DC Entertainment: 2015 In Review – Part 3 [Animation + Video Games]

2015 was yet another successful year for DC Entertainment. The second film in the DC movie universe – now titled the DC Extended Universe – entered post-production, with two more movies undergoing production and other films moving forward in other stages of development. The DC television world expanded with a new show and more seasons of last year’s. More direct-to-DVD animated features were released, bringing more iconic DC Universe characters to life. And one of the most highly anticipated video games in history was released last summer.
In this part of our annual reflection, we will be looking at all the major news and announcements on DC Entertainment’s television shows.

For our recap of DC’s five best moments from San Diego Comic-Con 2015, click here.
2015 was the end of an era as the final installment in the Batman: Arkham series was released. Batman: Arkham Knight, was one of the most highly anticipated games in recent memory. With Rocksteady Studios returning to the franchise after four long years many thought this would be the definitive Batman game, and in many ways they were right, but they were also very wrong. The game was met with mixed reactions from fans simply because of the over use of the (Tank) Batmobile, but the major problem was the PC port of the game. Of course this was just a few problems with the game. We didn’t want this to Rocksteady’s final run on Batman, and it seems that it won’t be! In the season finale of Arkham Insider, game director Sefton Hill answers the about this being thier last Batman game, and just as he gives his answer the video cuts off. Will there be more Arkham games in the future? That’s yet to be determined, but Rocksteady Studios isn’t the only comapny set to make DC Comics related games.

With the Batman: Arkham series supposedly coming to a close, it seems that we have a new video game studio stepping up to the plate with their own video game series based on the Caped Crusader. Telltale Games announced that they will be developing a new series of story-based Batman games. With Telltale’s style being vastly different from Rocksteady’s, it will be interesting to see how this series develops. For our full review of Batman: Arkham Knight, click here.

With Telltale’s story based games it seems WB Montreal is the heir to (Rocksteady’s) the cowl. It was announced that the folks at WB Montreal have two DC games in development. We don’t know if it’s another Batman Arkham prequel or their own series of games, but we do know that Warner Bros. Interactive plans on making plenty of games in the future.

While we’re talking about video games, it’s worth noting that DC Comics characters are playable in the game LEGO Dimensions. This game brought the worlds of  DC Comics, The Lord of the Rings, The Wizard of Oz and more together for the first time. LEGO Dimensions is one of few games that combines different franchises, similar to Disney Infinity. Hopefully we get another game with this concept; LEGO DC teaming up with LEGO Marvel anyone?

DC Animation has been busy building a new animated universe based on the New 52, as they released the direct-to-DVD film, Justice League: Throne of Atlantis earlier this year. The film is based on the comic book storyline of the same name written by Geoff Johns and Ivan Reis, a direct sequel to the film Justice League: War. Justice League: Throne of Atlantis, unlike the comic book, serves as an origin story for Aquaman. The movie creates a new mission for the Justice League that intersects with Arthur Curry’s journey to becoming the King of the Seas. With this being the second Justice League film in the new DC animated universe, we get to see more of the League’s chemistry develop and an Aquaman origin story, the latter being something that has never been brought to screen. For our full review of Justice League: Throne of Atlantis, click here.
Batman vs. Robin is another animated film DC Entertainment has released this year. A story that mainly focuses on Damian Wayne and his father Bruce Wayne, it was also the first time we see the Court of Owls in animation. With this being the fourth film in set in this universe we can see the improvement in the story telling and voice acting. This film blows Son of Batman out of the water, and hopefully they just keep getting better from here. For our full review of Batman vs. Robin, click here.
This leads us to the direct-to-DVD film, Justice League: Gods and Monsters. This is the only animated film released this year that doesn’t connect to a larger universe. In this film we are on an alternate earth with new versions of the trinity, Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman. Bruce Timm makes his return to the DC universe by bringing us this else world story. What makes Gods and Monsters so intriguing is that they were able to do whatever they wanted to do. You want to make Superman Zod’s son? Sure! you want to make Batman a vampire? Go right ahead! Having this be an Elseworlds story means they weren’t held back by the statuesque, they could make it as weird as they wanted and people wouldn’t get mad about it. I’d love to see more stories like this in the future. For our full review of Justice League; Gods and Monsters, click here.
Moving on to films that were announced for the upcoming year. Batman: Bad Blood is the third installment in the new direct-to-DVD Batman films. This was one of the many announcements made at 2015 San Diego Comic-Con. Batman: Bad Blood will deal with Bruce Wayne being missing in action, leading to Dick Grayson taking over as the Batman with Damian Wayne as Robin. Also being introduced in the movie is Batwoman, Batwing and Lucius Fox, with Talia al Ghul returning. This is film I’ve wanted to see ever since Son of Batman, a film focusing on the Bat-Family, specificity Nightwing and Robin. Watch the trailer for Batman: Bad Blood here.
Also announced this year was Justice League vs. Titans, which will mark the Teen Titans’ debut in the DC Universe Original Animated Movies line. No further details on this one are known yet.

After stealing the show in The LEGO Movie, Batman is getting his own spin-off film! This will be a fun and entertaining film for the entire family. The cast of this is incredible, with Will Arnett returning as the Dark Knight, Ralph Fiennes as Alfred, Rosario Dawson as Barbara Gordon, Zach Galifianakis as the Joker, Michael Cera as Robin and Mariah Carey as Commissioner Gordon the Mayor of Gotham City.

Don’t worry the LEGO movies don’t stop here! We also had new films announced, titled LEGO DC Comics Super Heroes – Justice League: Cosmic Clash, along with a sequel to the critically acclaimed film The LEGO Movie.

Back in 2011, Mark Hamill said that he was done voicing the Joker, and the only way he’d come back was if they decided to make an adaptation of the graphic novel, The Killing Joke. Almost four years later, it seems that he will be returning to the role of the Clown Prince of Crime one last time. DC Entertainment has announced the film, Batman: The Killing Joke at San Diego Comic-Con this year. It is not known if Kevin Conroy will be voicing Batman, but in all likelihood we expect him to join Hamill in the film. Meanwhile, DC Entertainment has given the producers permission to make the adaptation with an R-rating, if they chose to do so.

And that does it for our yearly review! I hope all enjoyed it as much as we have. What animated film did you enjoy the most this year, and which one are you most looking forward to next year? We’d love to hear from you on our Twitter and Facebook pages. For everything related to DC Entertainment, stay tuned.

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