A number of exciting DC movie and TV show reveals were made in 2021, but which were the best moments of the year? Despite the continued challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, DC fans continued to follow the heroes they love in every format available. Though only Zack Snyder’s Justice League and The Suicide Squad arrived on the movie side of the equation, the Arrowverse and shows like Titans kept things alive on the small screen, too.
2021 also saw the second year of the virtual DC FanDome, which showcased everything coming up in DC movies and television, including behind-the-scenes looks and trailers for The Batman, Black Adam, The Flash, Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, Shazam: Fury of the Gods, and many others. Trailers also dropped for DC shows like Superman & Lois and the animated movie DC League of Super Pets, as well. Additionally, casting news for forthcoming projects began to leak out, along with one other significant reveal that no one saw coming.
With numerous shows and DC movies set to release in 2022, the DC faithful have a lot coming their way in the new year. At the same time, the numerous reveals of 2021 set the table for expectations for everything DC has in the pipeline. Here are the best DC movie and TV show reveals of 2021.
Black Canary HBO Max Movie Announcement
Birds of Prey has built upon quite a fanbase since the movie’s theatrical debut in the pre-pandemic days of February 2020, and Jurnee Smollet’s Dinah Lance, a.k.a Black Canary, was the breakout character of the movie. Now, audiences will have the chance to see her in action again with HBO Max’s in-development Black Canary solo movie, with Smollet returning as Dinah. While that’s about as much as is known about the project currently, one can infer that Black Canary will be akin to Birds of Prey, a street-level crime movie with a strong emphasis on Dinah’s martial arts skills. Birds of Prey gave a short but worthwhile glimpse at Dinah’s signature power, the Canary Cry, showcasing it as a sonic wave with the impact of a tornado. It goes without saying that Black Canary will bring that back and explore it further. While audiences will have to wait on more details for what Dinah’s movie has in store, her return after making such an impact in Birds of Prey is definitely a spin-off to get hyped for.
Xolo Mariduena Cast as Blue Beetle
Jamie Reyes will leap before the cameras in the upcoming Blue Beetle movie, with the titular hero of the film to be portrayed by Xolo Mariduena. Known for his portrayal of Miguel Diaz on Netflix’s Cobra Kai, Mariduena quickly became one of the cornerstones of the show as the young karate student, excelling in both fight scenes and his lighthearted banter with his co-stars. With Blue Beetle being a DC hero less readily recognized in the mainstream, Mariduena’s talent as an actor and acclaim from his work on Cobra Kai make him an excellent choice to introduce the lesser-known superhero to the world. Blue Beetle was originally slated to be an HBO Max production, but has since shifted to theaters and is currently set to debut on August 18, 2023. Either way, the news of Xolo Mariduena as Jamie Reyes greatly raises the bar of anticipation for the film.
Shazam 2’s Suit Update
2019’s Shazam! offered a pretty uncanny recreation of the suit Billy Batson dons in his adult superheroic form. For Shazam! Fury of the Gods, his new suit and the costumes of the Shazam superhero family seem to reflect the title of the film. The team’s suits now are all crafted in darker tones of their respective colors, with some set photos even showing scorches on Zachary Levi’s costume. The lightning bolts on their chests have also been updated, as well as the fabric of the suits, which are now texturized. How this will factor into the story of Fury of the Gods remains to be seen, but it’s a decided improvement on the classic, matte costumes worn by Zachary Levi and the Shazam! cast in the first movie. However, this isn’t the only costume adjustment in an upcoming DC hero’s sequel.
Aquaman’s Stealth Suit Reveal
For the upcoming Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, the sequel seems to be getting a complete makeover from the visual effects feast of the original Aquaman. That can partially be seen in Jason Momoa’s new Aquaman stealth suit combining black, blue, and silver elements that was revealed during the film’s highlight reel at FanDome. Arthur Curry has donned both Atlantean battle armor in Zack Snyder’s Justice League and his classic orange and green suit in Aquaman, so it’s nice to see The Lost Kingdom keeping Arthur’s superheroic attire fresh and different. It also has its own roots in the comics, and is sure to play a role in the story of Arthur’s adventure to the lost kingdom. The King of Atlantis may once have been the butt of every fish joke, but his upgrade to his sleek stealth suit for Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom shows just how far he’s come.
John Henry Irons On Superman & Lois
Post-Crisis On Infinite Earths, Superman & Lois has been the wildcard of the Arrowverse, with the show pulling from all corners of the Man of Steel’s mythos. The reveal that Supes’ famed ally John Henry Irons, a.k.a. Steel, had been hiding in plain sight under an assumed identity was one of the best moments in the Arrowverse in 2021. Play by Wole Parks, he was first introduced in Superman & Lois as Captain Luthor. The show’s version of John begins as Kal-El’s enemy from another universe, determined to bring down what he thinks is an impending threat in Superman, before becoming his trusted friend over the course of the season. Steel didn’t exactly have high bar to clear in making an impression in his second live-action appearance after 1997’s comic book dud Steel, but Superman & Lois season 1 solidified him as a crucial supporting character and sworn ally of the Man of Steel. With Superman & Lois season 2 on the way, the return of John Henry Irons is definitely high on the list of returning characters viewers are eager to see again.
Superman & Lois Season 2’s Stakes
Superman & Lois season 2 premieres on January 11, and right off the bat, it’s bringing with it some needed adjustments for Superman’s Arrowverse costume. Judging from the season’s teaser trailer, season 2 will continue to do what the show does best by having equal stakes at both the Superman and Clark Kent levels. As the Man of Steel, Clark (Tyler Hoechlin) looks to be facing serious pressure from the U.S. government to act specifically in the interests of American policy, with Superman asserting himself as a hero for the whole world who flies under no single flag. In his non-superhero life, Clark also continues to deal with the challenges of raising his twin sons Jonathan and Jordan (Jordan Elsass and Alex Garfin), with Jonathan grappling with more human adolescent issues and Jordan desperate to lend his Kryptonian father Superman a hand. General Sam Lane (Dylan Walsh) describes the coming story of season 2 as “a national security situation,” with Lois Lane (Elizabeth Tulloch) believing it to be “a family situation.” The conflict between duty to family and duty as a superhero was what made Superman & Lois season 1 so enjoyable. It looks as if season 2 will be dialing that side of the show up even more, which makes the return of Superman & Lois the perfect show to kickstart 2022 with.
Black Adam Teaser Trailer
The Rock leaping into the superhero movie game has been a long time coming. In addition to his voice role in DC League of Super Pets, Dwayne Johnson will soon be appearing in Black Adam. Luckily, it looks like it’s been worth the wait for Dwayne Johnson to star in a comic book movie (though some might argue the Fast & Furious franchise is a comic book universe). The film’s first teaser was unveiled at FanDome, showcasing Johnson’s brutal antihero being unearthed and set free by unsuspecting archaeologists to dispense his far more ruthless brand of justice upon the world. Johnson has placed great emphasis on Black Adam as an antihero who leaves no bad deed unpunished and who takes no prisoners, and the teaser shows how serious he is about that, with Adam literally disintegrating one opponent with his electrical powers. Johnson has also said that Black Adam is a game-changer in the DC Universe’s heroic hierarchy, and the first teaser certainly hints at some impressive powers. Black Adam is also set to bring the big-screen debut of the Justice Society of America, which will reshape the DCEU. Fans can also hope the movie will lay the foundation for Black Adam’s long-teased rumble with Henry Cavill’s Superman, which would be a sight to behold.
The Batman Trailers
Talk about great marketing – Matt Reeves’ The Batman has it in spades. After its first teaser was such a hit at last year’s DC FanDome, The Batman brought not one but two trailers in 2021, both setting expectations for the film through the roof. The first gave audiences their first glimpses at Paul Dano’s Riddler and Colin Ferrell’s Penguin, along with teasing the movie’s simultaneously small-scale and epic scope and Michael Giacchino’s booming orchestral score. The second trailer gave audiences a peek at Robert Pattinson’s Batman fighting alongside Zoe Kravitz’s Selina Kyle, a.k.a. Catwoman. Judging from the trailer, she seems to be the more comfortable of the two in her masked role, assuring Bruce Wayne that she’s not wasting her life as a cat burglar on the grounds that, “I got nine of them.” The Batman‘s had its share of struggles due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but it’s finally set to land on March 4, 2022, and both of its 2021 trailers did their job and then some of getting audiences ready for what Reeves has in store.
The Outline For Snyder’s Justice League Sequels
2021 was famously the year of the Snyder Cut, but the world got a glimpse at what lay beyond that with Zack Snyder’s outlines of the unmade Justice League 2 and Justice League 3. Released in the wake of Zack Snyder’s Justice League, the Justice League sequels outline provided a blueprint of where Snyder had intended to take the story. Darkseid’s invasion of Earth would lead to the Knightmare apocalypse teased in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and the Snyder Cut, The Flash would be sent back in time to undo that future, Superman would lead his fellow heroes in a last stand against Apokolips in which “the entire world becomes a Justice League,” and Batman’s heroic sacrifice would ultimately defeat Darkseid. The outline, as Snyder has made clear, isn’t completely reflective of how his Justice League sequels would look now, with him having rewritten parts. Warner Bros. has also declared the Snyder Cut to be the end of Snyder’s time with the DCEU. Be that as it may, the look at how Snyder intended to conclude his five-movie arc with influences from both Injustice and Final Crisis was exciting.
The Release Of The Snyder Cut
Of all the DC movie and TV show reveals of 2021, only one can be called an outright miracle. Zack Snyder’s Justice League is a film that, to put it simply, wasn’t supposed to exist. Indeed, for the longest time, it didn’t, but Snyder’s cryptic social media teases of the film made it a legend that spread across the internet until the calls for its release were finally heeded. Zack Snyder’s Justice League was a night and day redemption story that gave its characters far more fulfilling and meaningful arcs than the theatrical release. Chief among the Justice League improvements was Ray Fisher’s Cyborg, now truly the heart of the movie as Snyder had long described him.
While far from perfect, the Snyder Cut is a sweeping adventure story with incredible action scenes, emotional depth, and one memorable moment after another, the “Not impressed” arrival of Henry Cavill’s Superman into the final battle just one of many. Even at four hours, the Snyder Cut zips by in no time. It also brings a few added bonuses with some additional scenes teasing the Knightmare future that also even brought Jared Leto’s Joker off the bench. Zack Snyder’s Justice League being a reality will never cease to be an astonishing fact. The lightning in a bottle fact of its existence represents is something that’s impossible not to be reminded of with each viewing, more than earning it the title of 2021’s best reveal of DC movies and TV shows.
- The Batman (2022)Release date: Mar 04, 2022
- DC League of Super-Pets (2022)Release date: May 20, 2022
- Black Adam (2022)Release date: Jul 29, 2022
- The Flash (2022)Release date: Nov 04, 2022
- Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom (2022)Release date: Dec 16, 2022
- Shazam! Fury of the Gods (2023)Release date: Jun 02, 2023
- Blue Beetle (2023)Release date: Aug 18, 2023
MCU Releases In 2021: What Worked & What Didn’t
About The Author