Let’s face it: the DCEU, while meaning well, is a hot mess when it comes to their movies. The upcoming Wonder Woman film promises to be the sole salvation of what seems to be nothing but disasters. Whether we’re talking about Man of Steel that seemed to run just a few hours too long, or Batman v. Superman that gave us the horrific meme known as Batfleck, or Suicide Squad that was…well…Suicide Squad, the DCEU has been nothing but disastrous.
But the most unforgivable sin that the DCEU has committed, to date, are the plotholes in the various movies. This isn’t just an insult to movie-goers – it’s an insult to comic book fans. How could the DCEU, for example, think we were going to be so stupid as to question where the Justice League was when Midway City (the setting of Suicide Squad) was in danger? Sure, we got a quick post-credits cameo by the aforementioned Batfleck, but that’s hardly the point, and frankly, that’s the easy way out of a terribly obvious boo-boo.
Here, then, is a list of 15 major (and, frankly, pretty unforgivable) DCEU plotholes. You’ll never watch these movies the same way again…
15. Man Of Steel: Lois Lane Survives The Krypton Blast
These DCEU plotholes make less and less sense as we go through the list. In Man of Steel, Superman entered a vessel that originated from Krypton more than 18,000 years ago. When he got in there, he was struck with a laser blast that left him bleeding. In the next scene, Lois Lane (played by Amy Adams) gets hit with the same laser blast that hit her in the stomach. The force of the blast was so strong that it knocked her into the wall, but she got right back up with not a scratch on her. That doesn’t even make a lick of sense, unless Lois Lane is really the alter ego of Wonder Woman (and we know that’s not the case). So much for “super-human” strength from Superman…
14. Suicide Squad: The Joker Abandons Harley Quinn
There’s one thing that the DCEU did right in this otherwise disastrous film: they turned the story of The Joker and Harley Quinn into a genuine love story. Granted, it’s not Tristan and Isolde, but the two seemed to really get on well despite their respective mental illnesses. And Jared Leto and Margot Robbie had absolutely amazing chemistry, and there are even a few people who “ship” Jared and Margot in real life (which is pointless, because Margot is married, and not to Jared). But one of the biggest DCEU plotholes comes in this same love story shown in Suicide Squad, when The Joker abandoned Harley Quinn in the car after Batman tracked them down. (Let’s not even discuss how Batman saved Harley Quinn from dying — why would a good guy save a bad guy?) How is that the action of someone who’s supposedly in love?
13. Man Of Steel: Clark Kent And His Glasses
The Superman movies starring the late Christopher Reeve seemed to do the job of bringing the Man of Steel to life just fine, which is why audiences balked at the Brandon Routh reboot (where is he now, anyway?). The Man of Steel reboot was director Zack Snyder’s way of bringing Superman into the 21st century, with Henry Cavill donning a rather unnecessarily sexually-explicit suit to play Krypton’s favorite son. In terms of DCEU plotholes, too, it’s not the most glaring one. Still, it’s a pretty obvious question that deserves an answer: the 21st century has facial recognition software everywhere. How is it possible that all Superman had to do to become Clark Kent was to put on a pair of (rather ugly) glasses? And you mean to tell us that he passed all the facial recognition software without a problem?
12. Batman v. Superman: Assigning A News Writer To A Sports Story
This is one of those DCEU plotholes that’s so obvious, it’s almost laughable. The city of Metropolis is meant to be an analogue of New York City, so by all accounts, it’s a bustling metropolitan hub that has every amenity that a city like New York can provide, including a pro football team. Being that The Daily Planet (which is meant, allegedly, to be an analogue of The New York Daily News, one of the largest newspapers in Manhattan) is the definitive paper for the city, it stands to reason that they would have a large newsroom that includes sports writers, either on a full-time or a part-time basis. So why did Perry Olsen (played by Laurence Fishburne) assign a sports story to a news writer – namely, Clark Kent/Superman? Not only would an editor of a major newspaper never do something like that, but the sports writers would declare war on their editor for even thinking of assigning one of their stories to an outsider.
11. Man Of Steel: Lois Lane Blowing Clark’s Cover
The idea behind Lois Lane is that she’s Superman’s trusted lover and confidante, never betraying his secrets. Yet, one of the biggest DCEU plotholes in Man of Steel shows her doing just that: she calls Superman “Clark” twice while they’re out in public, in full view of the police. This is completely inconsistent with her character description – not to mention, it makes the cops look extremely stupid if they can’t figure out that he’s “Clark Kent” from The Daily Planet after his own girlfriend calls him “Clark” right in front of them. (And, subsequently, no one in this universe seems to figure out that Clark Kent and Superman are one and the same, even after his girlfriend blew his cover.)
10. Suicide Squad: The Coverup
At the end of Suicide Squad – in the post-credits sequence – Batman (Ben Affleck) and Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) had a secret meeting in which they declared that the entire Suicide Squad mission was “covered up.” This is yet another one of those ridiculous DCEU plotholes that leaves us scratching our collective heads: throughout the entire film, these “bad guys” decimated an entire city. They all but levelled the subway, set buildings on fire, and left hundreds of bad guys dead in their wake. How can a mass destruction of this magnitude be simply “covered up”? Again, we have to remember that these comics stories are taking place in the 21st century — there is no way there wouldn’t even be at least conspiracy theories on the Internet.
9. Batman v. Superman: Everything About Journalism
We will grant you that, back in the early days of comic books, not a whole lot of people knew what went on in the Fourth Estate. Today, however, with such movies as Spotlight and Shattered Glass giving us an inside look into what really goes on in journalism, the DCEU plotholes about what goes on in the average newsroom are unnecessary. The Daily Planet is a large metropolitan newspaper that services an analogue of Manhattan, and yet Clark Kent – who is supposed to be one of the “superstar” journalists of the paper – does several things that no journalist who works in a newsroom would do if he had any intention of keeping his job. He’s never reachable at his desk, he doesn’t have a beat, he doesn’t get in trouble for pursuing a story about Batman that he was told to drop, and Lex Luthor – who bombed Congress – got relegated to a small story on page 12 of the paper. (That would be the equivalent of newspapers burying the 9/11 attacks on page 36 – on the day of 9/11 itself.)
8. Batman v. Superman: “I Thought She Was With You”
If this isn’t the corniest line in comic book history, nothing is. This line is also part of the mother of all DCEU plotholes: by this point in the Batman v. Superman story, Batman has been tracking Wonder Woman and her alter ego, Diana Prince (played by Gal Gadot) all over Gotham. He is showing all the signs of being a weird creeper of a boyfriend: he’s sent her a nasty email, he’s seen the photos of Diana as Wonder Woman, he’s hit on her (rather pathetically) at a party. So, when she shows up to do battle with the boys, he knows very well who she is, and what she’s there for. What was the point of the snarky comment, Batman? You know who she is, and you know she’s not with Superman. You’ve been all but stalking her, Batfleck — stop acting brand new.
7. Man Of Steel: General Zod’s Reasons For Terraforming Earth
General Zod (played by Michael Shannon) is the ultimate villain in Man of Steel. He craves everything that a stereotypical villain does – with the biggest thing being absolute, unlimited power. So why, then, were there such huge DCEU plotholes about his reasons for terraforming Earth? Superman, also a Kryptonian, was a God on Earth because he was able to take advantage of their atmosphere (it was Earth’s lighter atmosphere that enabled Superman to fly and have super-human strength). So why would General Zod, the ultimate bad guy, want to terraform Earth to mimic Krypton, wherein the Kryptonians would be just every day Earthlings? (Zod’s answer: because he didn’t want to “suffer the pain” associated with adapting to Earth’s atmosphere. WHAT A WIMP!)
6. Batman v. Superman: The Government Doesn’t Seize The Kryptonite
These DCEU plotholes would leave the average person who has even a working knowledge of American law and government wondering if the writers live under a rock. In Batman v. Superman, Lex Luthor is negotiating with a Kentucky senator about the transfer of the kryptonite to America. What does said Kentucky senator say? “We decided to pass.” Kryptonite, for those that are unaware, is, on Earth, a megaweapon of trans-planetary proportions. At the very least, it’s a foreign object from another planet. What United States government official, in their right mind, would “pass” on the opportunity to get their hands on this? At the mere thought of something like this potentially existing, let alone anything else, the US government would be sending every black ops solider that had a pulse to the crash site to get their hands on it.
5. Suicide Squad: The Birth Of The Joker And Harley Quinn
In every incarnation of The Joker, he’s shown as a madman who was created after he fell into a vat of chemicals, and Suicide Squad is no different. In the film, Harley Quinn is shown as being created from the same method. But here’s where yet another one of those infamous DCEU plotholes comes into play: when The Joker and Harley Quinn jump into the vat, it stains their faces white and gives them absolutely fabulous makeup…but it does nothing to their bodies. How is that possible? What were they swimming in, and why did it have no effect on the rest of their bodies? And, according to science, if you dip yourself into a vat of chemicals that alters your physical makeup forever, you’re going to have other alterations to your DNA that will affect the way you look, yet The Joker and Harley Quinn look otherwise “normal.” Yeah, makes total sense.
4. Batman v. Superman: Jimmy Olsen, Bumbling CIA Agent
Fans of the comics series had enough trouble swallowing the idea of Jimmy Olsen – sweet, lovable Jimmy Olsen and his unrequited crush on Lois Lane – being a CIA agent in the film, so you can imagine how rough they had it when they realized that they were face-to-face with one of the most glaring DCEU plotholes ever: the tracking device. Never mind the fact that Jimmy Olsen was using a 35 mm camera (which would make him stand out in the first place, something that CIA operatives try to avoid at all costs) in the 21st century – why did a “CIA operative” hide a tracking device in a film canister? The idea of having a “secret” tracking device is that it’s hard to find – stashing it in a film canister is all too easy.
3. Suicide Squad: Harley Quinn’s Vision
The whole idea of Harley Quinn is that she’s the female equivalent of The Joker. As such, she’s – to put it colloquially – crazier than an outhouse rat. With this in mind, one of the biggest DCEU plotholes in Suicide Squad has to do with her “vision” featuring The Joker. In this vision, she and The Joker look like normal, everyday Americans circa 1954, with Harley Quinn as the housewife, The Joker as the suit-and-tie-wearing professional dad, and the 2.3 kids sitting around the table enjoying breakfast. But why would a “crazy” person have that as her vision? And why, specifically, is Harley – who is a risk-taker – crave a “normal,” quiet life, even after she herself admitted that “normal is just a setting on the washing machine”?
2. Suicide Squad: The Mathematics Of Deadshot
Out of all the villains in the film, Deadshot (played by Will Smith) is the closest thing the Suicide Squad has to a “good guy.” At the very least, Deadshot’s morality falls somewhere in a grey area (in that he loves his daughter immensely but has no problem accepting money for a hit). So, it’s rather disappointing that one of the biggest DCEU plotholes has to do with him: he claims that he gets $2 million per hit, and presumably, he’s taken out a fair number of people. This would make him a millionaire several times over. And he clearly has money: in the film, one of the first things he does is take his daughter out for a Christmas shopping spree. So, why would Deadshot – a millionaire – let his daughter, whom he loves so much, and whom he can spoil with money, live in a dumpy apartment in a pretty bad neighborhood?
1. Man Of Steel: The Destruction – And Rebuilding – Of Metropolis
At the end of Man of Steel, Metropolis is in bad shape, to say the least. It looked very much like New York City after the September 11th attacks, which took years to rebuild. So, this is yet another one of those glaring DCEU plotholes that are worth bringing up: how come it literally takes just a few minutes for Metropolis to be back to its former glory, with absolutely no changes to the buildings? Did the end of the film just take a time jump three years into the future? How did they manage to put every building back up exactly the way it was? Not even New York City — the greatest city in the world — was able to restore the Twin Towers after they fell. Simply put, it’s physically and mathematically impossible to make buildings exactly as they were prior to them falling.