DC Entertainment: 2016 in Review – Part 3 [Animation & Video Games]

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To say the least, 2016 has been a massive year for DC Entertainment. Warner Bros.’ DC Extended Universe is in full swing with the release of two major films. The company’s television worlds grew bigger than ever before. The animation world continues to be heavily exploited with new movies and shows, while we have some new developments in the gaming realm.
In the final installment of our annual reflection, we will be looking at all the major news and announcements surrounding DC Entertainment’s video games and animated films.
For our recap of DC Entertainment’s five best moments at San Diego Comic-Con 2016, click HERE.

We’ve had four DC animated films released this year. Some were better then others, but each of them were enjoyable in their own way. Batman: Bad Blood was the first film released this year. The film introduced Batwoman, and featured Dick Grayson putting on the cowl as Batman. It was a fun movie. Seeing Dick and Damian as the new dynamic duo was great. Sadly we didn’t quit get enough time with them. It let us down in that regard, but it still was a solid film. Batwing and Batwoman should be nice additions to the Bat-Family, and it’ll be fun to see the new team dynamic.

We immediately jump right back into the new DC Animated Universe with Justice League vs. Teen Titans. The Titans were a great addition to the DCAU. Having other characters for Damian to play off of was cool to see. This whole universe seems to revolves around Damian, and as annoying as that is, they managed to pull it off here. His chemistry with the others Titans was fun, the battle with the League (while predictable) was interesting, and like always the animation was great. The animated universe seems to be heading in the right direction, and I’m excited to see more.
Some of DC’s best films are their adaptations of graphic novels. The Dark Knight Returns I & II were fantastic, and Batman: Under the Red Hood is a fan favorite. So you would think with DC legends Bruce Timm, Kevin Conroy, and Mark Hamill returning to the Batman franchise, The Killing Joke would be a huge success, right? Unfortunately, Batman: The Killing Joke is just as controversial as the original graphic novel. Kevin Conroy is still a great Batman, and this might be Mark Hamill’s best Joker performance to date, but it just didn’t come together. They tried to extend the run time by adding a Batgirl prologue, but that somehow made things worse. The Killing Joke has some great stuff, but I’m not quite sure the good out weighs the bad.
With our final animated film of the year we returned to the 60’s. Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders marked the return of Adam West (Batman), Burt Ward (Robin), Julie Newmar (Catwoman) to their respective roles. This was the second animated film given a theatrical release (the first being Batman; The Killing Joke). Paying tribute to the classic TV series; Return of the Caped Crusaders managed to balance the tone and humor of the original series; while also adding fresh ideas (like a darker Batman). It was fun time, now if only we can get that Wonder Woman ’77 movie.
Moving on to video games, Batman: The Telltale Series was our first game non-Arkham game in a long time. Telltale took on the Batman world and created an immersive world. The story was solid, the graphics were fantastic, and the voice acting was top notch. Aside from a few glitches and boring gameplay mechanics – this a great game. They left the door open for a second season; so here’s hoping next season is just as good.

We weren’t done with Batman after the Telltale game. We went back to the Arkham series for the last time (it feels like I say this every year). As one of the launch titles for PlayStation VR, Batman: Arkham VR allowed us to put on the cowl and become the Dark Knight. It was a fun story, and putting on the suit was great, but if you didn’t already own PlayStation VR it’s probably not worth picking up.

On the television side of things; Teen Titans Go! is still going strong on Cartoon Network. The series is the most watched shows on the network, and keeps racking up the views on YouTube. The Titans crossed over with another popular Cartoon Network show this year – The Powerpuff Girls. The two teams battled to see which one was more heroic. This lead to some funny moments, and it was nice to see the two teams interact with each other.

With the success of Teen Titans Go!, it’s obvious that Cartoon Network would want add another DC show to their channel. Justice League Action is the first time the League has been on television since 2006. The series takes a more lighthearted approach than its predecessor (Justice League Unlimited). There’s not much to go on as of now, but the series looks promising. The show seems to improve every episode, and all of the characters are likable. It’ll be fun to see how the show progresses over the next year.
2017 looks like it’ll be bigger than this year. We’ll be getting five animated films; Justice League Dark, Teen Titans: Judas Contract, Batman & Harley Quinn, Batman vs. Two-Face (The Caped Crusaders sequel), and of course The LEGO Batman Movie. We also get to return to the Injustice world with Injustice 2. The CW Seed added another cartoon, Freedom Fighters: The Ray, to go along with Vixen. Justice League Action and Teen Titans Go! will continue to bring the laughs on Cartoon Network, and Young Justice is back to make sure we feel the aster. 

Next year looks to be a great year for the DC Comics brand, and we’ll be here every step of the way. For everything in the world of DC Entertainment, stay tuned.

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Michael Thomas

Deputy Editor-in-Chief at WOBAM! Entertainment
Just a nerd on the internet writing about what he loves.
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