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A DC Comics Sleeping Giant: The Bat Family

2018 was a big year for Marvel and a reminder of how the DCEU is far behind.

Even though the DC Extended Universe is set to unleash Aquaman next month and there’s been recent news of Ewan McGregor joining the Harley Quinn: Birds of Prey movie, DC and Warner Brothers have been chasing Marvel non-stop since Tony Stark set the stage for one of, if not THE, most successful movie franchises the world has seen. And with delays on Wonder Woman and Shazam!, to go with Henry Cavill moving on and Ben Affleck possibly, too, DC may have a chance to start over and do things the right way.

Now, as much as building everything up through The Justice League keeps the old DC fans happy and seems like the correct formula given what Marvel did with the Avengers, there is another way. It could have worked, had things not been rushed, but there’s another option. And this one is a LOCK.

The Bat Family.

Bruce Wayne has always reached past the average comic book fan. Moviegoers are always going to give a Batman movie a chance. From there—well, let's take a look at the four major reasons why the DCEU need to turn to the Bat Family if they do a reboot.

1. The Sons

Each Robin is really an individual reason.

Dick Grayson, Jason Todd, Tim Drake, and Damian Wayne aren’t exactly all the same person, as much as they all have jet-black hair and rocked the red, yellow and green Robin get-up at one point.

Dick is sarcastic and much more mature (although that looks like DC Comics is trying to change that right now). Jason is a rebel. Tim is probably the most brilliant of them all, and surely the best detective. And Damian—well, he’s just so angry, and he is, of course, the only one of the bunch that’s Batman’s son by blood.

All of these characters present a different dynamic. And some, particularly Dick and Jason, have shown they can stand on their own—not only as fighters but as dynamic characters. Once they’re introduced through Batman, the door opens right into a Nightwing movie and Red Hood and the Outlaws flick. And much like Black Widow has done in the Captain America movies and Iron Man 2, Tim and Damian could float into the Nightwing and Red Hood series.

In addition to Batman integrating other DC heroes, his first two Robins could also introduce a few. Take Nightwing for example. He brings in Beast Boy, Starfire, and the other Teen Titans. And you can branch more and more.

There are endless opportunities from these guys alone.

2. The Villains

Batman has fought his fair share of lunatics through the years. Obviously, the Joker, Bane, Two-Face, and Scarecrow, Talia al Ghul have been given a chance in the 21st century—Ra’s al Ghul technically was, too.

There are so many more to pull from.

Harley Quinn and Deadshot were in Suicide Squad, but they haven’t really had their chance with Batman. If given an opportunity, both could do so much more.

Deathstroke started with Teen Titans, so there’s the Nightwing connection, again. But Slade Wilson versus Batman is always an amazing battle brawn and brains.

Then there’s Penguin, couple more loons in Mr. Freeze and Poison Ivy (so long as Arnold Schwarzenegger and Uma Thurman don’t reprise their roles).

There’s also Hush and Lady Shiva, two amazing fighters. Mad Hatter is a loony as anyone. Clayface is another great option—again could be a connection with Red Hood if DC chose that route.

So many on this list could be paired off or even work solo against Batman and company to make an amazing movie.

3. The Non-Robin Family Members

Batgirl and Terry McGinnis’s Batman are the first three that come to mind

Much like the Robins, Batgirl offers another opportunity to present more characters within the universe. With the Birds of Prey movie supposedly in the works, that opens up the door to Huntress—who’s had a thing with Nightwing—and Black Canary—who obviously can introduce Green Arrow.

More than anything, Batgirl provides the female audience another strong character like Wonder Woman. While most probably didn’t realize how much of a hit Wonder Woman would be initially, but now it’s clear there’s room for other female heroes play a leading role.

Then there’s Batman Beyond. Such a great animated series and DC could take a page out of the comics and pit McGinnis against Damian Wayne as the Demon’s Head. McGinnis is a bit of a cult-classic and would be a nice change of pace for the casual fans that like Batman, but wouldn’t mind if someone else took up the mantle.

4. The Dysfunction

As much as this group—including the extended Bat Family—can work in harmony together, they’re about the furthest thing from a functional family.

Alfred may love each Robin like a son, but Batman—let's just leave it at affection isn’t really his thing. Which is why he’s had issues with pretty much everyone he’s ever worked with.

Nightwing was his most loyal Robin, and they constantly have issues now. Damian is more League of Assassins than he is Wayne. And there are already arcs written about Red Hood’s issues with Batman.

But that adds a level of relate-ability with this bunch, and relate-ability is something you find in almost every successful character in both film and writing.

Iron Man is a man with all the money in the world but completely empty inside. Captain America wanted to help people more than anyone but was overlooked because he lacked the physical characteristics. Then, of course, there’s Batman, the regular guy who can do extraordinary things—someone people could actually dream to be—but still has family problems like everyone else.

This odd bunch is the only to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Too bad DC couldn’t see that.

Hopefully, they make an adjustment.

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