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Weekend Recs: The DCEU and DC Adaptations

Happy Friday, Wildcats! Falvey Library is delivering you another semester of Weekend Recs, a blog dedicated to filling you in on what to read, listen to, and watch over the weekend. Annie, a graduate assistant from the Communication department, scours the internet, peruses the news, and digs through book stacks to find new, relevant, and thought-provoking content that will challenge you and prepare you for the upcoming week. 

The MCU and Marvel’s host of extended content have garnered a lot of passionate attention and fandom. With the MCU’s range and staying power, this popularity, and arguable supremacy, is unsurprising. However, although I admit it often takes a more comic-book-like approach, the DCEU and other DC film and television adaptations seem to get a less enthusiastic treatment. Yet, DC has some film and television adaptations that are worth giving a chance, especially if you’re onboard with Phase Four of the MCU. This weekend’s recs delve into the DC adaptation universes and highlight¬† a variety of DC adaptations that range from dark and gritty to heartfelt and fluffy.

Photo by Dev on Unsplash

If you have 58 seconds…and are new to the DCEU, watch this TikTok explaining the canon timeline of the DC Extended Universe and what DC movies are outside this universe.

If you have 19 minutes and 10 seconds…and are a fan of the Arrowverse, watch this video comparing the DCEU’s Justice League character portrayals, as owned by Warner Bros., with the Arrowverse’s portrayals of these characters, as owned by the CW. This video helps outline some of the differences between the DCEU and the Arrowverse, both DC comic adaptation film and television “universes,” and gives a glimpse into some of the main DC superheros.

If you have 1 hour and 49 minutes...and want to watch a girl-group movie filled with camp and Margot Robbie, watch Harley Quinn: Birds of Prey. A film that arguably takes the best aspects of Suicide Squad (i.e., Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn) and improves upon them (i.e., being less male gaze-y and a lot more fun), Birds of Prey is an enjoyable watch.

If you have 2 hours and 12 minutes…and are a fan of the found family trope, watch Shazam! Although its release wasn’t very hyped-up, this film is a truly endearing superhero movie with a good cast of child actors and lots of heart.

If you have 2 hours and 56 minutes…and prefer your movies to be dark and gritty, watch The Batman. Robert Pattinson embodies the brooding, loner side of Batman and is complemented by a host of other great performances, including a truly discomforting Paul Dano.

Bonus: If you want to watch the DC supreme, watch The Dark Knight, available in Falvey’s DVD Collection.

If you have 6 hours…and are interested in Gender and Women’s Studies, read Hot Pants and Spandex Suits: Gender Representation in American Superhero Comic Books. The book discusses gender and LGBTQ+ representation in comics books and is definitely worth checking out.

If you have 9 hours…and want to watch a relatively stand-alone DC series, watch The Sandman. This Netflix series, based on a DC comic, takes on a magical and gothic Tim Burton-esque style and follows the King of Dreams on his quest for lost power.

If you have 10 hours…and are a fan of the teen coming-of-age genre (with bonus found family), check out the first season of DC’s Stargirl. The show follows¬† Courtney Whitmore, as she takes on Starman’s mantle and bands a team of teen misfits turned superheros together to protect the small town of Blue Valley, Nebraska. If you end up liking the show, you’ll be happy to know that Season 2 has already been released, and the final episode of Season 3 airs in the near future.

If you have 11 hours…and are curious how superheros have come to (seemingly) dominate our media sphere, read The Superhero Symbol: Media, Culture, and Politics.

Bonus: If you prefer video games to film and television, check out Gotham Knights, a recently released RPG game that allows players to play as Nightwing, Red Hood, Batgirl, and (Red) Robin as they solve and fight crime in Gotham.

Annie Stockmal is a graduate student in the Communication Department and graduate assistant in Falvey Library.

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Last Modified: December 2, 2022

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