ENTERTAINMENT

5 Animated DC Comic Movies That Are Better Than 'Batman v Superman'

They might struggle with live-action, but DC animation is awesome.

The question was asked for years prior to any announcement of a "Batman v Superman" film or plans for a Justice League franchise: How are they going to introduce the characters of the Justice League all at the same time?

What people don't seem to understand is that these characters have been introduced together -- successfully -- several times already in DC's animated universe.

"But, Andy, those are cartoons!" you say.

Whoa, there. This is not "Super Friends." The modern DC animated originals are dark, gritty, and they're as true to the characters as you'll ever see. 

Strangely enough, and arguably most important, they're written -- or at least plotted -- better than the major studios can seem to pull off with their massive staff and budget.

So if you still have a sour taste in your mouth after seeing "Batman vs. Superman," retreat to your Fortress Of Solitude and check out these badass DC animated offerings to begin the healing process.

  • "Justice League: War"
    This is what we hope a live-action Justice League film will be. We don't spend time with individual origin stories,
    DC
    This is what we hope a live-action Justice League film will be. We don't spend time with individual origin stories, because we don't need to. This is a group origin story. We meet these characters by way of them meeting each other. That's the whole basis of the Justice League: the question of whether or not this team-up will work.

    As opposed to the lengthy “we-don’t-need-an-editor” big-budget films, this is resolved nicely in about an hour and 20 minutes as the league battles the incredibly powerful Darkseid. 

    This is as great an introduction to the Justice League as you’re going to get.

    (As of publishing, this is currently on Netflix.)
  • "Justice League: Throne Of Atlantis"
    “Throne of Atlantis” begins where “War” left off. Due to the events of the Justice League’
    DC
    “Throne of Atlantis” begins where “War” left off. Due to the events of the Justice League’s battle with Darkseid, Atlantis has declared war on humanity. We meet Arthur Curry, son of a lighthouse keeper who discovers that his mother is the exiled queen of Atlantis and that he is destined to one day rule (as Aquaman). Now, he’s the only one who can help the Justice League stem the tide of war.
  • "Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox"
    Perhaps the most fascinating of the bunch, "Flashpoint" is adapted from a comic written by Geoff Johns. Someone has traveled
    DC
    Perhaps the most fascinating of the bunch, "Flashpoint" is adapted from a comic written by Geoff Johns. Someone has traveled back in time drastically altering history, and Flash is the only one who knows the truth. In the new timeline, Batman is … different, Wonder Woman and Aquaman are at war with each other, and Superman is nowhere to be found.

    The alternate-reality premise makes this one of the richest and most engaging DC storylines. This film can’t be recommended enough if you’re looking to explore a bit deeper into the DC comic universe.

    (As of publishing, this is currently on Netflix!)
  • "Son of Batman"
    After being visited by an old flame, the daughter of Ra's al Ghul, Batman discovers he has a son. Young Damian is alread
    DC
    After being visited by an old flame, the daughter of Ra's al Ghul, Batman discovers he has a son. Young Damian is already an incredibly skilled fighter and every bit as stubborn as his old man. The relationship that develops is fun to watch, and seeing Damian don Robin's costume is awesome.

    (As of publishing, this, too, is currently on Netflix!)
  • "The Dark Knight Returns"
    Based on the now legendary Frank Miller series of the same name, "Dark Knight Returns" depicts a retired, crotchety Bruce Way
    DC
    Based on the now legendary Frank Miller series of the same name, "Dark Knight Returns" depicts a retired, crotchety Bruce Wayne deciding to become Batman once again, against the wishes of ... well, everyone.

    The political and social commentary is present just as it was in the comic, as is the conflicted relationship between Batman and Superman. Given that this takes place years into the future, the layers of history add a texture and depth to the characters that is lacking in “Batman v Superman."

In summation, I don't think it's even remotely unreasonable for the major studios making these live-action DC films to look to the DC animated universe for inspiration and storytelling guidance.

At this point, it seems pretty necessary.

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