After reading the multiple posts and articles all over the interwebs stating that "DC Won Comic-Con" and "Batman V Superman just beat Avengers" in response to the footage shown at Comic-Con that had also since leaked to the internet, I felt that I should openly express my level of concern that Warner Brothers is once again setting us all up for disappointment.
In that opening statement you will notice that I mentioned Warner Brothers disappointing us not DC Comics. The reason being is I don't blame any of the disappointing DC films on DC Comics nor do I want them to fail. Though I do read more mainstream Marvel Comics than I do DC, I very much enjoy reading DC characters such as Nightwing, Green Lantern, & Green Arrow. I also have enjoyed DC Comic television series such as the 1990's Series Lois & Clark and The Flash as well as the much more recent Arrow. I feel that Batman Begins & Watchmen are both top five comic book films of all time and most important to this article my favorite stories from DC have been Knightfall & Dark Knight Returns. So for anyone who feels the need to reply to this article by name calling and saying I am a Marvel fan only, that has already been covered.
For those who were not fortunate enough to be at Comic-Con nor fortunate enough to locate the footage online before it was taken down let me briefly describe it to you. We see the Bat signal turn on and in the shadows there stands Batman dressed in a robotic suit (think Ironman Mark I) much like the one he wears in the comic book Dark Knight Returns. They eyes glow on the suit and then we pan up to see Superman hovering. Then Superman's eyes glow red as if he is about to use his heat vision. It seems to be a standoff then cut to the logo.
After this computer rendered unfinished footage aired the internet blew up. People were excited. The problem is this excitment has turned into fans assuring themselves and others that this footage means that Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice is going to be "the greatest Comic Book movie of all time". And this is where I start to worry.
Expectations are extremely high for this movie and Warner Brothers have a lot to live up to. Historically they haven't done a very good job of doing that. Of the last five films WB has given us based on the DC Universe we have only had two films that lived up to expectations. Batman Begins & Dark Knight were both movies that lived up to and exceeded expectations. Unfortunately Green Lantern, Dark Knight Rises, & Man of Steel all managed to fail to meet expectations of many of the fan base. History isn't on WB's side.
Now lets talk about why this footage worries me. The mechanized Batsuit we seen is very much like the one Batman wore in Dark Knight Returns. As I mentioned before Dark Knight Returns is one of my favorite series.
For those of you who might not have read Dark Knight Returns it is based in a time where Batman is 55yo and comes out of retirement. He creates an army and uses it to make Gotham City the safest city in the United States. The US Government is embarrassed by this and sends Superman to stop Batman. Due to their years of being team members Batman is ready for this fight and has a mechanized suit that runs on Kryptonite ready to use against Superman. The battle between Batman & Superman ends with Batman killing Superman with Green Arrows Kryptonite arrow. Batman then suffers a heart attack and dies. It is an ending to be expected of the biggest fight in the history of comics.
My worries stem from the fact that every one assumes that Dark Knight Returns is what they will be basing Batman V Superman off of. I just don't buy it. I can't fathom how we have a heated battle between Batman & Superman where they try to kill each other that somehow leads to a follow up film where they become good buddies in the Justice League. If this is going to be based on Dark Knight Returns then they need to beat each other to a point that there is no coming back from it. Anything less will be disappointing. The problem with that is they can't with out somehow sweeping it under the rug when they follow this movie up with Justice League.
Now let me ask, how many people would have been okay if the first Marvel team movie was based on Marvel's Civil War and then the next movie in the series was the actual formation of the Avengers. You got Captain America & Iron Man beating the daylights out of each other over a difference in opinion on a law being pushed forward by the United States government forcing superheros to register, only to follow that up with them teaming up with SHIELD & becoming partners in the following movie. I ask this because it is the same thing Warner Brothers is doing with Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice.
A Dark Knight Returns based movie is a fantastic idea and I would love to see it. But I would love to see it after we have a couple Justice League movies. Show us Batman & Superman working together and forming a bond. Make us care about their friendship. Then and only then, tear it apart. Have them beat each other to a pulp and don't let anyone win. If you don't want to kill them off then just end it in a stalemate some how.
And that brings me to my last huge worry. If you let Batman win you will disappoint all the Superman fans and if you let Superman win you will disappoint all the Batman fans. The only way to end the movie is for them to beat each other so thoroughly that neither one wins. And if that happens there is no circumstance where I can believe that they will be teammates in the very next film.
What I honestly expect Warner Brothers to deliver is a watered down slap fight between Batman & Superman where other heroes like Aquaman, Wonder Woman, & Cyborg break things up in an attempt to convince them to work together. Is that really what we want to see from a Batman vs Superman movie that has been promised to us since 2002? I think comic book fans deserve better and I think DC fans deserve much better.
There is a reason this short CGI footage blew up the internet while Avengers, Guardians of the Galaxy, & Ant-Man were less talked about. It is because DC Fans are passionate and are desperate for something to point to and say "That is how awesome my favorite comic book characters are". Marvel fans currently have that & it's been a long six years since any DC fan (while being completely honest) can say that one of their favorites was given a treatment on the big screen that they deserve.
I hope I am wrong in this and that what is delivered on film is a very true to the comics rendition of Dark Knight Returns. But I am extremely skeptical that Warner Brothers is capable of giving the DC Fans a movie that awesome. And if this movie is the disappointment I expect it to be I will be sure to point back to this article each and every time I voice my opinion about how Warner Brothers has once again failed us.