Follow TV Tropes


Ret Canon / The DCU

Go To


  • DC Future State:
    • The third season of Young Justice featured former Aqualad Kaldur'ahm becoming the new Aquaman after the original retired. Future State uses a similar premise, with the new Aquaman title starring a now-adult Jackson Hyde.
    • Cheshire, a Teen Titans villain who conceived Roy Harper's child, now wears the mask from her depiction in Young Justice, itself based on a mask she wore in Teen Titans.
    • John Stewart now has a beard like his Justice League Unlimited incarnation.
  • DC Rebirth:
    • Vixen now sports a costume with black detailing inspired by her design from her animated series and Arrow.
    • As mentioned below, National City from the Supergirl (2015) TV show is now part of the DC Universe as of Supergirl (Rebirth), and Supergirl now uses the name Kara Danvers.
    • Bumblebee has a new haircut resembling the one she has in DC Super Hero Girls. She can also shrink and fire energy blasts from her palms like she did in Young Justice.
    • Advertisement:
    • Wonder Woman now has a new costume heavily based on the one she wears in the DCEU.
    • Katana's New 52 costume was damaged in the Suicide Squad Most Wanted mini-series, leading to her adopting her look from the Suicide Squad (2016) live-action movie. She also now wields a second, shorter blade as a side arm, much like she does in the film. However, she ditches both by the time the new Suicide Squad ongoing, which released the same week as the movie, debuted, weirdly enough.
    • The League of Shadows from The Dark Knight Trilogy appear in Detective Comics (Rebirth), as a separate group from the League of Assassins (which they were a renamed version of in both The Dark Knight Trilogy and Young Justice).
    • Ryan Choi's new armored costume is heavily based on the one worn by Ray Palmer in Legends of Tomorrow.
    • Advertisement:
    • Scarecrow's costume was briefly changed to match his look from Batman: Arkham Knight when he appeared in Batwoman (Rebirth).
    • Magpie has been redesigned to resemble her counterpart from Beware the Batman.
    • Merlyn's real name has been changed from Arthur King to Malcolm Merlyn, his name in Arrow. He also calls himself the Dark Archer, his alias from both Arrow and Smallville.
    • Cheetah's new look is very reminiscent of her design from the Justice League cartoon.
    • Aquaman now has long hair and a beard (which he previously sported in The '90s before returning to his classic clean-shaven look in The 2000s) so that he more closely resembles Jason Momoa's portrayal of the character in the DCEU. Kelly Sue Deconnick's run then took this even further by having Arthur get tribal tattoos similar to the ones sported by his movie counterpart.
    • Similarly, after the Aquaman movie called Black Manta's previously unnamed father "Jesse," the comics incorporated the name.
    • Black Lightning's new costume from Detective Comics (Rebirth) is patterned after his look from his live-action show.
    • Martian Manhunter's John Jones identity is now a black man, an idea that goes back to when Phil Morris played the character on Smallville. In fact, the concept of John Jones being black was subsequently used in various other adaptations like Young Justice, Justice League: Doom and Supergirl, making the comics one of the few places that hadn't already adopted it.
    • The version of the Royal Flush Gang that appeared in the first arc of All Star Batman resembled the Batman Beyond iteration of the team.
  • The Brightest Day and New 52 versions of Firestorm were inspired by the character's portrayal in Batman: The Brave and the Bold. While the Jason Rusch/Ronnie Raymond combo had shown up in the comics before, it was the TV show that established Jason as a Child Prodigy. Prior to that, he was mostly an average student who relied on Professor Stein to provide Firestorm's science knowledge.
  • The Flash:
    • When the Flash got a TV series, a couple of small changes were made in the comic: Wally got a dog and a new costume with a symmetric belt like the one on the show. This was only fair since the TV Flash, while based primarily on Barry Allen, also borrowed elements from Wally (such as his post-Crisis need for huge amounts of food).
    • During The Flash: Rebirth, Wally gained yet another new costume that was even more inspired by the live-action suit. It had the pointed, Batman-like nose and the darker color scheme, in addition to the aforementioned belt. The costume also added a logo similar to the one on Wally sported in the Justice League cartoon.
    • The West family is now biracial because the 2014 TV series made Iris and her father black. While Iris and the original Wally West are still white, it's since been established that Iris has a black nephew named Wallace (who later becomes the new Kid Flash, mirroring the show's Race Lift of Wally).
  • Green Lantern:
    • Superman: The Animated Series showed a female member of the Guardians of the Universe, rather than having them all be male like in the comics. When the Guardians were reborn during Judd Winick's Green Lantern run, their ranks now included women in addition to men.
    • Justice League introduced the idea that John Stewart was a Marine, which has since filtered into the comics. In fact, being a former soldier is now such an important part of John's backstory that many fans are surprised to learn that it originated in the TV show.
    • John also regained his mobility, returned to being an active Green Lanternnote  and joined the League during Joe Kelly's JLA run because of the cartoon. He was also redesigned to sport his costume from the TV show, as well as the same haircut.
    • While John has yet to sport the "bald with goatee" look from the Unlimited seasons, Power Ring does sport a similar one, thanks in part to the events of JLA/Avengers destroying and rebuilding the Crime Syndicate's universe, giving him a Race Lift that changed him from a blonde Kyle Rayner counterpart into a counterpart for Stewart. Also after joining the post-Infinite Crisis incarnation of the League, John joked about Black Lightning's current bald look, then said he'd look good bald with a goatee. Scott Snyder's Justice League run later featured an arc dealing with a future iteration of the team, and the White Lantern version of John sported the same goatee and shaved head look as his cartoon counterpart. In Future State, John finally ends up growing a beard after the Green Lanterns lose their powers due to the death of the Central Battery on Oa.
  • Justice League:
    • After the cartoon featured a Hawkgirl as a member, writer Joe Kelly chose to add the DC Universe's then-current Hawkgirl to the contemporary JLA (even though this was a different character, connected to the Golden Age Hawkgirl rather than the Silver Age version from which the cartoon's heroine was adapted) — though the 2018 Hawkman series rendered any distinction moot by another case of this: importing the idea from the cartoon that Katar and Shayera Hol are among the past lives of Khufu/Carter Hall and Chay-Ara/Shiera Saunders/Kendra Saunders.
    • When Vixen rejoined the Justice League after Infinite Crisis, she was given her look from Justice League Unlimited.
    • Likewise, in Justice League: Generation Lost, Ice got a new costume resembling her Justice League Unlimited design.
  • Justice Society of America:
    • In the original comics, the Beth Chapel version of Doctor Mid-Nite and the Yolanda Montez version of Wildcat were never actually members of the JSA, having instead been associated with Infinity, Inc. during their brief crime-fighting careers. Both characters were also killed off during the Eclipso series in the 90s, and, due to their obscurity, remained dead for decades afterward. Because both ladies were slated to be featured as major characters and members of the new JSA in the then-upcoming Stargirl (2020) TV series, Beth and Yolanda finally returned to the DC Universe in the final issue of Doomsday Clock (written by Geoff Johns, who also developed Stargirl for television), which now depicted them as part of Justice Society. Beth was even given a new costume resembling the one she wears in the TV show.
    • Doomsday Clock also brought back Alan Scott, the original Golden Age Green Lantern. However, despite seemingly being the pre-Flashpoint version of the character, the writers incorporated one major bit of characterization from Alan's New 52 Earth 2 counterpart: Alan is secretly a closeted gay man now.
  • Kingdom Come had a number of ideas that eventually became canon in the mainstream DCU:
    • As mentioned below, Superman and Wonder Woman eventually adopted their Kingdome Come outfits in the mainstream DCU.
    • Roy Harper adopted the Red Arrow identity and costume (minus the hat) after Infinite Crisis. After the New 52 made Roy Arsenal again, the Red Arrow name was taken up by new character Emiko Queen.
    • The Red Robin costume and identity also made it into the DCU after Batman R.I.P., albeit used by Tim Drake instead of Dick Grayson. Prior to this, Jason Todd briefly donned the Red Robin suit during Countdown.
    • Al Rothstein's Atom Smasher identity also originated in Kingdom Come. Prior to that, he had gone by Nuklon.
  • As of the New 52:
  • The Source Wall as a concept was alluded to in the New Gods, but did not physically appear until an out of continuity 1982 crossover between the X-Men and Teen Titans. Everyone liked the design so much that it was incorporated into the mainstream continuity, with even Jack Kirby himself utilizing it.
  • Static:
    • Static was given both of his costumes from Static Shock; the original in the Rebirth of the Cool limited series, and the second after joining The DCU around the time of Final Crisis. Note that Static's original outfit looks nothing like either of the suits from the cartoon.
    • The 2021 Milestone Comics reboot changed Hotstreak's real name from Martin Scaponi to Francis Stone, reflecting his Adaptation Name Change from the cartoon. Likewise, Static's friend Rick Stone is now called Richie Foley.
  • The 2021 Suicide Squad relaunch adds Bloodsport and Peacemaker to the main cast due to their prominence in the second live-action movie.
  • Super Friends:
    • In addition to characters like the Wonder Twins, Samurai, El Dorado and Wendy & Marvin becoming Canon Immigrants, the Hall of Justice from the cartoon was made canon in the comics after Infinite Crisis.
    • While the Justice League had previously faced groups of bad guys like the Injustice Gang or the Secret Society of Super Villains, the name "Legion of Doom" wasn't used in the comics until after the show came up with it. The Legion's headquarters, the Hall of Doom, has also shown up in the comics from time to time.
  • The Teen Titans cartoon debuted in the same month as a relaunch of the Teen Titans series. Both took inspiration from the classic 80s Marv Wolfman/George Perez "New Teen Titans" series, but it was also pretty obvious that DC was making their properties look similar across the board.
    • The cartoon team was composed of Robin (Dick Grayson), Starfire, Cyborg, Raven, and Beast Boy. The comics team was composed of former Young Justice members Robin (Tim), Superboy, Wonder Girl, and Kid Flash, with the 80s Titans Starfire, Cyborg, Raven and Beast Boy returning. The comics team thus superficially resembled the cartoon team - only with the former Young Justice members, most notably Robin, being Legacy Characters of the 80s Titans. At least some of the older Titans were not even teenagers by this point, having aged into their 20s. Notably, comics Raven, in spirit form before the relaunch, was given a new teenage body just for the series, and Gar Logan's codename, then Changeling, reverted to Beast Boy (despite being more like Beast Man).
    • Many of the characters in the cartoon saw their comic versions' costumes get redone to match (or at least more resemble) their animated counterparts. Even Starfire (whose ultra-stripperiffic bikini-like "armor" isn't going anywhere anytime soon) has her boots changed to resemble series Star.
    • In the comics, Beast Boy/Changeling looked like a normal boy who just happened to have green skin and hair. After the cartoon gave him a more bestial appearance, the comics gave him fanged teeth and pointy ears to match his television counterpart. His New 52 incarnation is also a vegetarian, a trait borrowed from his cartoon counterpart.
    • The romantic subtext between Raven and Beast Boy in the cartoon made it into the comics in a bona fide Squee! moment. The author claims he didn't do this because of the show, though.
    • Bumblebee's shrinking abilities were also introduced in the show. Prior to that, she simply had a suit of bee-themed Powered Armor.
    • A '90s Titan named Joto was revamped as "Hotspot" in the toon note , and received flamethrower powers as opposed to simply using heat generation. After Infinite Crisis, the comic Joto inexplicably took on the flaming head look of his animated self, the "Hotspot" codename, and began using fire as an ability.
    • The show gave Cyborg the memorable Catchphrase "Booyah!", which was later worked into the comics.
    • The show changed the Titans' battle cry from "Titans, together!" to "Titans, go!" The latter has since been adopted in the comics.
    • Teen Titans Academy features a similar premise to how the Titans were handled in the DC Animated Movie Universe with Nightwing and Starfire teaching teenaged heroes — with the line-up of the 2003 Teen Titans series, so Beast Boy, Cyborg, and Raven are also teaching the young heroes (whereas the DCAMU reflected the New 52 by having Cyborg in the League, and BB and Raven were among the kids Dick and Kory taught). The series also introduces the Red X identity from the cartoon, as well as the idea that it was originally an alias Dick Grayson had concocted back when he was Robin as a plot to take down Slade.
    • Raven's hair in the comics was originally black. After the cartoon changed it to purple, however, it became common to depict her with purple hair.
  • Wonder Woman:
    • In both the Golden and Silver Age, Wonder Woman had the magic lasso — which could compel total obedience from anyone caught in it. As one might imagine, she had it used on her pretty regularly. As this was regarded as a little squicky for television, the lasso's ability to compel was reduced to being able to force its captive to tell the truth. This is now so canonical, The Other Wiki doesn't even mention the original ability.
    • More recently, Wondie has started spinning around to change her clothes, a magical transformation used in the 1970's TV show, but not in the comics until twenty years later, when Promoted Fanboy Phil Jimenez was writing and drawing Wonder Woman (1987). Jimenez also had Diana wear her diving costume from the show in an issue.
    • Wonder Woman's enemy Giganta was originally a gorilla who was mutated into a human woman with enhanced strength. Super Friends completely overhauled her powers by giving her the ability to grow to gigantic proportions, a change that was later adapted back into the comics.
    • A single-medium version: The idea that the Crime Syndicate's Superwoman had the secret identity of Lois Lane was introduced by Grant Morrison in JLA: Earth-2, and carried over to the New 52 Earth-3 seen in Forever Evil. When the original Pre-Crisis Syndicate appeared in Convergence, it followed suit, even though Pre-Crisis Earth-Three's Lois had clearly been established as the wife of the heroic Alexander Luthor, a point that had been used in the comics as recently as Infinite Crisis.
    • The golden eagle armor that Alex Ross designed for Wonder Woman in Kingdom Come eventually made its way to the mainstream DC Universe as well.
    • The 2020 reboot of DC's timeline established Wonder Woman as the first superhero to have emerged during the "Dawn of the Heroic Age" prior to World War 2. The idea was taken from Wonder Woman (2017), which similarly had Wonder Woman as the first hero of the DCEU.
  • In the seventies, DC's Shazam! series featured Billy and Uncle Dudley going round the country in a motorhome doing good deeds, and able to consult directly with the Elders who give Billy his powers; basically the set-up of the Shazam! TV series, but with existing character Dudley standing in for Canon Foreigner Mentor.
  • The event Dark Nights: Metal brought back the original Monitor from Crisis on Infinite Earths and gave him the name of his Arrowverse counterpart, Mar Novu.
  • DC Infinite Frontier:

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: