gaze shots and the treatment of female characters.

The goodwill and my future dollars are gone. It’s really sad since there used to be such quality stories coming out of that place like Under the Red Hood, Assault on Arkham, The Dark Knight Returns, and others.

In a time of #MeToo and Harvey Weinsteins, we don’t need people trying to hold onto their toys. We need our storytellers to giving us better.

Comics always were and have been a place to give us hope, or show us the dark to make the light more important. To be a place to address systemic issues like racism or classcism. Now is an opportunity to talk about sexism.

The DCAU now seems content to be stuck in the 90s, stomping its feet refusing to grow up when it was for a shining moment showing a different path. That moment is gone.

Screw you DC.

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