Cakes Takes on DC FanDome Announcements (Announcement Review)
DC FanDome 2020
So DC has recently just announced some of their upcoming projects they’ve been working on during the pandemic and what they have coming up for us in the next year. They have been on a slippery slope when it comes to their extended cinematic universe they’ve got going, but have never been slouches when it comes to video game territory! Movies, and getting the universe they’re so rapidly trying to create, together just has not been their thing these past few years. With less than additions to their universe, like Suicide Squad, Batman vs Superman, and the Justice League, which should have been the best movies of the DCEU, as they’re some of the best properties that DC Comics owns, but ended up being three of the worst of the eight movies released. However, DC seems determined to turn things around with their newest releases and changes scheduled for 2021.
Harley Quinn, King Shark, Deadshot, and Captain Boomerang
Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League video game
DC has never been plagued with problems with their video games as much as their movies, so the two new video games that were just announced excited me to check them out and to see the gameplay. The Suicide Squad is getting two chances to be a hit again after their failure to do so back in 2016 when the first movie came out and flopped with audiences around the world. The team of miscreants are getting a new video game called Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League and a brand new movie called The Suicide Squad, both with an all new lineup of characters, with some old members being kept as well. The Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League excites me because it was all speculated that a Suicide Squad video game would be released at some point, but nothing had come into fruition, but now that it has and the gameplay and the story both look interesting, it makes me want to look into and play it one day. The new members they’ve added to the Squad seem to be cool, the dialogue seems natural and true to the character, and the game just looks really cool looking! Harley looks great, as I’m sure she’ll be one of the main focuses of the gameplay, so she should. They’ve gotten a new look for Deadshot with an entirely new character model and King Shark looks wild (as he should, being the new insert water animal human hybrid character of the gang), and Captain Boomerang was really funny for the short time that the trailer lasts! The game’s title is enough to tell you what the game is about. They are the new Suicide Squad and they’re sent out on a mission to Kill the Justice League, who are all being brainwashed by Brainiac, so they have to deal with him in the game at some point as well. This is a good enough premise to base a SS game on. It makes sense, it’s simple and it’s enough for it to be good. I like that it seems like a smaller group going on the mission and that it is a 4 player co-op based game or you can play it alone and have access to all of the characters for yourself. The new movie, however, is what I am worried about.
New Suicide Squad Team
The Suicide Squad (2) movie
The first Suicide Squad movie was a critical and audience flop. It also further cemented DC into the ground, especially with all of the world building/bigger picture masterpieces that Marvel has come out with within the same amount of time that all connects to the end goal. It gave nothing but the worst things that everybody hated about the DCEU as a whole. A terrible new version of the Joker that no one liked or asked for, a cast of expendable characters to the point where it really only highlighted two perceived marketable characters for the film, a lazy plot with a lot of typical movie tropes, bad lines, and other questions that weren’t answered. These were all major problems for the first film, and to me it seems with the newest teaser that was released for The Suicide Squad (or Suicide Squad 2) just attaches itself to some of those same problems that the first movie had. There is a GIANT cast that all seems expendable and I wouldn’t be able to imagine them using it well because of the fact they didn't use the big cast they had in the first film well at all. Everyone died within the first hour that was on the team and the ones that lived hardly had lines or big enough roles to be crucial or memorable to the plot. This movie seems to double down on that. This cast is like the Avengers Infinity War, when we thought that was a big cast and “how are they gonna utilize everyone?” but they did it well at the end of the day and showcased everyone and what they could do and didn’t seem like a mad rush to get them all on screen. It all made sense in Avengers Infinity War and even in Endgame when there was an even bigger cast to deal with on camera almost all the time. I just can’t imagine them using everyone they have well at all without it seeming at some point like “Why was that guy even here?”. That, for me, is going to already be one of the downfalls of the film for me, even though it is their purpose being a “Suicide Squad”. It makes sense for the movie, but I do not love that part of these films because it makes it hard to want to get invested in the characters. The plethora of characters, some of which seem pointless because you’ve either never heard of them or do not know what their powers could possibly be, just lets me know that most of them are probably dying at some point in the movie. Some of the things about the huge cast that I did like the randomness of the cast they chose. Actors like John Cena, Pete Davidson, and Storm Reid stood out like a sore thumb in terms of grasping my attention for the casting choices, while Michael Rooker and Taika Waititi seem like natural shoe-ins for this world that they’ve created with the Suicide Squad, especially with Waititi in a still unnamed role in the film! I also like the quirkiness that the movie showed like the first movie in its trailers. There’s a sense of cool kid graffiti/very comic book style art that goes into the Suicide Squad and their visuals that I’ve always enjoyed. Their aesthetic is really cool to me, so I’m glad that they chose to continue doing that with this movie. I’m a little bit sketchy on the film as the plot seems to be the same as the last, but I wouldn’t expect it to be otherwise, but I am excited to see what they do with it and I hope for nothing but the best for the film.
Red Hood, Robin, Batgirl and Nightwing
Gotham Knights video game
The next video game that DC/Warner Bros. announced was Gotham Knights! This, I figured would be a hit no matter what really. It has an all new premise that we haven’t really seen in Batman related video games. The Bat, himself, is not in it. He’s dead from what the trailer tells us or makes us assume, and in his wake Robin (Tim Drake), Red Hood (Jason Todd), Batgirl (Barbara Gordon), and Nightwing (Dick Grayson) all rise up as a team to fight crime in Gotham under a new (and now black) Commissioner Gordon. I think this is an amazing game to start with for a new look at Gotham from someone else beside Batman's point of view. We have never had a video game inside the Batman world without Batman actually being in it and the main focal point of it all. So, in my opinion, this is a cool different approach to the story of the game. The game has 2 player co-op mode or you can play it singular and play as either character each with their own different abilities. Gotham Knights looks like most of the latest Batman games and even connects to that universe of the Batman: Arkham games. Some of the gameplay that I’ve seen is beautiful with the characters flying over the city of Gotham with their capes gliding them through the air, or the fight scenes and climbing up the mountain that Mr. Freeze has created in the middle of the city looked cool! The game also is expanding on the Court of Owls as villains in the series. I think this will be a great addition to the games they have already and I do not doubt this for a second at all as a success under their belt.
Black Adam movie
I am not the most familiar with the comic version of Black Adam besides what I’ve researched on the internet but I have seen him myself in the Injustice video game series and seen his character and liked what I saw. His powers over lightning, flight, super-strength and super-speed (basically all the powers of the Gods that Shazam has because he was given the powers by the same Gods) and the fact that he was an Ancient Egyptian made him a very cool character to me every time I saw him in the video games. When I heard about the casting for Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson as Black Adam a few years ago, I was a bit disappointed. He is a casting crew’s dream for the physical appearance of the character of Black Adam to me, as he looks JUST like Black Adam at times. He is very tan, tall, built like a superhero, and looks intimidating as Black Adam does in most of his better versions that I’ve seen of the character. The way Dwayne looks was never an issue for me, it was just his acting that was pulled into question for me with this role. The teaser that was dropped for the movie and it was Dwayne doing a voiceover for Black Adam’s story accompanied with a cool cartoon drawing that connected with the words. The story told of him trying to take over the land he lived in and him being banished to somewhere far away from Earth and finding a way back. This is a marvelous premise to introduce a villain, as it has been done before countless times with others in comics, anime and movies, however I was not sold on Dwayne’s delivery of the story in the teaser. He was telling his tale of being trapped somewhere for so long and being angry and wanting his revenge once he got out, and yet I did not believe any of it. His voice felt like he was reading a book to me. I felt like the story started off fine, because it starts on a lighter note, however once it gets to the point of him being banished for years, the weight of the story shifts and the story should have made him angrier and sound more determined to complete his goal of coming back and it did not come off that way as he spoke to me. The dialogue was not bad, it was just the delivery did not convey someone who was evil (or even an anti hero). The teaser made me very weary about The Rock being the main character, but I do hope the best for the film and I will be seeing it when it comes out.
Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson as Black Adam
Wonder Woman: 1984 movie
The next Wonder Woman 1984 movie trailer dropped, as well, and it did make me more excited to see this film, but I did have problems with it! Cheetah was a big reveal for the trailer and she was the bigger problems that I’ve seen everyone have with the movie. Kristin Wiig was cast as the character but once she becomes the actual character we know that actually looks like a real life big cat/human mix is where everything starts to boil. Cheetah looks very CGI based and looks like she needs a lot of polishing. It was like they superimposed her face onto a big cat and it looked bad to me. Some of the catlike movement looks reasonable but still needs some work done to them, especially when Diana throws her back to the ground out of midair. This seems to be Cheetah’s origin film though and I like that, but I almost wish they had gone with practical effects and added CG on top of that instead of it being mostly CGI looking. The movie itself looks good though as a whole to me and I love her golden costume from the comics! It looks awesome and I’m actually more excited for this one than I was for the first movie.
Robert Pattinson as the Bat
The Batman movie
The final REALLY exciting thing that I think a lot of people were waiting on was the new trailer for the already doubted movie, The Batman, starring Robert Pattinson in the titular role as the Caped Crusader. The men who take on the iconic role of the Bat are always subject to scrutiny and doubt, however Robert Pattinson has gone through some of the worst at the height of the internet criticizing everyone for everything. I think he pulled it together as a younger Bruce Wayne at the start of his vengeance. I like that the writing is focusing more on a youthful detective that is far more enraged for his parents’ deaths and is becoming more and more known as the Batman in Gotham. This makes it an easy way to incorporate the main villain of The Riddler into the storyline as he always puts Batman’s (and the audience’s) brain to work. It is probably, in this world, Batman’s first big mission as hero of the city and his first big bad guy he’s dealing with so I can’t wait to see what they do with that aspect of the movie. For the short chunk of time that we have Catwoman, played by Zoe Kravitz, in the trailer, I liked it! Her combat with Bruce Wayne seemed realistic, catlike and looked cool and her scenes showed her in the middle of cat burglary, so that was awesome because what’s a Catwoman without her slipping in from the roof and stealing something from someone or something?! I do wish I could’ve gotten a better look at her costume because I wasn’t sure if I liked that or not. It looked like cloth or wool to me at first, as opposed to the leather I’m used to seeing her in all the time in most mediums I’ve seen her in. If it turns out that it is, then I’m going to chalk that up to it being the beginning of both her and Bruce’s careers in Gotham and they’re both very young. Batman comes off as overkill, violent and comes off as very enraged and ready to hurt someone almost, but it all works together with the angst of being young and stressed about everything.
Is 2021 Going to be DC's year?
Overall, I was very excited for everything that they announced! Both the games and all of the films seemed like great inclusions into their individual series and into the DC Universe as a whole. I do believe that this could be DC’s year coming up in 2021. They have some great ideas, I hope they work out the kinks before releasing them all and finish it up perfectly and just start building from here. It is a fresh new start for them for their universe right now especially with the obvious competition of Marvel Comics and the MCU just finishing out their final phase of the Infinity Saga. It went magnificently well over the course of a decade and 23 films that all interwove a massive story together and each brought their own special thing to the story as a whole. So DC has a lot of work, fixing, and catching up to do on their films. Their video games have always been better than Marvel’s video games and they’ve never suffered in that department. Their movies, though, next year will hopefully come out better than they have and will offer more to the world and universe they’ve been trying to build over the years. All of these movies and video games that were announced will make money regardless of whether they’re good or not, so at least they have that working in their favor. My faith has slightly been restored in the DC Extended cinematic Universe and I do have faith that they’ll try to continue to construct their universe and not give up in spite of their comparisons to the MCU all the time.