Let’s try this again, shall we?
For an extremely detailed idea for the kick-off to this DC Cinematic Universe, click back on yesterday’s post.
Batman: Second Skin
Yes, we just got a fantastic Batman movie last year with Matt Reeves’ The Batman. Warner Bros. certainly isn’t going to want to undercut the importance of that franchise or where it could be headed. But here’s the thing… The Batman has shown us a grim and gritty, ultra-realistic world for Batman to work in. There’s no room for a larger DC Universe there. But since we can’t very well have a DC Universe without a Batman, let’s do this entirely separate thing. And, as with Superman, there’s no sense in rehashing Batman’s origin. We all know what happened to his parents…
Synopsis: A mysterious killer has his (or her) sights set on the Falcone crime family and, ultimately, Carmine Falcone. This killer leaves few, if any, clues to their identity and it’s up to the Batman to determine who the killer is and how to stop them. Bruce Wayne has been operating in Gotham City for just over a year but has yet to form a relationship with anyone at GCPD and exists mostly in the shadows and as a scary story told by Gotham’s criminals. In this world, Batman is aware of other costumed vigilantes and superpowered heroes and villains, but would rather keep to himself and do things his way in his city. Bruce must balance his desire for justice with the undeniable truth that Falcone maintains a certain balance and even performs a number of benevolent acts for the city, forcing him to compromise when it comes to saving the lives of Falcone’s men.
Primary Villain: Clayface (aka Sondra Fuller) – A former actress turned mob assassin. Thanks to an experimental skin cream called Renu, developed by Daggett Pharmaceuticals, one of Carmine Falcone’s legitimate business ventures, Sondra is able to alter her appearance to look like anyone, making her the perfect woman to become a contract killer. But overuse of Renu causes Sondra to become the monster known as Clayface, a shapeshifter who seeks revenge against Falcone, whom she blames for what she has become. Clayface plans to exact her revenge on Falcone at a charity event that he has put together with Haley Circus. In the film’s climax, she attacks and, in the ensuing chaos, the Flying Graysons are killed while performing their trapeze act, leaving young Dick Grayson orphaned.
Supporting Characters: Alfred Pennyworth; Lieutenant James Gordon; Detective Renee Montoya; Detective Harvey Bullock; District Attorney Harvey Dent; Carmine Falcone; Dick Grayson
Mid-Credits Scene: Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson get out of a car as Dick looks up at Wayne Manor, somewhat in awe. He asks Bruce why he’s taking him in. Bruce kneels down to be on Dick’s level, explaining that he lost his parents at a very young age, too. He introduces Dick to Alfred, telling him that the butler helped him get through some of his darkest days. Dick responds with a hollow thanks, but is honest in his emotions, sharing how sad and angry he’s feeling. Bruce smiles and tells him they might just have a way to help him work through all of that.
Post-Credits Scene: Kate Kane stands in Bruce’s study, admiring the grandfather clock that hasn’t worked in years. Bruce arrives, surprised to see his cousin after she has been away from Gotham for so many years. She smirks and tells him she’s heard he has a very interesting night life these days. He tells her not to believe everything the tabloids say. Kate says she doesn’t believe a word of it, reaching up to adjust the hands on the clock, revealing the hidden entrance to the Batcave. Looking back at Bruce, she tells him she wants in.
Timeline: This story takes place approximately the same time as Superman.
An important note is that Dick Grayson should be a child at this stage. He should be no older than 12 years old, giving him time to develop and train off screen to debut as Robin in the inevitable follow-up.
Wonder Woman: War of the Gods
Synopsis: For the Amazon princess, I would like to retell her origin. But let’s ditch the World War I setting and focus on the present day. The story should lean heavily into the Greek mythological origins and return to Wonder Woman having been formed of clay by Queen Hippolyta and given life by the gods as a blessing to Hippolyta and Themyscira. In the modern age, the gods are all but silent, having been forgotten by most of the modern world, outside of stories and legends. Steve Trevor would still be an American military pilot who crashes off the coast of Themyscira and is saved by Diana. And this will still be the catalyst for bringing her to “man’s world” following a contest to choose the Amazonian representative who will return Steve to his rightful place. Diana is forbidden from competing by her mother, but does so in secret, not revealing her true identity until she ultimately wins.
Primary Villain: Circe – This is the same mythological figure who captured Odysseus once upon a time. She is manipulating events through powerful magic from afar. By causing Steve Trevor’s failed flight and sudden discovery of the hidden Paradise Island, Circe has awakened the slumbering gods who are now taking an interest in events as they unfold, particularly pertaining to the daughter of Hippolyta. Circe’s ultimate goal is to pit the Olympian gods against each other, plunging the world into chaos in the process. Diana will come to understand the truth behind this War of the Gods and will be all that stands between Circe and the end of the world as we know it.
Supporting Characters: Queen Hippolyta; Various Amazons; Steve Trevor; Etta Candy; Zeus; Hera; Ares; Aphrodite; Poseidon; Hades; Hermes; Apollo; Artemis; Hephaestus; Athena
Mid-Credits Scene: Seemingly stripped of her magical powers, Circe sits alone in a cell at Belle Reve Correctional Center. Without warning, the door to her cell swings open and in walks Amanda Waller. She introduces herself to the angry, powerless witch. “What if I told you I can help you get your powers back? What would that be worth to you?”
Post-Credits Scene: Steve Trevor is introducing Diana to ice cream as they leisurely stroll near the Lincoln Memorial at twilight, having a pretty decent first date. Nearby, they can hear people gasping and murmuring and notice everyone looking up at the sky. Superman descends from above and, floating over the Reflecting Pool, addresses Diana. He tells her that was some impressive work the other day and says they should talk sometime.
Timeline: This story would take place roughly six months after the events of Superman and Batman: Second Skin.
Synopsis: Lex Luthor is making a very public trip to Gotham City to meet with fellow billionaire industrialist, Bruce Wayne, to discuss an aerospace partnership that has been in development for some time. Clark Kent has been assigned to follow Luthor to Gotham to cover the story for the Planet. While there, Clark plans to, as Superman, investigate the rumors he’s heard of a vigilante known as the Batman. It could just be an urban legend… But if there’s truth to the story, then it’s also possible that this Batman is responsible for putting a young sidekick in harm’s way. Meanwhile, Wonder Woman arrives in Gotham under her new civilian persona, Diana Prince, investigating an artifact that was recently discovered in Italy that has been brought to Gotham University for study. The artifact, a cat statue, has alleged ties to the Olympian gods and Diana is curious about its origin and authenticity.
Primary Villains: Catwoman (aka Selina Kyle); Cheetah (aka Barbara Minerva); Lex Luthor – Catwoman, who has had obvious run-ins with Batman in the past, is after the artifact for its monetary value. She’s unaware that this cat statue was once imbued with magical power that has now been transferred to the professor studying the item, Dr. Barbara Minerva. Dr. Minerva begins transforming into the villainous Cheetah, someone Catwoman believes she can get along with. They don’t… at first. Enter: Luthor… His personal assistant/bodyguard, Mercy Graves, provides him with intel on Cheetah and Catwoman after he learns that Superman has followed him to Gotham City. Wanting the Man of Steel dead, he brokers a deal with Cheetah, whose powers seem to be magic based, believing she could hurt Superman as he has noticed he has a weakness against magic and the supernatural. Lex then distances himself, pulling strings from afar while our heroes are unaware of his involvement.
Supporting Characters: Alfred Pennyworth; Robin (aka Dick Grayson); Commissioner James Gordon; Mercy Graves; Etta Candy
Mid-Credits Scene: Bruce, Clark, and Diana meet for coffee. They ask each other if this team-up thing is going to become a habit. Bruce reveals there are others… Maybe they need a bigger team.
Post-Credits Scene: Lex Luthor steps off his helicopter and is greeted by the same scientist who appeared at the end of Superman. Luthor is clearly angry at not being notified of the problem sooner, following the scientist to the lab where an angry duplicate of Superman beats his fists against the walls of his cell, easily denting the metal walls. Lex speaks to the clone, who is identical to the Man of Steel in every way. His voice soothes the duplicate as he calls him “son.”
More notes about this one… Our three main heroes should meet at the same time. Diana spots Superman flying overhead then follows, wondering why he happens to be so far from Metropolis. When she catches up, she sees he’s confronting Batman and Robin on a rooftop. This should make for a lot of interesting banter with Robin providing some necessary comic relief. Especially when Superman and Batman reveal each other’s secret identities and Robin claims that Bruce likes to declare himself the “World’s Greatest Detective” when they’re hanging out in the Batcave. There is a lot of potential for these three to work together… but let’s be clear that there is no VS in this title. Superman and Batman are not fighting. They may not necessarily agree with each other’s tactics, but there is a grudging respect and they will become friends.
I’m gonna stop there. No… I don’t think that’s the end of my DC Phase One. I think this beginning phase should have two or three more movies to explore before we move on to a Phase Two. In the meantime, let me know what you think of what’s here so far. And if anyone knows anyone at WB, give them my number.