One of the best things about nerd fandom is coming together to talk about everything geckaphiles love. From comic books to movies, animation to live-action, we love it all. This week, many of us are giddy with expectation as DC FanDome looms near!
An area that’s of particular interest in DC circles are the DC Comics animated films. They are more than just “cartoons”. These are graphic novels come to life and fans of animation love how DC Comics pushes the envelope time-after-time.
Let’s discuss the top 10 DC Comics animated films ever…
1. Batman: Dark Knight Returns, Part two
“I want you to remember, Clark. In all the years to come, in your most private moments, I want you to remember, my hand, at your throat, I want you to remember, the one man who beat you.”Frank Miller’s ‘Dark Knight Returns’
No DC Comics animated film’s scene holds a candle to the Batman vs. Superman fight in Batman: Dark Knight Returns, Part Two. It is one of the most iconic matches of all time. The reason is because of the history between Bruce and Clark. This is something that ‘Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice‘ lacked.
Within Batman: Dark Knight Returns, Part Two, we see the iconic return of The Joker and the insane interview scene where he kills everyone and Oliver Queen returns. This is one of DC Comic’s animated films where we are given the best connection to its predecessor…
2. Batman: Dark Knight Returns, Part One
“You don’t get it son. This isn’t a mud hole; it is an operating table and I am the surgeon!”Frank Miller’s ‘Dark Knight Returns’
Yes, this is one of the best set-ups to a sequel ever created. However, it is still unparalleled to most movies as being just a fantastic solo film. In this DC Comics animated film, we discover the conflict of the young and energetic generation versus the old and experienced one. The philosophy of the young overcoming the past is a beautiful concept. If you are into good filmmaking, this is a must-watch–not only if you are a Batman or comic book fan, but also a fan of good stories.
3. Gotham By Gaslight
Damn you! You’re a fool. I’ll never have a better chance of stopping that butcher and you squandered it, playing the knight in shining armor! I can take care of myself.Batman: Gotham By Gaslight
The aesthetic of Gotham by Gaslight is probably the best thing on this list. Just seeing Batman in a Victorian steampunk world is pretty cool. I love the Gotham by Gaslight comic. We need more stories that fit the steampunk aesthetic. Also, the action choreography and the stylistic choices were created very well. For example, if you have seen Gotham by Gaslight, think about the Batman vs. Jack silhouette shot on the blimp. That scene alone defines why this is one of the best.
4. Under The Red Hood
Is that what you think this is about? That you let me die? I don’t know what clouds your judgement worse, your guilt or your antiquated sense of morality. Bruce, I forgive you for not saving me. But why… why on God’s earth… [smashes closet door open to reveal the Joker, bloodied and tied to a chair] …is he still alive?!Batman: under the red hood
Batman: Under The Red Hood is filled with incredibly emotional scenes and some solid animatoin. Furthermore, the conflict that takes place in Batman’s head when he thinks Jason Todd is dead is compelling and devestating. The moment where Jason, Batman, and the Joker are in the apartment is iconic and truly gave the entire comic justice. That is one thing I feel like the newer DC Comics animated films are missing: Emotion.
5. Teen Titans: Trouble in Tokyo
“I’m a hero, Starfire, and if you don’t like it…”Teen Titans: Trouble In Tokyo
“Robin? I like it more then you will ever know.”
Teen Titans: Trouble In Tokyo is incredible! You will get some of the best chemistry between characters out of any of DC Comics animated films. Starfire and Robin are lovely together. Beast Boy and Cyborg are hilarious. Raven and Beast Boy, you can not help but love their dynamic.
Teen Titans Go! To The Movies, ‘Teen Titans: The Judas Contract, and Teen Titans Go! vs. Teen Titans does not hold a candle to Teen Titans: Trouble In Tokyo. We need more DC Comics animated films and series like this again–each filled with emotion, love, fear, and joy.
6. Superman: Doomsday
“They say I’m brave, but I’m bulletproof. Ordinary men and women who put their lives on the line, they’re the real heroes.”
Superman: Doomsday was the first movie I ever saw. Most DC fans saw this and already knew the Man of Steel was not unbeatable! This film truly displayed that which is a considerable feat! In addition, the score, the fight sequences, and basically every moment in this film is tense. Also, this is one of the few DC animated films where the voice acting stands out over the animation. It’s really that good.
7. Batman Beyond
Ah, the new boy. Ears are too long and I miss the cape. But not too shabby. Not too shabby at all.
If you thought Under The Red Hood was dark and somber, check out Batman Beyond! Out of all Batman’s sidekicks, Tim Drake had it the worst. Do not get me wrong. Barbara and Jason’s situation was screwed up too, but being turned into “Joker Jr.”?! That was crazy! Terry McGinnis is a great Batman. The mythos behind his character is similar to Bruce’s but also a little different. Terry McGinnis’ uniqueness is compelling and more people need to get to know him.
8. Batman: Assault on Arkham
Batman: Assault on arkham
You are. You’re going to pull the trigger, and when nothing happens, I’m going to punch you in the throat and bash your brains out. Three… two… one…
Batman: Assault on Arkham is the movie Suicide Squad should have been or at the very least inspired by. The character interaction was terrific. I love the mini-rivalry between Joker and Deadshot. The character designs are some of the best in the DC Comic animated films universe. Other than that, we did not get that much Batman in Batman: Assault on Arkham. However, when he was there, it was effective. We definitely could have used more of Killer Frost and King Shark’s relationship because they were flat out badass together. I wouldn’t mind a sequel with this cast and crew. If you saw this, you know.
9. Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox
You missed her. And in a supreme act of selfishness shattered history like a rank amateur, turned the world into a living hell moments away from destruction and *I’m* the villain?Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox
Justice League: Flashpoint Paradox is great but could have been even better if it were split into two parts. Still, there’s so many iconic scenes from Reverse Flash getting shot in the head to Bruce Wayne getting a letter from his father, Thomas Wayne. The Flashpoint Paradox is an absolute must-watch if you are a DC fan. Also, if you have not read The Flashpoint Paradox comic, do it immediately.
10. Justice League: Doom
My actions don’t require any defense in the same situation I’d do it again.Justice League Doom
Justice League: Doom is based on the comic Tower of Babel. Although it doesn’t quite do it justice, it does have many amazing moments.
For example, seeing each of the central Justice League members lose. Superman gets injured by a kryptonite bullet, Martian Manhunter by fire, Wonder Woman fighting until she has a seizure, and Batman is forced into his parent’s graves. What they could have done more of is dive a little more into the conflict between Batman and the rest of the team. I felt like I was cut short on that aspect of the film. Despite that, ‘Justice League Doom’ was quite enjoyable.
With that being said what are your top 10 DC Comics animated films? Let me know in the comments below.