Every time the MCU is compared to the DCEU, the same thing is mentioned, over and over again: the Marvel movies are more fun and more entertaining, whereas the DC movies tend to take themselves too seriously and become impossibly bleak. And that happens, people say, because Warner Bros. wanted to clearly differentiate its movies from the ones coming from Disney.
However, this also seems to be the main fault of the DCEU (which, granted, is just a toddler when compared to the MCU). As Captain America: The Winter Soldier (or, better yet, this year's Civil War) has shown, hefty themes can be debated in a manner that won't chase casual moviegoers away.
It is more than obvious that something needs to change with the DCEU - mainly, the mastermind behind the entire shared universe (there is one, you know). However, since that won't happen for some time, what could be done to keep the same tone (dark), but at the same time inject some fun into the films?
Well, here are the characters whom, we believe, could help to that end.
Harley and the Joker
This is the most obvious choice and, thankfully, we will see this couple on the big screen. Yes, at times it will involve domestic violence, but no couple is perfect, after all.
This year's Suicide Squad won't just bring a new (and psychotic, for that matter) Joker, but also his twisted psychiatrist. And you are most obviously aware of how funny (and dark) this pair can be, especially when encountering the Batman.
Of course, it all depends on the writer, and how he or she can put the dark humor to good use. However, since Ben Affleck will write and direct the first solo Batman film, we trust that he will do a good job.
As far as Harley is concerned, we have already seen plenty of her comedic skills in the Suicide Squad trailers. All we need now is to see the Joker matching wits with her.
If you doubt that Ezra Miller has the acting chops to bring The Flash to life, then go see The Perks of Being a Wallflower or We Need to Talk about Kevin. Any of these would do.
But this isn't the point - is Flash a funny character? Without a doubt - and numerous quotes from the comics could be added in here. But can he be funny in the movies as well? Most recently, after Batman v Superman proved that a too-serious and too-gritty movie can't deliver at the box office (at least not as much as everybody hoped), Zack Snyder gave quite a few interviews about the future of the DCEU.
And, among others, he said that the Flash will be the comic relief of the Justice League films. But we guess we already saw that in BvS, when he arrived too early.
The Flash will be directed by Seth Grahame-Smith - and while this is his first movie project behind the camera, he is best known for writing bestsellers like Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter and Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (the books, not the god-awful movies).
Guess what - Hal Jordan will be back on the big screen, even after the 2011 Green Lantern debacle. And this time, he will be bringing his friends, since the 2020 movie will be called The Green Lantern Corps.
And Hal Jordan is a pretty funny superhero - it didn't work out with Ryan Reynolds, but it can work out with someone else.
And, along with the Flash, his comedic moments are even more hilarious when he interacts with the other Justice League members, such as Batman (this is the Batman Extended Universe, as many say). The two characters cannot be more different, and this is where the comedy will be found.
Of course, as we said before, you have to have the right writers and director. But since the movie won't arrive until 2020, it is a bit too early to talk about that.
We think that it is pretty obvious right now - the Justice League itself can be pretty funny, without the addition of other characters. SHAZAM is yet another new 52 Justice League founder who can be considered a funny character - after all, he is still just a teenager, with teenager ideas and problems. So even if he is trapped (at times and when he decides) in a big, ginormous body, with limitless superpowers, he can still be funny.
As a matter of fact, this is where the comedic moments can be found - in the discrepancy between appearance and what lies beneath.
Add to that a villain portrayed by Dwayne The Rock Johnson and you have the perfect recipe for a fun and entertaining movie.
And, as said before, the interactions between SHAZAM and the rest of the Justice League (especially with the brooding and all too serious Batman) should be gold.
The solo movie arrives in 2019 - so there are no directors attached to the project yet. However, Geoff Johns is writing, so at least we know that.
Booster Gold and Blue Beetle
Here we step into rumor territory - Booster Gold and Blue Beetle is one of the projects Warner Bros intends to add to the current DCEU slate. And if that happens, then the fans will actually get a buddy comedy with a superhero twist.
And the thing is that the DCEU has already hinted at the appearance of at least one of these two superheroes, with Kord Enterprises being mentioned a couple of times in the marketing campaign for Batman v Superman.
And this would be a first for a superhero shared universe, because Booster Gold and Blue Beetle don't have to be a part of the event movies of the DCEU. They would be the other guys, so to speak and by making a reference to a pretty funny movie.
We haven't left just yet the actual DCEU - for the moment, Cyborg is still one of the movies present in the DCEU slate. However, as the Warner Bros. powers that be have said, it is not as certain as previously thought - they will just wait for the Justice League to arrive and see how the audiences respond to the character.
And that is why it is rumored that the Cyborg movie will actually be a Teen Titans one.
And probably this is for the better, if the burden of a movie is shared by more characters that are less known by the general audiences. This could be, in a way, the Guardians of the Galaxy of the DCEU. And what better way to introduce Deathstroke than with a Teen Titans movie?
But there is still a lot of time until 2020 - nonetheless, this could happen.
We are deviating a bit from the realm of probable villains of the DCEU. However, if at some time a director and a writer might want to find a funny villain for a Superman movie, then Mister Mxyzptlk should be that villain.
Superman would literally be useless against him - and this would be fun to see, since Kal-El would have to use his intelligence in order to defeat the interdimensional imp.
We doubt that, in the current dark and brooding and gritty and so on DCEU, Mister Mxyzptlk will happen. But maybe he should, just to lighten everything up.
We're not reaching - however, as stupendous as it may sound, Plastic Man should be a nice addition to the DCEU roster. This could be the perfect occasion for Warner Bros to introduce physical comedy into this shared universe"¦
We may be reaching, but this entire list is about this: making a shared universe more appealing to the general audiences. And since time and time again Plastic Man was compared to Marvel's better known Mister Fantastic, we may get to finally see on the big screen an awesome portrayal of such an amazing shapeshifter.
Of course, shapeshifter among many others
Comedy could ensue if we brought a superpowered alien on Earth and watched it trying to blend in, without having any idea what it is doing. Well, that character might be Starfire and the comedy would be pretty simplistic - but it could work on so many levels.
And, as always, it would rely on the relationships the character has with all the other superheroes.
We're not saying that she should have her own solo film. However, she could be squeezed in any of the movies already announced or rumored to arrive between now and 2020. It could be in SHAZAM. It could be in the second Wonder Woman.
Or it could in the next movie on this list.
The Main Man - you should have seen this coming.
Lobo was rumored to have been made quite a while ago, when the DCEU hadn't even started, being (only in appearance) teased by The Rock. It wasn't meant to be, since the wrestler turned actor signed to portray Black Adam.
Nonetheless, a Lobo movie will be made sometime soon, with a writer already having been found. And even if the naysayers claim that Warner Bros. is copying Fox's Deadpool formula, does that really matter? The coolest of all cool characters will arrive on the big screen!
For the moment, we have just this - Jason Fuchs (Wonder Woman) will write Lobo, while Danny Trejo teased the character on Twitter. Lobo will happen - we just don't know when.
"¦ any of the characters mentioned on this list have a comedic potential, which could lighten up the tone of the DCEU. However, the thing is that no new characters should be introduced into this shared universe other than the ones already announced.
The biggest problem isn't that the movies aren't funny - the problem is that they don't appear to be any fun. And this shows that there is a problem with how the entire DCEU was (apparently) outlined. Batman can bring some laughs, or at least some smiles, even if he is one helluva brooding character. A director (and a writer) should know, however, how to make that happen.
Basically, and as a conclusion, any character has a comedic potential - however, not all directors can bring it to the surface.