Under the Red Hood
Kicking things off is one of my personal favorites on this list. Under The Red Hood tells the story of Jason Todd and his transformation into the Anti-Hero known as The Red Hood.
Following on from his stint as the second Robin, and his subsequent death at the hands of the Joker in the Death in The Family run in the comics.
The film sees Bruce coming to terms with Jason’s death, with help from Alfred and Dick Grayson, voiced by Neil Patrick Harris.
Featuring such bad guys as Black Mask, Ras Al Gul and The Joker, played by Mark Hamill, the film shows what would happen to Batman if he’d turn to punishing the villains more violently, and shows what Batman could have been had he gone a darker path.
The Flashpoint Paradox
One of the best DC crossover events of recent years, this is also one of the best DC movies of recent times. Revolving around The Flash waking up in a world where he has no powers, Atlantis and Themyscira are at war with each other, and more importantly his mother is alive.
Featuring Thomas Wayne as Batman, Cyborg is the president of America and Superman has been kept in captivity his whole life, the tale shows various other heroes in roles we’ve never seen them in before.
The story has a large emphasis on cause and effect, and how one little action can have huge consequences on the world, with the comic series helping to usher in a near reboot of the entire DC line-up with the ‘New 52’ imprint.
There have been heavy hints that The Flashpoint Paradox will be adapted in The CW’s The Flash TV show, which would also have huge ramifications to the other shows on the network.
Big Hero 6
The only Marvel film in this list is also the only film that had a full theatrical release. Set in a futuristic mash-up city called San-Fransokyo, the story follows Hiro Hamada, a child robotics prodigy, who in a mission to avenge the death of his brother, teams up with his fellow classmates and an inflatable healthcare robot in a suit of armor called Baymax. Together they uncover a plot to destroy San-Fransokyo.
The film features the voice talent of TJ Miller, Damon Wayans Jr and Alan Tudyk, the feature made over $650M worldwide, with a sequel rumored for production next year.
The Dark Knight Returns (Pt 1 and 2)
One of the must read Batman comics of all time is turned into one of the best batman films since Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight. It focusses on an old and retired Batman, in a Gotham being rampaged by a new mutant menace. When Harvey Dent is seemingly cured and is released from Arkham, it kicks Bruce back into action, proving that Harvey cannot be cured. All this culminates in a showdown between Superman, who now works for the government, and Batman in a powered Exo-suit.
The comic has been the inspiration for many other films, with the recent Batman v Superman taking some of the scenes straight from the panels. It also features some older versions of the classic heroes, a one-armed Green Arrow, and the first female Robin in the form of Karrie Kelley.
The movie came out in two parts, with part one releasing in september of 2012, and part two dropped in January of 2013. A version with both films was made available in October of the same year.
Justice League: War
After the end of Flashpoint, and the creation of the New 52 imprint, the next canon DC film was Justice League: War, a direct interpretation of the first storyline from the rebooted Justice League comic.
Focusing on the hero’s meeting each other for the first time, the creation of Cyborg and his introduction into the DC universe, and the oncoming assault of Darkseid.
The film is a great starting point for anyone wanting to jump into the DC animated universe, with all the the films after following canon and storylines.