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‘DC FanDome’ virtual convention shines

| Friday, August 28, 2020

Jackie Junco | The Observer

On Aug. 22, one of the biggest pop culture events of 2020 occurred through the virtual convention, “DC FanDome.” The event was held by DC Comics, and it featured surprise looks at DC TV, movies, video games and comics coming in the future. Covering and reviewing the whole event would be insanely difficult. Thus, I am only going to cover the main highlights focusing on these five panels: “Wonder Woman 1984,” “Batman: Gotham Knights,” “Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League,” Zack Snyder’s “Justice League” and “The Batman.”

“Wonder Woman 1984” Panel

The entire full day event started with a look at the sequel to 2017’s “Wonder Woman” movie in “Wonder Woman 1984.” Frankly, this was the weakest major reveal of the entire show that contained the least amount of excitement. Not the least of which was because the movie was supposed to be out already and we’ve already seen a couple of trailers and teasers. Also, due to the state of this trailer being the weakest of the bunch, the action shots did not seem to pop as much as the last trailer. While the humor from Chris Pine and Gal Gadot still landed, those in charge did not do a good enough job of selling the story. Plus, Kristen Wig’s villain Cheetah looks like she belongs more in the movie ‘Cats’ than a major blockbuster superhero film.

With that said, the actual virtual panel was nice to see and you can tell director Patty Jenkins cares passionately about this project. This movie still seems intriguing, I’m just not sure if it can live up to its predecessor. I’m giving this panel and trailer a grade of C+

“Batman: Gotham Knights” Panel

Next up, we have a look at the new video game from Warner Brothers Montreal focusing on Batman and the Bat Family of Robin. Let me start by saying this video game may not have any relation to the classic Xbox and Playstation Batman Arkham games. However, it still looks awfully similar and like a lot of fun. After years of teasers, we got our first official looks at the story and gameplay.

It takes place in Gotham right after Bruce Wayne’s supposed death. Even in death, Batman has a few tricks in his bat belt for the villains and criminals of Gotham City. He left behind weapons and tools for the likes of Dick Grayson, Robin, Barbara Gordon and Jason Todd to team up and fight the likes of Mister Freeze, the Penguin and other villains from Batman’s Rogue’s Gallery. The teaser trailer ended with Red Hood, Robin, Nightwing and Batgirl potentially coming face to face with the Court of Owl’s who may be secretly pulling all the strings and one step ahead of Batman himself.

Focusing on Batman’s allies instead of Batman himself is a really great concept and the trailer and gameplay footage shows that this video game may be able to pull it off well. This entire panel (trailer and gameplay included) gets a final grade of an A.

“Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League” Panel

Following the “Batman: Gotham Knights” game reveal, we will discuss the worldwide reveal of the other major upcoming DC video game, “Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League.” This video game does indeed take place in the Batman Arkham universe and is a sequel to the 2015 PS4 and Xbox One video game “Batman: Arkham Knight.” It involves a suicide squad team similar to that from the movies. The team and playable characters consist of Harley Quinn, Deadshot, King Shark and Captain Boomerang. The story trailer shows that these four will be taken over by the player to actually attempt to kill the Justice League’s likes of Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, the Flash and probably many more.

It’s not explicitly clear as to why the Suicide Squad is attempting to maim the Justice League. However, the final shots of the trailer show a very brutal looking and almost possessed zombie-like Superman who has done some damage to the city. All in all, this was an exciting panel and sneak peak at the upcoming 2022 video game. I’ll give this panel an A-

Zack Snyder’s “Justice League” Panel

This next panel would be the start of the meat of the day’s full course DC meal. Everyone and their brother has been discussing the Snyder Cut of “Justice League” on Twitter, Facebook, in person and beyond. Does it exist? Will it come out? Of course, by now, we know the answer to both of those questions is a resounding yes as Warner Brothers has confirmed months ago. The true original version of the Justice League movie will of course be releasing in 2021 sometime on HBO Max.

This specific discussion though would show us the first full trailer of the upcoming ‘Snyder Cut’ of Justice League. Starting with a shot of the famed DC/Justice League villain Darkseid who missed Joss Whedon’s theatrical film; the trailer ended with a shot of Ben Affleck’s Batman speaking. Yet, there was much more in between all of this. The movie looks to be much more natural and true to form and have a more singular, poignant vision. Call me a biased Snyder fanboy, but the shots of more Cyborg, Flash rescuing Iris West and black suit Superman got me super hyped-up about this movie. So did the song choice of Jeff Buckley’s “Hallelujah.” This trailer and panel get an easy A.

“The Batman” Panel

Ending the show was the most surprising and nerd punching moment and panel yet. Matt Reeves, the director of the next Batman movie that stars Robert Pattinson in the lead role, came out and discussed his movie in great detail. He described it as “year two of Batman,” a “detective story about corruption,” and as the most grounded Batman movie to-date. Then, the seemingly out-of-nowhere teaser was released for the movie that has only been 20% filmed.

For being so early in production, this film already looks like a masterpiece. Robert Pattinson’s agile Batman and punk Bruce Wayne, Collin Farrell’s unrecognizable Penguin and Zoë Kravitz’s origin for Catwoman all look brilliant. Furthermore, the crime-centric detective story and the very serious and deadly Riddler seems like a Batman version of the classic Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman movie ‘Se7en.’ This could realistically be the best Batman movie ever. My favorite movie of all time is “The Dark Knight,” so me saying that means something. All in all a real home-run of a panel. A+

In the end, this was a show to remember. I didn’t even mention all the DC TV or comic panels, nor did I discuss the hints at other future movies like “Black Adam,” “Aquaman 2,” or “The Flash.” With over 22 million viewers and a successful day of events, this could become the new standard for future virtual events. The whole show easily gets an A.


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About Dillon Begley

Dillon is a student from the tri-campus community. He is currently a senior at Holy Cross College who is majoring in business and pursuing a double minor in Political Studies and English. A local, Dillon enjoys reading, discussing and watching film/tv, listening to music, being an avid Notre Dame football fan, and contributing socially while being politically active. He particularly enjoys superhero movies, fiction novels, the NFL, playing Xbox, and having respectful and worthwhile political discourse with people from all walks of life.

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