Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Batman vs. Superman movie: Joe weighs in

People have been asking me what my thoughts are on the Batman/Superman movie that was announced at Comicon.
And my thoughts are… Eh?
Then I heard that the heroes will be adversarial. And I thought… Eh?
Batman and Superman have been the biggest super heroes in the world for decades, arguably until the Avengers film franchise came out, so the question of who would win in a fight is anything but new. The debate in most comic book stores between fans ends in one of two ways: Either Batman employs some sort of bat-gadget, usually utilizing Kryptonite in some way, or Superman occasionally smashes Batman’s head into the moon.
Either way, the fight doesn’t take long.
Comic book writers have endeavored to make the fight last longer, usually coming up with contrived reasons to hinder Superman, which is usually counterproductive to the contrived reasons they have as to why Batman and Superman are fighting in the first place. It’s hard to justify why Superman would be turned evil enough to take on his best friend but not evil enough to kill him.  As interesting as some of these comics get, nearly all status quo has to be restored by the end so nobody actually dies or ends up horribly disfigured. This usually makes the fights seem more like an episode of Jerry Springer than an epic battle.
All that being said, I am glad that they’re doing the super hero equivalent to a buddy cop movie instead of blatantly ripping off the Avengers… to a point. Since the Avengers ripped off the Justice League in the comics in the first place it’s nice to see the cycle finally end, but maybe DC could’ve taken at least a look at Marvel’s book before starting on the next project.
My biggest problem is Batman. Why do we need another anything with Batman in it? Since 1989 there have been seven Batman films released in theaters, eight if you count the animated Batman: Mask of the Phantasm. We’ve also had six animated series in that time that featured Batman as a main character, seven if you count Young Justice. That’s a lot of Batman!
If DC should copy anything from the Avengers it should be their willingness to introduce the general public to some heroes they may not be familiar with. How compelling would it be if Superman, while flying around the world, landed on Themyscira and met Wonder Woman? In the comics they’re currently going out, so it would be relevant, and I think a story about superman having to choose between a near-immortal like himself and the vulnerable Lois would be a far better story than yet another awkward bromace between the Dark Knight and the Man of Steel.
So at the end of the day I put a weary thumbs up for a Superman vs. Batman movie, with the hope that after this we can finally move away from Gotham City and make the real hit movie: Superman meets the Harlem Globetrotters.


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