Pros And Cons Of Retconning The DCEU

Over the last few weeks, rumors have been circulating the internet about the upcoming DCEU Flash movie completely retconning the DC Universe. DC and Warner Bros haven’t made any official statements about their plans to retcon the franchise, but that hasn’t stopped fans from speculating.

Having received incredible amounts of both praise and backlash, some longtime viewers think that a retcon could be good for the franchise, while others think it could unnecessarily complicate the plot of past, present and future films. There’s pros and cons for both arguments, so until The Flash hits theaters, it’ll be impossible to tell.

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Pro: Retcon Could Explain Plot Holes And Inconsistencies In The Franchise

DC viewers have noticed that parts of the timeline don’t really match up. For example, people wondered why Aquaman didn’t call upon his friends from Justice League to help him out, since the movie supposedly took place before Aquaman. He also was named after Hurricane Arthur, which didn't appear until 2014 Given the fact that Aquaman is set only a few years later, sometime around 2016, the hero is technically only a few years old.

Small details help create the bigger picture and the DCEU has been dropping the ball. Reconning the franchise could offer explanations for missing details and confusing plot holes that have been catching viewer attention.

Con: Retcon Could Infringe Upon The Parts Of The Franchise Fans Already Love

Despite all the slack the DCEU gets, fans keep watching because of their commitment to the heroes from the comics. For all the bad there's just as much good to be found, so retconning could end up leasing the impact of some of these moments. When undergoing such a huge shift in the series, it can be hard to know when the limit has been reached. Without careful planning, the retcon could easily go too far, in turn taking away from all the good that's been done in the franchise thus far.

Pro: Retcon Could Deeply Explore Flashpoint And The Multiverse

Having introduced Ezra Miller’s Barry Allen to Grant Gustin’s Barry Allent during the CW Flash series, time travel and journeying through the Speed Force will certainly play a major part in the upcoming film. If the movie can establish some solid rules for how time travel works in the DCEU, using the multiverse as a way to retcon the franchise would give them a chance to tell even more stories in unexplored timelines, hence separating any upcoming movies from the films of the past that fell short amongst audiences.

Con: The DCEU Might Not Be Ready For A Retcon

It takes a lot of planning and strategy to successfully retcon a franchise, and although fans have been pretty forthcoming about the issues they have with previous projects, the DCEU keeps repeating the same mistakes over and over again. Having struggled so much in the past to patch up holes and strengthen their weak points, the DCEU might not be ready for something as drastic as a total retcon. If DC can’t fix the mistakes fans have pointed out to them, the chances of being able to completely reshape the franchise seems a little doubtful.

Pros: The DCEU Could Better Connect With DCTV

The CWverse has seen great success with shows like Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl, Legends of Tomorrow, etc. and that success has steadily carried on for many years. The DC Inspired television series are pretty consistent in terms of plot and worldbuilding, and the show writers managed to form almost seamless connections between the different branches of their televised universe.

Ezra Miller made a brief cameo during an episode of The Flash, so it’s clear that the DCEU and DCTV are trying to build some more bridges between their worlds. Miller’s appearance alongside Gustin confirms that the universes are connected by a system of parallel worlds, so retconning the DCEU and putting some more emphasis on the idea of time travel (or multiverse hopping) would also make more room for these two halves to become a unified whole. This idea would certainly breathe new life into the DCEU, if executed properly.

Con: The DCEU Could Get Even More Confusing

Retcon goes one of two ways: it works fantastically, making a franchise even greater, or it falls flat on its face amongst fans. Superhero-focused projects are all extremely complex in nature, frequently combining origin stories, character development and forming connections with other heroes in the universe. Given all the comic book backstory charcters have, translating that on screen is exceptionally difficult.

One of the biggest complaints the DCEU receives is that their storylines are missing details and have plot holes, so trying to recon and patch those things up could result in even more confusion for fans. In order for the recon to be a success, the DCEU needs to go back to the beginning and flush out all the inconsistencies they come across. However, spending too much time doing damage control would take away from Barry Allen’s story and set the film up for failure.

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Julie Elizabeth Weyant (101 Articles Published)

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