comic book movies

DCEU vs DCTV: Let’s not be quick to dismiss DC television


dceu vs dctv dc movies dc television

Now that we finally know more about the DCEU and what characters and stories may be involved, a lot of comparisons have been drawn to the DC TV universe. And really many of the comparisons look at DCTV unfavourably, which isn’t necessarily fair.

DCTV have already touched on a lot of the characters that will be appearing in the DCEU, and are starting to bring new characters in that are already in the DCEU. With that comes the inevitable comparison of the DCEU vs DCTV.

Let’s look at a recent example, the reveal of Deathstroke in the DCEU. First of all, cool and surprising reveal (thanks Ben). We have seen basically nothing from this character however, merely a glimpse at how his character looks. We don’t know what role he will play or how he will be characterised, we know nothing. Yet people are quick to dismiss the TV version of the character, and call this one superior.

deathstroke arrow dceu deathstroke

Now obviously budgets are very different on CW shows compared to movies. So obviously the DCEU has a better looking Deathstroke. But let’s not take away from the great character Deathstroke was in Arrow (well in season 1 and 2 anyways). Now I may not watch Arrow anymore and I’ll agree it’s quality right now is pretty low, but season 2 was genuinely great television. And that had a lot to do with Deathstroke.

Deathstroke was frightening and shocking. He was emotionally driven but his actions showcased how ruthless he was and the lack of humanity he possessed. The scene where he kills Moira was such an amazing villainous moment. Seeing him go from Ollie’s friend to the man who murders his mother, that was a great character arc.

And it’s great that we get to see Deathstroke in the DCEU as well, but just because he’s in the movies doesn’t mean that we have to choose one or the other. They can both be great Deathstrokes.

dceu deathstroke

I see the same thing is happening with The Flash. The DCEU Flash has had a bit of visibility this year with his cameos in Batman v Superman and Suicide Squad, along with the Justice League trailer and costume reveal. Again, budgets are different. The fact that the DCEU suit looks better is not surprising.

So again with that we see people flock to hate The Flash TV show because we have a Flash in the movies. Now obviously it’s fine if you’ve watched The Flash TV show and didn’t like it. But I’m seeing a lot of people who don’t even really watch it, quick to trash talk it.

Why does there need to be a competition? The Flash TV show has done amazing things. Sure it gets frustrating when we see some beats constantly recur (Barry needing to run faster to solve a problem), but the show has brought comic book panels to life. From the Speed Force to King Shark and Gorilla Grodd, there have been a lot of cool moments in the show and a lot of genuinely emotionally moving moments.

the flash season 2 episode 15 king shark

Not to mention how much of a good villain Reverse Flash was. We get introduced to this surrogate father figure for Barry, someone who understands and helps him. Only to find out that he’s been playing Barry the whole time, that he’s responsible for irrevocably changing the entire course of Barry’s life. Again, another truly terrifying villain.

And I’m excited to see what The Flash movie does. To see what sides of The Flash mythology they’ll explore. Because it doesn’t have to be one or the other. The DCEU and DCTV universe can co-exist.

Soon we’ll see Superman in Supergirl, which will be interesting. I’m sure we’ll see hate coming from both ends. Those who will hate the DCTV Superman because he’s not the DCEU Superman, and those who will bash the DCEU Superman because he’s not like the DCTV universe Superman, who apparently will be a lot more “traditional” in character.

superman dctv dceu

Personally, I love the DCEU Superman. I have loved his character arc so far. From being this lost boy, to someone confident enough who understands his place in the world. I like that it’s been a tough journey and that we weren’t instantly given the happy, confident Superman.

But I’m still interested to see what Supergirl does with their Superman (also I’m happy we’re moving away from silly IM chats) even if he will be more like Christopher Reeve/traditional Superman.

DCTV has covered a lot of ground, and sure there’s been plenty of blunders, but there’s also been a lot of success. Right now I’m really enjoying The Flash, Legends, Gotham etc. and I’m excited to see how the DCEU will handle those worlds and characters. So instead of hating one aspect of the DC live action universe because it’s not like the other, why don’t we just appreciate how lucky we are!

14 replies »

  1. For me the DCEU is a bit up and down, I feel like Wonder Woman and Justice League will be the first films in the film universe to give us a proper look at these characters, story and let fans and critics know whether the new structure set up at DC and Warner Bros. this year has worked or not. Right now DCTV has down a lot of great things, the first two seasons of Arrow were great, I’ve really loved The Flash so far (my favourite DC show), Legends of Tomorrow is decent enough (though frustrating and a little dull at times) and even though I haven’t finished Supergirl, I want to just to catch up and see how Superman fares on TV to see if he’ll be traditional or another new incarnation.


    • Yeah and to be fair, DCTV has had a bit of a head start. We’ll definitely get a greater sense of the DCEU next year, and we’ll also be seeing a lot of growth in DCTV esp with things like Superman finally appearing

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Yes, the films are going to have more money to work with than a TV show. However, if the small-screen version is doing a much better job at telling a story than its big-screen counterpart, then of course more people are going to flock to the TV version. As someone who has been a DC fan since childhood, I hope that Warner Bros. and company gets its act together and finally make the DC Extended Universe properly compete with the much-better Marvel Cinematic Universe.

    Liked by 1 person

      • Let’s hope that’s the case. As someone who was a DC kid growing up, I want this series to compete with the Marvel Cinematic Universe. After all, competition forces both sides to bring their A-Games to the table. May DC get its cinematic heads back in the game.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m surprised to hear the DCTV universe is getting so much hate, especially from comparisons of characters we haven’t even properly seen in the DCEU. In my fandom circles, I’m hearing a lot more dislike for the movies and more devotion and willingness to overlook flaws in the TV shows. Personally, I’d still say the movies are struggling to find their footing storytelling-wise (please don’t let me down, Wonder Woman!), although visually the movies tend to have a slight edge (slight–the TV shows do quite a good job with their budget, and I actually like some of their designs better than the movies).


  4. I’ve said it before that I think DC has a problem when it comes to the way they’re handling their live-action multiverse. The idea itself is what gives something unique for DC to do in comparison to Marvel, giving everyone a chance to create the best worlds, stories, and characters. But then it’s immediately shot in the foot the moment they say there won’t be multiple Suicide Squads or Supermen because of this movie or show being done, and that just limits themselves of ideas. I get it’d be expensive to pay for actors, crew, and everything else, but that’s the risk they take. It’s even weirder that they wouldn’t have multiple Suicide Squads, but have multiple Flashes and Batmen? It’s this thing here that’s got me worried if DC’ll cancel The Flash show because of the movie. If DC did that they’d have a riot on their hands. Thankfully they are getting lenient by having a different Superman on Supergirl, so hopefully this could lead to more variety and have multiple versions of stuff like Suicide Squad and other things. Especially Deathstroke too. As cool as it is to see Deathstroke on the big screen, I also love the Arrowverse version too and hope he’ll return.


    • I’m okay with them keeping their universes separate but yeah I don’t want them limiting what the other does either.
      But it’s weird with these rumours that Booster Gold won’t be part of the DCEU, I feel like things might get a bit confusing if their movies have different universes as well


  5. I say both are even as i love both universes but it isn’t just the main heroes there’s DC tv shows for. Preacher, IZombie and Lucifer are great shows and even cancelled ones like Constantine and Human Target were fun watches. This article didn’t even mention Gotham.


  6. I say both universes are even as i love them both but it isn’t just the main heroes there’s DC tv shows for. Gotham, Preacher, IZombie and Lucifer are great DC shows and even cancelled DC shows like Constantine and Human Target were fun watches.


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