THE LEGO BATMAN MOVIE is great. For the next couple weeks, the internet will be full of articles titled something like: “THE LEGO BATMAN Movie is the Best Batman Film Since THE DARK KNIGHT!” Debate on the best Batman film, actor, even director, will never end. As it is, Batman will always be one of the biggest tentpoles of popular culture, and this is not going to change anytime soon. So, as good as THE LEGO BATMAN MOVIE is, audiences need to step back and not complain about Batfleck, or even THE BATMAN, which recently announced a director change. We as comic fans need to focus on the real heroes of this movie: the LEGO brand and animation studio Animal Logic, and what they can do for comic book characters as a whole.

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The best part about the LEGO brand is their insane amount of licensing properties. Think of any popular film, video game, or television show, and LEGO probably has a set for it. THE LEGO BATMAN MOVIE was made largely because of the immense popularity of Will Arnett’s debut as the hero in THE LEGO MOVIE, and now that it has proven itself as a worthy spin-off, the possibilities are endless.

LEGO Justice League

All I could think when watching THE LEGO BATMAN MOVIE was how much it owed to DEADPOOL. Besides a couple key differences (THE LEGO BATMAN MOVIE is obviously a kids movie whereas DEADPOOL….is not), the movies both openly made fun of themselves and superheroes in general with fan-service meta jokes and fourth wall breaking. But not only is THE LEGO BATMAN MOVIE comedic, but it has a huge heart, something its live-action counterparts usually lack. If the hilarious promo shorts of Thor are any indication, comedy and relatability are things fans actively want. Big, epic plots like CIVIL WAR are amazing, but most of these films take themselves very seriously.

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Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing! Both Marvel and DC have released movies that if you asked me ten years ago if I thought they would be made, my reply would have been “in my dreams”. But watching THE LEGO BATMAN MOVIE almost felt like a vacation. I was able to sit back and enjoy all of these characters I adore in a way I had never been able to see them. It was a goofy, colorful, and downright ridiculous movie, and somehow it all worked. The voice acting was impeccable, right down to Doug Benson’s hilarious Bane impersonation. There was so much fanservice and so many random additions that shouldn’t have even worked, yet seeing King Kong and the Eye of Sauron fight Batman and Robin is something I will never forget.

Zach Galifianakis’ Joker

THE LEGO BATMAN MOVIE was also able to make Batman almost relatable, something few of his films have done up to this point. It’s a sillier version of the comic Bruce Wayne, but it was still a side of him audiences haven’t seen. Marvel and DC now have the opportunity to introduce their characters to a much younger audience in a different way. Batman had issues with family, why couldn’t LEGO do a Hulk iteration in which Bruce confronts his anger issues? Or show Captain America dealing with living in the present. The opportunity is ripe with what is basically a blank slate. None of the LEGO films need to have anything to do with the MCU or DCEU canonically. With LEGO’s licensing privileges, the story possibilities are endless. We all love Marvel and DC films, but after seeing THE LEGO BATMAN MOVIE, I am so ready to see more and more heroes make their wacky LEGO debut.

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