Batman v Superman Surprises
You’ve probably seen the trailer, which debuted at Comic-Con, for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (coming to theaters March 2016), but just in case, here it is:
What immediately stood out to me were the things I didn’t like:
- Fearing Superman because he’s different and can do amazing things.
- Ma Kent (Diane Lane)’s speech about Superman not owing anyone anything. Ma, what happened to heartland values and optimism? (Before that, the bits about hope and heroism are nice.)
- The general dark mood and look, underscored by requiem music.
- Batman being a jerk and trying to take down other heroes.
- Luthor sounding more like the Joker.
- In short, not believing in heroism.
Today, DC released a lightly annotated version of the trailer, with comments mostly talking about character first appearances, but while watching this, I noticed some things that I might like about the movie.
- Ben Affleck as a really determined Batman. He looks good in a business suit, too.
- I thought Alfred (Jeremy Irons) was Robert Downey, Jr. for a few moments, which led to some fascinating ideas about Wayne and Stark hanging out together.
- Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) seems powerful.
- There are more connections to Man of Steel than I realized.
- Mercy Graves (Tao Okamoto) is in it and looks cool.
- Hey! Batman’s dad is the Comedian (Jeffrey Dean Morgan)!
In general, I agree with this article “Hollywood is missing the one thing that makes Superman great”:
There’s a great anecdote that legendary comics writer Grant Morrison — the man responsible for one of the best Superman stories in recent memory, 2005’s All-Star Superman — tells about Superman in his memoir Supergods. In the memoir, he mentions the inspiration for his story — he was at a convention, and he saw a handsome man in a Superman costume just sitting down and relaxing on a stoop.
That was Morrison’s epiphany: The most powerful man alive wouldn’t be tortured but instead would be the friendliest, most relaxed person you ever saw….
Superman isn’t good or special because he’s an alien who crashes on Earth and ends up being incredibly powerful. He’s special because after all that he becomes someone who always does the right thing because he was raised by a couple of decent people from Kansas.
But that’s not in fashion, I guess, and since The Dark Knight was DC’s biggest modern superhero media success, I guess it’s understandable that they want to maintain that mood.