There’s some good and bad things to be said about the DC animated movies in 2018 and most of it is pretty judicious to be honest. Not all of the movies coming out under the DC brand have been absolutely stellar but there are a few good ones that could be called hits such as Gotham by Gaslight and Suicide Squad: Hell to Pay. Why some of the others that have come out aren’t all that popular has more to do with the fans than anything. DC has really had more success with their animated films as of late than they have with their live-action films. Despite the box office numbers of Justice League and Batman vs. Superman, their popularity still took a massive hit thanks to Zack Snyder and his determination to make the entire DC universe look like it’s constantly steeped in shadows and to make the heroes all brooding and equally dark in temperament. Even Superman and Wonder Woman, who are two of the most positive heroes of all, seem to be stuck in a constant state between apathy and full on brooding, when they’re not actually smiling, even with the aid of CGI.
The animated films however tend to be a little more accepted as they’re allowed to delve into the darkness and the impossible simply by dint of being cartoons. The laws of nature don’t seem to apply to cartoons quite as much no matter that DC has in fact shown people dying and being wounded in the animated films. There is some realism to them but overall they still carry more popularity for being animated than the live action films have been seeing for some time. Wonder Woman and Justice League are perhaps the only two DC films that have gotten any positive attention within the last year, and really Wonder Woman was the only one that really deserved as much. It’s surprising that DC doesn’t try to cash in on the heroes and villains that have been so popular for them in the past, but perhaps with Gotham by Gaslight they’ll have hit upon something that finally works. Or maybe Batman Ninja will be something worthy in the eyes of fans.
Batman and Superman are pretty much the face of the DC universe right now and between the two Batman has taken the lead for the last few decades no matter that Superman has been making his way back into the spotlight now and again. Right now even the villains are starting to get their own recognition however since the Suicide Squad and their individual members have been gaining more and more notoriety since the live action movie came out. Maybe it’s just a matter of time before the more obscure villains, and some of the more major ones, finally steal the show from the heroes for a while and get to explain their stories.
The tables have definitely been turned on the more morally-upright heroes in the last several years, as right now it seems more popular to be a dark hero or a villain than an upstanding citizen.