Whether you’re into films or video games or both, there have been lots of great DC releases out this past year. You can’t go wrong with getting any of these for the fan in your life, regardless of how familiar they are with the stories or characters.
I can’t recommend this collection highly enough for a few reasons. First, let’s start off simply by saying how great this series is, especially at telling the story of a 21st-century Batman. It has certainly stood the test of time from its late 1990s debut, and I say this as someone who just began watching it via this new set from Warner Brothers. Secondly, this is an economically sound way to get the three-season run of a show that was just as strong as the groundbreaking Batman: The Animated Series, which it is connected to in no small part by the voice of Kevin Conroy as an aged out Caped Crusader who takes teenage Terry McGinnis under his wing. Absolutely essential.
Perhaps the most divisive film on this list. I absolutely think that Zack Snyder’s cinematic meet-up of two of pop culture’s most iconic creations is a masterpiece in its extended three-hour format. The film was a critical bust upon its release back in March, and to be fair, some of the criticisms are valid. This is a dark and dour story, seemingly made as a direct repudiation of the Marvel Studios method of storytelling. However, had Snyder been allowed to release this extended version of Batman v Superman in theatres, I do think the critical reaction would have been somewhat different. Strange plot points are corrected, while characters are expanded and fleshed out, especially that of Henry Cavill’s Clark Kent, who is given far more of an opportunity to shine. In my mind, this director’s cut is epic filmmaking on the grandest scale, and even when it fails, which is still does, it is impressive to see Snyder, Ben Affleck, etc. all reach for the skies.
This one is a harder recommendation. I absolutely despise Suicide Squad. I think that it is a horrible execution of storytelling and some not so great acting. However, for the DC fans out there, the Extended Edition is pretty much a must have. It gives you more character development, especially when it comes to Margot Robie’s Harley Quinn and her relationship with Jared Leto’s Joker. This is a film that doesn’t make much sense, and is lacking when it comes to an interesting villain, but comic fans are completists (plus, more of Ben Affleck’s Batman isn’t a bad thing).
For next generation gamers out there, revisiting Arkham Asylum and Arkham City for Playstation 4 is a virtual no brainer. The graphics have been upgraded and all the previously available downloadable content for the PS3 versions are included. The Batman has never looked better than in this ongoing series…
…or has he? This year saw Telltale, the company that’s developed critically acclaimed titles based on the Walking Dead, Back to the Future, and Game of Thrones (to name but a few) create a unique entry into the Batman video game world. This one is episodic, with the fifth and final chapter coming down the pike shortly. The game is gorgeous to look at, and offers multiple branching off points that allow the game to play out differently depending on the choices you make. While not as action packed as the Arkham games, this is still an essential cowl experience.