Three Highlights and Lowlights from DC Fandome 2021

I really wasn’t expecting DC to push through with DC Fandome for a second year. I thought it was going to be a one-off event because, well, how the world basically shut down and conventions just didn’t happen in 2020. But I am glad they did put on another Fandome as it’s a way for fans all over the globe to get in on the action of all these upcoming projects DC has in the works. This year, things did feel a little less epic as it lasted only one day (as far as I can tell) instead of two days when DC Fandome launched last year. Still, it was nice for them to pull of a worldwide event like this.

But, as with the very first DC Fandome, there were good moments and there were bad moments. There were some reveals that got me excited and others that just bored me to death. I could talk about each and every one of them but I decided to narrow my topics down to three highlights and lowlights from DC Fandome’s almost four hour showcase. So let’s go check them out!

Batman Product that’s not the upcoming The Batman movie

Highlight: Batman: Caped Crusader

I’m sorry but I really got sick of the chat constantly chiming in about how they’re just there for The Batman trailer! I know some of them are just trolling but c’mon! At least be creative with your trolling! Besides, it’s DC Fandome! It’s a time for other products to get to strut their stuff! Like other Batman related stuff like the upcoming Batman: Caped Crusader!

Fans know how monumental Batman: The Animated Series was. It was a cartoon, for sure, but it was a dark cartoon that took the material to its dark roots. We can all thank Bruce Timm for how great it was and, thankfully, Batman: Caped Crusader is bringing him back! So, yes. I’m very excited for this.

There are a few things that do have me concerned. For one, JJ Abrams is also producing it and, well, he’s the guy who helmed the new Star Trek and Star Wars films. I do hope he doesn’t meddle around too much. Also, Bruce Timm mentioned that there’s a chance they’ll be able to get away with more adult themes and more graphic violence. This is fine by me but I am concerned with how other people will react if they expect it to be just like the original Batman: The Animated Series. There’s also no word as to who’ll be the voice actors so odds are they won’t be using Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill as Batman and the Joker, respectively. If they did, that would be one of the things they would’ve announced!

Still, I have high hopes for Batman: Caped Crusader for the mere fact Bruce Timm is producing it.

Lowlight: Bat Wheels

I think Disney can sue DC for copyright infringement for the Cars design?

Look, I’m all for giving kids new entertaining things to watch. I’m totally fine Teen Titans Go! I don’t actively seek out the episodes and watch them but, if they pop up while I’m watching something I’m not really interested in, I’ll go watch it. I actually enjoy Super Hero Girls and their fresh take on the characters and I think the animation suits the manic action nicely. Heck, I might even watch Legion of Super Pets simply for the fact I like Krypto!

But animating the cars in the Batman series? That’s an incredibly hard sell.

I guess there’s nothing inherently wrong with the idea of Bat Wheels, which is basically Disney’s Cars but using vehicles from the DC Comics. But it just feels so out there and giving a personality to the vehicles just seems odd. Also, it appears that Bat Wheels is basically being told from the perspective of the vehicles… but they won’t be exactly sentient beings since they’re still being driven by Batman, Robin and others! It just adds another layer of weird to this weird mix.

Spinoff Shows from DC Movies

Highlight: Peacemaker

Not really sure I was ready do see John Cena dancing around in his tidy-whities but… okay.

No one knew who Peacemaker was before Suicide Squad. Makes sense he gets his own show, right? I initially thought it was strange that, out of all the members from Task Force X to get their own show, Peacemaker was the one who is revealed to be bad guy in a lot more ways than one. But I do gotta hand it to James Gunn! He recognized the comedic potential of John Cena’s version of the character and even wrote the entire outline of the series while directing The Suicide Squad! And, based on the trailer, it looks like he’s on to something.

There’s something about Peacemaker’s really weird sense of humor that resonates with my tastes. It’s dumb and goofy but with a whole lot of heart. The characters look awesome and I’m really glad Vigilante is getting a whole lot of love in the Peacemaker series as well. I’m really looking forward to Peacemaker when it’s finally out there for everyone to watch and I hope it’s as good as it looks.

Lowlight: Aquaman: King of the Atlantis

Too soon, DC! Too soon!

Okay, once again, far be it for me to hate on some popular but “serious” geeky franchise being “kiddified” to appeal to a younger audience. But I think Aquaman: King of Atlantis is cashing in a little too early on what constitutes a franchise. I get the first live-action Aquaman was a huge hit and raked in millions of dollars worldwide. But that was just one movie! It hasn’t been given enough time to establish itself as the long-lived product that stands the test of time. So making an animated show, even if it is just three episodes, isn’t a good idea.

Also, the animation style is, well, bad. It follows the same animation designs of Thundercats Roar! and how there really isn’t a consistent design with how the characters are supposed to look. But the thing I really dislike is the overall humor. It’s trying to be smart enough for adults to like but is just too juvenile and basic to work. It tries to poke fun at the characters but, since there hasn’t been enough time to establish their personalities in the “serious” franchse, it doesn’t work as well. It’s only three episodes so I can’t be too hard on it. But I don’t expect it to last another three episodes after that.

Not really promoting anything new here…

Highlight: Smallville 20th Anniversary and mini-reunion

Somebody saaaaaaave meeeeee…

It would be easy to complain about the Smallville 20th Anniversary segment of DC Fandome. The panel only had two actors, Tom Welling and Michael Rosenbaum, who played Clark Kent and Lex Luthor, respectively. It was overly long and made it feel like filler to waste time. But, dang it! I liked Smallville… the earlier seasons anyway! So I can’t really hate on this.

It was a nice nostalgic ride back to the past when Smallville was a really good show. Listening to some of the stories both actors regaled was a hoot for this longime fan. Also, Smallville is more important than you think. You could say it paved the way for the entire Arrowverse because it showed the higher ups at DC you can make a decent television show and put your own spin on the characters that will allow for creative freedom for the writers. I know a lot of people who was streaming this live wanted to skip this but I personally loved this.

Lowlight: The Batwing

Cool suit… but was this really necessary?

You could say the vignette for Batwing is only a couple of minutes long. You could say it’s important to introduce Batwing’s history since he’s going to factor into the Batwoman series this season. That’s all true but I don’t think it’s necessary to devote any amount of time to Batwing. If fans really wanted to learn about this secondary character, then let them do their own research! You didn’t see them devoting a segment to Polka-Dot Man last year when they were promoting The Suicide Squad, did they? All they needed was a quick blurb and that was it!

This really felt like filler and, granted, the suit does look cool and DC wants fans to get hyped for this new fixture of the Batwoman series. But this one really felt like filler to me. Maybe if I was a fan of the series but, since I’m not, I just didn’t care.

What were some of the highlights and lowlights of this year’s DC Fandome? Let me know in the comments section below!

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