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Why You Can Thank the DC Animated Universe for the MCU

After 20 movies, billions and billions of dollars at the box office, and massive critical and fan acclaim, it’s safe to say Marvel has the whole “connected universe” thing figured out. If someone suggested it should be more like the DCEU, even The Joker would call them crazy. But that doesn’t mean the MCU hasn’t been inspired by the teamwork of Warner Bros. superheroes… only it wasn’t DC’s big screen outings that taught Marvel a few lessons; it was its animated series. As this week’s Animation Investigation deep dive explains, Marvel fans should thank the DC Animated Universe for paving the way for the MCU.

Host Hector Navarro, who previously explored why Batman: The Animated Series is the most influential cartoon of all time, has devoted this episode to explaining just how much the MCU borrowed form the DCAU. From establishing its tone and universe with a wealthy, technologically advanced hero, to world building with references and cameos, to lesser known superheroes taking center stage, to the franchise pushing itself outside of its comfort zone, to enlisting a diverse cast of characters, the fingerprints of DC’s beloved Animated Universe can be seen all over Marvel’s worldwide cinematic phenomenon.

Which of course raises the most obvious question ever: if Marvel learned so much from the success of the DCAU, why can’t Warner Bros. do the same with their own cinematic universe?

What influences from the DCAU do you see in Marvel’s big screen franchise? Assemble your thoughts in our comments section below.

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