Batman vs. The Avengers - In Need of a Hammer to the Head

Batman vs. The Avengers - In Need of a Hammer to the Head

How much worrying is too much worrying? An insane man's plea for help.

(Author’s Note: It should go without saying, but with the exception of some serious moments, much of this article is written with tongue firmly planted in cheek. Also, there are some words here that are not approved by the FCC, so be forewarned.)

They are Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. If they can’t protect the Earth, you can be damn well sure they’ll avenge it. And now, they’ve set their sights on their biggest threat. No, not Loki or the Chitauri or some other surprise villain (wink wink). No, not even the X-Men. They’re going after the Dark Knight. The most beloved superhero, scratch that, most beloved character in the history of all human-kind.

No one messes with my Dark Knight. Not the God of Thunder. Not a Super Soldier. Not some douche with a titanium jock strap. No one!!

Yes, friends, I’m actually spending valuable brain cells worrying about whether or not The Avengers is going to beat out The Dark Knight Rises either critically and/or financially in the Great Comic Book Movie Revolution of 2012. Why am I doing this? The simple answer would be that I’m a nerd. A fanboy. However, I fear it may be something more sinister. Like, I’m out of my fucking mind.

For the purposes of full disclosure, let me point out that I am indeed a Batman nut. Before I was a comic book fan, I was a Batman fan. When I started collecting comics, it was almost exclusively Batman or Batman related. I rarely ventured outside that world and was largely annoyed when he crossed over with other characters outside his universe (not the DC universe, mind you, but HIS universe). Even today, my collection is 80% Batman or Batman related. So, yes, I have an inherent Dark Knight bias.

And before I go any further, let me just say that I’m not a DC over Marvel guy. I’m a Batman guy and if Batman were published Marvel, I’d still be a Batman guy and not a Marvel guy. Of course, if Batman were published by Marvel, he’d probably have been an orphaned teen bitten by a radioactive bat after which he injected the super-bat serum and built his bat-armor with the bat-Mjolnir hammer he found in a cave in the Middle East. But then, if Spider-Man had been published by DC, he would have been rocketed to Earth as a baby from the Spider-Planet and then witnessed his Earth parents murdered before being given the green spider ring that gives him his powers. But I digress.

But let me also state for the record that while my Batman jones has not subsided in the 25 years I’ve been a fan, I’ve also become a fan of many other characters. To take it even further, it has been several of the films based on these characters that have been released in the last decade that have endeared me to them. Especially Iron Man, Thor and Captain America: The First Avenger. So, I’m actually very much looking forward to seeing The Avengers.

But enough of the sanity and rational thought.

I have to spend my energy worrying about things way beyond control. I have to fret over two movies I haven’t even seen. I have to concern myself with the idea that my opinion on these movies, before or after they are released, has any more impact than that of a gnat crashing into an elephant’s ass.

In short, I think the God of Thunder needs to whack me in the back of the head with Mjolnir and knock some sense into me.

What got me thinking about this was a quote from A Threevening With Kevin Smith where Kevin is talking about his thoughts on Superman Returns:

“Now if somebody had told me in the beginning of that summer, that summer when the movie came out, that you’re gonna like X-Men 3 better than Superman Returns, I’d be like ‘You’re out of your fuckin’ mind, dude! C’mon. Ratner versus fuckin’ Singer? Singer all the way!’ And I saw both movies and I’m like Brett Ratner’s a fuckin’ genius because Superman Returns was fuckin’ boring, man!”

I’d heard this quote on a previous viewing of Threevening and didn’t think much of it. But on a recent viewing, I started to think “What if the response to The Avengers is better than that of The Dark Knight Rises?” Or even worse “What if me the Batman nut likes The Avengers more than I like The Dark Knight Rises?”

Or even much worse “What if Nolan is possessed by Schumacher and we get another Batman & Robin?”

You’re out of your fuckin’ mind, dude! Whedon versus fuckin’ Nolan? Nolan all the way! With all due respect to Avengers fans, I am imploring Mr. Nolan to ensure that the follow up to that sentence not end up being “And I saw both movies and I’m like Joss Whedon’s a fuckin’ genius because The Dark Knight Rises was fuckin’ boring, man!” I say this as if Christopher Nolan is going to watch The Avengers and then panic and completely change his movie in post-production in response. And in my more lucid moments, I would most certainly say such an action by Mr. Nolan would be really stupid.

I recently commented to a friend of mind “If I like The Avengers better than The Dark Knight Rises, my entire world will implode.” Then, I had to step back and say “Really? Melodramatic much?”

I think you can see my problem here.

But I’m not alone. At least, almost. There may not be a lot of worrywarts out there, but judging by the ongoing flame wars in the comments sections, I’d say there are plenty of fanboys who are rooting for one movie or the other to fall on its face so they have ammunition to prove that their character is the greatest of all. Of course, they’re wrong. As I said before, that’s already decided. Batman. Most beloved character in the history of everything. No amount of ammunition will change that. I think. (Again, tongue now drilling hole through cheek).

But it’s like the old Elvis versus The Beatles argument. You may hate one or the other. You may even hate both of them. But if you’re one of those people that likes both of them, you still can’t like them both equally. One always trumps the other.

So, I’ll admit it. I like the Avengers. But not nearly as much as I like Batman. I’ll certainly say that I’m excited to see The Avengers. I hope that it’s phenomenal. But I’ll also admit that if it’s a great film, I want The Dark Knight Rises to be much better. That’s right. As petty as it seems, I want Batman to keep his consensus throne. I don’t want the naysayers to have any ammunition. Where have you gone, Christopher Nolan? Bat-Nation turns its lonely eyes to you (woo woo woo).

In all seriousness, neither of these films is going to fall on its face. At least not financially. Both are going to clean up at the box office. But, I would remind you that Spider-Man 3 not only is the highest grossing film of that series, it’s the highest grossing film of any Marvel Comics property. Yes, that Spider-Man 3.

And I think it’s the Spider-Man 3 factor that has me so vexed. You can probably count on one hand the number of threequels that have actually been at least worthy of their predecessors. One the one hand, maybe a threequel succeeding is long overdue. On the other hand, maybe the third time is not the charm.

Uh, Thor, do you have Mjolnir handy to knock me in the head yet?
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incrediblesuperbatspider - 4/20/2012, 3:42 PM
cool write-up...I recently saw the Dark knight rises trailer again (the one attached with MI:Ghost Protocol) and I still got shivers up and down my spine. The movie looks great and Batman is in good hands, relax.
Avengers is making the reviews round and I'm more excited for the Avengers(and so is everyone), because

A.) It opens sooner
B.) Something of this magnitude has never been done before, all of your favorite heroes having their own movies then joining forces to make one badass film!
c.) Joss Whedon
MercMatt - 4/20/2012, 4:04 PM
This has been one of the most enjoyable reads that I've come across in a while. Kudos! But I do believe you may be worrying too much. Avengers is going to score very BIG. It'll most likely topple records across the board. But TDKR isn't really in that much trouble. Avengers will have two months to bring in the cash, and then Batman will do his part for us fanboys and girls. We're getting two HUGE movies from the two most popular brands in the comic industry. I already know that I'm going to enjoy the Avengers more, but I'm every bit as excited to see TDKR. So sit back, relax, and just enjoy these two massive franchises. When all is said and done, we, the fans, are the winners. Cheers!
incrediblesuperbatspider - 4/20/2012, 4:39 PM
Teabag, who is that?
awesomem131 - 4/20/2012, 5:14 PM
SPIDER-Man FTW!!!!!!
TheMyth - 4/20/2012, 10:04 PM
The insane ravings of a fanboy-lunatic. I laughed out loud several times reading this. Nice read.
incrediblesuperbatspider - 4/21/2012, 4:48 AM
buttercup - 4/21/2012, 5:25 AM
ugh, Kevin Smith is wrong wrong WRONG -- while Superman Returns is a little bit boring and long, and definitely has some issues as a movie, X-Men 3 is completely AWFUL. I remember watching it in the theater and thinking, off with Ratner's head! He kills a bunch of characters (I think? Cyclops died off-screen, so I don't even know if he's really dead), ruins one of the best comic storylines ever (Dark Phoenix = complete washout) and even manages to mess up cure storyline by making it about Rogue and her keep her boyfriend from dumping her. XM3 is just the worst.
sweetalchemies - 4/21/2012, 8:43 AM
This article made me laugh so many times. I agreed with you on every point, I'm excited for the Avengers, but Batman = <3

In all honesty though, I'm so biased it hurts sometimes.
wedontdie - 4/21/2012, 9:02 AM
@Buttercup. Superman Returns doesn't have issues as a movie. It works well as a movie, plot wise. It just doesn't work well a Superman movie for the masses because the masses only want action 24/7 while Superman Returns was more of a Story. A really good story if you didn't really care for the action that much and haven't read a superman comic before. I'm not saying that it's my favorite Superman movie of all time. I just wish there was more action and a different story because it seemed more of a remake of the first Superman film.
LP4 - 4/21/2012, 9:23 PM
@wedontdie- Yeah nice story if you ignore the fact that it was about a bastard father who abandoned his kid for 5 years, then STALKED a woman...the main villain's big, "evil" plan was to grow crystals in water...ok...and he employed an idiotic mole as his side bi*ch and mother[frick]ing KUMAR.

Nice story...


LP4 - 4/21/2012, 9:27 PM
Anyway there was no reason for Superman Returns to be a sappy, depressing mellodrama. IT'S A SUPERHERO MOVIE, therefore it should have had SOME form of action. No one here is asking for balls to the walls action 24/7 but jesus christ the movie was over 2hrs long and Superman never even threw a single punch! That is [frick]ing retarded, no excuse for that and completely unacceptable
TurtlesRAwesome - 4/22/2012, 5:28 AM
Good read. To the author, if Tom Hardy passes between now and its opening, TDKR may have a chance of beating The Avengers. That said, no matter what Nolan has created, there is probably no chance you won't believe it is better than The Avengers. But as extra insurance, you may want to avoid watching The Avengers just in case.
wedontdie - 4/22/2012, 9:04 AM
@LP4 If you understood plot then you see why it gets 3 and a half stars out of 4 which is better than any movie than with more action like x-men orgy's or any other movie from marvel for that matter. I'm not saying its a nice story... I'm just saying that the plot was there. And some movie goer's see the plot in movies not what entertains them the most. A plot consists of a problem, rising action, a villain that was good at what he does, a turn of a events, a climax, and a resolution. And some how Superman Returns did this well. Plus I know what you mean I wish there was more action than there was and wish it didn't have to be a sappy, depressing, melodrama but god damn it, it still works as a movie. I might have over exaggerated on the 24/7 part but what I meant to say is that it works as a movie it just doesn't work as a superman movie for the ones who respect superman from the comics. I respect superman 100% because he's my favorite superman movie... But I understand when there is a good lay out of story telling in a movie.
wedontdie - 4/22/2012, 8:02 PM
I meant to say he's my favorite superhero...
CorndogBurglar - 4/23/2012, 7:51 AM
heh heh, good read man, very enjoyable.

I almost lost my $#!+ when you started saying what Batman would have been like if he was created in the Marvel Universe, but then you turned around and explained what Spidey would have been like if DC. Haha, good job, dude.

Most people wouldn't make the same comparison of both companies, they would just crap on the one they like the least. I totally respect your stance on being a Batman fan before choosing a company though! Good article!
facehugger81 - 4/23/2012, 9:55 AM
I used to be as worried like you, until I took an hammer in the knee
SpiderFan35 - 4/23/2012, 10:41 AM
Despite the marketing machine for the Avengers, I am finding that most of the people I know who are not comic or CBM geeks seem to be more aware of TASM then either the Avengers or TDKR for whatever reason. Maybe Spidey is just more familiar to the masses?

ItsATrap - 4/23/2012, 9:24 PM
i'm glad to see that i'm not the only one afraid of enjoying The Avengers more than TDKR. seriously, this is something that keeps me up at night. especially with the avengers release so soon, i think i'm legitimately more excited for it right now, despite my life-long Batman fandom.
i think i'm actually more nervous to see these films than i am excited.
talk about being messed up.
maito - 5/4/2012, 7:23 PM
I don't think you have to worry, Nolan has better story telling technics than Whedon. In quality TDKR might stand as #1.But I guess that's not what you're worrying about.
BETRAY is the word. If you like the avengers more than TDKR you would be betraying BATMAN (what a sick thought)

be kind to yourself, let you enjoy each at their respective times.

I keep smiling since April 26. thanks to Marvel. And I hope Nolan blow up my mind again in June and give me some rest otherwise the wait would be unbearable.

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